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Old 10-04-2018, 10:30 AM   #1
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Upper MidWest when do you winterize?

Aloha, Wondering when people in the upper Midwest winterize their campers? We are in Minneapolis and love to camp into November. We have a 1Sport 16 We would love to have water through Oct and then drain and winterize the end of Oct and dry camp in Nov. Wondering if we are pushing it?
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:43 AM   #2
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Hi

Simple answer is to take a look at the "first freeze" data at any of a number of web sites. It's something people worry about with plants outdoors so there's a lot of data on it. Depending on how your trailer is stored, a brief excursion below 32 may or may not be a big deal. A full day below freezing is likely to be an issue, regardless of storage location (.... unless it's heated / indoors ).

One cute approach is to watch the 10 day weather forecast. If it starts to head towards freezing, get out the compressor and blow out the lines. That's generally a fairly easy process and does not rule out camping a bit later in the year. Properly done, it's likely "good enough" for the sort of stuff you will run into before you get into December.

For a bit of added protection, blow out the lines and then run a bottle of vodka into them. That will most certainly give you protection well into December. It also does not ... burp ... eliminate the ability to run water through the trailer later in the year and go camping. It's probably not adequate for a full on winter so you likely will still need the anti-freeze once you get past Christmas.

Lots of fun ...

Bob
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:43 AM   #3
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Look at your average nightly temperatures and weekly forecasts. I lived in Mankato, MN for a few years. Its uaually cold up there. I would be winterizing now. We now live in the Front Range of the Rockies at 7400 feet. I winterized my trailer on Monday.

Plus, I do not think your trailer has insulation and heat around the holding tanks, so even with running the heat, you could still end up with frozen tanks. YMMV. Good luck.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:55 AM   #4
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I'm assuming that in order for there to be possible damage the temp would need to be 32 or below for at least a few hours? Is this correct? Looking out at the 10 day forecast the lows will be in high 30s low 40s. Assuming we will be fine?
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:27 AM   #5
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Watch the temperatures, and be sure to winterize before the first freeze...that’s what o do.

Maggie
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:47 AM   #6
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Good advice so far IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbisquit View Post
Aloha, Wondering when people in the upper Midwest winterize their campers? We are in Minneapolis and love to camp into November. We have a 1Sport 16 We would love to have water through Oct and then drain and winterize the end of Oct and dry camp in Nov. Wondering if we are pushing it?
Do you have shore power available where the AS is parked? That is an important variable. If "yes" then you have the option of turning on the heat and tank heaters, if so equipped, or putting a small electric heater inside.

If no shore power, then you should still be fine through the end of October IMO -- check the line graphs at the bottom here:

https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/mi...onyr=10/1/2018

These monthly reports are fairly dependable, as they update in real time as the monthly weather unfolds in your location. If it gets colder than originally forecast, then this chart will reflect the lowered forecast.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- Another important factor is the wind speed and direction. If a strong wind is blowing on the trailer, even at 30 degrees F, it can easily freeze an exposed location, like the outdoor shower fittings, or any other fitting inside the windward wall. Not sure about your plumbing system layout, but don't forget the wind factor mainly.
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Old 10-04-2018, 01:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi



One cute approach is to watch the 10 day weather forecast. If it starts to head towards freezing, get out the compressor and blow out the lines. That's generally a fairly easy process and does not rule out camping a bit later in the year. Properly done, it's likely "good enough" for the sort of stuff you will run into before you get into December.

For a bit of added protection, blow out the lines and then run a bottle of vodka into them.
Bob
We aren't in the mid-west but at the same latitude with similar weather. We also are looking to continue camping into late November early December. Next week they are calling for temps around 30 at night warming to 45-50 during the day. I planned on doing exactly as Uncle Bob suggested. Today I'm going to blow out all the lines and drain and rinse out the hot water tank. I'll put her back in her storage building with all the faucets open and a small heater set on low.

If we are fortunate enough to squeeze in a couple more trips this process won't take but a few minutes to repeat. Then come December I can add the antifreeze and we should be good to go.

