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Old 11-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #1
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Double check my winterizing procedure???

This is my first year winterizing a trailer. I've read many posts on this site and it seems like winterizing is some sort of religion. Everybody does it a little differently, and no two methods are exactly alike. Here is what I have gathered so far.

1. Drain fresh water tank, black and grey tanks, hot water heater.
2. Bypass the water heater.
3. Put some pink antifreeze in the fresh water tank. I don't think I have the bypass system.
4. Pump it through all the lines until a bit comes out.
5. Put some in the traps.
6. Remove battery, turn off propane, remove foods, open fridge, etc.

Does this sound about right?

I don't have an air compressor, or a blow out plug. I do have a shop vac, should I use that to blow some water out?

My local RV dealer said I didn't need to have antifreeze in the hot water heater, that sounded odd to me?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Keith
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
1. Drain fresh water tank, black and grey tanks, hot water heater.
2. Bypass the water heater.
So far so good.
Quote:
3. Put some pink antifreeze in the fresh water tank. I don't think I have the bypass system.
Look for a three way valve in the tank to pump line, very close to the water pump. There will be a piece of hose approx. 3' long on one side of the tee valve. If that is there you have a winterizing kit, if not continue as you have started. If you do have the kit, place the tube in your bottle of antifreeze, 1/4 turn the valve, and turn on the pump. It will draw the antifreeze out of the bottle.

Quote:
4. Pump it through all the lines until a bit comes out.
5. Put some in the traps.
6. Remove battery, turn off propane, remove foods, open fridge, etc
Still good

Quote:
I don't have an air compressor, or a blow out plug. I do have a shop vac, should I use that to blow some water out?
For about $30 you can get a automotive 12v air pump and the blow out plug. It isn't necessary to blow the lines out, but it does save on antifreeze. Just make sure you don't exceed 40 psi on the H2O system.
The shop vac will be hard to adapt to the H2O connection.

Quote:
My local RV dealer said I didn't need to have antifreeze in the hot water heater, that sounded odd to me?
If you have a bypass and drained it down it will not require antifreeze. There is enough room for expansion that the little bit of water that remains won't hurt the tank. It is the water confined in the lines that will expand and break stuff as it freezes. If you don't have a bypass, it will fill with anti-freeze when you turn the pump on, it will require about eight gallons of anti-freeze, vs. two if it's bypassed.

Quote:
Any other suggestions?
I've had very good sucess with placing Bounce dryer sheets into the h2o heater compartment, furnace compartment, outside refrig compartment, and in all compartments inside. No bugs or rodents for three winters!!
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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Hi Keith,
I would not put antifreeze in the fresh water tank. If your pump has a bypass antifreeze intake it will have a 2 ft. length of clear plastic tubing attached to a valve attached to the inlet hose. If your pump does not have a winterizing kit, buy this one from CW--it's even on sale:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...rizer-kit/6279

Using this intake, 2 gal. of antifreeze is all you need to do a typical RV. Karen helps by watching the jug drain so I don't suck air into the system before attaching the second jug.

I don't think a shop vac will generate a worthwhile amount of pressure. I used one of these adapters for the first time this year:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...out-hose/38534

and it works very well and keeps the antifreeze from being diluted. Before that I just used the antifreeze to pump out the water--just make sure it's good and pink before shutting off each faucet--and still got by with just 2 gal.

You should also open the low point drains--if you don't have the manual look for two short pieces of tubing sticking through the floor and hanging down somewhere along the circumference where there is plumbing--and then close them again before pumping in the antifreeze. My low points are in the bathroom cabinet. They're easy to find from inside too if you follow the plumbing and look for a hot and cold valve somewhere that obviously isn't meant for anything else.

The hot water heater does not need and should not have antifreeze added to it--it's hard to drain out in spring and can add a bad smell after even a residue is heated up. The HWH is a horizontal cylinder--once it is drained there is no way the remaining water freezing can break the tank because it simply expands up the radius as it freezes. If you're worried about critters, put the drain plug back in one turn.

Last thing is to open all the faucets. I do this at home too if we head south in the winter. Pipes only break if the expanding freezing water doesn't have anywhere to go. A good washerless faucet will seal so tightly, the pipe will break before the faucet leaks.

Oh, one more last thing: don't forget what you did, so you can undo it all in spring.

Check the winterizing video from one of Good Sam's top rated RV dealers:
http://www.pontiacrv.com/rv-service.aspx

Henry
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:56 PM   #4
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I checked and I don't have the winterizing kit for the water pump. I'll check with my local dealer tomorrow and see if I can get one.

