Where-is-and-How-to-Open-an-RV-Low-Point-Drain-Valve

Where is and How to Open an RV Low Point Drain Valve

There is a valve for just about everything. When you go through your RV you will notice one thing. The manufacturers have placed a valve just about everywhere they could. This is done to make sure your RV is kept in top condition and you can maintain your vehicle correctly.

Where is your RV Low Point Drain Valve? The normal location for low point drain valve is at the lowest points of your RV. This is so the water in your lines can drain easily and thoroughly. There are different locations for each one installed on your RV.

Also, some can be twisted open by hand, while others may need a wrench to get them open. The reason for that is that they are merely caps and not full hand twist valves. To learn more about low point drain valves, just continue to read our article.

It gives you as much information as possible about low point drain valves, their location and how to open them.

What are Low Point Drains on RVs

Low point drain valves are little valves you will find at the lowest points of your RV. Their function is to make sure all your freshwater lines can be emptied thoroughly for storage, cleaning and to prevent freezing in the lines.

You can find some of these valves in storage compartments, under your bathroom sink and a variety of other places. Also, you should be aware that on some RVs and trailers, these valves may be designed to take a 90-degree turn. This means that you cannot use just any valve if something goes wrong with your originals.

How to Open Low Point Drains on an RV

A lot depends on who makes your RV and which style of drain valves they installed. Some RVs come with a simple hand-operated valve that is as easy to turn as your kitchen tap.

Others will come with a simple screw-on cap that may need a wrench to loosen it up beforehand loosening it the rest of the way. The important fact to remember here is that the pump and the toilet may not fully drain.

If this is the case and you live in cooler climates, you need to put some RV antifreeze down the water lines to protect your pump and toilet, while keeping them from freezing. Even blowing air through the water lines does not totally remove all the water.

The main purpose of the low point drain is to help you winterize your RV and get it ready to be stored through the long cold winter. Plus, when you go to open your drains, you should open all your faucets up as well.

This will allow more air to get inside and apply pressure. That pressure will help your water to drain more thoroughly.

How to Close a Low Point Drain

It is possible that your low point drain valve will not close all the way. On some RVs, you will have a simple pull and push handle that handles that task for you. If you are finding a wet spot under your drain valve, then you should go back to the pull and push handle and open and close the valve once more.

For other models of RVs you may have a simple turn the handle valve that operates as a normal kitchen or bathroom tap. Just after opening the valve, just reverse the motion to get the valve closed.

Or you may have threaded caps on your low water lines. These threaded caps may need a little extra help tightening after you have finger tightened them as best as you can. A proper sized wrench will grab on to those caps and make sure it is fully tightened and no leaks should appear.

Travel Trailer Low Point Drain Size

You may find the size of low point drain to be a lot easier than trying to find the low point drain on your travel trailer. These drains should be 3/8 or ½ inch in diameter. Of course, since RV manufacturers like to be independent, you may find these drains to be different than those two sizes.

The trick to travel trailer low point drains is actually finding them to make any repairs or replacements. For some models, the dealers and the owner’s manual will say that there are no such drains. One TT owner went through this and had to go to the forums to find the right information to find those drains.

Another searched his TT high and low and was unable to find them. That is until he had trouble with putting his covers on his tires. After unsticking the shock cord, he saw the hot water low point drain stuck in a very tiny corner between the axles.

The cold low drain hose was found in the insulation underneath the trailer. For some reason, TT manufacturers like to play hide and seek with their low point drain hoses and then not tell anyone about their location.

Jayco Low Point Drain Valve

The Jayco model of RVs seem to have the pull-up and push down low pint water valve. This valve should be located inside your Jayco RV and be inside a cabinet. More specifically, it should be near your basement compartment behind a plastic panel that you will need to remove to get to it.

If you have an RV with a thermal package, then the low point water valve is located above the basement floor or the interior floor. This location helps them from being frozen when you run into some cold weather.

Keep in mind that you should have at least 2 low point drains. One is for the hot water line and the other is for the cold. Normally, they run together so if you find one, you should be able to find the other one easily.

