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Old 10-04-2007, 11:13 AM   #1
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A Few Questions - Winterizing an '07 Bambi

I've spent a few hours ready an overwelming amount of discussion on winterizing... but have a few questions.

Firstly, last year our dealer winterized our Bambi. They did not blow out any lines. I watched them:

1. Open low point drains in the back boot and front holding tank to drain all remaining water
2. Set the 3 values by the heater to bypass mode
3. Removed the heater drain and pressure release value until all water drained out, then closed pressure release value but left heater drain plug out.
4. closed the low point drains in the back boot
5. Ran RV antifreeze through a pump into the city water connect, opening sink faucet until pink ran out for both hot and cold
6. Flush the toilet till pink, hand wand and shower wand as well until pink.
7. Reopened low point drains in the back boot and left in that position
8. Drained out grey and black tanks

Then off to storage.

So my questions....

1. Is blowing out the lines first necessary? They thought not. Maybe because this is a newer unit and the lower drains do the job??

2. If we aren't cheap on the antifreeze, will this be sufficient to flush any water in the lines without blowing out the lines?

3. Is there anything we are missing regarding the water tank and pump? Do we open the drains by the water pump and turn the pump on for a few seconds to expel any water?

4. Is standard RV antifreeze safe for dumping at the campground dumping station? (We were hoping to winterize at a state park where we are camping this weekend, for which there are no hookups).

5. If we do need to blow out the lines (or it is highly recommended) then will a Jobmate 3G compressor (1/5 hp, 70-100 working psi, 1.0 scfm at 40psi, 3900 rpm) do the job? We have a colman air dual air compressor but I doubt it is capable of doing the job.

Thanks
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:27 AM   #2
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I agree totally with what the dealer did. Instead of putting the anti-freeze thru the city water inlet, disconnect the pump inlet and attach a hose to the pump and use the pump to put the antifreeze into the lines. One gallon should do it.
What little antifreeze you will get in the holding tanks won't be a problem at the dump station.
If you decide to blow out the lines with air, you should only need to put antifreeze in the drain traps.
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:29 AM   #3
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Just like I do

Dave,
That method is perfect.
The RV antifreeze is safe for anything, although it tasstes terrible, it will not hurt you or the sewer or anything else.
Notice, the dealer did not put any in the fresh water tank-it will not need it-after it was drained, any residual water would have plenty of upward expansion room.
If you do not have an extra pump, there is a kit that has a hose which you can attach to the on=board pump inlet side, that will siphon antifreeze from the jug, and pump it through the system.
There is no reason to leave the water heater open in any way after it is drained. Just make sure the water heater bypass stays open during the winterization process, but close it before you rinse out to start the season.
Always add a cup or two of antifreeze to the drain traps.
Just make sure pink runs from every orifice from which water can flow when you are winterizing your unit.
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:35 AM   #4
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Hi Dave -- I see you are browsing in the Winterizing subforum right now. So I assume you're seen john hd's how-to thread. Installing the CAMCO bypass valve is fairly easy. I use a rubber tip nozzle accessory for my compressor rather than build the adapter he did in post 8 -- it just takes a 2nd person to blow out. Be sure and drain your water heater too -- set the valves right and you won't use the extra gallons to put antifreeze in there!

I really don't think you could get full protection with distributing antifreeze into water-filled plumbing. You've got to blow out the water IMO. Definitely don't introduce antifreeze into the fresh water tank -- it's very difficult to wash out in the spring. Pour plenty of antifreeze in the traps so that you'll be sure to displace all the water there. This still takes little more than 2 gallons -- 3 tops.

It's actually a very simple job -- takes about a half hour to winterize if the valve is already installed and you get the hang of it (year 2 or 3?). I suspect we have another 3 weeks before I have to do it. I have seen a Halloween storm followed by severe cold that broke a friends marine engine I/O combination (a boat of course. Now, on an Airstream that could be interesting.... .... think I'll patent it!). I wouldn't sweat that if I was set up to winterize on short notice -- and was home.
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:40 AM   #5
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Ohh! Big time advice -- If you have the kitchen faucet with the inline filter -- take that out before you run antifreeze through the system. I don't put it back in until I'm sure the system is well flushed in the spring. The glycol will ruin the activated charcoal in the filter.
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:40 AM   #6
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As noted by the previous posts the method the dealer was using was acceptable since running enough antifreeze through the lines will displace the water. Just make sure you make sure you run enough through the lines so that the drain traps also have a sufficent quantity.

