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Old 11-03-2012, 07:34 AM   #1
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Winterizing my T-1700

Ok, so I need to winterize my camper for the first, but am not interested in using the chemicals. I have heard you can use an air compressor to blow out the lines. Anyone have any tips for this?

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Old 11-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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You can use air to blow out lines dont go over 25lbs. but still dump a little rv antifreeze down your sink drains and shower so the sink traps don't freeze. don't forget to drain the hot water heater.Remove battery put someplace warm.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:28 AM   #3
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You can use air to blow out lines dont go over 25lbs.
40#. I would also recommend pulling off the incoming line to your water pump and using a small cup or something, pour some antifreeze in there.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Keep in mind the principle that water freezing in a closed space will expand and probably break something. If there is sufficient air space to accommodate the expansion, the freezing will not break anything. So no matter what you do, you have to remove enough water to be sure that none remains in a space where it can break something.

Drain the fresh water tank first. Open a faucet and turn the pump on for a few seconds just until the sound changes. That will get 99% of the water out of the supply line and the pump. Pouring a bit of antifreeze in the pump is still advisable. I always left that little plastic drain open for the winter just in case some water was left in there.

Then switch the bypass on the hot water heater and drain the heater tank. What ever water is left in the bottom of the tank won't matter although some take the opportunity to vacuum out the tank to get any sediment that might be there. (Referring back to the first paragraph, a few cups of water on the floor of a 6 gallon tank or even your 25 gallon fresh water tank has plenty of room to expand without breaking anything.)

The years that I used just the air method, I hooked up the air adapter up to the city water inlet, set the compressor to about 40 pounds or so, and let it pressurize the water system. Then I went through the trailer and one at a time opened up each faucet and the low point drains until it stopped blowing even a fine mist of water. That includes the toilet flush mechanism. You need to get that really dry because the little plastic parts in there will break if even a small amount of water remains to freeze. I usually cycled through all the faucets and low point drains at least twice to be sure everything was dry.

There is no getting around pouring some antifreeze in the drain traps. You also want some pink to get down in the empty holding tanks so that it lays up against the drain valves for the winter. You could just blow out the drains with a shop vac, but then you have an open pipeline for tank odors back into the trailer which is probably not a good plan. Get enough in each drain to insure that the little bit of water that it displaces also has enough antifreeze in the tanks to avoid freezing.

FWIW, up here in the Adirondacks where winter temps can easily drop to 20 below F, I can't afford to trust just the air method. So I blow out and then fill the system with the RV antifreeze. I don't put the antifreeze in the fresh water tank which avoids a lot of the de-winterizing hassle. Standard de-winterizing includes a flush with some clorox so taste and odor are not a problem either. Just keep in mind that RV antifreeze is non-toxic and is easily flushed in the spring time.

Surprisingly, even though the Cougar is 36 feet long, the water system is all located in a fairly small area of the trailer except for the fresh water tank which pretty much self winterizes when I drain it. So it takes no more antifreeze to do this behemoth than it did the T-2453.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:20 PM   #5
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I’ll add to some of what is not yet said. I use the air blow method a lot. After every campout actually.

The topic of pressure came up. What is really needed is a high enough volume to push/blast the water out. Volume is doing the majority of the work. With most home type compressors you can only get volume with the higher pressures. 40 psi as mentioned allows the air tank on the compressor to have enough reserve to keep pushing. 25 psi can work but the volume has to be very high and most home types may never have fittings large enough to get a real high volume at the lower pressure.

My compressor may be larger then average as I run air tools off of it. I can run a ˝ impact with no sweat as well as an air powered cut off wheel that eats more air then the impact. If I had a very small compressor I would not attempt the blow out method. If you cannot get the volume to blast with, you sort of create a big wind but no push and the low volume air flows goes over the top of the water in valleys and water lays in the bottom of the pipe. So while you may have 40 psi, if when you start blowing the compressor cannot handle keeping that blow pressure constant, you may have one that is too small to be safe.

The city water connection was mentioned as a blow out source. I express caution on a big picture statement that that location will work well on every Sunline. It can work well on some, but not all. My T310SR is a prime example and my T2499 was another. On the T310, the city water connection is at the end of the water line run, same on the T2499. If I used it for the blow out I would have about 6 feet of pipe between the fresh water pump discharge and the main piping that would never get blown out. In both cases I changed the piping to allow me to blow out from the pump discharge forward. This allows me to clear out all the piping. Point in this: Check how your piping is arranged and make sure that some section of piping, like the pump discharge for example does not become a dead leg that is not blown out.

Also leave all faucets open to vent the system when you go into freezing temps after a blow out can help.

