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Old 10-17-2019, 01:09 PM   #1
blubuckaroo
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Winter storage

Our old 12' camp trailer has minimal pluming and so winterizing is a matter of draining the tank, and blowing out the water line and drain trap under the sink.
Now we have a new travel trailer with all the stuff. I need advice on the water and waste systems to keep them from freezing.
Also, I would always put the trailer up on blocks and lower the tire pressure to 10 PSI. That was a recommendation I read in "Trailer Life Magazine" to prolong the life of the tires. I normally replace the tires every 5-6 years anyway, so is this really necessary?
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:11 PM   #2
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Here's a link to one method for winterizing your trailer: http://www.keystoneforums.com/forums...ad.php?t=20540

As for jacking the trailer, putting blocks under it and reducing the tire pressure. That's likely to be more trouble than it's worth, especially if you are planning to replace your tires every 4-5 years (as recommended by most). I'd make sure they are pressurized to the maximum sidewall recommendation and back the trailer onto plywood or 2x10 blocks to keep the tires from sitting in water or slush all winter. Cover them with tire covers if you're storing the trailer outside.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:57 AM   #3
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Also, I've seen videos that show blowing out the lines with compressed air, and only using a small amount of anti freeze in the drain traps.
Is there an advantage of using either method?
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by blubuckaroo View Post
Also, I've seen videos that show blowing out the lines with compressed air, and only using a small amount of anti freeze in the drain traps.
Is there an advantage of using either method?
It really depends on where your trailer is stored and the temperatures it will be exposed to over the winter. For instance, if you live in south Texas, using compressed air to remove "most of the water" and a small amount of antifreeze in the drain traps may be all that's needed. If, on the other hand, you live in Fargo, North Dakota and your trailer will be exposed to weeks (maybe months) of sub zero temperatures, that may be "woefully inadequate" to protect your RV.

Living in Ridgefield, WA, consider your local temperatures and plan for the worst case scenario. If you feel that the temps will seldom (or never) fall below zero, and only for an hour or so on infrequent nights, then winterize accordingly.

One thought that's always helped me decide: RV antifreeze is $2.50 a gallon. RV "plumbing repair" is $250 an hour...... So, your "investment" really depends on where you want to place the decimal.

Better safe than sorry.... YMMV
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:33 AM   #5
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I live in iowa and have used compressed air to blow out my lines for years. Never had an issue. Open the low Point drains and let the system drain out to the greatest extent possible. Close the valves pressurize the system with the city water connection and then start working your way to the back making sure everything is blown completely out. Didn't reopen those low Point drains to get the residue. Same procedure local municipalities use here to blow out all the campground bath houses and park shelters with water when they are ready for the winter.

I use antifreeze and all the traps, a couple inches in the toilet, and then I pour the rest down into the black tank. I also usually let the pump run for about 30 seconds to make sure there isn't any water in the pump.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:55 AM   #6
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I use compressed air and antifreeze. Blowing out the water lines doesn't remove the water from the pump. I blow the lines out first for 2 reasons, 1 to remove water and 2 to reduce the possibility of water diluting the antifreeze. Run the "pink stuff" through the pump and all valves then pour some in each drain with extra in the toilet with the drain closed. It takes about 3 gallons to winterize my unit.
Where I live the Temps can vary by a large margin. Around 40 yrs ago the Chesapeake Bay froze over and I was able to drive my '72 Grand Torino miles out over the water. Other years I've washed vehicles in the driveway in Jan & Feb. So for my money I'll use the antifreeze and error on the safe side.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:07 PM   #7
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I would also add to drain the holding tanks after. Since I had thoroughly flushed the black tank the last time out I was naughty and let it puke out on the ground. Got about a gallon of water that had collected in the drain tube from flushing the lines.
Water might expand up into the tank when it freezes but only so much. Good chance you’ll but the drain lines as well.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:23 PM   #8
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Holding tanks can be thought of as an ice tray. As long as it isn’t full, the liquid will expand as it freezes but it will rise not push out the sides. How many plastic ice fuse trays have been split open?
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:43 PM   #9
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Holding tanks can be thought of as an ice tray. As long as it isn’t full, the liquid will expand as it freezes but it will rise not push out the sides. How many plastic ice fuse trays have been split open?
An ice cube tray tapers up from the bottom to top. We are talking a 3” diameter tube several feet long.

