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Old 09-10-2010, 06:28 PM   #1
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How To Winterize a Trailer

Winterizing Your Water System

When storing your RV for the winter it is necessary to protect the water system from freezing. There are two ways to winterize your RV.

Method One: Installing RV/Marine non-toxic anti-freeze in the water lines.

CAUTION
Never use windshield or automotive type anti-freeze to winterize the RV water system.

Winterize your RV water system as follows:
1 Drain the fresh water tank by opening the drain valve on the tank.
2 Drain the hot water heater by removing the drain plug, (1-1/16” socket) which is accessed by opening the exterior water heater door. Open the safety valve to allow air to enter the water heater to assist water to drain.
3 Apply teflon tape to the threads on drain plug and re-install.
4 At the rear of the hot water heater, turn the cold (inlet) valve and the hot (outlet) valve to the bypass position. This will allow for economical use of the anti-freeze by not filling up the water heater.
5 Remove the inlet hose from the water pump (hose between pump and fresh water tank)
6 Install a hose long enough to reach from the pump to your container of RV anti-freeze.
7 With the pump on, open each tap until the pink colored anti-freeze is flowing freely. Do not forget the toilet, the shower and the exterior shower.
8 Allow enough anti-freeze to flow into the P-Traps and holding tanks to prevent any water trapped in those areas from freezing.
9 Reconnect water pump to the fresh water tank
Never turn water heater on until it is filled with water

Method Two: Draining the Water Lines

Winterize your RV water system as follows:

1 Drain the fresh water tank by opening the drain valve on the tank.
2 Remove the threaded black plastic plug from water line located beside fresh water tank drain. (Low Point Drain)
3 First, hold the toilet flush valve open for approximately 5-10 seconds to allow water to drain. Open all other taps (including exterior shower) and leave open.
4 Drain the remaining water out of the water heater by removing the drain plug, (1-1/16” socket) which is accessed by opening the exterior water heater door.
5 Apply Teflon tape to the threads on water heater drain plug and re-install.
6 Remove the screened washer on the City Water Fill. Behind the washer is a white plastic one-way-valve. Using your finger, lightly push this valve in to allow a small amount of trapped water to drain out.
7 Once there is no more water draining from the low point drain or fresh water tank, switch on the 12V water pump and run for approx 10 seconds. This will clear any water in the pump head out.
8 Re-install low point drain plug.
9 Pour 2 liters of RV anti-freeze into the toilet holding tank. Pour 1 liter down the kitchen sink drain, and pour 1 liter down the shower drain.

Never turn water heater on until it is filled with water


Preparing your RV for use in the spring:
Flush fresh water tank and water lines thoroughly before using.
If you used Method 1 to winterize, turn the bypass valves to the normal position (see diagram on previous page)
Prior to operating the water heater, confirm it is full of water by briefly opening the relief valve. There should be no air present.

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Old 09-14-2010, 12:01 AM   #2
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

If Method Two is used, is there any significant point to pressurizing the water system with a compressor and blowing air through the water lines? Last winter, I did that after doing the draining process and got a few more ounces out of the system. We live where we can get a hard freeze in the winter, so I'm a bit paranoid about getting all the water out.

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Old 09-14-2010, 08:19 AM   #3
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

Along the same theme, when using method 2 are there any issues with water remaining in the pumps? I have heard they are expensive to replace and with the hard freeze we will have anything left behind do damage.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie
Along the same theme, when using method 2 are there any issues with water remaining in the pumps? I have heard they are expensive to replace and with the hard freeze we will have anything left behind do damage.
Paul with our VERY hard freezes here in WI, I am paranoid! In the past with our Scamp I have essentially done method #2 (drain everything), then blown out the lines with pressure, isolated the water heater, and then added about a gallon or 2 of RV antifreeze into the fresh tank and turned on the pump until I see it come out of the faucets and toilet. I notice that Reace advises removing the hose from the pump and adding the antifreeze there.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:47 AM   #5
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

Hi: All... I think my method is best. Our local RV Tech. does house/trailer calls. Has a Honda powered Gen. compressor and winterizes in our driveway $50. He blows the lines out...the anti-freeze in and recovers the excess. Alf
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:45 AM   #6
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape artist
Hi: All... I think my method is best. Our local RV Tech. does house/trailer calls. Has a Honda powered Gen. compressor and winterizes in our driveway $50. He blows the lines out...the anti-freeze in and recovers the excess. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
Must be nice! Can you send your tech down to WI please?
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

Eric

From what you are saying you really do both methods, however in reverse order. Blow dry everything and then backfill with antifreeze. I see where that will protect the pump(s). I have to look at those pumps to see how to do the bypass. I know about the hot water heater bypass as that was in bypass mode when delivered. I cannot believe the pumps are that easy? Do you plan to disconnect the pump?

