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Old 10-19-2016, 03:30 PM   #1
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Plumbing advice needed

We are new owners of a Forester 3011 DS living in SC where the winters are moderate. Freezing days are usually not numerous and temperatures can reach 20 degrees or lower and then only rarely and usually only overnight unless there is a hard freeze. I anticipate using my RV for occasional week long southerly destinations over the winter, so I donít want to fully winterize the unit. But while it is parked by the house, I will need to at least blow the water out of the lines and perhaps put antifreeze in the P traps. We do have a dedicated 50/30 amp circuit that the RV will remain plugged into. I can leave a space heater on or the heat pump on to keep it warm inside for cold nights. I am not sure how my plumbing drainage works in the event I need to partially winterize, and am seeking the advice of other Forester owners. I have attached a photo of my drain valves with the blue valve in position to drain the fresh water tank, but this does not seem to be a low point drain for the rest of the water system or am I mistaken? If so, how does it work? I am assuming that clearing the water lines consists of just opening the taps and blowing it out through them. Winterizing instructions say to remove the water filter and discard it ($30 a pop). There is a cap under the rv that drains hot water and the water heater OM has a process for draining the tank and bypassing it if need be. I have found the valve for that under the sink, so that seems fairly straight forward. If there are other experienced Forester/Sunseeker owners with similar circumstances, I would appreciate your input.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:09 PM   #2
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Put a small electric space heater inside set to 750 watts open all cabinets and a 40 watt light in the plumbing compartment . If your tanks have heat pads turn them on or if not, and they are heated by the furnace, use a small fan to blow air into a furnace vent outlet which will circulate warm air from the campers inside into the tank area.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:35 PM   #3
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:29 PM   #4
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In which part of SC do you live? I'm in the upstate and I don't take chances on winterizing. Only blowing out lines is risky. The PEX tubing can stand some water freezing but I am leary that blowing out will leave water in low fittings, which are hard plastic and can't withstand freezing water.

The advice to remove and discard the water filter element assumes you are done for the season. Just remove it, take it into the house and let it dry.

Empty the fresh water tank and the holding tanks. The flat bottom holding tanks aren't likely to be damaged if a little water is let in them, but freezing water will wreck the holding tank drains, so pour some antifreeze in the toilet and shower to protect the holding tank drains.

Be aware that it's not likely the fresh water tank can drain completely. The drain connection on ours is on the side, not the bottom. If you don't put antifreeze in it, keep it warm. I put antifreeze in ours. I fill and drain it twice when we are getting ready for a trip and have no problem with taste. If you do have some taste, you can put a box of baking soda in the tank as you fill it to nearly completely get rid of antifreeze taste.

As JSO said above, put light bulbs in the utility compartments. You need one in the water pump/filter compartment and one in the holding tank drain compartment. Of course, use incandescent bulbs. You want the heat. 40 watts should be fine.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:08 PM   #5
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Thanks, I live in the Midlands, specifically Lexington. I had a Keystone Raptor with a low point drain for the plumbing system and that would remove most of the water, then it was a simple matter to just blow the water out and add anti-freeze to the P-trap's. I never had a problem with this except in my first year when the toilet valves froze when we did not realize that they retained water. On my new Forrester, it does not seem to have a low point drain, so I am a little confused about exactly how the water is expelled from the plumbing when you want to blow it out. I do have heaters in the black and gray tanks but I have been advised to use great caution if I use them. The freshwater tank has a drain valve that releases all the water from a low point. So that does not seem to be problematic. I appreciate the suggestion of a heat lamp in the water pump and water filter compartment I think that will work well. Thanks for your help!
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:32 PM   #6
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My forester has the blue pex which drains the FW tank. There is only one low point drain it is red pex and has a cap on it (no valve).
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