Winterizing Your RV: Air vs. Antifreeze

Unless you’re one of the lucky RVers heading south this time of year, fall’s cooler weather means it’s almost time to winterize your RV. The how-to of winterizing can be a hot debate (pun intended). FMCA has tips to help you decide the right option for your RV.

About Winterizing
Winterizing deals primarily with the plumbing system and protecting your RV from freeze damage. All water must be removed from holding tanks, water lines, and plumbing fixtures. Two methods are performed to winterize RV plumbing: using air pressure to blow moisture out of the system or pumping antifreeze through the water lines.

Which should you use? The answer depends on where you live and the complexity of your RV’s plumbing system.

Air is easy to use; just connect an air compressor to the water hose and blow everything out. In theory, the system will be dry. Plus, air is free, so it eliminates the need to buy bottles of antifreeze. Air pushes most of the water out, but residual water can remain in water lines’ low spots where it can freeze, expand, and cause damage.

In a simple RV with minimal plumbing lines, using only air may not be an issue. But if you live in a place with long, cold winters, using air may not be enough to protect your RV from freeze damage.

RV professionals consider antifreeze to be the best method for preventing freeze damage. Keep in mind that it differs from automotive antifreeze. RV antifreeze is nontoxic and is safe to use in fresh-water systems. It freezes but does not solidify. Instead, it turns to slush, which will not expand to crack fittings or water lines.

One drawback to antifreeze is that it can be messy and requires buying a few gallons every season. It also can cause water from treated lines to taste bitter.

More Resources
For detailed, step-by-step instructions on the winterizing process, click here.

Join the air vs. antifreeze debate. Check out this video from “RV Doctor” Gary Bunzer.

FMCA RV Club brings you this monthly tip to Enhance Your RV Lifestyle. FMCA delivers RV know-how to its members. Join today and save $10 — a special offer for RV Trader readers. Learn more at

This information is for educational purposes. FMCA shall not be responsible nor retain liability for RVer’s use of the provided information. Prior to making any RV service decision, you are advised to consult with an RV professional.
Trader Online Web Developer

No comments:

Post a Comment

To maintain a polite and safe environment we are most likely to remove comments that contain:

- Advertisements or solicitations for products.

- Threats, harassment, obscene language, as well as comments that are degrading to others on the basis of race, ethnicity, and religion.

- Links to off-topic sites that are posted only to solicit traffic.

Comments that are deemed to be inappropriate will be deleted without notification.