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Old 09-18-2019, 04:34 PM   #1
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Winterizing and winter traveling

The rv'ing in October thread brought up a question I've had, a little background first.


I winterize in mid Oct when all the campgrounds in the area close up for the winter, no boondocking in this part of the world. Winterizing the water system to me is running in the antifreeze then blowing out the system and draining the HW heater.



I head south after the holidays when it's well below freezing in MA. I store the trailer in the side yard and usually have to move the trailer in the driveway just before the first snow so it doesn't get snowed in.


Normally I dewinterize at a full service campground when I hit the point where it isn't freezing, around Chattanooga.


In the past I've sanitized the system somewhere about mid winter, kind of when I think of it. First off it's a pain doing it in a campground, dumping the tank multiple times, and I need to remember to bring some bleach.


The question would be, would it be valid to sanitize just before winterizing?
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:59 PM   #2
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Winterizing the water system to me is running in the antifreeze then blowing out the system and draining the HW heater.
I thought you would blow out the system and then run antifreeze thru the system, bypass the water heater and drain that.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:07 PM   #3
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I think you first bypass the water heater and remove the anode to drain the tank and inspect the anode.
Then you blow out the lines or pump in RV anti-freeze.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:26 PM   #4
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Antifreeze AND blow out?

We use an air compressor (less than 50 psi) to blow out the water lines then put some anitfreeze into the black and grey tanks and the p traps.

We donít put antifreeze into the water lines.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:42 PM   #5
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I used a Porter Cable five gallon air compressor a couple times. It was a drag to haul it out to the trailer and plug it in. But, the reason I switched to RV anti-freeze is that you can see the pink stuff come out of the taps so I know the lines are full. I could see water spitting with the air compressor, but was never certain that I had it all out.

It takes very little anti-freeze to fill the lines on my 17B. I use a hand pump connected to the city water inlet.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Winterizing the water system to me is running in the antifreeze then blowing out the system and draining the HW heater.
I thought you would blow out the system and then run antifreeze thru the system, bypass the water heater and drain that.

Bypass, drain heater, run in anti freeze, and blow it out. I don't care to leave the antifreeze in the lines over the winter, had a shower control in my last trailer crack over the winter with it in, as well as stain the white pex, which is all they used in the Starcraft. As long as I've run it in correctly I see no reason to leave it in, any water is gone.


The question is does sanitizing BEFORE winterizing do any good or must I still sanitize when I dewinterize?
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:38 PM   #7
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Hi I would sanitized went dewinterizing. If you have a pool you can use chlorine about half a table spoon that you dilute on site.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:19 PM   #8
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The question is does sanitizing BEFORE winterizing do any good or must I still sanitize when I dewinterize?
From a little internet research the answer appears to be yes it does some good because rv antifreeze does not contain sanitizing agents. (I thought the alcohol content in some marine antifreeze might kill the germs.)

Once you blow the antifreeze from the lines you are starting the clock ticking on bacteria and mold growth. You are talking about a short time between fall sanitizing and heading south for the winter. No problem, I say, because Iíve done the same thing in similar circumstances.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:30 PM   #9
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I guess the flip side of the question is whether winterizing contaminates the water lines and renders sanitizing moot. Again, some trusty internet research says no, not of itself. But, the amount of time the system has been idle is the key. After sitting 6 months it seems to be advisable to flush and sanitize the winterized water system.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:53 AM   #10
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Thanks for doing the research for me Viajante, no idea why it didn't occur to me to let Google answer.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:26 AM   #11
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RV antifreeze in low concentrations or diluted will support the growth of bacteria
One Spring I went to dewinterize our trailer so I added water to the fresh water tank and started the pump and had no water flow . Pulled the pump screen and the screen was coated with slime
I worked at a chemical plant that produced glycol & plant based oils and according to the plant chemist “ If it’s not toxic to humans , it’s probably not toxic to most bacteria / mold

I tried just blowing out the water lines and skipping the antifreeze one winter . Come Spring I had a cracked fitting in a low spot that was almost impossible to access .
I have 3 gallons of -75 RV antifreeze on the shelf waiting for the last trip of the year .
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:45 AM   #12
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I think you first bypass the water heater and remove the anode to drain the tank and inspect the anode.
Then you blow out the lines or pump in RV anti-freeze.
In every trailer I have owned I have done one, or the other, never both antifreeze and pumping. I did just use the low point drain on my Escape 19 though, a real handy setup.

As far as sanitizing the system I just do that early in the year usually, and have never had a problem with bacteria buildup. As mentioned before, our water in Calgary is very good so does not cause a problem as is most places around here or in BC we go, but I do watch when away for a while.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:29 AM   #13
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First thing I did was dump gray and black tanks, then open all faucets, then opened my low point drain and the pet cock on the fresh water tank, turned the two hot water heater valves to the down/up position.

Held the toilet flush valve open for 10 seconds. Turned on water pump --now waiting for everything to drain, went inside for coffee and a jelly donut.

Go to exterior street side water heater door, drain hot water heater. Reinstall plug/new anode. Old one lasted I think 3 years. Remove city water screen mesh, press button to free trapped water.

Screw brass compressor blow out adapter into city water inlet, attach my compressor (90 psi air brush, 45 years old) air hose, and blow out lines. Double check toilet. (I donít ever want to get back there to replace another toilet valve.)

Under bed bypass valve open, run hose line into gallon jug, pump on, run until all faucets are pink, about half a gallon. After a few minutes, when I saw no pink coming out the faucets but the jug was empty, then remembered to get down and close the pet cock and the low drain. Buy another gallon jug of antifreeze, repeat above.

Winterizing done. Ate another donut. Two days later it got down to 21 degrees here.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:33 AM   #14
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You made me snort my donut when reading about forgetting about the low point drain and antifreeze being wasted.....you live and learn.
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:06 PM   #15
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...I worked at a chemical plant that produced glycol & plant-based oils and according to the plant chemist “ If it’s not toxic to humans, it’s probably not toxic to most bacteria/mold...
That might be a general rule of thumb but as with any general rule, there are exceptions. In my experience in the 15 years in the fire service and then 25 years in environmental health, propylene glycol is only mildly toxic, generally considered safe, and is used as an antifreeze in fire protection systems with connections to domestic drinking water systems and even as a food preservative in bakery product and probably more. Since propylene glycol is used as a food preservative it has some toxic properties for mold and bacteria. As in all toxins, dose determines its toxicity. (My adult daughter tells me I am too pedantic so please forgive me if this is and example.)
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:17 PM   #16
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My favourite example, propylene glycol is used in ice cream. Never heard anybody turn down ice cream because of the taste.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:53 PM   #17
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That might be a general rule of thumb but as with any general rule, there are exceptions. In my experience in the 15 years in the fire service and then 25 years in environmental health, propylene glycol is only mildly toxic, generally considered safe, and is used as an antifreeze in fire protection systems with connections to domestic drinking water systems and even as a food preservative in bakery product and probably more. Since propylene glycol is used as a food preservative it has some toxic properties for mold and bacteria. As in all toxins, dose determines its toxicity. (My adult daughter tells me I am too pedantic so please forgive me if this is and example.)
Mommy he said "pendantic."
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:59 PM   #18
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Mommy, he said, "pendantic."
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