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Old 01-25-2011, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

We read the instructions and it seems to be more of a pain than our Minnie Winnie Class C.

I suppose we could somehow do it from the pump or near the pump.

But our idea is to install a 3-way valve where the water leaves the inner fresh water tank. That way the line that goes under the floor across to the pump would be winterized. The idea is not only to make winterizing in general easier, but that we can winterize and de-winterize easily and as needed to use our Roadtrek in cold weather.

Has anyone done this? Comments? I think because of the special crimping tool required we would take it to a dealer to have it done.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

Not sure which area of winterizing you're concerned about?
Are you talking about draining/blowing out the fresh lines?
Or adding an interior bypass for a water line which is run below the floor,
and exposed to the elements? If you can figure out where to run a second
line inside the van, it would be a great little mod. You could then pretty
much do away with the original factory install, unless there's another reason
to keep it in place.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

Sorry I wasn't very clear. I read the instructions for winterizing our Roadtrek and the fresh water tanks must be emptied and then filled with some of the pink stuff so that it will run through the system.

As it stands, our RT was winterized by the selling dealer but we filled the inner tank and have used the lines. We have not used the hot water heater, that is still bypassed and of course we haven't used the outside shower which is bypassed as well.

Our idea is to install the 3-way (some might refer to it as a 2-way) valve where the water leaves the inner fresh water tank, so we close off the flow of water from the fresh water tank, and we pick up the anti-freeze at that point so that the line under the floor leading to the pump gets winterized as well as the lines from the pump to the kitchen and the lines that go back under the floor to the bathroom. This way, if we haven't used all the water in the fresh water tank we don't have to worry about emptying it.

Or, say we're on the road and we know we're in for a really cold night, we can quickly winterize those lines so as not to worry about them freezing overnight. We are not worried about the water in the tank freezing due to the volume of water and the fact that it is above the floor, but the lines can freeze fairly quickly overnight if it is cold enough.

We are also not worried about freezing here at home because the RT is in our garage which rarely gets below freezing and if we get some really cold weather we can just run the space heater underneath it.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

So you want to get RV antifreeze into any externally located lines and your external fresh tank,
by using the water pump?
Might be easier to avoid using the external tank and lines prior to hitting the below freezing weather.
I don't think it's specifically mentioned in my owner's manual, but rather inferred in the brief section
regarding sub freezing use of the fresh water system. Realistically, I try to stop using and drain all of
my lines and tanks prior to having the issue arise. I'm not sure it's even an issue, external lines freezing,
as the pex tubing is designed to allow for some flexibility under cold/freeze conditions, and water will tend to
freeze away from the middle of the pipe towards either open end. But that's only my opinion, and not
a recommendation. Personally, I don't use pink stuff in my fresh tanks. I just try to drain the fresh water
system entirely, and let it dry out. I stuff screen door screen into the drain holes to keep critters out, but
let air in/out.

That said, if you decide to use both fresh water tanks and then head into an area that might drop
below freezing (it's probably not a good idea, but sometimes it happens), you might be better off buying
one of these little plugs which are set up screw into the external water fill pipe, (on my 2002 near my outside
shower taps), and to blow the water out of the lines, rather than cutting into the existing pex tubing, and dealing
with any problems which might arise from the mod you're considering.
Links follow.....
http://www.rvwholesalers.com/catalog/ca ... -0214.html
http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/index ... R-I7770931
They're cheap and will screw directly into the RV fresh tank fill pipe, or into a pressure control valve which
might also be a good idea, if you ever decide to use campground water. They are around $10-$20 and prevent
excess water pressure from any source from damaging your pex tubing and plumbing.
Most people recommend no more than 40 psi, but it's hard to control the pressure at a gas station or truck stop,
but some of the older pumps are adjustable. I actually bought a small Campbell Hausfeld air compressor at Lowes,
and take it with us just in case I need to do any "emergency" work on the road, like blow the water lines out, or top
up a soft tire. It has a pressure rating of over 100 psi, so it's pretty versatile.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

No I do not want to get the anti-freeze into the external fresh water tank. But the winterizing instructions per the manual for my 2011 RT are to put a few gallons of pink stuff into the fresh water tank and pump it into the the lines, faucets, shower, etc. Nor am I using the external fresh water tank, only the internal one.

I would like to be able to winterize without having to utilize the fresh water tank at all. One might then say well why don't I pick up the anti-freeze at the pump, but that would not winterize the line leading from the inside fresh water tank to the pump.

In our Minnie Winnie Class C there is a valve that allows us to pick up the antifreeze and pump it through the lines without using the fresh water tank. The valve basically blocks the flow of water from the fresh water tank (though by then it's usually been emptied, but theoretically if there was water in there it would not be drawn from by the pump).

We have used both methods to winterize our Minnie Winnie, drawing anti-freeze through the lines, and blowing out the lines using the appropriate fitting with a compressor that we have in our garage. We also have a smaller compressor for travel, but I'm not so sure that would accomplish what we're trying to do.

Maybe I should explain the layout better of our 2011 RT. Electric sofa, if I am facing the rear, my back to the driver's compartment, permanent bathroom to my left, kitchen to my right, the little cabinets on the floor to the right and left under the sofa "ottomans". The left compartment houses the internal fresh water tank, the right compartment houses the pump, and the hot water heater. From the fresh water tank is a tube that leads under the floor (the part of the floor that is elevated and has the receiver for the dinette). The pump across the aisle draws the water from the fresh water tank then pumps it back across the aisle (under the floor) through two more tubes (hot and cold) to the bathroom. I have seen that a popular way to avoid putting the pink stuff in the fresh water tanks is to somehow pick up the antifreeze at the pump with some sort of adapter. That however would not winterize the tube that leads from the internal fresh water tank to the pump, and in that area on the floor it would be very prone to freezing.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

(moved to General forum)

I like your idea. It is most likely better than adding a Winterizer Kit at the pump because, as you pointed out, you'll be able to get RV antifreeze in the pipe from the interior tank to the pump.

