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Old 09-17-2020, 09:29 AM   #1
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Default Ins and outs of winterizing new Hi-Lo owner

This is my first experience with Hi-Lo. I have a 2008 19 foot unit. Can someone give me the easiest and best way to winterize the trailer. My manual has a section but it only has one diagram with valves but does not say where the valves are.

Please note that I have not done this before so please be descriptive where I need to go to do things. Pictures would be helpful.

Thank you.

Larry Ullyatt
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:36 AM   #2
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Larry, I have no idea where Parker is, so I don't know how cold it gets where you live.

Basically though, you just need to protect the trailer water system from freezing, you should open your refrigerator door so that it stays dry and mold-free inside, and, you need to do something about keeping your trailer's battery(s) fully charged.

Your trailer's tires should not be sitting in water, and they should be fully inflated. I would also clean and lubricate the guide bar and the lifting cables before storage too.

I can go into more detail on any of this if you like and once you tell me where Parker is.

- Jack
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:49 AM   #3
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Larry, I have no idea where Parker is, so I don't know how cold it gets where you live.

Basically though, you just need to protect the trailer water system from freezing, you should open your refrigerator door so that it stays dry and mold-free inside, and, you need to do something about keeping your trailer's battery(s) fully charged.

Your trailer's tires should not be sitting in water, and they should be fully inflated. I would also clean and lubricate the guide bar and the lifting cables before storage too.

I can go into more detail on any of this if you like and once you tell me where Parker is.

- Jack
We are in Colorado and we get severe cold in the winter. I do need your help in showing me how to get to the cables and what to lubricate them with. Can you describe in detail where and how this is done. Send me a photo of where to access the cables.

Also in winterizing I recall from a camper we had over 15 years ago that there is a fitting in the hot water heater that needs to be loosened and drained. As I recall it was the anode for the heater. Correct??

Also the gooseneck pipes in the kitchen sink and bathroom need to have antifreeze liquid poured into them. Right?

Do you pour the antifreeze directly into the water tank? How do you do that and how much is used?

The black water tank valve cap is very difficult to take off. I cannot do it by hand. Any thoughts on how to get it off?

Larry
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:58 AM   #4
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Yup, you get cold where you are and now I know which Parker you are talking about.

Your trailer should be much like mine, and the videos in the video manual found in this thread: https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49...-youtube-1233/, Post #3 should help with much of this.

Video #36 covers "Winterizing" and should answer all your questions about draining the fresh water tank, bypassing the water heater, draining the hot water tank and then adding antifreeze to the water system. If you let the antifreeze flow from the faucets into the sinks, it will fill the J-pipes in the drains. I can get by with just one gallon of RV antifreeze when I do this, and I buy it at Home Depot, but it's available elsewhere.

Video #34 covers cleaning and lubricating the guide rod. I used Lithium grease this time, but in the past have used axle grease. I start with the top up, which puts the cylinder head about halfway along the guide rod, and then, after I've cleaned and greased both sides, I can lower the top and attend to the small area that the cylinder head covered.

Having the top up also puts most of the cables UNDER the trailer where you can get to them. Inspect their condition, clean and lubricate them. Also lubricate the pulleys. This year I used WD-40s Garage Door lube for this, which seems to dry to a kind of "waxy" consistency. I'm thinking this won't attract dirt too much but will offer rust protection.

You won't be able to get to the four top pulleys under the trailer or the cable that runs over them there. For this, you have to go inside the trailer with the top up. The lower half of your trailer has a fake wooden "trim" strip that sits on its top edge, next to the inside of the upper half. This strip is held on with screws and is easily removed. It covers the four upper pulleys and allows you to see the cable that passes over them. You'll be removing the strips on the sides of the trailer and the only one I find difficult is the one in the bathroom, which is behind the sink cabinet. I have to use a flexible extension on my screwdriver to access those screws.

Once you have a trim strip off, simply spray the cable and the pulley with your choice of lube, which will run down the cable on both sides to cover the areas you can't get to.

Replace the trim strips and Bob's your Uncle!

I have a Battery Minder (that's the brand name) battery maintainer that I leave connected to my trailer's batteries when it's stored. It keeps the batteries at full charge, applies desulfication, and will keep them from freezing. It also extends their life and I recommend it. You can find it online and it's fairly inexpensive.

Hope all this has helped!

- Jack
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
Yup, you get cold where you are and now I know which Parker you are talking about.

Your trailer should be much like mine, and the videos in the video manual found in this thread: https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49...-youtube-1233/, Post #3 should help with much of this.

Video #36 covers "Winterizing" and should answer all your questions about draining the fresh water tank, bypassing the water heater, draining the hot water tank and then adding antifreeze to the water system. If you let the antifreeze flow from the faucets into the sinks, it will fill the J-pipes in the drains. I can get by with just one gallon of RV antifreeze when I do this, and I buy it at Home Depot, but it's available elsewhere.

