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Old 03-04-2015, 05:46 PM   #1
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Winterized toilet

Ok, I'm totally a newbie at RVing and I am taking my brand new AI out for a maiden voyage before my appointment to have it unwinterized. (Is that the word?) 😄 i don't need the shower or sink but I would like to use the toilet at night... What do I need to do? Do I flush with antifreeze or water? Do I need to use the additive tablets? Is there anything extra I should be aware of when emptying the tank or will they do that when it is unwinterized?
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:16 PM   #2
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I've never heard of anyone paying a dealer to "un-winterize" their RV. Just put in the water and go! Obviously you will want to "flush" the lines to the sinks and shower with potable water so being hooked up to a source of potable water is helpful, but you could do this with your fresh water tank as well if needed.

Please clarify your question in case I am missing something here.
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:18 PM   #3
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So long as you use the furnace when the temp is below freezing, you should be fine. You can take showers and use the sink. The water tanks are heated. But you will have to keep it heated until summer, or winterize it. That's when you need antifreeze. There are several threads on winterizing.

I don't say dewinterize, it is summerize. I didn't come up with that—credit it to Bob Cross.

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Old 03-04-2015, 06:47 PM   #4
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Just use winter blend windshield washer fluid in the toilet. It is cheaper than RV Antifreeze.


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Old 03-04-2015, 07:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by k9jackie View Post
Ok, I'm totally a newbie at RVing and I am taking my brand new AI out for a maiden voyage before my appointment to have it unwinterized. (Is that the word?) 😄 i don't need the shower or sink but I would like to use the toilet at night... What do I need to do? Do I flush with antifreeze or water? Do I need to use the additive tablets? Is there anything extra I should be aware of when emptying the tank or will they do that when it is unwinterized?

k9jackie - Your profile says you are in New Jersey, where it is still freezing. Use the RV antifreeze to flush the toilet. I do that all winter when I'm home in Maryland. I just keep a gallon jug of antifreeze next to the toilet to keep it handy. Are you going to be traveling to a warmer climate? I hope so this winter is really getting old. Wish I had stayed in Florida longer this winter. Don't start using water systems until the temps stay above freezing or you travel south out of this cold.

You can use additive tablets to control odors and help decompose stuff in your black tank. How full are your black and grey tanks now? They should be near empty so you won't need to dump them. Unless the low point drains were left open or the water pump was disconnected when you had it winterized there shouldn't be anything special required to unwinterize. Or did they add RV antifreeze to your fresh water tank? If so it just needs to be flushed with fresh water.

Good luck,


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Old 03-04-2015, 08:25 PM   #6
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If you plan to use the HW, make sure the bypass valve is in the non-bypass position. Like Gene said, if you keep the interior warm (above freezing) and the tank heaters on, you should be OK w/o using RV antifreeze.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:34 PM   #7
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I've been camping in my Interstate several times in below-freezing temperatures. As long as you have shore power, you can run your tank heaters to keep the fresh and gray tanks from freezing. As long as you have propane you can run the furnace, which keeps the black tank from freezing (it's above the floor). If you're boondocking, though, you may not be able to run the tank heaters all night without depleting your house batteries.

What you really have to watch out for is the macerator pump freezing; it's not heated at all, and I have been camping when the macerator pump froze. I strongly advise not trying to dump either holding tank if the temperature is below freezing. But if you have no choice, run the macerator pump until the tanks are empty, and then add antifreeze to the gray tank and run the macerator pump again until pink stuff comes out the hose. That should protect the macerator pump from freezing.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:01 AM   #8
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...

What you really have to watch out for is the macerator pump freezing; it's not heated at all, and I have been camping when the macerator pump froze. I strongly advise not trying to dump either holding tank if the temperature is below freezing. But if you have no choice, run the macerator pump until the tanks are empty, and then add antifreeze to the gray tank and run the macerator pump again until pink stuff comes out the hose. That should protect the macerator pump from freezing.
That didn't work for me. My unit stays outside all winter. I carefully winterized, including running pink antifreeze through the macerator and hose until pink came out the end. It froze anyway the second year when temperatures fell to 0F and we had a very harsh winter. The next spring, the macerator leaked, obviously damaged during the cold winter and I had to replace it. What I found is that there is a gallon or more of water left in the hose between the macerator and the tanks. It is at a level that is below the output on the macerator, so when the level in the hose reached about 3/4 empty, the pump is pushing more air than liquid making a nice froth. There is no way to get it all out with the pump. Add the anti-freeze, and you get a nice pink froth, but not enough to protect it from freezing in extreme cold. Now, I unhook the hose and dump what's left in the hose out to winterize it. I plan on trying to figure out a way to add a dump valve to make it easier in the future.

Of course, even though it was in warranty, Airstream refused to replace it saying it was freeze damage. Yes, caused by a negligent and idiotic design.

I would venture to guess Airstream has few repeat buyers. I know I won't be one.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:09 AM   #9
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"I would venture to guess Airstream has few repeat buyers. I know I won't be one."

That would make an interesting poll.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:23 AM   #10
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I would venture to guess Airstream has few repeat buyers. I know I won't be one.
Neither will I, but for a different reason. I'll keep mine for as long as I'm physically able to use it. Then I'll sell it and use the money (whatever it might be worth by then) to help pay for my room at an assisted living center.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:59 AM   #11
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I will be going down to Maryland next week... Not much warmer there but hopefully not freezing anymore.... I will be dry camping at a dog show so RV antifreeze is all I need? I may or may not have shore power.

I would eventually like to learn to "summerize" myself but I need a video or a personal walk through to understand. I'm too afraid of messing things up or forgetting something critical. Maybe I'll ask them to let me watch when I take it in. This is all new to me.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:23 AM   #12
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I will be going down to Maryland next week... Not much warmer there but hopefully not freezing anymore.... I will be dry camping at a dog show so RV antifreeze is all I need? I may or may not have shore power.

I would eventually like to learn to "summerize" myself but I need a video or a personal walk through to understand. I'm too afraid of messing things up or forgetting something critical. Maybe I'll ask them to let me watch when I take it in. This is all new to me.
Yes just flush by pouring in antifreeze to flush. So simple it will work.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:49 AM   #13
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Suggest videoing the process when you have the RV prepped for dry camping in a above freezing environment. Did you observe the winterizing process?

As stated earlier in this thread, there are other threads on this forum dealing w/ winterizing in excruciating detail.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:10 PM   #14
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I did not observe the winterizing process.
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