Anyone owning a travel trailer knows that it’s only a matter of time until you get the RV out of the storage and prepare it for hitting the road once again.
Unlike other vehicles, you cannot just go and run the engine on your travel trailer. Running the engine isn’t the first thing at all as you need to go through several steps and prepare your RV for the new season.
De-winterizing the travel trailer is suitable for the RV and your safety as well. It’s only going to take you a couple of hours (it depends on how meticulous and careful you are) to de-winterize your RV and prepare it for the road.
Even if every travel trailer has some specific requirements when it comes to de-winterizing, there are still some general rules that you should follow for the process.
What are the steps to take when de-winterizing the travel trailer?
Without any further ado, let’s take a look at the steps you should consider for preparing your RV for the new season.
1. Begin with charging the battery
As you haven’t been using the battery for quite some time now, you should make sure to charge it. Get rid of the winter covers from the outer of the rig. Put the battery charger in the off position as you’re connecting it to the RV charger. Make the connection between the red cable and the red indicator of the RV. Do the same thing for the black wire and the black sign. The voltage as to be set to 12 volts.
Continue with turning the power on a charge. It may take a couple of hours and even a couple of days- it depends on the size of the batteries.
You should stay on the safe side and leave your batteries to charge overnight if there are four of them. It’s mandatory that you take this step when de-winterizing your RV.
2. Get ready for a flush
It’s fundamental that you flush the whole RV water system of the antifreeze that you had to add when you prepared the RV for the winter.
Begin with connecting a garden hose from a water faucet right to the water hookup of your travel trailer. It may seem extreme, but you should open every single faucet in the trailer. Turn on the hose so that the water goes through the whole system. You have to flush out the antifreeze and all the impurities. Some recommend using a timer for this phase as the flush shouldn’t last less than 10 minutes. Check the color of the water from time to time. It should be clear by the end of the process. You don’t want to have any antifreeze left in the system. Remember to flush the toilet too.
3. Have the propane ready
Propane is a common choice for RVs and now it’s time to get it out from the storage place and mount it back where it belongs. The placement of the mounts may differ from various models of RVs. You should connect the propane hose from the tank right into the rig.
There are different types of rigs too. Fill the tanks to a propane station if you have a Motorhome.
4. Make sure that you’re tightening the connections
You need to have tight fittings for the hose lines. One way to make sure that the propane tanks are adequately connected is to turn the propane valve just enough to open the line. Place a damp and soapy sponge at the end of the connectors. Do you notice any bubbles forming? If so, it’s possible that you have some leakers in the line. Check once again, and put another connection. You’re only right to go when there aren’t any more bubbles.
Having tight fittings is fundamental for de-winterizing the travel trailer properly.
5. Cut off the flow
The water lines are supposed to be completely flushed out by now and even ready to go. You may turn off the hose and remove it from your travel trailer. Go to a dump station for dumping the water tanks (black, grey, and freshwater as well) at a dump station. You should refill it with clean potable water when you’re done.
6. Turn the power off
It’s time to put the battery charger aside and the batteries. Every type of RV is different, so you may want to take a look at the manual’s instructions. The black cable has to be connected to the batterie’s black terminal. It has to be grounded too. You may proceed with connecting the red wire to the red terminal on the battery.
7. Take a look at the tires as well
Get a pressure gauge for this step. Look in the manual to see which is the right pressure for the tires on your RV. It’s also vital that you check the tread of the tire, seeking the possible cracks or signs of wear. Don’t skip this step, as you cannot take the chance for a blowout at some point.
Even if the RV comes with spare, you should also check it.
8. Install new filters
It’s always a good thing to change the filters on your RV, no matter if it’s the air filter or the water filter that we’re talking about.
Is pristine clean your thing? Rinse the window screens on the RV too as they work as filters during the summertime. You want them to be fresh and bug-free, right?
9. Take a look at the pipes as well
Go under the sinks in your travel trailer and look for any cracks in the drain trap. It may be uncomfortable, but turn on the water and let it run for a bit to notice any leaks. If so, you should address the problem asap. Don’t forget to check around the toilet too, where water may be leaking also. Water leaks may always lead to more problems if not fixed.
10. Check the pump
One step not to skip is to take a good look at the water pump, making sure that it’s still working. Turn off the outside water, so that you only use the RV water tank. Keep the faucets closed and turn on the electric pump. Allow the pump to get to the full pressure until it stops running. Wait for a bit and pay attention to the sound. Is it possible for you to hear the pump starting again? If not, everything is ready to go. When the pump isn’t stopping, chances are that you may have a leak in the line or within the pump. It may take a couple of minutes until you complete the step. Should you conclude that there are leaks, you need to fix them before hitting the road.
11. Check the lifting system
An important step that many forget is to check the lift system because you don’t know when you need to jack up the RV. So be sure to check this too.
Some extra tips for completing the de-winterizing!
There can be a source of bacteria and mold, so sanitizing the water system before running the engine is right for your health.
Here are some tricks for doing it right:
Clean out the water heater
As you’re de-winterizing the RV, you should also remove the mineral deposits from the water heater. Get a Rinse Wand and insert the hose attachment through the drain opening. Let the pressure take care of the inside of the heater. The amount of build-up coming out is going to be a nasty surprise.
Make the water taste better
You may add some freshwater additive. It’s a bit more challenging to do it for some of the water system elements, so you should check it with a professional RV care dealer for more information.
Last but not least, take a look at the roof of your travel trailer. Cracks or tears are easy to fix with a suitable sealant as you don’t want to find out the hard way that there’s a leak through the roof!