PREPARING YOUR RV FOR WINTER
Owning an RV certainly comes with as many responsibilities if not more than in owning a vehicle. Failing to winterize an RV can cause unpleasant surprises come spring. If lines aren’t properly flushed and systems cleaned out, freezing temperatures can cause expansion and damages, leading to ocontamination and costly repairs.
To winterize your RV you can either do it your self or hire a certified RV technician.
For those do-it-yourself types, here are a few things you will need before getting started.
• Non-toxic RV antifreeze (The amount depends on the layout and length of your plumbing lines. Two to three gallons will normally do).
• A water heater by-pass kit, if not already installed.
• A wand to clean out holding tanks.
• A water pump converter kit, or tubing to connect to the inlet side of the water pump.
• Basic hand tools to remove drain plugs.
Now to go through the steps of preparing your RV for winter.
• If you have any inline water filters remove and bypass before starting.
• Drain the fresh water holding tank.
• Drain and flush the gray and black holding tanks. If your RV doesn’t have a built in tank flushing system clean the black tank out with a wand, or use a product like Flush King that allows you to clean both the black and gray tanks. Lubricate the termination valves with WD 40.
• Drain the water heater. Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve. CAUTION (never drain the water heater when it is hot or under pressure)
• Open all hot and cold faucets; don’t forget the toilet valve and outside shower.
• Locate and open the low point drain lines. There will be one for the hot and cold water lines. Using the water pump will help force water out, but turn it off as soon as the system is drained.
• Recap all drains and close all faucets.
• By-pass the water heater. If you do not have a by-pass kit installed the water heater will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting six gallons of antifreeze.
• Install a water pump converter kit, or disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank). Connect a piece of clear tubing to the inlet side of the pump and put the other end into a one gallon container of non-toxic RV antifreeze.
• Turn the water pump on and pressurize the system. Starting with the closest faucet, slowly open the hot and then cold valves until antifreeze appears. Replace the antifreeze container as required.
• Repeat this process on all faucets from the closest to the farthest away. Don’t forget the outside shower, if equipped.
• Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears.
• Turn the water pump off and open a faucet to release the pressure. Go outside to the city water inlet. Remove the small screen over the inlet and push in on the valve with a small screwdriver until you see antifreeze. Replace the screen.
• Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour a couple of cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tank.
• If your water heater has an electric heating element make sure it is turned off. This will protect the element if the unit is plugged in while being stored.
• Make sure all the faucets are closed.
• Consult your owner manuals for winterizing ice makers and washing machines.
That’s it you’re done! That wasn’t so bad was it? Now remove your batteries for winter storage!
ABOUT MOTOR HOMES – THREE WAYS TO SECURE YOUR MOTOR HOME OR RV
RV’s are expensive, high ticket items – there are a number of considerations in securing your investment. Motor home and Recreational Vehicle theft is on the rise worldwide as criminals become better at both stealing these vehicles and disposing of them. The main elements of securing your vehicle include locks, alarms and tracking devices.
Locking your camper van – you need to ensure that the all vehicle doors lock effectively. This includes cab doors, habitation area doors and external storage doors (particularly if there is internal access to the storage area). If parked up, either on camp site or over winter in storage, you might consider a wheel clamp locking device – extremely effective in deterring thieves. Another effective visual deterrent is a steering wheel locking device – this can be a bar-lock, circular-lock or even a chain and padlock can do the job. Manufacturers such as Fiamma provide extra locking devices designed to be installed on the outside of the vehicle. I’ve even seen owners use their seat belts wrapped around the door handles to provide extra cab door security.
Traditional vehicle alarms can be the most effective form of security for your motor home. Many homes come pre-fitted by the manufacturer with an alarm. The siren is usually housed under the hood and it is activated upon opening a vehicle door. Often a key component of the alarm is a window sticker advertising the fact that this vehicle is alarmed – the bad guys usually move on the the next vehicle. Engine immobilisers are fitted on most modern RV’s and motor homes – this prevents activation of the engine without a genuine key assigned to that vehicle, by manufacturer.
Motor home tracking devices or RV tracking devices are the latest form of protection for motor home owners. A number of providers allow the owner fit a concealed tracking device in their vehicle that sends a tracking signal, identifying the whereabouts of the vehicle. These can be purchased for a one off fee or on a monthly basis. There are advantages and disadvantages to displaying the external sticker – do you want to alert the bad guys ?
PATRIOT RV & STORAGE is a family owned RV, vehicle & boat storage business that provides superior customer service in a friendly atmosphere with a secure facility!
If you are looking for secure, reasonably priced & convenient storage facility for your RV, Boat or other vehicles in Midlothian TX you have come to the right place.