Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 

Go Back   Keystone RV Forums > Keystone Tech Forums > Repairs & Maintenance
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-08-2021, 12:53 PM   #1
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
How to Winterize Your RV Using Compressed Air

This post is going to explain how to winterize your RV using compressed air. I live in the great Northwest where the winters are very cold and where all who have RV’s must winterize their unit before putting them in storage. I’ve had 2 different RV’s in the last 14 years and the process is virtually the same for both of them. All said and done, this can be completed in 1 hour.

By using compressed air there is no need to fill your lines with antifreeze and it’s a snap in the Spring to hook up water, recharge your system, and take off on your first trip of the Season.

What you will need; an air compressor (with attachments), 1 gallon of RV antifreeze, 1 1/16” socket and ratchet (for removing water heater anode rod), plastic city water adapter with nipple, and 4 feet of inch plastic tubing.

First; remove the cap on RV water tank drain line. Empty completely. On most units, this is found on the underbelly of the RV.

Second; remove the water heater anode and drain. This will remove almost all of the water out of the entire system. When done, find the input water line to the water heater and close the bypass valve.

Third; remove both hot and cold water caps on each drain line, again, found on the underbelly of the RV. Go inside the RV and turn on the auxiliary water pump. Step outside of the RV and look underneath the unit, making sure there is no more water coming out of the lines. Shut off the water pump and put a cap back on the cold water line, leaving the hot water line open.

Forth; power up your compressor and allow it to pressure up with air. Screw the plastic city water adapter into the “City Water” connection. Next, connect the inch tubing to the nipple and then connect the other end to your air compressor blow gun.

Fifth; blow air into the system and look underneath the unit to make sure no water is coming out of the hot water line. Cap off the hot water line. Remove the cold water cap and do the same thing. When done, place both hot and cold water caps back on the lines, closing off the system.

Sixth; you’ll need another hand for this step. Starting at the closest water utilities, which is the bathroom in our unit, have your wife or friend push down the toilet lever. When open, send air into the system and make sure no water is coming out of that line. Next, move to the sink, doing the same thing with both the hot and cold lines, separately. Do this with all lines, including the shower, all sinks, and outside water utilities, like a shower. (Careful not to pressure the lines with air with everything closed off.)

Seventh; Use a 2 foot piece of inch tubing to extract any remaining water at the bottom of the water heater by siphoning it out. When done, inspect the anode to make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced and then install it back into the water heater. Go back to the input line to the water heater and open the bypass valve back up.

Eighth; pour the RV antifreeze into ALL pee traps via the sinks, including the waterless pee trap in the shower. I use about a 1/3 of a gallon in each.

You’re all set and ready to put your RV to bed for the winter!
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2021, 07:12 AM   #2
Lee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Lacey, WA
Posts: 384
Hi,

This is basically how to perform this process each year.

Only thing I can add is,.... I regulate the air pressure to ~45psi.
__________________
Lee

1970 F250 Highboy 4x4
2013 Cougar 21RBSWE
Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2021, 12:25 PM   #3
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee View Post
Hi,

This is basically how to perform this process each year.

Only thing I can add is,.... I regulate the air pressure to ~45psi.

Thanks. I know I didn't mention everything involved in the process so any added advice on this is appreciated.
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2021, 02:54 AM   #4
jwfrede
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Spring Mills
Posts: 21
I've done this exact process on my 215rbk APEX travel trailer.

I bought a 2020 27SGS Cougar half ton fifth wheel this year. Has anyone done this method with Cougar 5er?

To add a little more detail to my method of compressed air winterizing. I have a 10 gal air tank that I would take up to about 50 psi. This would allow a longer blast of high flowrate air because the compressor could not keep up.

Each line in the trailer was done one at a time. That is, only the water heater was blown out, then the shower hot water, than the shower cold water, etc. In between each line blowdown, I would let the tank pressure build back up by closing a valve at the tank, always leaving one line in the trailer open so the trailer would not pressurize. This takes awhile as there are 8 separate blowdown lines in the trailer, water heater(no valve, just the anode screw, toilet, shower(2), and 2 sinks(2 each). It took maybe 2-3 minutes per line and was then repeated a couple of times, especially the water heater.

After everything was completely blown out once, I waited an hour for water droplets hung up in the lines to accumulate in the line low points and repeated the whole blowdown procedure through all the lines. I probably repeated this a third time until the air was coming through each line fairly dry. For the second blowdown there were still some droplets in the lines that came out with the initial airflow. Then it became a mist. And eventually this air became fairly dry.

It took 2-3 hours to do the whole process so I felt comfortable that there was not likely to be accumulation of water in low spots in the lines. The effort and extra time was worth it because there is no dewinterizing procedure. When I head south in the winter there is no need to spend time getting the antifreeze out in some unknown campground 1000 miles from home.

I am still debating which method to use for the Cougar 5er. The travel trailer was smaller and more compact. All the water lines were on the same level so it was easier to understand the path of the lines that were hidden behind the cabinetry reducing the places where a low point could occur. I have a bit of concern about this on the 5er.
__________________
Jeff
2020 Cougar 27SGS
F-350 4WD Diesel
jwfrede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2021, 08:13 AM   #5
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfrede View Post
I've done this exact process on my 215rbk APEX travel trailer.

I bought a 2020 27SGS Cougar half ton fifth wheel this year. Has anyone done this method with Cougar 5er?

To add a little more detail to my method of compressed air winterizing. I have a 10 gal air tank that I would take up to about 50 psi. This would allow a longer blast of high flowrate air because the compressor could not keep up.

Each line in the trailer was done one at a time. That is, only the water heater was blown out, then the shower hot water, than the shower cold water, etc. In between each line blowdown, I would let the tank pressure build back up by closing a valve at the tank, always leaving one line in the trailer open so the trailer would not pressurize. This takes awhile as there are 8 separate blowdown lines in the trailer, water heater(no valve, just the anode screw, toilet, shower(2), and 2 sinks(2 each). It took maybe 2-3 minutes per line and was then repeated a couple of times, especially the water heater.

After everything was completely blown out once, I waited an hour for water droplets hung up in the lines to accumulate in the line low points and repeated the whole blowdown procedure through all the lines. I probably repeated this a third time until the air was coming through each line fairly dry. For the second blowdown there were still some droplets in the lines that came out with the initial airflow. Then it became a mist. And eventually this air became fairly dry.

It took 2-3 hours to do the whole process so I felt comfortable that there was not likely to be accumulation of water in low spots in the lines. The effort and extra time was worth it because there is no dewinterizing procedure. When I head south in the winter there is no need to spend time getting the antifreeze out in some unknown campground 1000 miles from home.

I am still debating which method to use for the Cougar 5er. The travel trailer was smaller and more compact. All the water lines were on the same level so it was easier to understand the path of the lines that were hidden behind the cabinetry reducing the places where a low point could occur. I have a bit of concern about this on the 5er.
To be honest, I've done my procedure for 14 years and I'm not concerned about my pressure being a little high because I don't run air through the system unless the line(s) are open. I just leave it around 100 PSI so I get a good solid blow out. Yes, my compressor does kick on and off but I really don't use that much air because almost all of my water is out of the system when I get to this stage.

Like you, I do one line at a time and my wife lets me know when nothing but air is coming out. She opens the next line and I charge up the line with a big blast of air. Only takes 2-3 times on the line we are purging and I'm done.

Not sure why you are blowing out your water heater as taking the anode out completely drains that appliance and the water system on my TT. Maybe your unit is different than mine. Also, you should have a bypass valve somewhere on the HWH tank. If you can't see it a panel may be in blocking the backside of the tank and you just have to remove it.

As far as your 5th wheel, I would always start at the high points and work your way down.
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2021, 02:49 PM   #6
KimNTerry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Windsor
Posts: 209
I do basically the same except I use a blowout adapter to connect the compressor to the city water connection.