I've been looking online for what you want but haven't found a kit with Pex fittings so you might have to just buy the fittings from a hardware store.

Pex is really easy to work with. The crimp tool usually comes with a few clamps. I bought a cutter which cuts the Pex pipe cleanly. I think you could get everything you need to do it yourself for $50 to $60. You could take it to a dealer as you mentioned.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

If you can't find a pex kit then you can adapt a regular kit.

Normal winterizing kit (minus the pump fitting)


use a threaded adapter on each end to convert to pex
Attached Images
File Type: jpg winterizing kit.jpg (10.3 KB, 2292 views)
File Type: jpg threaded adapter.jpg (5.9 KB, 2296 views)
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

Quote:
Originally Posted by tontobird
No I do not want to get the anti-freeze into the external fresh water tank. But the winterizing instructions per the manual for my 2011 RT are to put a few gallons of pink stuff into the fresh water tank and pump it into the the lines, faucets, shower, etc. Nor am I using the external fresh water tank, only the internal one.

I would like to be able to winterize without having to utilize the fresh water tank at all. One might then say well why don't I pick up the anti-freeze at the pump, but that would not winterize the line leading from the inside fresh water tank to the pump.

In our Minnie Winnie Class C there is a valve that allows us to pick up the antifreeze and pump it through the lines without using the fresh water tank. The valve basically blocks the flow of water from the fresh water tank (though by then it's usually been emptied, but theoretically if there was water in there it would not be drawn from by the pump).

We have used both methods to winterize our Minnie Winnie, drawing anti-freeze through the lines, and blowing out the lines using the appropriate fitting with a compressor that we have in our garage. We also have a smaller compressor for travel, but I'm not so sure that would accomplish what we're trying to do.

Maybe I should explain the layout better of our 2011 RT. Electric sofa, if I am facing the rear, my back to the driver's compartment, permanent bathroom to my left, kitchen to my right, the little cabinets on the floor to the right and left under the sofa "ottomans". The left compartment houses the internal fresh water tank, the right compartment houses the pump, and the hot water heater. From the fresh water tank is a tube that leads under the floor (the part of the floor that is elevated and has the receiver for the dinette). The pump across the aisle draws the water from the fresh water tank then pumps it back across the aisle (under the floor) through two more tubes (hot and cold) to the bathroom. I have seen that a popular way to avoid putting the pink stuff in the fresh water tanks is to somehow pick up the antifreeze at the pump with some sort of adapter. That however would not winterize the tube that leads from the internal fresh water tank to the pump, and in that area on the floor it would be very prone to freezing.
The layout hasn't changed much over the years then. Mine is the similar. Tank below passenger side bench,
pump and HWH under the driver's side bench (I have opposing benches/single beds running front to rear behind
my water closet and galley). I guess I've never considered winterizing the feed tubing from the interior fresh tank
to the pump. I think mine is inside underneath the 2" raised area between the beds, and since my normal routine
involves draining the system as much as I can, and/or blowing out the lines, I've never worried about it. We got
caught once in November (overnight temp dropped to around 10F that night) in WV and had to find a Walmart to
grab some pink stuff for the gray and black tanks. I'd drained the fresh tanks at the last C/G before we headed
north for home, but had no idea how cold it was closer to home. As far as I know nothing bad happened, as we
ran the furnace overnight and it kept the inside warm enough that nothing froze. That was 2 years ago, and I
haven't seen any leaks or other symptoms of any problems.
I also think I misunderstood your original idea and motivation.
You might consider markopolo's suggestions.
When DIY isn't a good option, getting a pro involved usually is.

Sorry for my confusion.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

Here's some info on the Pex fittings Roadtrek uses:
http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...c.php?f=9&t=29

I'd try to get the same type if possible.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo

I like your idea. It is most likely better than adding a Winterizer Kit at the pump because, as you pointed out, you'll be able to get RV antifreeze in the pipe from the interior tank to the pump.
Ha, thanks, my husband's idea.

Lots of great info, thanks Mike and markopolo for your responses.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

No problem. My bad for not "getting" the mod and reason for it. It's probably not a bad idea.
Just one more thought before you proceed.
Warranty. It seems like an inconsequential change, and hardly likely to cause any grief, but
it might be an issue if there are any problems downstream from the location of your mod,
which require warranty work. I just recalled your unit is brand new (2011), and some folks
have mentioned occasional problems getting some RV manufacturers to warrant certain things.
A user mod to a new van might cause you some problems downstream.
Just a thought.

Good luck.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

Isn't the Summer/Winter valve the type of valve they are looking for? How is that attached to the Pex tubing?

You could either use a valve like the Summer/Winter valve, or a pair of the bypass valves and a "T".
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

Tontobird,
Did this ever get resolved?
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ease of Winterizing Roadtrek 190P

Hey Photog, thanks for asking.

We have not done anything with it. So far we've only found adapters, not the actual pex fittings which is what my husband prefers.

However, I posted to the cold weather boondocking thread in some detail about how we were handling the cold weather in the Roadtrek.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1681&start=30

Eventually I would like to do as you did and start a thread about some of the ways in which we've personalized or adjusted our Roadtrek.
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