How To Winterize a Travel Trailer Without Antifreeze

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How can you winterize a travel trailer without antifreeze? The simplest answer is to blow out your water pipes thoroughly using an air compressor. This ensures there’s no water left in your travel trailer’s plumbing. 

If you don’t have even one drop of water in your pipes, then nothing can freeze and burst your plumbing.

Follow our step by step guide below to learn how to winterize a travel trailer without antifreeze.

What Tools Will You Need?

For the most part, travel trailers and other RVs aren’t all that hard to maintain during the winter months. You’ll only need a few regular tools to winterize your travel trailer. It’s advisable to have a few other larger tools on hand to make winterization easier. 

Tools You’ll Need

Standard Tool Kit

A standard set of common household or automobile tools can be purchased nearly anywhere. The toolset will include items like a socket set, screwdrivers and a standard sized wrench set. 

Air Compressor

NOTE: this is the most important tool you will need. You won’t be able to thoroughly rid your pipes of all water without one of these. 

If you don’t own an air compressor, you can just rent a small one (at least 50 PSI) at any large local hardware store. 

Blowout Adapter

Often called a blowout plug, it connects to the air compressor. The adapter will then plug into the trailer’s water lines so you can blow out any liquids.They also come in various sets called RV Winterization Kits.

Water Hose

You’ll need this to flush out your waste tanks and connected plumbing lines, pipes and hoses. 

NOTE: The hose will be connected to your WASTE TANKS. Please make sure the hose is dedicated ONLY for the purpose of cleaning out your waste tanks. 

Do NOT attempt to use or connect the hose from your fresh water tanks to your waste tanks. This can lead to cross contamination and lead to all sorts of bacterial and health problems.  

How To Winterize Without Using Antifreeze?

Dump That Waste Right Outta Your Tank

  • The first  thing you want to do is dump out and clean your waste tanks. It’s recommended that you head off to a local RV dump station for this. 
  • Once there it’s pretty simple to connect your tanks to the dump stations connectors. Everything will be well marked. 
  • Once connected, you’ll be starting with the black tank first, since this is connected to your toilet. Open the black tank petcock drain valve and drain your tank. 
  • Next, do the same for the gray water tank. We drain this after the black tank because the gray tank holds soapy water from your kitchen sink, shower, etc.  Soapy water should take care of any remaining waste. 
  • TIP: Save yourself a huge amount of time (and disgust) by purchasing some chemical treatment for your black water tank. It’ll break down any nasty bits, make flushing out your tank a breeze and leave it smelling fresh.
  • Flush the tanks with your dedicated hose.
  • Lastly drain and clean the freshwater tanks.

Pump Some Fresh (Compressed) Air in There

  • The next step is to set up your compressor and attach the blowout adapter to it. Then you’ll be connecting the blowout adapter to your trailer’s water inlet. 
  • Leave all water valves open to include sink, shower, etc. 
  • Set your air compressor to a range of 30-50  psi. Do NOT go above this range, as it might blow out your water system seals and cause lots of trouble. 
  • Use the compressor in 30 second increments until no more water comes out. Close all valves. It’s a good idea to put a bit of plumber’s teflon tape around the petcock valves to keep a good seal. 


Can You Winterize an RV Without Antifreeze?

Can you winterize an RV without antifreeze?  Yes, by removing all water from your RVs tanks and plumbing system. All you need is simple standard tools, and an air compressor to flush out all water.

How Do I Winterize My RV Without a Water Heater Bypass?

How do I winterize my RV without a water heater bypass? There are two methods for this. 

The first method: You can disconnect your water pump and connect a homemade hose and connector to it for bypassing your hot water heater. 

The second and easiest method: Purchase a bypass connector and have it installed. This will save the most time in the future.

Is RV Antifreeze Different From Regular Antifreeze?

Is RV antifreeze different from regular antifreeze? Absolutely. RV antifreeze is non-toxic and designed to be used in plumbing systems. Regular antifreeze can only be used for a car’s engine.


We bet that procedure was easier than you thought it would be. As you have read, you don’t have to rely on antifreeze to winterize your RV. By using compressed air, you can safely make sure your plumbing is clean and free of water. By following our step-by-step guide above, you can ensure your RV trailer will be ready to ride out any harsh winter weather with ease. Happy Winterizing.

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3 thoughts on “How To Winterize a Travel Trailer Without Antifreeze”

  1. Your step-by-step instructions are very detailed, I’m so glad I found this article. It will help me a lot while I Winterize my RV without antifreeze. Thank you for writing this post!

  2. If you want to keep winterize RV without antifreeze, you need: drain the water, drain the black and gray holding tanks onto a designated local dump station, repeatedly flush the toilet and open all faucets until water is all drained, makes use of a blowout plug to let compressed air pass through all the water lines for a thorough drain. It’s recommended that you line heat-generating insulation tape on hoses, valves, and water lines – as these are most vulnerable. Your RV needs a little bit of ventilation, vent covers allow your RV to control the air coming in – making sure there’s free airflow. Finally, Upgrade or install insulation will do wonders to keep your RV warm.

  3. Using compressed air, you can winterize your RV on your own. This is by far the simplest technique to ensure that your RV is completely dry. Of course, you’ll need a blowout plug and an air compressor to get started.


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