Video #34 covers cleaning and lubricating the guide rod. I used Lithium grease this time, but in the past have used axle grease. I start with the top up, which puts the cylinder head about halfway along the guide rod, and then, after I've cleaned and greased both sides, I can lower the top and attend to the small area that the cylinder head covered.

Having the top up also puts most of the cables UNDER the trailer where you can get to them. Inspect their condition, clean and lubricate them. Also lubricate the pulleys. This year I used WD-40s Garage Door lube for this, which seems to dry to a kind of "waxy" consistency. I'm thinking this won't attract dirt too much but will offer rust protection.

You won't be able to get to the four top pulleys under the trailer or the cable that runs over them there. For this, you have to go inside the trailer with the top up. The lower half of your trailer has a fake wooden "trim" strip that sits on its top edge, next to the inside of the upper half. This strip is held on with screws and is easily removed. It covers the four upper pulleys and allows you to see the cable that passes over them. You'll be removing the strips on the sides of the trailer and the only one I find difficult is the one in the bathroom, which is behind the sink cabinet. I have to use a flexible extension on my screwdriver to access those screws.

Once you have a trim strip off, simply spray the cable and the pulley with your choice of lube, which will run down the cable on both sides to cover the areas you can't get to.

Replace the trim strips and Bob's your Uncle!

I have a Battery Minder (that's the brand name) battery maintainer that I leave connected to my trailer's batteries when it's stored. It keeps the batteries at full charge, applies desulfication, and will keep them from freezing. It also extends their life and I recommend it. You can find it online and it's fairly inexpensive.

Hope all this has helped!

- Jack
Jack Can you send me the links for the videos on YouTube. I specifically need the Winterizing one, No 36.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:29 PM   #6
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Okey Doaks! - Here's the link to the Winterizing one:

And, the one to lubing the guide bar:

Were you not able to watch the ones in the thread link I sent?

I realize I didn't answer a question you had about a "black water tank valve cap". I don't have this item. Did you possibly mean the drain cap where the sewer hose connects that is visible in this video? That's the drain line for both the black and gray water tanks. It simply unscrews counter-clockwise. If you can't turn it by hand, use some big pliers. If you break it, they are readily available online at a modest cost, so it's easy to replace.

- Jack
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lgullyatt View Post
Jack Can you send me the links for the videos on YouTube. I specifically need the Winterizing one, No 36.
Jack, regarding the battery minder, I have a battery maintainer that I can use. There are two batteries in the compartment. Is there a way to charge both batteries with one device. What poles can you use to charge both batteries at once. With all the cables going every which way, I was not fully able to sort out how I could do both at once.

Let me know and I thank you again for the video reference on Youtube. This was invaluable!

Larry
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:56 AM   #8
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Hi Larry, assuming you have 2-12V batteries in your battery box, they will be wired in PARALLEL! As long as your battery maintainer has the capacity to charge what is essentially just a BIG battery, and I suspect it does, you simply attach its output positive lead to the positive terminal of one of the batteries and the negative lead to either of the negative terminals of the two batteries. (I would actually attach the positive lead to one battery and the negative lead to the negative terminal of the OTHER battery, to minimize any losses due to wiring resistance, but that would be insignificant).

Yes, the Winterizing video almost exactly matches what I find in my trailer!

- Jack
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Old 09-19-2020, 03:00 AM   #9
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Hi Larry and Jack, thanks for sharing your winterizing tips. I completed these tasks last fall when first taking ownership of the 2203 trailer - clean and lubricate ram with grease, sprayed the cables with WD-40 SPECIALIST Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant, drained the hot water heater and fresh water tank. When removing the left and right inside trim panels, I examined the cables and pulleys and all appeared rust free and no cable fraying (good signs).
Jack, do you flush the hot water tank each year? Last year i removed the plastic plug and drained it, did not see much debris come out. Recently watched a video that showed considerable chunks coming out with the rinse, thinking I'll try that this year. About putting antifreeze in the heater tank, I read its possible the solution could damage the heater. Last year I just let it drain and re-inserted the plastic stopper loosely. Just remember to tighten during spring commissioning.
Also connected air compressor to the fill port and opened a faucets to blow out water. Finally pour antifreeze into each drain trap and into toilet.
It gets stored in a barn barn in the Pennsylvania mountains, not as cold as Parker but easily into the low teens, I drape a tarp over the roof to keep it clean of bird droppings. I keep all side windows closed but leave a roof vent partially open. Lastly I leave compartment doors open and place mothballs around in open bowls, also in the outside water heater and fridge. And on the ground near tires and jack stand
Trailer needs a good air out in the spring, no bugs or mice last season.
We have one more week in mid October, then its a few months to April season.
Tom
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:41 AM   #10
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Hello, Tom - Unless the hot water heater is seeing constant use, I doubt seriously that it would have a calcium buildup problem like you have in a home hot water system. I've never "flushed" my hot water heater - just drained it. Once drained, there's no reason to put anti-freeze in it.

