How to Dewinterize My Camper

by Eric Cedric
When the snow melts, it's time to get your RV ready for summer camping.

When the snow melts, it's time to get your RV ready for summer camping.

When snow and ice begin to yield to sun and green leaves, it is time to dewinterize your RV and prepare it for summer camping adventures. For most RVs, dewinterization involves cleaning out the water systems and removing the heat film. It also is a good idea to change the oil in your RV. Plan on a half-day to prepare your RV for summer.

Connect the RV to a water source. Turn on all the faucets in the RV and drain the antifreeze. Flush the toilet several times to drain the anti-freeze from the bowl into the black water holding tank.

Using a utility knife, remove the heat film from the RV's windows or vents. Remove any extra heaters from the RV and replace them with fans or air-conditioning units.

Drain the fresh water tank. Mix 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water in a bucket and pour the mixture into the fresh water tank using a funnel. Fill the tank with fresh water after adding the bleach mixture. Leave the bleach and water in the tank for 4 hours.

Turn on all the faucets and let the bleach water circulate through the system. When the cabin smells like bleach, turn off the faucets. Drain the gray and black water tanks at a certified dump station.

Take your RV to a shop and have the oil changed to a lighter weight oil for the weather conditions you drive in.

Items you will need

  • Utility knife
  • Bleach
  • Funnel
  • Bucket

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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