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Old 11-23-2013, 03:55 PM   #11
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How I Winterize My Berkshire

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Originally Posted by Campin Cajun View Post
This is another good reason I'm glad I live in the south. I don't have to winterize.
You've got the right idea, and after the missus retires, we're right behind you.

However for those of us who have to winterize, here's how I did it:

I winterized my 2013 Berkshire 390 40L motorhome using only (pink) polypropylene (1,2-propanediol) – no compressed air, which is expensive, unnecessary, and involves a setup.


My procedure with a few noteworthy items:
  • Unscrew the water filter housing, remove and discard the filter, dump the water out of the housing, and screw back on
  • Shut off the power to the Girard water heater (switch in the water heater compartment), prior to running the antifreeze into the motorhome
  • Disregard what you may have read (including on this forum) about propylene glycol freezing - a 50/50 propylene glycol/water mixture will not freeze down to -29°F http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/pr...col-d_363.html
  • Propylene glycol (pink-dyed fluid) is FDA approved as a food additive and is virtually 100% non-toxic (they use it in ice cream)
  • Turn on the 12V water pump switch
  • Turn the three-way valve to allow the antifreeze fill leg to flow to the 12V water pump, not the fresh water tank
  • Put the antifreeze fill leg into a jug of pink antifreeze
  • At any particular faucet, after running the hot water until it turns pink, switching to cold will appear to run pink right away, but you should allow it to run for three to five more seconds until it runs clear, and another three to five seconds until it runs pink again
  • Don’t forget to unscrew the shower heads (indoors and outdoors), as they don’t drain completely and may crack (I learned this with an earlier RV)
  • Flush each toilet until the inlet water runs pink; the sink P-traps will have the antifreeze in them from running the hot and cold faucets, except you should not forget that the galley is a double sink – put antifreeze into the other sink trap, too
  • Don’t forget to open the drain leg cocks on the hot and cold water side of the water distribution manifold, to run antifreeze in those legs
  • Allow the fridge to run until you get pink color in the ice cube tray to protect the metal supply line from the water manifold (with the ice-maker bail in the “down” position), then shut the refrigerator off
  • Drain the fresh water tank until it stops dripping (I close the valve after draining)
  • After pumping the antifreeze, leave the three-way cock (used on the antifreeze fill leg to the 12V pump) in the fresh-water-tank-off position, to prevent freeze damage to the pump
  • I keep the MH plugged in year round, but I check the level of distilled water in the house batteries at least once every couple of months
  • Turn on the tank heater pads
  • In order to get the tire covers on with the larger 275-80R22.5 tires installed (you do have the June 2013 front end suspension upgrade, don't you?), I start the engine to inflate the airbags, put it up on jacks and level manually* (with wooden blocks under the feet to protect the feet from salt corrosion); I use the Android/iPad ClinometerTM app to level it, noting that not all floor tiles are “level” (find one that is, and is accessible with the slides retracted)
  • Needless to say, I store my motorhome with the slides retracted
  • If there is a small amount of water that is unprotected by antifreeze, remember that PEX tubing is pretty tough stuff, and you might “stand a chance” against freeze damage
  • The above procedure took about 2 1/2 gallons of the pink stuff
*Manually plant the front jacks first, and the rear jacks second ("plant" means the feet just barely touch the ground). Then level the unit front-to-back, then side-to-side.

If you are on steeper than 0.3° terrain front-to-back, or 1° side-to-side, and want it leveled for occupancy (not just storing for the winter), consider level by using boards under the tires, and use the same number of boards under the jack feet as under the adjacent wheels (a 1˝” thick board is equivalent to 0.6° front-to-back, and 2° side-to-side). With dual tires, use (the same number of) boards under both adjacent tires.

During any leveling process (manual or automatic), the slides should be retracted.

Never overextend the jacks, and never raise any tire(s) off the ground. I have used as many as three 1˝” boards under all four rear tires and adjacent jack pads in Appalachian campgrounds. I drive on them frontwards, and drive off them rearward; however, I always check to reposition the rear mud/stone guard to avoid damage, before backing off of more than one layer of boards at the rear.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:12 PM   #12
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Great list of things to do, however we don't let the RV antifreeze into the ice maker, what we do is take the line off the back of fridge, unplug ice maker, run the pink antifreeze thru the line a few seconds and then turn the water line off to ice maker. Took us for ever to get the pink stuff out of ice maker one time.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:11 PM   #13
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Great info- but how do you get to the refrigerator water line? There does not seem to be any access at all to the rear of the residential fridge.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:27 PM   #14
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We have a Dometic fridge so there is an access panel on the outside. Sorry, not a clue on a residentil fridge.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKC02 View Post
Great info- but how do you get to the refrigerator water line?
I couldn't find any way to unhook the line to the OEM gas/electric fridge, and it seemed unnecessary.

I just turned the ice maker on (bail in "down" position), left the 12V water pump "On", and the feed leg in a 1/4 jug of antifreeze overnight. In the morning there was a small puddle of pink antifreeze in the ice bin, so I removed the jug, raised the ice maker bail, turned the refrigerator and 12V water pump off, and locked everything up. I didn't bother with unhooking the ice maker feed water line.

The only thing I didn't like about this method was the 12V pump had run dry and was making a real racket in my driveway in the early morning hours. It seems that no harm was done. If there had been pump damage, except for the expense and time, water pumps are easy to replace. However, next year, this will not be an overnight procedure.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:37 PM   #16
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Thanks for the replies. I did winterize the fridge by removing the filter, installed the plug, turned ice maker off, and ran the dispenser until I got pink.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:37 AM   #17
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With regards to the water tank, which nobody mentioned, it is difficult to get all the water out. If your lines was filled through the provided anti freeze fill line, there will still be a pool of water in the bottom of the water tank, even if you had opened the drain to it. I do not fret this was in the tank because it freezing in the plastic tank will do it no harm. However my concern is the drain valve. If left opened, it should be okay, but if left closed and some water does pool in it, it may be bad for the valve.

Also be aware to fill your sinks and shower traps with anti freeze. If you filled your lines with anti freeze and ran the faucets, then the traps got the anti freeze. However if you just blow the lines only, please fill the traps.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:27 AM   #18
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When water freezes it also expands, more often than not when in pipes or other small areas there is no room for expansion.
In a area such as a tank there is tons of room, if said tank is not full


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Old 11-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #19
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Hallen01, in all those steps I didn't see anything about bypassing the water heater.

Also, wouldn't it be better to drain your holding & FW tanks instead of turning on tank heaters? That's only going to work if you're plugged into shore power all the time, and that may boil your battery dry.
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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Helen has a Girard on demand water heater so there is no need to by pass. Just run the pink stuff through. When you de-winterize you just run clear water through to remove the anti-freeze.
Instead of boards I purchased some black, rubber mat at either Lowes or Home Depot which I put under each tire. I also made 'blocks' which consist of a stack of 2x10's which I put under each jack pad with the jacks fully retracted. This way, when the coach's air bags empty, the jacks will be on the blocks and support the coach. It will prevent the coach from settling on the suspension and being that the jacks are fully retracted, the pistons will not be exposed to any elements.
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