How to Winterize Forest River Fifth Wheel Trailers

by Amy Kingston

Forest River fifth wheels are maintained and winterized in the same manner as fifth wheels manufactured by other companies. The purpose of winterizing a fifth wheel trailer is to protect it from damage during winter storage. Freezing temperatures can cause the plumbing system to freeze and burst if it is not properly winterized. Prevent damage by taking the proper precautions before the outside temperature dips below freezing.

Plumbing System

Disconnect the water supply and unplug the power cord.

Turn on all faucets inside the fifth wheel to remove water in the lines. Flush the toilet several times. Open all low point drains under the fifth wheel and allow the water to drain completely. Be sure the fresh water tank and the holding tanks are empty. Turn off the faucets and close the low point drains when all water is removed from the plumbing system.

Locate the compartment containing the LP gas bottles on the exterior of the fifth wheel. Turn off the LP gas supply.

Locate the exterior compartment that provides access to the water heater. Remove the water-heater drain plug and open the pressure-release valve. Open the interior compartment that provides access to the water heater. Close the water-heater bypass. Close the supply line running from the water pump to the freshwater tank. The water-heater bypass and freshwater-tank supply line are located near the floor.

Open the supply line on the pipe above the water-heater bypass. Insert the end of the winterization hose into the end of the supply line. Insert the other end of the winterization hose into a gallon container of antifreeze specifically designed for RV use.

Turn on the water pump by placing the switch in the "On" position. The switch is generally located near the kitchen sink. Turn on the kitchen sink faucet. Turn it off when antifreeze comes out of the faucet. Repeat for all other faucets. Turn on the interior and exterior shower faucet until antifreeze appears. Flush the toilet. Turn off the water pump and close the supply line. Remove the winterization hose.

Pour one cup of antifreeze down each drain to fill the p-traps. Clean the sinks and shower with a soft cloth to remove antifreeze and prevent staining.

Winterizing the Refrigerator, Awnings and Tires

Extend awnings. Allow to dry completely before retracting if the awnings are damp. Retract all slide-outs, if applicable.

Remove food in the freezer and refrigerator. Clean the interior with a damp cloth. Dry the interior with a dry cloth. Place a box of baking soda inside the refrigerator compartment and a box inside the freezer compartment. Secure the doors so they remain open.

Place wooden planks under the tires. Inflate the tires to the recommended cold pressure on the sidewall. Cover tires with UV-resistant covers.

Items you will need

  • Winterization hose
  • 2 gallons RV antifreeze
  • Damp cloth
  • Dry cloth
  • 2 containers baking soda
  • Wooden planks
  • UV-resistant tire covers

About the Author

Amy Kingston has been a professional writer since 2001. She has written articles for various publications, including "Health" magazine, "Jackson Parenting" magazine, the "Bolivar Bulletin" newspaper and "A Musician's Pursuit." Kingston was also published in "Voices of Bipolar Disorder."