If you are second guessing you did a well enough job, Go back a day later and do it again. Odds are high if you have a small compressor that water was held in the pipes by capillary action. Basically water droplets stuck to the sides of the pipes that later fall free and then create a puddle in the pipe at the lowest spot. When you blow the 2nd day that slug of water most times then flies out.

The water pump, yes a complex area. Again I set mine up so I can blow through it and to remove the inlet strainer easily when I am done blowing so it will be able to help evaporate out any water in the strainer or up to the 1st check valve. This also allows me the ability to blow back down to the fresh tank to make sure that line is drained. Many campers this pump suction line may happen by gravity if the inlet hose is unhooked but again not all floor plans are the same. As was said, if you question this area, put some anti freeze in the pump or take the pump out for the winter and bring it in the house.

I blow out the traps then add anti freeze. I agree there is no way around this. I know I cannot get enough volume to clear the trap on air alone. There are vent stacks or vent flap valves in the camper that do not allow any pressure to build. So while I do blow it out, the trap still has a large puddle left in it. I also open up the tank valves and let the water/antifreeze mix drain out.

I’ll second the toilet valve and in my case the toilet sprayer. You really need volume at pressure to get that blown out.

There is risk to the blow out method. It can be done successfully, but check out your camper on how the piping is layed out to make sure you are blowing it all out. Come next spring if you missed a spot, it will rear it’s ugly head.

PS. I may be on the more extreme blow out end of the spectrum. I learned the hard way back on the farm when we had moble homes for hired help. They used copper tubing for the water lines. If you did not do an adequte job after the season when the homes where put up for winter, come next spring you had a mess. We had one real bad year, and after that you learned....
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:43 AM   #6
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If you know it is the last trip for the year drain every thing before you head home and leave the drain valves open as you drive the movement will get rid of most of the water.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:14 AM   #7
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If you know it is the last trip for the year drain every thing before you head home and leave the drain valves open as you drive the movement will get rid of most of the water.
I do this every trip. Dump the fresh water tank and water heater (leaving the plug out), open the low point drains and all the faucets and head home.
Here in the South, our camping season extends all year, so we camp Christmas, New Year's, Ground Hog Day, etc. BUT ... since we can experience a shot of really cold temps at anytime after Thanksgiving, I have to winterize and de- several times a year. That's why I use the combo blow out and antifreeze.
No such thing as a free lunch. All that work is the price I have to pay to camp in February. (Which, by the way, is a great time to visit southern beaches.)

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:55 AM   #8
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Hi all, and what about the battery, do you take your deep cell off the trailer and stow it in a warm space for the winter days when you're not using your rig?
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:53 AM   #9
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Hi all, and what about the battery, do you take your deep cell off the trailer and stow it in a warm space for the winter days when you're not using your rig?
I pull all of the batteries, 2 from the trailer, one from the boat and one from the garden tractor. They spend the winter in the basement and get trickle charged every once in a while.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:16 AM   #10
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Thanks Steve, I charge the batteries with my solar panel, so every once in awhile this winter I will do that.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
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Hi all, and what about the battery, do you take your deep cell off the trailer and stow it in a warm space for the winter days when you're not using your rig?
I agree with Steve, if you are not using the camper over the winter, best is to remove the battery, bring it inside, store above freezing, check the electrolyte is filled, recharge the battery up to 100%.

Next step is to keep it topped off in charge. There are several ways pending what you have.

1. Best is to apply a desulfating battery minder. Hook it up once fully charged and then leave it on the entire winter. VDC Electronics makes one, cost about $40.

2. Next best is a trickle charger that has a true float mode. Hook it up once fully charged and then leave it on the entire winter. Battery Tender brand makes them. They are good at keeping the battery charged however they do not offer desulfation.

3. Better is once a month hook up your conventional battery charger and top the battery off. Down sides are lack of desulfation and the battery drains down in charge from month to month.

4. Better than nothing, remove the battery and bring it inside and store in non freezing area until spring. It may or may not die over the winter pending the condition the battery was in. This method at least prevents a battery from freezing however it does not provide any longevity to the battery. A sooner death will come.

5. The worst is, to leave the battery out on the camper, no trickle charge or no battery minder, low electrolyte and then temperatures go below freezing. Pending the conditions this can kill a battery if the state of charge goes low and then the battery can freeze cracking the case, thus draining out the electrolyte.

