As camping season approaches, it’s time to dewinterize your RV and prepare for another exciting season of making memories. If this is your first time dewinterizing your RV, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with expert tips and step-by-step instructions. So let’s get started on prepping your RV for the open road!
When Should You Dewinterize Your RV?
Dewinterize your RV when the weather consistently stays above freezing. Freezing temperatures can cause your pipes to freeze and potentially damage your RV’s water systems, leading to expensive repairs. Plan your dewinterization when the weather is right, and don’t hesitate to seek professional RV service for assistance.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Dewinterizing Your RV
1. Remove Your RV From Storage And Inspect The Exterior
First, remove your RV cover or clear away any debris. Thoroughly inspect the exterior for any weather-related damage, such as cracks, leaks, or damaged caulk. Replace any damaged sealant to prevent water from entering your RV.
2. Check Your RV Tires
RV tires naturally lose air during winter storage. Refer to your RV owner’s manual for the recommended PSI based on the load of your RV. Adjust the tire pressure accordingly and examine the tread. If your RV was parked on dirt, grass, or asphalt without blocks for an extended period, check for flat spots. Unusual vibration, handling difficulties, or thumping noises while driving may indicate a need for new tires.
3. Engine Check for Motorhomes
For motorhome owners, checking the engine is vital during dewinterization. Inspect fluid levels such as oil, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Diesel engine owners should also check Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) levels. Start your RV and ensure that no check engine lights are on, and all cab systems are functioning correctly. Seek professional service if any issues arise.
4. Inspect Your RV’s Battery Condition
Reconnect your RV battery and check its charge. If necessary, recharge it. While doing so, also check the battery fluid levels and replenish them with distilled water if needed. Ensure you wear gloves and remove all jewelry when handling batteries to avoid potential burns.
5. Examine Your RV’s Propane System
Inspect your RV’s propane system, hoses, and seals for cracks or damage before turning on the propane appliances. Ensure that the tanks are filled and then test each propane appliance individually. Pay special attention to your RV propane hot water heater, flushing out any antifreeze and filling it with fresh, potable water.
6. Check Your RV Generator or Solar Components
Inspect your generator for debris or corrosion on the exhaust. Ensure the oil level is correct and check the fuel supply if using a generator. If you have RV solar panels, check for damage, debris, and any animal nests. Allow the panels to charge fully before testing your electrical system.
7. Test Your RV’s Electrical System
After confirming that all systems are working correctly, check your RV’s interior and exterior electrical system. Ensure your lights, speakers, awnings, and appliances are functioning properly. Pay attention to turn signals, running lights, and other exterior lights for road safety. Extend your RV’s slideouts to inspect for water damage and check the condition of slide seals. Lubricate slides if necessary.
8. Flush And Sanitize Your RV Water System
Before flushing your RV’s plumbing system, inspect for water damage or cracks in the pipes. Also, verify that your water heater is still in bypass mode.
Flushing Your RV Water System
Use either the water tank or city water connection to flush your system. If using the tank, fill the freshwater holding tank and turn on the water pump. Alternatively, connect a garden hose to the city water connection and flush the system. Open low-point drains if available to assist in removing antifreeze. Run each fixture individually, starting with hot and cold water, and flush the toilet. When the water runs clear and without bubbles, your lines are free of antifreeze.
Sanitizing Your RV Water System
To remove bacteria from your water lines, sanitize your system. Consult your owner’s manual to determine if the hot water heater can be sanitized. Mix ¼ cup of bleach for every 15 gallons of water your fresh water tank holds. Fill the tank with the bleach mixture and ensure it is full. Turn on the RV water pump and open each faucet until you can smell the bleach. Let the solution sit for at least three hours, then drain and flush the system thoroughly until the bleach smell dissipates.
9. Replace RV Filters and Safety Devices
After flushing and sanitizing, replace your water filters and air filters as needed. Water filters should be replaced every three to six months to maintain water quality. Clean or replace air filters according to your owner’s manual to ensure proper airflow and prevent AC damage. Additionally, test and replace the batteries in smoke detectors, LP detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if necessary.
10. Clean Your RV Before Your First Trip
Give your RV a thorough cleaning to prepare for the camping season. Wash and wax the exterior, paying attention to the awning, which should be aired out to prevent mildew. Clean your window screens, dust the interior, and vacuum or sweep to remove cobwebs and debris. Refresh your linens if they were left in the RV. Lastly, inspect and replace any gear, such as grills or camping chairs, that may need upgrading.
Consider Professional Dewinterization
If you prefer a hassle-free and time-saving dewinterization process, consider getting your RV professionally serviced at a reputable dealership. Schedule regular maintenance to ensure a thorough inspection of your RV’s essential components, including wheel bearings and roof condition. Professional service provides peace of mind and helps prevent potential issues during your camping season.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully dewinterized your RV and are ready for your next adventure on the road. Remember, always refer to your owner’s manual or seek professional assistance if you encounter any difficulties. To learn more about professional dewinterization services, visit DHPL Travels for an exceptional camping experience.