Travel trailers are smaller versions of recreational vehicles (RVs) that have greatly increased in popularity over recent years. They have bedrooms, bathrooms, stoves, and places to eat, and they make for great vacations or cross-country trips, but the vast majority of people will only use their travel trailers in the spring and summer months, putting them down for the winter. They winterize their RVs by disconnecting the batteries, water heater, gas lines, and more, and then have to go through the process of de-winterizing everything when the seasons change, and it’s time to fire the RV back up.
By and large, it’s a pretty easy job to de-winterize your travel trailer. So if yours is currently in trailer storage, you should go ahead and get it out and follow these easy steps to de-winterize your RV so that it’s ready to go any time you need it.
5 Ways to De-Winterize Your Trailer
1. Connect and Charge Your Batteries
The first step here is to get those batteries charged back up. Travel trailers typically have a few batteries, and most people disconnect them for storage. You’re going to need to charge them back up, as the cold and inactivity will drain the cells almost completely. Don’t worry about this, however; automotive batteries are specifically built to charge, again and again, so they will charge back up and operate like brand new. A quick way to do this is to hook them back up and let your RV run for a few hours, and the alternator and onboard converters will recharge the batteries. Though you can also use a specific charger if you’d rather go that route.
2. Connect and Sanitize Water Lines
Even though your RV may have been in trailer storage for the winter season, you will still need to sanitize those water lines. Clean out your freshwater tank and run some cleaning and sanitizing solution through your lines and let everything dry thoroughly before hooking your lines back up. Once you hook them back up, go ahead and allow about a quarter of a tank of fresh water to run through to ensure that any cleaning residue potentially still in the lines is removed. Then just top your tank off, and you’re ready and set to go.
3. Hook the Water Heater Back Up
If you winterized your hot water heater correctly, then you unhooked it entirely, shut the valves off, and covered the threads in some tape or cap to protect them. Well, the good news here is that it’s as simple as removing everything, opening the valves, and hooking your hot water heater back up. Just remember that after you hook it up to its energy source, you’re going to have to allow the cold water to sit in the tank a few hours before it’s hot enough to be used. So don’t panic if you don’t get hot water right away.
4. Connect and Test the Propane System
This one is a more involved job, but also easy. It’s basically just busywork. What you want to do is check out everything to which your propane lines attach. Make sure there’s no gunk at all in the stove, or the hot water line if your hot water heater connects to propane. Make sure everything’s nice and clean. Also, make sure that there are no leaks at all in any of the propane lines. After everything’s looking good, hook your lines back up, turn on the valve, and give a stove burner a test run to see how well the gas is flowing.
5. Inspect Your Tires
Lastly, just make sure that the colder weather hasn’t done any damage to your tires. Use a pressure gauge to ensure that your tires are properly inflated. Look around your tires and check for any signs of rot, which you will find if you see anything that looks like spider web-sized cracks. Make sure you have a good tread. If your tires are ready to go, then so are you.
As you can see, it’s a pretty easy job to de-winterize your travel trailer. It might take you a few hours, but it’s all mostly busywork and nothing that’s overly laborious. Just remember that you have to complete these steps before you’re ready to run again.