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Old 08-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #1
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Probably a stupid winterizing question

Thinking ahead to colder weather here...and hoping this is not a stupid question.

I live in NC, where we have some cold nights during winter, but not bitterly cold for a hours at a time, generally.

Winterizing with antifreeze, makes perfect sense if we were poing to park the camper all winter, however we are planning on using the TT periodically throughout the winter (probably a trip every 4-6 weeks or so). Does that still make sense to winterize? Wouldn't we have to un-antifreeze and then re-antifreeze after every trip?

We had a popup last winter (Highwall with a 'real' toilet and grey/black/fresh tanks) and just kept the fresh water tank empty and had no problem, but it was a mild winter with very few nights below freezing.

This year we have the 30 ft V-lite...

Are there other alternatives to winterizing with antifreeze if we plan on using the camper periodically throughout the winter?

It does have the tank heaters for the grey/black/fresh tanks.

What if we just turned on the propane heat in the camper (or used a large AC electric space heater to keep the inside temp above freezing) and the tank heaters for any bitterly cold days/nights where it was calling for temps to stay below freezing for more than a few hours? In our typical winter, that's not too many nights.

Am I missing something obvious? I sure don't want to make a wrong decision and end up with freeze damaged plumbing!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arlee453
Thinking ahead to colder weather here...and hoping this is not a stupid question.

I live in NC, where we have some cold nights during winter, but not bitterly cold for a hours at a time, generally.

Winterizing with antifreeze, makes perfect sense if we were poing to park the camper all winter, however we are planning on using the TT periodically throughout the winter (probably a trip every 4-6 weeks or so). Does that still make sense to winterize? Wouldn't we have to un-antifreeze and then re-antifreeze after every trip?

We had a popup last winter (Highwall with a 'real' toilet and grey/black/fresh tanks) and just kept the fresh water tank empty and had no problem, but it was a mild winter with very few nights below freezing.

This year we have the 30 ft V-lite...

Are there other alternatives to winterizing with antifreeze if we plan on using the camper periodically throughout the winter?

It does have the tank heaters for the grey/black/fresh tanks.

What if we just turned on the propane heat in the camper (or used a large AC electric space heater to keep the inside temp above freezing) and the tank heaters for any bitterly cold days/nights where it was calling for temps to stay below freezing for more than a few hours? In our typical winter, that's not too many nights.

Am I missing something obvious? I sure don't want to make a wrong decision and end up with freeze damaged plumbing!
How about just blowing your lines out with compressed air and draining low point drains after each use.
And of course the Hw heater.

Pretty simple and fast.

Then just dump some rv antifreeze in traps
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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X2 f1100turbo said...

I live in TN, so close to the same winters. I use a air hose quick connect from harbor tools, a old garden hose with a good male end and a heater hose clamp. Drain the hot water heater. Drain ALL tanks including the built in water filter(I'm going to by-pass that). Open all water valves. Then I hook my air compressor up to the city water inlet an blow about 25 psi through the system. Close one water valve at a time. When there is no more water coming out the low water drains I cut the air then close them. Put enough antifreeze in all drains to fill the traps (about 1 gal). Never had a problem...

Easy to un-winterize, just hook up the water, drain all the air out of the hot water heater and the lines and I'm back in business...
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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Yup, what they said. I live in Nebraska and it gets plenty cold here. Last Winter, I fully winterized but left a oil filled heater going in the trailer with cabinet doors open and a remote thermometer inside the camper. Never got below 40 & I didn't notice much difference on my utility bills.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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How about just blowing your lines out with compressed air and draining low point drains after each use.
And of course the Hw heater.
OK, so I'm not crazy... thanks for the tip!

When we did the walkthrough the tech was talking about winterizing using the port & antifreeze. I asked this question - would it just be OK to drain everything really well, and then blow some low-pressure air through the lines with the spigots open to get the water out of the system (which is basically what we did on the popup) and he was not keen on the idea, insisting that we needed to fill the system with antifreeze.

My original thinking was that draining out all the water really well so it wouldn't freeze and burst a pipe would be just as good as using antifreeze, but then after what the tech said, I thought maybe there was more to it that I just was missing (like you need to always keep fluid in the system for some reason I couldn't fathom). Maybe he just wanted to keep the antifreeze people in business?? Or it's a factory training thing?

Anyhoo, thanks for the advice. I think we will go the blow-out route!
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:18 AM   #6
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Yes blowing the system out with air is commen practice just as antifreeze.

