Dewinterizing Your Travel Trailer

de-winterize your travel trailer

Ready to Hit the Open Road?

Spring is just around the corner and everyone is ready to get their campers out of storage and hit the open road. Before we can take off across country we need to do some basic preparation to make sure our camper is ready to go. Dewinterization and/or fresh water sanitization is an important part to preparing for your travels. Some people may not winterize in their part of the country but it is always a good idea to sanitize/clean the fresh water system each year. Some people may have different preferences on how they want to de-winterize or what is the best method. This article takes into account that you have followed our winterization instructions and therefore need to de-winterize accordingly.

Dewinterizing Process

This is the process for removing RV Antifreeze from your fresh water system.

1. Run water into the fresh water tank, preferably 50 – 100% full to dilute the RV antifreeze inside the tank, allow this water to drain back out under the camper from the fresh tank drain.

2. Connect your water hose to the winterization port at the rear of the camper, turn on the water source then turn on your on-board water pump. Turn on your kitchen faucet on cold until the water runs clear.

3. Verify that the fresh tank is empty and close the Fresh water tank drain. This valve is located on the curbside of the camper below the bed. You can access this valve in the same access panel where the water pump is located. The valve is located at the very bottom of the lower shell and may be hidden by one of the furnace ducts. The valve will be silver and attached to a blue pex pipe that drains below the camper.

winterizing your travel trailer
Picture above shows the Fresh Tank drain valve in the closed position.

4. Turn water pump valves back to standard configuration. The water pump valves are located inside the same access panel that we just used for the fresh tank drain. There will be 4 silver valves (2017 and newer models) or 2 brass valves (2016 and prior models).

2017 and newer models we will turn the two valves located on the left of the water pump.

The picture below shows the valves in standard configuration and the valves outlined with red are the only ones you should need to turn in order to change the system from winterization mode to standard mode.

Water pump valves back to standard configuration
Change the winterization mode to standard.

The picture below shows the valve configurations for 2016 and prior models. The valves are shown in standard mode. The blue arrow represents the direction the valve is turned for winterization.

valve configurations for 2016 and prior models

5. Connect your water hose to the City connection and turn on the water supply. *This will be the outside water inlet labeled City Connection.

6. Turn on your outside faucet cold water until it runs clear, then open the hot until it runs clear.

7. Open your backflow preventer to allow water to properly drain into your grey waste water tank. *You will either have a pull handle located in the bathroom next to the toilet or a power switch, if you opted for the auto drain option. The power switch may be outside or inside the closet depending on model year.

Open your backflow preventer drain
Back Flow Preventer

8. Turn on your bathroom faucet cold water until it runs clear, then open the hot until it runs clear.

9. Turn on your kitchen faucet cold until it runs clear, then open the hot until it runs clear.

10. Turn the water heater bypass hose back to standard mode to allow water into the tank.

The water heater bypass valve is accessed inside the trailer via the 4” deck port under the curbside bed. The deck port is located next to the furnace air return vent. See picture below

Water heater bypass valve
Water heater bypass valve location

Below picture shows furnace duct running on top of bypass valve. You will need to lift the furnace duct up out of the way to see the bypass valve.

Bypass Valve
Bypass valve

Below pictures show a Truma and Suburban Water Heater bypass valve currently set in winterization mode. You will need to turn the valve towards you to open the flow for cold water to enter the water heater chamber.

Truma and Suburban Water Heater Bypass Valve
Truma and Suburban Water Heater Bypass Valve

11. Open hot side of kitchen faucet to remove any air inside water heater tank to relieve pressure so tank fills.

Congratulations, your camper is now dewinterized and ready to sanitize or use.

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