Winterizing?

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by NorcrossFlyer, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Winterizing hasn't been difficult, the first couple of times took a bit longer. We now have a routine. We winterized in October, then used the city water lines on our Thanksgiving trip. When we got home, we drained the hot water tanks, drained the low points and blew it out. We have the handy-dandy hose on the water pump that draws the antifreeze out of the jug, which makes it easy.
     
  2. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    Yep, installed one of those myself.
     
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  3. NorcrossFlyer

    NorcrossFlyer Active Member

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    So with the extreme winter weather (by North Georgia standards) that came through recently I decided to winterize. As everyone here noted it was pretty easy. The water pump has a winterizing tube + the tank shut off valve already installed and easily accessible. One minor annoyance was getting to the hot water heater bypass. It is pretty far back in the storage area and I keep a lot of stuff in there. But overall I don't think it took 10 minutes.

    In the end it probably wasn't necessary. Since the camper was in my driveway (we were getting ready for a trip anyway) I kept a small cup of water exposed on the counter and even with temps dipping in to the mid 20's at night the water never even got close to freezing.

    In the future I will probably winterize when keeping it at the storage facility during January and February. It is during these months where there is the potential for lows to dip in to the 20's or even the teens on occasion with the day temps barely registering above freezing. Since the storage facility is 45 minutes away it would just be easier to do that when dropping it off there instead of worrying about heading up that way when the forecast calls for extreme cold weather.
     
  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    With the way our TT is set up, it's not as much the faucet and drains in the cabin that we worry about when the lows are above the mid-20s, but the lines exposed underneath. The water lines, low point drains, and such are open to the air under the trailer.
    We had a couple of nights in the teens over the last couple of weeks. The min/max thermometer showed the lowest it got inside was the upper 20s.
    When we took the winterizing seminar at our dealer's, they told us the point to worry about is 28*. I assume the time at that temp varies according to how exposed the lines are.
     
  5. BaysideJim

    BaysideJim Member

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    IMHO... its not the lines I worry about ... it is the water pump to protect that you have to pump AF thru the system
     
  6. davido

    davido Active Member

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    It doesn't take me long to winterize, but I never know if I'm doing it correctly (despite having read up on it).

    My steps:

    1. Buy several (three or four) gallons of RV antifreeze.
    2. Drain the Thetford toilet's holding tank, and its freshwater tank.
    3. Shift the water heater into bypass mode, and remove the anode to drain it.
    4. After assuring that the main freshwater tank is drained, blow out the water lines by turning on the faucets and applying pressurized air to the hose inlet.
    5. Remove the water filter.
    6. Pour 1/2 gallon fluid into the Thetford toilet's freshwater tank.
    7. Pour 3 gallons into the main freshwater tank.
    8. Turn on the water pump and run the faucets one at a time to purge remaining water and air, replacing them with RV antifreeze.
    9. Shift the water heater out of bypass mode, back into regular mode and run a hot water faucet. But only for 20 seconds -- long enough for a half gallon of RV antifreeze to find its way into the water heater. Then shut off the water pump, and shift the water heater back to bypass mode.
    10. Sweep the floor, clean up anything that has become dirty from a season of camping (this, in addition to typical post-trip cleanup).
    11. Wipe down the inside of the fridge with a Clorox wipe.
    12. Make sure all switches are off, including the thermostat (don't ask).
    13. Close the trailer up.
    14. Check the battery fluid levels.
    15. Leave the AC connected (my converter is good at keeping the batteries charged without boiling them off).
    16. Cover the trailer.
    17. Add my anti-theft deterrents.
    18. Get cleaned up in time for dinner.

    Anti-theft deterrents: Padlock on one of the roof latches, on the forward storage compartment's latch, on the bike cable used to prevent the propane tanks from walking off, a ball-lock on the coupler, and last but not least, a dish-shaped trailer jack wheel platter. The platter prevents the trailer from rolling while the tongue jack is down. This won't prevent theft, but will slow down malicious kids who might think it's fun to kick the chocks out from the wheels and watch the thing take off down my driveway.
     
  7. smit1088

    smit1088 Well-Known Member

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    Daivd,
    Nice list, but I don't know if it is necessary to let the antifreeze into the water heater and I prefer to use the water tank bypass to pump the antifreeze into the water system versus filling the freshwater tank with antifreeze. Both tanks will have more than enough expansion room when the remaining water will freeze and not hurt anything. You could probably do all your work with one gallon (I can do mine with 1/2 gal, but always buy 2) and not have to flush your fresh water tank or water heater as much in the spring. Not saying your way doesn't work, but flushing the freshwater tank of the antifreeze takes a few times. Might make spring easier.
     
