Quick Fifth Wheel Winterizing with RV Antifreeze

My Quick Method to Winterize

Because I regularly travel down south during the winter months, I’ve never had to winterize my Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel. Unfortunately this year we have been delayed in departing, and suddenly I was faced with needing to winterize. Not having a compressor to blow the pumping lines out I decided to use the method where RV antifreeze is used. 

Most people nowadays use the water pump with a special winterizing attachment kit to get the RV antifreeze into the lines. I had a look at my water pump area. The pump and lines were embedded in a bunch of spray foam. Removing the foam and installing a winterizing kit here was going to take a little more time than I had. So I decide to use a different method. Here are the details of my RV winterizing.

Water Pump Photo

Drain the Plumbing System

First thing I did was drain all the waste tanks before I left the RV park. Then I opened the hot, cold and fresh water low point drains and let them drain out. I left them open on the drive to the storage yard to help get more water out. Next, I opened up the Suburban water heater by pulling out the anode rod and let it drain. I then went inside opened the internal hot water tank access panel and set the bypass valve to bypass position.

Hot Water Heater Anode   Hot Water Heater Anode Removal

Water Heater Access   Hot Water Heater Bypass

Pick up a Bunch of RV Antifreeze and Fill

I visited a local RV part store, and as luck would have it, they had the pink RV antifreeze on sale for $3 bucks a gallon. Sweet! I picked up 8 gallons just to be sure and with a funnel fed it into the fresh water tank fill hole. Oh and a little tip for you, when you hear the antifreeze hitting the ground that would be a good time to remember to put the drain plug back onto the fresh water low point drain. Doh!

Pouring RV Antifreeze intp Fresh Water Tank

Use the Fresh Water Pump

Now it was just a matter of turning on the fresh water pump and running the antifreeze into all the piping and drains. I started with the closest taps in the kitchen and ran them until both the hot and cold ran bright pink. Then repeated with the bathroom sink, toilet and shower outlets. I headed outside and ran antifreeze out the hot and cold on the outside shower. I then attached a small hose to the outside shower and used it to pump antifreeze in through the black tank flush plumbing and the city water inlet.

RV Antifreeze Sink   RV Toilet

Outside Shower Area

Make Sure all Plumbing is Full of Pink

Finally, I visually inspected all the plastic plumbing lines for the presence of antifreeze. They are made from translucent material, so it’s quite easy to see the bright pink RV antifreeze in them. Once I was satisfied that all the lines, valves, and connections were nice and pink colored I pumped the rest of the remaining antifreeze into the waste tanks to make sure all the P traps were full of antifreeze.

RV Plumbing Full of Antifreeze   Black Tank Flush Check Valve

If I were winterizing every year I would definitely invest in and install an RV winterizing kit and blow out the lines with compressed air first. However, this quick and dirty solution works for me. A little overkill on the antifreeze but better safe than sorry I say.

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