So, camping season is coming to an end. The long summer days are gone and the temperature is starting to dip.
And with these changes come a list of things that have to be done to winterize your RV. Water expands as it freezes which can cause a crack in a pipe or tank, and this sort of damage is costly and time-consuming to remedy.
While winterizing an RV can be a bit of a daunting task for the uninitiated, it is actually a pretty straightforward process. And to make things easier I have scoured the internet to find you the best 5 RV winterizing kits currently available!
Each RV comes with its own set of winterizing requirements, and not every kit will cover every RV.
With this in mind, my pick for the best overall RV winterization kit is the VIAIR RV Winterizing Kit. This kit will work with almost every RV, but be sure to check your owner’s manual before spending that hard-earned cash (to make sure whichever kit you choose is compatible with your RV).
|Product's name||Hand or pump powered||Permanent kit?||Best for||More Info|
|VIAIR 90145 RV Winterization Kit||Pump||NO||Best Line Clearing RV Winterizing Kit||See Latest Price|
|B0006JJ588– Camco Permanent Pump Converter Winterizing Kit- Allows You to...||Pump||YES||Best Affordable RV Winterizing Kit||See Latest Price|
|Norcold 634913 Cold Weather Kit||12V system||YES||Best Kit for Electrical Components||See Latest Price|
|Valterra RV Trailer Pump Converter KIT LF CD Water System Antifreeze Pump...||Pump||YES||Best RV Pump Converting Kit||See Latest Price|
|Camco Antifreeze Hand Pump Kit- Pumps Antifreeze Directly Into the RV...||Hand||NO||Best Hand Pump Kit||See Latest Price|
- 1. VIAIR RV Winterizing Kit – Best Line Clearing RV Winterizing Kit
- 2. Camco Permanent Pump Converter Winterizing Kit – Best Affordable RV Winterizing Kit
- 3. Norcold 634913 Cold Weather Kit – Best Kit for Electrical Components
- 4. Valterra Lead-Free RV Trailer Pump Converter – Best RV Pump Converting Kit
- 5. Camco Antifreeze Hand Pump Kit – Best Hand Pump Kit
- The Best RV Winterizing Kit Buyers Guide
- RV Winterizing Kit FAQs
1. VIAIR RV Winterizing Kit – Best Line Clearing RV Winterizing Kit
There’s a few reasons why the VIAIR RV winterizing kit is so highly rated within the RV community. It has close to perfect reviews on Amazon, and I had trouble finding anyone with bad things to say about it before I grabbed one to test!
It is easy and straightforward to use, the parts have been made to fit almost any RV on the market (new or vintage), and the build quality of every single component is top-notch.
The one caveat to this is that the VIAIR RV Winterizing Kit only works with the VIAIR 400P-RV and the VIAIR 450P-RV air compressors, so if you have access to one of these then you’re in business!
Included in the kit are a high-class adjustable regulator, a quarter-inch quick-connect coupler, a pressure gauge that reads up to 220 psi, a handy blowout plug, and a stud – everything you need to clear out the water lines and tanks inside almost any RV (once paired with a compressor).
Sure, this kit may be slightly more expensive than some of the other options. But the top build quality of the components I think more than justifies the price tag!
- One of the easiest kits to use and maintain.
- Rugged, long-lasting, high-quality materials.
- Regulator and pressure gauge included.
- Needs to be paired with a VIAIR compressor.
2. Camco Permanent Pump Converter Winterizing Kit – Best Affordable RV Winterizing Kit
If you are in the market for a budget RV winterizing kit then the Camco Permanent Pump Converter Winterizing Kit may be the best option available right now. It comes with everything you need to quickly and easily convert your water pump, allowing it to pump antifreeze right through the system by bypassing the water tank.
This kit utilizes four main components to get the job done – a brass valve, a siphon hose, a roll of Teflon tape (plumbers tape), and the relevant pump adapters.