I say pumps (plural) because I thought I heard two different ones. I thought one was under the sink and the other, maybe by the hot water heater. This was further confirmed by the vent I have in the 19 wheel well. Anyone add light to the number of pumps?

I like the second method best, I have the compressor and fitting and avoid the minor enviornmental issues with the antifreeze. I also hate the thought of using those lines after the pink stuff has departed. Not sure why that is, as we do not drink onboard water, always use bottled.

I do not think anyone has answered the question of what psi pressure on the compressor.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

I use the second method and blow the lines out as well.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

I already did method 2 this weekend, but did not blow out the lines. However, I waited until no drops were coming out anymore. For using the compressor, what type of fitting do you need, and what do you do? Do you attach the compressor to the city water hookup of your trailer? I would like to be on the safe side as well, since WI winters can be really brrrrrr-cold....
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:23 PM   #10
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by gharms
I already did method 2 this weekend, but did not blow out the lines. However, I waited until no drops were coming out anymore. For using the compressor, what type of fitting do you need, and what do you do? Do you attach the compressor to the city water hookup of your trailer? I would like to be on the safe side as well, since WI winters can be really brrrrrr-cold....
Gerda they make a special fitting available at any RV dealer. It screws into the city water opening and on the other side has a stem sized like a tire stem. You can then attach the tire filling fitting on your compressor hose to that and push air thru the system. I hook it up and run about 40 lbs of pressure thru, I start farthest from the hose - in our case the toilet, bathroom, until no water at all comes out when I hold open the valve, then the bathroom sink and finally the kitchen sink. I am paranoid about our winters so then I put in some RV antifreeze too. Probably way overkill. I think that since RV antifreeze, propylene glycol, is also a food additive, there is little environmental danger from it. Anyone know for sure on that?
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:16 PM   #11
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

This is what Eric is referring to, and what I use.

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Old 09-15-2010, 11:05 AM   #12
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

I used about 20# of pressure when I blew out the Casita's system and followed up a day later with a second purging.

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Old 09-20-2010, 08:06 PM   #13
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

I did it last weekend with good advise from Reace...

But how about lifting the trailer....couples of inchs, just to release the load on the axle from the trailer weight? I did it with my old trailer when i not using it in the winter time.....

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Old 09-20-2010, 09:03 PM   #14
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

My mechanic recommended jacking the trailer to take weight off the bearings so they wouldn't develop flat spots. Being an idiot, I tried to jack up my tent trailer at the axle, which just bent it. So, don't do that.

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Old 09-20-2010, 11:42 PM   #15
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

I won't be winterizing my trailer until after Thanksgiving.

I haven't ever taken weight off of the wheels, but it wouldn't be a bad idea. I can't imagine that just sitting, that the hard steel in the bearing would get a flat spot, but I ain't no expert. I would think the pressure off the tires might be a good thing though.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:58 AM   #16
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

I had answer from Reace yesterday....

He said to lift the trailer just to take some pressure off the axle. When the jack touch the ground, just raise the body about 1.5'' with the jack.

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Old 09-21-2010, 10:30 AM   #17
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

When I picked up our Scamp, I was told that the static weight on the axle prematurely wears out the (rubber?) cushioning used in the axle as the suspension mechanism. But with the Scamp there was a lot of question about warping the frame by using the leveling jacks to raise it, so I used jack stands on the frame close to the axle.

When we picked up our Escape Reace said that the frame on our Escape was plenty strong and that using the leveling jacks to lift it should not cause any problems. I think taking the weight off the tires and the axle while in long term storage is a good idea.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:49 AM   #18
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

Sorry to come late to the table....

The water system is pressure tested to 100 psi, therefore anything up to 100 is fine for blowing the lines for winterizing.

There is only one pump under the rear seat or bed. As noted in the initial post...turning the pump on and letting it run dry for 10 seconds will empty the pump head. Make sure the low point plug is still out.

Blowing out the lines is an extra step that probably isn't necessary however, if it lets you sleep peacefully when it is really cold outside....makes sense to me!

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Old 09-23-2010, 11:35 AM   #19
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

I presume you are saying, "if you use antifreeze" blowing out the water lines is not necessary?

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Old 09-23-2010, 12:04 PM   #20
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Re: How To Winterize a Trailer

I'm guessing if you blow out all the water from the system, you don't need antifreeze. Anyone know different?...or is impossible to get all the water out?

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