How to Winterize your Travel Trailer or RV Without Going to the Dealer


Winterizing your travel trailer before it gets cold outside will keep your systems working just as well as the day you first brought it home. How do you do it? Well you are in the right place.

These steps will show you what you need to do. Your trailer’s water tank’s and plumbing might look slightly different, but the systems that operate inside of every camper trailer are the same and can me maintained the same way. Let’s get into it:

Step 1: Your freshwater tank is located towards the front of the trailer, so lowering the jack in front will let all the water in the tank drain out.

Step 2: Once lowered, remove the freshwater tank drain plug and leave it open until we are done.

Step 3: Open all your water taps inside the trailer. This includes the sinks, shower, tub, and the flusher on the toilet.

Step 4: Check to make sure that your water heater is turned off. (This should have been done earlier I suppose)

Step 5: Drain the water heater tank. This can be done by removing the anode rod at the bottom of the tank behind the service panel to the water heater. Alternatively, new trailers like the Toy Hauler I currently own, this has a drain line underneath the tank by the freshwater tank drain. It’s marked with a RED end and cap to show it’s the HOT water.

Step 6: Re-install the anode rod in the water tank, or the drain plug from the hot water line. Whichever method you drained the tank with.

7: Connect your sewage hose to the grey/black tank connection and drain both those tanks. Now is a great time to thoroughly clean them out again if you haven’t recently. You’ll want these to pass the Sniff Test.

Step 8: Back inside the trailer, it’s time to locate the water heater and remove the access panel to get at it.

Step 9: Close the cold and hot water valves on the side on the water tank.

Step 10: The freshwater tank has a pump suction tube that fills up the tank. Locate that now.

Step 11: Close the valve from the fresh water tank, and open up the suction line. *Note, either disconnect the line to the tank, or install a winterizing kit that lets you open/close a valve to do this.

Step 12: Run the water pump for 15 seconds. This will clear out the water. Do NOT run the pump dry for longer than a few seconds.

Step 13: Turn off all the taps that you opened in step 3.

Step 14: Put your suction tube in the antifreeze jug and turn the pump back on to draw the pink liquid into the lines.

Step 15: Turn on all your taps until you see the pink liquid anti freeze start coming out. Run a little into your drain traps.

Step 16: Add 4 cups min. of antifreeze into all your drain traps. This is the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower drain. The toilet does not have a trap (you clean the black tank in Step 7 right?)

16 Steps to Winterizing your Camper Trailer:

This ‘How To Winterize your Camper’ video was brought to you by 45 Degrees Latitude. 

For more tips and advice for taking care of and maximizing the use of your travel trailer or RV, be sure to watch the The Complete A-Z Guide for RV Camping for Beginners: Backed by 97 Years of Experience

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