How to Winterize a Coachman RV

by Dakota Wright

A Coachman RV that isn't traveling to warmer climates during the winter needs to be winterized. Winterizing the RV enables it to handle inclement weather and prevents pests from setting up residence. Doing this every year will extend the life of the RV's systems and ensure that your home away from home stays in pristine condition.

1. Park the Coachman RV on a flat, level surface. Inflate the tires to full capacity and lower the level stabilizers. The RV will rest in the same spot for months, so prevent settling problems by making the RV as level as possible.

2. Drain the Coachman's freshwater tank by removing the drain plug. Turn off the water heater. Attach a hose to the water heater drain valve and open it to remove the water. Turn on the hot and cold water lines at each faucet or water outlet to completely drain the system. Drain the gray and black water holding tanks and clean them using a solution of bleach and water.

3. Add drinkable RV antifreeze (propylene glycol) to the Coachman's freshwater tank. It is advisable to use drinkable antifreeze when winterizing your Coachman RV to prevent poisoning when you use the RV again. The amount of RV antifreeze used will depend on the length and layout of your RV. Typically, 3 gallons is sufficient, while 6 gallons may be needed for larger RVs or intricate water systems.

4. Turn on each faucet and wait for the red or pink RV antifreeze to drip from the faucet. Flush the toilet and run the outside faucet until antifreeze is present. Turn on a hot water outlet to move antifreeze into the hot water tank. Do not turn on the power to the hot water heater.

5. Turn off the water pump and remove the debris screen from the water inlet. Press down and engage the water back-flow valve. Finish winterizing the water lines by pouring some antifreeze down each drainpipe.

6. Remove all the food items from the Coachman RV. The goal is to completely remove anything that could be considered edible by vermin. This will prevent field mice, opossum, and other rodent type pests from setting up house over the winter. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer. Prop the doors open on each appliance to prevent mold growth.

7. Unplug all the appliances in the Coachman. Double-check the heaters, pumps and lights to make sure everything is turned to the off position. Close all windows and air vents. Clean all the living areas in the Coachman using your normal cleaning routine.

8. Fill up the water reservoirs in the batteries. Attach the battery charger to a power source or solar charger. Remove the propane alarm fuse and the smoke detector. Close and lock the doors. Double-check the awnings and remove debris. Secure them in case of high winter winds.

Items you will need

  • Compressed air tank
  • Hose
  • Household cleaning supplies
  • 3 to 6 gallons RV antifreeze
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Pliers

About the Author

Dakota Wright is a freelance journalist who enjoys sharing her knowledge with online readers. She has written for a variety of niche sites across the Internet including “Info Barrel and Down Home Basics.” Her recent work can be seen in “Backwoods Home Magazine.”

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images