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  8. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    +1
     
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We took the winterizing seminar our dealer holds each fall, where we learned the benefits of blowing out the system, and the intake kit on the water pump. Winterizing isn't complicated, but it did seem a little intimidating the first year, since we had only had the TT a few weeks.
    For our 17' TT, it takes a little less than a gallon of antifreeze. No need to put the antifreeze in freshwater tank, for which I am thankful. I sanitize it and the rest of the fresh water lines in the spring but glad I don't have to get pink rinsed out from the tank. (Sanitizing also rinses the pink from the lines and faucet.) No antifreeze in the drained hot water tank or waste tanks, except what flows into the gray and black tanks from the sink and toilet.
    I do end up adding more pink to the toilet during the winter, since we want to keep the seal from drying out. The other day, I added the seal conditioner too, it's compatible with the antifreeze. Blue + pink liquids make an interesting dark purple one, which turns into a gel as it evaporates. I also add some to the p-trap during the winter, for good measure. (If there's enough space to change to a HepVo, we'll be eliminating the p-trap when we replace the sink and faucet this winter.)
    In my reply above, I didn't mean to imply that I don't worry about the water pump, but given the location of ours, the lines running under the the trailer will freeze long before the water pump. I worry about the low point drains and connectors, etc. on the lines.
     
  10. davido

    davido Active Member

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    Thanks for this suggestion. I will probably install a kit that will allow me to fill the lines without filling the tank.

    However, putting a gallon in the bottom of the tank does have one additional benefit: The alcohol in the RV antifreeze keeps algea or mold or mildew from growing in the freshwater tank over the off-season months.
     
  11. smit1088

    smit1088 Well-Known Member

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    That is a fair argument to adding antifreeze to the tanks.
     
  12. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    Have never added antifreeze to my fresh water tank or water heater. The freshwater tank is 20 gallons, and I drain it so if the one ounce inside that remained freezes it will do no harm. And by bypassing the water heater and draining it, the half ounce that might remain will cause no problems.
    It takes me basically 3/4 gallon of antifreeze to fill the pump, lines to and from the sink and outside shower, and through the bypass hoses to the water heater.
    Spring comes, flush out the antifreeze and sanitize the tanks for a few days with bleach.
     
  13. Jane Favret

    Jane Favret Member

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    Could you please elaborate on what the intake kit is and how it works. TY!
     
  14. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    It installs between your water pump and water tank. Once installed, all you need to do to winterize is stick the suction tube in a bottle of antifreeze, flip the lever on the valve which changes the suction input from "tank" to "tube", and then run your faucets.

    We put one in before winterizing the first time and they are very convenient.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Camco-Pump-Converter-Winterizing-Kit-36543/205808441
     
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  15. PammyM

    PammyM Member

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    Does anyone have a photo of the pump converter kit below installed in their PUP? I bought a 5 year old PUP about 13 months ago, and had to replace the fresh water pump and sink plumbing that both were damaged due to improper winterizing from the previous owner (even though they said they never used the water after being freaked out when they saw the pink anti-freeze coming out of the sink). I'd prefer to just drain the fresh water tank and not have to fill it up with anit-freeze to get the antifreeze into the pump and waterlines, so I am guessing my options are to blow out the lines and remove the pump for the winter, or install one of these converters which I am guessing will only take a couple of minutes. Thanks! Pam


     
  16. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    That pic is from my Aliner. I have not installed the Camco kit in the new TT yet, but I have it and will do so as soon as I have the need.

    With kit installed it takes just a few minutes to blow out the lines and then pump RV anti-freeze through the plumbing. I winterize a few times a year, since we tend to use our campers in the winter, heading south to warmer weather where we'll de-winterize and then re-winterize on the way back up. No big deal once you get used to it.
     
  17. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I don't even blow out the lines, I just run the pink stuff through until the faucet runs pink (and the reverse in the spring). Our plumbing is very minimal though... just the sink, with plumbing lines a couple feet long.
     
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  18. PammyM

    PammyM Member

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    Thanks NHLAKES and tfischer. I also only have a sink. No toilet or shower. Do you know if this pump converter/adapter will fit all pumps? I have a Shurflo part 4008-101-A65 Pump. If I use this pump adapter, do I still need to add anti-freeze from the outside city water connection to the faucet? I would think I would need to so it protects that hose as well, but from a lot of notes, it seems like many say this is the only way they add anti-freeze to their PUP.
     
  19. PammyM

    PammyM Member

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    T
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  20. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    The pump will not pump antifreeze to the city water connection, which is why I blow mine out with air first.
     

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