As the weather changes from winter to warm weather, most travel trailer owners get ready for the camping season and it is therefore important to de-winterize. Even though de-winterizing differs slightly from one RV model to the other, it is basically the process of flushing out the water system of antifreeze from the previous season (winter and fall). Because of this, it is considered by many to be an ideal opportunity for thorough cleaning and detailed inspection of the travel trailer so as to make the unit ready and safe for camping. You should also ensure that your propane gas lines are functional and in good order, tires are properly pressurized and ready for use and the travel trailer battery is fully charged and ready for use.
With the above in mind, it is therefore very important to know the important tips that one needs to take into consideration when dewinterizing. In this regard, here are some very interesting and effective travel trailer de-winterizing tips worth keeping in mind. They include but are not limited to the following;
When checking the water system, make sure you have located and opened all the low point drains. Make sure all the faucets are opened so as to enable you to break out the vacuum and thus allow any present antifreeze in the plumbing lines to easily drain out. Once this has been done and the antifreeze is out, you should then close the low point drains as well as the faucets and fill the fresh water tank with some fresh water.
In addition, you should also ensure that the water pump is functional. You can achieve this by allowing the pump to coolly sit under pressure and then keenly listen for the pump turning off and on, if this happens, then know that the pressure is not holding due to a water leak. Take your time and trace your plumbing lines and find the leak. Make sure the leak is properly fixed since water leaks can cause significant damage to your unit.
You should also take this opportunity to fully sanitize your travel trailer as well. It is worth mentioning that when sanitizing your unit, you should ensure that all faucets are closed and any drain plugs which had been removed have been re-installed. When preparing the sanitation fluid, you should ensure that you use a quarter cup of household bleach for every fifteen gallons of water that is held by your fresh water tank.
However, if your travel trailer doesn’t have a fresh water fill location, you can as well pour your sanitation solution into the portable travel trailer drinking water hose. For the best results, you should make a point of driving the RV around for some time so as to slosh the sanitation solution all around the unit. It is important to mention that once you have sanitized the unit, you should fill the fresh water tank and drain it at least three times or until such a time when you can no longer smell the rather unfriendly smell of bleach
After you have ensured that your water system is sitting under pressure and well filled, it is highly recommended that you use some compressed air to slowly blow out all appliance areas such as water heaters and fridge. You should also take this opportunity to fire up all your appliances and ensure that they are working as required. If you notice anything untoward, then this is the time to undertake any repairs or replacements. After completing this, you should now drain your fresh water as well as your water heater. This is very important since you don’t want to allow the water to sit in there.
For batteries, it is worth mentioning that as a rule of thumb, batteries tend to lose or discharge up to ten (10) percent of power a month when stored. If you have a lead acid battery, only add water after fully charging the battery. Alternatively, add water only when the water inside the battery has gone below the battery plates. An important tip though is to be proactive and recharge the battery while still in storage for the best results.
You should also make a point of checking the tires. Generally, tires tend to lose 1 to 2 PSI every month while in storage. Make sure you use an accurate pressure gauge to get your measurements and ensure the tire is not under or over pressurized. Over inflation of the tires reduce its footprints, making it difficult to brake or generally handle the unit. Under inflation on the other hand can lead to sudden failure of your tires.