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Old 11-18-2002, 04:53 PM   #1
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Winterizing a 345 Motor Home

This post directed to A/S 345 Motor Home owners.
I checked the location of all piping for hot and cold water in my 345. All the piping appears to be well above the floor (3 or 4 inches) and there are drops down to the water pump of about 3 to 4 inches. I have four drains lying on the floor of the MH under the bed in the rear, which drop down. Based on this arrangement, I felt that I could totally drain the system with the four drains - remove the water filter and put a diverter in that head = drain the hot water tank at its exterior drain - open all faucets, tape open the toilet and sink rinse hoses, open the flush water valve on the toilet, and blow 30 psi of air thorughout with all faucets open. after blowing out , open the down side of the water pump (got out about a 1.2 cup of water. Put ant-freeze in all the traps Question - would there be any potential for a low spot in the plumbing diagram of the 345 which could give a problem??
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Old 11-23-2002, 07:01 AM   #2
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No low points that I have seen. However, this is my procedure. Drain water tank and water heater. ( I have installed a short hose on the tank drain valve and added another external valve which can be reached from the outside. This allows me to drain the tank without removing the bed.)
Bypass the water heater.
Open a faucet.
Apply about 40 to 50 psi of air pressure.
Open each faucet, spray hose, toilet valve etc. in turn.
Make sure their is always at least one valve open.
Drain water from grey water tank.
Put proper anti-freeze in each trap and in toilet.

I have been using this procedure for over ten years. I do a lot of winter camping and this allows me to easily re-winterize after each trip
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Old 11-23-2002, 07:51 AM   #3
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question on the water tank. Mine has the valve located under the couch, near the outside wall, and uner the heater vent pipe.
I can barley get to it, but I can get a 1/2 " wrench on it. When I open it, won't it drain into the coach? I don't see any line going outside, and when loosened it starts to drip on the inside flooring. I have been running all the water out thru the hot water heater drain, and then into the grey tank which I empty. I then pour in antifreeze after bypassing the hot water heater.
I am confused about the drain on the fresh water tank..missing something?
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Old 11-23-2002, 08:46 AM   #4
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I have a 1990 345. My water tank drain valve is under the rear bed, drivers side. The nozzle fits through a hole in the floor and when the valve was opened it drained the water to the ground. This required removing the bed and some plywood in order to get at the valve. I simply added a hose extension and another valve which was outside the coach. I leave the inside valve permanently open and use the outside valve for the main drain. During winter camping I usually just open the outside valve when I leave for home. By the time I get home the tank is empty and I am ready for winterizing.
I use an, easy to operate, gray water valve.
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Old 11-23-2002, 01:55 PM   #5
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winterizing

I live in Alaska and worry about winterizing--not only my 79 MH , but everything!
I wonder if just draining the tanks and water lines in a MH and leaving the faucets open, the drain plug off of the hot water heater, etc. is adequate enough. The reason I say this is because I disconnect our garden hose from the house and when the water which is left in the hose freezes it has room to expand....I have never had a split or cracked garden hose in the spring. I know if you leave the hose connected to the house and the other end has a nozzle then you can have serious problems. Same with recreational cabins.....turn the water off, open the faucets, run the pump until most water is out of the lines and leave them as is. No problems. Leaving room for expansion is all that is required, right?
If you have low points in your water hose and they were to freeze wouldn't the water expand in the direction of the water line; meaning it would take the path of least resistance and wouldn't burst your line.

