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Old 10-05-2017, 10:05 PM   #1
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Winterizing

This past weekend was my least favorite weekend of the year. After one last camping trip we have now winterized our camper (Flagstaff 625D). Iím hoping I did it right as it was the fist time having to actually winterize one. I did see pink coming out of both sides of the three faucets. Our previous popup didnít have hot water so it was as simple as pulling the plug and letting it drain.

I followed the instructions here as the manual was much too general: Winterizing Your Flagstaff Camping Trailer | Roberts Sales - Denver, Colorado

Now I just need to bring the batteries inside and charge them up for storage. Iím assuming all I need to do with the toilet cassette is drain it but I donít need to add any winterizer, etc. to it.

One thing I was disappointed with, however, was that the inlet hose to the water pump is way too close to the side of the camper to permanently attach a winterizing kit. However, it was easy enough to remove the inlet and attach a hose in its place. I almost chose to attach the tee sideways but Iím still not sure it would fit.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:31 AM   #2
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Myron the only thing I think you need to take a look at is if you have bypass valves on your water heater if so bypass it and drain it. leave the plug out. If you do this you may consider taking a water hose and flushing out the water heater to get all the pins stuff out of there.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:52 PM   #3
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The first thing I did was flip the three levers to bypass the water heater. Then I pulled out the anodizing rod. Not only is there no pink stuff in it, there is no water, either.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:32 AM   #4
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Just winterized mine for the first time..

1. I was told not to put a single drop of anti freeze in the water heater. Was told as long as you pull rod and drain, that is all that is needed

2. You need to run anti freeze through your cassette toilet.. the fresh water part that "flushes" that is.. I took a shop vac to mine to suck out all water, and then dumped enough anti to make it shoot out in the toilet. Dealer I bought from said people forget about that and break theirs

3. I used a blow out valve.. opened 1 cold at a time, then 1 hot at a time and blew out my lines... then I took anti freeze and sucked about 1/2 gallon into pump and called it a day.

Also.. if you have a water filter system.. take the filter out.
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:14 AM   #5
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2. You need to run anti freeze through your cassette toilet.. the fresh water part that "flushes" that is.. I took a shop vac to mine to suck out all water, and then dumped enough anti to make it shoot out in the toilet. Dealer I bought from said people forget about that and break theirs
The site I referenced was pretty thorough on what do do but only said to pull out the clear sight tube and let the water run out. It didnít say anything about running antifreeze through the toilet system. Are we sure that is necessary?

It does make sense, there is a path for water to move from the supply through the system, Iím just not sure whether there is a point where water can sit.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:11 PM   #6
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The site I referenced was pretty thorough on what do do but only said to pull out the clear sight tube and let the water run out. It didnít say anything about running antifreeze through the toilet system. Are we sure that is necessary?

It does make sense, there is a path for water to move from the supply through the system, Iím just not sure whether there is a point where water can sit.
Not sure if ours are different but, I pulled my clear tube and let it drain completely. After I did that, if you open the fill cap, there is still water that sits in there. When I used my shop vac to suck the fill tube out, I got quite a bit from there.. like quite a bit. And that pump in the toilet isn't very big and holds water in it. When I dumped my anti in the fill tube, I had to dump almost 1/2 gallon until it would come out the clear drain tube... so there is probably at least 1/2 gallon water in there. Only took me maybe 2 minutes tops, I would def. do it if you have the anti laying around. And since my dealer has seen others break, it def. can happen.
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:15 PM   #7
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I also put antifreeze in my empty toilet fresh water tank and flush it till pink comes out. Drain tank and flush till nothing comes out. Just remember to clean the bowl so the pink doesnít stain. I have no idea if that is necessary, but the toilet may as well be made of gold considering how much the parts cost.

I also pull the black water tank and clean it out really well.

I could not get a winterizing tube to my pump either. Not enough room and the 2516 has it under the jackknife couch which is hard to keep propped up. I just put a couple gallon s in the empty fresh water tank and pump it through the system. When done, I put the hose into the tank and open the bottom valve and let them go for a long rinse. Drain water and close the drain. No bad taste at all. Of course, I sanitize it asap in the spring.

One thing a buddy taught me is to pull the screen out of the fresh water shore hookup and give the button behind it a push while the system has antifreeze pressure in it. It squirts out the trapped fresh water behind the check valve.

