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Old 03-16-2003, 09:30 AM   #1
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Question Spring preparation for travel season

Well, here in southern Michigan it looks like Spring may actually be arriving on time. If the weather continues as it is today (and forecast for the next few days), the snow around my A/S may be gone by next weekend!

So as a relative newbie, I'd like to get Forum advice on what the standard preparations are for getting the rig ready to roll (aside from stocking up the cupboard and fridge, of course).

TIA.
Eugenie
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Old 03-16-2003, 10:30 AM   #2
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If your weather's anything like Dayton's, I wouldn't dewinterize just yet, unless you're willing to fire up the furnace and leave it set on about 50 degrees. That's probably a good thing to do anyway to prevent mildew this time of year... and if you have a heat pump and are hooked up, you can use that to save LP.

Here's my spring sanitizing ritual, most of it right out of the Airstream Owners Manual:

If you're using bleach that comes in a gallon jug, multiply the number of gallons of tank capacity by .13 to find how many ounces of bleach you need.

If you're using the new "Ultra" bleach that comes in a 3 QT jug that's supposed to equal a gallon, multiply the number of gallons of tank capacity by .1 to find how many ounces of bleach you need.

For a 40 gal tank, that's 5.2 oz of regular bleach and 4 ounces of "Ultra" bleach. Put that in a gallon container and fill with water to dilute it. Then using a funnel, pour it into the tank filler. Then fill the tank.

Assuming the hot water heater is still empty from winterizing, unbypass it, turn on the pump and open a hot water faucet until bleach smelling water comes out. Do that with other hot water faucets, including the shower. Then go back and do it with all the cold water faucets, including the shower, the toilet, the spray nozzles on the toilet and sink, and the outside faucet if applicable. This gets bleach throughout the pipes. I usually go back and top off the tank after this.

Leave this in the tanks and lines for at least 4 hours of contact time. More is better here. Then open the fresh tank drain, drain the tank, close the drain and refill it. Go back to the hot water faucet and run at least a coupla gallons more than the hot water tank holds through it. Then repeat the process with all the hot and cold faucets and spray hoses, running them longer this time to get as much of the bleach out as possible. Top the fresh tank off again.

Let this water sit an hour or so, then drain the fresh tank again, and close the drain.

When you fill the fresh tank this time, if you're sensitive to chlorine, dilute a pound of baking soda in a gallon of water for every 20 gallons of fresh tank capacity, pre-fill with these gallons, and then top off the tank.

Go back around and do the faucet thing again, starting with enough from a hot to flush the water heater, using plenty of water through each faucet. Let it sit an hour or so and drain the tank again.

Then do the final fill of the tank.

I usually pull any water filter elements out and toss 'em when winterizing, and put new ones in after sanitizing the filters in spring.

I DO NOT put antifreeze in the fresh tank when winterizing, but do in the drained grey and black tanks to protect the valves.
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Old 03-16-2003, 09:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by RoadKingMoe
If your weather's anything like Dayton's, I wouldn't dewinterize just yet
I hear that. Unless you're going somewhere, I'd wait too until the temp regularly stays above freezing. Last year we planted and we got 2 days of freezing in early May.

Eric
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Old 03-17-2003, 01:33 AM   #4
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I would never drink water from any RV's water tank so no need to sanitize


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Old 03-25-2003, 11:10 AM   #5
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I don't know about you guys but in May last year we woke up 2 weekends in a row to snow covering everything on our site. We had dewinterized so we just left the furnace on low and the little ceramic htr. on.
It was worth it though after the long winter of missing our airstream.
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Old 03-25-2003, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by qqq
I would never drink water from any RV's water tank so no need to sanitize
Hart
Any reason why? Just curious...

Eric
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Old 03-25-2003, 03:57 PM   #7
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Dewinterizing routine

Prior to departing from my inside winter storage location I'll install the battery which I kept at home, and is now freshly charged. I'll check the tire pressures and retorque the wheel lug nuts. I'll hitch up, check the trailer external lights and home we go.

Once I get the trailer home from its winter storage I run through the following routine.

I will be flushing our fresh water tank since I do my winterizing from there. I only sanitize when I know that the tank will be used for drinking purposes. At this point the Safari was only filled once for drinking purposes and that was in May 2001 when we spent the night behind the dealer's when we took delivery. Otherwise the tank remains empty.