Yes, you can certainly blow out the water lines with compressed air. If you find the drains in the lines (I have one in each of the hot and cold lines), you can open them, the faucets, and the water will drain out of the lines that way too. My drains are under the couch, about 2 feet from the water pump and are accessible through the side door. If you DO drain the lines, then pouring antifreeze into the sink drains is about all you have to do.

Personally, I pull antifreeze into the hot and cold lines using the technique in the video, which also gets it into the sink drains too. So, I don't drain the water lines.

I just prop the refrigerator door open, so that no mold buildup occurs. Another trick I've used if a refrigerator is to be left closed during storage, is to place a couple bags of fresh (unused) coffee grounds inside. (Use a pair of old socks). These absorb moisture and give the refrigerator and freezer a wonderful scent.

I've mouseproofed my trailer (covered that in another thread) and have had NO mouse problems since then. My trailer sits outside, under a metal carport and is covered with a Sunbrella cover. I leave the windows cracked open for ventilation.

I live in the "mountains" in Arizona, and it easily gets into the "teens" in temperature here. Last winter I had a 32" snowfall!

- Jack
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trblandy View Post
Hi Larry and Jack, thanks for sharing your winterizing tips. I completed these tasks last fall when first taking ownership of the 2203 trailer - clean and lubricate ram with grease, sprayed the cables with WD-40 SPECIALIST Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant, drained the hot water heater and fresh water tank. When removing the left and right inside trim panels, I examined the cables and pulleys and all appeared rust free and no cable fraying (good signs).
Jack, do you flush the hot water tank each year? Last year i removed the plastic plug and drained it, did not see much debris come out. Recently watched a video that showed considerable chunks coming out with the rinse, thinking I'll try that this year. About putting antifreeze in the heater tank, I read its possible the solution could damage the heater. Last year I just let it drain and re-inserted the plastic stopper loosely. Just remember to tighten during spring commissioning.
Also connected air compressor to the fill port and opened a faucets to blow out water. Finally pour antifreeze into each drain trap and into toilet.
It gets stored in a barn barn in the Pennsylvania mountains, not as cold as Parker but easily into the low teens, I drape a tarp over the roof to keep it clean of bird droppings. I keep all side windows closed but leave a roof vent partially open. Lastly I leave compartment doors open and place mothballs around in open bowls, also in the outside water heater and fridge. And on the ground near tires and jack stand
Trailer needs a good air out in the spring, no bugs or mice last season.
We have one more week in mid October, then its a few months to April season.
Tom
Thank you for your response. I appreciate all of the information you shared. Regarding hot water heater winterizing, I will be interested to hear if just draining the tank by removing the nylon plug is sufficient. Makes more sense to me as opposed to putting antifreeze liquid in there. Air should be fine in there for the winter. You are lucky to have a barn for your trailer for storage.

Do you attach a trickle charger to your batteries for the winter?

Jack on this site says that is what he uses to keep the batteries up for the winter.

You fellows are so generous to share your knowledge with a newby. Thank you for your time.

Larry
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:55 PM   #12
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Jack is good as gold on this info. However, as a caveat, I must store my trailer at a storage lot a couple miles from my home and I do not have access to 110 electrical service. Thus, I remove my batteries each winter and take them home and put the battery tender on there. I live in Wisconsin, and it can get really cold here, also. I leave the ends of the positive and negative cables close to the opening of the battery box so I can access them even with the top down. In spring I use jumper cables or a portable jumper battery to attach to them and raise the trailer so I can get the batteries back in ( actually a suggestion of Jacks from years ago).
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:49 PM   #13
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I appreciate the kind words more than I can say, my friend! Hope you and yours are safe and well!

- Jack
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:29 PM   #14
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Default Draining hot water tank.

We only go out camping a few days each month. DH drains the hot water tank after each trip. A few members of our camping club had smelly water in their RVS. DH read somewhere to do this. Learned this recently from our HiLo dealer. buy your antifreeze from your RV dealer. This is premium pink antifreeze. Walmart brand is inferior. Antifreeze has a shelf life of two years.
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:51 PM   #15
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If you have access to a compressor, Just blow out the lines, open all faucets and blow them out, while lines have air still in them, flush toilet. I forgot one year and had to replace valve because it froze.Hope this helps.I also opened up valve on hot water tank to make sure no water was left in there either.
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Old 09-24-2020, 08:53 PM   #16
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tcongdon's advice is perfectly sound, except it ignores water that may be left in the J-pipes under the sink. I tried to purge them of water once using a high pressure plunger device but gave it up as a bad job.

So, I've found it simply easiest to fill the lines with antifreeze and to let it go into the sink J-pipes too. This also keeps the toilet valve from freezing.

- Jack
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Old 09-26-2020, 08:32 AM   #17
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One more spot that is easily forgotten is the city water hookup. After putting antifreeze into the system take the pressure off the system by turning off the pump and opening a faucet and then close it. Next, remove the rubber gasket/screen from the connection. Stand to the side of the connection to prevent a shower of antifreeze and press in on the checkvalve until the flow stops. Also, the outside shower gets forgotten sometimes.
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