Request A Service Appointment
Our service department is staffed with highly trained technicians dedicated to making sure your bunk model, fifth wheel, lightweight, pop up camper, and travel trailer, stay in great working order for years to come. Here at Circle K RVs, we know that getting out on the road and enjoying our great country is your priority, and we will help keep you traveling in comfort and style.
We have 5 service bays with certified technicians ready to tackle any problem you may have. We understand the value of good service and will do our best to get you RVing again as soon as possible. For questions, or to set up an appointment, give us a call: 810-371-3076.
Preparing Your RV For Winter
There are several things to do. Empty all the holding tanks (fresh water, gray water, and black water), empty the water heater tank, empty the water lines, add RV Antifreeze, prepare your battery, prevent critters, cover it.
Let’s take these steps one at a time:
1. Open your main freshwater supply-drain mounted on the outside of the RV and let the water flow until the tank is empty.
2. Dump your black tank first, then your gray tank (water in the gray tank helps flush solids and septic residue in the flexible hose line). Rinse the tanks to be sure there is no debris left behind to foul sensors or cause odors. Rinse dump hose out with fresh water before returning the hose to its storage compartment. Once the tanks have been emptied, close the valve to retain the antifreeze. This will protect and help preserve your dump valves.
3. To empty the water heater tank, open the drain plug or petcock drain valve on the RV exterior (open the water heater exterior access door and drain the tank by removing the screw-in plug or opening the valve found near the bottom of the tank). Opening a faucet inside the RV will relieve pressure and help empty the tank faster. If your water heater has an anode rod now is a good time to inspect it and replace it if it had deteriorated. If you have a water filter, now is a good time to remove it and store it for the winter. We do not recommend running RV antifreeze through the water filters.
4. Once you have drained all the tanks you must remove any remaining water in the lines. To blow-dry, the lines open all faucets (including the toilet flushing device, the shower head – do not forget the outside shower if so equipped or the low point drains). Use compressed air (not to exceed 60 psi) to the city water external hose connection using a screw-in adaptor (available at our parts & accessory store). Apply air until the air is almost dry coming from all the open faucets.
Regardless if you have blown out your line or not we recommend adding RV rated antifreeze. One area most neglected when RV antifreeze is not added is the 12v water pump. Be sure to run the antifreeze through the pump to prevent damage. Follow the antifreeze manufacturer’s instructions to meet the level of freezing protection required.
If you do not have a water heater bypass we recommend that you install one. The kit is available in our parts and accessory store. The kit will pay for itself the first year in the money saved in RV anti-freeze. Close the bypass on the water heater then locate your water pump. If your pump is not equipped with a winterizing kit we recommend installing one. The kit is available in our parts and accessory store. Open the winterizing valve on the water pump, insert the winterizing hose into the RV anti-freeze bottle then turn on your 12-volt water pump. With the pump on, open and close each faucet (outlet), one at a time, until the antifreeze flows from each outlet. (Don’t forget the toilet, showerhead, low point drains and outside shower if so equipped). Pour the remaining antifreeze to the water traps found below or near each drain outlet (again, do not forget the shower). Utilizing this method is the surest way to prevent winter damage to your plumbing system and for most RVs (without icemakers in the refrigerator or washing machines) will only require 2 gallons of RV anti-freeze.
Caution: Automotive antifreeze should not be used in the drinking water system as it is poisonous and leaves residues. Failure to drain the water properly from your RV prior to freezing weather can result in extensive damage to water lines, holding tanks, water heater, and pumps. A discharged battery can freeze or be damaged.
5. Make sure to charge your battery to a full charge. Measure the specific gravity of the battery acid with a hydrometer to test for a full charge. A charged battery may survive the freezing temperatures with minimal effect. If possible remove the battery and store in a safe indoor area. If you prefer to leave it on the RV we recommend using a “Battery Tender” that is available in our parts & accessory store. The advantage to the Battery Tender is that it maintains the charge throughout the winter and places the charge on a float so that it will not “cook” the battery.
6. Critters. First, clean out your RV thoroughly. Make sure there are no foods or crumbs to attract critters. Then, some think the best method to help deter critters is to use mothballs. The trick to using the mothballs is not to scatter them (you’ll spend a lot of time looking for “strays” if you do so). Purchase some inexpensive disposable bowls with lids and pour the mothballs into these containers. Poke holes in the containers, sufficient for airflow, but small enough to keep the mothballs “contained” as they diminish in size over time. Place these containers throughout your RV, even underbelly storage compartments.
When it comes time to take your RV out of storage it is a simple matter of collecting the containers and airing out your RV.
Another item worth mentioning is the use of fabric softener dryer sheets. Place these inside drawers and cabinets. These are supposed to be good mice deterrents.
7. Cleaning/Covering. Since breathable covers have been available we recommend covering RVs that are stored outside in the winter. The reduces exposure of the seams, seals, sealants, and putty to the constant freezing and thawing of water that opens the seals and may create leaks during the winter.
Prior to putting the RV up for the winter, we recommend giving the exterior a good cleaning, including the roof especially if it is an EPDM roof membrane. Contact our parts and accessory department for recommendations on appropriate cleaning materials for your particular RV.
This is also a good time to go over the entire RV to inspect for any potential leaks. Look for any voids between doors, windows, utility vents, hatches, moldings and either the wall or roof. On some model moldings that are on the bottom walls are in need of inspection also. This is a good time to repair any seals or seams that are beginning to dry or crack. Call our parts and accessory or service departments for recommendations on the correct sealant to use on your RV. We offer a SealTech Leak detection test to assist in detecting potential leaks. Call the service department for details.
When installing the cover be sure to protect the cover from any sharp edges that may tear the fabric. Stairs, jacks, drain spouts, etc. should be wrapped to prevent sharp contact with the cover. EPDM roof membranes that wrap over the roof edge should be either protected or the cover installed so that it will not flap in the winter wind and cause abrasion to the roof membrane or sidewalls.
We can help you keep your Dutchmen, Forest River, Heartland, and Venture RV vehicle in pristine condition! If you have any questions or concerns about your bunk model, fifth wheel, lightweight, pop up camper and travel trailer, feel free to call us at 810-371-3076 and we’ll be happy to help you over the phone or assist you in making an appointment. Come talk to us about how to best maintain your investment and learn more about our available services!
Call, visit, or contact us today. We’re here to help.