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Old 09-12-2011, 07:16 AM
rayf01 rayf01 is offline
 
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Default Winterizing your holiday trailer

About what time do you guys start to winterize your holiday trailers? I just bought mine this year, and although the water tank is pretty much empty, I know my lines still have some water in them. I really want to go out camping yet in October, but I am wondering if I am pushing it.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:20 AM
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Justanotherbuck2 Justanotherbuck2 is offline
 
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In late season, I just don't use the water system anymore, not worth the risk of broken lines, I carry water and still use the toilet and such, drains are much larger and tend to stay hot, at the end of each trip I empty my grey and black tank and put RV antifreeze down each trap. I use mine year round this way. Including snowmobiling in Jan.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:35 AM
rayf01 rayf01 is offline
 
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Do you use the RV Antifreeze in your lines as well or just drain them out a best you can? Last guy had antifreeze in the lines and after a lot of flushing pre-season every now and then you get a taste of it.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:52 AM
fishmonger fishmonger is offline
 
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RV antifreeze works well, however its always a chore to get the stuff out of the lines every spring. Some may argue that there is no taste/residue, but I have a hard time ingesting all those chemicals.

My suggestion...find a small air compressor and blow out the lines. Make sure you empty the hot water tank and leave the drain plug out as well.

If you are thorough, its a better alternative to antifreeze in my opinion.

WARNING...do not just drain the lines.
WARNING...make sure ALL the stop valves are opened.
WARNING...make sure routing lines to your hot water tank are cleared of water as well.

Any residual water will find a low spot to pool and will freeze and bust your lines...

Good luck with whatever you decide...
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:53 AM
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HunterDave HunterDave is offline
 
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I have my trailer on a seasonal lot. When the weather starts to get too cold I drain the hot water tank and open all of the taps/shower and blow out the lines with my air compressor. Then I'll use the water pump to put in a couple of gallons of rv anti-freeze and turn the taps off individually when it runs pink (Don't forget the toilet). A cup down each trap and I'm done. Once I've done that I don't use the water system. I'll use the toilet a bit in the fall if I have to but as soon as it's cold enough I line the bowl with a bag and out it goes to freeze over night. I use my trailer during the winter and don't have any problem.

Unless you fill the hot water tank with antifreeze, it flushes out of the lines very quickly in the spring. If you forget to drain the hot water tank and you fill it with antifreeze then it'll be in the lines for a LONG time if you don't drain it out.

I should add, don't dump the antifreeze into your water tank to flush your lines. Take the hose off of the tank that supplies the water pump with water and add the antifreeze from there. That way you only have antifreeze in your lines and it'll flush out easy.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:05 AM
JB_AOL JB_AOL is offline
 
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A little known fact...
RV antifreeze has the same ingredients as regular ice cream...

In other words, it will not harm you at all (as long as you are not allergic to it). So aside from tasting bad, it's not a big deal..

Don't take the chance, once you get the winterizing routine down, it shouldn't take more than 10-15 mins. In other words, winterize now, then re-winterize later if you use the trailer again.

I don't know many people who blow out the water then add anti-freeze. It's either one or the other. I personally use antifreeze and just give it a good flush in the spring. Although we use bottled water for drinking & cooking water. You can use a bleach solution (then water flush) in the spring to get rid of the taste if you like.

My brother blows out his system. To me it seems like a bigger pain than it's worth. He removes his pump, and then blows out the system. But he still uses bottled water.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:19 AM
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ccmckee ccmckee is offline
 
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I blew out my system last year for a change. I made an adapter to hook my compressor to the water hose connection on the trailer and just turned down the pressure from the compressor to 50 psi, opened all the taps one at a time until they blew clear as well as the toilet. I also have 2 caps under the trailer that are the lowest points in the system, pulled them off until there was no water,pull the plug on the heater and let the water drain.Poured some anti freeze down the drains and good to go, takes all of about 15 minutes.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:26 AM
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Stinky Buffalo Stinky Buffalo is offline
 
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We do the same as JB AOL... We don't usually drink the water from the tank- we bring along our drinking water.

You can get a little piece of hose with a connector that attaches to the intake on your pump - you put the open end into the antifreeze jug, prime it up and you're ready to start.

I start from the fixture that is farthest from the tank (e.g. the outside shower) and work my way forward.

Do you have a bypass kit on your hot water tank? It sure makes winterizing a lot easier...
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:28 AM
rayf01 rayf01 is offline
 
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So would you guys be winteizing now? I live 15 min north of Edmonton.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:38 AM
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DarkAisling DarkAisling is offline
 
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Check out our $340 winterizing mistake:



We goofed winterizing last year, and we didn't get all of the water out of the hot water tank. When hubby bought the new tank the guy at Hobo's RV new excatly what we'd done wrong. Turns out it is a common mistake with our trailer, as a little tidbit of improtant information is missing from the manual: there is a second valve on the tank that needs opened when being drained (hubby had wondered what that was for when he saw it . . . now we know).

