Get your RV ready to hit the road!How to De-Winterize your RV for Spring
Are you ready to take your RV out of storage and get it ready to hit the road again? Here’s the basics of How to De-Winterize your RV for Spring. Visit the experts at All Seasons RV for all your tune-up needs.
Essentially, we need to reverse the steps we used last fall when we winterized our RV, and get it ready to hit the road! Here’s where to start:
RV WATER SYSTEM
There are two main tasks for a RV water system that has been winterized and stored for a period of time.
1. Remove RV antifreeze from the plumbing system. If you used non-toxic RV antifreeze to protect the water system from freezing, you need to run fresh potable water through the entire plumbing system until all traces of the RV antifreeze is removed. Next, add potable water to the fresh water holding tank, turn the water pump on and open all of the water faucets. When you see clear water running through the system, turn off the pump and close the faucets.Make sure you run fresh water through the entire plumbing system to include the outside shower, toilet, ice maker and washing machine, if applicable. Take the water heater out of the “by-pass” mode, if applicable. If the water heater wasn’t bypassed, the antifreeze needs to be drained from the water heater tank and collected in a bucket or other container. With all traces of RV antifreeze removed, you can reinstall any water filter cartridges that were removed for winter storage. The antifreeze that was in the plumbing system is now in the gray and black water holding tanks and will need to be emptied when you have access to a suitable waste disposal site.
2. Sanitize the RV water system so it is safe to use. Make sure all of the drains are closed and drain plugs are installed. Take a quarter-cup of household bleach for every fifteen gallons of water your fresh water tank holds. Mix the bleach with water into a one-gallon container and pour it into the fresh water holding tank.Fill the fresh water holding tank completely full of water. Turn on the water pump and run water through all hot and cold faucets until you smell the bleach. Close the faucets and let the solution sit in the water tank and water lines for twelve hours. Drain all of the water and re-fill the tank with potable water. Turn the water pump on and open all faucets, running the water until you no longer smell any bleach. It may be necessary to repeat this process to eliminate all signs of bleach.
Battery condition is dependent on how well the batteries were cared for during winter storage. When batteries are in storage, they lose a percentage of current through internal leakage. A battery can discharge up to 10% a month when it is in storage. If you checked and recharged the batteries while in storage, they should be ready to go. If not, the first step is to fully charge the batteries. Water should only be added to lead acid batteries after fully charging the battery unless the water level is already below the plates. The plates need to be covered at all times. After the battery is fully charged, check and add distilled water as required. If the batteries were removed for storage, reinstall them making absolutely sure they are connected properly.
Start by opening the LP gas valve at the cylinders or tank and checking the operation of all LP gas fired appliances. Make sure the water heater tank is full of water before testing the water heater. If an LP gas appliance is not operating properly, have it inspected by an authorized RV service facility.
Just like the battery loses a percentage of its charge in storage, tires lose a percentage of air pressure in storage. Your tires can lose 2-3 psi a month while sitting in storage. Check the tire pressure using a quality tire inflation gauge and adjust the inflation pressure to the manufacturer’s recommendation based on the load.
ENGINE & GENERATOR
If you have a motorized RV, check all vehicle fluid levels. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for proper levels. If a fluid level is low, try to determine why and correct the problem. Start the engine and check for proper readings on all gauges.If you have an onboard generator, check the oil level and service the generator according to specified intervals found in the owner’s manual. Inspect the generator exhaust system for any damage prior to starting. Never run a generator with a damaged exhaust system. If you didn’t use a fuel stabilizer in the fuel system and the generator won’t start, or it continues to surge after starting, have it checked out and repaired by an authorized RV service facility.
RV SAFETY ITEMS
Re-install any dry-cell batteries or fuses that were removed from safety devices for storage. If batteries were not removed from safety devices during storage it’s a good idea to replace the batteries now. Test the operation of the carbon monoxide detector, LP gas leak detector and smoke alarm. Inspect all fire extinguishers to make sure they are serviceable and fully charged. Recharge or replace fire extinguishers as required.
The would be happy to get your RV in for a tune-up. We’re here for all your parts needs and questions. Wishing you a happy camping season!