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Old 10-24-2012, 08:02 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Virginia Blue Ridge Foothills
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My Fresh Water System Winterization Method

I go a little overboard with winterizing my fresh water system, but I feel the extra effort is worth it. I could just blow the lines, but I am always afraid of water settling back into the low spots and freezing, so I blow the lines, use antifreeze, and then blow the lines again. Any liquid in the low spots will be antifreeze. Blowing the antifreeze out of the lines sets me up for next spring, so I don't have to do that then.

To start off, I have 2 gallons of antifreeze on hand……that is the pink stuff……antifreeze that is made for potable water systems. It is meant to be used at 100% concentration.

I also use a bicycle pump to blow the lines. I don’t like what the condensate looks like coming out of my air compressor.

1. I uncap the tank drain at the end of the last camping trip, and let that puppy drain on my way home. That way, if my drain valve is not at the lowest part of the tank, surely most of the water will drain out while the camper is going down the road. Replace the fresh water tank cap so no critters can get in the tank over the winter.

2. Open a faucet and cut on the water pump for a couple of seconds to clear the line from the fresh water tank. Opening the faucet also relieves the water pressure for the next step.

3. Remove water heater drain/anode rod. Be prepared to get wet.

4. Set up water heater bypass valves in winterization position.

5. After draining, flush the water heater with a wand (

6. Using a couple of sheets of paper towels, place 1 end in the water heater, and the other hanging down outside. The remaining water will “wick” from highest, wettest part (inside) to the lowest, driest section (outside). By the time I finish everything else, the tank is dry. I use pipe tape on the drain plug, and reinstall.

7. Using a blow out plug (Search - blow out plug - Camping World) in the city water connection, I open the closest cold water valve, and blow that section of line.

8. At this point, and after making sure there is no pressure on the water lines, I empty the water filter housing, and replace.

9. When the 1st section is blown, I close that valve and move on to the next closest cold water valve. Repeat on all cold water valves. Don’t forget the toilet and outside shower valves. I also remove the shower heads and keep them inside through the winter.

10. After blowing all of the cold water valves, I start with the closest hot water valve to the water heater, and work my way back to the city water connection doing the same as with the cold water valves. Again, remember the outside shower hose.

11. After all of that is done, I open the hot and cold water low point drains, and then reinstall. I again empty the water filter housing in case a little of water has recollected in that. Reinstall.

12. Next using the pump siphon hose, I start pumping antifreeze into the system. Again starting with the closest cold water valve to the pump, I will open the valve until I get a good flow of pink stuff, close, and go on to the next closest valve. Again, don’t forget the toilet and outside shower.

13. When the cold water valves are done, I start with the closest hot water valve to the water heater, and repeat the sequence.

14. I empty the water filter housing by pouring a little down each drain....a little extra concentration in the drains shouldn't hurt.

15. Repeat steps #7 thru #11. and the water system is ready for next spring.

Now, on to winterizing the waste tanks.


Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Upstate (Albany Area) NY
Posts: 772
I do about the same, except that between step 3 & 4, I blow the sytem out for the first time BEFORE changing the valves. My lower water heater is a low point on my system (without a drain, and it will hold water. the first winter I had it, that water froze, and blew-out the back side of the lower bypass valve.
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drain, system, water, winterize

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