How To Winterize RV Travel Trailer Water System



Here’s a quick video for the RV travel trailer owner who wants to winterize their RV in 16 easy steps. Our model trailer is a Visa Ultra Light but the process is similar to most other models.

Note: A viewer mentioned we didn’t mention about winterizing the city water connection. On this model trailer the connection is within 6″ of the outside shower and upon examination found it had antifreeze in the connection when we flushed antifreeze through the outside shower. Your trailer may be different. Check to ensure you have antifreeze in your city water connection or ask your dealer.

Note 2: A viewer asked about the toxicity of antifreeze. Make sure you only use RV antifreeze and not the toxic antifreeze you use in your automobile! Here’s an explanation of RV Antifreeze from https://mainecamperdealer.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-rv-anti-freeze/ :

RV Antifreeze – Not all Antifreezes are Created Equal

RV/Marine non-toxic antifreeze is probably the most misunderstood commodity in our industry today. There are currently three different varieties on the market at three very different prices.

Ethanol (alcohol) based: This type of antifreeze is most readily available in hardware stores and most RV shops it sells for approximately $3.00 – $4.00 a jug. However, this product is also extremely flammable and not to used around any sort of pilot flames or cigarettes. As well, this product has been known to taint certain RV plumbing systems and is only to be used with Quest or Pex plumbing lines. If you have ever used this product you will quickly remember how bad you water smelt and tasted the next spring. Furthermore, because this product is made from alcohol it works to dry out all the rubber seals readily found in your faucets and toilet. As a result we do not recommend or sell this product.
Propylene Glycol based: This product is only available at your local RV shop (and not every RV shop for that matter). It sells for approximately $5.00 – $6.00 a jug. Like the ethanol antifreeze, this product is non-toxic and safe for all RV plumbing. However, propylene glycol does not have the same fire safety warnings, nor the risk of tainting your RV plumbing system. Furthermore, propylene glycol is a lubricant and will actually work to extend the life of the seals in your faucets and toilets, unlike the ethanol based products. This is the only product we use on our own RVs and the only product we sell in our parts store. We have just received our first shipment of Propylene Glycol based anti freeze. We have it on sale at the following prices
Case Of 6 Gallons $23.94 (3.99 Gal)
$4.49 per gallon (each)
Propylene/Ethanol Blend: Again this product is non-toxic and completely safe for RV plumbing systems. It will cost more than $4.00 – $5.00 a jug. This may seem like a good idea, however, it is unknown how much ethanol is required to taint RV plumbing lines and dry out plumbing seals. For that reason we do not recommend this product.

This ‘How To’ video was produced by 45 Degrees Latitude. Visit our website https://www.45degreeslatitude.com and blog for video production tips and tricks.

source

35 thoughts on “How To Winterize RV Travel Trailer Water System

  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Using the water heater relief valve to relieve pressure is a bad idea, it will cause it to leak over time, it will be depressurised by opening the hot tap on the sink or tub. I'm a journeyman plumber and these relief valves are not designed to be used to manually opened, hard water scale will get into it and cause it to leak for sure

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you! You made me realize how easy it really is…. Saved me a $100 to have someone else do it..

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Do you have a video on How To De Winterize RV Travel Trailer Water System? was just asking thanks

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Where would the suction hose be located 🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️. Geezus

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Regular comments:
    “Like to *thing*”

    Informative video comments:
    actual comments

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Unless it was already mentioned, you need to release the check valve in the city fill. You can also drain the water lines of water first by opening the low point drains. At the end you can drain the antifreeze back out leaving the lines empty. The facilitate summerizing easier as antifreeze can get "syrupy" over the winter. A pipe empty of water won't freeze

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    At 2:45 mark, you forgot to mention opening the hot water heater by-pass valve to connect the hot and cold sides of water system (obviously by-passing water heater. It shows OPEN in the video but it would never be open in normal use.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Ken, great video! I have watched it numerous times. By any chance would you know what kind of vent cover I would need to replace the bathroom fan vent cover? I paid someone $220 to replace both last year and I was just told that the one over the bathroom was the wrong size and didn't close properly. And also that this guy would have had to have known he was installing the wrong cover. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    This is all weird to me….When I heard the use of anti-freeze, I know it is poisonous if ingested.  I would have put that caveat up front, right from the beginning.  I was at a loss as to why on earth they would use anti-freeze in a potable water system…but it was explained much later in the video…again, I would have stated up front this solution requires RV anti-freeze, not your standard radiator anti-freeze. Having said that, you actually bath in and drink that pink RC anti-freeze?

