Winter time is quickly approaching. Fall is here, kids are back in school, and holiday decorations are starting to line the streets, department stores and campgrounds. Now is the time to make the decisions and start lining things up for those long winter days and nights. Depending on where & what kind of use the camper will be in during those cold winter months will determine when winterizing the travel trailer is necessary. Either way, in use, or not, there are some precautions that need to be made. Living in the deep south, we tend to not winterize anything until the weather man says so. The 3 “P’s” the weather man says, “people, pets. & pipes” Waiting for the weatherman’s cue is asking for trouble. Last minute precautions is never the way to go.
Better To Be Safe Than Sorry
General rule of thumb is: if the pipes in your home or the radiator in your car may freeze, than the pipes in the camper will freeze too. It is so much easier and cost effective to be pro-active than to disregard the importance of winterizing the camper. Draining the pipes and water lines is not enough in preparation of freezes. Contrary to popular belief, all the water cannot be drained from the camper. Water will stay in some lines. In order to protect your travel trailer investment, it needs to be “winterized” which means pumping RV antifreeze into the water system.
I recommend being prepared to winterize it at any time if your one that does continue to use the travel trailer during winter months. If the travel trailer will be put up during the winter months, I would suggest getting it done early, which means, making that decision if you will be the one to do it yourself or hiring someone to winterize it for you. Calling ahead to schedule may be a good idea if hiring someone, last minute appointments can be very difficult to get.
A huge misconception is, “I drained all the water lines and tanks, it will be fine” I hear that line every winter from countless people. Although draining everything does help, it does not get all the water out of all the lines in the camper. The pipes that we cannot drain the water from is the toilet valve (located behind the toilet inside the camper), the outside shower hose/head, & if equipped, the ice maker lines. On campers that have outside water filters, they will also freeze and crack.
RV Antifreeze is NON-Toxic
RV winterizing antifreeze, is non – toxic. It is super important that only RV antifreeze it used, as it is put throughout all the water lines, including the ice maker water lines of the camper. Do not let yourself get confused on antifreeze for a vehicle – it is NOT the same thing! Vehicle antifreeze is poisonous, if put into the water lines of the travel trailer, the residue will stay forever, and can be hazardous. Winterizing RV antifreeze is NON-toxic for a reason. Not that we would want to drink it, but it is safe for us and even our dogs if they happened to get traces of it.
RV antifreeze is extremely inexpensive. Depending on the length of the travel trailer will determine how many gallons of RV winterizing antifreeze is needed. If your travel trailer did not come equipped with one, a RV antifreeze pump kit can be purchased. Check with your owners manual or even you-tube on exactly how to winterize, as they are slightly different. Do remember to drain the water heater and remove the anode rod if your travel trailer is equipped with one. If you are planning on winterizing the travel trailer yourself, I found a great winterizing kit you may want to take a look at. All in one kits saves time and money!
Keeping Our Investment Protected
Being in the south where we only have spurts of winter, winterizing RV trailer trailers easily gets overlooked. We need to prepare our campers like our other investments: home, vehicles, boats, etc. Down here in the south, we rarely have hard winters. Last year we had one. I saw too many travel trailer & 5th wheels that were not winterized. A lot of money in repairs that could have been completely avoidable. Remember, even the cheapest RV Antifreeze can stop costly freeze repairs.
I hoped this article helped with explanation the importance of protecting your investment from the winter months and preventing possible costly avoidable repairs. Winter is upon us already up north. Down here in the south, the short winter burst of freezing air will surprise us again, and travel trailers will not be protected. My hope is that I have explained the importance of winterizing your investment. I know that come the spring again, I will be getting more phone calls with water leaks that happened during the winter that could have been easily avoided.
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