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Author Topic: Winterized RV question.  (Read 2042 times)

Kemo

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Winterized RV question.
« on: February 18, 2018, 06:22:38 AM »
Hi folks.  Ok so we bought a new 5th wheel last fall and when the season was over I winterized the rig.  No I'm not a complete newbie as we shared a Class A with my in-laws for years.  BUT as I was thinking about spring coming and getting ready for our first outing I couldn't remember if I actually drained the shower when I did all the rest.  I drained the fresh water, water heater and both facets in kitchen and bath but I think I forgot the shower plumbing.  My question is should I be worried about the lines getting frozen over the winter?  For sure a rookie mistake.
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

Tom Hoffman

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2018, 06:40:50 AM »
If you have Pex water pipe, you may be all right.  The fittings might crack before the pipe will. 
You did drain the gray water tank? 

Did you by chance leave the faucets open  if so the water would have not had anything to expand against and not caused a problem.
Wife said to me. "What cha doin' today?"  "Nothin'" says I.  "Ya did that yestiday!" Says she.  "I didn't get done!" says I

2003 F-350 Super Duty Lariat Dually 7.3 Diesel
2008 34' Sunny Brook, Brookside

RedandSilver

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2018, 07:08:19 AM »
Did you blow out the lines or use anti-freeze?
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter

2kGeorgieBoy

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2018, 01:19:02 PM »
If you have some decent weather, why not water up the unit and check for leaks?
2000 Georgie Boy Maverick
31' E450 V10  No slides
our toys:
'08 Polaris Touring LE ATV (mine)
'12 Polaris 550 XP ATV (wife's)
1968 AH Sprite (original owners, not on road at this time)
Gary, Jena, and Presley (our awesome yellow Lab).
Westcliffe, CO.

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 05:28:13 AM »
If you have Pex water pipe, you may be all right.  The fittings might crack before the pipe will. 
You did drain the gray water tank? 

Did you by chance leave the faucets open  if so the water would have not had anything to expand against and not caused a problem.

Thanks Tom.  Yes I drained everthing. 
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 05:29:58 AM »
Did you blow out the lines or use anti-freeze?

Used anti-freeze.  But like I said forgot to open shower head and run anti-freeze thru it.
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

Fogetty

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 01:59:09 PM »
Just wondering - if you raised the shower head with the pump turned off, and opened the spigots on the shower, would the water in the hose drain back into the fresh water tank?  Or is it better to pump antifreeze through the shower head ?
How about an outside shower?
just curious...

JackL

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 02:17:02 PM »
You should have pumped the pink antifreeze through the shower and also through the toilet.
 In other words through the entire system including all faucets.

jack L

Rene T

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 02:50:26 PM »
Just wondering - if you raised the shower head with the pump turned off, and opened the spigots on the shower, would the water in the hose drain back into the fresh water tank?  Or is it better to pump antifreeze through the shower head ?
How about an outside shower?
just curious...

No it would not because the pump has a built in check valve which would prevent this.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2018, 04:59:06 AM »
Thanks all for the responses.  I ran pink thru everything except the stupid shower head.  So that's the only plumbing I was concerned about.  Look's like we'll see in a few weeks now that the weather is changing.  Just wondering if anyone else may have a similar experience and what was the result?
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

Old_Crow

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2018, 05:14:09 AM »
If you have a conventional tub/shower faucet with the knob on the spigot you have to lift to get water through the shower, you might be ok.  Mostly when you turn off the water, that knob falls and the water drains back out of the hose, not into the tank, but down the drain.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

Rene T

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2018, 07:12:52 AM »
If you have a conventional tub/shower faucet with the knob on the spigot you have to lift to get water through the shower, you might be ok.  Mostly when you turn off the water, that knob falls and the water drains back out of the hose, not into the tank, but down the drain.

On mine, the hose droops down then back up similar to a trap in a sink. That would be the only concern. Where the hose is open on both sides of the loop, it may allow for expansion when the water freezes. If that's all that breaks because of freezing, you're lucky. You can replace the flex hose.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 07:19:39 AM »
On mine, the hose droops down then back up similar to a trap in a sink. That would be the only concern. Where the hose is open on both sides of the loop, it may allow for expansion when the water freezes. If that's all that breaks because of freezing, you're lucky. You can replace the flex hose.

