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Old 08-20-2012, 07:53 AM   #1
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Request for Winterization & De-winterization Instructions

Since I am relatively new to the travel trailer lifestyle, does anyone have complete/detailed winterization and de-winterization instructions for a Rockwood 8311SS Travel Trailer? The trailer is on a seasonal site and will remain there over the winter and has the black/grey water hooked (through rigid PVC pipe) to an on-site waste water holding tank. As well, since it is in a region of harsh climates (sometimes reaching temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius in the winter with lots of snow), should I be tarping the roof of the trailer? Your assistance in regards to this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Brian

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Old 08-20-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
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I do both methods and if you have a black tank flush don't forget to do that.

Compressed Air (Dry) Method: 1

Uses compressed air to blow out any remaining water in the system after draining it of all water out of the campers water system. This method requires an air compressor and appropriate adapters.

RV Anti-Freeze (Wet) Method: 2

Uses, RV approved, nontoxic potable anti-freeze in the system and does not require any special tools.

Method 1 Compressed Air

1. Purchase 1-2 gallons of RV non-toxic anti-freeze.
2. Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks*
3. Turn water heater by-pass valve to by-pass position.
4. Drain water heater.
5. If installed, remove water filter from assembly and discard. Install diverter if included.
6. Open all faucets including showerhead, sprayer, toilet flushing device and any other water lines that are closed.
7. Turn on the water pump for 30 seconds to clear out any water in the lines.
8. Connect an air hose with an adapter to the city water fill connection.
9. Set pressure no greater than 30 pounds and blow out the water lines until no water can be seen coming out of the fixtures and lines.
10. Pour RV anti-freeze into drains, p-traps, toilets, and tanks.

Method 2 RV Antifreeze

1. Drain all tanks: fresh water, gray water, galley water and sewage tanks.*
2. Purchase 4-6 gallons of RV approved, non-toxic anti-freeze and poor into fresh water tank.
3. Turn water heater by-pass valve to by-pass position.
4. Drain water heater.
5. If installed, remove water filter from assembly and discard. Install diverter if included.
6. Turn on water pump switch & open cold water side of all faucet fixtures starting with the fixture that is the furthest away from the water pump. Leave open until the anti-freeze comes out. When anti-freeze comes out close and move to the next faucet fixture and do the same until all cold lines are complete. Repeat this with hot water side.
7. Flush toilet until anti-freeze begins to flow into the bowl and then pour one gallon of anti freeze down the toilet to winterize the black tank or re-dump tank and leave dry.
8. Pour anti-freeze down each shower/tub, lavatory sink, and kitchen sink to fill p-traps.
9. To winterize grey tank(s) pour one gallon down into each tank by a related sink drain or re-dump tank and leave dry.

If you have a fresh water pump kit on your camper you do not have to poor the anti-freeze into the fresh water tank after draining it. You can just turn it on and stick the hose straight into the gallon jug of RV anti-freeze and pump it that way. This way normally takes less RV anti-freeze and can save you money over the life of your camping trailer.


If purchasing a coach that is winterized with RV anti-freeze or having had an existing unit winterized before winter storage, the plumbing system must be flushed and sanitized prior to use. Do not attempt to turn on water heater if system is winterized. Perform the following prior to attempting to operate the water heater or use the plumbing system.

1. Drain all tanks (fresh water and sewage)*
2. Attach garden hose to fresh water fill and fill tank.
3. Turn on pump switch and open cold water side of all faucet/ shower fixtures. Leave open until water runs clear. Repeat for hot water side.
4. Flush toilet until clear water runs into bowl.
5. Dump tanks again.
6. Sanitize water system.
7. If a water filter is installed, drain lines, remove filter assembly, clean and reinstall with new filter.
8. When ready to use the water heater, turn by-pass valve to open position to allow water to enter hot water heater tank and fill according to instructions.

* Waste water tanks must be dumped at state approved locations.

Mike & Marsha
2011 Signature Ultra Lite 8319SS
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9 cummins diesel
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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Besides Mike's excellent instructions, this thread has a video in post #6 that is helpful.

Winterize your RV

DW, 3 Kids and our Goldens

2012 Shamrock 233S
2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L 4WD
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:28 AM   #4
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If you go through the procedure of blowing out the lines is it still required to pump anti-freeze into the system? I know you will still need to put some in traps.
2011 Dodge Ram 5.7 HEMI
2011 Flagstaff Classic 29bhss
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sideout1961 View Post
If you go through the procedure of blowing out the lines is it still required to pump anti-freeze into the system? I know you will still need to put some in traps.
You will get mixed answers to this question. My thoughts are that it's still possible for a small amount of water to remain in the system after you blow it out. If that water collects in one spot it can freeze and crack something. For this reason, I blow out mine and then pump in the antifreeze anyway. It's cheap insurance and not hard to do. I know some folks worry about the antifreeze leaving a taste or odor in the lines but with 8 winters and 3 different RVs behind me I've not found that to be an issue.

Of course we mean RV/Marine non toxic antifreeze!

In the spring I flush out my lines and for a couple days the water out of the faucets will foam a bit. It' goes away very quickly. We might bring drinking water in a blue jug for the first outing of the season and then we're fine drinking the water out of the system.
Good Luck!
Dan & Rita D
2008 Rockwood 2502 Ultra Lite
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:48 AM   #6
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Where is post number 6??
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jacksum2 View Post
Where is post number 6??
It's in the FAQ forum under Winterizing and can be found here--
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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I always fill the water pipes/tubes with RV antifreeze after blowing out the water. This was after finding that some water remained in the parts of the stool & cracking them over the winter. While it was not expensive to buy the replacement part, it was a real pain to replace. Installation was sort of like college days hugging the throne after a big party ...... but I digress.
2013 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S
2010 Toyota Tundra 4WD
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
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While at Walmart today I notice that they sell two different RV/Marine antifreeze, Prestone is almost twice the price of the other "off" brand. Is Prestone really worth the extra expense?
Ralph & Adrienne

2013 Rockwood 8244WS
2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD 6.0L

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Old 09-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #10
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I have not had a problem with the off brand.

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