Blow Out the RV Water Lines or Use Antifreeze?

Blow Out the RV Water Lines or Use Antifreeze?
Blow Out the RV Water Lines or Use Antifreeze?

Before the temperatures drop below freezing, you’ll need to get your RV ready for the cold winter months ahead. While you can take it to an RV shop for this, it’s relatively easy to winterize a recreational vehicle yourself.

Many people believe that blowing out the RV water lines vs adding antifreeze to the plumbing lines is an either/or thing. However, whatever method you use to winterize your RV, you’ll still need to use antifreeze.

Before you attempt to winterize your RV, refer to the owner’s manual for the exact steps for your RV.

Blowing Out the Plumbing Lines With an Air Compressor

Many consider this to be the easiest method, but you’ll need an air compressor as well as a “blow-out plug.” You can buy a blow-out plug at an RV supply store. However, if you use this method you can’t be absolutely sure that every drop of water is out of the lines.

  1. First, disconnect your RV from the water hose and open the faucets, turn on the shower and flush the toilet to drain the water from those lines.
  2. Next, attach the blow-out plug to the water inlet, where the hose goes.
  3. Set your air compressor at 30 psi or less; this is very important to prevent damage to the plumbing system.
  4. Connect it to the blow-out plug, and run the compressor until all the water is forced out through the faucets.
  5. Completely empty your gray and black tanks, and drain the fresh water tank. Dump one quart of RV antifreeze down all the sinks and the shower drain. Pour one pint of RV antifreeze into the toilet.
  6. Drain the water heater, clean out the sediment; keep the drain plug out until you de-winterize the RV.

Filling the Water Lines With RV Antifreeze

You should still blow-out the water lines with your air compressor first. At the very least, open all of the faucets and the shower to drain away as much water as possible.

You will need to use at least 2gallons or more of RV antifreeze to full all of your water lines.

There are a couple of ways to pump the special RV antifreeze through your water lines; you can use a hand pump, or you can use the water pump installed in your RV. However, if you use the water pump, you must put in a pump bypass kit; this is because the water pump draws water from the fresh water tank and you must not get any antifreeze in the freshwater tank.

Pump the antifreeze throughout the water lines until they are filled.

As you can see, the major difference is in the amount of antifreeze you will use. However, filling the lines with more antifreeze will better ensure your water lines will be safe over the winter.


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