Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How to De-Winterize Your Trailer or MotorHome

Happily, it's that time of year again!  It's time to awaken the beast from it's winter slumber!  It's time to DE-WINTERIZE your Travel Trailer or Motor Home!  

If your like us, relative new-comers to the RV world or maybe you're an old timer that's a bit rusty or just wants a refresher, you head to the internet for a reminder of all the steps needed.  There's an awful lot of information out there about how to WINTERIZE your trailer or motor home, but not really that much about DE-WINTERIZING!  Here's a quick photo step-by-step about how I de-winterized our Jayco Travel Trailer earlier this spring!  


I store my batteries in the garage over the winter to keep them from the freezing cold New York winter.  Using my battery charger a few days earlier, I brought them up to full charge and lugged them around back.  During the fall when we winterized our trailer, Each wire was removed, bundled together, and labeled for ease of use.  Since these wires were exposed all winter, I wrapped them in plastic shopping bags to protect them from any winter weather.

Now, looking at the picture I know it looks like a bird's nest of wires, but, trust that there is a method to my madness!  

All hooked up, just have to finish putting the battery covers on, so let's head inside to check the gauges!

Full batteries... I like what I see!

My solar panels are putting out 18.7 V, this will keep my batteries topped off while she sits in the backyard.  

The solar panels will keep the batteries topped off while our Jayco sits in the backyard, but to be honest, we stayed plugged into the house at all times.  I actually had to replace my Progressive Industries Surge Protector this year as it apparently had done it's job during a power surge and had blown itself.  I'll write a blog post about that next and come back and link to that here.

STEP TWO:  CLEAN THOSE PIPES!  (De-Winterize Your Water System)

For those of you who don't use the pink RV/Marine Anti-Freeze liquid and blow out your pipes, you can ignore this step and go right to sanitizing your tanks.  For folks like us, there's a few more steps involved.

Step 2.1:  I hooked up my water hose to our city water inlet.  That way we had positive water pressure without filling my 80 gallon fresh water tanks and having to run the water pump.  

Step 2.2:  With the water line open, I went to each individual faucet or shower head and opened up both the hot and cold lines until the water turned from pink to clear.  

What starts out as pink anti-freeze...

Eventually turns clear.

Same goes for the kitchen sink....

And the bathroom sink!  

Don't forget the toilet, shower, or any outdoor showers or kitchens you might have!  

Step 2.3:  Next up, it's time to sanitize your water system!  You should do this two or three times a year to make sure your water is safe to drink and use.  We previously did a blog on this, so I'm not going to repeat myself.  Just click the photo down below to read about SANITIZING YOUR FRESH TANKS!


Step 2.4:  Get that hot water heater going again!  Before the winter came, I had opened the drain plug and relief valves.  I made sure the plug was in tight and shut the over-pressure relief valve.  I also fired it up to make sure it worked.  

The pressure relief valve looks similar to your home's water heater.  Here it's open...

And here it's closed.  

The drain plug on the bottom left is in tightly.  I left the panel open to make sure the heater fired up using both the propane and electric starters.


Now that we've accomplished some of the more time consuming tasks, it's time to take care of all of the little (but still important!) items.  I changed the batteries in my smoke alarms.  Then I tested the propane/CO2 leak detector.  Next, I made sure the on board fire extinguisher was still serviceable and good for another year.  I opened the propane and made sure that the oven, cook top range, and the propane hot water heater ignition still worked.  I also tested the fridge but ultimately chose to leave it off once I could tell that it cooled slightly.  I then shut off the propane so it would be full when we needed it (no need to run the fridge for weeks when it's not being used!)

 New batteries and a quick test to make sure it still works.  

Press the test button on the top right and you should see all lights and a tone.

 We carry a much larger name brand Halon fire extinguisher when we go on trips but this is the one that came with the Jayco and stays onboard year-round.

Oven and range light right up!  

And that's about it!  A few days later I went up on the roof and inspected all the seals.  There was some spots where, even under the custom cover to the RV, the seals had dried and cracked.  I covered with Dicor Lap Sealant and covered some seals around our skylights and antennas with my favorite sealant of all, EternaBond sealant tape, for a nice clean look.  

After that, I added air to the tires and gave our trailer a nice wash and wax.  Now, you're ready for a fun season of RV'ing!

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