How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines

How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

We were backing out of the driveway, taking off into town yesterday when my son piped up, “Mom, it’s 1 degree out! It’s nearly ready to snow, right?!”

SCREEEEECH!!!!!

Yes, son, it’s nearly ready to snow. And good golly, I could have busted my travel trailer! I had forgotten to drain the the water lines and no one needs pipes to freeze and burst. 

So I’m going to show you how to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. Many had expressed interest in how to care for one of these beasts trailers, so here’s the scoop about how to do this feat with no yukky antifreeze in the lines. Ready to impress your friends, family and even spouse with your newfound knowledge? 🙂

How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines

 

Every winter before it freezes, it’s important to winterize any trailer that has running water capabilities. For if you don’t, the pipes or the hot water tank could expand and burst from the ice. This causes all kinds of fun for those that repair these things.

There are various ways to ensure you have no water in your lines. One way is via a small pump that pushes RV antifreeze through everything. The con with that is you have to flush out your system really well come spring so you don’t end up digesting antifreeze in your drinking water. No like.

My way is blowing out the lines, using an air compressor. It’s clean and quick! And no messing around come spring. I learned how to do this by a kind gent at our regular campsite. I helped him do his so I could do mine when I got home.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, so you can easily find what you need. 


Air compressor / How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

You will need an air compressor to do this. (Amazon affiliate link)

Blow out plug / How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

And a blow out plug. (Amazon affiliate link)

1. Crank your compressor pressure down to 30-40 PSI. 

Draining the rv hot water tank / How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

2. Drain your water tank first. And any other water holding tanks you may have. Then close them again.

Tip. DO close them again unless you wish to wear all the water. It’s no fun getting soaked when it’s near zero degrees out and you’re on your way to town right after. (oops)

How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Connecting the blow out plug / How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

2. Attach the blow out plug to your water intake valve.

3. Have someone go inside the trailer and turn off every tap except the one closest to where you are. This would likely be the kitchen sink. Have them turn on just the hot or cold and to yell and let you know when the water has stopped running.

4. Using the air compressor, blow air through the blow out valve with a tire pump tip, until you hear the yell.

5. Have them turn off the one side and turn on the other side. Repeat.

6. Once water has stopped running, turn off that sink, and move to the next closest, and repeat. Do this with every tap, including the toilet lever. 

Tips:

Take some breaks rather than push the air through all at once. It’s easier on the lines. And your fa-reeeeezing hands.

The right socket for the job / How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Leave your socket where the hot water tank drain resides. Just leave it there. Year around.  It sure beats tripping over crap in your garage, and going through 5082 sockets trying to find one that fits!

7. Pour some antifreeze down each drain, and into the toilet tank. Then leave some in the toilet bowl for good measure.

8. You are done! And are free to change your wet shoes and head into town.

How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

And here’s why it was a VERY good idea to delay our trip to town. An icicle transpired the very next AM!

Why I don’t do this when it’s warm and lovely out in September, I’ll never know.

How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Now, for pure entertainment value, I’d like to draw one thing to your attention because this is slick. See how parallel the trailer is lined up along the edge of that concrete pad?

How to winterize an rv by blowing out the lines. No messy antifreeze in your drinking water! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

I have this ‘thing’ for straight. It has to be straight or I get itchy. I backed that guy into that tight little area on my own and got it that straight. It may have taken me a few (30ish) minutes, but it’s straight! 

But there’s a trick to that too, of course. Want to know the secret to backing up a trailer straight?

Camping tips for setting up a travel trailer - backing up, sewer adapters, choking wheels, and more! | funkyjunkinteriors.net
THIS POST on Camping Tips with A Trailer shares all my best setup tips. From backing up, to chocking the wheels, to sewer adapters you’ll want to know about.

How to fix an RV door for $1.67 | funkyjunkinteriors.net
and THIS POST shows you how I fixed an RV door for $1.67. And saved a TON of money.

Kinda makes you want to go camping again, doesn’t it?

 

 

All trailer tips can be found HERE.

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Categories: How To Build, Junk Drawer, Seasonal, Tools & Building, Travel, What To Get, Winter
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  1. I am going to pin this because when I get that darling little travel trailer I have been dreaming about for YEARS I will know exactly how to winterize it. Thanks for the post that even I can understand!!

  2. well, for heaven’s sake! THAT’s how you back up a trailer without it going every which-way!!!! I have a little box trailer that I use behind my garden tractor and have always had a dickens of a time trying to get it to back up in the direction I intended. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I loved it. But, I thought it was suppose to freeze at 32 degrees. Thanks for the lession. Funny thing, I like having things straight as well. Numbers are my thing too. Seems I’m always counting things. When I backed up the horsetrailer I would watch the trailer wheel thru the side mirror and that way I knew which way the trailer was going. I never could backup by using the mirror inside. When backing my car up in the garage, I pick a spot on the wall & line it up. I usually get it straight. Have a great weekend. Stay warm.

  4. I seriously read every word of this. I can’t wait to get a little trailer so I soak up everything in the meantime. Sisters on the fly, anyone?

    • Definately Sisters on the Fly for me! I joined this year, it was a life changing, best thing I’ve ever done for me decision. Didn’t own a trailer at first and you don’t have to to join in on all the sister fun. Did end up getting one and love all the trailer info on your blog Donna. We had a drop in temps here in Calif and had to race out to Walmart to get rv anti freeze STAT!

  5. We do the same to our camper, but never drink or cook with the camper water, too many bad things in the holding tank. We also take a small amount of bleach in the spring and run it through with water before filling it for a trip, only using the camper water for washing dishes and showering. We take xtra water in jugs, and bottled water to drink.

  6. How did you make or where did you find the blow out plug???? I just bought a used camper trailer I poured the antifreeze in the toilet and down the sink drains.. but not the clean water lines. I just found your site through Shanty Chic’s blog. I love what I have seen so far!!!
    Thanks in advance!!

    • Hey George! Awesome! This really works.

      I didn’t even have to do mine this year because I didn’t use the trailer this summer. (oops!) But I’ll still be pouring a little anti freeze in the drains and toilet to be on the safe side.

  7. I always blow the lines out as well, but also add rv antifreeze too, I had my hot water tank drained so I could remove it, and found it still had some water in it even with the bottom tap removed, and my motor home has all copper lines which I really don’t feel like replacing or fixing leaks in