This of course is a timely topic, and it is being discussed this past couple of weeks in our comment threads; feel free to add your thoughts, recommendations and questions below to round out this information.
Winterizing your RV’s water systems is critical to protecting the life and value of your motorhome or travel trailer. Neglecting to prepare your RV’s plumbing system for cold weather before parking your rig for the winter can allow ice to form in pipes and tanks as temperatures plummet. The unhappy result can be split pipes, ruptured tanks and damaged pumps. With a little time and elbow grease, you can avoid unnecessary damage and expensive repair bills and ensure that your RV is ready to roll next spring.
Most RV service centers and many RV dealers offer water system clean out services. Some RV storage centers also offer basic maintenance services. While many RV owners choose to pay for water system winterization as part of scheduled fall maintenance, the job is more time consuming than difficult and can be performed by most RV owners.
If you take the do-it-yourself approach, check your RV owner’s manual for instructions on winterizing your rig’s water systems. General step-by-step instructions for cleaning out RV water systems are fairly standard and are readily available on line. Reliable sources are Good Sam Club and the Idiot’s Guides series. However, when discrepancies occur always defer to the instructions in your owner’s manual which are specific to your model.
If you’re a first-timer, you might want to watch a few videos of the procedure before you get started. Trailer Life and Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, are two reliable sources for step-by-step directions and helpful tips. You might also check with your local RV dealer or service center. Some offer how-to classes on basic RV maintenance. RV shows are another place to look for classes on RV care and maintenance. If you belong to an RV club, don’t hesitate to ask fellow members for tips and advice. You may even find someone willing to walk you through the water system winterization procedure.