How To Winterize & Store Your RV For The Off-Season

Winterize and store your RV properly to eliminate potential damage from freezing.

How To Winterize & Store Your RV For The Off-Season
How To Winterize & Store Your RV For The Off-Season


When winterizing an RV, drain and then fill your system except the water heater (this will save several gallons of antifreeze).

Protect the plumbing system from freezing: Drain out existing water:

  1. Disconnect any outside water source connected to the hook up.
  2. Drain any holding tanks including the fresh water tank and the black and grey holding tanks.
  3. Drain any water heaters and drain lines.
  4. Bypass the water heater using a water heater bypass kit to prevent the heater from being filled with unnecessary antifreeze.

There are two alternatives for RV winterizing the fresh water system for RV storage: the Antifreeze Method or the Blow-out Method. 

Antifreeze Method
Add enough antifreeze to the water in the system to prevent freezing. Use RV “potable water” antifreeze (propylene glycol), which is non-toxic. 

  1. Drain all but a few gallons of water from the fresh tank and add enough antifreeze to make a moderately strong solution (50% antifreeze is good). 
  2. Using the RV water pump, pressurize the water lines and then open each water tap, one at a time, and let it run until you can see or smell the antifreeze solution. 
  3. After feeding the antifreeze solution through each water line, you are done with this part RV winterizing. Leave the remaining antifreeze solution in the fresh tank, to protect it.

Winterizing Tip 
Don’t forget the shower (inside and out), the toilet flush line,the ice maker, washing machine, and dishwasher! See below. 

Blow-Out Method
Use low-pressure air to force water from the lines. This requires an air compressor and an adapter to connect it to the RV’s city water inlet. 

First, drain as much water as you can from the lines and the fresh tank. Set the air compressor for 25-30 psi and connect to the city inlet using the adapter. Then open each water tap, one at a time, and let the air pressure expel the water.

Second, add RV antifreeze:

  • Add antifreeze to the inlet side of the water pump using a plastic tube.
  • Turn on the water pump to feed the antifreeze into the system.
  • Turn on and off each set of hot and cold water faucets throughout the RV until antifreeze comes out. Start at the highest faucet point and work your way down.
  • Keep flushing the toilet until you see antifreeze.
  • Once every faucet has been checked for the presence of antifreeze.
  • Pour several cups of antifreeze down each drain.
  • Reconnect the water line to the fresh water tank.

Third, de-pressurize the system:

  • Turn off the water pump and open a faucet again to release pressure.
  • Make sure all faucets are closed after this process.

Now, let’s winterize the inside of your camper.

  • Unplug any electronics or small appliances. Remove any batteries from remotes, smoke detectors and other devices and store elsewhere.
  • Cover stove burners to help prevent spiders from getting inside.
  • Remove all food and drink from the kitchen and throughout the camper.
  • Remove all linens and have them laundered and stored offsite. 
  • Remove all valuables. 
  • Thoroughly clean all appliances, cooktops, countertops and inside kitchen cabinets.
  • Remove external  and internal propane tanks and store them elsewhere. 
  • Fill any holes with steel wool, aluminum foil or a mesh screen to deter rodents and pests.
  • Winterize any ice makers, mini fridges or washing machines as per the user manual.

RV Ice Maker
The ice maker solenoid (behind the fridge, accessed from the outside panel). 

  1. While the water lines are pressurized with antifreeze or air (above), unscrew the water inlet from the solenoid valve and let the antifreeze or air bubble out. 
  2. Then, reconnect the water line and then disconnect the outlet side of the valve, the water line to the ice maker. 
  3. Let it drip until no more water comes out and then replace.

Washing Machine
In general, when RV winterizes the water lines you need to let antifreeze or air bubble out of the washer’s water inlet lines, just like you did the faucets.

Run a spin cycle to remove as much water as possible, and then add some RV potable water antifreeze to the washer drum and run a brief drain or spin cycle to push it down into the washer’s drain pump.

First clear its water inlet lines and then run some antifreeze down its drain by running a brief cycle. Do not drain all the antifreeze away–you want some left in the drain pump.

RV Waste Tanks, Drains, and Toilet

  1. While RV winterizes the water lines, hold down the flush pedal or button until antifreeze appears or air pushes the water out, similar to what you do for faucets.
  2. Empty your waste water tanks as much as possible. 
  3. Pour antifreeze into each sink and shower drain to fill the P-trap so that water cannot freeze there. 
  4. Pour enough antifreeze down the toilet and a sink drain to put a quart or so in the tanks, to protect the valve at the bottom of the outlet pipe.
  5. Then, pour a cup of antifreeze solution into the toilet bowl and let it sit there without flushing. This will keep the seal moist without risk of freezing.


Properly prepare your camper’s exterior for storage.

  • Close any roof vents and fix any leaks and repairs as necessary.
  • Remove awnings and store in a sheltered location.
  • Shut any gas tank valves.
  • Re-caulk and seal any gaps in the door and window seals.
  • Wash and wax the exterior right before putting into storage. If storing in the open, invest in a fabric cover to further protect the RV.
  • Fill the exhaust pipe with aluminum foil or steel wool to deter pests from making a home inside. Check for any other holes that need to be filled.
  • Avoid using any type of rodent poison. The pest might eat the poison then die inside the RV, and the odor will not be pleasant.
  • Change the oil and add a new air filter.

RV Battery Storage
A battery will freeze if it discharges too much in cold weather, keep it well charged.

Remove it and store it in a warm place. Preventing discharge is also good for your battery’s long-term health.

RV Storage Tire Protection
The cold can wreak havoc on your RV tires. 

  • Most tire manufacturers recommend increasing the tire pressure when in storage and/or removing weight on the tires.
  • Use jacks to partially lift the RV frame to reduce the weight on the tires.
  • Invest in some tire covers to protect them from the sun.

Store your unit under a covered area if possible. If not, avoid parking under trees or in areas where grass and weeds will grow.

Looking for a place to store your camper for the season? Montgomery Self Storage has a number of different sized storage options with year round access. 

Montgomery Self Storage is a family run business with 24/7 video surveillance around the entire facility.

SOCIAL DISTANCING: No worries, call us to rent a unit. We’ll do everything over the phone. All Units are cleaned and ready for storage. Give us a call.

About Montgomery Self Storage
Please stay safe during your move. Montgomery Self Storage follows state and federal guidelines for social distancing and sanitation. The health and safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority. We clean each unit and sanitize all locks prior to renting our units.

Montgomery Self Storage can rent you a unit by leaving your lock and contract in your unit. Simply sign and drop off your papers and payment. We take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of everyone who rents a unit.

Montgomery Self Storage is a family run business. They are on the premises where your valuables are stored. They routinely look after your valuables and monitor the storage units with 24/7 security cameras.

Montgomery Self Storage offerings indoor and outdoor units. They are conveniently located right off of route 84 and route 17K just minutes from Stewart Airport in the village of Montgomery. The community is super safe as are your valuables.

Montgomery Self Storage
9 Factory Street, Montgomery, NY 12549
Call 845.457.6229

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