We think we can get it done ourselves this year, without causing any more damage!

We'll wait as long as possible before we do it again. We'll push into October: as long as it isn't freezing at night.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:56 AM
AbAngler AbAngler is offline
 
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I'm doing mine next week even though I'll still us it a few more times. I just drain everything and run anti freeze through the lines. As noted above, make sure the hot water tank is empty and leave the plug out.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:15 AM
JB_AOL JB_AOL is offline
 
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I've got one last camping trip this weekend, then it's getting winterized before I put it back into storage. in alberta it is not worth taking the risk. I've seen people have to replace all the plumbing in their trailer because they waited (for no reason).
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:53 AM
rayf01 rayf01 is offline
 
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Fair enough, mine does have a second line built in to the system. I can shut a valve off from the water tank, put the second line in to the antifreeze jug and open its valve up. The pump sucks it right out of the jug. Easy enough for me to dump it if we want to use it again this year I guess, I'll just use bottled water for the rest of the year until I flush it out next spring with bleech and baking soda.

You mention a second valve on the hot water tank? What valve is that? I only have the one on the outside (drain plug) that I was going to open up and leave it unplugged for the winter. I'll close both the inlet and outlet pipes to the hot water tank as well and just leave it dry (no anti freeze in it).
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:02 AM
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ShawnM ShawnM is offline
 
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I winterize my RV pretty early in the season. Also I take it to the dealer I bought it from to winterize it. $100 and they do everything for me. No chance I'll miss a detail somewhere along the line. They also check my seals, caulking etc. So it's a pretty good service.

It's a common thing to be wary of the RV antifreeze, but it is currently considered to be completely safe for human consumption. It's used as a food additive in many items and even as a buffer for some medications. I make sure my fresh water lines get good and flushed before I use them though.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:05 AM
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DarkAisling DarkAisling is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayf01 View Post
You mention a second valve on the hot water tank? What valve is that? I only have the one on the outside (drain plug) that I was going to open up and leave it unplugged for the winter. I'll close both the inlet and outlet pipes to the hot water tank as well and just leave it dry (no anti freeze in it).
I'm trying to remember what it is set up like on ours. Hubby knows better than I do.

Our trailer is a 2002 Outback 25fb.

On ours there is some sort of valve on the back of the tank that is connected to a clear hose the exits the trailer through the floor. We didn't open this, and the tank didn't completely empty through the drain plug on the outside of the trailer . . . which we thought it would completely drain through (based on our trailer's manual).

Apparently, we needed to open that second valve on the back of the tank to relieve air pressure in the tank to allow all of the water to exit through the drain valve. I'm not sure why the second valve is connected to a hose: maybe some water could escape through it?

Or something like that. The details are pretty fuzzy, and I'm not very smart when it comes to this stuff. We were smart enough to leave the drain plug out, but with a bunch of water left in the tank that didn't save us.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:59 AM
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Stinky Buffalo Stinky Buffalo is offline
 
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I think that must be an air bleed, DarkAisling. What we do is undo the top line from the tank while draining to let air in so that it drains properly.

I put a pie tin underneath the bottom line and undo that one as well. Some water always dribbles out of that one.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:37 AM
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DarkAisling DarkAisling is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinky Buffalo View Post
I think that must be an air bleed, DarkAisling. What we do is undo the top line from the tank while draining to let air in so that it drains properly.

I put a pie tin underneath the bottom line and undo that one as well. Some water always dribbles out of that one.
Yes, that's it!

Thanks for making sense of what I was attempting to say.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:39 PM
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Stinky Buffalo Stinky Buffalo is offline
 
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Heh! Awesome. Always glad to help...
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:27 PM
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dragon1 dragon1 is offline
 
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Did mine yesterday, and glad i did, woke up to an ice covered windshield here in wetaskwin this morning. Got it down to a science now, takes me a whole 15 minutes
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:20 PM
glen1971 glen1971 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon1 View Post
Did mine yesterday, and glad i did, woke up to an ice covered windshield here in wetaskwin this morning. Got it down to a science now, takes me a whole 15 minutes
I did mine yesterday too.. We looked at the calendar, and with hunting season about to get rolling on my calendar, that would have left it till the middle of October, and that would have made for one big block of ice..

