View Full Version : First time winterizing the Hideout

10-27-2021, 07:55 AM
We took the Hideout out for its maiden voyage this past weekend. Everything went perfectly !! The temps dropped into the upper 20's into Saturday morning.
I opted to fill the FW tank, in lieu of the hose connected to the city water hook up. Dumped and flushed the black and grey tanks. Emptied the FW tank and emptied the low point lines.
Last night was time to winterize. The water pump is under the bed.
In between the FW tank and the water heater.
I have done a lot of reading on the process. So we moved the mattresses and opened the compartment. Flipped the bypass valves.
Opened all the water valves and drained the water system. Removed the anode rod from the water heater, and let it drain completely. Shut the water valves and removed the intake line from the pump and hooked up the connector and 3 foot hose which I stuck in a gallon jug of antifreeze. Cycled the pump to get it primed, then opened the cold water in the kitchen. Turned the pump on until a solid stream of pink was coming out, then shut that valve. I worked my way through the bathroom. Cold valves first, then went back and did the same routine on the hot valves. Had to switch to gallon 2 somewhere in this process. I also flushed the toilet and left a small amount above the seal.
After all of that, I dumped a cup, or so, of antifreeze down each of the p-traps. I then dumped the black and grey tanks, opened the low points and the FW drain valve.
Not sure if this was a good idea or not, but I dumped about a cup of antifreeze into the water heater and reinstalled the anode rod after putting new PTFE tape on the threads.
The whole process went very smooth and fairly quick for the first time.
Time to get a couple warranty issues fixed, then put her to bed for the season.
Any comments would be appreciated, especially if there was something I missed or something I did incorrectly.

10-27-2021, 08:16 AM
RV Antifreeze is corrosive to the water heater anode and will make a "helluva mess" if you leave it in the water heater tank over the winter. You need to remove the anode rod, use a hose and flush all that antifreeze out of the water heater tank. If you don't, come spring, you may find more damage than you want to deal with......

The floor of the water heater tank is similar to an "ice cube tray" in that it's designed to allow expansion when the small bit of water remaining freezes. It won't cause any damage to the water heater tank to have that bit of water remaining in it. Antifreeze will do more harm than good in this situation.

You didn't mention an outside shower/faucet. If you have one, you also need to purge the water by instilling antifreeze in that faucet. Do it the same way as you did all the other faucets.

But, that water heater needs to be "completely free of RV antifreeze for winter storage".....

10-27-2021, 08:41 AM
Thanks John,
I will try and get it flushed in the next day or two.
There is no outdoor shower or faucets on our trailer.

10-27-2021, 12:27 PM
That should be all you need to do. The Suburban Owner's Manual is pretty explicit about no antifreeze. Here's the quote:

"If your water heater plumbing system is equipped with a bypass kit, use it to
close off the water heater, drain the water heater completely and leave the water heater closed off (out of the system ) in the bypass position particularly if you are introducing antifreeze into the plumbing system . Antifreeze can be very corrosive to the anode rod creating premature failure and heavy sediment in the tank. If the plumbing system is not equipped with a bypass kit, and you intend to winterize by adding antifreeze to the system , remove the anode rod (storing it for the winter) and replace it with a 3/4" drain plug"

If you can't get pressurized water to flush the water heater, you can just remove the anode, replace it with a drain plug and you'll be OK. The objective of installing a plug is just to keep bugs and dirt/stuff out of the tank. If you choose that route, just rinse the anode rod well and store it in a plastic bag inside the water heater door and reinstall it in the spring. If you leave it exposed to antifreeze, you'll have a heavy sludge in the bottom of the tank that will be difficult to impossible to rinse out.

10-28-2021, 05:22 AM
I was able to get the water heater flushed out last night.

I also re-read the winterizing part of the owners manual. I have read through it before, but obviously missed the part about not putting antifreeze in the water heater.

I flushed it with a small tube, connected to the end of my water hose. I flushed it for a solid 3 minutes, while articulating the tube inside the water heater.

Put new PTFE tape on the anode and re-installed it. Since the valves were still in bypass, I don't think I have to worry about any water getting into the water lines.

Please correct me if I am wrong.



10-28-2021, 05:30 AM
You should be good at this point. With the winterize valves closed, the water heater tank is isolated from the plumbing runs and antifreeze won't enter the tank. Flushing it was a wise decision that you'll appreciate next spring. Your plumbing should be "ready for winter"...