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Old 09-29-2022, 06:29 AM   #1
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RV Winter Storage

Hello! I had a few questions regarding my RV for the winter and storing it. I have a 3 season Rockwood 2604SW and I live in PA, I usually live in my RV full time and this will be my first winter not using it and leaving it behind in PA until warmer weather comes. It will not be hooked up to anything or under an enclosed space. A friend will be checking on it every so often for me. Like getting the snow off the roof. Any other tips are welcomed! As well as storing it for the winter if I missed any below:

I have done some research on tips and tricks that are recommended to keep it safe. Such as Drain and Flush the Black and Gray Water Tanks, Drain and Flush the Water Heater, Bypass the Water Heater, Drain the Fresh Tank and Low Point Drains, Locate the Water Pump, Open External Faucets and Valves on the Outside of the RV, Open Internal Faucets, Showers, and Toilets, Pour Antifreeze Down P-Traps.

Some of my questions are beside a skirting (which I have) is getting a RV cover recommended as well?
Am I supposed to leave the propane running? If so, doesn't that get in the way of RV cover?
Is it ok to not be plugged into anything? I will be turning the battery off and storing it so it doesnít go bad

Thank you for taking the time to read this!
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Old 09-29-2022, 08:00 AM   #2
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I go the "Extra Mile" when I winterize. After draining the whole system, including the water heater and the fresh water tank I close up the whole water system then use compressed air regulated to no more than 40# connected to the water intake with the appropriate adapter. Making sure the water heater lines are in by-pass position I go through my camper and open each faucet one at a time and let the air pressure push any water in the lines out. This also includes the showers, both inside and outside and the toilet. Once the lines appear to be emptied of any water I pour 5-6 gallons of RV anti freeze into the fresh water tank. With the water heater in by-pass position with all faucets shut off I start at the faucet farthest away from the water pump. Turn a faucet on either hot or cold with the water pump on and let the antifreeze flow until it looks pure pink. Repeat the process with each faucet including the showers and toilet. I also with the pump on reach into the water inlet with a small screwdriver and push slightly on the check valve until antifreeze shows. This assures you have the line into the system protected. I also crack the low point drain valves open to assure the lines are protected to the valves.
Once you have pure anti freeze flowing from every faucet and the toilet, shut the pump down and drain the remaining antifreeze out of the fresh water tank. Use some of the antifreeze you drained out of the tank to pour into the sinks and shower drains to protect the 'P' traps from freezing. Leave a small amount of the antifreeze in the toilet bowl to keep the valve lubricated so it won't dry out. The antifreeze left behind in all the faucets will help keep any rubber parts in the faucets soft and pliable.
You probably won't use all the antifreeze you initially poured into the fresh water tank so you can save what's left for the next go around.
While others may brag about how little antifreeze they use when winterizing I feel overprotecting is much better than underprotecting. Instead of just blowing out the lines and hoping for the best I use the antifreeze after blowing the lines out in case you have a sagging line in the water system somewhere unseen which over time could gather water and freeze when you get those sub freezing or sub zero temperatures.
Maybe you can gather from my response I have had to deal with frozen and cracked water lines in an RV. I surely have. For a little more time and a couple more dollars invested I try to prevent ever having to deal with a broken or split water line in an RV again.
6 gallons of RV antifreeze is around $20. Not much more that a couple triple dip ice cream cones or a couple Big Mac's. I consider the antifreeze a better investment with peace of mind all winter long.
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Old 09-29-2022, 12:46 PM   #3
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Do not put RV anti-freeze into your fresh water tank, it is unneeded. After draining, what little water remains will hump-up in the middle instead of expanding outward; this eliminates breaking the tank.
Your water pump should have an extra hose for winterizing, by pumping directly from the anti-freeze jug.
Use this winterizing a travel trailer checklist: https://rvlife.com/rv-winterizing-checklist/
If you have a clothes washer, the owners manul has complete winterizing instructions.
If you have an ice-maker in your fridge, follow this from Norcold:

To winterize the water valve and water line:
1. Shut off RV water supply to the ice maker.
2. Raise and lock shutoff arm in OFF position.
3. Disconnect the water inlet adapter from water valve.
4. Disconnect the ice maker water line from water valve.


Other than what I wrote, I do as letmegrow does.


