On the way back home from our last road trip of the season, I think of all the things I need to do for my RV to get it ready for winter storage.

My trailer cover and tire covers are ready, but there’s more to winterizing than just protecting RVs from snowfall. 

One of the most important things to remember in the winter is to drain the water system before storing your RV. If you don’t, then you’ll give the repairmen good business come springtime because your pipes will surely be busted from all the ice.

Over the years, I found that blowing out RV water lines is the best way to go. It is cleaner and quicker. It makes it easier for you once you’re setting up in spring, too.

And because you’ve landed on this page, it means you must be looking for the best air compressor for blowing out water lines to get ready for winter.

Luckily, I’ve used many and here are my top 3 picks with other peoples opinions of the pros and cons, not just mine. I’ve listed the picks below in no particular order because all of them are good.

Here Are The Top 3 Air Compressors For This Job

1. Viair 40047 400P-RV Automatic Portable Compressor Kit

One of the top picks based on reviews on Amazon. According to the manufacturer, while this model is intended for RV use, it can also be used for virtually any tire with its many accessories. Most portable air compressors don’t offer that kind of flexibility.

Specs:


  • Weight: 18.61 pounds
  • Package Dimensions: 15.4 x 14.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Exterior is Painted
  • Runs on 12 Volts
  • Powered directly by the car battery with alligator clamps
  • Price: $275

Features:

  • 12 VOLT – 150PSI Max Working Pressure, engine must be running during use.
  • 2.3CFM Free Flow @ 0 PSI, Power Cord: 8′ Air Hose: 60′ 12-Volt
  • Duty Cycle: 33 percent @ 100 PSI Max
  • Working Pressure: 150 PSI Max
  • Amp Draw: 30 Amps Tire Inflation Gun with 130 PSI Inline Gauge
  • Comes with a tire inflation gun and gauge, build in pressure switch, air hose, RV accessories and a carrying case.
  • Great for adjusting tire pressure on RVs and trailers. Power Cord Length: 8 feet, Primary Air Hose Length: 30 feet, Extension Air Hose Length: 30 feet.
  • Automatic Shut-Off Function
  • Vibration-Resistant Diamond-Plate Sand Tray
  • Heat Shielded Quick Connect Coupling
  • Gas Station-Style Tire Inflation Gun with 160 PSI Gauge
  • Heavy Duty Dual Battery Clamps with Inline Fuse
  • Power Cord Length: 8 ft.
  • 90-Degree Twist-On Chuck
  • 45-Degree Extended Reach Chuck (For Dual Rear Wheels)
  • 3 pc. Inflation Tips Kit

What reviewers like about it:

  • Heavy-duty
  • Well-made
  • Has high pressure
  • Easy to use

What they don’t like:

  • Expensive for its type

2. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

Another top pick from Amazon. It’s called a pancake compressor because its’ tank is shaped like a pancake. This is on purpose because it lowers the center of gravity making it more stable.

Specs:

  • Item Weight: 31.3 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 19 x 18 inches
  • Exterior: Red, Black
  • Runs on 120 Volts
  • Power Source: Electric-powered (you need to plug it into an electrical outlet)
  • Price: $99

Features:


  • 150 psi max tank pressure stores more air in the tank for longer tool run times
  • 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi allows for quick compressor recovery time, per ISO1217
  • Six-gallon pancake-style tank for stability, includes water drain valve and rubber feet
  • Low-amp 120-volt motor starts easily in cold weather or with extension cord
  • Durable oil-free pump for long life and no maintenance
  • Shroud, handle and console cover protects vital components, makes unit easier to carry and includes cord wrap
  • Two regulated, factory installed air couplers to easily support two users
  • Only 30 lbs for easy portability

What reviewers like about it:

  • Easy to carry
  • Performs as advertised

What they don’t like:

  • There is confusion on whether a break-in is required or not
  • A bit noisy
  • Too much vibration
  • Power cord is short

3. VIAIR 45053 Silver Automatic Portable Compressor Kit

This product consistently ranks first in most lists and comes from the same manufacturer as the first product I shared, VIAIR. Again, while this was originally designed for RV use, it can also be used for any tire inflation needs.

Specs:

  • Item Weight: 18 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 5.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Exterior: Painted
  • Runs on 120 Volts
  • Power Source: Draws power from an RV electrical outlet or a 12V car battery with alligator clamps
  • Price: $323.38

Features:

  • 12 VOLT – 150PSI Max Working Pressure, engine must be running during use
  • 1. 80CFM Free Flow at 0 PSI
  • Comes with a tire inflation gun w/ inline 150 PSI gauge, built in pressure switch, 60 ft. air hose, RV attachments, 3 pc inflation tips, and a carrying case to store everything inside of.
  • Great for adjusting tire pressure on RVs and trailers while on the road without having to find a local gas station.
  • Permanent Magnetic Motor
  • Viair is known for its tested and proven quality compressors which are built to last

What reviewers like about it:


  • Heavy-duty
  • Well-made
  • Has high pressure
  • Easy to use
  • The auto-shutoff feature!

What they don’t like:

  • Nothing! 🙂

How To Winterize A Travel Trailer Using Air 

Winterizing using air has been the easiest method for me. While you can’t be 100% sure all water has been blown out, this method is time-tested and proven to get MOST of the water out of the system.

Here are the steps to winterizing a travel trailer using air.

  1. Make sure that your rig is disconnected from the external water source.
  2. Turn off all power in the rig.
  3. Shut off the propane.
  4. If your RV has a factory-installed bypass valve, then bypass your water heater. Otherwise, make sure you install one so you can perform this step.
  5. Defrost your fridge and winterize other appliances based on the instructions in the user manual.
  6. Open all the faucets and shower, then open the drain valves until no water is coming out.
  7. Flush the toilet to empty its tank.
  8. Connect the blow out plug to the water inlet.
  9. Set the compressor to no more than 30 psi, or else you will risk damaging your water lines.
  10. Connect the compressor hose to the blow out plug and turn it on. Leave it on until all water is blown from the drain valves and the faucets.
  11. When the water has stopped spraying out, turn off the air compressor and disconnect plug from the water inlet.
  12. Drain the fresh water tank and close the drain valves.
  13. And your done like summer.

Can I Use Antifreeze Instead Of Blowing Out The RV Water Lines?

I mentioned above that blowing water out of RV lines cannot be done 100 percent using air. That’s where antifreeze comes in. 

Antifreeze comes after you have blown out all the water you can. I do not recommend you just antifreeze and skip blowing out your system.

If you have too much water left, your antifreeze will be too diluted by the remaining water that it won’t prevent freezing as well as it could. It’s not worth the risk leaving a lot of water behind with hopes that antifreeze will do the job.


So, make sure you blow out your system first, then add antifreeze.

What Happens If You Don’t Winterize Your RV?

Even a very small amount of water can freeze and damage your waterline when it expands.

If your waterlines are busted you will need to replace whatever is broken. Which may be just a few, inexpensive water lines, or it could be your entire water system if the winter was extreme.

Conclusion

Don’t skip any steps and winterize your RV the proper way because prevention is always better than cure.