Basic Steps to Dewinterizing an RV at Home
How to Dewinterize Your RV Yourself
Once the snow melts in the warm spring air, we understand the itch to get back in the RV and on the road. But before you head to the campground, your RV requires some spring TLC after months in storage. You can start your spring cleaning when you dewinterize your RV. Dewinterizing an RV doesn’t have to be a difficult process. We’ll help you get started by going over the basic steps.
Dewinterize Your RV Exterior
Check the Tires
After months in storage, your RV tires are likely deflated. Before you hit the road, you need to do this essential step in dewinterizing an RV. Driving an RV, or even towing an RV, on underinflated tires can be dangerous, possibly leading to a blowout or an accident. You should use a tire pressure gauge to check PSI and reinflate your tires to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You can search these recommendations online or consult your owner’s manual.
Aside from reinflating, you should inspect your tires for overall quality. This includes checking for cracks in the sidewall and examining the tread. If your tires look worn down, it’s a good idea to replace them before the camping season starts.
Charge and Reinstall Batteries
During the winterization process, you should have removed the batteries from your camper. Over the winter, these batteries likely their lost charge. You can check the charge on your RV batteries in spring using a voltmeter. Make sure your battery, probably a 12-volt battery in your RV, reads at 12-volts or higher. If it’s anything below 12, you need to charge your RV battery before getting on the road.
Once the battery is charged, the next step in dewinterizing an RV is to check the water level of the batteries. If the water level is below the plates, add a little distilled water to cover them. Now that your battery is charged and ready to go, you can reinstall it in your RV.
If you’re not familiar with RV batteries or not confident in your abilities, Juniata Valley RV can check and reinstall your batteries for you.
Replace Propane Tanks
After the battery is reinstalled, you should replace your RV propane tanks. Simply reinstall them on their mounts and connect the hose tightly. You can check that the hose is on tight enough by opening the valve slightly then applying a small amount of soapy water to the hose. If any bubbles appear this might signify a propane leak.
If your propane tanks need to be refilled rather than replaced, just make sure that your tank is not expired before refilling it.
Wash and Inspect the Outside
Your RV likely needs to be cleaned after spending so many months in storage, and this is a great opportunity to inspect the exterior as well. Examine your RV looking for any cracks, leaks or signs of damage. Check the weather stripping and sealant, making replacements as necessary. You should also check out the roof, as well as inspect the slide-out seams for any leaks.
Dewinterize Your RV Interior
Flush the Water System
Flushing your water system is one of the most essential steps to dewinterizing an RV. Clean water is essential for RV camping – for drinking, cleaning, showering, cooking and more. Winterizing your RV often includes adding anti-freeze, which now needs to be completely flushed out of the RV’s plumbing system.
If you added anti-freeze to the holding tank, you should start by emptying it completely. Then, you can refill it with water and begin the process of flushing the water system. If the water heater was not put into bypass mode for the winter, it also needs to be drained and flushed with potable water.
Sanitize the Water System
After flushing the water system, the next step of dewinterizing an RV is to sanitize the system as well. Even if you used nontoxic anti-freeze, which you should in an RV, the system needs to be sanitized before drinking, showering or cooking with any of the water in your RV. There could be bacteria or mold growing in the water system after months in storage.
Sanitize the RV water system by pouring ¼ cup of bleach for every 15 gallons your fresh water tank holds. Mix the bleach with a gallon of water then fill the fresh water tanks. After this, turn on all the faucets and shower heads, similar to when you’re adding anti-freeze in fall, and let the water run through. Once you smell bleach coming out, close the faucets and let the bleach mixture sit in the water system for up to 12 hours.
Once the bleach mixture has sat, you should drain all the water from your RV. Then, refill the fresh water tank and turn all the water fixtures back on. Let water run through until you no longer smell bleach. Now, you’re good to go!
After a long camping season, your RV’s air filters are likely full of dust and debris. Similarly, water filters will collect dirt and bacteria over the season. You should start fresh in spring by replacing these filters before camping season. Changing filters can also improve the efficiency and quality of the air and water in your camper, as well as save energy.
Clean and Inspect the Interior
Your RV is probably stuffy and full of stale air after months closed up in storage. You can start your interior inspection by opening all the doors and windows allowing your RV to air out. While you do this, you can also clean any dust or dirt that settled on the surfaces, as well as vacuum the floors.
We recommend opening the fridge and cabinets as well to let them air out. You should keep an eye out for any unwanted settlers who may have taken refuge in your RV during the winter, like spiders, mice and squirrels. Finally, check your ceiling for discoloration, which may be a sign of leaks.
After you’ve finished this process for dewinterizing an RV, you’re ready for spring camping! Spring cleaning is essential before hitting the highway for another long camping season. If you need spring camping supplies, RV parts or any materials to dewinterize your RV, stop by Juniata Valley RV’s parts store! We’ve got all the supplies you need for a successful camping season.
Want a New RV for Spring Camping Season? Shop RVs from your favorite brands like Winnebago, Aliner, CrossRoads, Vanleigh and more! Visit our online inventory to see our in stock units, and visit us in person when you’re ready to take a tour or make a purchase.
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