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Old 10-14-2015, 07:31 PM   #1
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Winterizing opinions

I need some advice from an old hand. I have a new 25FB and understand, from this forum and from the owners manual, most of the winterizing process. Some people say to leave a little clean water and chemical in the Black tank. Others say to drain completley. Some people say blow out the water lines with air and then pour some RV Antifreeze in the drains and others also run antifreeze through the lines. Anyone have thoughts/experience with these issues?
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:39 PM   #2
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Do you get 50 below? We do.

Drain the water heater. Does your trailer have a bypass for the heater? if so, bypass it before running the RV AF.

Drain all tanks, but don't worry about the waste tanks having a little left in. Drain the FW tank, then pour in 2 gallons of RV AF, then run your lines until it is good and pink coming out of the faucets, and shower head, and toilet flush.

Fill your sink and shower traps with neat RV AF.


Don't worry about blowing out the lines with air. By now you have a water/AF mix at the bottom of your waste tanks: that'll be fine.

Leave your faucets open, and take the shower and toilet flushing heads off.

That's all I do, and I don't think you get the kind of cold we get.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:47 PM   #3
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Blowing out the lines is one option, but there is the danger of water settling in a low point in the lines and freezing. If you have PEX plumbing that should not be a problem. Don't forget to open the low point drains and drain and pour a little RV antifreeze into your traps. IF there is a little water left in your tanks after draining that should not be a problem. I use RV antifreeze. You can always do both, blow out the lines and winterize with RV antifreeze, which may be overkill but won't hurt and is cheap insurance. Do you have a water heater bypass? If you don't have an adapter kit to pump antifreeze into your system through your water pump it is worth it. I have never taken the toilet flush and shower heads off or left the faucets open but it won't hurt.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:38 PM   #4
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OK this is good, simple info.

We will be camping this weekend, and expect it to probably be the last time we make it out this year.

So it sounds like I don't need to go to the trouble/expense of getting an air compressor (good!) and and can just drain everything and do the pink stuff.

Forgive my ignorance, but I do have a few (really specific) questions that I am hoping can be cleared up.

1) if I drain out the water heater using by removing the 7/8 inch screw cap, is there anything further that is needed to do to winterize the water heater? Does any pink stuff need to be in it?

2) I will get my owner's manual out on Saturday and take a look-see. But as I have a pretty new rig, I assume that it has a water heater bypass. My guess is that it is one of those ball valves deep under my bed by the hot/cold low point drains for the kitchen sink in my 22. Can anyone confirm or correct?

3)Assuming that I figure out how to bypass the water heater, then I ASSUME that the next step is to add the pink stuff. Does it go into the fresh water holding tank, or into the city water connection. Is this right or not? I am quite confused on this point.

4) What is this adapter pump kit I keep hearing about, and do I need one? What does it do? Is this to pump the pink stuff through the plumbing? Or into the tank from the bottle? Again, where does it need to go? Do you just simply use the water pump to pump the pink stuff throughout the trailer's system?

5) Once I get all of the above as it should be, then I ASSUME again that I turn on the kitchen sink tap until it runs pink, bathroom sink tap until it runs pink, shower tap until it runs pink, and outdoor shower until it runs pink. Do you need to run both hot and cold sides to do this?

6) Then I ASSUME (again) that the final step is to pour some pink stuff down the drain of the kitchen sink, bath sink, shower and flushed down the toilet, and then on top of the toilet bowl to cover the seal. Does any pink stuff go into the fresh water holding tank, black water rinse opening, or city water opening? Again this part is a bit unclear to me.

7) I would also ASSUME that the low point drains are kept closed, the inside and outside faucets kept open to allow for any expansion to have relief. What about the freshwater holding tank?

8) Thank you for reading this and for your replies
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
OK this is good, simple info.

We will be camping this weekend, and expect it to probably be the last time we make it out this year.

So it sounds like I don't need to go to the trouble/expense of getting an air compressor (good!) and and can just drain everything and do the pink stuff.

Forgive my ignorance, but I do have a few (really specific) questions that I am hoping can be cleared up.

1) if I drain out the water heater using by removing the 7/8 inch screw cap, is there anything further that is needed to do to winterize the water heater? Does any pink stuff need to be in it?

