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Old 11-27-2014, 11:14 AM   #15
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2002 31' Classic
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Monroe , Iowa
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When I was young and agile,I winterized my AS myself. Then I found that my dealer would do it for just a little bit of money, AND fix it free if there was any freezing damage.

I noticed that the dealers all drain out the water, blow out the water, fill the system (except water heater) with antifreeze, and then drain out the antifreeze.

Seeing as their butt is on the line for fixing any frozen and busted items, I'm thinking that is THE correct way to do it.

For all these years, I've never seen them do anything to the water heater except remove the drain plug, and open the pressure valve at the top. (Yes, I do walk around and watch everything they do.)

AND in all these years, I've never had any damage from freezing.

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Old 11-27-2014, 12:09 PM   #16
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2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
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Now, isn't this forum best. I now have another use for that darned turkey baster that does nothing but take up space the rest of the year.

ThankX all and a Happy T-Day to you all.

Roger in NJ

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Old 11-27-2014, 12:13 PM   #17
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2013 23' FB International
2013 25' Flying Cloud
In the Rockies, 6700' , Colorado
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My AS resides in the Colorado mountains with frequent sub zero temps. I've successfully winterized for two winters now (and so far in this winter as a third) with the following process:

1) I open the fresh water tank drain and let it drain for the last 30 or so miles of my final leg home before winterizing. I also remove the plug from my hot water heater at the same time.

2) Upon arrival, I turn on the water pump to purge any water inside the pump itself and whatever is in the lines. It usually needs to run for 5 minutes or so. While it's running, I drain the black and gray tanks and leave the valves open for the time being. I usually raise and lower the trailer tongue during this process to obtain better emptying of the tanks.

3) I attach an air hose and compressor to the city water connection and apply approximately 30 PSI to system. Air should be escaping from the hot water plug hole. I let it run for 20 minutes or so and then I close the hot water bypass valve. I store the hot water heater plug and do not reinstall it into the heater until next use.

4) I alternatively open all faucets (including the toilet flush) and leave them open until there is no moisture escaping from each. I repeat this process several times and include a few-minute run of the pump in the rotation. Also included in the rotation is opening the low point valves under the trailer. Don't forget to remove the shower hose (if applicable) and to include the kitchen sink sprayer in the rotation. (I disconnected my external shower and capped the lines. I filled the fixture box with a piece of foam. Didn't like the freeze potential it posed.)

5) I pour about a cup of RV antifreeze into all drains and then I close the black and gray tank valves. I then add another pint of RV antifreeze to all drains and about half a cup into the toilet bowl to keep the valve seal moist. The extra RV antifreeze into the drains forces a small amount of RV antifreeze to the bottom of both tanks and against the dump valves. (My bathroom sink drains into my black tank, otherwise you will need to flush the toilet with some antifreeze.)

Often I will leave the low point drains and water tank drain open for a few days just to ensure any residual moisture can drain. (Of course the temps have to be above freezing for a bit.)

I frequently use my AS in the winter so dewinterizing is as simple as adding water to the fresh water tank, reinstalling the hot water tank drain plug and hitting the road. Since I have put no antifreeze into the lines or fresh water tank, there is no need for flushing.

One thing to consider is that the Colorado mountains have an extremely dry climate so the air going into my compressor is pretty dry as well as the flow of the air through my system does a pretty good job of drying the lines. In a more humid climate, use caution.
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:06 PM   #18
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Kooskia , Idaho
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Originally Posted by GeocamperAS View Post
I thought antifreeze in the Stainless steal tank was bad for it. That's one of the reasons for the bypass valve.
Just for clarification, the hot water tank used in Airstreams is aluminum, not stainless steel. RV antifreeze should not bother it though.
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Old 11-28-2014, 03:39 AM   #19
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belen , New Mexico
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Two years in a row I got a rotten egg smell in the water heater even with bypass valve and I assume it was due to non toxic anti freeze? This year Im taking the rig to Phoenix and storing it at our house there we are reclaiming as a second home! Leaving on Wed and been running the heat for a week to keep the plumbing from freezing as weve been in the teens a few times already in NM When I do winterize I blow it out and then pump it full of antifreeze from water pump.
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Old 11-28-2014, 05:38 AM   #20
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Metairie , Louisiana
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Originally Posted by alantbird View Post
Two years in a row I got a rotten egg smell in the water heater even with bypass valve and I assume it was due to non toxic anti freeze?
I'm not aware that RV antifreeze causes a rotten egg smell.

If you have a water heater with an anode (modern Atwood water heaters don't use an anode) then deterioration of the zinc anode can cause a rotten egg smell due to the chemical reactions involved. If you pull the anode and check it, you might see that it needs replacement.
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Old 11-28-2014, 06:55 AM   #21
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Normal , Illinois
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Sounds like a great idea, mandolindave. Thanks for sharing.

I will be happy sometime next month, just to find I got it done correctly for the first time.

I can expand my knowledge base next year.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:29 AM   #22

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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My trick....

......for an empty HWT.

Close by-pass valves, open the pressure relief valve, attach the compressor line, open the drain petcock and blow @ 60psi for 10min.

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Old 11-29-2014, 06:22 AM   #23
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sorry, I always over think things

But, I don't like flushing the water heater tank, to get antifreeze out. And I don't like repairing plumbing. I also worry about the water line that is routed in the belly from a PO repair. AND I worry about the lower tank inlet being filled with water if I just drain the tank.

In my defense….I replaced a water heater in an SOB, for a friend. NOT FUN, and I never want to tackle that job again. The tank had cracked leaving a hole that I could fit my whole hand in.

BRIAN….It never occurred to me to drain the antifreeze out right away.

Protag…..Could you give us a tutorial about the " anode " I don't know where, or what it is.
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:26 AM   #24
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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I've never actually seen this mentioned anywhere before but you might try raising and then lowering the trailer jack as far as possible when draining through the low-point valves - it is surprising how much additional water drains out.

As for the additional under-belly line it may be helpful to think about installing another low-point drain in that line.

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:58 AM   #25

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
But, I don't like flushing the water heater tank, to get antifreeze out.

Exactly why I use air when Winterizing.

POI....Last season when I drained the FW tank, I had left the valve open. Proceeded to jack up the street side to remove tires for storage and and it drained for another 1/2 hr, never realized there could be that much left in it when draining level....lern & live.

Sweet Streams,

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Old 11-29-2014, 08:25 AM   #26
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Minipad has a time saver

IF….you know when your last trip of the season is. Open the drains on the way home. I wouldn't try this on the highway, but I would on hilly back country roads.

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