The Lazydays Guide to De-Winterizing Your RV

 / By Lazydays - Technical
Spring is here (for most of us) and that means one thing: it’s RV season!

Before hitting the road on your next RV adventure, you’ll need to get your RV in shape for springtime travel. Whether you stored your RV for the winter or took it out on a few snowy trips, you probably had it winterized (we hope so). Now that spring is here, it’s time to de-winterize your RV and enjoy a well-earned vacation. De-winterizing an RV is a multi-step process that typically requires professional help. In this helpful guide, we’ll explain the basics of how an RV is de-winterized, why it’s necessary and what you can do versus what an RV technician must.

RV De-Winterization 101

For those new to the RV lifestyle, you might be thinking “wait, now I have to get my RV ready for spring?”. It may seem counterintuitive or unnecessary, but de-winterizing an RV is a necessary process all RVs must undergo. De-winterization is the process of undoing the effects of winterization. Like winterization, de-winterization requires multiple steps that help ensure your RV is ready for a long travel season allowing you to enjoy all that it has to offer.

The main reason why RVers must de-winterize an RV is to flush antifreeze and other chemicals from the freshwater and plumbing system. During the winter, and especially if your RV is placed in storage, these chemicals are added to prevent any remaining fresh water from tanks, lines and pipes from freezing. When water freezes, it expands, often damaging these vital systems. Once temperatures get above freezing, anti-freeze is no longer necessary. While it is not toxic for people and their pets to consume, it tastes terrible and gives off a strong odor.

Beyond removing antifreeze from your RV’s plumbing, the de-winterizing process should include checks and inspections of several exterior and interior systems. These include your RV’s batteries, tires, interior appliances, the roof and more. De-winterizing your RV can be a time-consuming process, but there are several checks you can perform yourself before taking your RV in for service.

De-Winterization Checks You Can Do at Home

For RVers looking to hit the road as soon as possible, there are several checks and inspections you can perform on your RV to expedite the de-winterization process. These include:

  • Checking the roof for leaks or damage: If you choose to store your RV for the winter, we recommend doing so under a solid roof with a cover over it. If you’re RV was stored properly, the chances of having roof damage when you take it out in the spring are slim (barring any unforeseen incidents like a tree branch falling on it). However, it is still best practice to give your roof a thorough inspection as small leaks, cracks in the AC unit sealant or rust could be lingering from your last trip. If you find any, make a note and mark them for the RV technician to look at.
  • Check your tire pressure: Over a few months in storage, especially in cold weather, your RV’s tires will lose around 2-3 psi per month. If you have noticed a drop, re-inflate your tires to their proper level according to the manufacturer’s handbook. Make sure to also check your tires, including the spare, for any cracks or other issues.
  • Inspect all interior and exterior appliances: As part of your de-winterization checks, inspect all exterior and interior appliances to make sure they’re in working order. These checks can include plugging-in the microwave and testing it, extending the awning and slide outs, firing up the grill and stove, and more. If you find any issues or have winterized appliances, Lazydays RV offers repair and appliance de-winterization in our service packages.
  • Check your RV batteries: Perform a visual inspection of your RV’s batteries to check for any visible corrosion or cracks. Batteries can experience significant discharge if they are not maintained properly during winter storage, so we recommend checking the voltage before taking your RV in for service. Make a note if the fluid levels are low and if you need to replace your batteries remember a discharged battery can freeze and break.
  • Inspect and clean the interior and exterior: At the end of your pre-maintenance check, inspect the rest of your RV. You should check the exterior window seals to see if they’re loose, inspect the paint for any chips, make sure the windshield doesn’t have any cracks and look out for any other damage. Inside the RV, look for any additional leaks, mold, damage to the floor and other issues. Once your inspections are complete, clean the exterior of your RV to get rid of any dust and dirt. Inside, you can dust in the kitchen, living and sleeping areas, clean any appliances, and change out any bedding.

De-Winterization at Lazydays

For the more complex parts of the de-winterization process, Lazydays RV offers an extensive de-winterization package and other services that will have your RV ready for months of incredible adventures. Our de-winterization services include:

  • Basic de-winterization: As part of our basic de-winterization package, our master certified technicians drain and flush your RVs plumbing system and all water tanks. Bypassed water heaters are reconnected, and all systems are checked for any water damage. At an additional cost, appliances can be de-winterized. This involves draining, flushing and cleaning the dishwasher, refrigerator, and sinks.
  • RV Battery Service: As part of our RV battery package, Lazydays RV technicians will clean the terminals and posts, test CCA (cold-cranking amps) and voltage, apply anti-corrosive and top off the fluid. This package includes up to six batteries.
  • Roof AC Service: Recommended at least once every 12 months, our roof AC service is a comprehensive package that ensures you’re comfortable throughout the year. This service includes an inspection of your roof AC unit, an acid wash, cleaning of the inner coils, an amp-draw test and replacement of AC gaskets and filters. Debris can build up over months of storage, which is why we recommend this service at the start of every peak travel season.
  • RV Chassis Service: Lazydays offers a comprehensive suite of chassis services at all our service centers. From tire replacements to oil changes, our technicians are trained to service gas, diesel, and towable coaches. Lazydays RV is a certified RV warranty repair center for leading chassis manufacturers like Spartan®, Workhorse®, and Roadmaster®.
  • RV Installation Services: Have you recently purchased a new Wi-Fi extender, tow dolly or awning but need help installing it? Lazydays offers convenient, quick-install options for a wide range of RV accessories. Bring your new accessories with you and our RVIA/RVDA certified technicians can quickly and safely install them on your motorhome or towable.

To get started on de-winterizing your RV, schedule an appointment at your nearest Lazydays location today! If you’re in the Houston area or plan on taking an RV trip through Texas, our brand-new Houston Service Center features 20 RV service bays and a team of exceptional, experienced RV technicians.

For more RV trip ideas, service tips, info on the latest RV accessories and more, follow the Lazydays RV blog!

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