2) I will get my owner's manual out on Saturday and take a look-see. But as I have a pretty new rig, I assume that it has a water heater bypass. My guess is that it is one of those ball valves deep under my bed by the hot/cold low point drains for the kitchen sink in my 22. Can anyone confirm or correct?

3)Assuming that I figure out how to bypass the water heater, then I ASSUME that the next step is to add the pink stuff. Does it go into the fresh water holding tank, or into the city water connection. Is this right or not? I am quite confused on this point.

4) What is this adapter pump kit I keep hearing about, and do I need one? What does it do? Is this to pump the pink stuff through the plumbing? Or into the tank from the bottle? Again, where does it need to go? Do you just simply use the water pump to pump the pink stuff throughout the trailer's system?

5) Once I get all of the above as it should be, then I ASSUME again that I turn on the kitchen sink tap until it runs pink, bathroom sink tap until it runs pink, shower tap until it runs pink, and outdoor shower until it runs pink. Do you need to run both hot and cold sides to do this?

6) Then I ASSUME (again) that the final step is to pour some pink stuff down the drain of the kitchen sink, bath sink, shower and flushed down the toilet, and then on top of the toilet bowl to cover the seal. Does any pink stuff go into the fresh water holding tank, black water rinse opening, or city water opening? Again this part is a bit unclear to me.

7) I would also ASSUME that the low point drains are kept closed, the inside and outside faucets kept open to allow for any expansion to have relief. What about the freshwater holding tank?

8) Thank you for reading this and for your replies
My opinion, based on what works for me (touch wood):
1. Nothing else. I have flushed the WH with the RV AF in the past, but it does not seem to be necessary. Once bypassed and drained, there is plenty of expansion space for any water left in there that might freeze. It is also very, very difficult to flush the WH clear of the "pink stuff" and it will be with you all season, even if only in your imagination.
2. Don't know, but the manual is where to look.
3. You put it in the tank, not via the city water connection.
4. IMHO they are unnecessary.
5. Run anything with a faucet or valve. Including the toilet, until pink and foamy and smelly. It only takes a few seconds for each.
6. The pouring into traps is just an extra insurance, since you have already been running the AF into them, No need for the toilet, unless yours has a trap? My MoHo has no trap, just a hole into the BW tank. Both your waste tanks and your FW tank already have the AF in them, no more necessary.
7. Yes to all. All drains closed. Don't forget to close the FW tank drain before you start your flushing with AF! Don't forget the WH drain.
8. You're welcome. This is no big deal. Less than an hour will do it with your tanks pre-drained, but your FW tank will take a lot longer to drain than you will believe possible.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:37 PM   #6
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You may have a winterizing system installed in the coach which means you don't put AF. In the fresh water tank. You just turn a valve and with the tube in the AF bottle turn on pump.


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Old 10-14-2015, 09:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
You may have a winterizing system installed in the coach which means you don't put AF. In the fresh water tank. You just turn a valve and with the tube in the AF bottle turn on pump.
I shall have to try and remember that in 2041 when I buy my 2015 model!
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocco52 View Post
I need some advice from an old hand. I have a new 25FB and understand, from this forum and from the owners manual, most of the winterizing process. Some people say to leave a little clean water and chemical in the Black tank. Others say to drain completley. Some people say blow out the water lines with air and then pour some RV Antifreeze in the drains and others also run antifreeze through the lines. Anyone have thoughts/experience with these issues?
Drain it completely dry or protect anything that will freeze with antifreeze.

Or, store it indoors where it is heated.

Or, fix it next spring.

Those are the options where you live. Low 20's = serious freezing.

Or, go south where it never freezes.


I drain the fresh water tank and leave the valve open.
I drain the water heater and leave the plug out.
I place the winterizing valves in the correct position for winterizing.
I open the low point drain and open the faucets, use the jack to raise and lower each end till no water drains.
I close the faucets. While I fill the fresh water pipes with antifreeze, I open each fixture's valve individually in both the hot and cold position, pumping till pink flows at each one. Don't forget the outdoor faucet or shower if you have them.
I pour a few cups of antifreeze into each trap.
I drain the black and gray tanks, then add another cup of antifreeze to each trap.
If you have a black tank flush system, blow through it enough to remove any standing water.