Now, the quality of each component may not live up to the VIAIR kit listed above. But that’s not to say that this kit is badly made! Not at all, with all the components being constructed from decent quality materials with robust construction on show.
The included brass valve includes a handy on/off switch which quickly and easily allows you to switch between the water pump and the siphon hose, which means once the kit is installed you can leave it attached for as long as you like.
This kit also works perfectly with a hand pump, it just requires a little more elbow grease on your part.
For the price, there really is no better kit available right now!
- Totally lead-free for user safety.
- Allows your water pump to do all the hard work for you.
- Works with every water pump.
- Can be installed and left in place for easy winterizing whenever needed.
- Some users report that the kit can slightly impede water flow from the tank to the pump, although I did not encounter this issue.
- The siphon hose is a little short.
3. Norcold 634913 Cold Weather Kit – Best Kit for Electrical Components
Refrigerators are one of the most important items in an RV. But what happens when the temperature drops to freezing? Usually temps that low would endanger the fridge system, sometimes causing refrigeration coils to freeze and possibly causing pipe bursts.
Well then, say hello to the Norcold 634913 Cold Weather Kit. Once installed, this kit can be left in place forever and be turned on and off when need be. The installation process is easy enough, but you will probably need to move the fridge to access the coils.
Featuring a heat strip that wraps around the coils, this 12V system plugs directly into the 12V outlet on your fridge making operation super simple.
So, if you are looking for the best way to keep that fridge running in cold climates, check out the Norcold 634913 Cold Weather Kit – you can’t go wrong!
- The system includes a thermostat which helps you see the exact current temp.
- Great for snow RVing.
- Easily connects directly to the electrical system of the fridge.
- Can be left in place even during the warmer months.
- Installation can be a pain if it is hard to move your fridge as you will need to access the coils at the rear.
4. Valterra Lead-Free RV Trailer Pump Converter – Best RV Pump Converting Kit
The Valterra Lead-Free RV Trailer Pump Converter is a great kit, no doubt about it. Although it does the same job as the Camco kit listed above and costs a little more, I think it’s definitely worth the few extra pennies.
The totally lead-free pump kit connects directly to the pump system in your RV. It can be left in place during the summer months, is easy to install (as long as it is easy to get to your water pump), and although it is slightly more expensive than the Camco kit this kit is still cheaper than many of the other options!
It also comes with a one-year warranty, which is something rarely seen for these types of kits.
A quick google search will show multiple glowing reviews about just how well made and easy to use this kit is, and I have to say I totally agree.
If you are in the market for a pump converter, and one that will last for years to come then I reckon this unit is the one for you!
- The whole kit is completely lead-free.
- Easy to install.
- Can be left in place, and is uncomplicated to maintain.
- Made to last and comes with a one-year warranty.
- Some users report water flow restriction issues, but I had none of these.
5. Camco Antifreeze Hand Pump Kit – Best Hand Pump Kit
Not every RV has a water pump that is easy to reach and not every RV owner wants to connect an outside kit to their water system. That’s where the Camco Antifreeze Hand Pump Kit comes in!
This kit allows you to flush and fill your onboard water system with anti-freeze without needing to connect anything to the internal system. SImply connect the included flexible hose to the external water supply connection, dip the other hose straight into the bottle of antifreeze, and pump away!
It’s best to have a friend around, as this process works best if there is someone inside the RV. They will need to go to each and every faucet, and run each one on the hot then cold line making sure the antifreeze is being forced through both sides and running out.
Although this method does take a little elbow grease, it makes the whole process of winterizing the water system of your RV a direct and simple process, is extremely affordable, and you don’t need any other tools to get the job done!
- Hand operation, no pump or compressor necessary.
- Made to last.
- Simple and straightforward.
- You will need a buddy to help with the process.
The Best RV Winterizing Kit Buyers Guide
Finding the right RV winterizing kit for your specific requirements may be as easy as choosing one of the higher reviewed options, but that is not a certainty for every RV. There are multiple factors to consider which I have gone ahead and listed (and explained) below.