Airstream Low Point Drain Valve

In most cases, Airstream has located their low point water drains beneath everything else. But not always. Some of their models do not come with low point drains and you will have to empty those water lines by blowing high-pressure air through them.

To drain these water lines if you do have a valve, you must first empty and flush your hot water tank and fresh water tank. Next, you open all the hot and cold water taps, then open the drain valves.

Once the lines are free from water, you can close the valves or replace the caps. If you want, you can leave these valves and caps open to let the lines dry out over the winter. If you cannot remove all the water, Airstream does recommend that you put some anti-freeze in the water lines to keep them from being damaged by freezing temperatures.

All you need to do if you follow that advice is to put a cup of RV antifreeze to each of your drain traps and toilet. Do not flush your toilet after adding the anti-freeze.

Winnebago Low Point Drain Valve

The location of your low point water lines may vary as they are different for different Winnebago models. For some models, the valves may be two lever valves located near the water pump underneath the bed.

Another model has them next to the last storage bin on the passenger side of the RV. Your model may have a different location. To find out about your low point water drains, you can go to this link or talk to your Winnebago dealer to get the information you need.

Your location will depend on the exact floor plan your Winnebago RV comes with. Also, the design of the valve may differ as it has been worked on through the years.

Some replacement hoses are not made anymore. The 1992 Toyota Winnebago ½ inch line is not available and has not been available for many years. You may find that the replacement part that is made now will not fit properly.

Forest River Low Point Drain

This type of RV comes with both styles of low point water drain valves. One is the normal hand twist faucet style while the other is the threaded cap design. Both are easy to open and close although you may need a tool for the latter to get it fully closed and stop water leaks.

Finding them may be a bit tricky but not as hard as trying to find similar ones on a TT. For one model you will find one drain line next to the dump valve on the left side of the vehicle. Then on the right, you should find another one next to the shower dump handle.

Still, another location may be under your bed near the water pump. Or you can check your battery compartment which is where one RV owner found them. It seems that there is no rhyme or reason for locating these valves.

Low Point Drain Valve RV Leaking

This may be a simple problem that is hard to fix. Not because you cannot find replacement parts or use the right sealant but because the low point water drains are very hard to locate. Then once you find them, you may not access them very easily.

The owner’s manual for the 2018 Coachman simply said the low point drain hoses may be inside or outside the vehicle. The RV owner had to call the dealer who told them these drains were located in a back storage compartment behind a black door.

Once you find these little things, you may also find that they are not easily accessed. You may need to climb inside the storage compartment or have a tall friend help you. The fix is simple. You can apply sealant, replace the valves or simply just tighten them up. Your repair work will depend on what is wrong.

Of course, your problem may be something simple like the valve was left open.

RV Low Point Drain Replacement

If you are having trouble with your low point water drain valve, you may want to consider replacing it with a sharkbite system. This system seems to work better in cold weather than the original drain valves do.

Or you can go to a PEX format, but you need a PEX crimping tool to make it al work for you. One thing that may cause you to lose a little time is that the big box stores may not have these replacement options.

You may have to go to a plumbing store or search online for them. The sharkbite may be found at your big box store but they may be locked up in a glass case to prevent loss through theft.

The thinking about low point water drains have changed over the years and most experienced RV owners feel that you do not need them. The RV manufacturers have followed suit as many of their more recent models do not come with these drains.

But remember, even if the dealer and owner’s manual claim that none exist, they may still be found on your rig after a long hard search.

Some Final Words

Low point water drains may be a discussion that is relegated to history. Unless you own an older RV, you may not have them on your vehicle anymore. But just in case, you should search your RV to see for yourself. Do not take anyone’s word for it, including the owner’s manual.

Once you find them, they are not hard to use and require only a little time to open and close them. If you need to flush them out with air, that is okay. Just remember that if you live in colder regions of the country a little RV antifreeze will help you protect your lines, valves and water facilities.

Basically, low point water valves only exist so you can winterize your RV. That is all they do.

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