Winterizing my Westy


New member
After recently moving from Seattle to Vermont, I now face a new dilema - how do I winterize my '89 Westy? Is there more to it than draining the water lines? Do I need to worry about the top cracking? How about the LP tank? I don't have a garage and would like to hear thoughts about winter protection as well.
Not quite sure which topic this falls under so please move if appropriate. Thanks, Grant

Capt. Mike

The '89 has an in-tank water pump so besides draining the tank, you need to pump the last little bit dry -- just run the pump a minute after the tank is empty.

Since the sink drain has the pod that replaces a standard P-trap you might want to let it evaporate dry (leave sink drain out) or even syphon it out with a small syringe. Since it can expand upward if freezing, it's not really a concern. If in doubt, you can always add RV waterline anti-freeze to the sink. Do NOT use the anti-freeze in lieu of a good draining of the tank and pump lines.

Top & LP (Not a problem in winter) have their own forums, and there are discussions of paint protection and fiberglass in EXTERIOR. There is a topic on Car Covers in ACCESSORIES.


New member
OK all you folks who camp with your Westys in winter: do you use the sink water and risk blowing it out from freezing? Or not use it all at and have all water drained out?

We're heading to Death Valley soon and will camp in the Sierras in below-freezing weather. (We have a propane heater - very nice /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif)


New member
I'm in Toronto Canada and I drained mine in October at the first sine of below freezing temps. I'd assume any water in the lines would just expand and blow them out. With the propane stove I figures I could just melt snow and Ice if I wanted water, although in the desert that wouldn't really work. Carry some water jugs??

'84 Westy camper cool baby, cool

Mike Robinson

New member

How cold is it going to be in the Sierras? If it is -0 to 5Celcius - sorry don't know the US conversion, I would still carry water in the tank.

I drained my tank and put in RV antifreeze in October as we get some seriously cold spells.

I too have a propane heater - thermostat next to the drivers door on the 'wall' and heater in the cabinet under the sink. I have a somewhat butchered half door on the cabinet. I does work well.

I am coming through Oregon next July - can you recommend any free or cheep campsites?


'82 Diesel


New member
Do you mean 0 to -5 C, or 0 to +5 C? Potentially it could be much colder that -5 C, but I can't predict with certainty. I guess if I was safe to below freezing I'd chance it....

I like to park near a beach in Oregon - all are public property. Yeah!

My first Westy was an '82 Diesel - now have '89.

Mike Robinson

New member
Sorry I meant 0 to -5C - I think you would be fine, I suspect even colder and you would still be fine.

This sounds strange - but I do not see water freezing at 0c in Canada - it takes -5c to -10c to freeze ground water - just an obsurvation. The temp inside the van at night with some bodies in it should keep it from freezing. I suppost the question is how inconvienient is it not to use the tank?

So you can just park next to a beach in Oregon- and it is free?



New member
Seeing as how we're veering off-topic, I'll reply in the "Vactions and Destinations" - Pacific Northwest US forum on the Oregon beaches question.

Thanks for the sink tips.

pascal giasson

New member
As part of the winterizing process you should check to see if there is any water in the waterline going to the city water hook-up. You can drain this waterline by pushing a blunt object into the water hook-up to open the stop valve and let the water out.


New member
We camped south of Arlington, Oregon, (south and east of Hood River) at a wayside state park- --on our way to Mexico, late last February, 2005. Great starry night. Our 1990 GL westy got cold... in fact, one quart water bottles FROZE SOLID inside the van with us. We were cold inside down bags, we use on Mt. Rainier. Amazing ! the sink did not work- frozen. I honestly think we should travel in winter with an empty water tank, and fill up at the last stop before camping. Oh, yeah, we also have a "Mr. Heater." ---still cold.