De Winterizing Your RV



With winter coming to an end, it is time to start de-winterizing your RV. Our the first step to De-Winterizing your RV is to take it Bretz RV & Marine and have it done professionally. Listed below are all the steps we take to ensure your RV is running great this summer! This will have you ready to take on the open roads and warm weather that is just ahead. Here are the most important things to do in order to make sure your RV is properly de-winterized!


Check the Tires


While your RV is in storage during the winter, the tires will lose about two to three psi of air pressure each month. Check the air pressure in all of your RV’s tires (including the spare) with a tire pressure gauge and inflate them to the manufacturer’s recommendation. During this time, it is good to inspect the tires for things such as cracks and worn down treads. If you plan on traveling a bunch, it may be good to change the tires out! 


Charge and Reinstall Your Batteries


Similar to your tires, your RV batteries will lose some of their during storage. Check the charge on your batteries by using a voltmeter. If your batteries are not fully charged, make sure to charge them before heading out. This can be done by attaching the battery charger to the RV charger while the battery charger is turned off. Then turn the battery charger on and allow it to charge completely. After doing this, make sure to check the water level and add distilled water until you reach the correct level. 


Inspect the Exterior


Before heading out on your next adventure, make sure to inspect your RV’s exterior for any damages such as leaks or cracks. Things like weatherstripping around windows and doors are important to check as they can crack and peel during storage. If your RV was stored outdoors, check for any water damage, especially on the roof. Snow accumulation on the top can lead to some structural damage or cracks, so be on the lookout for that. 


Flush Your Water System


While preparing for the winter, you most likely put some antifreeze in your water system to prevent pipes from freezing. This means it is extremely important to flush out your system to ensure the water is clean and safe to drink. Follow these steps to flush out the antifreeze from your RV’s water system:


  1. Turn the water pump on.
  2. Open all water faucets, including sinks and indoor and outdoor showers.
  3. Allow water to run through the system for several minutes.
  4. While the pump is running, flush the toilet a few times.
  5. When the water comes out clear, close the faucets and turn off the pump.
  6. Take the water heater out of bypass mode.
  7. Replace all water filter cartridges that you removed for storage.
  8. Dump your gray and black water holding tanks at an official dumpsite.


Sanitize Your Water System


Even after you have flushed the antifreeze out of your water system, it is important to sanitize it as well. Bacteria and mold can grow and build up during storage and sanitizing can get rid of those things. Here are some simple steps on how to properly sanitize your RV water system:


  1. Close all drains and install drain plugs.
  2. Measure one-quarter cup of household bleach for every 15 gallons your freshwater tank holds.
  3. Pour the bleach into a one-gallon container and fill it up with water.
  4. Add the bleach and water mixture into the freshwater tank fill.
  5. Fill the freshwater tank entirely with potable water.
  6. Turn on the water pump and open all faucets.
  7. Run the water until you can smell the bleach and then close the faucets.
  8. Let the solution sit for up to twelve hours in the water tank and water lines.
  9. Drain all of the water from the system.
  10. Refill the freshwater tank with potable water.
  11. Flush the system by turning on the water pump and opening all faucets.
  12. Allow the water to run until it no longer smells like bleach.


Check Your Pipes


While doing all of this to your water system, make sure to check the piping along the way. Make sure there is water in the fresh water tank, turn on the electric pump, and then allow it to pressurize the water system. Once it reaches full pressure, the pump will shut off and this is where you want to see if the pump will turn back on. If it does or it doesn’t shut off at all, there is a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed. If this leak is not fixed it can cause water damage that will be much more expensive than fixing the pipe. 


Replace Propane Tanks

This isn’t for all RVs, but if yours has propane tanks make sure to check them and possibly replace them. Reinstall your propane tanks on their mounts and connect the hose, making sure they are fitted tightly. Apply a bit of soapy water to each of the hose connectors and if any bubbles form, this means there is a leak and they need to be replaced. 


Check Propane Appliances


After you have dealt with the propane tanks, move on to the appliances. Test each of the appliances that use gas and see if they all work properly. If they do not, make sure to have someone check them out as faulty appliances that use gas can be dangerous. 


Check All Other Appliances


Appliances like air conditioners, microwaves, and refrigerators need to be checked on as well before heading out. You don’t want to end up noticing an appliance isn’t working while you are already far along your journey. Some appliances require a higher level of electricity, so while testing them out, make sure you are using a sufficient amount of amps. 


Check the Engine


Lastly, check the engine and make sure everything is working. Check the fluid levels of the power steering, transmission, engine oil, brake fluid, engine coolant, and windshield washer fluid as these may be low. Make sure all lights and controls are operational too. After seeing the engine fluid levels are up to standard, start the engine and check the readings on all gauges. Test out all dash lights, headlights, taillights, and windshield wipers to make sure they are working. 


If you are looking for an RV for this upcoming year or need some help de-winterizing your RV, then look no further than Bretz RV & Marine! We offer a wide selection of both new and used RVs as well as service on RVs! For more information check out our website, give us a call at 406-549-6169, or come visit the store! 


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