Thanks Rene.  I think you're right.  The only water that might be trapped would have been in the hose itself.  I drained all tanks and ran water pump until air was being spurted out and then ran with anti freeze until it came out of taps.  So water in shower plumbing should have drained back down I hope.
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

2kGeorgieBoy

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 01:32:12 PM »
It  is easy to remove the flex hose from the spigot assembly, which I do when winterizing. Hopefully you added some anti freeze to your black and gray tanks. I may get some disagreement here, but I feel that although you drained the tanks, there is still residual water in them that can drain down over time. It would puddle up against the closed valves and if a sufficient quantity, freeze and possibly cause damage to the valve area. May be overkill, but I add a good dose of AF to the tanks, "just in case". I also blow the  water lines out with compressed air and add AF, esp., in all of the "P" traps. Antifreeze is cheap compared to the trouble and expense of repairing cracked pipes.
2000 Georgie Boy Maverick
31' E450 V10  No slides
our toys:
'08 Polaris Touring LE ATV (mine)
'12 Polaris 550 XP ATV (wife's)
1968 AH Sprite (original owners, not on road at this time)
Gary, Jena, and Presley (our awesome yellow Lab).
Westcliffe, CO.

Tom Hoffman

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 07:42:41 PM »
Antifreeze is cheap compared to the trouble and expense of repairing cracked pipes.

It's way cheaper to just leave the gate valves open. ;D ;D ;D
Wife said to me. "What cha doin' today?"  "Nothin'" says I.  "Ya did that yestiday!" Says she.  "I didn't get done!" says I

2003 F-350 Super Duty Lariat Dually 7.3 Diesel
2008 34' Sunny Brook, Brookside

Old_Crow

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2018, 05:08:10 AM »
Antifreeze is cheap compared to the trouble and expense of repairing cracked pipes.


Just as a point of reference, the cost to completely re-plumb a '00 Bounder 36S with PEX runs just about $9333.17.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2018, 05:38:13 AM »
Thanks for all the responses.  Another question is what is better then...blowing out pipes with air or winterize with RV anti-freeze?
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

kdbgoat

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2018, 06:14:12 AM »
Many just blow out with air, but one must be very diligent to get all the water out. Don't forget the little things, outside shower that you don't use, ice maker line if you have one, etc. With antifreeze, you still have to remember these things. The antifreeze just needs to be flushed out with a lot of water. A lot of folks sanitize their system right after the flush.
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

Alpena Jeff

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2018, 06:36:46 AM »
Antifreeze is cheap compared to the trouble and expense of repairing cracked pipes.

It's way cheaper to just leave the gate valves open. ;D ;D ;D
Not where I live Tom....I'll spend the $20 on antifreeze.
Jeff & Judy
2016 Newmar Ventana 3427
2018 GMC Canyon All Terrain toad
Blue Ox Aventa LX - RVi3 - EEZRV
Retired to "the lake" in north Michigan

Larry N.

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  • Westminster, CO
Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2018, 07:16:43 AM »
Many just blow out with air, but one must be very diligent to get all the water out. Don't forget the little things, outside shower that you don't use, ice maker line if you have one, etc. With antifreeze, you still have to remember these things. The antifreeze just needs to be flushed out with a lot of water. A lot of folks sanitize their system right after the flush.

And so much depends on your rig, too. If you have a hydronic heating system such as Aqua Hot or Oasis, then you need the pink stuff, at least on the hot water side. The manual says that internally, it's so intricate that air cannot possibly get all the water out, and it doesn't take much to leave you with several thousand dollars in repair/replacement. On both my Beaver and my Ventana I've blown it out with air, then run pink stuff through the hot water side. So far so good...
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

John From Detroit

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2018, 07:50:46 AM »
Thanks for all the responses.  Another question is what is better then...blowing out pipes with air or winterize with RV anti-freeze?

Depends on how well you blow.
Winter 1: I used Pink Stuff. Spring 2 (got the RV Spring 1) I had a lot of "Fun" getting rid of all the pink stuff.

Winter 2 I blew the lines.. and blew, and blew and blew

Basically I opened all valves and blew till I ran out of air (Six gallon compressor 150 PSI max with a 50 PSI regulator) Then let it refil and blew again about 5-10 times till I no longer got any water coming out. Used pink in toilets and traps (Drains) where flushing it out is... Not required.

SPring 1 I had to re-assemble one fitting

Never again have I had to do that.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Rene T

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2018, 08:06:26 AM »


Winter 2 I blew the lines.. and blew, and blew and blew

Basically I opened all valves and blew till I ran out of air (Six gallon compressor 150 PSI max with a 50 PSI regulator) Then let it refil and blew again about 5-10 times till I no longer got any water coming out.

