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One thing you might not know about keeping an RV is that you need to store it properly when it’s not in use.

Most people don’t use their RVs throughout the winter, so you’ll need to de-winterize it before taking it out in the summer. 

One of the most important steps of this is flushing the antifreeze from the camper because unused antifreeze can leave a bad smell and taste around the RV.

If you’re not sure about how to flush the antifreeze from your RV, keep reading. We have an eight-step foolproof method just for you! 

But First, Why Is Flushing Antifreeze Important?

Any good guide to de-winterizing your camper will tell you to flush the antifreeze. But why is this such a vital role? Here are a few of the biggest reasons to do this. 

RV Antifreeze Should Not Be Consumed

RV antifreeze goes all around the pipes in your camper to prevent the pipes from seizing up in cold weather. This is made from ethanol content and therefore is flammable.

If the antifreeze has reached your heating system without being flushed out, this could lead to dangerous consequences. 

RV Antifreeze Loses Its Strength

Some people, who don’t use their campers very often, think that they can keep antifreeze in the system for many years at a time between use.

However, this is not the case as the antifreeze will begin to break down and become less effective. It’s a good idea to flush the system and add more antifreeze every few years. 

Flushing Antifreeze From Your Camper – 8 Steps

Flushing Antifreeze From Your Camper - 8 Steps

An eight-step plan might sound daunting, but it is surprisingly easy to flush antifreeze from your camper. 

1. Add Water To Your Tank

Locate the freshwater tank in your RV and add between five and ten gallons of water. Connect the tank to city water. 

2. Turn The Water Pump On

Turn on your water pump. This will allow the water to flow throughout the systems in your camper to flush the antifreeze out. 

3. Open All The Taps Up In The Camper

Walk around your camper and turn on all of the taps you have. Make sure you turn on both the on and off taps as this will be the most effective method of flushing the antifreeze.

The most common faucets are kitchen taps, bathroom taps, shower head taps, and outdoor faucets. Flush the toilet a few times for good measure, too. 

4. Let Your Water Run

Allow the water to run for five minutes to ensure that any lingering antifreeze in the system is gone. Keep running the water until it runs completely clear from every single faucet. 

5. Turn Off The Water Pump And Faucets

Now that you’re happy the system is clear of antifreeze, turn off the faucets and water pump. 

6. Reset Your Water Heater

You will have most likely disconnected the water supply from your camper as part of your winterizing routine.

However, now that the system has been flushed, you can reconnect the water supply to the water heater again, which will allow the water to heat up again.

If you’re worried that there is antifreeze in your water heater, simply undo the plug at the base of the heater and run water through it until the water runs completely clear. 

7. Replace The Water Filter Cartridges

Now the water supply and water heater are connected again, it’s time to replace the water filter cartridges.

Do this by following the manufacturer’s instructions on the filter cartridges, as everyone will have a slightly different method of doing this.

Replacing the filters is important to wick away any lingering smell or taste of antifreeze from the water. They also ensure that the water is safe and consumable. 

8. Dump The Grey Water

Once you’ve done all of this, the only thing left to do is to dump the gray water! Do this at a dump station near you.

It’s important to dump the gray water as soon as possible so that it is safely away from your RV and there is no risk of cross-contamination.

And that’s it! You’ve safely and effectively flushed the antifreeze from your camper, ready to enjoy a long summer season of exploring.  

(Optional) Sanitize The Water System

You can also sanitize the water system on your camper by closing all the drains, pouring bleach into the water tank, turning on all the faucets, and running the water until you can smell the bleach.

Allow the system to sit for 12 hours and drain all of the water from the system. Flush the system again and leave the water running until it no longer smells like bleach.

Other Steps In De-Winterizing Your Camper

While flushing the antifreeze from your camper is a vital step in de-winterizing it, there are also a few other important things to remember.

You should check the exterior of your camper for any signs of damage, wear, or rust. Make sure the tires are at the correct air pressure. 

You should charge all of your batteries before reinstallation, ensuring that they still work and hold charge well.

Check for leaky pipes, replace your gas tanks, test all of your appliances, have the engine checked, and test the generator.

Make sure you have enough emergency supplies and first aid kits, as well as safety equipment. Finally, make sure your registration and insurance are up to date!

Before long, it’s time to head out on the open road for an adventure.


Thanks for reading! As you can see, flushing your camper of antifreeze is a simple yet vital task of your de-winterizing routine.

Antifreeze is toxic, so ensuring it’s out of your camper’s system before you take it out in the summer is important for your safety. 

You can also use bleach to sanitize your camper’s water system. Just make sure you run the water until you’re sure any chemicals have been completely removed from the system.

Then dump your gray water safely as quickly as possible.

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