Our attempt at winterizing and more questions

Discussion in 'Camper Storage / Winterizing & De-Winterizing' started by Meldew, Nov 8, 2021.

  1. Meldew

    Meldew Member

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    So DH said we can’t keep the pup set up in the side yard all winter lol. I was trying to get up my courage to try to recover the dinette cushions. Now dinette cushions are being used to build forts in the kids’ bedrooms and the pup is closed! Maybe I will recover them this winter.

    I tried to follow online instructions for winterizing…. We don’t have an air compressor so we drained the tanks, low point drains, bypassed the hwh, poured a couple gallons of rv antifreeze in the fresh water tank and ran each faucet and shower in and out until pink. Ran a little pink into black tank via toilet. Turned off pump and removed water filter container. We still need to drain hwh and don’t have a socket the size of the anode rod. Does anyone know the size before I go to hardware store? Also what else did I miss? And is that the best way to drain the hwh?

    My son took my battery to autozone and it had a bad cell. So he bought another. But I couldn’t lower the roof until it was attached even w shore power. Is that normal? Also do I want to disconnect the negative wire to keep it from draining? Or remove and put inside and charge once or twice this winter?

    I've thrown my back out trying to push the slides in. Maybe they need to be lubricated? I sprayed some wd40 but I don’t think that’s enough. Suggestions?

    So after all this winterization what if I want to camp? I do live in north Georgia…. It’s mostly above freezing here but we do get below here some nights. Do I really need to winterize with the antifreeze if our below 32° nights are sporadic? I’m guessing so. But there are only a few nights a year that we have to leave the spigots dripping.

    How do we still camp lol? I would like to still use the toilet at least? Feels silly to park this until spring!

    Thanks!
     
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  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . For some electric lift systems it is common to still need a battery hooked even if your on shore power. In regards to battery storage, this depends if your camper is in the garage or not. If it’s in the garage where it’s less likely to get below freezing you can get away with leaving it on the camper. Although I personally would still disconnect the negative and use an external charger vrs trusting the camper. If there is a risk of freezing weather I would bring it in. Honestly I don’t know what other Georgians do when it comes to winterizing, but I think you may be OK to just drain your tanks and not bother with full winterizing process if your only looking at a few cold spells and most temps are still above freezing. Now if you see extended cold weather that’s when you could winterize. Unfortunately any freezing weather could potentially freeze lines. So finding a way to at the very least blow the lines out would be ideal.
     
  3. Meldew

    Meldew Member

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    Thank you for answering…. I’m sure these questions get repetitive!

    no it will be outdoors. So if I get a (hopefully cheap) air compressor I could use the camper then on return blow the lines out (that’s a whole other subject I’ll need to research!) and gtg? Nice to not have to mess w antifreeze.
     
  4. Meldew

    Meldew Member

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    Also I read someone unplugged their fridge…. Not sure how to do that.

    and what about the city water inlet? Tried to pour antifreeze in it but that didn’t work out. So that probably still has water in it.
     
  5. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    You can buy a hand pump for putting antifreeze in the system via the city water port. In the meantime, push the check valve in the port with your finger and see if water or antifreeze comes out. You should have antifreeze there since you filled the system with the water pump.
     
  6. theseus

    theseus Living the Darkside...

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    If you put antifreeze in your tanks and then pumped it through the system and every faucet and drain (including the outside shower), you should be good. As @xxxapache says push the check valve on the city water with your finger when you are pumped up to pressure and some antifreeze will come out.

    I used to live in the Winder, GA area, so I have some idea of what you are talking about with the weather. The thing is it takes only one good cold spell into the teens and you might have to replumb parts of the trailer. That's why we winterize. I onced camped at Fort Yargo SP in 20 degree weather. I had to sling ice from the city water hose in the morning as it was solid.

    My family would leave antifreeze in the tank and if we used city water on a late fall trip, just rewinterize from the water tank before we left.
     