Compatibility with your RV
As mentioned above, not every kit is suitable for every RV. Before you buy any kit take a good look at your RV owner’s manual and choose one that fits your rig, travel trailer, or fifth wheel. There is nothing more annoying than trying to start the process of RV winterization and finding that you don’t have the required components.
You need to ask yourself how much you are willing to spend on a winterization kit. Does it include all the required components or will you need to buy other parts or attachments to make it work?
Any extra items needed will add to the overall cost of the kit, so it’s always best to find a kit that covers any requirements.
Key components include:
- Owner’s Manual – The owner’s manual will show you all the necessary steps that you need to take to properly winterize your particular RV.
- RV Antifreeze – Anywhere from 4 to 7 gallons depending on your system. Please, do not use normal car antifreeze, it is not designed for use in RV hot water systems!
- Water Pump Converter Kit – This converts the RV water pump for use with antifreeze.
- Water Heater Bypass Kit – Some RVs come with a water heater bypass inbuilt into the system. If your RV doesn’t have one then you will need to grab a bypass kit – this is the one I recommend.
- Water Tank Cleaning Wand – Water tanks can collect sediment over time which can damage the system. A cleaning wand can easily remedy the issue. Grab the one I use right here.
- Hand tools – Depending on your system you may need a few basic hand tools such as a screwdriver, some pliers, an adjustable wrench, and a rubber mallet.
- It is also recommended to have a few household items on hand to help with the process – A flashlight, some towels, and a bucket or two can make winterizing your rig a whole lot easier and can save a bunch of mess.
RV Winterizing Kit FAQs
What steps need to be taken to winterize an RV?
This can differ depending on the model of RV you own. Always read the owner’s manual for detailed instructions relating to the model you own.
But, as a general rule of thumb, the basic steps are as follows:
Dump and drain both the black and gray water holding tanks, then the freshwater tank.
Clear out the lines.
Bypass the water tank utilizing the bypass valve either in the kit, or the inbuilt one on your RV (if your model has one).
Fill your water lines with antifreeze using the siphon tube.
Fill the system with antifreeze.
Puch antifreeze through the city water intake located on the exterior of your RV.
Fill the P-traps (toilet, sinks, shower) with about a cup of antifreeze.
How expensive is it to winterize an RV?
That is a difficult question to give a comprehensive answer to. Each model comes with its own set of requirements, but doing it yourself will definitely save you money.
Dealers will usually charge anywhere between $150 to $350 to fully winterize a rig. By utilizing one of the kits listed above you will save a lot!
Is antifreeze absolutely necessary for RV winterizing?
Again, this all really depends on your circumstances. If you are only planning on spending a short period in very cold weather it may not be essential, but in most cases, I still think it’s the right thing to do.
Sure, it may be a bit of a hassle. But imagine the hassle of a burst pipe, or even worse a cracked water tank.
Can I still use my RV once it has been winterized?
For sure! Just remember to not use any of the water systems before you de-winterize the water system. Once an RV has been winterized it is essentially a big, comfortable, mobile tent on wheels.
Choose a campground with all the facilities you need and utilize them instead of turning on your inbuilt water systems and you are good to go!
Can an RV be winterized even after the weather drops below freezing?
It can be done, but I really don’t recommend it. I have seen RVs that have damaged water systems after just 30 mins in freezing temperatures, so getting the job done early is the best idea here for sure.
If you have a heated structure to store your RV then you can be a little more relaxed, but in all honesty how many of us have the luxury of a heated garage? Not me, that’s for sure!
Does every RV need to be winterized?
“Four-Season” RVs are available, but they require a constant heating system such as propane or electric heaters to keep all the sensitive components warm.
Although I have never personally owned a four-season RV, I have seen others struggle to keep their systems sufficiently warm, especially while driving in below freezing temps.
It’s always best to winterize an RV in my opinion, but each to their own i guess!