How to Winterize an Airstream Travel Trailer

If you didn’t already know, winterizing your unit is very important.  Caring for your plumbing, fixtures, and tanks ensure amazing camping trips for years to come.  Along with your year round tire care, making sure you winterize at the proper time and in the proper way can save spring time headaches. These headaches include having to replace hot water heaters, water pumps, water filters, cracked fittings and/or plumbing lines.  There are two standard ways to winterize, blowing out your lines with pressurized air or pumping antifreeze throughout the system.  At Colonial RV we prefer the latter to ensure antifreeze reaches every appliance, fitting, and plumbing line.

When storing your travel trailer for a short or long period of time, use the same precautions as you would in your own home. In addition, for extended storage periods, flush out all the drain lines and the holding tanks. Also drain the entire water system including the water heater and the water storage tank. Follow the instructions for draining the water system below.

Protect Your Water Systems With The Best

Contact our Parts Department to set up a winterization appointment or purchase Camco Antifreeze

(800) 265-9019 | parts@colonialrv.com

  • Camco antifreezes inhibit fouling and corrosion while preventing algae growth
  • Help in lubricating pumps and valves throughout the system
  • Use in boats, RV’s, vacation homes, pools
  • Safe for copper, brass and all types of plastic
  • Non-toxic propylene glycol formula.
  • Safe and tasteless
  • Can be used for sanitation and gray waste line protection.

To winterize your travel trailer follow this procedure:


1. Level the travel trailer from side to side and front to rear. Open all faucets.

2. Turn the water pump switch to the ON position to expel water from the storage tank

3. Open all drain valves including drain plug or valve on water heater and exterior water service valve.

4. While the water is draining from the system, open and flush the toilet-flushing valve. Depress hand spray lever while holding the spray head down inside the bowl. Depress hand spray thumb button on the telephone shower head while holding down inside the tub and drain all water from the flexible hose. Unscrew the heads on both spray units and store.

5. Turn the pump switch OFF after all water has been removed from the storage tank.

6. Disconnect outlet hose from water pump.

7. If your unit has a winterization kit installed, open valve to the winterizing position and remove plug. If your unit does not have this valve, disconnect the water pump inlet connection. Turn the pump on until all the water is expelled. This water, about 1/2 cup, can be caught in a towel or rag.


8. Lower the front of the travel trailer as far as the jack will allow until water ceases to drain, then crank the jack up as high as it will go and allow any remaining water to drain out.

9. After the water has stopped running from the drain lines, apply 50 lb. of air pressure at the city water inlet. An air-to-city water adapter is available from your dealer’s RV accessory store. Be sure the toilet valve, all drain valves, and faucets are open and pump outlet hose is disconnected. This can be done at a service station and will force any remaining water from the water heater and remove any water that may be trapped in low areas.

10. Pour a cup of non-toxic RV antifreeze that has been approved and listed by a recognized testing authority such as Underwriter Lab into the lavatory, sink and tub drains to prevent trap freeze-up.

11. Be sure to open the waste-holding tank dump valves and drain and flush the tanks thoroughly (this is very important as the sewage in the tanks, if frozen, could seriously damage the tanks). Plan ahead and have this done at a dump station.

12. Remove the batteries from your travel trailer and store in a cool, dry place where there is no danger of freezing. It is very important for optimum life of a battery to check it periodically and to keep it fully charged.

13. Remove any items (food, cosmetics, etc.) from travel trailer interior that might be damaged by freezing, or that might damage the travel trailer if containers should break.

Remove all RV antifreeze spillage from all drain and faucet parts after winterizing. Failure to do so could result in damage to the plumbing fixture’s finish.