Winterizing without antifreeze

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

jaycle

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Posts
7
Has anyone been successful with winterizing their travel trailer using the evaporation method in climates where the temperature drops to minus 20 for a week or two several times a season? 

It is my understanding that this method involves just pouring antifreeze down the drains.  To keep the water lines from freezing, one would only open up all the facets to allow most of the water to evaporate out.
 

Natetheskate

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2007
Posts
138
Use compressed air to blow the water out of the lines.  There are several fittings available to do this.
 

COMer

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Posts
1,663
What usually freezes is fittings and places where water is trapped.  I don't think it would evaporate out of those areas.  We have used antifreeze for about 40 years.  Cheap, easy and can be quickly removed in about five minutes in the spring. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,316
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Never heard of the "evaporation method" and do not believe it would work. You need low pressure air to force the water from the lines - then you can leave the faucets open to evaporate any residual moisture, and pour some antifreeze into the drains to keep the traps from freeing. You also have to drain the water heater tank and fresh and waste tanks.  And don't forget the water line to the fridge ice maker, if you have one.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,092
Location
Davison Michigan
There are basically 3 methods I know of and I've used all 3

First year I used the wet method (pink stuff in all the lines) major pain in anatomy, took me forever to clear the line due to a bad tank design.

Second year I went the dry method, Compressed air in the lines, blow, pause, blow, pause (Several times) limiting pressure to 50 PSI, by the way, I think I ran at least 10 cycles to insure I got nearly all the water out, If air freezes in the lines,, I won't worry about anyting ever again.

Now days I use the "S" method.. Keep the lines full of water and drive south till they don't freeze :)

But the "Evaporation method" I have never heard of and considering how fast it evaporates at low temps (Below 100 degrees F) I can all but guarantee it will NOT WORK.
 

Mopar1973Man

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Posts
3,485
Location
New Meadows, Idaho
I open up the drain on the water heater and place it in bypass mode.

I've got a nice little fitting I created from the hardware stor that I hook up my air compressor to at 40-50 PSI and open all the valves and blow the water out. Don't forget the outside shower if you got one.

Now by this time the water heater is drained so using a piece of clear tubing, rag and shop vacuum I suck the remaining water out of the water heater. This also removes the scale and debris in the bottom for me.

Now using the compressed air and a rag I blow all the drain traps out.

The only thing I got to do now is pour 2-3 ozs of antifreeze in the toilet to keep the seal moist...

I leave all low point drains open, all faucets open, and sewer valves open.Lot cheaper than buying gallons and gallons of anti-freeze to pump through the system. Also there is no foul taste in the spring of the year.
 

lavarock1210

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Posts
447
My trailer and I suspect most cost $30K plus.  What is $20 a year for freeze protection in comparison?  There are only two methods I will use.  The first I use most of the time and that is the "S" method.  But sometimes the weather does not cooperate before I head south and I am forced to blow out the lines and pump in the pink stuff.
 

1joester2

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Posts
938
Location
Upstate, NY
I used the pink stuff once and it took a lot of water to return a palatable taste to the water.

I have been blowing out the lines with compressed air for years and have yet to have trouble from it. Quick flush in the spring and I'm good to go.


As long as you remember to blow out every water point you are good to go. I leave all drains and faucets open, bring the pump inside,  and pink stuff the traps and toilet. Winterized in about 20 minutes. I'm ready for the road in the spring after a short flush and fill once the pump is installed (under 2 minutes).

This is Southern NY near Binghamton so we do get a pretty hard freeze.

Joe
 

Jack Ducan

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Posts
22
Location
united states
If you want to keep winterize RV without antifreeze, you need: drain the water, drain the black and gray holding tanks onto a designated local dump station, repeatedly flush the toilet and open all faucets until water is all drained, makes use of a blowout plug to let compressed air pass through all the water lines for a thorough drain. It’s recommended that you line heat-generating insulation tape on hoses, valves, and water lines – as these are most vulnerable. Your RV needs a little bit of ventilation, vent covers allow your RV to control the air coming in – making sure there’s free airflow. Finally, Upgrade or install insulation will do wonders to keep your RV warm.
 

phil-t

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Posts
1,065
Location
Ogdensburg, NY
I would believe, from reading others experiences with winterization, that rigs differ somewhat. I had always wintered in northern NY (until we stated the S-method last year) One gallon of pink stuff on hand and proper proceedure always worked my rig. I would never believe your "evaporation method" would work.
 

