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How to Winterize a Pull Behind Camper

How to Winterize a Pull Behind Camper

How to winterize a pull behind camper? As another RVing season draws to a close, now’s the time to prep your pull behind camper for the cold months to ensure it will be ready to roll when the weather gets nice next spring.

We know some folks camp in their RVs year-round, which is fine.

However, if you’re part of the group that put their pull type RV in storage during the winter months, it is vitally important to winterize your camper properly to avoid potential damage to your RV’s water system due to exposure to sub-zero temperatures- this is the greatest risk of abdicating winterization.

This article will teach you how to winterize a pull behind camper (step by step) so that your favorite camper will be raring to go when the weather is perfect again.

How to Winterize a Pull Behind Camper

While it is tempting just to put the camper away and only get concerned about it next season, procrastinating is likely to make getting the camper up and running much more difficult (at best!)

Here are straightforward steps to winterize your towable camper so it will not be a problem in a couple of months.

The main purpose of winterizing your tow behind trailer is to prevent freeze damage to its freshwater supply lines, pump, and tank. By winterizing, you also guard the entire waste drain system/setup, including the traps, the water heater, etc.

To completely winterize the trailer, the procedure below is typically followed:

Step 1:

Level the camper from side-to-side as well as front to rear. Now open all faucets.

Step 2:

Next, you want to drain water from the storage tank. To do this, turn the water pump’s switch to “ON.” Water will start to be expelled from the tank.

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Step 3:

Open every single drain valve, including the one on the unit’s water heater. Also, open the exterior water service valve.

Step 4:

As the water drains from the system, open and flush the camper’s toilet-flushing valve.

Next, depress the hand-spray thumb button (on the telephone showerhead) while holding down the inside of the tub, and finally drain all water out of the flexible hose.

You can now unscrew the showerhead for storage.

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Step 5:

Turn the pump’s switch OFF. This should only be done once all water has been expelled from the unit’s storage tank.

Step 6:

The next step involves disconnecting the outlet hose from your pull behind camper’s water pump. Do that.

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Step 7:

For units without this valve, you should disconnect the water pump’s inlet connection then turn the pump “ON” until the last drop of water has been expelled.

If your camper has a factory-installed winterization kit, set the valve to the “WINTERIZING” position then remove the plug. This water is just about 1/2 cup so it can be ideally caught in a rag/towel.

Step 8:

The front of your camper should now be lowered as far as the jack can allow until water stops draining. The jack should then be cranked up as high as possible. This helps drain out any remaining water.

Step 9:

After water has ceased running, apply 50 lb. (at most) of air pressure at the camper’s city water inlet using an air compressor. You may need to buy air fittings with suitable regulators for your unit’s city water inlet.

Before applying air pressure, ensure that all drain valves, all faucets, toilet flush valves, and toilet shutoff valves are open.

In addition, check that the pump outlet hose has been disconnected and the water heater by-pass valve set to OPEN position. Lastly, the water inlet, as well as outlet valves, should be closed.

Quick Tip: For the most part, avoid using air pressure on the unit’s water heater for winterization.

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Step 10:

Pour one cup of approved non-toxic RV antifreeze into the tub drain. This is one of the most recommended ways to ward off probable trap freeze-up nightmares.

Quick Tip: The easiest way to winterize RV without antifreeze (if you want to take that direction) is by blowing out the whole plumbing system with compressed air.

It’s not as difficult as it may sound- simply connect a blowout plug to the compressor air hose, then attach the plug to your camper’s water inlet. You then begin pumping air into the camper’s plumbing, preferably at 30-second intervals, until you clear all water from the plumbing system.

Step 11:

Now open the waste-holding tank dump valve, then drain (and flush) the tank rigorously. This step is crucial since the tanks could be seriously damaged if any remaining sewage freezes.

Step 12:

In the end, remove the batteries from the camper. You should, of course, store the batteries in a cool, dry spot where there is no risk of freezing.

Quick Tip: We suggest you check the batteries periodically throughout the chilly months and keep them fully charged. This could help the battery last longer.

Step 13:

Remove all spilled antifreeze from all drain plus faucet parts after completing the winterization process. Foregoing this might cause damage to the unit’s plumbing fixture’s finish.

That’s all- with these steps; your pull-behind camper will be ready for an epic camping trip when the weather allows.

While the above procedure is common to many tow-behind campers, there might be slight differences here and there for your specific camper. For this reason, you should consult your owner’s manual before starting.


In summary, winterizing your pull behind camper requires you to flush out each drain line and the holding tanks.

The whole water system (including the unit’s water heater plus the main water storage tank) should also be drained completely. Follow the instructions outlined in this guide to complete the process in your camper if winter gets nasty where you live.

That way, you can look forward to a happier reunion next camping season!

References and Citations:

Kampgrounds of America, Inc. : Step By Step RV Winterizing Checklist-

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