Preparing your Airstream for Winter Storage
Winterize Your Airstream Travel Trailer
For many Airstream owners, colder temperatures mean the end of the camping season. Before storing your trailer for winter it is important to follow a few key steps to avoid any damage and costly repairs in the Spring. The main consideration in winterizing your travel trailer is to guard against freeze damage to the water system and lines. This process can be done on your own or you can make an appointment with our Service Department to have your Airstream winterized. View our winterizing and storage tips below.
There are two ways to winterize the water system. Using an air compressor to blow out the water or pumping RV antifreeze through the system via the water pump. Both methods follow the same premise and are designed to flush water out of your RV before it freezes and causes damage. Before using either of the below methods, you must first open the drain plugs and empty the grey, black, and fresh tanks.
Air Compressor to Winterize
If you have access to an air compressor, all you need is a compressed air adaptor (blow out plug). Screw the blow out plug into the city water connection on the exterior of your Airstream, connect the air compressor nozzle, and begin applying compressed air.
Inside the trailer begin opening each faucet, one at a time. The compressed air will blow any remaining water out through the faucet. Rotate the handles all the way from cold to hot to allow all the lines to clear.
Next, Flush the toilet (and depress the toilet hand sprayer if you have one), then turn on the shower (and the external shower if you have one). You’ll also need to turn the water pump on and allow the compressed air to clear water that may be trapped in the pump. Finally, blow compressed air into the black tank flush to force all remaining water out of the tank. Remove the blow out plug and add one cup of RV antifreeze to all sink drains and the toilet.
RV Antifreeze to Winterize
The other method to winterize your travel trailer is with non-toxic RV antifreeze. You’ll need a Pump Converter Kit (also known as a pass kit) and approximately two gallons of RV antifreeze.
Make sure the water pump is off and all faucets are closed. Close the water heater’s bypass valve (if it has one). Attach the Pump Converter Kit to the inlet side of the water pump. Then turn on the water pump to start pumping the RV antifreeze through the system.
Go inside the trailer and open each hot and cold faucet line one at a time until you see the noticeably red color of the antifreeze flowing through. Open the toilet valve and the shower until antifreeze flows through. Once the lines are flowing with antifreeze shut off the water pump and turn off the valves. Finally, add one cup of RV antifreeze to all sink drains and the toilet.
When placing your Airstream in storage it is important to keep the batteries charged. Removing the batteries will allow you to charge in a garage or workshop without needing to plug in your trailer. With the batteries removed, you will then have the opportunity to have them tested and inspected for any damage.
If you choose to leave your batteries in your Airstream during storage, you must keep them charged. This will require plugging in be able to charge at least once a month. Airstream does not recommend leaving your trailer plugged in full time during storage.
When the winterization process is complete it’s time to move your trailer into storage. Keeping your Airstream covered by a hard structure such as a garage or barn/shed is best to protect from the elements. Avoid using a cover over your Airstream as it can move in the wind and abrade the aluminum. Never store your Airstream near overhanging tree branches as they can fall and cause damage.
It is recommended that you keep your trailer parked on gravel or concrete, this will protect the tires from moisture which can degrade them over time. Parking out of tall grass and away from trees will also prevent any unwanted guests (i.e. rodents).
- Shut off the propane to the trailer at the tanks.
- Inflate, clean, and cover tires to protect from UV rays that can cause dry rot.
- Apply dielectric grease to the 7-pin connector to prevent corrosion.
- Leave the fridge and freezer doors open to help dry them out.
- Remove all food from cabinets to discourage rodents.
- Wash your Airstream before storing, this will let you easily inspect for any water leaks, cracked sealants, or damage.
- Lubricate all joints, pivot points, steps, and stabilizer jacks.
If you have any questions or would like more information about 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 winterized.