How to Winterize a Camper with Compressed Air

Last Updated on October 12, 2021 by Jessica

Hopefully, you enjoyed a wonderful camping season and a beautiful summer. Now comes the sad part because it’s time to learn how to winterize a camper with compressed air.

The process of winterizing your camper is sad, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. In this article, we’re going to take a step-by-step look at how to winterize your RV using compressed air.

To winterize your RV using compressed air, you will only need a few things.

  • An air compressor.
  • A blowout plug.
  • A water pressure regulator

Now comes the fun part, using the air compressor to winterize your RV. Pay close attention to the steps listed below for both safety and effectiveness. The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself or your RV.

Drain Your Tanks and Water Lines

The first you’ll want to do is make sure that all of your water lines and drain lines are drained and empty. This includes your gray tank, black tank, and fresh water tank. Throughout the entire process, make sure that your black and gray tanks are open so that water and air can drain freely. Make sure that your water system and sewer hose are connected to a safe drainage source as well.

Open All Faucets and Drain Completely

Your next step will be to open up all your faucets and make sure that any water remaining in the cold water lines and hot water lines. Make sure that all your drains are emptied as much as possible from the high point to the low point.

Close the Drains and Faucets You Just Opened

Once the water is drained as much as possible from the PEX lines and drains, close the faucets and drains that you just opened. Any remaining water will be blown out by the compressor.

Set and Adjust the PSI to Fit Your Compressor

Before randomly blowing air into your RV, make sure that your air compressor is fitted with a pressure regulator and adjust it to a safe setting. The last thing you want to do is blow unregulated air into your system and risk damaging a water line or other piping, which could make for a costly repair.

Blow Air From Your Water Heater Lines

The first set of lines you want to drain are the ones going to and from your water heater. Do this by isolating the hot lines and blowing air into them. You should see lots of water draining so continue until it slows to a gentle trickle. Once this process is complete, you will want to bypass the water heater for the remaining steps.

You will usually have to remove a panel to get to your heater. Remove this panel and turn the valve to the water heater bypass to the off position that takes cold water to the water heater.

Pick One Faucet and Open the Warm Side Then Blow Air Through

Next, you will want to go to each individual faucet, one by one, and blow them out using an air hose, starting at the warm side. This includes the kitchen sink, bathroom faucet, shower faucet, outside shower, and any other faucets you can think of. Make sure to go through each one so that all the lines are blown out and empty.

Do the Same With the Cold Side and Repeat for All Faucets

Once you have done the warm side of each line, do the same with the cold side until your RV water system is completely blown out with air. The water should all drain down into your tanks and through your sewer hose, but if necessary, you may have to blow air through the drains as well.

Follow Proper Instructions for Each Appliance

Next comes specific appliances such as your dishwasher, washing machine, ice maker, fresh water pump, and hot water heater tank. Not all RVs will have an ice maker, but if yours does make sure you winterize it. Each of these appliances will have specific instructions in the owner’s manual as far as how to winterize them properly.

Dump RV Antifreeze Down Your Sinks, Showers, and Toilets

Once the appliances are winterized, it’s time to dump pink RV antifreeze down all the drains. This step is one of the most important to winterize an RV. If you don’t have access to RV-specific antifreeze, then automotive antifreeze will do. You want to use the pink stuff so that you can see it empty out of your system when you dewinterize in the spring.

The drains you want to pour antifreeze into are your toilet bowl, all sinks, and outdoor shower sink if necessary. Putting antifreeze into your drains, p traps, and water lines is what will keep them from freezing up when temperatures drop. If you notice excess antifreeze throughout the process, simply clean it up and move on.

You want to be thorough and not skip steps when you winterize your RV using the compressed air method. Making sure your appliances such as your water heater remain intact and healthy is crucial. Always make sure that your air pressure is at the correct setting and that your air compressor hose is properly connected. Blow extra air into your plumbing system if necessary.

Other Considerations

Once you have winterized your plumbing system, it’s also important that you winterize the rest of your RV. You will want to disconnect your battery or batteries and make sure that they are fully charged before storing them during the winter months.

Also, make sure that your electrical system is disconnected and there is no chance of anything powering up. If your electrical and plumbing systems are both ready for winter, then your winterizing process is complete.

Final Thoughts

Ending the camping season is an unfortunate time for RVers and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. While you may never be ready for the season to end, it’s important to make sure that your camper is.

Using compressed air isn’t the only way to winterize an RV but it is a surefire one. If you follow the above winterizing procedure, then your RV will be safe and ready for the winter.

See more great reads here: When Should I Replace My RV Tires? and Should I Remove RV Batteries for Winter?

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Jalin has been RVing since April 2021, along with his wife Kate and their Goldendoodle, Harper. They spent 4 months in Elkhart, Indiana, and lived in Traverse City, Michigan during the warm weather. Their winter plans are to head to Orlando, Florida. They live in a 36 foot Palomino Puma and are absolutely loving it. Jalin's day job has been working as an HVAC professional but it's transitioning to full time writer and RVer.

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