De-winterizing is another subject for next spring.
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Old 09-29-2022, 02:06 PM   #4
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-You do not need the propane hooked up for the winter for any reason.
-You can get a cover if you want, but when I used to cover my MH and wrap the straps under it, it would collect moisture every year. So there are alot of pros and a couple cons.
-Open low point drains
-I only use pink RV antifreeze(no compressed air), I pour it in the fresh tank. Turn bypass on hot water tank and then run all faucets inside and outside and also toilet. Pour a little in each drain if you dont think there was enough antifreeze coming out of the faucet. As I do not have a separate feature for the waterpump to winterize. This is a very easy way to winterize the water lines by adding it to the fresh water tank and using the water pump like normal.
-Drain hot water tank and make sure electric heater is in off position while you have power.(can ruin the heating element if theres no water)
-I empty grey and black tank, then pour a half gallon of RV antifreeze in each tank. (Probably not needed) but I was taught that way when I was a kid by my father.
-It does not need to be plugged in if there is no battery to charge(pulled out) I leave mine in year round and plug in into 15A power.
-I do not have a ice maker or washing machine, if you do just read the manuels and I'm sure it will tell you how to care for it.

-If you are not occupying the RV, I dont know if I would use skirting. I wouldnt want it flying away and no one be there to notice it missing. Also sounds like a great place for an animal to stay warmer. But it will not hurt having it set up either.


Sounds like you know the routine from reading online. But to recap..you dont need to run propane, you can have a cover but its not necessary. Also dont run your propane while covered! Skirting is optional.

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2022, 05:22 PM   #5
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We go through this process every Fall and agree with draining all water tanks and water lines. Following that, we pump 5-1gallon jugs of Plumbing Antifreeze and ensure it flows from all faucets, and approx. 1 gallon into the water heater and then by-pass it.
Pour antifreeze down the traps.
Allow roof vents to remain open for ventilation, only if you have a Max-Air cover.
Leave the fridge/freezer open and leave cupboards open for ventilation.
Cover the tires to protect from UV rays.
Plug into a 110-volt or 30-amp service to keep the batteries charged and "shut-off" the propane tank.
Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and run engine and generator to ensure it is receiving the stabilized fuel (5 minutes).
Add fabric sheets and mouse traps through out the coach to repel rodents. Moth ball also work.
We have maintained this process on 3 motorhomes and 2 boats for 30+ years with complete confidence and satisfactory results.
Basically a simple 30 minute process that costs under $40.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim.B1 View Post
We go through this process every Fall and agree with draining all water tanks and water lines. Following that, we pump 5-1gallon jugs of Plumbing Antifreeze and ensure it flows from all faucets, and approx. 1 gallon into the water heater and then by-pass it.
Pour antifreeze down the traps.
Allow roof vents to remain open for ventilation, only if you have a Max-Air cover.
Leave the fridge/freezer open and leave cupboards open for ventilation.
Cover the tires to protect from UV rays.
Plug into a 110-volt or 30-amp service to keep the batteries charged and "shut-off" the propane tank.
Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and run engine and generator to ensure it is receiving the stabilized fuel (5 minutes).
Add fabric sheets and mouse traps through out the coach to repel rodents. Moth ball also work.
We have maintained this process on 3 motorhomes and 2 boats for 30+ years with complete confidence and satisfactory results.
Basically a simple 30 minute process that costs under $40.
Thank you for this reply. Along with all the others!! I wont have access to plug in so that isn't a option. But do you recommend me putting dehumidifier pads throughout RV? And what about putting things on the windows for extra installation? (this is what I did when I lived in it for winter. I have plexiglass i cut for each window and reflectix as well)
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Old 09-29-2022, 10:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordyn View Post
Thank you for this reply. Along with all the others!! I wont have access to plug in so that isn't a option. But do you recommend me putting dehumidifier pads throughout RV? And what about putting things on the windows for extra installation? (this is what I did when I lived in it for winter. I have plexiglass i cut for each window and reflectix as well)
Hi Jordyn,
If you do not have the option of plugging it in, just make sure the batteries are fully charged when you store it and turn off the "salesman's switch" that cuts all power to the fume detectors, radio etc. or disconnect the batteries.
No need to insulate the windows as you are not trying to keep heat in if it is stored, possibly add dehumidifier pads, up to you, but the key thing is allowing for ventilation which eliminates mould and mildew and keeps it fresh smelling inside.
As I said previously, I have done it this way in Ontario for years with "No Issues".
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Old 09-30-2022, 06:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Do not put RV anti-freeze into your fresh water tank, it is unneeded. After draining, what little water remains will hump-up in the middle instead of expanding outward; this eliminates breaking the tank.
Your water pump should have an extra hose for winterizing, by pumping directly from the anti-freeze jug.
Use this winterizing a travel trailer checklist: https://rvlife.com/rv-winterizing-checklist/
If you have a clothes washer, the owners manul has complete winterizing instructions.
If you have an ice-maker in your fridge, follow this from Norcold:

To winterize the water valve and water line:
1. Shut off RV water supply to the ice maker.
2. Raise and lock shutoff arm in OFF position.
3. Disconnect the water inlet adapter from water valve.
4. Disconnect the ice maker water line from water valve.


