How To Winterize Your Camper

How To Winterize Your RV

2020 has been a wild one and we can’t believe it’s already time to start winterizing in the northeast!

Fall is always a bittersweet time for fellow campers like us. With the beautiful colors and cool weather make it for perfect camping conditions, it’s a blissful change after the hot summer.

At our RV stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey – we find that right around October / November is typically the time we start getting requests into our service department for winterization help and preparation.

It is very important to winterize your RV correctly or else waterlines and the water heater could freeze and cause costly damages to your RV.

When Do I Winterize My RV?

When temperatures start to fall regularly, between 30-32⁰F, it is time to winterize!

Be sure to read through your owner’s manual before starting, and if you have other questions, or feel as if you may want to talk to a professional, stop into a Meyer’s location and talk to the service department.


Step 1:

Drain all the water tanks and take your RV to Meyer’s (which has a free dump station) and drain your black, gray, and fresh water tanks until they are empty.

Step 2:

Remove the water from the water heater. DO NOT drain the water heater when the water is still hot or under pressure. Make sure you stand to the side when you drain the tank so you don’t get water sprayed on you. It is normal to have lime chunks come out when draining so don’t be alarmed. Once you are done draining make sure you put the plug back on.

Step 3:

Next, drain all the pipes by turning on the hot/cold water faucets, flushing the toilet, and if your unit has one turning on the outside shower. You can also use an air compressor to help blow-out the water lines (set to 30psi w/ max pressure at 50psi). You should also, using the air compressor, open up all the water valves in your camper.  Need help figuring out which blow-out plug is best? Check out our selection here.

Step 4:

Open up all the low point drain lines, there will be a hot and cold water line.

Step 5:

Once all lines and systems are drained, recap and close all drains and faucets.


Step 6:

Next you need to bypass the water heater, if you don’t it will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, and this will waste the antifreeze. If you don’t have one you can get one installed. Meyer’s offers a variety of bypass kits to help with this step.

Step 7:

Next, pump antifreeze through your water lines. Easily pump antifreeze through your water system by installing a water pump winterizing converter (check and see if this is already installed, most newer RVs come with this feature). This will allow your water pump to draw antifreeze directly from the bottle. Once you have the hose on the water pump ready, turn on your water pump which will suck the antifreeze out of the bottle and into the water system. You should start with the closest faucet, slowly open the hot and the cold water valves (one at a time) and let it flow until you see the pink antifreeze. Then close the valves after you see pink. Watch the antifreeze level in the bottle and do not let it run dry. Replace the antifreeze bottle with a new bottle as needed. Repeat with all faucets.

Step 8:

Flush your toilet until the antifreeze appears. Make sure you do the same to the outside shower if you have one.

Step 9:

Next, turn off the water pump and open a faucet to release the pressure then close the faucet again.

Step 10:

Pour a few cups of antifreeze down each drain to fill the traps. Make sure to pour some antifreeze into the toilet and flush into the holding tank.

Step 11:

Make sure you turn off the electric heating element in your water heater if you have one.


Step 12:

Double check to make sure all faucets and valves are closed.

Step 13:

If you have an ice maker, dishwasher, or washing machine, check your owner’s manual on how to winterize those features.


Step 14:

Your tires can develop flat spots after several months from sitting because they’re under thousands of pounds of weight. If your RV has leveling jacks, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on raising your rig off the ground for extended periods. Your unit should be parked on a paved or concrete surface to prevent the tires from sinking into ground made soft by winter thaw.


Step 15:

Put parking brake on. Top off the fuel tanks to prevent condensation from forming and add a fuel stabilizer. Let the engine idle for several minutes and make sure radiator is filled with automotive antifreeze. Check all fluids.

Keep your rig protected from the weather! You can buy winter covers made especially for your RV, which we sell in our parts store.


There you have it! Your unit is now winterized! If you have any more questions call our service department at one of our 8 locations! We would be happy to walk you through the process!


Meyer’s RV Customer Care Center in Caledonia, NY offers RV storage during the winter months. Click here for more information on storing your RV!

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