I wanted to winterize before thanksgiving so that I can go away for a few days and not worry about an inconvenient freeze while nobody was home.

I think I'll skip the blowout this time, but I will try the bounce sheets.

Thanks so much for the replies, I think I understand what to do now.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:58 PM   #5
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I put several ant traps and d-Con mouse baits in the trailer. If the mice eat the bait, they seek water (makes 'em powerful thirsty) and since there is no water to drink in the trailer, they exit and seek it elsewhere so they won't die in the trailer. I place the baits in places that the dog won't get to in the spring. Remove a drawer and place below on the floor. I put one in the shore line compartment, too. Some folks use the sticky traps. Those are good too, but remember where they are so you can remove them (and their contents) later on.

The shop-vac is handy for blowing out the drain traps in the sinks and showers before pouring a little antifreeze in them. Less dilution issues and less pink stuff needed. If you don't have one, not a problem, just pour enough antifreeze in each trap to insure minimal dilution.

Make sure you drain your gray and black tanks again after this. You can't be sure that the water and pink stuff that gets there is the right mixture not to freeze and damage your valves. If you cleaned them pretty good before winterizing, what little liquid you get won't be too messy.

As Mac said, the problem is water freezing in confined spaces like pipes, toilet valves, etc. When it expands, it breaks things. If you either replace it with antifreeze, or remove the confinement, you've pretty much solved the problem. Leaving some water in the bottom of the water heater isn't an issue as the water has plenty of room to expand without pressing against the sides of the heater tank.

When running in the pink stuff, make sure it runs solid pink at each faucet, both hot and cold. If it's weak in color, it may not be enough to prevent freezing (dilution issues.) Don't forget the outside shower...

Open the drain on the fresh water tank, and leave it open for the winter when you are done with everything else.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:40 AM   #6
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ARGH! Another issue:

I got my winterizing kit and installed it OK. My local dealer even matched the online sale price from campingworld. However, when I bypassed the hot water heater and drained it, the water pump kept running a little bit off and on. I think one of the bypass values must be leaking into the heater a bit? I guess I should replace the values and try again?
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:03 AM   #7
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Hi kkeduda

See if this helps

As far as the winterizing goes, if you pumped enough anti freeze thru each faucet, and every faucet,( toilet, sprayer, outside shower, etc. then the pressurized system is treated. So if you made it this far then life is good from a freeze protection stand point.

Now to the pink stuff getting into the HWH. That may be a different issue.

There are 2 basics types of bypass kits. There may be a 3rd variation too but these 2 are the largest ones in use I have seen.

The simple one, uses qty1, 3 way valve, see here, this is what Sunline put on from the factory in 2004, at least in my T2499 and T310






There is one 3 way valve on the bottom on the fill port of the HWH. Flip it and water from the pump, bypasses the HWH heater fill port, goes up, is suppose to stop at that brass check valve on the top of the HWH outlet and then goes off to the HW faucets.

This type works well when that check valve up top seats to positive shut off. Until it does, antifreeze sneaks back in the HWH from the exit port. If this is the type you have, that top check valve most likely is there from Sunline and not seating and has nothing to do with the bypass kit not working. It is leaking back thru that valve. They get calcium and other debri in them and then they do not seat 100%. Maybe 98% ,maybe 90%

The 2nd type of kit uses qty 2, 3 way valves. One on the bottom like in my pic and one on top. That type does not leak back unless the actual valve itself blows thru which is more remote.


Which type do you have?

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #8
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I really wasn't expecting any replies on thanksgiving day, but thanks anyway.

I have the type with 2 values. They are brass valves similiar to this:


[/url]http://www.pacificrvparts.com/ProductDetail.asp?ProductID=31711&StoreID=11&Depar tmentID=14&CategoryID=509[url]

I haven't done the antifreeze at all yet, I was going to empty the HWH first. As I began to do that I noticed the water pump running off and on. It just runs a bit, intermittently, so I assume there is some small amount of water leaking into it, so the pump continues to run and try to keep up the pressure.

It's not like water is pouring back in the heater, but I assumed it would be a complete shutoff. Maybe I should just change the two brass valves?

Thanks again, sorry if I didn't do the link correctly, I don't think it is correct
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:12 AM   #9
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OK you have the 2 valve Camco kit

http://www.pacificrvparts.com/Produc...CategoryID=509

The only thing you did wrong with your link is the url command. It needs starts with ""and ends with "" and no spaces, a space bar will break the command. You had them flipped. I used quotes so the thing would not try to post something with me typing it

Now I know what you have. What I do not know is if those Camco valves are 100% bubble tight shut off. They may by design leak a little. But then again, they use the same brass valve “I think” on there pump winterizing kit and it has to shut off or it will suck air in. You may have 1 valve that leaks a little.

