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Old 10-03-2015, 03:40 PM   #1
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Winterized today - I'm an idiot......

I decided to winterize the Forester today. This is the first time I've done it so it partly a learning experience. I opened the drain valve for the freshwater tank and opened the fill cap to allow air in. I then opened the hot water line drain under the coach. Hey Forest River - what's up with the cheap plastic cap on the end of the hot water line? The line runs parallel to the cold water line in the cabinet space, why not put an inline valve there like the cold water line? I'm concerned about knocking the cap off if a rock kicks up from the back tires. I'm thinking that an inline PEX mini valve needs to be installed inside the cabinet.

I let everything drain out and removed the water filter housing. Another complaint to FR - how about adding a little more room so you can get the housing out without spilling water all over the inside of the compartment? I ended up sliding a plastic bag over the housing to catch the water when I tipped it to get out of the mount area. The thing I did like and give kudos to FR for is the handy antifreeze suction line that's built into the system. I shut the hot water tank bypass valves, shut the cold water drain and inserted the antifreeze suction tube into a jug of antifreeze. Fired up the water pump and started opening faucets inside...except nothing came out. Went back out and saw that the jug of antifreeze was just about empty. It took a quart or so to fill the water filter housing but I couldn't figure out where the rest was...until I looked under the camper and saw that I didn't put the cheap plastic cap back on the hot water line drain. Got that back on and everything pumped through - after getting another jug of antifreeze - and out of all the faucets, shower, toilet and outside shower.

I shut down the water pump and opened all the drain lines again. I didn't want to leave the antifreeze in the lines as we're going to Florida in a month and a half and don't want to worry about draining the antifreeze out at that point. I figured to help get back in action quicker I'd blow the antifreeze out of the lines so when we get ready to go it will be a quick flush to get everything operating.

I installed my brand new blowout plug and started at 20psi. I opened the outside shower faucets and nothing happened. OK....maybe I need more pressure.... bumped it up to 35psi.....nothing. I took the air plug off and tried running air through it, worked perfectly. Cranked the PSI up to 50psi, but to play it safe so I didn't hurt my water system I put my water pressure regulator inline between the coach and the air plug. Again, nothing..... So, I gave up. I decided to check the air in the tires and found I needed to add some air to the rears. While I was putting air into the left rear tires I looked up at the outside shower and the water inlet (the one I used with the air plug) right below it. Then I looked to the rear of the coach and saw another water inlet....WTH? Then I realized, I'm an idiot....I put the air plug on the inlet for the black tank flush. Good thing the black water tank is empty otherwise I would have been blowing a bunch of stinky bubbles. Put the air plug with pressure regulator on the correct water inlet and everything blew out correctly. It's amazing how well things work when you do it the right way.

I removed the plug from the water heater to drain that out and was surprised to find that it was just a plastic plug. I thought there was supposed to be an anode rod attached to the back of the plug? Is this something Atwood cheaped out on and I should get an anode plug for the water heater or is it someplace else on it?

Anyway, lessons learned...don't hook up the air plug to the black water tank flush inlet, it doesn't do anything other than blow air out the top vent!
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:14 PM   #2
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You aren't an idiot....many of us blow out the line for the black water flush just to get rid of any possible standing water in the line since you can't suck antifreeze up through there. Some have talked about pouring some antifreeze through there through a short hose or something, but many have stated that there is nothing there to hold the antifreeze within that line and that it will just drain into the black tank. But at least if you blow it out it will eliminate the possibility of any standing water staying in there.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:35 PM   #3
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Atwoods don't use anode rods. Suburban water heaters do.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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The Atwood water heater does NOT need an anode rod because it is aluminum not steel.

Plastic plug because aluminum does not play well with other metals.

You could replace the plastic with an aluminum plug if you can find one.
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Old 10-03-2015, 06:23 PM   #5
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Gotta chuckle! I successfully cleared my black tank flush line with air last year too. Kept blaming DW for not opening faucets inside when nothing came out. Only took 10 minute till I realized I was an idiot. DW enjoyed hearing this one again!

Happy Camping!
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Old 10-03-2015, 07:21 PM   #6
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Yep got a laugh here to. DH wasted a couple of gallons of antifreeze before he realized it was pouring out underneath.

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Old 10-04-2015, 12:31 PM   #7
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Winterizing

Hi there. I am new to this Forest River forum. But in response to your winterizing, I would have liked to see FR put a bypass valve on the water filter s we don't waste a gallon of antifreeze in the filter cotainer. I would like to install one but it is difficult accessing the water lines to place the valve
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbunney View Post
Hi there. I am new to this Forest River forum. But in response to your winterizing, I would have liked to see FR put a bypass valve on the water filter s we don't waste a gallon of antifreeze in the filter cotainer. I would like to install one but it is difficult accessing the water lines to place the valve
IMHO you would do well to just remove the filter and replace it with an inline job.

However if you wish to keep the built in filter place a empty water bottle or some ping pong balls in place of the filter.
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:35 PM   #9
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To the OP if your an idiot you are in the majority. I have had many trailers and have been winterizing them for over thirty years and believe me I have screwed up at least once on every rig. If everyone posted that screwed up winterizing the site would blow up. Believe me. Thank GOD the pink stuff don't cost as much as regular anti freeze.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:40 PM   #10
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When winterizeing, how do you take care of the automatic ice maker on a residential fridge?
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:51 AM   #11
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i forgot to release the pressure valve on our hot water tank and removed the rod at the bottom.
Fired it out like a scud missle - straight through the slats on my winter car's grille and into rad.
As i stood there with water everywhere and DW looking for the rod.... loosing a couple of gallons of RV fluid for winterizing sound like a cup of coffee a day for a week compaired to this. We all play the village idiot from time to time.
Its a social responsibility in our country.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:19 PM   #12
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Along winterizing line when should we do this we live in north GA?
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:23 PM   #13
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I tried using my black tank flush feature today and it didn't work. (you can find the whole sordid story in another thread) First thing I did was flood the bathroom as the QC people at FR must have been asleep. The hose wasn't tight on the backflow preventer valve. I tightened the valve, turned on the water and it still wouldn't work.

Could I have damaged the valve when I blew the air through it? I only put about 35psi into it. A bunch of you are saying I really didn't screw up and that you blow out your black water flush system.

And, thank you for not making me feel like a complete idiot! Apparently I'm in very good company here.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbunney View Post
Hi there. I am new to this Forest River forum. But in response to your winterizing, I would have liked to see FR put a bypass valve on the water filter s we don't waste a gallon of antifreeze in the filter cotainer. I would like to install one but it is difficult accessing the water lines to place the valve
I just installed a water heater bypass kit on my 2860DS MH water filter. It's under the bed but still a little tight to work on. It's working great. I like the ability to turn a valve in the spring and use the water filter and then in the fall/winter shut the valve remove the filter and winterize with antifreeze.
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:30 AM   #15
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I don't have a compressor so just use antifreeze. This was the first time I winterized a big rig. I had a pop up before with just a water pump and city water service plug.

I bought this tool from Amazon. It works great for pumping water into the city water service valve and the black tank flush. Camco 36003 RV Hand Pump Kit: Amazon.ca: Automotive

I also created an MS Excel checklist that I will follow on my next winterize, if I do one again. Before next winter, I will drive the rig to Fl in the fall, stay a month, store the rig, drive back to Canada and return after New Years to spend the rest of the winter basking in the warmth. Ah retirement
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:49 AM   #16
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I usually use that "blue curly hose".. attach it to the outside faucet ..then thread it to the black water flush...then pump the pink stuff in...that's probably the final thing when winterizing
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