How to De-Winterize Your RV Travel Trailer

by Elan Kesilman

The cold winter months have passed, and you are considering taking your RV travel trailer for a trip. Before you can enjoy the comforts of your RV on the road, you should properly de-winterize it for your safety and to lengthen the life of your RV. Although this is a time-consuming process, it is relatively easy and will ultimately result in a better RV trip for you.

Remove the cover, if any, from your RV. Fill the bucket with soapy water and wash the outside of your RV with an extra-long squeegie, rinsing with water from a garden hose.

Go inside and open all the windows to air out the RV. Visually inspect for damage, such as leaks, that may have occured during the winter. Use cleaning supplies and paper towels to remove any dust that settled while your RV was stored.

Fill your misting spray bottle with soapy water. Turn the main propane supply valve on, and spray all the fittings with the soapy water. If any of the fittings begin to bubble or you smell gas, you have a leak that needs to be fixed before you hit the road. Turn the propane supply valve off.

Check the trailer hitch for rust or damage. Replace parts as necessary, then lubricate the hitch components with lithium grease, available wherever auto parts are sold.

Inspect the tires for signs of dry rot or damage, check the tire pressure and add air or replace tires as needed.

Connect your water hose to the water hookup on the outside of the RV. Go inside, turn all of the faucets on and flush the toilet until all the water runs clear. Go back outside, and turn off the water to the hose. Add 1 cup of bleach to the fresh water tank and turn the water hose back on. Allow the faucets inside to run until you no longer smell the bleach. Turn all of the faucets off and fill the water tank.


  • check Before taking you RV travel trailer on a trip, take it slowly around the block to make sure that the brakes on the trailer are operating correctly. If they are not, have your brakes repaired before hitting the road.


  • close Be extremely careful when checking the propane system, as propane is highly flammable.

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About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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