How To Winterize Your Motorhome

As winter approaches, many RV owners are winterizing their motorhomes to prepare for storage. In particularly harsh conditions, winterization helps protect your motorhome from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures. If you are an RV owner looking to winterize your motorhome in preparation for the winter months, follow the simple steps below:

Steps for Winterizing

  1. Level the Motorhome – If the motorhome is not level, there may be low points in waterlines that can trap water in the lines and prevent it from draining properly.
  2. Drain Fresh Water Tank and Water Lines – Open all water line drain valves and drain fresh-water tank.
  3. Drain Exterior Shower/Wash Station – Open exterior shower knobs and lay shower head on the ground to drain any water left in the shower line. Also, place the tip of your finger into the city water inlet and gently press the backflow valve “button” in the center of the inlet to drain any water trapped in the inlet line. Be sure to remove the water filter.
  4. Remove Cold Water Filter –  If you have a cold water filter, remove the filter canister from the Cold Water Filtration System under the galley sink and discard the filter cartridge. After emptying the canister, remount it onto the filter assembly.
  5. Winterize the Plumbing System – This involves adding antifreeze to each sink trap, toilet, tub and shower drain.
  6. Drain the Water Heater – Drain the heater and allow the hot water to cool down.
  7. Remove Water Inlet Filter – Remove the filter and clean with clean water. Leave the water filter inlet removed until the Winterization process is complete or the system is placed back in use.
  8. Use Winterization Valves if applicable. (The following details are based off the process in a Winnebago View winterization system, if you have winterization valves, your valves my not be numbered quite like this.)
    • Turn Winterization Valve 1 to the BYPASS position (to avoid filling water heater with antifreeze).
    • Remove and save the protective cap from the end of the antifreeze siphon tube (save cap to cover tube after use.)
    • Insert the end of the siphon tube into a pail or container with 2 to 3 gallons of non-toxic RV antifreeze solution.
    • Turn Winterization Valve 2 so that it points to Winterize (Syphon). NOTE: Ensure that all drain valves are CLOSED before pumping RV antifreeze into the water system. Fill the lines.
    • Turn the Water Pump switch ON.
    • Open each hot and cold water faucet handle or knob in the motorhome. Open one at a time each in turn until antifreeze solution just begins to flow from the faucet, then close. Do not forget exterior shower/wash station knobs (if equipped).
    • Press the toilet flush pedal and hold until antifreeze begins flowing into the toilet. Leave a small amount of antifreeze that remains in the bowl.
    • Turn Winterization Valve 3 from “Normal” position to “Line Drain” position to allow water and antifreeze to flow through the recirculation line. Note: antifreeze will drain outside of the coach during this step.
    • Turn Water Pump switch OFF.
    • Turn Winterization Valve 3 to “Water Heater & Line Drain” position to allow all remaining water and antifreeze to leave the system. Leave the valve in this position until the Winterization process is complete or the system is placed back in use.
    • Turn Winterization Valve 2 so it points toward Normal. This will stop the flow from the antifreeze siphon tube and revert the tank line flow to the water pump.
    • Replace the protective cap onto the end of the antifreeze siphon tube to keep out insects or debris when not in use. Fill Drainage System P-Traps
    • Pour approximately one cup of RV antifreeze down each drain for the galley sink, lavatory sink, shower/tub etc. This fills the drain trap pipes to prevent holding tank odors from entering the motorhome during storage.
    • Dump and clean holding tanks. Completely drain the sewage and waste water holding tanks at an approved waste disposal site. Drain the sewage tank first so the waste water that follows can rinse any waste solids from the dump outlet and sewer hose.
    • Close dump valves and refit the dust cap onto the drain outlet. This will inhibit rust formation on valve shafts and prevent entry and contamination by airborne debris, insects, and rodents.
  1. Air Circulation. Circulate the air keeping one or more roof vents partially open so air can circulate.
  2. Air Moisture. Dry the air if humid with a dehumidifier or other air drying product.
  3. Preserve the Batteries. Charge, disconnect and then remove your coach batteries.
  4. Tires. Ensure your Tires are properly inflated and store it parked on dry surface if possible.
  5. Wash the RV Exterior. Washing the exterior of you RV will allow you to inspect the exterior for any areas that might need to be sealed.
  6. Fuel. Ensure to keep the fuel fresh.
  7. Cover Openings. You’ll want to be sure to cover the openings of the water heater and refrigerator compartments with RV screens to keep out unwanted pests.

We have recorded several RV Winterization videos that will walk you through step-by-step how to get your RV ready for colder weather and storage. In all of our videos, one of our RVTI certified RV technicians will show you what to do. Click on this link and scroll down to see our numerous winterization and de-winterization videos with Winnebago Motorhome model specific details.

If winterizing your own RV seems like a daunting task, or you have some questions once you begin, Lichtsinn RV’s service department can do it for you! We offer winterization services and more by our RVTI certified and factory trained technicians. Please call our RV service department at 641-585-3213 for more information on how to winterize a Winnebago Motorhome.

Experience the Best® at Lichtsinn RV, we have been recognized as the #1 Winnebago Dealer in North America each year since 2015 by Winnebago Industries. Lichtsinn RV is located 1 mile north of the Winnebago Motorhome Factory in Forest City, IA and we proudly sell new Winnebago motorhomes and pre-owned RVs from various manufacturers. While at Lichtsinn RV, you can expect no delivery miles on new RVs, a complimentary half-day educational orientation of your RVexcellent guest reviews, an assigned support team from sales, parts, service and the business officesuperior accommodationsno-hassle pricing and competitive financing. See our extensive new and used inventory here.

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