How To: De-winterize your Airstream
With warmer weather on the way, many people are getting the itch to travel. If your Airstream has been in storage for any period of time you will need to de-winterize before hitting the road. Below are some of the steps to get your Airstream ready for the travel season. If you are unsure of any of the steps below, we offer a de-winterizing service at Colonial Airstream.
Clean & Inspect Exterior
If your Airstream was stored outside during the winter it will need a good cleaning. When washing the exterior we prefer to use just soap and water, if you use any cleaning products be sure it is safe to use on a clear coat. After washing it is recommended to apply a wax such as the Walbernize RV Super Seal. Use a spray bottle to apply the wax to a soft rag, be sure to work with the grain of the aluminum to avoid any tiny scratches or swirl marks.
If your Airstream has been winterized properly there will be RV antifreeze in the plumbing lines. Before using your water system the antifreeze will need to be flushed out.
To start the process, close the low point drains and connect a freshwater hose to your trailer’s freshwater inlet. Turn on all the faucets and showers, including both the hot and cold, this will clear the plumbing of antifreeze. If your trailer has a water heater bypass valve now is the time to open and allow water into the water heater. Be sure to check for any leaks during the process. Some water will get into your gray and black tanks during the de-winterizing process.
Once the tank is full, open the exterior drain and let the water run until the tank is empty. You are now able to fill the tank and the plumbing system is ready to use.
Your Airstream’s battery system is one of the most important components, without it you have no power. The first step is to inspect the battery for any cracks or damage, if there is any corrosion be sure to clean it.
If the batteries have been stored for any period of time they will need to be charged. The batteries can be charged by using your Airstream’s converter/charger. Turn off the trailer’s storage mode and connect it to shore power to begin charging. If you’re parked in the sun, you can use the solar panels to charge. If you have lead-acid batteries, check to see if the water levels are low, they can be filled with distilled water if needed. Be sure to wear gloves, eye protection, and always wash your hands afterward.
Reconnect your propane tanks and inspect the connections, hoses, and look for any signs of wear and tear or damage. You can use soapy water or a flammable gas detector to check for any leaks in the system. The propane tanks are labeled with a certification sticker and must be recertified at an inspection station 12 years after the date of manufacturing.
Before you hit the road be sure to inspect your tires for any cracks, wear, or damage, and inflate the tires to the recommended pressure. Be sure to also check the spare tire. Now is also a good time to check the lug nuts and tighten if needed.
If you have any questions or would like more information about de-winterizing your Airstream, give us a call at 1-800-265-9019. You can also contact our Service Department to have your Travel Trailer or Motorhome de-winterized.