Super Easy Winterization for Small Airstreams

There is no reason to pay someone else to winterize your trailer. It’s a simple and quick process you can do it yourself in 20 minutes, and there is no de-winterization needed.

  • Low cost – one-time cost of $8 for a blowout adapter.
  • Quick and easy, it takes about 20 minutes.
  • You don’t need a powerful air compressor.
  • Completely safe, no need to pump chemicals into your trailer’s potable water lines.
  • No shore power is needed.
  • No de-winterization is needed.

I have used this method on my 16′ Caravel for 2 Winters already. A friend of mine also used this on a 20′ Caravel. both worked well, no issues were found after a record cold (17 F) Winter in the Seattle area.

Tools and Supplies

  1. A potable water hose – you should already have this. but if you don’t, here is the one we use (link)
    Note: The hose needs to be at least 25′ long, it’s used as a compressed air reservoir.
  2. A blowout adapter (link)
  3. A tire inflator. Any brand will do, and you really should have this if you own an RV. I use this one from Ryobi, as I already have many of their other tools so I don’t have to buy batteries or charger.
  4. Antifreeze (link). Note you will not pump this into your potable water lines, you only need this for your sink/shower drains. I pour about 2-3 cups per drain, so the cost is about $1 per winterization.


  1. From your last camping trip, empty your holding tank.
  2. Empty your freshwater tank, you can do this by turning on your water pump then use your outdoor shower faucet.

Draining water in freshwater tank

Step 1 – Locate your freshwater tank drain valve.

Your freshwater tank should have 2 outgoing lines; one connects to your water pump, and the other one connects to a drain valve, then goes through floor and ends outside the trailer. The picture on right showing the drain valve in close position.

Step 2 – Turn the drain valve 90 degrees to its open position.

Step 3 – Use tongue jack to drop the front of your trailer to its lowest position.
This allows the leftover water (water pump won’t be able to pump all water out) in freshwater tank to drain. You can see water dripping from outside the trailer. This should only take a couple of minutes.

Step 4 – Once you don’t see water dripping out, go back inside your trailer and turn the drain valve 90 degrees to its close position.

Step 5 – Turn on your water pump and open your faucet for a few seconds to pump out the bit of water accumulated in the pump inlet line.

Step 6 – Raise your tongue jack to its level position.

Now Your are done with your freshwater tank, so far so good!

Drain water from your water heater

Step 7 – For trailers with tankless/on-demand water heater, there is nothing needs to be done. For tanked water heater, this is model specific, so please follow your heater’s manual to drain water from heater’s tank.

Blow out water in water lines

Step 8 – Screw one end of your potable water hose onto your city water inlet, tighten it with hand; then route the other end of the hose to your trailer’s entrance, screw on the Camco blowout adapter and connect the tire inflator. Place the inflator on your entrance mat.

Step 9 – Close all faucets if they are not already. this includes
– Kitchen faucet
– Indoor shower faucet
– Outdoor shower faucet
– Bathroom faucet (16′ Airstream doesn’t have this)

Step 10 – Now repeat the following steps for each faucet mentioned above, plus toilet flush

  • Use your tire inflator to pump the plumbing lines to 42 PSI. If your inflator cannot raise the PSI to 42, you probably have a faucet/valve open, or the hose isn’t tightened.
  • Open one faucet(you need to do this separately for hot and cold position/knob) and you should see water blown out.
  • Close the faucet

Step 11 – Use tongue jack to raise the front of your trailer to its highest position. Locate the 2 brass drain valves (cold and hot) under the trailer belly, For 16′ Caravel or Bambi, it’s next to your sewer discharge valve. repeat step 10 above for each of the 2 brass valves. Don’t forget to close them once you are done!

Now you have successfully removed water from your potable water lines.

Pour Antifreeze

Step 12 – This is the last step. for each of the following

  • Kitchen sink drain
  • Bathroom/shower drain
  • Bathroom sink drain(16′ Airstreams do not have this)

Pour 3 cups of antifreeze into the drain. This basically replace the water trapped in ‘P-trap’ of the drain with antifreeze.

Now you are all done!

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