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Old 11-27-2010, 01:02 AM   #1
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Question winterizing

hey this is our first year with our 2001 24 foot and i have no clue on what i need to do to winterize it. can any one help? thanks a bunch. Dan
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:25 AM   #2
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The manual should explain this. if you don't have a manual check the forum library, there are several manuals there.
Short version---Drain everything and put RV anti freeze in everything.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:20 AM   #3
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YouTube has some good videos on winterizing.


Watch a couple of the videos and you should get hang of it. Just be sure to drain everything first, including the outside and inside showers, and getting everything pumped full of antifreeze. The Towlite should have a water heater bypass and an antifreeze intake hose. The drain valves can be a bit hard to find, but if you take a look at the bottom side you should see where the lines stick out, go inside a look for the valves. Different models have different locations. Less than two gallons of antifreeze should do the job.

If you are really not sure what to do take the trailer to a dealer and have it done. It needs to be done right.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:36 PM   #4
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The manual on mine just says to open all valves. It doesn't say anything about needing anti-freeze. Will all the water drain out OK?
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:34 PM   #5
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Hi Boater,

In my experience, just opening all the valves will not necessarily drain out all the water. On my 1969 rig, after gravity draining the water lines, I hook up my air compressor and blow them out... and am always surprised at how much more water comes out. I also disconnect the water pump and dry it separately.

Actually I learned to blow out the pipes the hard way. After years of winter storing our trailer in Southern California, we moved back to cold country and I "winterized," the trailer as I'd been doing, draining the water. Come spring, getting ready for our first camping trip, I quickly discovered that the water line to the sink, running under the reefer, had frozen and split. The lesson I learned was that the water system has low points where liquid pools, even if you tip the trailer forward and back.

RichR's advice about taking it to a professional, if your not sure what to do, is very sound. Many shops will show you what to do, so you can handle it correctly in the future. That's exactly what I did with our "new," 2704T; and next year I'll do it myself.

Jim
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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The best route is using antifreeze! The traps on the sink and shower drains will freeze unless antifreeze is not used. Drain and bypass the hot water tank and make sure the "colored" antifreeze flows into all the traps. If you don't use the pump to fill the antifreeze it could freeze unless drained as indicated before.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:54 PM   #7
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Hi Lloyd,

I've never hesitated to pour a little trailer anti-freeze in the drain traps... and I've never had any problems with trap freeze damage, so I know it works really well. On the other hand, I've always hesitated to put anti-freeze in the fresh water pipes...I know they say its safe with a proper flush out in the spring...but years ago I saw a neighborhood dog die after lapping up some automotive anti-freeze irresponsibly left in a gutter, and it was ugly. I know trailer anti-freeze is not the same, chemically or toxically, yet.... I'm glad I have a compressor as an option!

A trailering friend of ours uses anti-freeze every winter and I've noticed his plastic fresh water pipes have developed kind of a pink hue, particularly at low points. So I've wondered how well it really does flush out, and if some of the chemical leaches into the pipe plastic.

I'm glad you brought this up, and would like to read other opinions regarding the use of trailer anti-freeze.

Jim
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
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Winterizing my trailer? I'm in california and we don't get below freezing weather. I do drain the waterheater and lines. I prefer to blow the water lines out with air ( like some of you do with landscaping watering lines) . I wouldn't use anti-freeze, it is a chemical, no matter how safe they say it is.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:32 AM   #9
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Regardless whether you use antifreeze or not, the water lines are only as good as you maintain them and the water supplies can be questionable too. I always add a bit of chlorine to my hoses and my fresh water tank when I flush them, use a carbon filter outside and another carbon filter (either faucit mounted or a pitcher type) inside for drinking water.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:50 PM   #10
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I bought a little valve that screws into the fresh water inlet. You just open everything up and apply an air chuck, like filling a tire, and blow out the water lines. It seems to work well.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:40 AM   #11
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Blowing air through the lines does not remove water from the lines from the fresh water tank, the water pump, and the line up to where the city water connects. Also, while blowing out the lines does a good job it doesn't necessarily remove all of the water in some spots. You also have to be careful not to apply too much air pressure, 30 psi should not be exceeded. In my opinion you should still pump antifreeze through the lines via the Hi-Lo supplied winterizing hose, this will insure all the water has been removed. And, of course, you need to add antifreeze to the drain traps.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you aren't sure as to how to do it get your RV dealer or an experienced person to winterize for you and maybe give you instruction in the process. It is easy to do, but you have to do it right.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:17 PM   #12
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Default I Just "De-Winterized" Our Trailer

The title says it all, but I want to add a few points.