The tube should be schedule 40 pvc and “should” handle anything that freezes in it but it only takes only seconds to pull the valve. As other have said better safe than sorry.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:30 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses.
After I couldn't find the water heater bypass valve, I called the dealer service dept. The guy said they just drain everything and blow it out with air. The only anti-freeze they use is in the traps.
He said it would certainly be different in other climates.
Well, anyway, it's done and I have enough anti-freeze for a decade.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:39 PM   #11
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Drain tubes are ABS, and I agree better safe than sorry.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:29 AM   #12
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I'm kind of in the same boat as blubuckaroo - newer camper and wanting to take the best care of it. How does one blow out the lines??
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:23 AM   #13
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I'm kind of in the same boat as blubuckaroo - newer camper and wanting to take the best care of it. How does one blow out the lines??
I have one of these https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Brass-C.../dp/B002XL2IEA which screws into the city fill and has a connector for my air compressor hose. I also use the same 90-degree adapter I use when hooked up to water to relieve stress.

I then open my air regulator to 40psi and go through opening the faucets one by one to push all the water out. Seems like the guys recommend starting at the furthest faucet and working in? Don’t forget the low point drains and the outside shower!

It’s overkill, but I take my pump out of the TT before storing it... I can never get all the water out of the pump and I usually only put the antifreeze in the drains.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:34 AM   #14
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Good advice from above but I'd run antifreeze thru the pump for my $4 instead of going thru removing the pump. Spotsylvania VA can get cold depending on the type of winter, For less than $20 worth of antifreeze why risk hundreds in repairs?
Three things required to "blow out" the water lines. 1 A source of compressed air, 2. a connector (available for a couple of bucks) 3. An air regulator to ensure that your not exceeding the limits of the water lines.
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:45 AM   #15
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Dont forget to blow out the toilet and toilet valve. Dont ask me how I learned this.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:04 AM   #16
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I drain the water heater, turn it’s bypass valve, add 3 gallons on pink antifreeze to the fresh water tank, turn the pump on and open all the spigots until pink runs out.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:29 AM   #17
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I drain the water heater, turn it’s bypass valve, add 3 gallons on pink antifreeze to the fresh water tank, turn the pump on and open all the spigots until pink runs out.
IF the trailer was level when the fresh water tank was emptied and IF the fresh water tank was really empty and IF there was no remaining water in the fresh water tank, then you got "nearly undiluted" antifreeze in your plumbing. IF on the other hand, your trailer was not level and IF there was 3 gallons of water remaining in the fresh water tank, then you got "50% diluted antifreeze in your plumbing. IF you had 6 gallons of water left in the fresh water tank, then you got "pink water" coming out of your faucets and either of those may or may not protect your investment through the winter.....

In Madison Alabama, that may be all you need to do. But: If you lived in Madison Wisconsin, you'd likely be paying $500-1500 in plumbing repairs come May of next year.

Any "diluted antifreeze" can give a false impression that you're protected when in reality, you're rolling the dice with every cold snap..... YMMV
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:44 AM   #18
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My RV is level when I perform this procedure, it has worked for me for 3 TTs over 15 years. Our temperatures are mild by WI standards for sure, but we do go below zero for a few consecutive days every once in a while.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:55 AM   #19
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My RV is level when I perform this procedure, it has worked for me for 3 TTs over 15 years. Our temperatures are mild by WI standards for sure, but we do go below zero for a few consecutive days every once in a while.
My point was more a "warning" for those who might not understand how to winterize an RV and who might live some place other than Alabama and who also might have ZERO experience in RV ownership. For those people, you know, the ones who don't realize that the fresh water drain may not empty the tank if the trailer isn't level and/or might not realize that antifreeze could be diluted by remaining water in the tank..... Those people, the "novice RV owner" who lives in Bismark, North Dakota and reads your post "might well destroy his RV if he follows your advice....

What's "good for one" may be "bad for another"..... That was my purpose.... Not to criticize your method of what's worked for you the past 15 years....
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:48 AM   #20
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My point was more a "warning" for those who might not understand how to winterize an RV and who might live some place other than Alabama and who also might have ZERO experience in RV ownership. For those people, you know, the ones who don't realize that the fresh water drain may not empty the tank if the trailer isn't level and/or might not realize that antifreeze could be diluted by remaining water in the tank..... Those people, the "novice RV owner" who lives in Bismark, North Dakota and reads your post "might well destroy his RV if he follows your advice....

What's "good for one" may be "bad for another"..... That was my purpose.... Not to criticize your method of what's worked for you the past 15 years....
Not to mention it takes about 500 gallons of water through the fw tank to get the taste of that 3 gallons rinsed out.
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