Originally Posted by jgp1968
I just bought my first AIRSTREAM, a 31ft international sovereign
. I need some advice on updating winterizing and general noob information.Very exited very worried(way more exited!)
First suggestion, get that Airstream off the ceiling! (Your pic posted upside down; must have posted from a smartphone or tablet).
Second, I dislike saying "look it up" when a direct answer is possible, so here's my answer.
There are two schools of thought on winterizing. Some prefer the "blow-out" method. some prefer the "antifreeze" method. Still others prefer a combination of the two.
Blow-out is my preference. I live where campgrounds remain open year-round, and literally half the holiday weekends I have off from work are in winter, so I want to keep my winterizing tasks to a minimum, and my "summerizing" tasks equally simple since I'll be doing both multiple times each winter.
In general terms— you'll have to work out the specifics for your trailer— the steps are as follows. This is from memory rather than my checklist, so I hope others will chime in with any corrections in case of something I forgot or misremembered:
1 - Empty your holding tanks as normal.
2 - Empty your fresh tank by means of the drain valve on the underside.
3 - Empty your water heater.
4 - Bypass your water heater.
5 - Open your faucets and shower head, both hot and cold levers if separate taps, halfway between hot and cold for single-lever, to let air into your pipes.
6 - Open your low-point drains.
7 - Hold down the toilet lever to let air into that line as well while the water drains out.
8 - Run the pump for about a minute until you know it's running dry. Don't run it too
long or it may begin to overheat— pumps are usually cooled by the fluids they pump.
9 - Close the low-point drains.
10 - Apply compressed air to the municipal water inlet. You'll need an air compressor or decent-sized air tank that will produce at least 60 psi, and a special fitting (available at Camping World, Parts 66, Amazon, etc. as a "blow-out plug"; get the kind that matches your air hose, either a tire-valve-style or a quick-disconnect style).
11 - Make sure you once again hold down the toilet lever while applying compressed air, so that line also gets blown out.
12 - When water quits coming out the faucets, everything should be dry, and you can stop applying compressed air. Dry lines will get cold, but no ice will form in them and no damage will occur.
13 - If you have an exterior shower, be sure you also blow that out.
14 - Reopen the low-point drains and leave them like that.
15 - If you have a black tank flush fitting, blow it out as well. If you don't have a separate blowout plug to use on that, you can use the same one, but then put it through a dishwasher cycle at home before using it again on the fresh tank.
16 - Add about half a gallon of pink RV antifreeze to the black tank, and leave enough antifreeze in the toilet bowl to cover the valve seal. To make sure the antifreeze in the toilet bowl doesn't evaporate, cover the toilet bowl with Saran Wrap.
17 - Add about half a gallon of pink RV antifreeze to the gray tank, pouring (slowly) a bit into each sink and the shower drain. The idea is to displace any water that may be caught in the P-traps. You add antifreeze to the black and gray systems because, unlike the freshwater system, you can't be sure they'll get completely dry. But you don't need much antifreeze to ensure a good water-to-antifreeze ratio if you start with mostly-dry tanks.
like a lot of steps, but the overall process isn't difficult.
If you want to know about the antifreeze method, which involves filling your freshwater system with antifreeze, which then has to be flushed out in the sping before you can use your trailer, someone else will have to answer that. I've never done it, though I know that if you fill your freshwater system with antifreeze you need to remove or bypass your water filter canister to prevent antifreeze from getting into the filter medium (which ruins the filter medium and doesn't do a lot of good to the antifreeze, either).