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Old 01-03-2022, 10:54 AM   #1
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dewinterizing on the road

I live in Wisconsin. Today's temp is 9 degrees F. My camper is currently winterized. I am leaving for Florida at the end of the month. When I arrive out of the snow belt, I would like to dewinterize. Is this something that can be done at the campsite (considering illegal gray water dumping rules, even though it's really not gray water), or a dump station? Do places provide for this activity? What are your thoughts?
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Old 01-03-2022, 11:05 AM   #2
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are you going to be at a full hook up site? if so no worries at all. If you dont have access to sewer on site your going to fill grey tank space to do it.
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Old 01-03-2022, 11:05 AM   #3
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You're going to want to sanitize fresh tank and plumbing with bleach when you get down there. You can't just dump and flush the fresh tank at site, the bleach will kill any grass. I would do it at fresh water fill station, or drive it to edge of lot after filling to dump it.
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Old 01-03-2022, 11:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cspanky1 View Post
I live in Wisconsin. Today's temp is 9 degrees F. My camper is currently winterized. I am leaving for Florida at the end of the month. When I arrive out of the snow belt, I would like to dewinterize. Is this something that can be done at the campsite (considering illegal gray water dumping rules, even though it's really not gray water), or a dump station? Do places provide for this activity? What are your thoughts?
You didn't describe how the camper was winterized, so it is hard to give any specific advice. For example, if you drained all water lines and water heater, blew them out with air, and did not add antifreeze to the fresh water system, then there is little to do except, as mentioned, possibly sanitize the fresh water tank.

If you are stopping at a full hookup site or a dump station, this will be easy without need to dump any grey water on the ground. We summerize easily on our way south in February.
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Old 01-03-2022, 12:00 PM   #5
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We often take a Christmas trip. We live in Ohio.

Practically speaking, we do nothing.

We carry bottled water for the start. We try to avoid drinking the stored water. SOP

Once a year we sanitize the water tank with sanitizer from the normal sources.

At the first full service site we fill the water tank and drain once. Flush using the various faucets. Drain the gray tanks and depart. Then turn on the tank heaters. Easy.

Next to nothing special.

Got to be careful. While traveling the only protection from freezing water lines is the furnace. If traveling in very cold weather I would not put water in the storage tank. Keep using the bottled water and only put liquid in the toilet. That with the tank heater is safe from cold.

We carry an air compressor to easily protect the water lines from freezing. Does take 15-20 minutes.
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Old 01-05-2022, 08:45 AM   #6
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You're going to want to sanitize fresh tank and plumbing with bleach when you get down there. You can't just dump and flush the fresh tank at site, the bleach will kill any grass. I would do it at fresh water fill station, or drive it to edge of lot after filling to dump it.
I thought it's illegal to dump any waste black or gray onto the ground. Even if the gray is nothing but water.
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Old 01-05-2022, 08:54 AM   #7
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My shower has this Aqua View Showermiser option.
It allows us to flip a lever for the hot water line and wait until the water is hot to take a shower. Saves water from going into the gray tank. When flipped up while waiting the water to get hot the cold water goes returns back into the fresh water tank to conserve water. IF your rig was winterized properly, there will be antifreeze between the shower faucet where the water miser is and the fresh water tank.
That winterized line will dump antifreeze back into the fresh water tank. Something to think about when de winterizing. It probably isn't going to be much, but if you are using the fresh water tank for water instead of the city water I would not want to be drinking it or washing my dishes with it if after cleaning the whole system and forgetting to clear out that line.

So, when DE winterizing and you are hooked up to city water and you are flushing your system don't forget to run water thru the Shower Miser valve to flush that line returning to the fresh water tank.
Then, dump the water in the fresh water tank, fill it up and dump it again a time or two. Then sanitized the system remembering to flip the Shower Miser valve to get the sanitized water in that line also because that water will dump back into the fresh water tank.

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Old 01-05-2022, 08:56 AM   #8
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If you're going to Florida we guess you will be at a campground that either has sewer hookups at the sites or a dump station or both. When we head south our 1st stop is in Elco GA and they have sewer hookups. We typically flush out the lines there and forget-aboud-it.
Since we've winterized with RV antifreeze we do not sanitize (GASP!!)
We will use a blue jug for drinking and coffee for the first couple of days.
After that we're gonna use the city water hookups for all drinking and beverages unless there is an odor problem with the city water.
(That happened once at a CG in central FL near Okeechobee that was on well water.... they had a reverse osmosis water station that was a whopping 25¢ per gallon so we used the blue jug there as well.)

If you're driving from Wisconsin we think you should check the weather forecast at your 1st stop on the way south and if it's gonna be above freezing the night of your stop you can flush out there.

Happy Trails!
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Old 01-05-2022, 09:44 AM   #9
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As mentioned, if you are stopping at a campground with full hook-ups it is easy.
Simply connect your sewer hose and flush and dump. Same if you want to sanitize... simply add some water to the fresh tank along with the proper amount of bleach, run it through the lines and into the black/grey tank to be dumped whenever.

