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Old 02-18-2016, 09:55 AM   #1
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Anyone winterized their trailer on the way home?

Sadly, we are about to depart from our stay in Florida and head home to Michigan. Given the current temps on the way, I realize I need to winterize the trailer before getting there. However, after lengthy discussions with the "significant other" I must consider two options because she wants to maintain use of the trailer as long as possible on the way home (thinking northern Ky or southern Oh would require me to do this) and I would just rather button it up down here and stay in hotels on the way home.

You should also realize that this will be the first time I have done a winterization, period! I have watched a number of YouTube videos, read numerous posts on the process, and I feel I am prepared to do it. 3 way valve at the water pump? Check. Familiar with draining and flushing the water heater? Check. Location of the low point drains? Check. Black tank flush on trailer? Check. RV anti-freeze (4 gal)? Check. At least one checklist obtained online showing the steps? Check. The only thing I can do here vs. at a campground on the way home is blow out the lines because I won't have acess to a compressor on the way home. Stupid me, left it home! DOH! We are close to a relative down here that has one. But not expecting below zero temps at this time of year so not sure if blowing out the lines at this point is really necessary.

So, here is my pro/con list for each. Please feel free to add omissions on my part, or opinionate on whether you would do a winterization on the way home from a trip vs. before you left.

Winterize before we leave - More expensive with costs of hotels, food, and parking could be problematic with arriving late to a hotel (35' trailer and truck) but we could stay on the road longer and get home sooner (2-3 days vs 3-4 days weather/traffic permitting) because I don't have to worry about setting up at night and we can check in whenever we get to a hotel vs trying to enter a campground after dark. I also considered finding hotels next to truck stops with RV parking but she doesn't like that idea.

Winterize on the way home - Less expensive campgrounds, parking not an issue, we still have food in the rig and could make our own meals but trip would take longer because I would want to be off the road before dark each day to check in and setup. Additionally, our trailer is NOT functional other than bathroom/bedroom access without the slides open due to a kitchen island and not sure about running the furnace, hot water heater, etc. with the slides closed so in order to cook, and such, I would have to be somewhere where I can put the jacks down and open the slides.

That is all. Please feel free to take sides. I won't hold it against you!
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:10 AM   #2
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When are you leaving? Here in OH (Dayton) we are expecting 60's this weekend and no significant cold weather until end of next week. It may drop into the 20's overnight, but if you're camping you should be fine. Regardless, with no colder than it is here (not sure how far north into MI you're going) I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you camped on way home, I would pull the drains at your last stop before home, and winterize once home.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:16 AM   #3
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The weather this upcoming week might be in your favor. Highs in the 40s and 50s with lows sometimes just below freezing.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:36 AM   #4
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When are you leaving? Not sure how far north into MI you're going
We are leaving the campground down here on Feb 29th/Mar 1st timeframe. So trip home will be first week of March. Our destination is Lansing which is not all that far into Michigan. Will be monitoring the weather between now watching for major storms/chills which may adjust our schedule a day or two either way.

Should be interesting.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:37 AM   #5
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The weather this upcoming week might be in your favor. Highs in the 40s and 50s with lows sometimes just below freezing.
I know. Unbelievable weather up there this year! Unfortunately, we have 10 days or so before our departure date and we all know how things can go sideways up north in a BIG hurry. Keeping our fingers crossed for another warmup during our trip home.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:03 AM   #6
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I don't know your setup but I'll tell you what I do so I don't miss anything. First I turn the valves for the water heater and fresh water tank to "winterize" setting. I have a container that holds 4+ gallons of antifreeze and put the hose used to bypass the fresh water tank in the container of antifreeze. My FW has an outside shower and I connect the hose to the "city" water connector.

I drain the water heater and open the valve to the fresh water tank to drain whatever water is in there. I usually leave it open until I put my FW in storage and then close the valve. Then go in the FW and turn on the water pump. I then open each hot and cold, one at a time until pink is coming out of the faucets. Do the same for the shower in the bathroom. Then I flush the toilet until I see pink and leave antifreeze enough to cover the valve in the toilet. I then go back out and hook the shower hose to my back flush system for my black holding tank. Then I go back in the FW and turn the pump off. Go out again and open the low drain valves and when antifreeze comes out I close them.

Then I take what antifreeze is left and pour some down all the drains and the black tank making sure I leave a little in the toilet.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:48 AM   #7
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Anyone winterized their trailer on the way home?

We were down in Florida for a week in January so I de winterized in the first campground on SC boarder on the way down from PA. Boondocked the first night and used water bottles for toilet and teeth brushing.

Then coming back I winterized/dumped after our last stop stay in SC/NC boarder. Once you do it a few times it is a pretty easy quick thing to do. I just made sure I took pink with me because I figured southern Wally Worlds may not carry it.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:58 PM   #8
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Just did it last week for the first time after being in Florida for a month . I bought a tiny wet dri vac that had a reversible air flow. When I got to Emporia, VA the temp was supposed to drop to 24 degrees. I drained the water tank, removed the annode from hot water tank, put the vac on blow and blew out the lines from the hot water tank, blew out the sink, drained the toilet. Put pink stuff in drains and drove home to Delaware just as temperatures hit 4 degrees.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:11 PM   #9
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Thanks to Royboy334 for a great idea for blowing out the lines. Leaving FL in a month and I will be giving that a try.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:15 PM   #10
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Blowing out the lines with air is good but not necessary when using antifreeze.

By pass the water heater and drain it. Open your faucets and open the low point drains. Close them. You can pull the antifreeze with the pump and flush the lines (run til they turn pink) / All faucets/and showers/ toliet...... Dump some down all drains. I use two gallons of antifreeze on our camper. Should take about 1/2 hour.

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