How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Robert Your Own Question
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 13454
Experience:  18 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
Type Your RV Question Here...
Robert is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 1989 Taurus. In August, before leaving a

This answer was rated:

I have a 1989 Terry Taurus. In August, before leaving a campground, I had opened the drains to let sewage and water out. At the campground, we'd attached hose to camper for water, so I don't believe that ever used a water pump. (This was my first ever experience with an RV, so I don't know much). Anyways, the temperature here have been oscillating around freezing, back and forth for the past 6 days. And I've don't nothing to winterize it. Can you please tell me what I need to do to get this thing winterized?
It'll be a degree or 2 above freezing all night until around 6 in the morning when it drops down to 32. Please advise.

Hi my name is Robert....

I can help you with this, it will take me several mins to type out a response to explain the different ways you can winterize it.... I will respond shortly...


To start drain the water heater. Shut the breaker off for the water heater if yours can run on electric. Go to the outside access panel and lift up on the pressure relief valve, it will have a lever, next pull the lower drain plug it will be a large plastic or brass plug, some you will have an anode rod attached to the plug, drain the water heater. Next go inside opposite of the outside access panel and locate the bypass valve, some will have a hot, cold and bypass, the hot cold should be shut or valve handle running against the pipe and the bypass open, valve handle running with the pipe. The reason for doing this is to prevent the water heater from filling up with antifreeze...

The easiest way to winterize is if you have a gravity fill for your water tank, you simply put the antifreeze into the tank and run the pump, open all your faucets, toilet etc until you get the solution coming out, it will take about 5 gallons, 4 in the tank and then dump 1 cup down each trap. IF you do not have a gravity fill you add a three way valve kit at the water pump, RV stores carry the kit click HERE to view they are easy to use....

IF you do not want to do the antifreeze you can get a blow out plug that screws into the city water connector, this will allow you to blow the lines out, if you do that add about 30 psi of air and make sure your faucets toilet valve is open before turning the air on. That method works good but the antifreeze is the best way. Most RV stores have the blow out plug... If you do the air method still need to dump about 1 cup of antifreeze down each trap....

Let me know if you still need more help on this, follow ups are included... Robert

IF you are satisfied with my efforts please feel free to select a star rating on the page....

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I think I lifted the lever. (can you tell?) However, I don't know where the drain plug is.

Boy that looks like it needs some big time attention, I might consider a new water heater, that valve on the bottom looks like someone installed that, have never seen that in my 20 years. The pressure relied it will be point right at you when it is open. Right now it is shut. Be VERY careful with that valve on the bottom.

I really might consider replacing that one with a direct ignition style but getting off track... Open the valve so it is pointing at you then try and open the valve on the bottom..


Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I think you meant to say something else here (not understanding): "The pressure relied it will be point right at you when it is open."

And which is the pressure relief valve? The lever with the blue tag dangling?

YES. What you are doing is taking the pressure off the tank. IF you had the plug and removed it with pressure in it you would get a shower... So the lever will be pointing right at you...

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

The valve that is horizontal, you mean to turn vertical to open, after I raise the lever to point right at me, right? But where will the water go?

Yes that silver valve should let the water out, may have a cap on it, it will just come out and then run out.... That valve you might have to open a few times, I can not tell if there is a cap on it OR it is open as it is pointing towards the side....

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

There's no cap on it, as you can see. And I turned lever vertical at the bottom.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Wait...Remembering that we never actually ever got hot water out of this camper trailer! Because I never hooked up the propane tank! So, never mind this part? Where should I resume at?

Did you open it all the way, will it turn anymore??? The problem with this is sometimes the tank can get calcium build up, it will be like cottage cheese coming out, if the valve is fully open I might try and get a tooth pick in there or scribe and make sure it is clear, you should see about 6 or 10 gallons coming out not a good idea having that valve...

Stand by saw your response...

OK... So go inside opposite of the picture, you may have to pull a panel or draw and check for the valves, it is possible you do not have any see pic below to what you are after... Robert

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I guess I'm gonna have to remove this plywood, because it would be under there. That's where a mattress lays atop. See. I'll tackle this tomorrow. Hopefully the pipes would'nt have cracked.

Understand.. you may not have the valves but better to check... It will take a hard freeze in the mid to upper 20s to start freezing everything.... Let me know if you still need more help, I will be around tomorrow, I think I have worked with you before, we will get this sorted out...

Have a good great evening... Robert

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Just to be clear: Even if I never got any hot water, I still need to do this?


Here is the issue if you want to use antifreeze then what will happen is you will end up putting 6 gallons in the water heater, IF you want to use the air method then NO, get the blow out plug it will screw into the city water connector and then add around 30 psi of air, just make sure your faucets are open do not want to over pressure the system.

Then get a gallon of antifreeze dump some down the toilet, shower and all your sinks and you will be good to go, since it seems like it would be a big hassle getting to the back of the water heater I would go with the air method it will be fine.....

Hope this helps some. IF you are satisfied with my efforts please feel free to select a star rating on the page... Also follow ups are included... Robert

Hi... Was just checking in to see if my answer helped.. IF you have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.. Robert
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I borrowed this air blower from a friend so I can blast the lines, instead of removing all that wood etc. Now, my question is: Do I blast through the waterhose connector outside or connect into one of these hoses on the waterpump? Thanks.


That would be fine, disconnect the line from the water pump and blow air through it, make sure you OPEN the faucets prior to blowing the air through, have someone hold the toilet valve open as well, once you get air flow then you are good to go. The water tank should be drained so that is not an issue. make sure you dump about 1 cup of non toxic antifreeze down each trap and the toilet and you are done..... Robert

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

This Hose?

Yes I believe that is the one out to all your faucets, you can let the pump drip dry if any water comes out.... That should do it, let me know if you still need more help...


Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Okay. Thanks. I'll go tackle this after supper, and get back to you.

Sounds good, sorry for the delay earlier been battling the flu....


Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Hey man, I think that end probably goes outside, because there was no air blowing out through other facet in bathroom. However, what I then did was blow air through facet in kitchen and water came out of bathroom faucet, then mostly just a lot of air and moisture. I think I need to do some more....tomorrow.

IF you have your drain valves open shut them and that should force the air out the faucets....Let me know if you need more help...

The water pump will have a line coming from the tank, from the tank it goes out to the system, if the drain valves are open you might not get air at the faucets.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.

What/where are the drain valves? Are you talking about outside the trailer where we drain out the sewage and grey water? (Sorry for my ignorance. Just wanna be sure that's what you're talking about) Thanks.

You said that the end goes outside, so I was thinking that you had some drains open for the fresh water tank and low point drains, I have no idea where the valves would be for the fresh water system, if the line is going to the outside then the water pump would only pump water to the outside. Follow that line and make sure there is not a valve open.

Robert and 2 other RV Specialists are ready to help you

Was just checking in to see if you got this taken care of??? Let me know if you need more help...

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Sorry. I'm out of town. Be back in a couple days. Will resume then. Thanks.

10-4... Let me know if you still need more help....