When doing this, I always open one faucet at a time and not all of them at the same time. Is that what you meant John?  I didn't want any newbie to get confused.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 08:09:31 AM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Memtb

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2018, 08:59:53 AM »
   Kemo,  Living in an area with temperatures similar to yours....I probably “overkill” a little bit. I blow it with air, but don’t spend a lot of time doing so. THEN...flush with the antifreeze. My thought....eliminate most of the water, minimizing dilution of the antifreeze. Once you get a good flow of antifreeze... you’ve taken care of the traps. I run antifreeze thru everything, shower hose, toilet (including the spray nozzle), and each and every faucet. “If” you have a washing machine....be sure to flush some antifreeze thru pump to displace any water. I’d rather spend a little more time “flushing-out” the antifreeze, than repairing damage!  Hopefully this will continue to work for us... it was -21 F yesterday morning. But today, the big inning of a heat wave....only a -18 F. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 09:05:03 AM 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

Tom Hoffman

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2018, 01:01:01 PM »
Just as a point of reference, the cost to completely re-plumb a '00 Bounder 36S with PEX runs just about $9333.17.
Wally,   That is an astounding number as PEX very cheap to buy the pipe and fittings themselves probably less than $100 for the whole coach.  I have plumbed 3 new houses for less than $200 each and that was running separate lines for each fixture.  It is super easy to run during new construction.   Through the bowels of a MH would be much more complicated, but not $9K more complicated. ;D ;D

My tongue in cheek comment was just that, as I live in very rural and dumping a little water on my lawn does not do as much as the grass roots reaching down to the septic fields in the yard.  Remember Erma Bombeck's book "The Grass is always greener over the septic tank" 8) 8)
Wife said to me. "What cha doin' today?"  "Nothin'" says I.  "Ya did that yestiday!" Says she.  "I didn't get done!" says I

2003 F-350 Super Duty Lariat Dually 7.3 Diesel
2008 34' Sunny Brook, Brookside

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2018, 06:06:08 AM »
Many thanks to all for your responses.  Exactly what I was looking for. Last question I hope...IF I have a leak in the shower plumbing how do I access it to fix it?  Or is this a dealership issue?
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

2kGeorgieBoy

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2018, 07:44:08 AM »
Here is another one of the "need more info" questions (no offense meant). But where is it leaking? And when? Behind the wall, from underneath the shower stall? When you run water? When a faucet is turned on?  More details may help you get a better answer.
2000 Georgie Boy Maverick
31' E450 V10  No slides
our toys:
'08 Polaris Touring LE ATV (mine)
'12 Polaris 550 XP ATV (wife's)
1968 AH Sprite (original owners, not on road at this time)
Gary, Jena, and Presley (our awesome yellow Lab).
Westcliffe, CO.

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2018, 08:13:46 AM »
Here is another one of the "need more info" questions (no offense meant). But where is it leaking? And when? Behind the wall, from underneath the shower stall? When you run water? When a faucet is turned on?  More details may help you get a better answer.

It does not have a leak...that I know of.  As I have said all the pumbing was winterized with the exception (I think) of the shower.  I can't remember if I ran anti-freeze thru it when I did the rest.  Looks like an early spring so I'll get the chance to test it soon.  Fingers crossed. 
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

Memtb

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2018, 09:36:47 AM »
Many thanks to all for your responses.  Exactly what I was looking for. Last question I hope...IF I have a leak in the shower plumbing how do I access it to fix it?  Or is this a dealership issue?


     I’m not familiar with the construction of your unit. It may be an easy access or a real “bugger”. And, could be dependent upon how good you are at “do it yourself “ repairs.

     On my unit, everything is reasonably accessible... if you are a 130 pound contortionist. 😉
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

RedandSilver

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2018, 12:55:04 PM »
Thanks for all the responses.  Another question is what is better then...blowing out pipes with air or winterize with RV anti-freeze?

I posted this before but here is my opinion.

AIR is the way to go.  Anti-freeze they say won't hurt you - remember when they thought SMOKING was OK?
The point is it might take 40 years before the effects show up in large enough numbers to say it's RV related -
are you willing to take that chance?  I'll pass.

Lot's of people think the anti-freeze method is fine and maybe there right - but I doubt that the AIR method will be bad for you
in comparison.

But since you asked - that's my 2 cents worth of advice and what I plan on doing if I need to Winterize.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter

Larry N.

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2018, 01:58:37 PM »
...
AIR is the way to go.  Anti-freeze they say won't hurt you - remember when they thought SMOKING was OK?
The point is it might take 40 years before the effects show up in large enough numbers to say it's RV related -
are you willing to take that chance?  I'll pass.
...