This has worked for me for the last 20+ years, last year down to below zero.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:21 PM   #9
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Thank you to everyone. Quite sad to see the season ending.

First of hopefully many more to come! Next year heading to Yellowstone.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:40 AM   #10
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One little thing: spiders and ants do get in that water heater drain, and it is also big enough for mice, if it's like mine. I would not leave it unplugged.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
OK this is good, simple info.

We will be camping this weekend, and expect it to probably be the last time we make it out this year.

So it sounds like I don't need to go to the trouble/expense of getting an air compressor (good!) and and can just drain everything and do the pink stuff.

Forgive my ignorance, but I do have a few (really specific) questions that I am hoping can be cleared up.

1) if I drain out the water heater using by removing the 7/8 inch screw cap, is there anything further that is needed to do to winterize the water heater? Does any pink stuff need to be in it?

2) I will get my owner's manual out on Saturday and take a look-see. But as I have a pretty new rig, I assume that it has a water heater bypass. My guess is that it is one of those ball valves deep under my bed by the hot/cold low point drains for the kitchen sink in my 22. Can anyone confirm or correct?

3)Assuming that I figure out how to bypass the water heater, then I ASSUME that the next step is to add the pink stuff. Does it go into the fresh water holding tank, or into the city water connection. Is this right or not? I am quite confused on this point.

4) What is this adapter pump kit I keep hearing about, and do I need one? What does it do? Is this to pump the pink stuff through the plumbing? Or into the tank from the bottle? Again, where does it need to go? Do you just simply use the water pump to pump the pink stuff throughout the trailer's system?

5) Once I get all of the above as it should be, then I ASSUME again that I turn on the kitchen sink tap until it runs pink, bathroom sink tap until it runs pink, shower tap until it runs pink, and outdoor shower until it runs pink. Do you need to run both hot and cold sides to do this?

6) Then I ASSUME (again) that the final step is to pour some pink stuff down the drain of the kitchen sink, bath sink, shower and flushed down the toilet, and then on top of the toilet bowl to cover the seal. Does any pink stuff go into the fresh water holding tank, black water rinse opening, or city water opening? Again this part is a bit unclear to me.

7) I would also ASSUME that the low point drains are kept closed, the inside and outside faucets kept open to allow for any expansion to have relief. What about the freshwater holding tank?

8) Thank you for reading this and for your replies
As you may have already figured out there are a lot of different opinions out here. Here are some of mine:
1. When draining the hot water heater I also open the pressure relief valve, which if nothing else lets it drain quicker
2.Hot water bypass should be connected to the lines coming off the hot water heater. There are 3 valves. Close the 2 that are connected to the hot water heater. Open the valve that connects the water in and water out lines on the hot water heater
3. Easiest way to add the pink stuff is to get a kit (your rig already may have one) that consists of a 3 way valve that connects to the inlet on your water pump and uses your pump to circulate the stuff. You may use a lot more dumping it in the fresh water tank and take more time to flush it in the spring. There are also pumps to pump it into the faucets, but are messy. Yes, you don't put it in the fresh water connection. This is the adapter pump kit. It is just a valve that you add on to your water pump. Available in all RV stores for less than $20
4. When you have the stuff in the tank, or hooked up to the pump, turn on the water pump and open the faucets, shower, and flush the toilet one at a time until they run pink. I have been told to start with the faucet farthest away from the water pump, but am not sure if this is really necessary.
5.If you have run the faucets till pink you already have stuff in the traps.You don't need to worry about the tanks, but it won't hurt.
6.Yes, hot and cold because they are different feed lines
7. No need to worry about expansion. I close everything. But once the pink stuff is circulated the job is done. You could if you want even drain it out immediately but everyone waits as flushing out the pink stuff is a right of spring.
8.I used to raise and lower the trailer to get more complete draining. This is a good idea if you don't use antifreeze, but IMHO unnecessary if you do. But if it gives you more peace of mind and are not a lazy camper like I am go for it.
9. As another right of spring you could use cheap vodka instead of the pink stuff when you winterize. It tastes better.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocco52 View Post
I need some advice from an old hand. I have a new 25FB and understand, from this forum and from the owners manual, most of the winterizing process. Some people say to leave a little clean water and chemical in the Black tank. Others say to drain completley. Some people say blow out the water lines with air and then pour some RV Antifreeze in the drains and others also run antifreeze through the lines. Anyone have thoughts/experience with these issues?
I have a 25FB and I assume that yours is the same as mine, only newer. Where the pump is located makes it quite challenging to install a pump bypass. It might be worth the price, especially if you don't have an air compressor, to have a shop put one in.

I would advise against adding the pink stuff to your FW tank and make sure you don't get any into the HW tank. It won't hurt you but it does give off an odor that is bothersome.

I had an SOB with an easily accessible bypass and it was very easy to winterize. When I got the Airstream I called the dealer and asked them about the bypass. They told me that they just blow out the lines. Since I already had a compressor, this is what I do. It gets very cold where I live and I haven't had any trouble in 7 years.

I won't go through all the steps here since many have shared their ideas. PM me if you would like to hear what I do.

I will add that yes, you need to drain the HW tank. I would not leave the plug out for three reasons. 1. If you are like me, you could misplace it somewhere, 2. the exposed threads can rust and 3. any residual water sitting in the bottom of the tank will do no harm to the tank. When it freezes there will be plenty of room for it to expand.

Again, been doing this for close to 20 years now, 7 with the Airstream. No trouble other than operator error when I failed to notice the sink sprayer. Boy that made for some excitement the following spring.

Good luck. You can do it. A lot of common sense but it is not rocket science.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:52 AM   #13
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The BW and GW tanks, their valves and lines are said by AS to be in a heated compartment (heated of course only if the heat is on). When parked after use I tend to fill the BW tanks to about 10-15% to ensure solid bits missed by the flush system do not dry out and become unremovable (had a problem with this on our last RV - not an AS). The 2016 FC25 has ducted air and because the A/C is also a heat pump, and because I have a 30A plug in my yard, my plan is to run the heat pump with the inside thermostat set at about 10 degrees C, to keep the inside nice and dry. I'm hoping that will also protect the lines/tank in the BW/GW compartment. I figure that even if a BW/GW tank is 15% full if it freezes there will be plenty of room for the "water" to expand upon freezing anyway.

I also use my air compressor to blow out my lines, incl the outside shower, and I drain my heater. I have a small "pancake" style compressor for air nailers and it does the job. I don't use the pink RV anti-freeze.

We here in south coastal BC only see freezing weather occasionally down to maybe -2ish degrees C and only typically overnight.

Gary
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:08 PM   #14
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The 2016 FC25 has ducted air and because the A/C is also a heat pump, and because I have a 30A plug in my yard, my plan is to run the heat pump with the inside thermostat set at about 10 degrees C, to keep the inside nice and dry. I'm hoping that will also protect the lines/tank in the BW/GW compartment.
That may not always work. A heat pump heats the inside air by cooling the outside airó well, actually by taking heat away from the outside air. So if there's not enough heat in the outside air to begin with, the heat pump can't draw any heat from it, and so can't heat the interior air.

Hopefully your HVAC owner's manual will tell you the temperature limitations for heat pump use, but in general a propane furnace or electric heater will do a better job of keeping your plumbing from freezing because the amount of heat produced is independent of the outside temperature.
Quote:
I figure that even if a BW/GW tank is 15% full if it freezes there will be plenty of room for the "water" to expand upon freezing anyway.
That's not always a safe assumption, either. When water freezes, the ice expands about 9% in every direction, not just up and down. Add to this the fact that in order to fit in the belly pan, the tanks are wide and shallow, so it is easily possible for a thin layer of water to freeze all the way through rather than just forming a layer of ice on top of the water.

If you plan to leave water in your tanks because you're only expecting a mild freeze, you're better off leaving the tanks about 75% full rather than 15% full, so the water doesn't have time to freeze all the way through overnight before the daytime highs warm it up again.

Living along the Gulf Coast, we generally have mild winters, and there have been times in the past that I've taken the chance that overnight lows won't get low enough for long enough to cause a problem. And I've been lucky, so far. But it's not something I'd recommend to anyone else, and now that I have more free time to winterize after a trip and unwinterize before a trip, I won't take the chance as often anymore, either.
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