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Old 09-10-2016, 07:27 AM   #1
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Winterizing On The Road

It will be my first time winterizing on the road. I'll be coming back up from Pensacola area in late November to Ohio.
Hints, procedures for on the road know-how would be greatly appreciated.
In February I will leave Ohio and head back down to FL and the to AZ until late April.


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Old 09-10-2016, 07:47 AM   #2
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My water pump has the adapter that lets you switch the input to the clear tube, which I put in the pink anti-freeze jug. When we came back early one year, after dumping the gray and black tanks, I opened the low point drains and took the plug out of the water heater and let everything thing go out. I ran the pump a few minutes to let it push out as much as it could. I closed the drains and put the plug back in the water heater, switched the bypass valves on the water heater so the water heater stayed empty.

I switched the water pump input to the clear tube and put that in the pink anti-freeze, ran the pump with the taps open one by one; first kitchen sink, then the bath vanity, toilet, shower, outside shower. I poured pink anti-freeze into the drains and some into the black tank. (I have learned that you don't leave pink anti-freeze in the toilet, it will warp the trap door rubber seal. Use olive oil instead.)

The only thing I missed (I think) is the black tank sprayer. Either the line broke or I have a bad washer, not sure. I still have to investigate that. If there was a do-over I'd use my bicycle pump and my shrader valve to push air through it. (you can buy a plug that fits on the water hookup that has an air valve in it so you can use an air pump to push air through it. At home I use this on the city water inlet with my compressor to blow out all the water lines before putting in the pink anti-freeze.)

I've done that for 2 seasons now and no broken pipes.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:50 AM   #3
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A little off topic, but have you considered simply leaving your trailer in storage in Florida while you return to Ohio and then pick it up when you resume your travels? If you leave it in the panhandle, you will still need to winterize but why drag it around for an extra 1,500-2,000 miles if not necessary?
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:58 AM   #4
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We did just that last year. At the end of October we were returning homeward from a trip to the southwest states. We crossed Texas ( very, very big Texas) using Rt. 10. We stayed a few days at the Kings Bay Navy base in southern Georgia to do some housekeeping and cleaning then put our Airstream in storage there. We picked it up in January on the way to Key West. All was good, I drained what I could just because it's good to do that when sitting awhile. Anyhow, all was good. Would do it again in a minute when the need arises.

PS: just a thought, I carry a small 12v compressor for tire issues. Do they pump enough volume to blow the system in a pinch ???
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
A little off topic, but have you considered simply leaving your trailer in storage in Florida while you return to Ohio and then pick it up when you resume your travels? If you leave it in the panhandle, you will still need to winterize but why drag it around for an extra 1,500-2,000 miles if not necessary?

I've been looking at doing just that ... My lovely spouse isn't a fan of leaving our AS where she can't see it


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Old 09-10-2016, 10:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
We did just that last year. At the end of October we were returning homeward from a trip to the southwest states. We crossed Texas ( very, very big Texas) using Rt. 10. We stayed a few days at the Kings Bay Navy base in southern Georgia to do some housekeeping and cleaning then put our Airstream in storage there. We picked it up in January on the way to Key West. All was good, I drained what I could just because it's good to do that when sitting awhile. Anyhow, all was good. Would do it again in a minute when the need arises.

PS: just a thought, I carry a small 12v compressor for tire issues. Do they pump enough volume to blow the system in a pinch ???

Did you leave your AS at Kings Bay? How was the experience? Is it a secure facility storage area? I'm intrigued and would like to convince my wife to leave our baby and pick her up on the return trip.


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Old 09-10-2016, 11:11 AM   #7
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I would winterize before I left

Wouldn't you also have to find a dump station.?