I inject antifreeze just because it's WHAT I do.
I enjoy doing maintenance in and around my camper so I don't mind if it takes longer or not .

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Old 08-29-2012, 08:57 AM   #7
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Install a winterization kit, which allows you to quickly winterize and of course, dewinterizing is a quick, simple process. We face a similar situation here in Colorado, where our first hard freeze arrives in mid-September.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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Install a winterization kit, which allows you to quickly winterize and of course, dewinterizing is a quick, simple process. We face a similar situation here in Colorado, where our first hard freeze arrives in mid-September.


I too am new to the winterization aspect. Are the kits all standard fitting, one size fits all? And any suggestions. I have an 09' Fr Rockwood Freedom Ltd 1940 Pop Up. Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:11 AM   #9
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Don't know about your TT specifically, but all the ones I've seen the plumbing has been set up the same with few variations. You intercept the fresh water line going into the pump, install the kit, which allows you to pump antifreeze instead of water into the lines and the pump. All other details regarding winterization/dewinterzation are well-documented and discussed on this website. Here is an example of the kit: Camco 36543 RV Pump Converter Winterizing Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:40 AM   #10
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I live in Southern Virginia, right above the NC boarder in Clarksville. I have never went through the process and I did not have tank heaters except on my newest RV. I have lived here for 10 years. All I do is leave a little electric heater going inside the unit set at about 60 degrees. I have never had a problem. With saying that I do empty my tanks. Maybe I have just been lucky. The heater really only runs a lot on cloudy day's, other then that the good old sun will heat the inside. We normally only drop down below 32 for a few hours in the early morning. There are not many day's that we stay that low for a long period of time........
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:57 PM   #11
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For years I would fill my camper with antifreeze during the winter months. i would also spend a weekend flushing the system out before sanitizing to get rid of the little pockets of antifreeze that develop at every connector and such. Then i got to thinking. Eventually little drops of water will drain down to the lower point. So this year with the new camper My plan is to drain everything down via the low point drains and let it sit for a day to allow the drips remaining in the system to settle to the lower point.

Now every camper I have been inside of, the water tubing snakes around and is not perfectly sloped to make it to the low point drain. So the plan is to (after it settles) is the compressed air to get any remaining shot of water out, then to flush the system with antifreeze, but drain that out as well. That way any remaining puddles in the system will be protected and I get to use the antifreeze I just bought in the boat or the cottage. Less to flush out in the spring I figure. (3 gallons purchased instead of 6 of the -50 stuff. It's green not pink.)

My way is not perfect, but makes sense. Any feedback is welcome if you like the idea.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:45 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info Turbo!!

My wife insisted that we do not use the antifreeze because she belives that at some point in time it will harm us. I do belive she has a point so I happily oblige her and blow out the system at the end of the year.

This year is different in that we have a new Crusader 355BHQ and will be doing this for the first time on this rig.
Our dealer said the same thing that we should use antifreeze but maybe they think I am going to buy AF from them........
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:03 PM   #13
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Way back when (1970's), my uncle use to blow the system out and put antifreeze in the traps and he never had a problem. He lives in central PA.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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Less to flush out in the spring I figure. (3 gallons purchased instead of 6 of the -50 stuff. It's green not pink.)

My way is not perfect, but makes sense. Any feedback is welcome if you like the idea.
Are you sure you have the correct antifreeze? I've never seen green antifreeze that's safe for potable water systems.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:06 PM   #15
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Way back when (1970's), my uncle use to blow the system out and put antifreeze in the traps and he never had a problem. He lives in central PA.
I've always done it like that. Last year for the 1st time I tried the full blown antifreeze method, but this year I went back to my old method. Much less antifreeze and it just seems to work better for me.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:43 PM   #16
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I would think its a good idea to have some "pink stuff" in the pump itself.. and those traps on the sinks and the shower ..after blowing out those lines with air
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:17 PM   #17
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About cold nights

To your point about keeping the tank heaters on. Just did a trip to South Dakota and Nebraska in late October. Had snow and 21 degrees in the morning in Wall SD and points thereafter. Keeping the tank heaters on and heat of course inside showed no problems. In Hot Springs SD had water hookup and the campground people just asked to let it drip all night and had no problems. Now back in Northern IL and winterized and ready park it for the winter (after we get front end repair done from the damage from that deer we hit in northeast Iowa last weekend).
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:45 PM   #18
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I did antifreeze for years and the last few have used the compressed air. If you already have a compressor it's the only way to go. Much easier, quicker and no mess plus when you get ready to camp again you just turn on the water, no flushing anti freeze from the lines.
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