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Old 12-19-2009, 09:07 PM   #1
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UGH forgot to winterize TT in time...

Yup frozen lines and drains, even have some in my gray and black tanks. I was supposed to take one more trip this year but life got in the way. Then with the mild fall early winter I kept putting it off. Well now I am paying for it. Worked on it today and first off which direction should the fresh water valve be turned for on and off, left or right? Obviously thats frozen, got the heater going and the drains finally sucked up the antifreeze. I'm leaving the heater on all night with the generator running and hopefully tomorrow morning I'll be able to get some pink stuff through the lines. Any tips or ideas, fire away. I think I'm going to get a couple more gallons of pink stuff to put in the gray and black tank to make sure the mix is high enough to keep it melted. Lesson learned, hoping and praying for now busted lines.

Thanks for any help, so far just a 2" dusting of snow at 11pm.

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Old 12-20-2009, 08:53 AM   #2
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Hi Medbill

Oh boy... Any tips on what to do? Well you are doing what I know. Heat up the inside of the camper, leave all cabinet doors etc open to let heat in and wait.

On the drains, I do not know for sure but this might help, add some pink stuff now even if traps are froze over. Between the heat from the furnace and the antifreeze it can help penetrate the frozen trap gently.

The water pump, pending location if it is safe to do, point a small fan forced heater towards the end cap where the water is on low. Do not try and turn on the pump until you absolutely know it is thawed out. As if not the motor running may tear apart the diaphragm. I do not know your camper well enough to know if there is space to do the heater trick. You will have to make that call but what ever you do not leave the camper when you have it on and feel for excess heat often in the area it is blowing. Keep it a good foot or more away anything. Even if it is 2 to 3 feet away it is getting more warmth then jsut letting the camper warm it

The hot water heater, if it was full, hopefully it is only crusted over inside. Iím thinking using the electric element may be gentler then the gas to help thaw it. Did you drain it the last you used it? If so then this one is not so bad and for sure do not turn on the electric unless it is full of something. Since the HW heaters are insulated even room heat will have a hard time thawing it out.

Actually a thought has come to mind. Do you have a buddy with an enclosed heated shop? Take the entire camper and put it in the heated building plus run electric heaters inside with doors etc open. Sort of thaw it out from outside in and inside out.

Gentle heat would be key. I would not attempt to take anything apart until it has time to thaw soften up other wise the plastic may crack for sure.

Good luck


The little fresh tank drain petcock, no I do not remember which way is which. I changed that dumb thing early on to a real valve.

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Old 12-20-2009, 09:07 AM   #3
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If the drain is the same as mine which is on the side of the unit (not below the floor), off is to the left. I would push the lever to the right to drain. I just went out to look.

I think the pump and water heater are the most sensitive. The pipes and drains are cheap to replace. I tried an experiment a couple of years ago. I mixed 75% pink stuff and 25% water to see when it would freeze. 20 was all it could handle so I know we need pretty much 100% pink to be safe. I don't think it's made to mix with water in the tanks or drains. I'll drain completely and plunge the drains before the pink is added. Of course after draining the water heater you need to by pass it before adding the pink stuff to the system.

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Old 12-20-2009, 10:45 AM   #4
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Add the valve in the toilet to the list of sensitive stuff. A long, long time ago, I made the same mistake and lost all the little plastic parts in the toilet valve. The expanding water broke everything in there.

The piping in that trailer ('76 Prowler) was all CPVC and it broke in several places. Luckily, that type of plumbing is easy to work on.

Today, trailers have PEX tubing. A little different to work with, but not difficult. The worst is having to shell out for the crimping tool. Last I knew, they were about $100.

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