It took me about 15 minutes too... All I have left is about an inch of water left in the tank, but I added the rest of some RV antifreeze.. When I did the check valve on the town connection, I think I may have pooched it, since all it did was spray antifreeze at me and wouldn't stop.. May have to replace that next year...
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:30 PM
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bearbuster bearbuster is offline
 
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Drain the hot water tank and leave it dry. I was always told that antifreeze in the hot water tank will wreck it not sure how. When I drain it I open the hot and cold taps for the air bleed. Haven't had a problem yet. Anti freeze through out every where else
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:38 PM
harrydude harrydude is offline
 
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biggest thing you need to remember is to let the antifreeze run a bit ibto the P traps......cause they will freeeze and break too......

I know I do min in the over kill.I blow them out for like and hr....then fill unhook the hot water tank cause you do not want anti freeze in it.....

but I would rather do more now than having to replumb the trailer....

and people forget about their batteries as well....do you have a battery maintainer on them or as I do ...remove them and keep them in a warm place....

and every year you should check the wheel bearings.....and every trip air preasure in tires as well as wheel nut torque....but myself gets lazzy and do not check the lug nuts...but I do check air preasures in the truck and trailer...
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:52 PM
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Willowtrail Willowtrail is offline
 
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One thing I don't think was mentioned is don't forget the OUTSIDE SHOWER.

I have an older trailer but it has a bypass on the hot water tank. Not sure if this is a standard feature on new trailers or not. Bypass the tank before draining.

I don't put antifreeze in my lines. In order to do it I would have to take my couch out and that ain't gonna happen. Like said above, it's all been great advice. I watch the weather and do before it freezes. 4 weeks in a row I still need the trailer but if the weather turns I'll take the 15 minutes and blow out the lines and fill the traps with anti freeze.

Hey Rayf01. If you want a helper for your first time I'm available weekday evenings if you'd like. Let me know.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:58 PM
260 Rem 260 Rem is offline
 
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Don't forget to drain the outside shower lines if equipped. Also, some of the RV antifreeze smell can be removed by a neutalizer..sold the same place you buy the antifreeze.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:57 PM
Mountain Guy Mountain Guy is online now
 
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Should you do it now?
I'd say it wouldn't hurt...I did mine tonite because I got caught once and had to put the trailer in a heated shop to thaw it out. Got lucky as there wasn't any damage. That was mid-Oct. My experience is that -10 C is the temp where you'll freeze up quick and have potential issues. Any warmer and it seems to not freeze to the extent to cause problems.
I drain and bypass the h.w.t, use air in the lines, disconnect the pump and run till dry, leave the h.w.t and pump lines unhooked, leave all taps open and pour a few cups of antifreeze down the drains.
Never seen the need to waste a bunch of antifreeze in the lines.
I leave the taps open and the low point drains open on my way to where I store it. I think any water that may have settled anywhere in the system would likely get drained out while in motion. And any residual water after that would most likely evaporate.
Never had an issue with this system.

Now..... if i can only figure out how to keep them flippin' mice out
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:00 PM
Mountain Guy Mountain Guy is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinky Buffalo View Post
I think that must be an air bleed, DarkAisling. What we do is undo the top line from the tank while draining to let air in so that it drains properly.

I put a pie tin underneath the bottom line and undo that one as well. Some water always dribbles out of that one.
Or open the pressure relief valve at the top of the tank to help it drain.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:00 PM
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MacLeod MacLeod is offline
 
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Question

I read through all the posts here ... thanks for the great advice folks!

But what I can't figure out is why some posters here think it's bad to have anti-freeze in the drained and open hot water tank. I don't understand what the problem is ... please explain.

Thanks,


TF
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:04 PM
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Willowtrail Willowtrail is offline
 
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Here's a great link I found a few years ago. Complete with pics.

http://www.kinstler.com/how_to/winte...terize_rv.html
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  #29  
Old 09-13-2011, 06:48 AM
Mountain Guy Mountain Guy is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriggerFinger View Post
I read through all the posts here ... thanks for the great advice folks!

But what I can't figure out is why some posters here think it's bad to have anti-freeze in the drained and open hot water tank. I don't understand what the problem is ... please explain.

Thanks,


TF
nothing bad about it. I just think it's a waste of money and more work to put it in the lines and then have to flush it out in the spring.
I've gone without it for years on 6 trailers and never had any freezing line problems.
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  #30  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:35 AM
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Justanotherbuck2 Justanotherbuck2 is offline
 
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Default anti freeze

I run mine through the pump untill no more water comes out, and then I pull antifreeze through the pump and through out untill all taps foam out pink, I also put some in my holding tank and pump it into my hot water heater untill it flows pink out the drain valve, and then poor some down each trap to displace the water in there or wet,dry vac to get the water out. I also leave every tap open so if there is a little water or Ice in still it can expand without breaking a line or faucet. Now is a good time, it only costs about 20 bucks and a few minutes.
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