Once I complete the flush of the tank, I'll turn on the pump to expel any antifreeze left. Next I'll attach city water and flush the antifreeze from the water lines. The next step is to close off the water heater bypass and get water into the tank.

While running the water I'll also insert a fresh filter into my under kitchen sink water filter unit, and open all cabinets checking to make sure there are no leaks in the water pipes or drain fixtures. I'll also be checking under the trailer several times to make sure I see no water coming from the belly area. I'll also operate the toilet and will put the head back on the shower and test.

Once the water checks and flushing are done I pressurize the gas system. Usually I get one burner on the stove going. Once it is lit and operating ok I turn off the burner and shut the gas off at the tanks. In a half hour I'll return to the stove and attempt to light the same burner (without turning on the gas at the tank). If it lights and burns for a short period, I'm sure I have no gas leaks.

At that point I turn the gas back on at the tank and try out each appliance which uses gas, making sure all is ok. After that check I'll make sure all electrical appliances and lights function properly.

I'll do some lubrication of things along with gently opening each window and probably will wash the trailer just to get rid of any "inside dirt" that has accumlated while the trailer has been in its inside home.

From there its a matter of repacking the things that we took out for the winter and we are set to go.

Jack
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Old 03-26-2003, 12:47 AM   #8
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Eric,

Water develops all kinds of bacterias & germs if not used immediately, and if you treat it , it tastes bad

Hart
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Old 03-26-2003, 04:32 AM   #9
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Thumbs up qqq

That's what inline water filters are for~!

Your point is well taken but, abit extreme`when you consider the resources available today`..

You should've seen the water filter my wife used in Africa last summer..Costly but, very effective~!!

May your glass always be half-full and, not half empty~!
ciao
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Old 03-29-2004, 10:34 AM   #10
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qqq, you might want to put a water filter on where your water line enters. The way you have it as I understand, just your kitchen water is filtered? You also brush your teeth and rinse your mouth at the bathroom sink. and if chemicals in the water bother you, then the hot shower water will disburse these chemicals into your air, which you breathe. silver suz
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Old 03-29-2004, 10:56 AM   #11
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See, around here, the water is already treated. With a sanitized tank and pipes, water in our tank has lasted 7 days without issue.

After the tank and plumbing systems are flushed out and sanitized, the water I put in is also filtered with an inline hose filter that take out anything that is left behind. As it's Lake Michigan water, the temp is fairly low (approx 50 degrees). Additionally, if we drink any water, we also have a brita filter jug that we use and keep in the fridge so we have cold water.

So for us, the fear of bacteria and germs is almost a total non-issue. We've been using the fresh water system as far back as when I camped with our family as a kid....so we have near 25 years of using our fresh water tanks for day to day use and consumption. It's only now that I inline filter the water going in and also place the Brita in the equation as well.

Eric
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Old 03-29-2004, 10:36 PM   #12
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After I had posted the last post, I continued with my daily work and got thirsty. So, I went to the water cooler which happens to be a 5 gallon jug. We buy them about 8-10 at a time and they sit in the plastic jugs until needed. Sometimes it can be 3 months before we get to the last one.

Then I started to think about other bottled water. It too is purified and can sit on store shelves for months before being consumed.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:26 AM   #13
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Water is a big deal these days. With the inconsistency among various systems across the country, we were very concerned. Nowadays you might find drug and hormone residue, pesticides, chemicals, viruses, cysts, and bacteria in a private or public system. What do many folks do with their old unused prescriptions? Yep, they get flushed down the drain.

An RO system is out of the question if you are boondocking frequently - uses too much water and needs relatively high pressure to accomplish the task.

So, here's how we handle our onboard water:

Step One - Pretreat water entering holding tank - Hydrolife Filter - around $35

Contaminants addressed include bacteria, heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide, lime/scale, chlorine, VOC's, taste, and odor.


Step Two - Treat drinking water - Nature Pure Filter - around $200

Certified to meet EPA Microbiological Purification Standards against cysts, bacteria & virus. Excels at chemical and aesthetic contaminant removal.

Hope this helps those that share our concerns. Happy hydrating!

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Old 03-30-2004, 08:47 AM   #14
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Smile clean water

Thanks for your reply! We will get the inline outside filter but we already have a slightly more complicated filter for the inside that will do all the water shower/ washer/dryer. Hope you get to sail away soon, me hearty.AARGH silver suz (when young, my son went through a pirate phase for 2 years alternating with his dinosaur costume!)
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