rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Dewinterize or not?  (Read 476 times)

Houston Remodeler

  • ---
  • Posts: 347
    • Our website
Dewinterize or not?
« on: January 02, 2018, 08:52:49 PM »
Our new TT is supposed to be ready for pickup mid January (not holding my breath). We got a super deal on a 2703WS built to our specs.  :D YAY

The one teensy thing I overlooked, was the need to fetch the unit from Grand Rapids Michigan in January. Or February.  :(

Being a former Yankee, driving in the snow and ice will not be a problem. We'll rather enjoy the road trip from Houston, Texas to Grand Rapids,MI stopping by Chicago to see my niece along the way.  :)

The original idea was to spend the first night using the trailer in the parking lot of the dealership to make sure everything works before we pull off the lot. We are planning on at least a 3 day drive back to Texas.

The question; should we de-winterize / use / re-winterize for the trip home? OR de-winterize / use / drive home running the heat ? OR haul it home and get any hidden flaws fixed 'round these parts? We are fixin' to use the trailer on the way home for sleeping.

We have a Honda 3000 genny in the bed of the tow veehickle. By the time we get back to Houston it will be camping season as our winter should end by Thursday.
2015 Starcraft Launch 24RLS
2014 Ram 2500 4x4 SRW
Guarded by 2 Jack Russells


  • ---
  • Posts: 573
Re: Dewinterize or not?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 09:45:15 PM »
   It seems that the primary factor would be how well it is designed for cold weather. Does it have heated insulated underbelly/storage, are your drain lines and valves exposed (potential ice build-up and breakage), and overall unit insulation. Not trying to throw “ice” (pun intended) water on your parade, but many things to consider. If you do, and I certainly wish you the best, de-winterize and make the trip... get cables for the trailer. It’s “nice” when they stay behind you   ;) on slick roads! Have done winter travel with de-winterized unit,and will likely do it again...but there’s much to evaluate!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 09:48:10 PM by Memtb »
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

muskoka guy

  • ---
  • Posts: 886
  • 2000 Coachmen Santara 370 isb cummins diesel
Re: Dewinterize or not?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 10:07:10 PM »
I say it depends on the weather. How cold is it going to be. You wont know until the time comes. A few degrees below freezing is tolerable and towing it home unwinterized probably isnt that big a threat. 30 degrees below freezing is a different ballgame. In southern Ontario this week the temps were -36 degrees celcius, which is -33 F. I wouldnt attempt it if the temps are too much below freezing.


  • ---
  • Posts: 1207
  • Back Into RV'ing
Re: Dewinterize or not?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 03:52:38 AM »
Hi Houston,

It's been -10 to -15 below zero in Grand Rapids this winter so far. You would run into serious problems in no time. Wind Chill has been in the -30's which is dangerously cold. I'd run as many items there at dealership as you can then take it home and give it a shake down. You could return the unit for repairs then later on in the summer time combined with taking in the sites (that aren't frozen then)

Good luck to you!
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )


  • ---
  • Posts: 5964
Re: Dewinterize or not?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 06:17:06 AM »
Yep, do a through walk-through, even if it takes two days to really look things over. Make sure they put water in it to check plumbing and water heater and check the shower for leaks, then have them drain and winterize. Most of the appliances are covered by a factory warranty, and I have found most to being agreeable to the owner doing the repairs and the manufacturer supplying the parts. Go over the roof with the tech to check all seals and caulking, along with the window seals, etc. and have that attended to, to your satisfaction. Keep the water on the outside, and the little things you find after you get it home and start using it can be fixed by yourself. If you end up taking it back to the dealer for repairs, there's a good chance you will miss a lot of camping while it is sitting in their lot waiting on it's turn for repairs. On top of that, not all the people working at the dealers are good RV techs anyway, and there's no guarantee they will fix it correctly anyway.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant

2012 Redwood 36RL
2016 Leprechaun 319DS

John From Detroit

  • ---
  • Posts: 21891
  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
Re: Dewinterize or not?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 09:14:19 AM »
Short Story: I am in Seneca SC, 3 miles from where I go to church.. one Sunday, after a "30 year storm" My wife was concerned we'd not get to church on time (I had an hour from the time I turned the key and we could walk it in 45 minutes)   Well roads were not all that bad.  Talking to Fr. after Mass I mentioned that and told him "I'm from Detroit, this light dusting is nothing" (he reminded me that though I'm from Detroit and used to a bit of snow,, Others are not) HE, by the way was From Grand Haven, mi (Near Grand Rapids).  Where as I'm used to snow up to 1 foot. Well he gets the Lake Effect (Tunnel your way to the car).

Good luck picking up an RV in GR in Jan.

I would not de-winterize till you are well south.  Rather carry water and RV-Antifreeze (A few gallons of the latter perhaps 10 or 20 gallons in 5 gallon and 1 gallon bottles) INSIDE the RV till you are far enugh south.

Use the pink stuff to flush toilet.. use fresh water for Coffee, Drinking, Don't bother with dishes till you are farther south (or carry a 30 cup coffee maker to use as a water heater).

If it's a trailer carry the water (When on the road) in the TOW vehicle where it is heated.  Once you are far enough south to be safe then tank up and use the on board systems.

NOTE: in 2006 I pulled out of Detroit on Jan-2... DRY. did not tank up till I was south of Indy... Would suggest farther south this winter.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.


  • ---
  • Posts: 412
Re: Dewinterize or not?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 09:36:52 AM »
I am currently in the Grand Rapids area and getting ready to head south on the 11th. I would advise you to do a thorough check of all systems other than "wet" ones. Follow John from Detroit's instructions and get it below the frostline (is that Mexico?? :)) before you tank up the fresh water system. Since the TT is new, you should be able to handle the issues thru your warranty.
2007 Holiday Rambler Navigator
2013 Honda CRV
Grandville, MI
FMCA 431519
RPCV Sierra Leone


  • ---
  • Posts: 1256
Re: Dewinterize or not?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 10:52:17 AM »
I've lived in the Grand Rapids area most of my life.

IF and this is a big IF - they had a heated indoor setting for you to overnight in it and try everything out AND then let you re-winterize it
indoors I would be game for that.
However it's unlikely that will happen.  If a miracle happened, that would be my first choice.

In Mid Jan or Feb. it is very unlikely that the temps will be above freezing.  Even if there is a rare stretch of weather where the daytime
high might reach 40 it would happen around 4pm and only last an hour or 2 before falling below freezing again.

I'm a fan or BLOWING out the water lines vs. adding the pink stuff.  Pink stuff in traps or the toilet is fine - I don't drink out of those.
Blowing out lines in freezing temps will not be fun at all.

So I'm going to agree with dverstra and say skip the wet side of the check out.  Check out everything else especially the furnace
because you said you plan on sleeping in it during the trip home.  And until you get really close to TX it will be pretty cold at night.
This week in FL there are many areas that are going to see freezing temps - so almost anyone North of FL will be even colder.
MAKE SURE BOTH the propane tanks are full as it takes a lot of propane to get it to a comfortable temp from freezing or near freezing.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter


  • ---
  • Posts: 5425
  • Western KY for now.
Re: Dewinterize or not?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 07:40:03 PM »
I suggest staying on the dealer lot the first night for sure, and check out everything!!  Get any problems fixed before the camper leaves the lot.  Use the blowdown method to winterize if you feel it necessary.

To quote RedandSilver,   MAKE SURE BOTH the propane tanks are full as it takes a lot of propane to get it to a comfortable temp from freezing or near freezing.

You will likely need to fill the tanks before you get home.  Think 20# per day for heat.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.