If they are designed to drip a little between the 3 way selection, then that is what it is. I have one of them in the shed but do not remember them having any seal inside them per say to create a 100% tight shut off. The plastic Flairit ones Sunline uses do shut off 100% as I have them as my low point drain.

Maybe someone else who has Camco brand one will chime in and can tell if theirs has a small leak or not.

The leak itself is not a show stopper as long as it is not a gusher in this case. You are going to loose maybe a pint or quart of liquid. Ideally the thing shuts off, but mine leaked thru the check valve the 1st year I used it when the camper was new. And or it leaked until the check valve set in position and finally shut up. There was still about 1 quart in there.

If you get antifreeze in the HWH heater, come spring, use a thin rinse nozzle and go up in the drain hole and flush it all out good before pumping it thru the camper. I do the flush anyway to get scale build up out.

If you really do not want any left in there over the winter, use a small hose and siphon it out the drain hole. The Atwood will leave 1 quart of liquid in the heater unless you use an air blow out. And even then there is always a film or a few ounces that does not come out.

Hope this helps. I do not know for sure if that style valve is suppose to 100% shut off. Not all 3 way valves do. Some do, some don't. They are more of a selector valve, not an end of line shut off.

John
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:32 AM   #10
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So if i pump the antifreeze though, then turn off the pump, it won't continue to leak into the HWH? I just don't want to lose my antifreeze from the pipes...

I think I would still like to replace them with ones that are 100%...
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:38 PM   #11
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If one of the valves has a small leak, it will only drip down to a certain level. The water line will still have 98% full of antifreeze in them. Since you purge long enough to get a good concentration in the system, it does not matter if some leaks once purged.

You really have to work at it t actually drain the system dry...

Yes Ideally, the valves shut off but it is not the end of all good things if they have a slight drip inside the pipe in this case as long as they do not leak at the valve stem and out into the camper. If they leak to the camper, they got to go…

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

John
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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If you completely fill the system with antifreeze, and then some of it leaks away through a valve or whatever, it can not harm the system.

What breaks pipes and valves and pumps is water in a confined space when it expands as it freezes. If you have removed all the water by blow-out and then by antifreeze replacement, even if the system then drains dry, there is no way that cold weather alone can damage your water system.

The basic principle is to get all the water out to prevent damage by the expansion of water as it freezes. Once the water is completely removed, the presence or absence of the antifreeze does not matter.

The exception, as John said above: a little water in the bottom of the HWH is not a problem as it has plenty of expansion space. I leave my plug out for the winter. Some folks put it in place with a single turn so it it very loose. Either way works.

I will let you in on a little secret. Sunline didn't always ship trailers with water systems full of antifreeze. We took delivery of ours in February (usually the coldest month up here) and when I de-winterized in April, I only got maybe a cup or two of pink. What they did was to pump the system full of antifreeze, and then drain it. That way, they saved a few dollars on antifreeze yet totally protected the water systems.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:42 AM   #13
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Everything seems to have gone well. I drained and winterized, with no noticeable leaks into the hot water heater due tothe bypass valve leak. I used a little under 2 gallons of antifreeze.

Do people save and reuse the antifreeeze next year, or just discard it? i would guess its somewhat diluted from any leftover water...

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:57 AM   #14
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My opinion about reuse:I don't bother. Two gal of pink stuff around here is around $10. It isn't worth the hastle to try to catch what is in the lines, about 3/4 gal on my trailer. The rest is in the drains and I wouldn't want to try to recover that.

If you didn't blow the lines out with air, I would not reuse, as you said it could be diluted and I wouldn't gamble on that. $10 for new is very cheap insurance.

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Old 11-30-2009, 04:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkeduda
Everything seems to have gone well. I drained and winterized, with no noticeable leaks into the hot water heater due tothe bypass valve leak. I used a little under 2 gallons of antifreeze.

Do people save and reuse the antifreeeze next year, or just discard it? i would guess its somewhat diluted from any leftover water...

Thanks for the help.
If you think any of the antifreeze got into the HWH proper, just remember to flush well in spring as part of your de-winterize procedure. The only issue is one of taste/odor as the pink stuff is non-toxic.

I don't bother to save the pink stuff either. It's a lot less than $10 for 2 gallons around here, and just isn't worth the effort as it will get diluted with water when you flush it out. Best to start fresh every year.
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