Don't forget the black tank sprayer if you have one.
doing this today in fact.
__________________

2016 Cougar 1/2 Ton Series 283 RETWE
2018 F150 EcoBoost FX4 Lariat Max-Tow and Heavy Duty Payload Package
KimNTerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2021, 03:37 PM   #7
Canonman
Senior Member
 
Canonman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: South Jordan, Utah
Posts: 1,664
For several seasons I did this same compressed air process finishing off by running antifreeze through the system as a final step. Belt and suspenders kind of mindset.
Last season I only used the compressed air making sure to blow out the toilet valve, black tank flush and outside shower.
There were NO problems this spring when I went through the dewinterizing process.
Thanks to the posts on this forum, not going through the antifreeze process saved a bunch of time and hassle on both ends of the winterizing operation.
Getting ready to repeat last year's method here in a few days.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	_MGL9186.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	380.9 KB
ID:	36432  
__________________
2017 Cougar 279RKSWE
2007.5 Dodge Ram 2500 6.7 Cummins
Retirement Training Completed
I've now been told to "Slow Down" by the doctor instead of the cops
Canonman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2021, 04:14 PM   #8
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimNTerry View Post
I do basically the same except I use a blowout adapter to connect the compressor to the city water connection.

Don't forget the black tank sprayer if you have one.
doing this today in fact.
This is the adapter I use for the city water connection. I just connect the 1/4 inch tubing to this and insert my blow gun on the other end. After searching online, there are quite a few different kinds a person could use. Is yours plastic or brass?

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-361...ur-RV/14504303

Thanks for the heads up on the black tank sprayer. Mine is all gravity fed downward so I've never blown it out. But again, RV's have many different types of sprayers so it's important to be sure there's no water trapped in there.
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2021, 05:04 PM   #9
gkainz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Arvada, CO
Posts: 669
I used air for a lot of years to winterize. I got a new compressor a few years back and plumbed the garage for air, including an air/oil/water separator. Looking at the gunk that it traps makes me cringe at the stuff I was blowing into my water lines.

I use the pink stuff exclusively now.
__________________
2010 Laredo 245RL
2007 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD 4x4
Andersen Ultimate Gooseneck mount
gkainz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2021, 10:47 AM   #10
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkainz View Post
I used air for a lot of years to winterize. I got a new compressor a few years back and plumbed the garage for air, including an air/oil/water separator. Looking at the gunk that it traps makes me cringe at the stuff I was blowing into my water lines.

I use the pink stuff exclusively now.
Have you read the warning label on the pink stuff? Says to call a physician immediately if it's digested. lol

To be honest, we do not drink water from our RV system and we always bring bottled water for consumption. We don't even drink the tap water in our home even though they tell us it's safe.

We also thoroughly flush out our water lines when we hook up in the Spring. And I've had other discussions with people on this forum and they do drink the water in their RV system, and, they use compressed air to winterize their camper.

I'm sure some of that debris will come out of the air line but most of it winds up at the bottom of the compressors tank and I always drain it after using it.
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2021, 10:50 AM   #11
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canonman View Post
For several seasons I did this same compressed air process finishing off by running antifreeze through the system as a final step. Belt and suspenders kind of mindset.
Last season I only used the compressed air making sure to blow out the toilet valve, black tank flush and outside shower.
There were NO problems this spring when I went through the dewinterizing process.
Thanks to the posts on this forum, not going through the antifreeze process saved a bunch of time and hassle on both ends of the winterizing operation.
Getting ready to repeat last year's method here in a few days.
Nice! It does save time and money to just blow everything out. And I like how easy it is to just fill up and go in the Spring.
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2021, 01:23 PM   #12
keyholeelf
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Brooks
Posts: 15
I do pretty much the same thing. The only difference is I have a pressure regulator I hook up to an rv air adapter. That way I can open the valves up inside myself because the pressure regulator keeps the pressure down to what I set it at.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
__________________
Donald Pilkey
2016 Keystone Cougar 341 RKI
2007 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 2500HD 6.6 Dmax
keyholeelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2021, 03:05 PM   #13
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyholeelf View Post
I do pretty much the same thing. The only difference is I have a pressure regulator I hook up to an rv air adapter. That way I can open the valves up inside myself because the pressure regulator keeps the pressure down to what I set it at.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
You know, I have a pressure regulator on my compressor that does the same thing. I may try that next year. But my wife does help me so I turn it up to at least 100 PSI so I get a solid blast of air through the open line. And I like the brass quick connect. Perfect for blowing out the system by yourself.
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2021, 03:52 PM   #14
notanlines
Senior Member
 