UTTransplant

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2014
Posts
2,759
Location
Cedar Falls, IA
We winterize in Iowa (-20 to -30) using 3-4 gallons of pink stuff. That includes a washing machine, an ice maker, and an outdoor shower. Why take a chance? We can do the entire winterize thing in 30-40 minutes, though that is with both of us working at it. The ice maker takes the longest time! De-winterizing requires quite a bit of water; it certainly can’t be done with just 10-20 gallons. We run a complete ice cycle and a complete washing machine cycle besides all the regular running all faucets.
 

NY_Dutch

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Posts
6,829
Location
Where our wheels take us!
Before we went fulltime, I winterized in the fall using the blow out method so we could fill the water tank and put the water system back in service with a lot of flushing in January before heading south. Now we just head south...
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
8,068
Location
Westminster, Colorado
Well, since this thread was started 10 years ago, I've learned about winterizing when you have hydronic heating systems (Aqua Hot in a Beaver, Oasis in a Newmar), and you MUST use the pink stuff on the hot side enough to get the intricate internal tubing in that system filled, since there's no way to blow it all out -- the manual even warns you about that -- but I do the cold side with air. Even at that, it takes a bit of time with the air on the cold side to get enough out for safety.

If in doubt, go pink.
 

mel s

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Posts
863
To winterize my '96 Safari Sahara for Wisconsin winters, I COMPLETELY gravity drain EVERYTHING in the fresh water sysyem, (no blowing out with compressed air).
I ONLY USE RV antifreeze in the 3 P-traps and the Splendide washer pump.... (Have each October since 2001).
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,092
Location
Davison Michigan
Best method is a heated garage..>>>Dan
NO best method is the "S" Method (Here in CONUS.. or the "N" method in the southern half of the globe.

Strap a snow blower to the front (Optional) by the way will cover the option) and when you stop for fuel and somone looks at the blower, pushes their hat up, scratches their head and asks "What the @(#*$7 is that thing?" You are winterized.

Optional.... When Home Depot and Lowes no longer have Snow Blowers on display.

Kind of how I did it for many years.

Only froze one line one night (I was in the RV so the furnace was on) The campground... Well the damage to the main office building was so bad they had to bulldoze it and build a new and improved.
 

steveblonde

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Posts
3,903
Location
calgary alberta
If you want to keep winterize RV without antifreeze, you need: drain the water, drain the black and gray holding tanks onto a designated local dump station, repeatedly flush the toilet and open all faucets until water is all drained, makes use of a blowout plug to let compressed air pass through all the water lines for a thorough drain. It’s recommended that you line heat-generating insulation tape on hoses, valves, and water lines – as these are most vulnerable. Your RV needs a little bit of ventilation, vent covers allow your RV to control the air coming in – making sure there’s free airflow. Finally, Upgrade or install insulation will do wonders to keep your RV warm.
You do realize that you answered a post from 2011 that was 10 yrs ago lol
 

Babe2201

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2021
Posts
234
Location
Walpole, NH
I have had to do it only once and bought a fitting that screwed into the city connection and adjusted my air compressor so that it would only allow so much pressure. Can't remember what it was but 40 lbs sticks in my head and will have to find out how much again this year. I bypassed and drained the water heater and blew the lines out and put a little anti freeze in the toilet and down the drains. I got it out this spring with no issues.

I did not need to use my compressor to fill tires all winter long and wondered why I could not get my camper tires up to 65 PSI. That is a few minutes of my life I won't get back.

Hopefully at some point I can use this "S" method people keep bringing up.
 

decaturbob

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Posts
494
Location
central Illinois
Has anyone been successful with winterizing their travel trailer using the evaporation method in climates where the temperature drops to minus 20 for a week or two several times a season?

It is my understanding that this method involves just pouring antifreeze down the drains. To keep the water lines from freezing, one would only open up all the facets to allow most of the water to evaporate out.

no such thing as "evaporation method" that would work if you anywhere in a sub-freezing winter climate. You either blow water lines out with compressor or backfeed with RV anti-freeze. I do a mix of the 2
 
Top Bottom