How to De-Winterize Your RV

If winter camping isn’t your thing, you’ve likely been impatiently waiting for spring to arrive so that you can return to the campgrounds and get back to sleeping under the stars. We previously gave you 9 tips for staying warm in your sleeping bag to get you ready for tent camping during chilly springtime nights. If RVs are more your style, then this is the preparation guide for you: how to de-winterize your RV. (You did winterize, right?)

joshua tree rv

Before you can enjoy fun like this, you have to de-winterize your RV.

De-winterizing your RV is essential. It helps to flush out antifreeze that collected in the lines during the winter months, and ensures that the battery is completely charged, the propane gas lines are intact, and the tires are properly pressurized. Although de-winterizing varies a bit between vehicle models and makes, these general tips will have your RV ready to hit the road this spring.

1. Charge the battery

Okay, so, if we’re being technical, Step 1 is actually, “Remove your RV’s exterior winter covers,” but, duh. After that, start charging your battery. Make sure the charger is off while you connect it to the RV. Place the battery near the charger, and then connect the black cable to the RV’s black terminal and the red cable to the RV’s red terminal. Use the dial to set the charger’s voltage to 12V, and then turn it on. Let the battery charge while you tend to the remaining de-winterizing steps.

2. Flush the system

Time to give your RV an enema! Connect a garden hose to the water hookup. Open up all of your RV’s faucets, turn on the hose, and allow the water to flush out the lines. Then check the clock, since it typically takes roughly 10 minutes for the system to be cleaned. Flush the toilets, which cleans the sewer lines and rinses out any lingering antifreeze. When the water runs clear, you can shut off the faucets.

rv bed

While “Install a super comfy bed” is not an official step, it’s certainly not a bad idea.

3. Inspect the propane gas lines

Remove the propane tanks from storage and place them on the tank mounts (usually located at the rear of the RV, near its tow arm). Connect the propane hoses to the RV in accordance with the proscribed method for your vehicle’s make and model. Check to make sure the hose connections have no leaks. Open the line by turning the propane valve approximately 1/4 of an inch. Place a damp, slightly soapy sponge at the connectors, and see if any air bubbles appear. If you spot bubbles, you likely have a leak and should replace your connections. If you don’t see any bubbles, your lines should be good to go.

4. Hook up your charged battery

Disconnect the battery charger from the terminals, and secure the battery in the vehicle’s battery compartment in accordance with the manual. Connect the RV’s black cable to the battery’s black terminal, and the red cable to the red terminal.

rv camping

Soon, my friends. Soon.

5. Finishing touches

Shut off the garden hose and disconnect it from the RV. Check your tires to make sure they’re filled to your vehicle model’s recommended pressure. Head to a dump station to drain the water tanks and refill them with fresh water.

6. Go camping!

Now that you know how to de-winterize your RV, once your vehicle is all spiffy and ready for another season of camping, it’s time to head to the campground. You may have a favorite location already in mind, but if you need a bit of inspiration, simply search your Pocket Ranger® app‘s Explore feature By Activity to find an Overnight Stay option that accommodates all your RV needs and desires.

rv on the road

Once your RV is de-winterized, you can head out on the open road.

Leave us a comment and let us know, are you most excited for springtime tent camping or RV excursions? Have you de-winterized your RV yet? (And how does it rank on the Excited For Summer Scale compared with uncovering the pool?) However you choose to camp, we hope you enjoy spring in the state parks!

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