De-Winterize Your RV

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Steve CDN

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With the arrival of spring comes the anticipation of days spent enjoying the outdoors and basking in the sun. Vacation plans are taking shape, and for a growing number of RVers  that means heeding the call of the open road.

But first, it?s time to bring your RV out of hibernation and prepare it for spring travel, free of untimely breakdowns due to neglect. Regular RV cleaning and maintenance makes more than good sense ? it is also critical to minimizing potential problems and maintaining the value of your coach.

Almost all RVs require an annual mechanical checkup ? most experts suggest having your RV serviced every 5,000 miles. And while some may think this is too often, it is far easier to keep up with minor repairs than to ignore them until a breakdown forces you to deal with them. A spring checkup by a certified RV service technician can save you time and money, and ensure a carefree camping season. So as you begin planning your RV adventures, don?t forget to schedule a visit to an RV dealership or fully certified service center.
By having an RV serviced regularly, thereis less chance of an  expensive surprise.

DO-IT-YOURSELF SPRING MAINTENANCE
While a trip to a certified RV service technician is recommended, there are several spring maintenance chores that can be accomplished by the RV owner, regardless of their mechanical ability or knowledge. Follow these tips to guarantee that your first trip starts out on the right note:

Dewinterize your water system. If you live in the colder climates where annual winterizing with RV water system antifreeze is required, you must flush the system thoroughly before use to get rid of the antifreeze. While this kind of antifreeze is nontoxic, it will still make your water taste really bad.

Take a good look at the roof. Check all seals and joints for weathering, cracking and shrinking. 
to repair joint seals, use self-leveling sealant.

Check the RV tires. Inflate the tires to the proper pressure and inspect them closely for small cracks. Check the tread for uneven wear and for other irregularities in the wear pattern. Tires should be replaced if the tread is worn down to 1/16 inch or if the sidewall is cracked. Make sure the lug nuts are tight on both the inner and outer wheels.  Tires should be replaced after 5 to 7 years regardless of wear due to ultraviolet degradation.

Take extra care when inspecting your gas appliances. Remove the furnace cover and check for insect nests or lint accumulation. Open the main LP-gas valve and check the gas system for leaks. You can do this by putting soapy water on every gas line connection and watching for bubbles. If you find leaks, take your RV to a service center for repairs; don?t try to fix them yourself.

Tune up your generator for spring. Replace any wires or components that appear worn, frayed or may have been chewed on by rodents. Wipe down, clean and lightly oil or paint any rusted parts.

Inspect the battery. If you have neglected your battery over the winter months, it may be damaged. Look for any signs of corrosion or discharge, and charge the battery completely with a trickle charger for several days. Tighten the connections between the battery, coach chassis and generator. Batteries that sweat or have accumulation of powder around terminals should be replaced because of age.

Check or install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. An RV is a home away from home, so treat it like you would your house by checking the batteries and expiration date of your smoke and CO detectors. Newly manufactured RVs are required to have these detectors installed but if your RV does not have them, they can be purchased at just about any local retailer and are very easy to install.  Be sure to buy a detector made for use in an RV.

What other preparations should be made to get an RV ready for travel following winter storage?
 

Phil

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Ron_Staff said:
we de-winterize by preforming the opposite actions as when we winterize.  We just drive north.

But, Ron, how far north do you have to drive.  :)

Phil
 

Phil

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Ron_Staff said:
The important thingg is to know how far South to go when you winterize.

OK Ron, I'll bite, how far south do you have to go to winterize?

Phil
 

coachk34

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Feb 21, 2006
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on a serious note how do you de-winterize the water lines?  ive heard vinegar mixed with water? then run clorox through the lines?  whats the process.  thanks
 

Steve CDN

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Sanitizing RV Plumbing

Prepare the following solution:? 1/4 Cup liquid chlorine bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite)? to one gallon of water for each 15 gallons of tank capacity.? ?For 100 gallon tank, 6 2/3 gallons of solution is required.? The total amount of chlorine bleach for 100 gallon tank is 1 2/3 Cups.

I have not used vinegar in my plumbing system, though I see why it might be used to release calcium deposits.? Though I have no experience flushing a water system with vinegar,? if I would, I would remove all faucet screen filters to prevent blockage.? Also I would flush the system with fresh water between the vinegar and the bleach, as one would counteract the other...alkali vs acid.

After the system is sanitized, the screen filter on the water pump should be cleaned or replaced if necessary.

As an additional side note, consider filtering your water before the water enters your coach plumbing to prevent sand, rust particles, taste, odor and if the proper filters are used....bacteria, viruses and cysts, even lead,? ?from entering your water supply.
 

John From Detroit

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Ron said:
Far enough South it doesn't freeze. Of course you know that since PHX doesn't freeze. :D ::)

Ron,,, One of the "nits" I need to take up with Damon is a fresh water leak, near as I can tell, it's one of the low-point drain valves that is leaking (that is it's not a serious leak, no damage to rig will result from ignoring it)

When I was in Amerallo, TX... I woke up and went out to the water compartment... There was ice hanging down there.. Yes, it froze overnight (I was not hooked to park water so there were no problems on my end... Though I did have to thaw out a sewer hose,  the dump valve was closed but the hose still had some water (gray) in it)
 

Ron

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Yep I understand they do get snow and cold on occassion in Amerillo Tx as the do in Dallas.  Not far enough South for safe winterization. ;D

Had the sewer hose and freash water hose freeze up once in Seattle area.  But I learned and it hasn't happened again.
 
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