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Old 11-05-2013, 01:49 AM   #1
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Default Winterizing

We winterized our RT a couple of weeks ago. Directions said to pour 2 gals AF into FWT. Our old RT had a kit to by pass the tanks and went directly into the AF bottle. In this RT, it is not convenient to do, we found doing this method was very easy and convenient. Once we ran the AF thru the lines, we drained the FWT of any remaining AT into a bucket, which only used less then 1 1/2 gals, and used the rest for black/gray tanks and drains. Then rinsed the FWT clean. We are planning on heading out to the south west in Jan. Does anyone know of any reason why we couldn't drain all the lines through our low point drains, and emptying the lines? They should not contain any water and anything left in nooks and crannies, should be a small amount of AF. It sure would save time, water and filling up the black/gray tanks when flushing the lines when we get out of the freezing zone.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Winterizing

Honestly, seems like everyone and every manufacturer has a different recommended way of doing it.

Not sure if any one way is better than any other, but I've always winterized the plumbing in mine as if I might want to use it again, within an hour after I finish winterizing it.
- To start, I dump/drain all 3 tanks and the water heater, and leave the valves/drains/toilet holes open to the air for a few days afterwards, to let things evaporate, sublimate, or just dry out even more.
- Once the tanks and water heater are mostly drained and empty, I open every faucet and tap and prop open the toilet flush levers (or just hold it open) and run the water pump for 10-20 minutes or so to empty it out (they're designed to self prime and run dry for a while) and help to push water out of the rest of the plumbing tubing. This should pretty much empty the lines of any remaining water. The longer you leave everything open to the air, the drier your system will get.
- I don't use RV AF, except in the toilet and sink drains, to protect the traps, and lubricate the valves. Close the dump valves first, of course. At this point I'm pretty much dry in the plumbing, except for a few drops here and there.
- After a few more days, I might close the rest of the taps and faucets, on the outside and inside, but this is optional, and can probably wait until you're ready to use the system again. Maybe just close the outside shower taps and drains to keep critters out.
- This method has been used for 6 years now and I've never had a problem. I also don't have to deal with RVAF in my fresh water. We don't drink the fresh water, but we do use it to wash things and flush, so it's just one less thing to have to clean up when de-winterizing.

In answer to your question, I don't see why you couldn't drain your tanks, open the faucets and shower taps, and let your plumbing dry out some more, while you wait for your departure date in January. I would leave RVAF in the gray and black tanks to lube the valves. Just remember to close everything you opened, prior to recharging the system with water before or on your trip.
Good luck with it.
We love the southwest, too.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Winterizing

Thanks mike. We have AF in the lines, black & gray tanks right now. We flushed and drained the fresh water tank only, so it is clean and ready to go. Your way sounds interesting and kinda what I had in mind. If we pump all the AF out of the lines, there wouldn't be much left in the lines. Shouldn't be any water in the lines since we used the AF. With the lines nearly empty of AF, it won't take much water to flush out what little there is, and we don't have to worry about any frozen pipes. Last year we blew out the lines on our 04C190P without any problems, but had to use the AF when we headed back home. It was recommended strongly by Jim Hammel, not to blow out the lines. We are under a warranty with our RS, so we thought better not to do it on the 2013 RS.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Winterizing

I'm trying something similar this year. I drained everything then used compressed air. Then pumped RV antifreeze through the system then drained and used compressed air again. My van isn't quite as ready for use as Mike's or yizit's but close.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Winterizing

I'd leave the RVAf in the black/gray tanks. It will get flushed out the first time you dump. I think you'd be fine draining and rinsing your FWT a few times to ready it for your trip. Just leave all the access points to it open for as long as you can to allow things to dry. I would also run your water pump for a while to blow out the lines a bit. It's not designed necessarily to do that, but in my experience, it won't do any harm and it works. Do that until the taps and toilet flush stops spitting water. When water freezes, it will tend to follow the path of least resistance, and if all the fill and emptying points are open it allows some expansion along the tubes/pipes. However, that decision is yours to make. If the temps stay above freeze for a few more days or weeks, you'll probably be fine, but it's up to you. You're a bit farther north than me, and we've had some slightly below freeze nights, but nothing extreme or prolonged yet.

I should have added that this year only, I tried blowing out the lines by using a small Campbell Hausfeld air compressor attached to a screw in adapter, through my water pressure regulator, which was screwed into the external fill access, near the external shower controls. The reason I didn't mention it, was because, IMO, the results were negligible by the time I had done everything else. I just wanted to see if there were any pockets of water left in any tubing that my usual process might have missed.

yizit: I think JH's warning was based on the chance that you might either leave some water access points closed that might cause a damaging pressure build, or that you'd simply make a mess if it blasted water through your tubing all over the inside of your van. As long as every water access point is opened, both hot and cold taps etc., I don't think it will do any harm. Respecting your warranty until it's done is always a good course of action.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Winterizing

First couple years, I'd consider doing it RT's way (which is wet), just so they don't point the blame if there are warranty issues down the road. I don't see anything wrong with adding pink pink stuff the OP's way, but leaving the pink stuff in is CYA... plus, if there is an emergency, one can still use the toilet and flush with it.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Winterizing

Absolutely, it's still up to everyone to do what they think is best, in whatever their particular situation happens to be.
I would agree that no matter which way they do it, if a problem occurs while under warranty that Roadtrek can attribute and prove to be a variance from their recommended owner's manual procedure (assuming there was a manual, and a recommended procedure?), then it ceases to be a warrantable issue, and becomes a straight repair at the owner's expense. If a line leaks because it or the connection was faulty from the point of origin, how would you prove that to Roadtrek? We've had that discussion on here before, how good the various warranties are, based on how they are honored, how much resistance you're met with when making a claim, etc......
That said, I've never had a problem doing it my way, and I think I caveated it appropriately.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Winterizing

Maybe I'm not explaining what I want to do very well. We already winterized, so all lines have antifreeze in them. What I want to do is drain all the lines of the antifreeze and leave them empty. I would NOT be flushing the lines with any water. Just draining them or running the pump to remove the antifreeze. There shouldn't be any water in them, since I had antifreeze in them. Any low points should have what ever little bit of antifreeze was in them. Black & gray will still have the antifreeze in them. The reason for this is to use as little of water as necessary to flush out the lines of the small amount of remaining antifreeze. Can any of the lines freeze by doing this? Am I missing something? Logically, it makes sense to me.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Winterizing

You're explaining it perfectly. IMO, it should be fine to empty the lines of the AF and leave them to dry out before January for the reasons you've mentioned, that they should only contain amounts of leftover AF, and possibly very small amounts of water. I would leave the taps and faucets open as well to allow the lines to dry even more. I would also leave the AF in the sinks and toilet, black and gray tanks, as protective lubricants. I assumed your water heater tank has been properly winterized, and can be left as is. All of this has a caveat of you making the final decision on how to proceed.
mlts22 suggested you should leave the lines "wet" with the AF in them, for warranty purposes, in case of problems down the road. That is also a situation you have to consider, because your van is still under warranty. My procedure of drying the system before winter, and adding AF only to a few components, works on a van that is long since out of warranty, but has worked fine here for me.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Winterizing

A part of yizit's process that I would wonder about would be the flushing of the freshwater tank with water. I say this because of the tank setup in my van (I don't know the position of the plumbing lines in yizit's van). My freshwater tank doesn't fully drain. The drain is on the back side of the tank near the bottom. It is at the same level as the pipe to the pump. I would not want any residual water to migrate & dilute whatever antifreeze is in the pump or the pipe to the pump.
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