Other than what I wrote, I do as letmegrow does.


De-winterizing is another subject for next spring.
Ray,
The reason I pour Antifreeze into the fresh water tank is I don't have a suction line I can use to draw the Antifreeze in with. I'm not saying it would be impossible to install a suction line but in my case it would be quite a task. Where my water tank is located the discharge hose comes out of the tank and right through a partition into the compartment the water pump is located. There is very little room between the tank and the partition or between the pump and the partition. To install the valves necessary to install a suction line to use only when winterizing would require moving things around and doing a lot of cutting and splicing and I would have to add valves which means I would have to add to the hose between the tank and the pump which there would be very little room for.
Perhaps in my post I should have referenced most systems now have a suction line installed for the sole purpose of an aid to winterizing. This would eliminate having to pour Antifreeze into the fresh water tank and having to drain the remainder of the Antifreeze out of the tank when the winterizing is completed.
Back in the early sixties into the seventies I worked part time for my brother who owned a mobile home sales and parts business. Aside from doing some of the lot prep work, landscaping, setting up the homes I got blessed with having to replumb some of the used homes he bought to fix up and sell. Some of these homes had sat on dealer's lots all summer long into the late fall before the dealer decided to sell them to make room in their sales lot. It wasn't unusual to connect a water line to these units, turn the water on and it would look like a sprinkler system under the trailer. I have cut, flared and soldered miles of tubing and pipe to repair these leaks. Not all in the best of working space or conditions. It's fond memories of days gone by which drives me to be extra cautious when I have winterized any camper or coach I have ever owned or the one I own now.
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Old 09-30-2022, 07:07 AM   #9
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The motivating factors for me (for doing compressed air or 1.5 gallons of antifreeze) are as follows.
DW does not want to be detecting Pink stuff in her water in the spring.
And
Indian summer..
We continue to use the rig occasionally in the fall. It's not unusual to winterize 3 or 4 times before winter sets in.
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Old 09-30-2022, 10:33 AM   #10
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There is no need to insulate an unheated space, since outdoors and inside will be the same temperature.
Here in Indiana I've never used a de-humidifier either. Our 5er was stored outside for 8 winters without incuring any climate damage.
Storage for the battery is simple, fully charge it, disconnect negative cable. That's it! Next spring the battery will be near 80% charged if it is in good shape now.
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Old 09-30-2022, 12:01 PM   #11
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f possible , do not pour antifreeze into the fresh water tank. It takes forever to get it out in the spring. Use a suction hose connected to the inlet of the pump if possible . Bypass the hot water tank and remove the drain plug.
For the batteries, make sure the are fully charged, then disconnect them by removing the negative cable. This will ensure there is no parasitic draw and your batteries will be good in the spring. They will easily last 6 months without needing to be charged.
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Old 09-30-2022, 02:20 PM   #12
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Lots of good advice above. Of course the basic issue is water trapped in confined space will expend about 10%. The potential pressure generated can be intense at 0 degrees F.

Any where there is water it will freeze. It will expand. Make sure all water is drained or flushed with anti-freeze. You usually do not need to both blow out and flush with RV anti-freeze. Some people like the extra insurance.

However, when blowing out, be sure the water trapped in the water pump filters and the water pump itself is drained. Any other places water accumulates can also be a problem.

I pump anti-freeze through my system including the built in black tank flush. The tank flush probably does not need it, but I can't see it to be sure.

See attached file for lead acid battery storage methods.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Storing Lead Acid Batteries.pdf (101.5 KB, 4 views)
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Old 09-30-2022, 04:44 PM   #13
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Most newer RVs are built with provisions for winterization so there is typically a fairly simple setup to use the water pump to fill all the water system lines with antifreeze. Check your owners manual, there's probably a clear description of what to do. I avoid putting antifreeze in my water heater (just drain it) and fresh water tank (drain it too) because it's hard to get out in the spring and, though nontoxic, it tastes funny. As others have said, just charge the battery and disconnect it. I stored my TT for 15 winters in Michigan and Massachusetts by just filling the water system with antifreeze and disconnecting the battery. I don't see any need for dehumidifiers, but you can put them in if it will make you feel better. Also, don't forget to remove anything inside that will freeze or attract pests (food, etc.).
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