If you are not stopping someplace with sewer (but have water hook-up) then simply flush the antifreeze into your holding tank(s) and dump when you get to a place where you can dump. Traveling a couple nights on the road won't fill your tanks nor cause any issues towing/traveling.
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Old 01-05-2022, 09:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by hiinthesky View Post
I thought it's illegal to dump any waste black or gray onto the ground. Even if the gray is nothing but water.
Sorry, I'm wrong.... I see you are talking about flushing the LINES and Fresh water tank.... NOT the gray or black.
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Old 01-05-2022, 10:05 AM   #11
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I just dewinterized after arriving in so California, just as described by tomkatb. Remember to un-bypass the water heater and let fill with water before turning it on.
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Old 01-05-2022, 10:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by CedarCreekWoody View Post
I just dewinterized after arriving in so California, just as described by tomkatb. Remember to un-bypass the water heater and let fill with water before turning it on.

What he said!! (bold italics is mine....)
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Old 01-05-2022, 11:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by hiinthesky View Post
Sorry, I'm wrong.... I see you are talking about flushing the LINES and Fresh water tank.... NOT the gray or black.
You saved me the trouble of replying! Yes, I was talking about fresh water discharge. But as far a GRAY water, that depends on where you are camping. There are some places that don't have strict rules about gray water discharge (I have not camped at one of those yet). Even if they do allow gray on the ground, it would be in bad form to dump it at a site, making mud and washing out grass, anywhere it can contaminate fresh bodies of water, etc.
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Old 01-05-2022, 11:11 AM   #14
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Depends

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Originally Posted by hiinthesky View Post
I thought it's illegal to dump any waste black or gray onto the ground. Even if the gray is nothing but water.
Depends. We stopped at a rest station along I-95 in Virginia a few weeks ago. I was walking the dog behind the rest stop where the truck/RV parking was. The sign said "No sewage dumping here" or some such, making it clear that gray water dumping was permitted. Plenty of evidence that it was happening, too.
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Old 01-05-2022, 11:54 AM   #15
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What he said!! (bold italics is mine....)
Arrived in Florida from Wisconsin. First night always Marion, I'll great campground right off the road. We never sanitize it flushes in a few days. But. Wife turned on water heater after two hours no hot water. Next year I will remember the bypass.
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Old 01-05-2022, 12:21 PM   #16
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... Since we've winterized with RV antifreeze we do not sanitize (GASP!!) ...
How does winterizing with RV antifreeze prevent bacteria growth in your fresh water tank? Do you fill that tank with antifreeze?
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Old 01-05-2022, 12:44 PM   #17
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Some jurisdictions may consider water containing food waste -- like from your kitchen sink -- as Black water yet it remains relatively harmless compared to toilet waste which everyone considers to be Black water.

When I de winterize everything goes on my lawn via the grey water tank. There's not enough chlorine in the fresh water tank sanitation method to bother the grass. Laundry bleach is roughly 5.25% chlorine, the rest is water and it gets even more diluted.

The 2 ounces of laundry bleach commonly recommended to treat 32 gallon fresh water tank (4,096 ounces) has a total chlorine dilution rate of 0.00002.6 to 1. Pouring bleach right out of the bottle might kill some vegetation but not at this dilution rate.

-- Chuck
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Old 01-05-2022, 01:33 PM   #18
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How does winterizing with RV antifreeze prevent bacteria growth in your fresh water tank? Do you fill that tank with antifreeze?
20 years camping.
Not dead yet....
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Old 01-05-2022, 08:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
Some jurisdictions may consider water containing food waste -- like from your kitchen sink -- as Black water yet it remains relatively harmless compared to toilet waste which everyone considers to be Black water.

When I de winterize everything goes on my lawn via the grey water tank. There's not enough chlorine in the fresh water tank sanitation method to bother the grass. Laundry bleach is roughly 5.25% chlorine, the rest is water and it gets even more diluted.

The 2 ounces of laundry bleach commonly recommended to treat 32 gallon fresh water tank (4,096 ounces) has a total chlorine dilution rate of 0.00002.6 to 1. Pouring bleach right out of the bottle might kill some vegetation but not at this dilution rate.

-- Chuck
That's a super weak dillution which will require extended contact time. I do 8 oz bleach for my 30g tank. Less than CDC recommendations, but less contact time too.
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Old 01-05-2022, 08:36 PM   #20
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My shower has this Aqua View Showermiser option.
It allows us to flip a lever for the hot water line and wait until the water is hot to take a shower. Saves water from going into the gray tank. When flipped up while waiting the water to get hot the cold water goes returns back into the fresh water tank to conserve water. IF your rig was winterized properly, there will be antifreeze between the shower faucet where the water miser is and the fresh water tank.
That winterized line will dump antifreeze back into the fresh water tank. Something to think about when de winterizing. It probably isn't going to be much, but if you are using the fresh water tank for water instead of the city water I would not want to be drinking it or washing my dishes with it if after cleaning the whole system and forgetting to clear out that line.

So, when DE winterizing and you are hooked up to city water and you are flushing your system don't forget to run water thru the Shower Miser valve to flush that line returning to the fresh water tank.
Then, dump the water in the fresh water tank, fill it up and dump it again a time or two. Then sanitized the system remembering to flip the Shower Miser valve to get the sanitized water in that line also because that water will dump back into the fresh water tank.
Referring to the part of your post that I bolded, you apparently assume that rigs (RVs) are “winterized properly” with anti freeze in the water lines. I winterize by blowing all the water out of the lines with air. You suggest a good point in that the water miser line needs to be considered when winterizing and/or de-winterizing. I make certain to eliminate all water from the miser line when winterizing.
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