It's a good thing you don't have Aqua Hot or equivalent then. Air won't do the job on the hot water side for those. Expensive.....
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Alpena Jeff

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2018, 07:01:37 PM »
4 gallons of non toxic anti freeze for me. Total cost $20. I know I'm safe I think!🙈
First ever road trip starts tomorrow! I'll let you know.
Peace.
Jeff & Judy
2016 Newmar Ventana 3427
2018 GMC Canyon All Terrain toad
Blue Ox Aventa LX - RVi3 - EEZRV
Retired to "the lake" in north Michigan

Old_Crow

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  • Phormer Phantom Phixer
Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2018, 04:48:31 AM »
Wally,   That is an astounding number as PEX very cheap to buy the pipe and fittings themselves probably less than $100 for the whole coach.  I have plumbed 3 new houses for less than $200 each and that was running separate lines for each fixture.  It is super easy to run during new construction.   Through the bowels of a MH would be much more complicated, but not $9K more complicated. ;D ;D

My tongue in cheek comment was just that, as I live in very rural and dumping a little water on my lawn does not do as much as the grass roots reaching down to the septic fields in the yard.  Remember Erma Bombeck's book "The Grass is always greener over the septic tank" 8) 8)

I  understand rural.  17 miles from town, 3/4mile off the pavement, on 9 acres of woods.  Even my S&B house dumps the gray water on the ground.
As far as the coach, well, there was the whole "disassemble the wet bay" thing to get to part of the lines.  Then they had both tires off one side and had to come up through the wheel well to get to the lines under the vanity and shower.    The rear furnace had to come out for access also, as did 1/2 the bathroom floor.
The adjuster made a mistake and approved the claim(apparently not supposed to cover frozen pipes, just broken ones), he told my guy to make sure the estimate covered every possibility.  Said they would not approve a supplement if he missed something, so he put everything he could think of on the estimate. New water pump, w/heater check valve, and water heater also figured into the estimate.
Since it turned out the water heater was okay, instead of that, we got a fancy new kitchen faucet, a nice porcelain toilet and new fixtures in the shower and bathroom sink.  The black water flush lines were also cracked.  That was a pretty fun project to get to them, I tell you. 
I owned a shop restoring old cars for the last 10 years of my work life, and I wouldn't have wanted to do this job for any amount of money.  Oh, and he waived my deductible, so I was out of pocket exactly nothing.  The RV park I was staying at even pro rated my stay so I was able to pick up where I left off after the coach spent 3 weeks at the shop(6 days waiting, the rest being worked on).
Overall I was pleased.  I visited the shop several times(usually to get more my wife more clothes)and both guys were busy with the coach every time I showed up.  The coach is better than it was, heck, I even got to fix the dryer while they had it out of the cabinet to replace the plumbing behind it. 
We're in our second week of being back in the coach and everything is just about back to normal.  Now...if it'd only quit raining.  Going on the 3rd day straight and I'm parked about 50 yards from the Arkansas River.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2018, 05:43:05 AM »
   Kemo,  Living in an area with temperatures similar to yours....I probably “overkill” a little bit. I blow it with air, but don’t spend a lot of time doing so. THEN...flush with the antifreeze. My thought....eliminate most of the water, minimizing dilution of the antifreeze. Once you get a good flow of antifreeze... you’ve taken care of the traps. I run antifreeze thru everything, shower hose, toilet (including the spray nozzle), and each and every faucet. “If” you have a washing machine....be sure to flush some antifreeze thru pump to displace any water. I’d rather spend a little more time “flushing-out” the antifreeze, than repairing damage!  Hopefully this will continue to work for us... it was -21 F yesterday morning. But today, the big inning of a heat wave....only a -18 F.

One additional comment is that my 5th wheel is a Four Seasons rig that's pretty well wrapped up underneath and is extra insulated.  Would that help lesson the possibility of the shower plumbing getting froze?
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

Memtb

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2018, 08:05:53 AM »
One additional comment is that my 5th wheel is a Four Seasons rig that's pretty well wrapped up underneath and is extra insulated.  Would that help lesson the possibility of the shower plumbing getting froze?


Only “if” it is in use and heated!  Without heat....”everything” reaches ambient rather quickly!
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

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2018, 09:14:20 AM »
Thanks Todd.  Makes sense.
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

Kemo

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2018, 11:12:40 AM »
Update: Weather finally got nice enough to open up the slides and check the plumbing.  I was glad when I opened up the shower faucets and let it hang down pink came out.  So I had AF in the shower plumbing and everything looks good.  Left the faucets open to let drain back down.  Thanks all for the responses.  Camp On!
Kiltie Kemo
2018 Montana 3720RL 5th Wheel
2017 F-350 Lariat Superduty

Memtb

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Re: Winterized RV question.
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2018, 12:06:09 PM »
    OK....now you can take a breath!    ;D
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