All Around The Campfire

How NOT To Winterize Your RV

Every RVer has a lesson to teach others. Sometimes it’s a good lesson. Sometimes it’s a bad lesson. This is mine.

Since I anticipated having already sold my house and being happily ensconced in Arizona this winter, I did something very, very bad. I didn’t winterize the motorhome, and now we are in the middle of a cold snap due to a storm system hovering over the west coast. Yikes!

The other day I bought the last of our Walmart’s stock of RV antifreeze and set about a really half-assed job of wintering the RV. I flipped the switch to drain the fresh water tank, while at the same time, I turned on all the faucets and pressed the toilet flusher until the pump sputtered and only air came out of the taps. I ran to a dump station and dumped the tanks and flushed the black tank. I unscrewed the caps from the low point drains (I stupidly did that in my barn and had to run for buckets!). Apparently I can drain my water heater from the low point hot water drain, which is lucky, since none of my wrenches fit into the space to unscrew the water heater drain plug. I dumped antifreeze down all the drains and the toilet. Lots of antifreeze. What I didn’t do was flip the water heater bypass and pump antifreeze through the lines, because I couldn’t figure it out.

I know, I know! It’s like a recipe for a huge disaster, right?

My saving grace is that I park my motorhome in my barn. Sure, it’s an uninsulated pole bar, but it’s still shelter. I have the motorhome plugged into electric. I have all the cabinets and drawers open, and the heat pump is set for 50 degrees. We have heat by the water pump and heat by the water heater. Even when outside is in the low teens, the barn is staying in the high 20s to low 30s.

We should finally get above freezing outside tomorrow or the next day. Let’s cross our fingers that I didn’t kill the motorhome. While I wait, I’ll be over here alternating between crossing my fingers that my house sells before this happens again and watching youtube videos on pumping antifreeze through the lines.

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