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Old 09-25-2016, 01:16 PM   #1
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Preparing for 1st Winter Storage

Just bought our first RV, a 2017 Palomini FB180. I'll be dragging it down to some property we own in Central Colorado for winter storage. It can get down to minus 20 there on a fairly regular basis, so I want to do this right.

The unit has never been camped in, but all systems have been tested.

I've drained all the tanks on both the fresh and waste water sides and run the pump with drains and faucets open until only drops come out. I have NOT drained the water I've gone through the FAQ threads on winterizing but still have a few questions.

First -- Which antifreeze is safe and effective? Walmart sells Prestone for $42 a GALLON! That strikes me as outrageous, so I searched and found that Home Depot sells a brand called "South/Win" for $5.50/gallon. Is there any danger in using a brand x RV antifreeze?

Second, I've read and re-read the water heater draining instructions in the manual and on the FAQ page here -- but they are generic. All they say is "Open the bypass valve and drain the water heater."

Access to the water pump and heater are not exactly easy. You open a small door on the side of the trailer, pull back a partition board and you can see both, but you cannot really reach anything or read the labels. The compartment that houses both the pump and heater are under the bed, so I expect they want you to pull the mattress off, remove several screws on the top of the bed platform, and then lift up the top of the bed platform to reveal the working parts of the pump and water heater. The only other access to the heater is an outside trap door that has the heater exhaust, the gas supply line, a gas supply solenoid, and a pressure relief valve. There are not water inlet/out lines there, nor does there appear to be any kind of "bypass valve" in there. so I assume all are accessible from under the bed. Does that sound reasonable?

There are two methods of winterization described in the manual, one using a compressor and another filling the supply lines with antifreeze. I have a compressor, and prefer not to put antifireze in the fresh water system, so I will try to use the method that calls for using compressed air.

Since Home Depot sells the antifreeze, I expect they will also sell the "Blowout plugs" too.

I'll be throwing a plastic tarp over the roof (and its sharp stuff like the TV antenna) and then putting an RV cover over the trailer.

Since mice are definitely a problem there, I will be setting up several bait trays. I hate to poison the little critters (and know about the possibility of their dying in the walls), but poison bait is the only thing that I've found works consistently.

Have I missed anything? Are there any tips you might offer for making the job easier while still getting it done right?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:46 PM   #2
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Some people do both to reduce the amount AF gets diluted by water trapped in the system, blow it out then add the AF.

I find it hard to see how Walmart can charge 42 buck for RV antifreeze, I just paid $4.97 a gallon for Prestone at Walmart.

The local Walmart here does stock the blowout plugs so you might check your nearest one if they do not have it then try a near by RV parts department.

Poison for mice is fine with me but one down side is that it takes time for it to work so they could get inside and die there.

Sticky pads?

http://www.googleadservices.com/page...QzTkIKA&adurl=

The plastic tarp will hold moisture and that could result in mold, that's not a good thing.

If you want to cover it get a breathable one made for the trailer, use pool noodles to cover the sharp things like the rain spouts and antenna.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:02 PM   #3
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Thanks

Thanks for the tips. I wanna get this right.

Regarding WalMart's price for Prestone: I had a hard time believing it, too. They even have the nerve to proudly proclaim that price represents a 6-dollar discount. Puzzling because WM usually cannot be beat on price. Here's the ad:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Prestone-...reeze/16213488


Prestone RV/Marine Antifreeze
$41.48
List price $48.41
Save $6.93
Best Seller in Antifreeze & Coolants
5.0 stars(4) ratings
Show only Prestone items
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgem View Post
Thanks for the tips. I wanna get this right.

Regarding WalMart's price for Prestone: I had a hard time believing it, too. They even have the nerve to proudly proclaim that price represents a 6-dollar discount. Puzzling because WM usually cannot be beat on price. Here's the ad:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Prestone-...reeze/16213488
Oops....Just went back to the WM site and thy now advertise Prestone for 5 bucks. Interesting.
Prestone RV/Marine Antifreeze



$4.97 at Broomfield
Was: $29.88 Save $24.91
FREE pickup today
Personalizable: Pack of 1
Pack of 1
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:33 PM   #5
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Antifreeze

Since the winter of 2014/15 I stopped using -50 antifreeze.