If I'm completely off my rocker I'll blame it on the cold and dark....
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Old 11-23-2002, 01:57 PM   #6
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I appreciate the responses from other 345 owners, but am a bit confused by some of the comments regarding the drain valves in their units. My fresh water plumbing is exactly as illustrated in the A/S Manual. I have my water pump located under the queen bed in the rear of the coach on the curb side. It is easy to get to, just a little plywood lid in the area just beside the bed at the head between the bed and sideboard. In that little compartment are 4 plastic valves with a freely turning head on each and the valves have a pipe on each one which has an elbow turning down through the floor. All four drain out to the road under the coach. I know that when I open all four, all of the water in the coach leaves, except for some water in the hot water tank, which I drain by removing the plastic drain plug on outside of the coach. As I said previously, I then blow out the entire system by putting a regulated air supply at 30 PSI on the City water inlet (I had removed the non-functional reel and hose arrangement at the factory). after doing this I opened the down side of the water pump and while pump was open and hot water tank was open, I again blew 30 PSI air through the system. Then I closed the pump, water tank and repeated. the blow out. I guess some of the systems have been modified significantly.
I have a water heater by pass installed by a previous owner, but I don't like the anti-freeze and don't want to use the by pass, so I just ignore it - Can't find a way to fill the tank anyway - the by pass tank in under a dinette seat and I can not find a fill plug for it . I checked with the A/S factory and was assured that I should have no problems with a 345 after carrying out my operation. P
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Old 11-23-2002, 02:28 PM   #7
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Your tank sound quite different from mine. The manual says to locate valve behind the couch..and pull up the heater vent ose to access it. There is a plastic square head plug I can turn that one would think would open a drain to the street, but it sure seems to let it into the floor area. Makes no sense to me.
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Old 11-23-2002, 02:58 PM   #8
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Alkternate Tank Drains

Alan, I do note that the diagrams in my A/S Manual ONLY apply top 325, 345 and 290 MH's. I believe the alternative plans for vehicles like yours and even others are specific to that model of MH. That is the main reason I addressed my post to other 345 owners and no generally to MH.
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Old 11-23-2002, 03:49 PM   #9
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whoops

Whoops! I guess I overlooked the 345 focus of the thread. My apologies.
Is there a way that I can move my reply to a new thread, or should I just start over. I would like others' view on my winterizing (or lack of) philosophy.....
Thanks
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Old 11-23-2002, 04:36 PM   #10
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To the Contrary -= I am most happy to have your comments - I believe I sent you a PM echoing my interest in your comments which would apply to any MH - The reason I directed my initial post to 345 Airstreams was because of the unique plumbing diagram of the 345 as opposed to other A/S. I think it is always great to hear from others which may or may not impact directly, but I felt your comments to be very germaine.!! Please read my PM to you,
Cordially,
Dr Joe
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:40 AM   #11
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Smile Easy Method To Winterize a 345

I did this the first month I purchased my 345 back in 1989. Open all of the drain valves under the bed and leave them that way forever. Using two short pieces of hose attach a new valve to the main tank drain on the outside of the rig. That is underneath the floor on the outside. Now to drain the tank, lines and pump you just reach under the rear of the rig and open one valve which is at the lowest point possible. I do this everytime I arrive home after a trip. I also open the hot water heater (replaced the plug with a valve) and the heater expansion valve and let that drain. This cleans out all of the water after every trip. To winterize I pump air through the system using a quick release fitting on the fresh water hose. Just be sure to always have something open (faucet, toilet valve, spray hose, etc.) so that the pressure will not damage any components. I use about 60 lbs of air pressure. Then put RV anti-freeze in each drain trap and the toilet. Don't forget the shower trap. I camp in the winter and this allows me to drain all of the water on the way home so I just have to blast the unit with air and do the anti-freeze. Been doing this since 1989 without ever having a problem.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:56 AM   #12
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Whoops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Lefkowitz
I did this the first month I purchased my 345 back in 1989. Open all of the drain valves under the bed and leave them that way forever. Using two short pieces of hose attach a new valve to the main tank drain on the outside of the rig. That is underneath the floor on the outside. Now to drain the tank, lines and pump you just reach under the rear of the rig and open one valve which is at the lowest point possible. I do this everytime I arrive home after a trip. I also open the hot water heater (replaced the plug with a valve) and the heater expansion valve and let that drain. This cleans out all of the water after every trip. To winterize I pump air through the system using a quick release fitting on the fresh water hose. Just be sure to always have something open (faucet, toilet valve, spray hose, etc.) so that the pressure will not damage any components. I use about 60 lbs of air pressure. Then put RV anti-freeze in each drain trap and the toilet. Don't forget the shower trap. I camp in the winter and this allows me to drain all of the water on the way home so I just have to blast the unit with air and do the anti-freeze. Been doing this since 1989 without ever having a problem.
Sorry I said this backwards. Close all of the drain valves except the main tank drain which is the closest one next to the tank output line. Leave the valves this way permanently and then always use the new external valve to drain everything. This makes it easy to drain the pipes and tank after every trip which will keep everything clean without constant use of chlorine or bleach treatments.
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