Spring is Here, Which Means it’s Time to De-Winterize Your RV: Part 1

Spring came early to Oregon this year. The cherry trees have bloomed, the crocuses are up, and Spring Break is next week. Here at Guaranty RV we are starting to book appointments at our service center to get RVs de-winterized. We know that doing spring cleaning and de-winterizing your RV can seem like a daunting task. One of the best motivators it to plan your first trip of the season. Spring Break is next week for most Oregon schools, so this is the perfect opportunity for a quick weekend trip. What trips are on your bucket list for this year? On ours are trips to see the elk in Jewell Meadows just off Hwy 26 on the way to the coast, finding a dinosaur bone at John Day Fossil Beds National Park in Eastern Oregon, and catching Much Ado About Nothing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Whatever your first trip will be, your RV should be in tip-top shape. In this two-part blog we will examine everything you need to do to get things road ready. In Part One we will cover checking for damage and reconnecting the plumbing, and in Part Two we will cover your electrical and mechanical systems. Remember, if you have any questions or need any help, don’t hesitate to call our service center.

Check for Damage

First thing’s first, check your RV for damage. Start from the outside in. What you are looking for are things like cracked vents and broken seals on windows or roof lines. Cracked or loose seals need to be re-caulked. A tightly sealed RV will help your AC be more efficient in the summertime and protect you from summer rains. Once you are inside, check for discoloration or other signs of water damage in the ceiling and walls, and especially around windows. If you do find water damage make an appointment with our RV Service Center .

Also check for rodent damage. It doesn’t take much for a field mouse to find a warm spot to spend the winter. Even if you sealed your RV tight before storing it, there is a chance you might have picked up some unwanted guests. Open the cupboards and check along countertops and in cupboards for trails of mouse droppings. Be sure to check your water heater and refrigerator drawers to make sure no mouse has made a house. If you are free from unwanted guests start uncovering all the vents, including the ones behind the refrigerator and hot water heater. Hopefully you won’t find any damage. If you do, please contact our service department and we can get everything back into shape.

Water and Plumbing

If you put antifreeze in your water system last fall, you will need to flush it all out this spring. Take your drain plug and screw it back into your freshwater tank. Close all drains (leaving your drains open all winter prevents any residual water or moisture from freezing and cracking a pipe). Once your water tank is full, start running your faucets, starting with the one closest to your water pump. You’ll need to run each faucet until the water is clear and then for a few minutes after. Flush the antifreeze out of the toilet as well. You’ll need to keep an eye out for any leaks in any of the pipes.

Once that is done, it is time to get the hot water back up and running. Turn off the bypass for the hot water heater. Run all the air out of the hot water heater by running the hot water faucet in the kitchen sink. It should be gurgling in the beginning, since you are running the air out of the hot water tank. Once you get a strong steady stream, you know there is water in the tank. Once the tank is filled (you can check this by opening the relief valve on the hot water tank—if water comes out it is full), you can relight the pilot light on the water heater. You do not want to do this with an empty tank.

One last step in getting your water tank in order: you need to sanitize it. It’s a process that takes all day so it might be something you do on your first trip, as long as you are heading to a place that has water you can fill from. Sanitizing you water tank is necessary because even with draining your system before storing your RV, there is always a bit of residual water that can stagnate over the winter.

If you don’t have the time to de-winterize your RV or you come across a problem that is outside your ability to fix, make an appointment with our Guaranty RV Service Center. Our friendly technicians are here to help you. And stay tuned for our next blog post that deals with checking the electrical and mechanical systems.

Check out Part Two of our blog here.

Photo: Faungg

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