I also try to run the pump to drain as much antifreeze as possible and then dump the filter canister.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:43 PM   #8
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Not sure if ours are different but, I pulled my clear tube and let it drain completely. After I did that, if you open the fill cap, there is still water that sits in there. When I used my shop vac to suck the fill tube out, I got quite a bit from there.. like quite a bit.
You donít have to suck the water out of the fill tube, the pipe will easily rotate and the water will pour out.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:48 PM   #9
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I could not get a winterizing tube to my pump either. Not enough room and the 2516 has it under the jackknife couch which is hard to keep propped up.
The connection to my pump is visible and easily accessible behind the couch with the top folded down. It is just so close to the outside wall that I can barely unscrew the hose and fit a tube to it. I keep wondering if I should have blown the water out of it in reverse (towards the fresh water tank) so nothing sits in that hose and freezes.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:52 PM   #10
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The connection to my pump is visible and easily accessible behind the couch with the top folded down. It is just so close to the outside wall that I can barely unscrew the hose and fit a tube to it. I keep wondering if I should have blown the water out of it in reverse (towards the fresh water tank) so nothing sits in that hose and freezes.


Yes same here. No room. I have not been unscrewing it because I draw antifreeze up through it. If I didnít, I would unscrew it to break the vacuum in it. I think it would drain right back into the tank. I think I would also worry about water in the pump too in that case. I think running the pump dry for a short time empties it fine. Thatís all I ever did with my last pu. Drain the tank and run the pump till it quit sputtering out of the sink..... no antifreeze at all. it was a simple system, but I never had a problem.
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:53 AM   #11
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You donít have to suck the water out of the fill tube, the pipe will easily rotate and the water will pour out.
I think ours are different. My fill tube for the toilet is a gray tube with a green lid.. it only rotates left/right. Aside from literally tearing it off or flipping the camper upside down, it only goes left/right.

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Originally Posted by Myron625 View Post
The connection to my pump is visible and easily accessible behind the couch with the top folded down. It is just so close to the outside wall that I can barely unscrew the hose and fit a tube to it. I keep wondering if I should have blown the water out of it in reverse (towards the fresh water tank) so nothing sits in that hose and freezes.
Have you guys looked underneath the camper.. right next to the fresh water tank? There should be a hose/tube that runs from pump to fresh water tank. If you follow that, right where it meets the fresh tank underneath there should be a valve you can turn.. and a plastic nipple coming off of that. You can hook a tiny rubber hose to the nipple and bypass the fresh water tank to suck up some anti-freeze.
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Old 10-19-2017, 01:54 PM   #12
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I think ours are different. My fill tube for the toilet is a gray tube with a green lid.. it only rotates left/right. Aside from literally tearing it off or flipping the camper upside down, it only goes left/right.



Have you guys looked underneath the camper.. right next to the fresh water tank? There should be a hose/tube that runs from pump to fresh water tank. If you follow that, right where it meets the fresh tank underneath there should be a valve you can turn.. and a plastic nipple coming off of that. You can hook a tiny rubber hose to the nipple and bypass the fresh water tank to suck up some anti-freeze.
Iíll have to look under the camper. Thanks for the tip.

Your fill tube with the green top that flips out to fill will also twist sideways to dump its contents. While it is flipped out, grab it and twist it. It will dump.
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:07 PM   #13
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Iíll have to look under the camper. Thanks for the tip.

Your fill tube with the green top that flips out to fill will also twist sideways to dump its contents. While it is flipped out, grab it and twist it. It will dump.
Hmm... I will go check that out shortly. Thanks! I'll also snap a photo of what my piece looks like underneath.
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:09 PM   #14
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Hmm... I will go check that out shortly. Thanks! I'll also snap a photo of what my piece looks like underneath.


http://www.robertssales.com/articles...te_toilet.html

3rd picture down on that link.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:23 PM   #15
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Ill be danged.. it does turn Also here is the piece that you can turn and suck up antifreeze
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:08 PM   #16
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Ill be danged.. it does turn Also here is the piece that you can turn and suck up antifreeze


Thanks much for the picture. Yours must be newer than mine. I donít have that on my 2014. I appreciate the photo much though. Iím going to install something like that!
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:33 PM   #17
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If you're interested in an alternative to RV antifreeze, I have successfully used air to winterize my PUPs for years.
There's nothing wrong with RV antifreeze, but by using air, I don't have to contend with flushing the antifreeze in my freshwater plumbing...and possibly sanitizing.

