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Old 04-05-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
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2006 19' International CCD
Amelia , Ohio
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'Dewinterizing' - What's involved?

Okay, did the whole winterizing thing for the first time this winter, and now ready to "De-winterize". So, what's involved? the owner's manual provides no guidance, and I'm really only concerned with how to get all the rv antifreeze out of the fresh water tank and lines. But if there are any other issues to deal with, I'd like to hear about them.


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Old 04-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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Just flush your system thoughoughly with fresh water. Hopefully you didn't put antifreeze in the fresh water tank....if you did flush REALLY thoughoughly. This would be a good time to sanitize that tank. I take bottled water for drinking anyway.

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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The fresh water tank and water heater should not have anti freeze in them. If they do, it will require much more flushing to remove the anti freeze. The easiest way I have found to de winterize is to use the city water connection. Open the sink valves in the galley and flush (run the water) until you see clear water with no foam. Do the same for the bath faucets and shower. If your system has a bypass set up for the water heater it should have been put in the bypass mode to winterize. You will need to set the valve positions to the normal operating mode. Then remove the drain valve at the water heater and flush it out. If there is anti freeze in the fresh water tank. First open the drain valve and let it empty. Fill it with fresh water, change from the city water mode to the house water mode and run the pump to remove the anti freeze from the remainder of the lines. If there was anti freeze in the fresh water tank it may take several flushings of the tank. The best indicator that you have removed all of the anti freeze is the water will run clear with no foam.
In the future I would recommend not putting anti freeze in the fresh water or hot water tanks. Just drain them.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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2006 23' Safari SE
Dallas , Texas
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Interesting question.

This was our first winterization as well, so here's what I did.

I put about 4 gallons of fresh water into the FW tank to dilute the AF. Then I ran the faucets, shower sprayer, toilet until the the water no longer ran with the pinkish tinge, and until the pump would not pump anymore.

Then I filled the FW tank completely, and ran that with the pump again, until both my grey and black tanks were full.

Went to the dump station at my friendly Truckstops of America and dumped black and grey.

Will top off the FW tank before we go camping next weekend and will add a bit of bleach prior to the 75 mile trip so that the FW tank is thoroughly sanitized.

We really don't use the FW tank when we are camping in that we don't boondock but always good to have just in case, I guess.

Also replaced the hose end filter, and will replace the under galley sink filter before we head out for the first trip....

Pretty sure this isn't the benchmark process of dewinterizing, but it's what I did. Am certainly open to hear the experience of the more grizzled among ye . . . lol
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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Well, I did put some AF in the FW tank, primarily to get it in the pump so any residual water in there wouldn't freeze and take it out. I did, however, bypass the water heater and drain it.

Thanks for the tips and suggestions. Using city water to flush the lines sounds like the way to go, and flushing the tank a few times and sanitizing it with bleach ought to solve that issue...

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Old 04-05-2012, 10:21 AM   #6
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In order to get a more thorough FW tank flush, you my consider removing the bung in the bottom of the tank, If it has one.

My Classic has a small factory "patch" or cover, about 4" X4" on the front curbside bottom of the FW pan. It is held in place with 4 screws. If you remove that plate, you should find a large drain plug or bung. Remove it and stick a hose up in there and flush good.

If you only use the little drain valve, you won't get all the AF out and you will taste it for a long time, bleach or not.

Next year, get one of the little pump valves which draws the AF from the jug directly into the pump. Just drain the FW tank....a little water freezing in there won't hurt anything. I leave the drain valve open.

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Old 04-05-2012, 10:26 AM   #7
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Ditto to the 'no antifreeze in fresh water tank' method. If an RV dealer winterized, they wouldn't have put any in there.

Behind the HW heater access door, check to see that the nylon drain plug is reinserted in the HW heater. Lightly tighten with a crescent or channel-lock wrench; I've not been putting teflon tape on this of late and it sure doesn't seem to leak but do use teflon tape if, like some, the drainplug has been changed out to a brass one. Under your mattress over near the outside wall (I think that's where these'll be...), turn your valves to the following configuration:
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Who winterized it? A dealer may have done this without installing a bypass valve near the pump. If you have a bypass valve there for owner-winterizing, set it to summer use position. I use a combo of water in the tank & pump and then attach a hose to the trailer side. The plan is to run fresh water through all pipes and into the gray & black tank. I'll first stop at the dump station on my first camping stop in the spring. Don't run antifreeze on the ground -- that's probably not legal but you'll really pay in dead grass. Don't have to ask how I know...

Low-point drain on fresh water tank closed? You'll know after you have put some water in there. Start to flush water into your system and check that all faucets were shut last fall. I instructed a friend without him doing this step and he flooded his trailer because a sink drain was closed.

When running water through the system to flush, look under the trailer. Low-point drain for the plumbing closed? This might be on roadside behind your wheels somewhere -- should be visibly obvious anyway.

How much flushing? Antifreeze is the consistency of pancake syrup and I find it doesn't all dilute out until after the 2nd or 3rd full water tank has been run through it. Though no longer pink, water will foam in your sinks until it all clears -- usually some time after my 2nd spring camping trip. I don't use onboard water for my dogs until this foaming is a thing of the past. I'm fine washing up or brushing my teeth with this water. After all, RV antifreeze (propylene glycol) is a food additive to keep baked goods from half a continent away 'moist' for the months it takes them to arrive on your store shelves. Think Twinkie and the like...

Batteries reinstalled? Preventive maintenance list? More than 10K travel since you had your bearings repacked? Check tire pressures, including spare. Grease the ball and you should be ready to go.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 04-05-2012, 10:26 AM   #8
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This is the kit. Camco RV - Pump Converter Winterizer Kit - 36543 - Winterizing - Camping World

But available everywhere.

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #9
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Just flushed our system yesterday and had to fill the fresh tank w/ bleach-water twice before it quit foaming...then 1/2 way through the vinegar rinse more foam appeared!

Do I need to start over?

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