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    We just winterized our HTT for the first time and this was so very helpful! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise. This new-camper owner is very grateful!

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Don’t forget to pour small of antifreeze into toilet bowl to lubricate seal. Open crossover valve at water heater, not mentioned in video.
    Some antifreeze into black & grey water tanks would be good as well. Good video pretty straight forward.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for this information. And also thanks to those with additional tips in comments!

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Excellent video — very concise; thank you for making our first winterizing process so easy! We only ran into one problem — when we turned on the pump it wasn't pulling the antifreeze through the lines. If this happens you need to use a funnel to pour antifreeze into the tube just to get it started and then put the tube into the antifreeze jug.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Pro tip: When flushing out the lines with the antifreeze, catch the water in a bucket or other container, don't let it go down the drain. Otherwise it will be sitting in your dump line up against the drain valve all winter. While I've never heard of this actually cracking the pipe or valve, why take chances?

    Also you don't need to run antifreeze through the shower head. The shower line drains whenever you turn off the shower (on tub models).

    Also also, double check that the electric heater element in the hot water tank is off before draining it. Even though it is unlikely for most people that they will plug the trailer in before filling the tank in the spring, if they do and the electric element is on it will burn out within minutes. The electric element is not controlled by the switch inside the RV, only the propane. (Most RV hot water tanks are dual propane/110v like the fridge, but the switches are in 2 different locations.

    Finally one more tip. If you don't disconnect the batteries, find out which circuits your CO detector and entertainment system are on and pull the fuses. I don't disconnect my batteries because I have solar and disconnecting them would mean not only no solar battery maintenance but also it drives the charge controller completely nuts, it doesn't know what is going on with no battery attached. But I found out to my chagrin one year that a good foot of snow will stop the solar panel entirely and the CO detector and entertainment system will kill the batteries, and then they freeze. What a mess. Even if you have solar, if you are parking near a 110v source it is not a bad idea to get a battery maintainer or leave the unit plugged in so your converter can maintain the batteries. But a lot of people store the RV in a lot, so making sure the batteries do not drain is essential.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    had to cut the video when they turned the hot water on the first time because they forgot to open the bypass line

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    last step…clean up spilled anti… dont just pour water down…wipe it up with paper towels. and as stated before open water heater bypass valve. ive been doing this to a whole park 200 ish for 2 weeks.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Stupid ? Do you need to drain the grey tank at the end since antifreeze went back in there or it’s OK?

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Question. The part about the antifreeze. On my travel trailer I have not used my fresh water tank. Do I still need to do these steps?

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for posting, first time camper owners and first time winterizing, got it done with the help of your video.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Great video. Nicely broken down into easy to follow steps. Thanks so much for posting it.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Just want to say thank you.  I load this video onto my iPod every year and take it with me to the trailer so I can follow it step by step. Great explanation!

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    LMAO…..A battery operated screw driver would be handy right now.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    As already mentioned here the bypass valve has to be open as well. Big miss on otherwise great video.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    i made huge mistake, bought 2017 toy hauler and stayed innit in winter in indiana..did not know what i was doing and everything froze up..when temps warmed up it flooded belly of my travel trailer and had to have repaired..they will sale you a camper fast and not teach you how..if they do its a rush job..they just want your money..so learn this for sure!!

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Well played Sir! First and only video I'll need to watch. Getting cold out so off I go to do it now. Thanks.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2020 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    In step 3 it states to open all faucets. But in order to get water to come out, don't you need to have the pump on? If you don't have the pump on, won't that remaining water come out later when you run the antifreeze through it?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *