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Old 11-05-2014, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default Plumbing Glitch Winterizing Roadtrek P190

Hi, Guys, after a couple of Trekkin' years! I hope this is the forum for routine repairs.

Back in latter August 2012, this forum saved my bacon with invaluable advice regarding increasing the ground clearance of my 2007 Roadtrek Pop-190. IIRC it was pages 15-17 of that incredible thread: Photog's Lifted Suspension 2009 Roadtrek 190V in Tweaks, Mods, and Projects. Thanks to that PhD course in suspension engineering, I've travelled another 35,000 miles through this great continent without smashing another cable gate valve. One Happy Camper!
Now it's time to put the "pink stuff" in the water lines again, and I'm having a tiny problem doing that. I'm hoping there's an easy, cheap fix somebody can explain. As per the winterizing instructions in the Roadtrek manual, I drained the system as well as I could. I ran the water pump until only air came out (mistake? ). Bypassed the water heater, and put a gallon and a half of the "Shirley Temple Antifreeze" in each potable tank via the doorpost orifices. Put the red selector valve in the "summer position" (parallel to the line), turned on the pump and opened the cold tap for the outside shower. Spurt...gasp...drip...then nothing! Same for hot tap, inside taps, toilet. Pump is whirring, but only air at the taps. Swore briefly; turned off pump; went in to get a price on new SHURflo; cried briefly, but then thought: "Ought to give the selector valve "winter position" (perpendicular to the line) a try." Repeated steps 5 and 6, and pink stuff came out all the taps. Back into summer position - Spurt...gasp...drip...air. I went looking for the antifreeze in the exterior potable tank by opening its low point drain tap, and only got a slow drip. What happened to my pink stuff? I waited a couple of days, drove around a bit, bought another gallon of pink stuff, put it in the driver's doorpost orifice, and repeated the futile attempts above, with the same futile outcome. Low point drain - drip..drip..drip.
Is this van eating my antifreeze? As far as I know the water system was working normally until I drained it to winterize. I had no problem last winter. I'm spooked, is something clogged? I don't want to take it to the service center 56 miles away, until I'm sure I'm not missing some easy cheap fix.
Has anybody got one?
TIA
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Plumbing Glitch Winterizing Roadtrek P190

Hopefully someone with a similar model will know what's going on. I compared your described actions and the manual and you did it correctly as far as I can tell.

When you first opened the drain on the front tank did water flow out freely?

Is the van level during your attempts to get the pump to pull from the front tank?
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Plumbing Glitch Winterizing Roadtrek P190

this guy has a blog and has an excellent article about winterizing 190. maybe that will help



http://roadtrek190popular.blogspot.com/ ... interizing
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Plumbing Glitch Winterizing Roadtrek P190

Booster has a 2007-08 190P I believe. Perhaps he's got some insight?

In the mean time, you could pull the water heater anode rod and plug to see if it's found its way into the water heater somehow.

Beyond that, be patient. If you've drained the system properly, and you're in a location where you're concerned about damage by sub freezing temperatures, open all the water system access points. Shower valves, inside and out, sink valve, etc. to allow for freeze expansion while you're trying to figure it out.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Plumbing Glitch Winterizing Roadtrek P190

We have had mixed success with adding the antifreeze to our 07 C190P. As was mentioned, how the van sits is very important as the outlet of the main water tank is at the rear of the tank. Nose up is needed to reduce the amount of antifreeze needed to get it to the outlet. We don't have an inside tank (removed it), but the normal position of the valves would be to have the big valve set to pull from the main tank, and the connecting valve between the tanks open so the upper tank drains to the lower. This would be normal warm weather positions for the valves, as you could fill both, run off both, and never have to move the valves. With the valves in that position, any antifreeze you put in the upper tank will protect that tank and drain into the lower tank, saving antifreeze. With some more added to the lower tank, you then pump it through the system.

The problem can come with the Sureflo pump when they get a bit old and don't want to prime and lift the antifreeze from the very low level in the tank, which may be what you are seeing. In that case, you would start with the valves set to winter position, so you are using out of the inside tank. It is at a higher level, so it will gravity prime the pump much more easily. Put your antifreeze in the inside tank, winter position on the valves, and run the pump till it primes, with a faucet open. You should then be able to switch the big valve to the main tank (with antifreeze in it) and the pump will be able to lift the antifreeze and get the rest of the plumbing.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Plumbing Glitch Winterizing Roadtrek P190

BRAVO, Boys! You earn another merit badge. (You guys are going to have to buy longer sashes.)
I got out the spirit level and ruler, laid them on the kitchen counter, and one arcsine later I learned that the RV's nose was down 1.7 degrees. I also measured the driveway under it, and it proved much closer to level, but the lift mod air bags in back always had raised the rear more than the beefier springs up front. So I maneuvered the Starship Enterprise around to the steeper area of the driveway where she was nose-up 3.5 degrees. I opened up the connection valve from the internal to the external tank (This valve I have always had closed. Knowing the original owners, it has probably been untouched since it left Kitchener, ON! Is that bad? I don't mind pulling the red selector to switch between tanks. I like the idea of having a separate reserve water supply.) I then got under and opened the exterior tank drain... and it drained...and drained...and drained (a bit like me at 3:00 A.M.). Since I didn't know how much was water and how much was Shirley Temple antifreeze, I let it all go down into the woods, and got 3 more bottles of pink stuff to start over as per Booster's scheme: pink in both tanks, close connector valve, winter posit red selector, open faucet, pump on until she primes (took longer with the bow elevated) switched to summer posit, and...wait for it...I got steady flow from that up-front tank! Bottoms up! Did the other faucets and toilet, by now the traps should have plenty, goosed the macerator ...Bob's your uncle.

I always heard that the fridge liked to sit level, but never figured an ageing SHURflo did also. I also didn't realize how level was level. !.7 degrees down doesn't look or seem like much. Does anybody have a feel for the real thresholds of slope that fridge and pump can tolerate? If in doubt at a campsite, I do sit my spirit level on the countertop to check fore and aft, port to starboard. I occasionally lose cool in the fridge, but never am sure of the cause.

Thanks again

Bob
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