In our situation we use the camper all winter. The batteries stay on the camper and hooked up to a VDC Battery minder 24/7 and the electrolyte is topped off. Since they are at 100% state of charge and desulfated, the electrolyte is stable and will not freeze with the temperatures we have in Ohio, which can go way below zero F, just not 30 plus below. I now do this on the tractor, lawn mower, the truck and my son in laws boat battery. They all live in an unheated un-insulated building. Wish I would of learned this a long time ago. Could of saved on lawn tractor batteries…
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:03 PM   #12
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If the battery goes dead it will freeze. If there is any chance take it out.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:58 PM   #13
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Same here. Mine came home too, but is quite low. I've charged it for a few hours (when I was out at the garage working), but I'm wondering if it's going. After all, it is the original battery that I got with it almost six years ago. The water is all up (I did check that), but the hydrometer wasn't liking it that much.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:45 AM   #14
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I'm hoping its not too late today. I realized the other day that I didn't KNOW if the previous owner had winterized while the T1850 was not being used for 5 years. So I have an appointment today with out local RV shop, Tarpley, and they will do the job for me. Unfortunately it was below freezing yesterday and today. Just warming up right now. Oh well, another lesson learned.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:33 AM   #15
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I am shopping the Battery minder and see that the 12v 1.33 amp is available at amazon for $43. but it states that its not for deep cell marine. Can you suggest one for me? How about this one, http://batteryminders.com/details.php?prod=12117
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:39 AM   #16
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BTw, I had my Saturn winterized and at the dealer they also fixed a broken toilet valve and installed a HWH bypass to save from putting 6 gallons on antifreeze in the HWH. Saturn is good to go, good to store, and ready for winter camping too. We just had a foot of snow and expect another big storm today, so in a few days I'll clean that snow off the trailer roof and keep her in good shape through the winter.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:40 PM   #17
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I am shopping the Battery minder and see that the 12v 1.33 amp is available at amazon for $43. but it states that its not for deep cell marine. Can you suggest one for me? How about this one, Batteryminders Specials | BatteryMinders.com
I would think you could buy one cheaper and just as good from a local auto parts store that would work for you and they actually have people there that you can talk to.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:02 PM   #18
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Photokit,

We have a deep cycle battery for our 2363 and bought this charger on JohnB's recommendation in an earlier thread:

BatteryMINDer Model 12117: 12 Volt 1.33 Amp (12V 1.33A) Charger/Maintainer/Desulfator for $42.54 on Amazon.com.

When you say that it's not recommended for deep cycle marine batteries, are you referring to this statement in the ad: "Maintain up to four 12 Volt standard, starting batteries (of similar type - in parallel). Amperage is divided evenly among connected batteries. (NOT recommended for deep cycle batteries)" We interpreted that statement to mean that, while you can maintain up to 4 12 Volt standard batteries in parallel on this minder, you should not do that with deep cycle batteries. In the reviews, people with deep cycle batteries are using this BatteryMINDer & the Product Description also indicates that it can be used with deep cycle. We only have one deep cycle battery for our Sunny and currently have that battery hooked up to the BatteryMINDer and it appears to be functioning properly.

Maybe JohnB or someone can shed some light on this one for us.

Wow, a foot of snow in CO! We just getting rain here in PA, depressing!
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:11 PM   #19
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Here ya go. $35 on sale

BatteryMINDer Charger/Maintainer/Desulfator — 1.3 Amp, 12 Volt, Model# 12117 | Battery Maintainers| Northern Tool + Equipment

I have 5 of these... Lots of batteries in lots of places.

Here is the tech data on them

Batteryminders Specials | BatteryMinders.com

There is a manual in that link too under manual.

The difference on these VDC Battery Minders Plus over a Battery Tender is the the VDC unit has a desulfate mode where the Battery Tenders only have charge and float. Not that a Battery Tender is not good, just they do not desulfate.

Do not know where you read these are not able to be used on lead acid batteries. See the product overview.

Hope this helps

John

Note: These are only maintainer chargers. If the battery is heavily discharged you should have it charged up first, then put the Battery Minder or other low current float charger on to maintain.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:27 PM   #20
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Hi Matthew, where are you seeing that statement?

I re-read the product overview 3 times and just did the manual and did not find it. Page 10 in the manual shows the 4 batteries in parallel. http://batteryminders.com/forms/manuals/plus_models.pdf

Kit,

They listed in several places for lead acid batteries. Or do you have a high end AGM battery by chance?

Quote:
BatteryMINDer® 12117 is a 2 stage charger/maintainer/desulfator that extends performance and life of 12 Volt sealed lead acid batteries including flooded (filler cap, maintenance-free, valve regulated lead-acid [VRLA], lead-acid [SLA]), starter, deep cycle and hybrid. It automatically dissolves harmful power-robbing sulfation using safe, low voltage, patented high-frequency pulse technology. Can be left connected for extended, non-use periods without overcharging. Not for gel or aviation batteries.
If still in question, They have a 1-800 tech service line and email. Batteryminders Specials | BatteryMinders.com

Hope this helps

John
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