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2017 GMC Denali 2500HD, 3.5" Rough Country Lift, 305/55R20 Yokohama Geolandar A/T
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We started talking about this in another thread, but it would have gotten that thread pretty cluttered so I'm starting another discussion.

These methods are just mine that I have been using. As always it's not the end-all, be-all when it comes to winterization of an RV; it's just what works for me.

I try to do this at the last campsite of the year so I can use the full hookup for dumping the tanks.

The first thing I do is to drain my water heater and use the valves to bypass it. My tank and valves reside under the kitchen sink. Since they're inexpensive, I usually toss the anode rod and just get new in the spring.

Next, I drain the water filter housing and reinstall the canister.

Then I drain the fresh water tank. After it's done draining I reinstall the cap.

Next, I use an adapter I bought on Amazon to connect my air compressor to the city water connection and blow out the water lines. It doesn't have to be perfect; just go until they're all mostly air. Make sure both hot and cold lines are open.

Next, I pour RV antifreeze into my freshwater tank. I think I used 6 gallons last year. It doesn't take that much, but there has to be enough in there for the pickup line to be in the fluid. I use the water pump to push the antifreeze through all of the water lines. At each faucet, I open the cold and run until pink, then open the hot and again run until pink. If you open both at the same time you might not have antifreeze completely through both lines. Don't forget to do the toilet, shower head, and any exterior water connections. I forgot to do my exterior sprayer the first winter we had this camper and I blew both the connections.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD: If you want to save some antifreeze, you can create a tank bypass to your water pump and put a pickup line into the antifreeze jug instead. Then you can just run the pump until the jug is empty and switch jugs. Depending on how much you need to have in your holding tank to get the pump to pick it up, it could save a few gallons. I had this on our old 5th wheel but have not set it up on the TT. I will probably keep dumping antifreeze into the tank, though, because I like knowing there is antifreeze in the pickup line.

After I have antifreeze coming out of all the faucets, then I pour a little antifreeze down each trap to finish up the antifreeze portion of winterizing.

Now I drain my black, galley, and grey tanks.

Next, I deal with doing my best to make the space inhospitable to rodent squatters. We tilt up the mattresses in the bunk area, double check to make sure no loose clothing is left in the drawers, etc, then close that room. We have no access to the bunk room while the slides are pulled in (our 3 year old can squeeze in there, but he's unreliable for help yet....) so that's about all we can do for in there.

Throughout the entire camper, we throw the smelliest dryer sheets we can find from the store EVERYWHERE. We used 2 boxes of them last year. The more purfume-ey the better. Drawers, beds, floor, cabinets, everywhere. Then we pull the slides in on the camper. We do it in this order so that a few of the dryer sheets will be under the floor of the slide outs. The mice seem to really hate the perfume smell, and this has worked well for us for the last 3 years. Haven't had mouse droppings anywhere or chewed interior components. The scent isn't long lasting when we open up in the spring, either.

After the slides are pulled in, we also open every cabinet door and drawer that can be opened with the slides in. The thought process is that it's limiting the ability of critters to find a good hiding spot because everything is open.

Outside the camper I make sure the hatches are all secured and throw a few dryer sheets in the basement areas. I take the battery off the camper and bring it into my house basement to be hooked to a battery tender for the winter. I make sure the tires are aired up and do a walk around to make sure everything is buttoned up.

That's my process for winterizing. Just blowing the lines out with air is probably sufficient, but I don't want to deal with finding water lines that are burst so I use the antifreeze.

If you drain the freshwater tank you probably don't need to have antifreeze in it all winter. With the exception of the pickup line, there isn't anything that can burst from a little water in there freezing.
 

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Thanks Melon...more reading material... 馃憤
 
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Winterization kit to get the antifreeze in right at the pump, is the only way to go, IMO. I use 2 gallons or less to do ours.

Don鈥檛 forget to winterize your outdoor shower/faucets, if you have them.

Without pressure on the system, I pop the valve at the city water connection (with a small socket extension) to get antifreeze through that valve. RV tech friend of mine told me to do that.

We put anything that we plan to leave in the camper, into sealed tubs. Make it harder for any rodents to get to them.

I leave the fridge/freezer doors open.

Make sure the tires are at max cold pressure.

I use Fresh Cab for rodent control. Never had an issue storing inside or out. Thankfully ours is inside year round now.

I am sure I am missing something. I鈥檒l be doing ours in about a month from now so I鈥檒l remember then.
 
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2017 GMC Denali 2500HD, 3.5" Rough Country Lift, 305/55R20 Yokohama Geolandar A/T
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Without pressure on the system, I pop the valve at the city water connection (with a small socket extension) to get antifreeze through that valve. RV tech friend of mine told me to do that.
I'm not understanding this; how are you popping this connection open? My brain is fried today and I can't envision how you would do this. I need to, though, because the first year we had our current camper that valve was toast and if we turned on the water pump it would spray out the side of the camper at the city water connection. I don't want to have that happen again.
 

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I'm not understanding this; how are you popping this connection open? My brain is fried today and I can't envision how you would do this. I need to, though, because the first year we had our current camper that valve was toast and if we turned on the water pump it would spray out the side of the camper at the city water connection. I don't want to have that happen again.
If you pull the screen out, you can see that there is a post in the middle of the fitting. That is attached to your valve. If you press in on this post, you can open the valve. Just don鈥檛 do this with the pump on as it can damage the seal on the valve. Then, when you鈥檙e using the pump and fresh water holding system, it can suck air or even leak water making your pump cycle every now and then, or worse.

PS. Don鈥檛 forget to put the screen back in so when you go to hook up the water hose, on the first trip of the year, you don鈥檛 have a leak. Yup, you know, I鈥檝e done that and it sucked. Had to rig a seal and shut the water off when we weren鈥檛 using it that entire weekend. I now have spare screens and washers in my tool kit.
 
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2021 Denali HD Fabtech Lift and 37s
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Instead of smelly dryer sheets we use Irish spring soap. I buy a huge thing of it at Costco. Same principle, the rodents hate the smell.
 

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I blew out our RV with air as opposed to RV antifreeze for the first time last year. Its so nice to not have to rid the smell in the lines in the spring. Was hesitant at first as there is possibility of a low hanging line keeping water but....no issues!
 

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As we all know, it's not the freezing, per se, that is the problem, it's that the freezing causes water to expand and if there is no room for expansion, then the pipes can be split open. Freezing water can exert tremendous pressure if tightly enclosed.

I blow out, then add antifreeze, then remove it and save it and then blow out again. No water is left in the system. What little water remains after the blowout is drained out with the antifreeze. This leaves plenty of room for expansion of any remnants remaining in the piping. Since the antifreeze is only in the lines for 15 minutes or so, no bad taste. And you have antifreeze for the drains/traps and tanks and some leftover to use for the next year.
 
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