So far so good. Nothing has ever frozen...including my water pump. If anyone's interested...
Steps:
  • Get a decent air compressor. I have a 30 gallon, 175 pound compressor from Home Depot. It's a nice compromise between cost and capability. I have 125 feet of air hose, so I don't need to drag it around. Harbor Freight sells decent hose at a low price.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Set the output pressure to about 50 pounds...so as to not over-pressurize the system.
  • Air hose to garden hose adapters are readily available.
  • Drain everything that can be drained, including the hot water heater, and isolate the hot water heater with the bypass valves.
  • Open the gray water dump so water can drain out of the tank.
  • Make sure your fresh tank is drained.
  • Run the freshwater pump and allow it to get rid of all water through a low point, like the outdoor shower and/or freshwater floor drains in the hot/cold lines.
  • When the pump is not pushing any more water, turn it off.
  • Apply air pressure to the "shore" water connection, and go from valve to valve allowing the air to blow the lines dry.
  • Repeat this several times. I usually open every faucet valve at least 3 times.
  • Double-check the pump...to make sure air has not pushed water back into it.
  • Don't forget the shower(s) and toilet flush...and floor drains if you have them.
  • When everything is blown dry, disconnect the air.
  • Remove the water filter "jar" and empty it...it will still be full.
  • Close the gray water dump.
  • Install 4 or 5 "Freshcab" rodent repellent packs here, there, and everywhere to keep the mice and chipmunks out. Amazon suppliers are out of stock, but lots of farm stores carry this stuff. It's about $17.00 for a box of 4 packs. I stock up in the spring, because there's a run on this stuff in the fall.
  • My PUP has a high-rise kitchen sink faucet. The delivery pipe is removable so it doesn't get damaged when folding the PUP. I pull this out and use a paper towel to blot up the 2 tablespoons or so of water remaining in the fitting.
  • That's it.

After that, I pour RV antifreeze into all drain plumbing (I have several traps leading to the gray tanks) and the shower. I also pour RV antifreeze into the toilet to treat any residual water remaining in the black tank from the last dump.

This takes less than 30 minutes with a good air compressor...far less time than it took to make the detailed list! I used to use a pancake compressor, and it doubled the time, because the pancake could only deliver a sustained "puff" for about 2 minutes, then I had to give it time to recharge. The new compressor can supply continuous air at 50 PSI indefinitely. Limiting to 50 PSI means I can close all the faucets and not blow up the plumbing as I move from faucet to faucet.

Is this better? Couldn't say....probably not. Just different. It does the job, and I don't have to contend with RV antifreeze in all the plumbing lines in the spring.

Another advantage is that I can prep the camper for an impromptu mid-winter trip in no time. Here in Colorado, we get occasional 70 degree weekends without notice. All I need to do is put the anode back in the water heater, switch the bypass valves, close the fresh tank drain valve, start filling the tank, fire up the pump and fill the hot water heater and prime all the faucets, and I'm ready to roll.

For what it's worth...other freeze prevention practices while actually using the camper:

Since I have a PUP, and since it's a very small space when closed, I use a ceramic electric heater in the camper during the shoulder season...when there's a chance of freezing temps overnight. I run the 1500 watt heater on the 750 watt setting and the thermostat on low, yet it keeps the camper at about 80 degrees inside, and this prevents freeze-up. My fresh tank is dumped, and I drain the water out of the outdoor shower head. The shower hose can withstand a light freeze, but the plastic shower head could crack. Warm water in the pex feeding the shower faucet has thus far kept it from freezing. Fingers crossed.

We've camped when water in the dogs' drinking bowl outside has frozen, but with the furnace running, no issues with the camper...again, I drain the shower head on the outdoor shower.

The most vulnerable spot in my HW PUP (WHILE CAMPING) is a PVC trap below the floor. If we are camping, I'm "blessed" with a 68 year old bladder that requires at least one overnight pit stop, so I am able to exchange the water in that trap at least once a night when I wash my hands. One day, it will crack, and I'll just replace it with a rubber Fernco trap...and that will withstand expansion from freezing.
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:11 AM   #18
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Thanks much for the picture. Yours must be newer than mine. I donít have that on my 2014. I appreciate the photo much though. Iím going to install something like that!
Yeah, for what it would cost to buy and put on, would be a nice cheap option to have. I still can't believe I didn't notice that pipe turns...

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If you're interested in an alternative to RV antifreeze, I have successfully used air to winterize my PUPs for years.
There's nothing wrong with RV antifreeze, but by .....
I actually did this to mine too. I blew out my lines with an RV blow out valve attachment. But I also sucked some anti into my pump because with that valve I have, it's super easy and quick. And in the past, I had a pump crap out on me.. mostly because I would run it out of water then shut off. Pumps made to push water don't like to run dry... and running them dry, letting them sit, then running dry again to pick up water (in my experience) causes damage. It's only once a year so not too bad. And in the spring I'll just hook up my garden hose, open all faucets and let it run for 20 minutes or so.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:32 PM   #19
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Iíll be winterizing mine after this weekend trip. I hate to put her away for the year, but itís nice to know itís safe.
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Old 10-28-2017, 03:02 PM   #20
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Not to hijack this thread but what do you guys do with your battery? Do you put it on a trickle charger or do you just let it be? I've heard people doing it both ways.
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