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  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    As long as you have drained all the lines with the low point drains, you should be good. We prefer using a compressor (they also make an attachment for a bike pump) to blow them out, but we just drained them on our last trip, when temps headed way lower than expected.
    We don't put anti=freeze in the fresh tank - it won't hurt it, but you will have to do extra rinsing when you de-winterize, sanitize and flush the system in the spring. For future reference, there is an intake adapter that goes on the water pump, so you can draw directly from the jug and use the water pump to move it through the system. (Our small TT had it as one of the standard options, or we would have put one on ourselves,)Here's one example: https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-CONV...636382763&sprefix=rv+pump+anti,aps,230&sr=8-3
    Although we did not add anti-freeze on our trip last month, for the winter, here in the high desert, we do not depend on blowing out the system, Some do, in places where it doesn't get too cold. We usually have at least one week where the lows are in the 8-19* range, sometimes lower, so we're not going to chance it.
     
  8. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    If you have the water pump turned on and then push in the check valve (with a small rod/chopstick) at the city water connection the pump will push out the antifreeze. As for the water heater you can remove the lower hose connection and then lift up the lever on the relief valve on the outside and the water will drain ....... you will have to catch it!
     
  9. LilRed

    LilRed Well-Known Member

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    The plumbing is fairly straight forward - the city water inlet is tee'd at the pump output, where the pump is the check valve to prevent backfilling the freshwater tank. So putting antifreeze in the pump should include the city inlet areas of concern, but a bit of air in the city intake will ensure it's clear (just blow with your lungs on a clean hose while the low point drain is open if you don't have a compressor). On my HW I found a nice factory intake valve just past the fresh tank that worked well to suck up the antifreeze vs using the fresh tank. Before you flush the lines with antifreeze, you should remove the carbon filter, they don't like the boozy mixture, but should be replaced yearly anyway

    As for the anode rod, I've only had luck using an adjustable wrench to loosen, then remove by hand thereafter, but I think it's a 1 1/16" hex.

    Slide lube is your friend. Haven't had trouble with myslide out yet, but the inside front panel edge on the dinette can be removed to access the rails for lubrication.

    Once you winterize, the toilet is out of commission without re-winterizing again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
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  10. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Winter is the perfect time to recover the cushions and build forts.. :D

    Can't help with the size of wrench you need, most RV dealers will carry the proper size (specialty tool= expensive but you could look at one and get the size from that) then go and buy one at your local favoriter tool store.. As for the rest.. sounds good.. I only run pink in my lines, have never blown them out.

    If the battery was fully charged (doubtful as shops rarely keep the batteries charged sitting on the shelf) the battery should have been able to operate the roof easily.. Did your son get a Deep Cycle battery? I live where we get snow in another week from now and its on the ground until mid-late April, so I remove the battery, and cycle it through on the battery charger every couple weeks for a couple days, its stored in an unheated garage.

    Sounds like it needs lube.. Best is a dry film lube, like a silicon spray (like the silicon spray made by the wd40 folks) or dry graphite spray (dry graphite will stain anything it comes in contact with, so you need to take care while spraying)

    I know people in Ontario (Canada, not Cali) who winter camp.. some dewinterize and rewinterize every weekend (they have things down to a science and complete the task in about 20 minutes) and others forgo using the water system and carry water in aquatainers to use, they just use a pitcher of water to flush the toilet.. then all they have to do after draining their tanks (black and grey) is pour pink down the drains and toilet.

    Answered above..
     
  11. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Use caution when doing this.. if there is residual pressure in the water system or the pump is turned on, you WILL roll the oring on the plunger you push and the connection will leak whenever you turn the pump on... Not a big deal to fix, just a PITA to get access sometimes.
     
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  12. vagov

    vagov Well-Known Member

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    Not sure on your size hot water tank, mine is a suburban. 6 gallon. They usually takes a 1-1/8 or 1-1/16 socket
     
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  13. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Un-Supported Member

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    Just setup at a campsite. Pulled out and measured my spare anode and socket. Both measure 1 1/16".
     
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  14. Dave Fro

    Dave Fro New Member

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    How do you fix it if it does roll? Where would the leaking show up? Would it look like leaking just inside the trailer where the check valve connects to the internal plumbing? This may have happened to me, there was not much pressure left in the system, but i did see a leak inside the trailer right at the check valve. It looked like it was the cold water to the sink connection where it was leaking. So how do i unroll the oring?
     
  15. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    Vernier Calipers (for measuring the size of your anode bolt) are available from Harbor Freight for under $10, and will be generally useful in your garage's suite of tools.

    The anode is typically removed with a large socket. I have a 1/2" drive socket set also from Harbor Freight that came with a socked of the appropriate size for my anode. There's more than one size out there. So just getting a socket set that spans a range of anode sizes ought to be enough.