Once I did start the winterizing process on the way home, by opening all drains and faucets. My thinking was the hills and tilts would help the draining
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:18 AM   #8
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Plumbing Anti-Freeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cispook View Post
It will be my first time winterizing on the road. I'll be coming back up from Pensacola area in late November to Ohio.
Hints, procedures for on the road know-how would be greatly appreciated.
In February I will leave Ohio and head back down to FL and the to AZ until late April.
You may have trouble finding the non-toxic RV anti-freeze in the south - they don't stock it and some places don't even know what it is. Last year, I took some with me. However, you can order it from Camping World and have it delivered to the store nearest to your route home.

I use a VIAIR 450P, which can get up to 100 PSI, to blow out the lines. If you use a portable air pump be sure and use a pressure regulator. I can then use much less anti-freeze to ensure that the water pump, etc., doesn't have any water left in it.

There are lots of YouTube videos on the process.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:04 PM   #9
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If you will be back to Ohio by the end of November, you will miss the worst of the hard frosts. The weather may be such that you will get home without any frosts, so that is the first possible course of action -- no action!

If you want to winterize before you get home, I would empty the holding tanks, open the fresh water tank drain, plus the H&C low-point drains, and remove the water heater drain plug. Then leave these various drains open as you drive home. The water pump, filter and line from the fresh water tank should back-drain pretty well from all the road action, as should all the plumbing lines IMO. [edit -- leave all faucets cracked open as well]

For the drain traps, you can always use a cheap generic vodka if you can't locate RV antifreeze, just to get home (not orally ).

When at home you can do the final winterization using a compressor. IMO the small 12-volt compressors do not generate enough air flow to blow out the stubborn pockets of water in the lines (if any), even if they have enough apparent pressure. It is the air flow that does the work. [and chances are very good that you won't need to worry about this weather-wise]

The pump, filter and supply line from the fresh water tank, can be double-checked at this stage also. If you hit a very hard freeze on the way home, obviously you will have to deal with this on the road. No big deal IMO.

Good luck, and welcome to the forum!
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:42 PM   #10
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I leave my 34' trailer in storage in a RV park in Florida while I am away, spring til fall. Last summer someone took the spare tire and left me a flat damaged tire. The summer before someone took a propane tank. I still leave my trailer, but take more precautions (lock things up). Now I have friends that live in the area check it as often as they can.

There is risk leaving a trailer parked anywhere, even in your driveway at home.

I have been able to find RV antifreeze readily available in the deep south, at least it is where I go in south central FL. Walmart always has it, Peak or Camco brands. Anyone that sells RV accessories has it.

To winterize follow instructions in your owners manual. If you have an outdoor shower, don't forget to run antifreeze through it.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
. . .
I use a VIAIR 450P, which can get up to 100 PSI, to blow out the lines. If you use a portable air pump be sure and use a pressure regulator. I can then use much less anti-freeze to ensure that the water pump, etc., doesn't have any water left in it.

There are lots of YouTube videos on the process.
And plenty of threads here as well, Cispook, FYI. BTW it is not necessary to use antifreeze to winterize thoroughly, if you are careful and use compressed air correctly.

One word of caution --

Using a compressor to blow out the plumbing lines (via the city water intake) does not, however, remove water from the water pump and filter, nor from the supply line running from the fresh water tank to the pump.

That must be done manually as spec'd in the owner's manual.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:10 PM   #12
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Yes Cispook, we left it at Kings bay. I think in was in the ballpark of $35/month. Fenced in and locked secure storage. And the base is as secure as you could possibly get. We spend a few nights prior so we could rent a rug shampooer and do some housecleaning. Full hookups so did a good flush on the waste tanks. If you have access to the bases I'd recommend it. When we went down to pick it up the campground host has a key so you can get it any day you arrive. We stayed the night and headed to Key West the next morning.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:59 PM   #13
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Where did you get the valve that hooks to a bicycle pump and what is it called? Nice post.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:01 PM   #14
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What do you think of zip tying foam pipe insulation to the water and gas pipes under the trailer for protection in areas of the country where it freezes?
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