I love the vodka idea but not sure I can bring myself to pump perfectly good stuff into the plumbing. Once I get everything blown out today i may have to sit on the porch with a vodka tonic and give this further thought.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KelloggKid View Post
We aren't in the mid-west but at the same latitude with similar weather. We also are looking to continue camping into late November early December. Next week they are calling for temps around 30 at night warming to 45-50 during the day. I planned on doing exactly as Uncle Bob suggested. Today I'm going to blow out all the lines and drain and rinse out the hot water tank. I'll put her back in her storage building with all the faucets open and a small heater set on low.

If we are fortunate enough to squeeze in a couple more trips this process won't take but a few minutes to repeat. Then come December I can add the antifreeze and we should be good to go.

I love the vodka idea but not sure I can bring myself to pump perfectly good stuff into the plumbing. Once I get everything blown out today i may have to sit on the porch with a vodka tonic and give this further thought.
Hi

Indeed you don't want to pour the "good stuff" into the water supply. Now you know why they stock the really awful (but cheap) stuff down at the store . One thing some people do is to put some food coloring in with the vodka before using it. The claim is that it helps them when it's time to flush the system out.

====

The temperature you are watching for is indeed sub 32F for a few hours. The weather man often lies about this in his forecasts so it's probably best to be a bit conservative when watching the forecast. In reality wind is a big part of this as well. If it's dead calm, the fittings on the outside of the trailer will not cool very quickly. If there's good wind from the wrong direction, they will cool down fairly fast.

For grins and entertainment, take a glass of cold water outside this winter. Watch how long it takes it to freeze solid. Alternately you could drill a hole in the ice over a local lake (who knows why ... ) and observe how long that takes to freeze. The data from the glass of water is probably more accurate. The ice fishing is more fun ....

Bob
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:54 AM   #9
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Freezing point of Vodka is -17*F. Might be a good idea in Kentucky latitudes, but not in Minnesota.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:12 AM   #10
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We usually winterize about the end of October. Most of the time, freezes here are just below 32 degrees, and as long as we've emptied the trailer of water, we don't worry about those too much. If it's going to hit below 29 degrees for a period of time (say a day or two), then we blow the lines. We can still camp if we've done that, but we stop camping once we've put the antifreeze in. That's usually by November. We're just north of the heat sink of the Twin Cities (694/494 circle), so get freezes a little faster than the circle/city people. We do watch the weather. Winterizing in a snow storm is not really very fun!

Kay
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:07 AM   #11
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The Vodka idea is interesting, however, as I think about it I will probably use my compressor right after I slice my lemon wedges.
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:15 AM   #12
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If you use both a compressor and RV anti-freeze you can get a head start on spring de-winterizing by blowing out the pink RV anti-freeze after you have pumped it through the lines. There is no need to leave the pink in the lines over the winter. As there is very little water left in the lines after blowing them out, you can also collect what you have pumped through and blown out the lines and use that to run through the traps and into the holding tanks for the winter. Thrifty and better for the environment.

If you are paranoid, you can also use a to run antifreeze through the city water regulator and the black tank sprayer, but the compressed air is likely sufficient.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Freezing point of Vodka is -17*F. Might be a good idea in Kentucky latitudes, but not in Minnesota.
Hi

Thus the original suggestion to replace it with anti-freeze before full on winter got there ....

Bob
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:34 AM   #14
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If you have your AS parked in a garage you can fudge a bit. It has to be below 32 degrees for some time to freeze things solid then. A garage will keep the wind from chilling things down quicker. I live in Wisconsin in Door County. Our freeze time is a little longer into the fall due to the lake effect around the Peninsula. So I will wait until late October. Blowing out your lines is pretty simple. Although for WI winters I would put in anti-freeze as well once you get to mid November and definitely December. It is possible to get down into the teens in late November in the upper Midwest. I lived in NW Wisconsin and I remember blizzards in November; especially around Thanksgiving.

Good idea about the Vodka

I don’t like to think about winterizing. That means cold and snow and worse; long dark nights.
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