Reason:


-50 has a freeze point of +12 degrees,(yes twelve ABOVE zero)

burst point of copper pipe -50

-100 has a freeze point of -60 degrees,

burst point of copper pipe -100



Some RV dealers in the area had water pipe problems in the spring of 15


C.B.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:43 PM   #6
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Thanks to all who have weighed in.

As I mentioned earlier, the owner's manual simply says "Open bypass valve on water heater. Drain water heater."

Will draining of the water heater take care of itself -- once the bypass valve is open? Or is there some other drain valve? I see a couple of drain valves (one red, one blue) coming out from the undercarriage just ahead of the rear wheels. Could these be the drains for the W/H?

Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbvp View Post
Since the winter of 2014/15 I stopped using -50 antifreeze.


Reason:


-50 has a freeze point of +12 degrees,(yes twelve ABOVE zero)

burst point of copper pipe -50

-100 has a freeze point of -60 degrees,

burst point of copper pipe -100



Some RV dealers in the area had water pipe problems in the spring of 15


C.B.
Sure it might freeze at 12 degrees but it will not expand above -50
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgem View Post
Thanks to all who have weighed in.

As I mentioned earlier, the owner's manual simply says "Open bypass valve on water heater. Drain water heater."

Will draining of the water heater take care of itself -- once the bypass valve is open? Or is there some other drain valve? I see a couple of drain valves (one red, one blue) coming out from the undercarriage just ahead of the rear wheels. Could these be the drains for the W/H?

Thanks.
The drain valves you see just ahead of the rear wheels are the low point drains for those lines - hot and cold. Some water left in the W/H is not going to hurt it. I usually shove the end of a towel in after draining, and kind of sop up some of the remaining water. Water expands when frozen - as long as it has plenty of room to expand, there shouldn't be a problem. I don't know anyone who gets all the water out of their W/H.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:05 PM   #9
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You have to manually drain the WH. Access it from the outside. There is a plug on the outside on the bottom of the tank. It is a 1 1/16" plug which is also the anode rod. Remove the plug, open the relief valve and let all the water out. You also need to open the low point drains on the underside of the trailer, one for hot and one for cold. There should be a sticker on the side of the TT indicating approximately where they are. May be one blue and one red pipe. They are screw on caps over the pipes. Open all the faucets and toilet valve to let the water drain. Then put the caps back, close all the faucets and start the process of filling with RV antifreeze, not automotive antifreeze. Open each faucet until you get the colored liquid coming out. Some antifreeze is blue, some pink. Don't forget the shower and if you have an outside shower open it also. Pour any remaining antifreeze into the black water tank and grey water tank. If you have a water filter remove the element before you start the process.

I would advise you to look at some You Tube videos on the subject to clarify what needs to be done. That would make it more understandable if you have never done it before.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:35 PM   #10
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Preparing for 1st Winter Storage

Ok. First piece of advice is take it to an RV repair facility and have them do a full winterization. If they let you watch you will see it done correctly. Also if you do break a line from freezing your not the one that did it. It's worth the cost
DO NOT USE AUTOMOTIVE ANTIFREEZE. RV antifreeze is non toxic and safe to use in water lines.
When we do a winterization for a customer the low point drains are opened and use air to blow out all the lines. The bypass valve on the water heater is put in the correct position then RV antifreeze is pumped through out the water system. All water filters must be removed if you have a washer/dryer or dish machine there is a process that must be follows as well as an ice maker in the fridge. Don't let anyone tell you that blowing out the lines only is ok. Too many places for the water to hide and freeze/break. Follow up with all sink shower and toilet pouring the antifreeze in. If storing outside I would invest in an RV cover. Your unit is new but I also recommend checking all the sealant in the roof and check of any small holes in the membrane. Your rubber roof will be better off. Make sure to put rodent poison in all exterior comp and inside as well.
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