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Old 11-22-2006, 11:12 AM   #1
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Is anti-freeze required to winterize?

I don't normally winterize our 1984 310 Limited MH. Our temps seldom get below mid 20's. I usually just leave the furnace on set to about 50. This way I don't have to de- winterize when we want to use the rig (which we do several time each winter). Unfortunately the pilot seat is out of the rig and I'm out of propane with cold weather on its way so I guess I will go ahead and winterize.

I'd rather not fill the system with anti-freeze. Is it good enough to empty all the tanks (including hot water) and blow out all the lines? Or do I need to run anti-freeze through everything?
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:22 AM   #2
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hi guy

simplest approach is install a 20$ bypass hose at the water pump...

run antifreeze into the lines and drains only...

this is done by opening each faucet with the pump on, till pink goes down the drains...

empty the tanks... and you are done....

only flushing needed to undo it, this way is the pump and lines...simple and quick

don't put antifreeze in the freshwater tank, it takes forever to remove the traces...as in 5-10 tanks of freshwater...

if no buypass hose kit is available just disconnect the water pump and add an extension hose long enough to reach the antifreeze bottle...

airing the lines and draining tanks, low water valves works ok on new units (i do this) but given the age and potential low spots in your plumbing, it is unlikely all the water will escape.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:40 PM   #3
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Sounds like where I live

In central Texas, I simply drain all tanks, blow out the lines with compressed air, and put antifreeze in the sink and shower traps. The shower trap, especially is very important; can you envision replacing a broken trap?

I do remove the water pump filter and empty it of water. I then put a sponge over the pump outlet and run the pump briefly to get all water out of the pump.

I first drain the fresh water tank, the water heater, and the low-point drains. I then use my compressed air carry-tank to blow out the lines. My tank has a clip-on air chuck and I use a screw-in Schrader valve which allows me to clip the tank on outside and go inside to open faucets one by one. If I run short of air, I use my 12v compressor to refill the tank.

In this area, we use the trailer every couple of weeks all year 'round. I don't want antifreeze in the lines since it takes a lot of water to flush the lines and I have no water available at my storage site. I drain the water heater, but I make no use of the bypass. When draining the water heater, I find that it is a good time to remove any scale and debris from the tank.

My last step is RV antifreeze in the traps.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:06 PM   #4
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I'll sound like a broken record, but without antifreeze, the pump is not protected. When I relied on compressed air/draining only, my pump was damaged by expanded frozen water...tiny little bits of it, but busted none the less. you'll never get all the water out of the pump.
Probably perfectly fine in more temperate climates, though, where it seldom freezes, or only dips briefly below 32F. The year I had damage, we had a few extended periods of below 0F weather.
the only way to completely remove the water from the system is to pump some other liquid into it to displace it.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:11 PM   #5
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I just emptied the tanks and blew out the lines for years. I always disassembled the pump and got all of the water out of it I could, and then dumped anti-freeze in the p-traps as well. Frankly, once you have a water heater bypass and anti-freeze take-up valve installed, it's easier and faster to use anti-freeze. You don't have to take anything apart, you don't have to wait all the time it takes for the water vapor to stop coming out of each faucet, and it really doesn't use more than a gallon or gallon and a half to do the entire rig. I'm a convert. I'm also with 2air... don't put anti-freeze in the freshwater tank. It won't hurt you to drink it, but I don't think it adds anything positive to the taste of the water.

Roger
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:21 PM   #6
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On my 78 I have winterized as suggested above, but I don't see a drain for the water tank. I looked where the book says it is , but I am not finding it. Any ideas?
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:30 PM   #7
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I do basically everything Pahaska does with an additional step - I run antifreeze through the lines & blow it out afterward.

My reasoning is that, left there, the antifreeze will "flavor" the pipe's walls. This method has worked well for two seasons.

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Old 11-22-2006, 02:36 PM   #8
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Did we just give up on the idea of using a 50-50 blend of ethanol? It's good to -25F.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:41 PM   #9
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Not necessarily

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Did we just give up on the idea of using a 50-50 blend of ethanol? It's good to -25F.
Since I'm lazy, it was just easier to pick up three gallons of RV antifreeze at AutoZone for $9 than check ethanol prices.

Does 1-1/2 gallons of ethanol cost less than $4.50?

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Old 11-22-2006, 03:12 PM   #10
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No, Tom, but come springtime all you have is a waste disposal problem.

I'll have enough gin for a whole weekend!
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:38 PM   #11
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I know everyone says it's OK , but I'm still not a fan of putting chemicals in my water system . I blow out the lines . I do use RV antifreeze in the traps and about a 1/2 cup in the water pump . Just unhook the filter near the pump , fill the hose with antifreeze , then run the pump for 30 sec . Been good for 10 NH winters . Another 2 cents .
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticki2
I know everyone says it's OK , but I'm still not a fan of putting chemicals in my water system . I blow out the lines . I do use RV antifreeze in the traps and about a 1/2 cup in the water pump . Just unhook the filter near the pump , fill the hose with antifreeze , then run the pump for 30 sec . Been good for 10 NH winters . Another 2 cents .
Ditto here
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:16 PM   #13
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Drain Valve on 78 Water Tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
On my 78 I have winterized as suggested above, but I don't see a drain for the water tank. I looked where the book says it is , but I am not finding it. Any ideas?
Alan, I had a 79 31 footer that had no drain valve. Airstreams method of emptying the tank was to run the pump till it runs out of water or dies. On my 79 there was an inspection plate in the belly pan under the water tank. It was a piece of belly skin about 4 or 5 inches square held to the belly pan by a sheet metal screw in each corner. When the plate was removed and under some insulation there was a white plastic drain plug in the water tank. The plug had a female hex. I found a hex head cap screw maybe 5/8" bolt and placed two hex nuts locked together on the bolt. I placed the bolthead in the drain plug female opening and used a wrench on one of the nuts to remove the plug. Be careful putting the plug back. If you use teflon tape to seal the threads the tape acts like a lubricant and you can tighten the plug too far into the threaded opening. Because the plug is tapered it may be possible to damage the threads or the tank. A friend of mine at Travelers Rest replaced the elbow where the water pump pickup comes out feeding the pump. He replaced that elbow with a brass elbow in which he drilled and tapped a thread to install a drain valve. It always leaked a little but I was afraid to tighten it for fear of damaging the tank fitting. If you remove the drain plug from the tank, be ready to roll quickly out of the way because that water pours quickly through that two inch drain. Charlie E.
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:39 PM   #14
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The only anti-freeze I use is a small amount in the drain traps. Chummy is primed and ready to roll all winter long and upon each return all I do is blow out the water lines and bring the water filter inside the house. But of course the Wisconsin winter is nothing to complain about we rarely get those balmy 20 degree days.
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:27 AM   #15
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The nice thing about using the anti-freeze (for those of us who actually use our trailers during the winter a bit) is that you can winterize on the road with it. There's no need to find a compressor, and you don't have to worry about the pump. You drain the tanks, suck the anti-freeze into the lines, and you're on the road again without worry of freezing while driving. It's less than a ten minute process.

BTW, guys... the anti-freeze doesn't hurt the plumbing, is non-toxic, and flushes out of the lines within seconds of seeing clear water at the taps. The old stuff was kind of nasty (the reason I used to just blow mine out), but the product(s) they make today are really easy to use.

Roger
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:35 AM   #16
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That won't work for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
The nice thing about using the anti-freeze ... is that you can winterize on the road with it. There's no need to find a compressor, ...
My shore water plumbing (checkvalve, reg) will hold water that does not drain with anything but compressed air. Granted, it is not much water, but then not much is required to freeze and have a problem.

And the checkvalve does not "check" 100%, so water will backfill the area in question even when only the pump is being used.

Tom
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Old 11-23-2006, 08:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
The nice thing about using the anti-freeze (for those of us who actually use our trailers during the winter a bit) is that you can winterize on the road with it.
Good point. I forget not everyone, like us MHers, have heated tanks and water lines while they travel.
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Old 11-23-2006, 08:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
My shore water plumbing (checkvalve, reg) will hold water that does not drain with anything but compressed air. Granted, it is not much water, but then not much is required to freeze and have a problem.

And the checkvalve does not "check" 100%, so water will backfill the area in question even when only the pump is being used.

Tom
Tom, if you're talking about the back-flow preventer on the incoming water line, the accepted method of dealing with that is: once the plumping is charged completely with anti-freeze, go outside and hold the tip of the back-flow preventer in with your finger until anti-freeze comes out the hose connector, then let it seal again. The anti-freeze will displace any water on the back side. Generally though, that water on the back-side of the valve shouldn't be a problem as it's open to the air and can freeze and expand out the hose connector without causing any damage.

The back-flow preventer on the water tank is usually inside the pump, and the intake valve installation is done on the intake side of the pump, so the pump's back-flow preventer is taken care of automatically with anti-freeze on both sides.

Roger
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