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Old 10-21-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
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Winterizing a Berkshire

Due to our unique water manifold system, I am wondering about the best method for winterization. I am leaning toward blowing out the lines with a compressor set at 30 pounds, first removing the water filters in the main canister and refrigerator, then adding anti-freeze to the traps and toilets. Regarding the toilets, the unit in the rear bath has an electric flush and I believe a macerator outlet. For that toilet I am planning to add enough anti-freeze to the bowl and flushing it to ensure the macerator/pump and outlet line is protected. Also, using the air method, I think I can get all of the water out of the residential refrigerator and the washer without putting the chemicals into them.

I am leaning this way to avoid introducing the anti-freeze into the fresh water lines. I know it is supposed to be safe, non-toxic and all of that, and should be mostly gone with a complete and thorough flushing, but it seems better to avoid and will certainly make it easier to de-winterize. My only concern is, with the manifold system, will I get all of the water out? I am assuming there may be some residual water that collects at a low point but am thinking it would be a small amount of little consequence.

Has anyone used the blow-out method on a Berkshire? I read numerous threads, with the pros and cons of both methods, but they always refer to other units and trailers but not specifically a Berkshire.

Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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I do both. After I blow out the lines I pump through the antifreeze. I feel that for a few dollars, it is much better to be safe than sorry. JMHO
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:54 PM   #3
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I used to blow out the lines on my older TTs and 5th wheels that had more simple plumbing but have been told not to with this MH -- especially with possibility of low spots in flexible water lines (kitchen slideout, etc) and water could settle in a low spot while the air passes right over it. Plus having a washing machine, ice maker and On Demand water heater (that has its own bypass lines to winterize also) seems to make the case for using anitfreeze in all the lines.
I have a mobile rv service guy some out and he uses a pump to pump rv antifreeze from 55gallon drum into all of the lines. It is very inexpensive that way and is a very short and fast service call that I usually combine with having him do any minor end of season fixes that need being done. (that is how last year I had a second outdoor light and some other simple goodies installed for very little cost...this year it will be a satellite dish being added at the winterization service!)
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:52 AM   #4
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I park mine in a heated garage over the winter. My father owns a Tiffin Allegro Bus and he built a small tank with an electric pump and will use antifreeze thru the system.

Depending on the climate I would be cautious of just blowing the lines out. The couple gallons of antifreeze is cheaper than paying to have items replaced in the spring when the coach looks like a water fountain.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:27 PM   #5
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Many Thanks

My thanks for all of the replies and advice. Based on these I decided to go the hybrid route and do both blowing the lines then filling with antifreeze.
As mentioned - it's simply not worth the risk not to.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:27 PM   #6
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I appreciate this thread as i had some similar questions. I winterized my 2010 Allegro for 3 years with anti freeze and never had an issue. But that coach didnt have a washer, residential fridge or manifold system. Anything special i should know as it pertains to the washer or ice line in the fridge? Do i need to run the washer on a cycle to make sure the antifreeze is pulled through the lines? I'm not sure i could even get the water out of the drain line as i'm sure it is pooled in there.

As for the girard tankless system, the directions say to simply run the fluid through the system. No cut off valve like the old 6 gallon tank i had on the allegro.

Thanks men!

Mike
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbh818 View Post
I appreciate this thread as i had some similar questions. I winterized my 2010 Allegro for 3 years with anti freeze and never had an issue. But that coach didnt have a washer, residential fridge or manifold system. Anything special i should know as it pertains to the washer or ice line in the fridge? Do i need to run the washer on a cycle to make sure the antifreeze is pulled through the lines? I'm not sure i could even get the water out of the drain line as i'm sure it is pooled in there.

As for the girard tankless system, the directions say to simply run the fluid through the system. No cut off valve like the old 6 gallon tank i had on the allegro.

Thanks men!

Mike

As for the washer & ice maker, just run the pink stuff thru the system.

IMO it is over kill to and just adds more time to blow the lines out and then run antifreeze thru them.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:07 PM   #8
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Winterizing the Washing Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbh818 View Post
I appreciate this thread as i had some similar questions. I winterized my 2010 Allegro for 3 years with anti freeze and never had an issue. But that coach didnt have a washer, residential fridge or manifold system. Anything special i should know as it pertains to the washer or ice line in the fridge? Do i need to run the washer on a cycle to make sure the antifreeze is pulled through the lines? I'm not sure i could even get the water out of the drain line as i'm sure it is pooled in there.

As for the girard tankless system, the directions say to simply run the fluid through the system. No cut off valve like the old 6 gallon tank i had on the allegro.

Thanks men!

Mike
The owner's manual for the Whirlpool front-loading washer states that to winterize:
1. Put 1 quart of RV antifreeze in the drum
2. Run washer on a Drain/Spin cycle
3. Unplug washer or disconnect power
4. Shut off both water faucets
5. Disconnect water inlet hoses from faucets and drain.

I agree with EJM4 that the same would be accomplished by running the antifreeze thru the system. My intent is to run the washer on a cold water cycle until I see 'pink', then repeat for the hot water side. This way both inlet lines are treated, the washer pump will have antifreeze, and any water left in the outlet will also be treated.
** I purchased alcohol-free RV antifreeze (Prestone) since I have read that alcohol may have negative effects on seals and some lines. I don't want to chance damaging anything in either the washer or the refrigerator.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:07 PM   #9
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Well I'm no expert on winterizing a Berkshire I did have mine done today and watched the expert.
First he did blow out the lines. His reason was it takes less antifreeze and less chance for a spot of diluted antifreeze. He used about 5 gallons of antifreeze. When he did the washer he ran a minute or so on warm that got both lines at once. He also poured a half gallon And ran the spin cycle to get it in the pump and drain.
For the ice machine he had a electric cord with connectors on it to go on the water pump. It plugs in where the ice machine does and worked very well. Just a second and it filled the line.
Everything else has been covered already just some highlights. Now I'll just do it myself.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:46 PM   #10
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This is another good reason I'm glad I live in the south. I don't have to winterize.
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