End of First Season... Darn!

Discussion in 'Camper Storage / Winterizing & De-Winterizing' started by tcbrady, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    It's unfortunately that time of the year unfortunately... To finalize the year we got 11 trips in with about 40 days invested in camping, and enjoyed every minute of it! (Even if some trips required working on the camper... LOL.) This is our first year camping with the camper (2014 Flagstaff MAC 228) and I'm getting ready to prep it to be closed up for winter. Luckily, the camper will be staying in a garage during these months. I've done some research on how to clear the lines and winterize. Is there anything else that everyone does as routine yearly maintenance that I should be doing? Maybe any tips on how to make the winterizing process easier or things you've learned from doing it yourself that you can shed some light onto a newbie?
     
  2. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    Having in-garage storage over the winters months in PA is probably not much different than us here in Northern neck Virginia. My garage is not heated but I never seen it below the mid 40s... My problem is I have too much junk in my garage and parking a trailer in there is out of the question haha... I park my trailer under my favorite tree in the back yard where I have a mini-camp setup with fire pit etc...

    Being parked in the garage I would most likely just drain the one fresh water tank at its low water point. When I open the the sink HOT WATER spigot this also drains down my hot water heater down at least maybe a inch or so of water left in the bottom of it... I would open the over-heat valve on the HW Heater. In case the small amount of water did freeze up it has plenty of expansion room inside the heater...

    Our WX here will get down to freezing a few time over the winter months but always warms up above freezing during the next day. Hardly NO SNOW at all here... This year however may be a different story due to climate changes haha

    The biggest thing I worry about is my OFF-ROAD Batteries. I leave them sitting on the trailer tongue but do have a compete disconnect switch on them. You will have several things that will pull from the battery if you leave them connected and this will drain you down below the 50% charge state in a month or so.

    Even when I disconnect my batteries i keep a close watch on their charge state and if I see them get down below the 12.5VDC point I will trickle charge at a low rate for a couple of days... My original batteries installed in 2008 lasted until a couple of season ago doing this method.

    I like using the blow out method using my portable 12V air compressor after draining down everything through the low water point. This just take a few minutes time and then I will pour some pink stuff in the one P Trap I have under the sink. We also have a cassette potty with its own water source tank so that gets dumped over the winter months...

    Doing everything this way we can packup and go at a moments notice and all we have to do is just fill the fresh water tank and the on-board 12V water pump does it all for us to use it again...

    We are avid tent campers and like to go out all year long at various times. We have several somewhat local places close here with one just 25 miles away from us... It is open the year around but the bath room building closes down over the winter months... Having the OFF-ROAD POPUP trailer is a plus here for getting out a couple of nites all year long...

    Have never got North of Virginia camping and really love going to the high country of the southern states and the East coast. All of our roads go through Gatlinburg TN hehe...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  3. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Other than winterizing my 2014 M-208 with antifreeze in the fall and adding the mouse deterrents, I do all of my regular maintenance (greasing and lubing) in the spring and summer. If you used your sink, make sure you add enough antifreeze to displace the water in your p-trap.
     
  4. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    Where to you put the antifreeze in at on your camper? The city connection? Was hard to find model specific instructions on doing the winterizing.
     
  5. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    1,624
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    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    I connect a 3' hose at the water pump behind the access panel, stick the hose into a bottle of antifreeze. turn on the pump and turn on the water at the sink. This winterizes the pump and the sink. I use about 3/4 of a bottle of antifreeze.

    You can purchase winterizing kits but if you don't have a water heater, you only need a hose and a connector. I got the connector from my local RV supply store the hose from the hardware store.

    Just remove the two screws to the access panel and the pump is right in front.
    Kitchenette & Floor.jpg

    I don't have pics of what is behind my access panel but you can connect the winterizing hose to the water "strainer" (pic below). The strainer should be connected to your water pump on the left side. The type of threaded connector you will need to attach to the piece of winterizing hose is also pointed out it this pic on the right.

    Shurflo-255-315-strainer-swivel-nut-350x295.png


    You should also unscrew the strainer casing and rinse the strainer before you winterize. I found mine was mostly clogged last year. This year it was clean.
     
  6. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2016
    If you’re storing it in a garage I wouldn’t bother with antifreeze. Just clear the lines. Save a bunch of time in the spring
     
  7. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    That's what I was contemplating. Just blowing the lines clear and calling it a day. Although, the garage isn't heated but I don't think it gets much colder than 30*.
     
  8. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2016
    No worries. Just blow out the lines.
     
  9. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    Is there a special way to handle the water pump when you don't use antifreeze then?
     
  10. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2016
    If it’s not going to be that cold in the garage you don’t have to do anything to it
     
  11. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    Thanks for all your advice with this. We ended up detailing and winterizing it this weekend with no issues! We decided since we didn't use any anti-freeze we would just move it to the garage attached to the house (we live in a townhouse, garage on the 1st floor attached to the laundry room and storage room so that garage is semi-heated) so we wouldn't have to worry about any residual water freezing and causing damage. Plus, I've got a few projects I wanted to work on this winter regardless so now I won't even have to go outside to get to the camper. LOL. It was really nice to see how well the camper cleaned up with 2 hours of elbow grease but sad at the same time. Going to be a long winter waiting to get back out in April!
     
  12. mattlreese

    mattlreese Member

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    Sep 6, 2017
    There are some comments about not winterizing if in the garage. While that would be fine during many winters think back to the polar vortex we had last January. It was well below freezing for 3 straight weeks. Are you confident it did not get below freezing in your garage during that time?
     
  13. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    I wouldn't ever just park it in the garage for the winter without at least blowing all the lines. I think most of the comments your referring to are whether or not antifreeze would be recommended if the lines are blown. In terms of my garage, yes I'm confident it will not reach anywhere near freezing. For others I'm not sure it's in their best interest.
     
  14. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2016
    I live in a polar vortex all winter ( northern Wyoming) and my garage never gets below freezing. We were close once but it was -35 outside. The only possible issue with no antifreeze would be the pump but I don’t think it could get cold enough to damage it. I really don’t like to put antifreeze in my water system but mine is parked outside so no choice. (it was 5 deg this morning)
     
  15. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    And I was complaining about the 28* here this morning at 5:30am...
     

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