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Old 10-26-2007, 11:41 AM   #1
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Northeast winterizing...

Do you folks prefer the wet or dry method? Looks like our first freeze will be here this weekend and I want to get it done asap. I know Lowes sells the RV Antifreeze or I might try Wal-Mart.

I read the PDF file on this site, THANK YOU for that.

Just wondering what is the best way to go. I will check out campers world about getting an AC cover and then I guess I'm good to go. I do have access to a air compressor and there is a dump station not to far from home for me to really clean out the black tank. For some reason the gauge always shows we have some water in there, paper hung up maybe?

Thanks folks. Our Sunline saved the day this year and we got to take it out to Idaho from NY and then back out to Indiana. Learned some along the way but still have a lot to learna and you all sure helped take some off the learning curve.

Billy & Tedi
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:08 PM   #2
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:08 PM   #3
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Hi Billy,

There’s a few other topics going on about winterizing, check these out:

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/ph...pic.php?t=1304
http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/ph...pic.php?t=1291

I prefer both dry and wet. Added protection here in the NE plus I don't want to take chances, we have too much $ tied up in it to take a chance.

Here’s what I do for winterizing:

To winterize the water lines I:
Drain water out using low point drains.
Blow out water lines using a compressor set at 30-35 PSI connected to the city water intake, making sure the HW tank is completely drained.
Bypass the HW tank
Pump antifreeze through the lines by attaching a hose to the input side of the water pump and using the water pump to siphon antifreeze out of the bottles into the lines.
Run the pump with all faucets closed until it stops.
Then I open each faucet until antifreeze comes out, including:
  • Kitchen Sink – Hot & Cold
    Bath Sink – Hot & Cold
    Shower – Hot & Cold
    Toilet
    Toilet Sprayer
    Outside Shower – Hot & Cold.
Then I dump some extra antifreeze down each drain to make sure the traps are filled with antifreeze and make sure there's enough antifreeze in the toilet bowel so the seals don't dry out.
I use less then 2 gallons of antifreeze.


For the exterior Furnace, Refrigerator, & Hot Water Compartments:
I put moth balls in them (keeps spiders out)
For the furnace I put steal wool wrapped in a sandwich bag in the exhaust opening.
Cover compartments using heavy garbage bags.


For other exterior Openings, such as drain pipes, electrical cord, etc. I also put steal wool wrapped in a sandwich bag. Keeps mice & other rodents from getting in, the sandwich bag protects from rusting from the steal wool getting on everything.


cover the roof A/C.


Wrt your gauges not working properly. I had the same problem with the gray tank on our previous Sunline. We always used a tank wand as Jon mentioned on the black tank so we never had a problem with those gauges. Once I installed a Tornado flush kit in both the Black & Gray tanks, the gray tank gauges started working fine. The flush keep the sensors good and clean. So when we got our new Sunline, one of the first things I installed was the Tornado Flush kit on both gray tanks, and the gauges have always worked find.

Hope this helps.
Hutch
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:19 PM   #4
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I do both the dry and wet methods of winterizing the water system. That totally prevents the possibility of any part of the system ending up with diluted antifreeze in it.

Another thing to consider:

With my first trailer (a '76 Prowler) that had a refrigerator, I made the mistake of leaving the fridge and freeaer doors closed all winter. When I went to get the trailer ready for camping, I discovered that a whole bunch of mold and mildew had moved in and set up housekeeping in both sections. It wasn't terribly difficult to clean out, but it was annoying.

Someone posted on the old usenet RV group years ago that the trick there was to prop your fridge and freezer doors open just an inch or so and you won't have the mold and mildew problem.

I feed a piece of 1//4" tubing into the door hinge so that neither door can close all the way. Then I take small bungee cords and hook the doors to the racks inside so that they only intrude into the room by a couple of inches. That way, I can still walk through the trailer without having a door jump out in front of me.

I do this even in warm weather when I know the trailer won't be used for several weeks or longer. Mold grows faster in warm conditions.