First, we live in Tucson Arizona - so, this year I skipped putting in anti-freeze and just made sure the lines were all clear. I did it this way:

In my 17-ft model, the hot water bypass valves were put to the vertical position. Then, in front of that assembly are two drain valves in the hot and cold water supply lines. I opened them and water drained out to the ground. I also opened both the hot and cold water valves in the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Finally, I unscrewed the drain plug in the hot water heater and let it drain. I had run the pump before doing all this to empty the system as much as possible and I also opened the fresh water drain petcock. I left all these valves in the open position, feeling that the lines were all pretty much empty.

So, this year we had a day when the temperature dropped to 13 degrees and did not warm up to above freezing until mid-afternoon! I was a bit worried.

But, when I closed everything up and applied "city water" pressure, everything was fine, with two exceptions:

I decided to clean the hot water tank before hooking to water and was glad I did. Lots of cloudy water came out for quite a while. I used a little plastic "spray wand" tank cleaner thing I bought at Camping World for this and it seemed to work really well. I sprayed and sprayed until the water ran clear.

Then, when hooking up city water pressure, I discovered the kitchen sink faucet did not come on. I looked in vain for additional shutoff valves and finally too off the aerator. It was totally plugged. I cleaned it an the kitchen sink worked fine, both on city water and on "in tank", pump supplied water.

Then, I discovered the toilet did not flush! (Bathroom sink worked fine though). I disassembled the inlet valve on the line to the toilet valve, applied pressure and water came out of that so I knew the problem was in the toilet valve. I don't really know how to get to that thing without removing the toilet. It would not run water either on the pump or on "regulated" (40 psi) city water. Finally, I removed the pressure regulator I have on my supply hose and pressurized the entire system to 80 psi. (The lines in the trailer are rated to 100 psi). That worked! Whatever was blocking the valve in the toilet got forced out and now things work fine.

So, sometimes, the bigger hammer (more pressure) approach seems to work! I wonder if installing anti-frieze might have prevented this problem? Maybe things kind of "dried out" and "stuck"? Or maybe, cleaning out the hot water tank put crud into the lines? I actually left the drain valves open during this cleaning operation and water flowed out of them while I was doing it.

Next year, I think I'll put in the pink stuff.

Hope my little tale helps some of you.

- Jack
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #13
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Jack,

What did you do with the drain traps to keep them from freezing, add antifreeze? Or did you take them apart and drain the water out?
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichR View Post
Jack,

What did you do with the drain traps to keep them from freezing, add antifreeze? Or did you take them apart and drain the water out?
Rich, I actually didn't do anything with them I'm sorry to say, except to leave the drains open. This was obviously an oversight on my part which could have been disastrous. I think by leaving them open, the warm temperatures in the early winter caused the water to evaporate sufficiently to avoid breaking, because they're fine now.

This was really stupid though, and I clearly don't recommend doing things this way. I suppose they could have been "blown out" using a plunger too, but as I say, I totally forgot about them.

The previous two years I've owned the trailer, I ran antifreeze through all the tubing and into the sinks so that the U-traps were filled too.

Thanks for bringing this up, because I meant my last post as kind of a "how not to" and "what if" sort of confession. I was in Home Depot yesterday getting some irrigation supplies and I talked to a guy who had the piping in his RV freeze and break. We're just not used to really cold temperatures here, so we can easily miss some of the finer points in winterizing.

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Old 03-25-2011, 11:51 AM   #15
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The drains are easily overlooked, especially the shower drain and that is the worst one to have frozen. We had 19 degrees here in PA this morning and have more cold nights ahead of us.

When I was helping my friend in his hardware a man brought in copper tubing from his old travel trailer to get a fitting for it. None of the fittings would work, they were either to small or too large. That was a result of freezing and the ice actually stretched the tubing to a larger diameter. Usually frozen copper tubing will split and has to be replaced. Imagine what kind of job it would be to replace the lines in a trailer. Plastic water lines have helped to eliminate that problem, although fittings are still prone to being broken by freezing.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:16 PM   #16
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Default My first time winterizing!

Since we live in the California mountains where it can freeze, I thought it wise to winterize. Having never done this before, I've been reading up on the various threads but still have some questions.