    Get that water heater winterized ASAP. Freezing the water heater is an expensive repair bil.
     
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  16. Meldew

    Meldew Member

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    what does the check valve look like? I haven't noticed it. Can google I guess!
     
  17. Meldew

    Meldew Member

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    As long as you have drained all the lines with the low point drains, you should be good. We prefer using a compressor (they also make an attachment for a bike pump) to blow them out, but we just drained them on our last trip, when temps headed way lower than expected.

    Where would we hook up the compressor/bike pump attachment? to the city water intake?

    We don't put anti=freeze in the fresh tank - it won't hurt it, but you will have to do extra rinsing when you de-winterize, sanitize and flush the system in the spring. For future reference, there is an intake adapter that goes on the water pump, so you can draw directly from the jug and use the water pump to move it through the system. (Our small TT had it as one of the standard options, or we would have put one on ourselves,)Here's one example: https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-CONVERTER-System-Antifreeze-Converter/dp/B01KR7D16A/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3OTTTWHLUJUT8&keywords=rv+pump+antifreeze+kit&qid=1636382763&sprefix=rv+pump+anti,aps,230&sr=8-3


    I'm not sure where the intake adapter would connect to the water pump? The pump is in an unknown (to me) location lol. I know where the switch is inside...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
  18. Meldew

    Meldew Member

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    OK so I need to plug in to shore power (next time?) and press a check valve - is that the little covered outlet below the city water intake?

    Water heater - this is inside the dinette. I'm not sure what the lever on the relief valve is outside but I can guess... the label seems to have weathered. Does is drain inside the dinette?
     
  19. Meldew

    Meldew Member

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    The plumbing is fairly straight forward - the city water inlet is tee'd at the pump output, where the pump is the check valve to prevent backfilling the freshwater tank. So putting antifreeze in the pump should include the city inlet areas of concern, but a bit of air in the city intake will ensure it's clear (just blow with your lungs on a clean hose while the low point drain is open if you don't have a compressor). On my HW I found a nice factory intake valve just past the fresh tank that worked well to suck up the antifreeze vs using the fresh tank. Before you flush the lines with antifreeze, you should remove the carbon filter, they don't like the boozy mixture, but should be replaced yearly anyway

    I did remove carbon filter - earlier when we bought it. So there was just the filter housing, now full of antifreeze. I'm guessing I need to have this there to maintain the pipe flow or water would spill into cabinet. Or is there a way to bypass the water filter with the pink stuff?

    Did you find this intake valve under the camper? I'm so confused lol

    As for the anode rod, I've only had luck using an adjustable wrench to loosen, then remove by hand thereafter, but I think it's a 1 1/16" hex.

    Yes I bought a 1 1/16" socket and it fits. Now I don't have the socket driver in the 1/2" size.

    Slide lube is your friend. Haven't had trouble with myslide out yet, but the inside front panel edge on the dinette can be removed to access the rails for lubrication.

    I will look at/get this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
  20. Meldew

    Meldew Member

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    If the battery was fully charged (doubtful as shops rarely keep the batteries charged sitting on the shelf) the battery should have been able to operate the roof easily.. Did your son get a Deep Cycle battery? I live where we get snow in another week from now and its on the ground until mid-late April, so I remove the battery, and cycle it through on the battery charger every couple weeks for a couple days, its stored in an unheated garage.

    I have no idea unfortunately! I didn't want him to buy one as I know you guys have reasons for the particular ones you recommend, but I guess he was wanting to do me a favor.... It is in the case but I will look. However at this point it is what it is. I will bring into mudroom and charge intermittently this winter.




    Sounds like it needs lube.. Best is a dry film lube, like a silicon spray (like the silicon spray made by the wd40 folks) or dry graphite spray (dry graphite will stain anything it comes in contact with, so you need to take care while spraying)

    OK I did try a wd40 type and it didn't help much. Maybe I am not putting enough or something.

    I know people in Ontario (Canada, not Cali) who winter camp.. some dewinterize and rewinterize every weekend (they have things down to a science and complete the task in about 20 minutes) and others forgo using the water system and carry water in aquatainers to use, they just use a pitcher of water to flush the toilet.. then all they have to do after draining their tanks (black and grey) is pour pink down the drains and toilet.


    well that's an idea - bring water and dump into toilet. then only flush/antifreeze black tank!
     

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