Also, living in the country, we can have year round mouse problems. So I keep several mouse baits (D-Con) in the trailer in places that can not be reached by dogs or small children. Yeah, I know this means I might find a dead mouse, but that is rare because the D-Con creates a huge thirst and they will exit the trailer in search of water. That's where they typically die.

Also, I keep ant traps in the same places as the D-Con.

I have not had any ant or mouse problems in 4 or 5 years now so my system appears to be effective.

I know it has been mentioned in other threads, but it is a very good idea to pull your battery (or batteries) and store them in a warmer area. A cool basement is OK because all you want to do is prevent them from freezing. If a lead acid battery freezes for a long period of time, that will kill its chemical ability to hold a charge.

It is a good idea to put a trickle charger on the battery about once a month while in storage.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:57 PM   #5
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In another thread, someone mentioned using 'Bounce dryer sheets' instead of moth balls. I seam to recall that it needed to be Bounce, not generic brand.

I have heard moth balls can leave an odor if you are not careful. This will be my first experience with winter, so I cannot contribute from experience, just what I have read so far....


David
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partimcmpr
In another thread, someone mentioned using 'Bounce dryer sheets' instead of moth balls. I seam to recall that it needed to be Bounce, not generic brand.

I have heard moth balls can leave an odor if you are not careful. This will be my first experience with winter, so I cannot contribute from experience, just what I have read so far....


David
David,

I've used Bounce sheets for a number of years with no problems. They leave no offensive odor. We used to use moth balls, but the Bounce sheets are so much easier to put in the trailer.

Jon
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partimcmpr
I have heard moth balls can leave an odor if you are not careful.
I only use the moth balls in the outside furnace, HW tank, and refrigerator accesses. I would definitely NOT recommend the use of moth balls inside the trailer. I’ve used moth balls outside for over 10 years to protect from spiders creating a web in the LP orifices. Never heard of Bounce dryer sheets doing the same thing - that's interesting. I might have to try that this year.

Only once did I have a problem with a spider web in the orifice of the water heater. It wasn’t a pretty sight when I started up the HW tank in the spring. Flames shooting out all over the place .

We store all our trailer linens and towels in a crate with a few bounce dryer sheets and store the crates in the trailer for the winter. That keeps them fresh smelling over the winter .

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Old 10-26-2007, 07:27 PM   #8
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I do both the wet and dry and here are my reasons as everyone uses water in their camper different.

On the return of each camping trip I blow out the entire TT with 40psi air that is double filtered and also drain the fresh tank totally. I do this for micro concerns. There are 2 schools of thought on leaving water in a camper after a camping trip and I follow the drain it method. And I purge the pump as there is always at least a Dixie cup full that comes out of it. I have made up a special blow out system to blow from the exit of the pump all the way out the rest of the TT. This works best on my T2499 layout as the city water connection will leave the pump discharge pipe, about 4 feet of pipe full before the 1st tee to the shower faucet.

So my TT is now dry. When I winterize, I do the antifreeze as there is still some trace water left in the pump. And some trace water left in the pipes that did not 100% blow out.

I know that if you do the blow out method and some trace water is left, that leaving the faucet open should help if a freeze occurs to help let the pressure out. However for me, tracking down a cracked fitting come spring from a miss, is something I just do not want to deal with.

I know some do just the dry method and have had no issues. And that is great for them. However what has cautioned me on the camper is from winterizing our mobile homes that we used for seasonal help on the farm. I was the one to blow out the trailer and I was the one that come spring would find out how good a job I did, or did not do. I have soldered many 3/8” copper tubes when I had a miss. I know a mobile home if different then a RV, but the memories last a life time.

Also come spring, I sanitize the system. I blow out the antifreeze first then sanitize. Even if I did the dry method I would still sanitize. So the time come spring is the same for me wet or dry to get the camper back to drinking water quality.

Hope this helps

John
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