Blowing out the lines in advance might allow you to use less antifreeze since most of the water will be out of the lines prior to the antifreeze running through them. Again remember the traps.

My dealer does not use anti freeze but he does use high pressure that literley dries out the lines. Once he is sure they are dry, he pours antifreeze into the traps. Using your standard 12 volt pump will not produce enough pressure to do this. I blow out the lines with my 12 volt pump and then move the input side of the water pump and allow it to suck RV antifreeze out of the bottle.

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Old 10-04-2007, 02:37 PM   #7
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Great feedback as always! Thanks everyone.

I thought antifreeze was dirty cheap (well $4.39 a gal here). So using the recommended 3 gals is pretty cheap. I'd gladly spend an extra $4.39 for a gal to flush out the sytem, and reduce the likelyhood of any water remaining in the lines. It would cost me $4.39 just in gas to haul the Bambi over to a place anywhere near that has an air compressor!

When doing this at the campground, I plan to do this on the campsite, so a few buckets for the drains will be needed. I then plan to empty everything into our blue tote, and then empty the tote at the dumping station.

We're doing it this way since our trailer goes into storage nearby for the winter. Much simpler than taking it home to do the winterizing first.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:46 PM   #8
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hi campadk...

anti freeze alone is adequate IF you use enough...

don't forget the shower fixture and toilet rinse and traps and faucet filter removal...

the bypass kit is stupid easy to use,

all a/s SHOULD be equiped with them at purchase.

one negative to blowing out the lines is TOO much air pressure...

gotta keep it under 60psi on new units.

i use 30 psi and even a bicycle tire pump can do the job...

so IF you open the low water lines and attach the pump it will hasten the process.

rv anti freeze is safe for dump sites and now comes in 2 flavors...

pink and greeen...

i'm considering grain alcohol this year since it does taste better

cheers
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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Don't forget

... the outside shower if you have one. IMO those are most vulnerable to towing in the upper 20's when we would'nt have as much concern about even turning on the furnace. I think the outside shower should have a cutoff valve -- and mine is too darned inaccessible to consider retrofitting.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:54 PM   #10
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Well we are back from a FANTASIC weekend camping in the Adirondacks, and managed a sucessful winterization of our Bambi.

Here are a few extra notes for anyone else interested...

We first open all low point drains as in my first post, along with the heater plug and pressure release valve.

I lowered the jack down as far as it would go to help get as much water out of the front lines as possible. A lot more came out using this technique! This was probably one of the best things we did considering we were not blowing out the lines.

I then raised the jack up to the top allowing more water out of the rear lines as well as the heater tank. Again this helped expell quite a bit more water.

After setting the heater bypass values, and closing the lower drains, it was time to inject antifreeze.

I had originally setup a pond pump to use to inject antifreeze via the city water intact, but at the last minute worried about water being left in the water pump, so I disconnect the line into the power pump and used electrical tape to attach this to a short water hose, into a pail of rv antifreeze. No tools where required, just some electrical tape... can't get simplier than this!

Here is a shot of the connection...



I ran LOTS of antifreeze through the hot/cold galley faucet, toilet and accompanying hand wand, as well as the shower hot/cold. Loaded the galley sink and shower drains with antifreeze as well. I was cautious and over did things wasting a full 3 gal of antifreeze.. but what the heck, better to be safe than sorry, and anti freeze is cheap.

I left the lower drains closed... wasn't sure if I was supposed to or not. I originally figured the antifreeze would simply ensure no water was left in the lines and leaving them open was ok... but in the end a few campers recommended just leaving the lines full of anti freeze, which I did.

Last step was to drain all the antifreeze in black and gray tanks at the dump station and off our baby went to storage.
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:48 PM   #11
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It takes forever to flush out the taste of anti-freeze. I'm going to just drain and blow out the lines, drain the pump and put anti-freeze in the traps.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:06 AM   #12
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Wayne this method bypasses the water tank. You can see that I connected the hose for anti freeze to the pump instead of the outlet from the tank, so no antifreeze gets in the holding tank.
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:59 PM   #13
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Winterizing a '66

Is there anything different that needs to be done with an older AS. Lastly, I was planning on using her until early November. We already have had some cool evenings......if I don't winterize her until I return in November am I going to harm her?
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campadk
Wayne this method bypasses the water tank. You can see that I connected the hose for anti freeze to the pump instead of the outlet from the tank, so no antifreeze gets in the holding tank.
Even just putting anti-freeze in the lines leaves that taste for a long time. This is the first year I'm blowing the lines and leaving them empty. Hope I don't regret it.....
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