notanlines's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Germantown, TN
Posts: 5,412
No, no, no, no!!! The 100 PSI is NOT an accepted pressure and should not be used. 30 to 50 psi is a great plenty. Do NOT let someone convince you otherwise.
__________________
Jim in Memphis
Wife of 49 years is Brenda
2019 F450 6.7 Powerstroke
2017 Mobile Suites 40RSSA
2015 26TBUD Salem Forest River (For Alaska Trip)
2001 Road king w/matching Harley sidecar
notanlines is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2021, 03:59 PM   #15
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by notanlines View Post
No, no, no, no!!! The 100 PSI is NOT an accepted pressure and should not be used. 30 to 50 psi is a great plenty. Do NOT let someone convince you otherwise.
LOL...If you've read my previous comments, I only apply that amount of pressure when the line is open. Have done it this way for 14 years with no problems.
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2021, 04:43 PM   #16
flybouy
Site Team
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Joppa, MD
Posts: 7,989
Higher pressure doesn't equal more volume (flow). With the flow restrictors on faucets and the other restrictions from the valves and elbows I would never recommend 100 psi. Obviously it's your decision but I would advise against it.
__________________
Marshall
2012 Laredo 303 TG
2010 F250 LT Super Cab, long bed, 4X4, 6.4 Turbo Diesel
flybouy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 09:17 AM   #17
Marineman
Member
 
Marineman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Moses Lake
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
Higher pressure doesn't equal more volume (flow). With the flow restrictors on faucets and the other restrictions from the valves and elbows I would never recommend 100 psi. Obviously it's your decision but I would advise against it.
Hey flybouy, thanks for the advice. My method of using air pressure is different than others, which is why the actual pressure isn't really an issue with me.

First, by the time I use air pressure almost all of the water is out of the system. I just use the air to remove any remaining small pockets of water that might linger after draining everything.

I also use a blow gun, which is capable of releasing the air as I need it. When my wife opens a line I slowly release the pressure and she let's me know if any water is coming out. Once she tells me that the line is basically clear, I release more pressure to purge that line. When we're done with that line, I turn off all air pressure, she opens the next line, then we do the same with the next one.

Others do theirs different, like keyholeelf said above. He uses a brass quick connect, which connects directly to the compressor hose. Now, if I did it his way I would definitely lower my pressure to around 50 PSI. He turns on the air and goes inside and opens each line by himself so the constant pressure on the closed system is an important issue doing it his way.
Marineman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 10:05 AM   #18
Falcon67
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Merkel
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marineman View Post
LOL...If you've read my previous comments, I only apply that amount of pressure when the line is open. Have done it this way for 14 years with no problems.
LOL. I've been able to get by with the 30 lbs easy enough. Have an adapter hose that goes on city port and I use one of my regular pressure/filter regulators to set the pressure. 50 PSI even with valves closed should not be a problem, city and well water pumps hit that regularly.
__________________
Keystone 2021 Springdale 220RD
Tow - 2020 F-350 DRW 7.3L / 2004 F-150 5.4L
Falcon67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
winter, winterize

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Keystone RV Company or any of its affiliates in any way. Keystone RV is a registered trademark of the Keystone RV Company.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.