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How to Winterize Your RV Washer Dryer Combo Yourself

When the harsh winter days roll in, RV owners have two options: stay and brace for the cold, or do as the birds do and head south for the season. For those RVers sticking out the winter, either using your RV or with your rig in storage, you must winterize your camper. A critical step towards getting your rig ready for those extra cold days is winterizing your RV washer and dryer.

When winterizing your RV, you’re preparing the systems, particularly plumbing, to withstand temperatures below freezing. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about why and how to winterize your RV washer and dryer!

At What Temperature Should You Consider Winterizing Your RV Washer Dryer Combo?

An older RV sitting in three feet of snow.
If your RV is under a couple of feet of snow, it is definitely past time to winterize!

So how cold is too cold for your RV washer dryer combo? The water in your plumbing system (or washing machine) has the potential to freeze at any time that the temperature drops below freezing – 32°F (or 0°C). When water freezes, it will expand. The expansion can cause cracks, leaks, and other damage to your rig’s pipes, tanks, faucets, and toilets. This damage to your plumbing will render your RV unlivable and cost you a pretty penny in repairs. 

If you’re living in your RV, keeping it warm, and running the plumbing fairly often, one night with temperatures below freezing may be fine. That said, there’s no reason to push your luck. If you expect temperatures to drop below 32°F just overnight, one option is to open your faucets so that a trickle of water keeps moving through the pipes. If the forecast is many days below freezing, you should move forward with RV winterization.

How To Winterize an RV Washer Dryer Yourself

Winterizing your RV washer dryer combo unit is just as important as the rest of your camper. Specialized washing machines for RVs can be expensive to replace, so you want to ensure that your machine won’t be damaged through the winter.

YouTube video by A Candian RVer, detailing how to winterize a Splendide RV Washer Dryer combo.

To winterize your RV washer dryer combo, follow these steps.

Check The Manual

The most important thing is to consult your washer dryer manual. Your newer RV washer dryer may have a special winterize mode that will make your life easier.

Some manufacturers may require you to use the “dry” winterizing method. While others require the “wet” method. Read the owner’s manual to ensure you don’t inadvertently cause damage to your RV washer and dryer.

Choose Between the Wet vs. Dry winterizing Method

The two main methods to winterize your RV washer dryer combo are wet or dry.

  • Dry method – involves draining your plumbing systems and then using air to blow out any residual moisture from the system. This method dries out the inside of the plumbing.
  • Wet method – uses RV antifreeze to ensure any water in your plumbing doesn’t freeze. 

There’s a big debate over which method works the best, and which you choose might depend on how long or cold the winter you are facing is. Many choose the wet method, as the dry method may not remove the water inside the machine itself. On the other hand, you may prefer to winterize your washer and dryer with the same method as the rest of your rig.

To stay on the safe side, consult your owner’s manual to decide between the wet or dry techniques. 

Winterizing Your RV Washer Dryer with The Wet Method

Most RV owners will use the wet method to winterize their RV washer dryer, which is the safest option. You should use this method if you expect multiple days below-freezing or exceptionally frigid temperatures.

The following procedure is for the Splendide Front Loading Automatic Washer/Dryer:

  1. Turn the machine off.
  2. Pour half of a quart of RV-specific antifreeze into the washing drum.
  3. Close the door and turn the machine to “spin.”
  4. Power the machine on and allow it to run for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Turn the machine off. Unplug the machine.
  6. Disconnect and drain the hoses.

If you’re running antifreeze through the rest of your RV, you can use the following method to ensure that both the cold and hot hoses of your washer dryer unit are properly winterized:

  1. Turn the machine off and turn the wash temperature to “hot.”
  2. Turn the program selector knob to “regular” in Cotton Heavy Duty.
  3. Turn the machine on and let the machine fill until you see antifreeze in the drum.
  4. Turn the program selector knob to “reset” and wait 5 seconds.
  5. Turn the program selector knob to “spin” and let the antifreeze drain from the drum.
  6. Turn the program selector knob to “reset” and wait 5 seconds.
  7. Turn the wash temperature to “cold.”
  8. Turn the program selector knob to “regular” in Cotton Heavy Duty.
  9. Turn the machine on and let the machine fill until you see antifreeze in the drum.
  10. Turn the program selector knob to “reset” and wait 5 seconds.
  11. Turn the program selector knob to “spin” and let the antifreeze drain from the drum.
  12. Turn the machine off.

Winterizing Your RV Washer Dryer with The Dry Method

Some RVers may choose to winterize their washer dryer using the dry method. This method is more straightforward, faster, and may be sufficient if the temperatures aren’t getting too cold or for too long. Remember that water may remain in the pump and cause damage if it freezes.

How to winterize your RV washer dryer with the dry method:

  1. Turn off all water supply to the washer dryer combo.
  2. Disconnect the water supply hoses and allow them to drain.
  3. Drain all the water from the machine.

When using the dry method to winterize your RV, you may use compressed air to blow out the lines. Use caution when using this method to winterize your washer dryer combo. Compressed air should not be blown into the appliance.

What To Do When Winter is Over

An RV driving near a lake on a sunny spring day.
Once winter is replaced by sunny spring, it’s time to de-winterize your RV!

At the end of winter, you’ll need to flush the antifreeze from anywhere you used it to winterize your RV (including your washer dryer!) As always, check the manual. But typically, you’ll run an empty wash cycle with a bit of detergent, and then you’re good to go!

Don’t Let Winterizing your RV Washer Dryer Combo Stress You Out

For first-time RV owners, winterizing your rig can be daunting. Winterizing your RV washer dryer unit will only take a few minutes. Follow the steps outlined here or in your washer dryer’s user manual, and you’ll be set to weather the winter!

Do you winterize your camper or head south for the winter? Let us know in the comments!


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