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Winterizing Procedure

Winterizing Procedure

Please note: Winterizing your Camping Trailer when you do not know what you are doing can be extremely costly and damage you camper!! Hilmerson RV has a low rate of $147.95 to winterize your camping trailer professionally (some additional charges may apply). Remember that if you choose to use the information provided here Hilmerson RV is NOT responsible for any injuries, damage, or problems that may occur. It is always best to allow a professional to winterize your camping trailer.


RV components can be damaged from the effects of freezing. Protection of the plumbing system and related components is crucial. Damages due to weather are not covered under warranty at any time. Many recreation vehicle owners choose to have their campers winterized by their local RV dealer, while others choose to do it themselves. The following are descriptions of two methods used to winterize a camper:

Compressed Air (Dry) Method: 1

Uses compressed air to blow out any remaining water in the system after draining it of all water out of the campers water system. This method requires an air compressor and appropriate adapters.

RV Anti-Freeze (Wet) Method: 2

Uses, RV approved, nontoxic potable anti-freeze in the system and does not require any special tools.

Method 1 Compressed Air

  1. Purchase 1-2 gallons of RV non-toxic anti-freeze.
  2. Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks*
  3. Turn water heater by-pass valve to by-pass position.
  4. Drain water heater.
  5. If installed, remove water filter from assembly and discard. Install diverter if included.
  6. Open all faucets including showerhead, sprayer, toilet flushing device and any other water lines that are closed.
  7. Turn on the water pump for 30 seconds to clear out any water in the lines.
  8. Connect an air hose with an adapter to the city water fill connection.
  9. Set pressure no greater than 30 pounds and blow out the water lines until no water can be seen coming out of the fixtures and lines.
  10. Pour RV anti-freeze into drains, p-traps, toilets, and tanks.

Method 2 RV Antifreeze

  1. Drain all tanks: fresh water, gray water, galley water and sewage tanks.*
  2. Purchase 4-6 gallons of RV approved, non-toxic anti-freeze and poor into fresh water tank.
  3. Turn water heater by-pass valve to by-pass position.
  4. Drain water heater.
  5. If installed, remove water filter from assembly and discard. Install diverter if included.
  6. Turn on water pump switch & open cold water side of all faucet fixtures starting with the fixture that is the furthest away from the water pump. Leave open until the anti-freeze comes out. When anti-freeze comes out close and move to the next faucet fixture and do the same until all cold lines are complete. Repeat this with hot water side.
  7. Flush toilet until anti-freeze begins to flow into the bowl and then pour one gallon of anti freeze down the toilet to winterize the black tank or re-dump tank and leave dry.
  8. Pour anti-freeze down each shower/tub, lavatory sink, and kitchen sink to fill p-traps.
  9. To winterize grey tank(s) pour one gallon down into each tank by a related sink drain or re-dump tank and leave dry.

If you have a fresh water pump kit on your camper you do not have to poor the anti-freeze into the fresh water tank after draining it. You can just turn it on and stick the hose straight into the gallon jug of RV anti-freeze and pump it that way. This way normally takes less RV anti-freeze and can save you money over the life of your camping trailer.


If purchasing a coach that is winterized with RV anti-freeze or having had an existing unit winterized before winter storage, the plumbing system must be flushed and sanitized prior to use. Do not attempt to turn on water heater if system is winterized. Perform the following prior to attempting to operate the water heater or use the plumbing system.

  1. Drain all tanks (fresh water and sewage)*
  2. Attach garden hose to fresh water fill and fill tank.
  3. Turn on pump switch and open cold water side of all faucet/ shower fixtures. Leave open until water runs clear. Repeat for hot water side.
  4. Flush toilet until clear water runs into bowl.
  5. Dump tanks again.
  6. Sanitize water system.
  7. If a water filter is installed, drain lines, remove filter assembly, clean and reinstall with new filter.
  8. When ready to use the water heater, turn by-pass valve to open position to allow water to enter hot water heater tank and fill according to instructions.

* Waste water tanks must be dumped at state approved locations.

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