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Old 01-19-2016, 08:12 AM   #1
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Cold Weather PDI questions

Hello all,

The day we have been waiting for is soon approaching. At the end of this month we are scheduled to take delivery and conduct a walk through of our new 3011DS. One of my concerns is doing a walk through in subfreezing temperatures. I was hoping that the warmer weather would hold out for a bit but it looks like winter is finally here and we are actually expecting our first snow storm this weekend. The unit is winterized at this point and they did say they will be able to bring it into the garage to do the inspection/walk through. I am trying to determine if there are any systems I may not be able to test in these conditions other that the AC system. Also, I also have a concern about what is the best approach to test any/and or all of the water systems. The technician mentioned something about using winterizing antifreeze to test the system as opposed to taking it out, filling with water and then re-winterizing again. This sounds possible as it would make potential leaks easier to spot, but how would you test the water heater?

Any thoughts or comments would be very much appreciated.

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Old 01-19-2016, 08:56 AM   #2
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Everything will still be covered by warranty plus you could make a conditional acceptance with those systems excluded until you are able to inspect them. Get it in writing and list everything you are not able to test. My last three units have been bought in the dead of winter and I have never had a problem with any of the the non tested systems working come spring.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:57 AM   #3
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Bring it in the shop, hook up water, and do pdi.

Have them rewinterize it after you are done!


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Old 01-19-2016, 09:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kenny kustom View Post
Bring it in the shop, hook up water, and do pdi.

Have them rewinterize it after you are done!
I agree!

The PDI will take a little longer but you will have the knowledge (if you don't already have) of watching/helping winterize the unit. You might even get there early and learn the dewinterize process as well.

Inside the shop could also be warm enough that you could run the A/C and cool enough to try the furnace.

If your dealer balks at all this... you might want to rethink the deal.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:20 AM   #5
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That was my thought as well. I did my PDI in sub-zero outdoor temps but they had brought in to their shop the day before so it was warm. Winterizing does not take very long so it should not be an issue. Once you take the trailer home it will be much harder to get service. Inspect carefully now and refuse to take it until it is fixed. Dealers generally don't want a sold trailer on their lot any longer than necessary so are more motivated.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:23 AM   #6
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After having rushed (my fault), or been rushed (dealer's fault) through the PDI on our current FW (in FL in 70 degrees) and having to deal with multiple issues after acceptance, we have vowed to never again let that happen. We're currently working on a new purchase and I just told my DW yesterday that she could expect us to spend no less than three hours whilst we crawl in, under and over the new FW, before we sign the final paperwork accepting the rig (or having the dealer fix found problems).

I strongly recommend thoroughly testing every system, so the rig should be de-winterized as necessary, including hooking up to city water and using the pump with several gallons of water in the tank). You'll also going to want to do a dump of the tanks. In our case, I might have discovered the leaking hot water line (which ultimately damaged our FW) where a screw had been driven through a cabinet into the line. We might have discovered the furnace was not really pumping heat more than the five minutes it was run during the PDI, rather than in 30 degree weather last winter. We may have discovered the potential for the HWH electric plug to fall out of a vertical outlet, which it did during our second outing. We might have discovered the leaking and balky black water dump valve.

Bottom line is take your time and test everything possible. While you might miss something you might also eliminate a couple of trips back to the dealer to fix things you missed. And, if the dealer is pushing you to finish the PDI fast, or wants you to accept the RV before a completed PDI, you might want to question the dealer's integrity.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:34 AM   #7
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Have them de-winterize and re-winterize so they can demo everything. Should be less than an hour total and $8 antifreeze for a good tech. Even if you get in writing that they will cover issues you find once the weather warms up in spring. You could be looking at weeks at the dealer waiting for service when you want to be out using your new camper. Warranty work is usually not very profitable and takes a back seat to those paying to get their units ready for the new season. Most dealers will go out of their way to get the new purchase signed for and off the lot so ask.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:37 AM   #8
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The system should pump up fine with antifreeze instead of water. The big thing you are looking for will be leaks in the pressure system. The only thing you won't be able to test would be the water heater and W/D(if equipped). Leaks in drains will also be easier to detect by running antifreeze through them. All other systems can be checked if parked inside. I did this when I bought my Georgetown. The dealer installed the W/D and checked it with water then winterized the system before my arrival. They had antifreeze connected, so I could test pumps(2x). I was confident in my dealer having checked all systems prior, so wasn't too concerned with not testing water heaters(2x). Everything else was good.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:07 AM   #9
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The system should pump up fine with antifreeze instead of water. The big thing you are looking for will be leaks in the pressure system. The only thing you won't be able to test would be the water heater and W/D(if equipped). Leaks in drains will also be easier to detect by running antifreeze through them. All other systems can be checked if parked inside. I did this when I bought my Georgetown. The dealer installed the W/D and checked it with water then winterized the system before my arrival. They had antifreeze connected, so I could test pumps(2x). I was confident in my dealer having checked all systems prior, so wasn't too concerned with not testing water heaters(2x). Everything else was good.
Our dealer did the same thing. Ran the washer dryer and then winterized it. They had run antifreeze through all the water systems and I could find not pink leaks anywhere so I was satisfied they did a good job. Also they were very accomadateing during my PDI and we took a long time checking everything we could. They never balked at anything we ask or tried to ripush us. Ou dealer is Paul Sherry in Piqua, Ohio and we have been very happy with them.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:23 AM   #10
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So far that has been a lot of good feedback. I am now leaning towards having the unit de-winterized and run through normal activity during our walk through. I want to absolutely make sure that that there are no leaks, hot water heater works on gas/electric, heat works on heat pump and furnace and hopefully also be able to test out the AC, among other things.

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