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Old 11-09-2015, 04:10 AM   #1
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Avoiding Winterizing

So... We are leaving Portland Oregon for California/AZ/NM/NV in December. So we just need to make it to December 25th in Portland.

It might freeze.

What do you think is the easiest winterizing solution? Wrap something with heat tape? keep the trailer heat on? (that seems expensive)

Or are we doomed to fill everything with antifreeze this week and clear it all out again in 7 weeks?

Thanks!
Amy
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:43 AM   #2
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Easiest would be to drain the water heater, blow out lines with an air compressor, drain all tanks, and then pour antifreeze into traps. Won't have to spend a lot of time clearing lines that way.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:32 AM   #3
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Last time I checked, Bi-Mart has a gallon of RV antifreeze at $2.99 and air is free. Pretty cheap insurance.

I'm going camping for four days this next weekend. When I get home, I'll winterize as Carl suggested.

I'll be camping in January and February so there's a good chance I won't be using the water system during that time. During the winter, Ten Forward still works better than a tent!
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:29 AM   #4
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Where do you store your trailer? Can you run an electric space heater to keep the inside above freezing? Down here we've had a few chilly nights with frost in the morning but I have an electric space heater running to keep the inside temp around 45. This is our first winter with the trailer but I suspect if one was to keep the interior above freezing the ambient heat of the trailer would prevent outside plumbing from freezing under mild freezing conditions. My space heater plan is just until we get back from our final camping trip of the season around Thanksgiving at which time I'll properly winterize as Carl suggests.

In the meantime I'll take some temp readings in the mornings to see how (electric space heated) interior temps compare to external plumbing temps compared to other random outdoor items. We're expecting 32 Thursday night so I better collect my data points before then so I'll know if I need to do an interim winterize!
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:08 AM   #5
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Some personal experiences: I do not have the insulation package, and I have camped in overnight temperatures into the low 20's(F) with no problems - of course with furnace and water heater operating. I have also used a space heater to keep the interior above freezing during nights into the high teens - again with no problems (this during cold nights in spring and fall after the trailer was moved out of garage storage; with day temperatures rising toward 40).
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:36 AM   #6
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What Donna said. I just winterized mine but would not hesitate to take the trailer out for a nice long camping weekend. Will leave the empty tanks and antifreeze be. The plumbing system is nothing more than a lovely convenience; hardly crucial. Just bring along a couple 3 gallon jugs for flushing and dish washing.
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrek View Post
Some personal experiences: I do not have the insulation package, and I have camped in overnight temperatures into the low 20's(F) with no problems - of course with furnace and water heater operating. I have also used a space heater to keep the interior above freezing during nights into the high teens - again with no problems (this during cold nights in spring and fall after the trailer was moved out of garage storage; with day temperatures rising toward 40).
Thank you!

We just need to get the two weeks to Thanksgiving (temps won't go below 30) and then the three weeks to Christmas (worried about that span) and then we are heading south for 7 weeks.

I do wonder about windchill while on the road. Won't temps get really cold on the exposed water lines while traveling?

I suppose Global Warming is in our favor in this. Unfortunately! LOL

Smiles,
Amy
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:19 PM   #8
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Windchill has no effect on inanimate objects, only human skin.
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Windchill has no effect on inanimate objects, only human skin.
Well, there you go! Thanks Jim!
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:59 PM   #10
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I already winterized. I know it's early. I just wanted it to be off my to do list before the holidays. Not sure we need to here in Olympia but we do get a few very cold days every winter and my friends trailer had frozen pipes once- it was very expensive to repair. So if I camp this winter I will carry a water jug. Someone said you can flush with anti freeze does that work?
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:31 PM   #11
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Just finished winterizing mine and was perty easy. Emptied the fresh water and the holding tanks. Opened all the faucets and ran the pump for 30 seconds or so. When I blew it out with air not much water came out.
Just wondering if blowing the line out is even necessary? Anybody know?
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:49 PM   #12
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I used compressed air and got very little water spitting out. I had emptied everything and used the low-point drain.
So, just to be sure, I pumped RV anti-freeze through the lines. I felt much better when I saw pink stuff coming out of the taps.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:21 AM   #13
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I did the same. Last year, I blew out the lines - over and over and was never 100% certain that the lines were completely clear. This year, I put in the 3 way valve in before the pump, and pumped antifreeze until I saw pink coming out the faucets and toilet. Added antifreeze to the p-traps and feel confident that I am safe. Peace of mind has it's value! (Also drained the hot water tank)
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:55 AM   #14
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I have flushed the toilet with antifreeze as well as windshield washer fluid (somewhat cheaper than antifreeze) without any issues in the winter. I only use antifreeze in the potable water lines.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:24 AM   #15
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"Flushing toilet
with windshield washer fluid..."
Clever idea!

I too, after blowing out lines with compressed air, added the antifreeze via the 3 way valve. Why take a chance, right? Also was nervous about not getting every drop of water blown out. Maybe just in time, since we are expecting temps down in the teens this week. Sure don't want to find no freeze-busted toilet valves come springtime.

When I take ET-19 out next month (or sooner), my water system will remain in winterized limbo. Will be flushing with my 3-gal jug water. No flushing with antifreeze. That would be an expensive flush. But, hmm, just might add some of CP's windshield washer fluid to my jug.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:47 AM   #16
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Isn't blowing out the lines with air, and then using an antifreeze redundant. One or the other would suffice.

I will so miss the low-point drain on my 2009 19. That was so nice and easy to use. Nothing to do but open the drain and valves.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:03 AM   #17
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"...One or the other would suffice." Prob-baly. But, not if you're paranoid like me. I got the low point drain but still took every extra step, perhaps, like Bill, because I could.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I have flushed with antifreeze as well as windshield washer fluid (somewhat cheaper than antifreeze) without any issues in the winter.
Hi: cpaharley2008... If you drink windshield washer fluid would you be able to see things clearer? Alf
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:25 AM   #19
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Same here on our 19. Love the low point drain. Open all the faucets, listen for the sucking sound, don't forget the shower hose, I remove, drain and reattach. Then pump about a gallon back through the lines and toilet valve, hit the traps with some pink stuff, and done. Unrolled my awning for a day in the building to make sure it did not have any wash job water trapped. Hate mold and mildew. Use lots of mothballs for mouse repellant. Traps and glue boards by the doors. Plugged in, gotta check battery water yet. Turkey basters on sale locally, good for adding distilled water if needed. Big wind last night, glad she's in the barn.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:49 AM   #20
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Just to be different I've been running in the pink stuff, then blowing it out. Left it in a number of years and other then the "clear whitish" lines turning pink, the shower control split over the winter one time.
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