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Old 03-28-2019, 09:05 AM   #1
German Shepherd Guy
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Question De-winterization: Advice needed

Several questions: This will be the first year where I have a trailer that was winterized with the pink stuff, PLUS, this is a new trailer. So how do I get the system flushed out? I have to haul water from town to do this and I can haul 250 gallons at a time. Will this be enough to flush it out?

I was hoping to do it this week-end as we have a trip planned for April 11. It is still getting down to 32 at night around here. Days are warming up ok. Water is not freezing in the kennel buildings at night (unheated) but get some freezing in the buckets left in outside pens. The TT is a new 26RBPR, parked inside of a pole barn. Will I have to blow it out after I flush it out and will that be good enough to protect the small valves? (Toilet I am thinking about) Would just leaving the faucets open and draining the lines be good? We should be past a hard freeze but wondered what you all thought.

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Old 03-28-2019, 09:23 AM   #2
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I have only done it twice now, and here it's too early, we wait until after April 1st when the state no longer allows studded snow tires. When you winterize you can use the pink stuff or blow everything out with air. If you drain and flush now, then leave empty and blow out you should be fine even a bit below 32F. On mine the most vulnerable is the low point drain, which hangs down unprotected. I like to flush with enough clean water until no more pink is visible, then add bleach to the fresh water tank and run through all the lines briefly and let sit 4 hours. Then I drain and flush again until no more bleach smell and then 2 more times.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:03 AM   #3
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We try to do our first trip to a full service Campground so we can run water, flush the lines and drain the tanks with no issues. I try to get a little (very little) bleach in the tank and flush that, too.

If it is going to freeze again after we use it the first time, we will blow it out as best we can.
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Old 03-28-2019, 04:56 PM   #4
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OK, maybe I'm lazy but...
I winterize myself but in the spring I take my TT to a local dealer who flushes and sanitizes the tanks and checks the whole system for leaks.
I also get a bearing repack, we put around 8 ~ 9 k miles a year and maybe it's not needed but it gives me comfort.
Also, roof service. Service guy cleans the roof and caulks as needed.

Whole deal, with coupons, is a little over $300.00 but I'm out to have fun, not mess with issues.
BTW, I think new tires are in order this spring too.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:57 AM   #5
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Oak,

To answer your question about quantity of water needed to flush, sanitize and prep your trailer for travel. 250 gallons is probably twice what you'll need.

To do the "de-winterization" you'll need to connect a hose to the city water port (if you have pressure) or fill the fresh water tank and use the onboard water pump. Run city water (or the water pump) and flush all the antifreeze from each faucet (leave the water heater empty and bypassed). Once the water runs clear at each faucet (hot and cold) then add 1/4 cup of Clorox per 15 gallons of water to the fresh water tank. Install the anode rod in your water heater and turn the bypass to allow the water heater to fill with "Clorox water". Once that is done, start with the faucet nearest the water pump and run the COLD faucet until you smell Clorox. Then run the HOT faucet until it stops sputtering and you smell Clorox. Move to the next faucet, repeat until all the faucets are purged with Clorox water. Don't forget the outside shower and the toilet.

Let the trailer sit overnight with Clorox in all the lines. Then, drain the fresh water tank, refill with fresh water, drain the water heater. Turn on the water pump, allow it to run until the water heater is full, then repeat the "faucet flush" until each runs clear with no Clorox smell. After that, you're essentially done with de-winterizing and sanitizing the water system.

At that point, you can refill the fresh water tank if you're traveling with a full tank or adjust to the level you want for traveling.

All the above shouldn't take much more than 100-150 gallons for a 43 gallon FW tank. You could probably "get by" on 86 gallons if you wanted, 43 to fill/sanitize and 43 to flush the system.
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:28 PM   #6
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I always blow all my lines out at end of season and just add anti freeze down the drains...
Have never used my fresh water yet.
Do you advice I still sanitize my water lines with the Clorox method
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by maccam1 View Post
I always blow all my lines out at end of season and just add anti freeze down the drains...
Have never used my fresh water yet.
Do you advice I still sanitize my water lines with the Clorox method
You'll probably get all kinds of answers ranging from "you absolutely must" to "what? Why worry?"

I'd ask, would you pick up a dirty glass in a restaurant and pour a glass of water for you or your kids to drink?

If you think about it, using your "garage based compressor" to blow water out of your lines will "get you whatever is in the air and in the compressor tank and hose. That "stuff" will be blown into your PEX water lines. Once it sits all winter, "baking/freezing/jelling" who knows what might grow in it? If you're OK with that restaurant glass, then why worry about the RV water lines? On the other hand, if you wouldn't drink out of that glass before washing it, maybe sanitizing your water system is the same.

Remember, it's not "just the fresh water tank" but all the PEX lines, fittings, and faucets that are exposed to that compressed air and potentially "contaminated" by whatever you might have blown into the lines.
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:06 PM   #8
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John thanks for the reply
The water glass in the restaurant was a very good example,never thought about what could be growing in the lines
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:56 PM   #9
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A good practice is to blow down the air compressor after using it. This lets the tank and lines dry out. JMO
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:30 PM   #10
German Shepherd Guy
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John: Thank you. That is exactly what I wanted to know. Great directions, you should have been a teacher.



New tires go on on Tuesday, all improvements are in order, I am so ready for our first outing April 11.


Snowed again here today but I can now see green grass starting to make a small appearance in the areas under trees and on the south sides.


Oak
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:41 AM   #11
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Oak,

To answer your question about quantity of water needed to flush, sanitize and prep your trailer for travel. 250 gallons is probably twice what you'll need.
Don't forget to flush the low point drains. They will hold a lot of pink stuff, and that will migrate back into your water lines. Otherwise, this is a good way to flush and sanitize your system.
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:04 PM   #12
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JRTJH


I am a new owner of the same unit you have and I am not sure where the HWH bypass valve is. Your post is very helpful and I a hoping to follow your instructions tomorrow but I can't find anything that looks like a bypass valve.
Thanks
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:10 PM   #13
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It is going to be on the back-side of the hot water heater. Locate the unit from the outside of the camper and then find that same location from the inside. It will usually be behind a small panel which can be removed by take a couple screws out.

It may not be very easy to get to, but I don't know where it is on your specific trailer. Just have a look and you'll find it.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:04 PM   #14
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JRTJH


I am a new owner of the same unit you have and I am not sure where the HWH bypass valve is. Your post is very helpful and I a hoping to follow your instructions tomorrow but I can't find anything that looks like a bypass valve.
Thanks

John (JRTJH) is traveling and monitors the forum as he has time so it may be a bit before he responds. Hopefully he will see it soon. In the meantime Mark has given you the way to find the HWH and the bypass. Good luck.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:28 PM   #15
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Just bought an rv de winterizing first time this weekend.... do i need to put water in the fresh water tank and run the pump if i dont plan on using my fresh water tank only goin to full hook ups...??
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:50 PM   #16
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JRTJH


I am a new owner of the same unit you have and I am not sure where the HWH bypass valve is. Your post is very helpful and I a hoping to follow your instructions tomorrow but I can't find anything that looks like a bypass valve.
Thanks
My trailer is a 27RKS. I think you have listed the 277 as your trailer. If that's correct, then there will be some minor differences in the location of the bypass valve on your trailer and mine. That said, my water heater is located just aft of the roadside passthrough storage compartment door. To access the water heater bypass valve, open that compartment door, there is a removable wall on the aft side of the compartment. There are two #2 Roberts (square drive) screws on the edge of that wall located on the far end, about 24" from the trailer sidewall and two that are located on the edge of the removable wall that secure it to the trailer sidewall, just aft of the compartment door frame.

Remove those 4 screws, the wall will slide away from it's position and the rear of the water heater is easy to access.

I cut a 6" hole in that wall and installed a marine access port (about $15 at Amazon) so I don't have to remove the wall to get to the bypass valve.

Here's a photo of the access port I installed and a photo of where the valve is located on the back of the water heater.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:08 AM   #17
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Cfitzkp ask: "Just bought an rv de winterizing first time this weekend.... do i need to put water in the fresh water tank and run the pump if i dont plan on using my fresh water tank only goin to full hook ups...??"
IMO the answer is YES. AND do the whole bleach thing to make sure there is nothing in the tanks or lines that could grow and be dangerous to your health. John's instructions were easy to follow and in fact I only used 125 gallons total to get the job done.
Now Cfitzkp that is JMO, but I think rather safe than sorry here is the way to be. And I have been to places where when I pulled in the full hook up sites were taken and I had to use my tank as there was no alternative.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:34 AM   #18
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I agree with Oak. You never really know when you'll be in a situation where the water gets turned off to the campground, someone does something "stupid" and creates a "boil water condition" in a part of the campground or even, it's going to freeze tonight so turn off the park faucet and unhook your hose, we're turning off the pump so there'll be no water in the campground after 6PM.

So, in situations like these, it's either "you'll be dry" or use your fresh water tank.

I'd sanitize the entire system and not worry about it. It's an easy process, you'll REALLY want to sanitize the water lines anyway, since you'll be leaving the bleach in those lines for 24 hours, why not just do the FW tank at the same time so you're ready for whatever comes along. After all, holding water in the trailer is one of the reasons we buy RV's (being able to remain independent of campground hookups) so might as well be ready....
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:36 PM   #19
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Thanks John. You are right they are different units.
I was able to find the valve from Mark's post but could not tell what position the valve had to be in to bypass the hot water tank. I was able to find a video that illustrated it pretty well, but unfortunately the previous owner put antifreeze in the system without bypassing the HWT.
I followed your recipe fairly closely so hopefully it is good to good.


Thanks for your help
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:37 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by RRTrick View Post
Thanks John. You are right they are different units.
I was able to find the valve from Mark's post but could not tell what position the valve had to be in to bypass the hot water tank. I was able to find a video that illustrated it pretty well, but unfortunately the previous owner put antifreeze in the system without bypassing the HWT.
I followed your recipe fairly closely so hopefully it is good to good.


Thanks for your help
You're welcome. As for the previous owner's method of winterizing, RV antifreeze is corrosive to the tank lining and to the anode rod, so watch for any problems with leaks and you might want to replace the anode rod "just in case". It's porous, will hold the "smell/taste" of the antifreeze and taint the water with smell/taste that's sometimes unpleasant. A good flush of the water heater and replacing the anode usually gets rid of that problem. If it remains, dump 1/4 cup of baking soda into the fresh water tank, fill it full and then run that solution through the water heater. Unless you have issues with high blood pressure or are on a salt restricted diet, there's no need to flush the baking soda out of the lines. Some prefer to do so, other's don't. It's not necessary, just a personal choice.

As for the position of the valve, water flows the way the valve handle is pointing, so if it's pointing up, it flows through the bypass line, if it's pointing horizontal (toward the supply line) it's flowing through the water heater.
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