MY wife and I bought a Coachmen Chaparral 40ft 5th wheel (new) the beginning of this month and did our first trip Columbus Day weekend. After reading up on winterizing, I figured I'd attempt to do it myself.
The method I used was with an air compressor. So essentially I opened up the hot and cold drain tubes under neath as well as the rear tube behind my rear axle and drained all water out. I then closed off all 3.
I then went inside and opened the cold on the kitchen sink while my wife had the air compressor hooked up running about 25psi. Water slowly poured out until it was more of a mist and then pure air. I did each hot/cold separately between kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as the hot/cold of the shower. I also ran the toilet until it was just air coming out.
So I'm pretty comfortable with the lines being completely clear. I did buy 1 gallon of antifreeze and dump it in each drain (sinks/shower) as well as some down the toilet.
So here comes the questions. My hot water tank is a gas/electric one and when I pulled up the manual online for this model, there does not seem to be a bypass unless I'm missing something. What I did was open the pressure relief on the top and removed the plug with the green X at the bottom and drained it.
So the hot water heater is a Atwood GC10A-4E and in the manual under winterizing it states:
1. Turn off your main water supply, that is, your pump or your water hook up source.
2. Drain your water heater inner tank. Upon doing so, you will note that, due to the location of the drain plug, approximately two quarts of water will remain in the bottom of the tank. This water contains most of the harmful corrosive particles. If while draining the unit, you note that it is flowing sporadically or trickling, instead of flowing steadily, we recommend one of two things. You should first open your relief valve to allow air into the tank and secondly, take a small gauge wire or coat hanger device and prod through the drain opening to eliminate any obstructions.
3. After thoroughly draining the tank, you should then flush it with air pressure or fresh water. If you elect to use air pressure, it may be applied either through the inlet or outlet on the rear of the tank. It may also be applied through the relief valve part. In this case, it will be necessary to first remove the relief valve support flange. In either case, with the drain valve open, the air pressure will force the remaining water, along with the corrosive particles, out of the unit. However, if air pressure is unavailable, your unit can be flushed with fresh water. Fresh water should be pumped into the tank either with the assistance of the on-board pump or with the assistance of external water either through the inlet or outlet found on the rear or the relief valve coupling located on the front of the unit. Continue this flushing process for approximately five minutes allowing ample time for the fresh water to agitate the stagnant water on the bottom of the tank and thus forcing the deposits through the drain opening.
4. Upon completion of the steps above, replace the drain plug and the pressure-temperature relief valve.
5. After this procedure, there will be approximately two quarts of water left at the bottom of the inner tank. Should this water freeze it will not cause any splitting of the tank.
So to sum it up, seems that once I drain it, it is good to go even with a little bit of water inside. Also seems that there is no bypass to worry about as well as no Anode rod to remove.
Lastly, in regards to the water pump. I did turn the pump on and nothing came through the lines so I'm assuming it is empty. Should there be anything to do with the pump in regards to winterizing based on what I did above and there being no water pumped? We only used it once and had full hookup so unless the dealer "tested" the pump by putting water in the tank, there is nothing in there.
Anything else you guys can think of? All I need is a crack, leak or major repair come Spring.
Thanks for reading my book and I appreciate any feedback given!!