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RVs are designed to be used in all types of weather, but if you're going to store your RV during the winter, it's important to winterize it properly. That will help prevent damage from freezing temperatures and keep your RV in good condition.
Just ask some of the experts – they'll say the same thing.
One of the most important steps in winterizing an RV is ensuring the plumbing is protected from freezing. That's where antifreeze comes in. Antifreeze prevents water from freezing, and it also lubricates the pump to continue to circulate water even when the temperature outside is very cold.
While antifreeze is one of the most-traded items on the international market, you don't necessarily need to use antifreeze in your RV's plumbing. You can winterize your RV without antifreeze, and many people do.
There are a few reasons you might choose to winterize your RV without antifreeze.
Antifreeze is toxic: The most common type of antifreeze is ethylene glycol, which is a toxic substance. If you have kids or pets, you might not want to use antifreeze in your RV because there's a risk of them coming into contact with it and getting sick.
It can be pretty expensive: A gallon of antifreeze can cost around $15, and you might need several gallons to winterize your RV properly. If you're on a tight budget, winterizing without antifreeze might be the way to go.
Antifreeze can be messy: Antifreeze can spill and make a mess, so if you like to keep things clean, you might prefer to winterize your RV without it.
There are pros and cons to both methods of winterizing an RV. Using antifreeze will protect your plumbing from freezing, but as we mentioned, it's toxic and can be expensive.
Winterizing with air is less expensive and doesn't require the use of any toxic chemicals, but it doesn't provide the same level of protection as antifreeze does.
In addition, if the temperatures outside are very cold, there's a chance that your plumbing could freeze and burst even if you've winterized with air.
The general rule of thumb is to winterize your RV when the temperature outside drops below freezing. That way, you can ensure that your plumbing won't freeze and burst.
Of course, every RV is different, so it's always a good idea to check your owner's manual to see if there are any specific instructions for winterizing your RV.
If you don't winterize your RV and the temperatures outside drop below freezing, there's a risk that your plumbing could freeze and burst. That can cause extensive damage to your RV, and it can be very expensive to repair.
It's also important to note that most RV insurance policies will not cover damage caused by freezing weather, so if you don't winterize your RV and something goes wrong, you'll be responsible for paying for the repairs yourself.
Now that we've gone over some of the reasons you might want to winterize your RV without antifreeze let's see how you can do it.
Here are a few things you need to get before you start:
– A compressor: You can buy a compressor at most hardware stores.
– An air hose: This will attach to the compressor so you can blow air through the lines.
– A drain hose: This will be used to drain the water heater.
– A funnel: This is optional, but it can help add air to the lines.
The first step is to dump the black and gray tanks. Next, if you have a holding tank, you'll need to empty that.
Next, you'll need to turn the water heater off. If you have an electric water heater, you'll need to flip the switch to the “off” position. If you have a gas water heater, you'll need to turn the gas valve to the “off” position.
Once the water heater is off, you can drain the freshwater tank and all of the pipes in your RV. To do this, open all the faucets and let the water drain out.
The next step will ensure that no water is left in it that could freeze and cause damage.
To bypass the water heater, you'll need to find the inlet and outlet pipes. The inlet pipe is the one that brings water into the tank, and the outlet pipe is the one that takes water out.
In most RVs, there will be a valve near the inlet and outlet pipes that you can use to bypass the water heater. Simply turn the valve to the “bypass” position.
If your RV doesn't have a bypass valve, don't worry. You can still winterize it without one. We'll show you how later on in this article.
Once the water heater is bypassed, you can open all of the faucets in your RV, both hot and cold. That includes the faucets in the kitchen, bathroom, and any outside showers or hose connections.
If your RV has a water pump, you'll need to turn it on now. This will help to remove any water that's left in the lines.
The next step is to empty the water heater tank. You can do this by opening the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and attaching a drain hose to it.
Let all of the water drain out until only air comes out of the hose. Then, close the drain valve.
Now it's time to start winterizing the plumbing. You'll need to attach the compressor to the water inlet to do this. That is the pipe that brings water into your RV.
Once the compressor is attached, please turn it on and let it run for a few minutes. That will help to remove any water that's left in the lines.
Once the compressor is running, you can start blowing out the lines.
To do this, simply open each faucet one time until only air is coming out. Then, close the faucet and move on to the next one.
When you're finished blowing out the lines, turn off the compressor.
The last step is to close all of the valves in your RV. That includes the water pump if you have one. Once all of the valves are closed, you're finished! Your RV is now winterized and ready for cold weather.
Winterizing your RV without antifreeze is a relatively simple process that can be done in a few hours. However, it's important to make sure that you do it correctly to avoid damage to your RV.
If you're not comfortable winterizing your RV without antifreeze, or if you don't have the time to do it yourself, you can always take it to a professional. They will be able to winterize it for you quickly and easily.