Here's what I've done so far:
-Drained the fresh water tank, leaving petcock open
-Drained the two holding tanks, leaving the two dump valves open. I've also covered the pipe end with screen to keep out critters
-Drained the hot water heater by removing the nylon drain plug. Should I put this plug back in or leave it out?

What I still need to do:
-Buy some RV antifreeze for the drains. Does the shower drain have a p-trap or does it drain directly into the grey tank, similar to the toilet draining to the black tank?
-I'm leaning towards the "blowing out the lines" method rather than filling all the lines with antifreeze but I need to get the proper fittings to do this. Where is the best location to apply the air?
-I'm still struggling with the best way to maintain the batteries over the winter. I kind of like the idea of extending the positive and negative leads so I can "jump start" the trailer but my ability in the electrical realm is very lacking!


Am I missing anything?

Thanks,
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckydog671 View Post
Since we live in the California mountains where it can freeze, I thought it wise to winterize. Having never done this before, I've been reading up on the various threads but still have some questions.

Here's what I've done so far:
-Drained the fresh water tank, leaving petcock open
-Drained the two holding tanks, leaving the two dump valves open. I've also covered the pipe end with screen to keep out critters
-Drained the hot water heater by removing the nylon drain plug. Should I put this plug back in or leave it out?

What I still need to do:
-Buy some RV antifreeze for the drains. Does the shower drain have a p-trap or does it drain directly into the grey tank, similar to the toilet draining to the black tank?
-I'm leaning towards the "blowing out the lines" method rather than filling all the lines with antifreeze but I need to get the proper fittings to do this. Where is the best location to apply the air?
-I'm still struggling with the best way to maintain the batteries over the winter. I kind of like the idea of extending the positive and negative leads so I can "jump start" the trailer but my ability in the electrical realm is very lacking!


Am I missing anything?

Thanks,
They make a blow out plug.
Search - water tankblow out - Camping World

You may have the winterizing provisions already. Look for a tube by your pump. You just stick that in the antifreeze bottle and use the pump to winterize the system. It's a good idea to put some in the traps. I would put the HWH plug back in after draining. AS for the battery, I take mine out and keep it in the garage with a battery tender. There is currently a coupon in the ad for $5.99.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckydog671 View Post
Since we live in the California mountains where it can freeze, I thought it wise to winterize. Having never done this before, I've been reading up on the various threads but still have some questions.

Here's what I've done so far:
-Drained the fresh water tank, leaving petcock open
-Drained the two holding tanks, leaving the two dump valves open. I've also covered the pipe end with screen to keep out critters
-Drained the hot water heater by removing the nylon drain plug. Should I put this plug back in or leave it out?

What I still need to do:
-Buy some RV antifreeze for the drains. Does the shower drain have a p-trap or does it drain directly into the grey tank, similar to the toilet draining to the black tank?
-I'm leaning towards the "blowing out the lines" method rather than filling all the lines with antifreeze but I need to get the proper fittings to do this. Where is the best location to apply the air?
-I'm still struggling with the best way to maintain the batteries over the winter. I kind of like the idea of extending the positive and negative leads so I can "jump start" the trailer but my ability in the electrical realm is very lacking!


Am I missing anything?

Thanks,
Your trailer should have full winterizing provisions installed, including a water heater bypass kit. Read the manuals posted in this forum for instructions. Also watch the Hi-Lo instructional videos linked from the forum. One of them covers winterization using the built in provisions. I think it would be safer to do this than to blow out the system. You can't get all the water out by blowing the system out. Some water may collect at a low spot, in the pump diaphragm housing, etc, and freeze.

I've never left any of the valves open. Doing this will make no difference.

Does your lift pump have the optional, manual backup? If so, store the batteries in a warm place with a trickle charger or battery maintainer hooked up. In the spring lift the top using the manual pump.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:08 AM   #19
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The shower drain does have a p-trap. Make sure you use RV antifreeze. Also on my HiLo there are two drain valves in the rear storage compartment under the carpet to drain the water lines. I am sure that different HiLo models and year will have these in different locations or not at all. These two drain valves drain thru the floor and dump under the trailer.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:21 AM   #20
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Forgot a couple of things. If you do fill the lines with antifreeze there are bypass valves at the hot water heater that need to be in the correct position so you do not fill the heater with antifreeze. If you blow out the lines make sure no water is left in the water screen element at the DC water pump and no water left in the camode flush valve. Had my water screen element crack due to freezing on year. I also lubracate the slide dump valves and dump valve in the camode so they don't stick over the winter.
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