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Old 12-01-2013, 06:50 PM   #1
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3170DS Winterization / Winter Camping

Got a few of questions for the 3170 experts out there.

1. Regarding winterization, we use our MH at least once per month and will be moving to a place where it is extremely cold in the winter. I currently winterize/de-winterize for each winter outing, which is quite a process to do so frequently. I use both the blow-out and water pump anti-freeze suction methods each time I winterize. I don't use the anti-freeze in the fresh water tank method.

As soon as we got the MH, I added the in-line winterization kit with the two-way valve so that I could just add a hose to the fitting and suction the anti-freeze through the suction side of the pump. However, as many of you know, the water pump is in a terrible place to be able to access the suction side, so I had to improvise and move the two-way valve to an area that was accessible via the small door by the water filter (required adding a lot of tubing). Here's my problem: this all seems to be fairly sound, in concept, except that I have a really difficult time getting the suction from the pump to pick up the fluid from the anti-freeze jug when I open the valve. I'm wondering if I have the valve installed backwards and if the flow is only one direction when the valve is turned toward the jug. Can anyone tell anything obvious by looking at the picture? (yes, that's an empty water bottle in the water filter housing, meant to take up space and save fluid. I'd pay good money to have a cap to put on that fitting so I could remove the filter housing for winterization)

2. In my efforts to address the winterization issues, I noticed that I can only see one visible "takeoff" from the heater ducting that feeds the underbelly, specifically where the water filter and pump are located. Does anyone know if this is the only heating line into the entire underbelly? It doesn't seem adequate for those times when you want to do real winter camping. I'm not sure the heat distributes all the way to the other side where the dump valves are. Anything I'm missing?

3. Now a propane question. Is it possible to hook into the propane system using external bottles for those times when I want to camp beyond the capability of the on-board bottle?
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Jstonecfi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2013, 07:45 PM   #2
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The valve looks to be backwards from how I installed mine on my toyhauler but your internals might be different. I don't think it would work at all if it was reversed. On the Sunseeker I installed the valve on the pump suction and drilled a 1.5" hole thru the wall panel so I can manipulate it.

Concerning freeze protection of the sewer valve compartment, I never saw any heater duct directly to it either. I think the tank electric pad heaters as part of the optional arctic package in the compartment take care of that area.

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Old 12-01-2013, 08:55 PM   #3
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1) Must have a valve or plumbing issue. The pump is self priming so it should pull the anti-freeze right from the jug without any problem.

2) On my unit, it is the only duct, but the area is enclosed and small so it should be enough heat to get you through down to the teens. On my former TT I had the polar package which all that included was an enclosed under belly and a 2 inch furnace duct into the space. That belly enclosure was certainly weaker enclosure than the one on the FR. You can also check to see if you have the polar package which adds heat pads to the tanks. You would have a switch for the heat pads on the convenience center. Keep in mind all you need is to keep the tank temperature above freezing - not toasty as the inside of the coach.

3) Yes, you can connect into the on-board tank. It will require the fitting and the hose - similar to the extend-a-stay.

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Old 12-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #4
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I just disconnect the hose/regulator assm from the frame mounted tank and attach it to a twenty # tank outside while parked. This you can have filled with out moving coach.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jstonecfi View Post
3. Now a propane question. Is it possible to hook into the propane system using external bottles for those times when I want to camp beyond the capability of the on-board bottle?
At the park where I'm staying, there is a Forest River Sunseeker (not a 3170) that is doing it. They got an "extend a tank" connection and they are connected to an external "portable" (one you can exchange) tank. I asked them, and they said "yeah, it was easy."
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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It might be a simple fix. If you don't open a faucet somewhere, the pump often will not prime itself.

Google extend-a-stay for the propane thingy. Here's a video:
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:21 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for your contributions. Got the valve figured out - installed backwards. Works great now. On the heat ducting, sounds like not much I can do there. This unit came with the arctic pack switch location, but no arctic system. I've not heard a lot of good things about those from the techs, anyway. As far as the propane, I'll be picking up one of the extend a stay devices. Now, if I could just figure out a better way to cap off the water filter housing when winterizing......
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:36 PM   #8
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Pull the filter out and refill the housing with washed marbles or a bottle full of water.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
Pull the filter out and refill the housing with washed marbles or a bottle full of water.
Confused. If you're winterizing shouldn't the bottle not have water in it but be empty instead? Or perhaps a bottle only partially filled with water to allow room for expansion?
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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Regarding the picture of the onboard propane tank with the white cover. The cover is where your regulator(s) are and will have to come off for you to install the "Tee" that goes in line with the tank vapor outlet and the regulator inlet that allows you to connect with the portable bottle. It was not difficult to install, remember that most of the fittings will thread in and out "backwards" from standard threads that you are used to. I almost destroyed a fitting until I figured it out ;-) Other than the learning curve, it was an easy install!

Eric Reid
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3170, camping, winter

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