I have posted this in my Projects on my 1997 American Dream
and realize it is a violation of the duplicate post rule but thought that this would be a timely and useful project so have posted it here as well. Moderator, if you disagree fell free to delete, I'm just trying to be helpful and members not reading the Fleetwood owners category will not see this.
Just to recap a little, we stopped at a Camping World on the way home from Florida to have the coach winterized. Remember we were driving into the epic winter storm raging in Buffalo NY.
I watched over the shoulder of the service tech that did the job. The service tech would not have run the washer machine to get antifreeze into the pump had I not been there. Even I missed the fact that the washer was run on the cold water cycle (leaving untreated water on the hot water side).
Just an aside here. In another thread
the comment was made that I thought I knew more than service techs. I am very new to RVs and encourage members to point out things I have done wrong or can do better. I do believe there is a general lack of knowledge / or desire for RV service centers to do the job with quality and correctness.
I was comfortable with the untreated water in the hot water side of the washer machine as we were running the furnaces all the way home and up to the point where I went back and rewinterized the coach water systems.
I received a suggestion from a friend (rsflight) that one way to winterize was to blow all the water out of the system, and then to run antifreeze though the system. I liked this idea so that is what I have done and what follows is how I did it.
The first caution I would have for anyone doing this is you DO NOT want to pressurize your water system with 150 PSI of air. You will ruin your water system by blowing all the fittings in the system apart.
In my case I have two 5 HP compressors each running four cylinder cast iron compressor bodies.
Also included in the air compressor system is a refrigerate air drier.
To keep from destroying the water system on the RV I built a tool to reduce the pressure to a manageable amount.
I went to Harbor Freight (I hate using them as everything comes from China, but in this case was the logical choice) and then to Home Depot and picked up an air regulator and the necessary fittings.
There is a difference between an air pressure regulator and an air flow regulator. You want an air pressure regulator. An air flow regulator does just what it says, it regulates the flow of air, not the air pressure, if you shut the flow of air off the pressure will build to the air tank max pressure, BAD. With an air pressure regulator the pressure is stepped down to the pressure set on the regulator.
Here is the air pressure regulator I put together. There is a quick disconnect on one side to connect the air supply to and the other side is stepped up to the correct fitting for a regular water hose.
An easy way to tell if you have a air regulator or flow regulator is to block the output (I did that by putting a regular water hose nozzle on the end) and connect it to your air supply. If you have a regulator, when you turn the control knob the pressure will raise and fall on the dial accordingly. If you have a flow regulator the pressure will rise to the system pressure and you will not be able to reduce it.
I chose 30 PSI as a safe pressure level.
I would recommend you read your RV manual on how to winterize your RV. I found my to be very confusing, and was very helpful to have watch the Camping World tech winterize my coach.
My start point on this project was that antifreeze had already been run through the system. I, however, treated it as if I still have fresh water in the system.
I took pictures of how the valves were set prior to the winterization and reset the valves to the correct positions.
On the water station.
(I did this winterization prior to washing the motor home)
is a panel that needs to be removed.
To gain access to the valves, in my case there are two, but only one gets changed to winterize, the other is used to sanitize the fresh water holding tank.
This (below) is the valve to winterize.
I put the drain plug back into the water heater and reset the hot water heater back to normal use.
I also unplugged the hot water heater so that it could not be turned on by mistake.
I drained the hose I use for connecting up to "shore water"
Connected up my handy dandy home made air tool.
And then worked my way around to each water faucet and water source in the motor home from highest to lowest point opening each one up separately and allowing the air to flow until no trace of water came out. This included the drain plug on the hot water heater, and both the hot and cold water circuits in the washer/drier.
I then reset the valves to the normal settings to winterize. Removed the drain plug from the hot water tank.
Disconnected the air and connected up to the winterize port, and sucked antifreeze into the system (highest to lowest) just as I had done when I blow out the system.
I think I have a fully winterize water system on the coach, unless you have seen something I missed?
All fresh water, gray water, and black water tanks were drained.