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Old 04-04-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
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Newbie alert any help would be great!!

Hi all,

I just purchased a 1985 Fleetwood Southwind class A motorhome.

The previous owner didn't winterize this past winter. So I'm wondering what steps I should take to ensure the tanks and water pipes and pump are working as they should.

This unit is nice but I think I will be picky your brains about some other issues as I go.

Thanks for any help!!
CHEERS
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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I see from your profile you are located in Calgary. If the motorhome was left with water on board, this is not good news at all. The only way to know is to hook it up to water and see what leaks.

Get a flashlight and start in the utility bay and around the water pump. Trace lines and see where water is that should not be. I would only hook the water up for a short time and then turn it off.

If you have an air compressor, use an adapter to connect to the water connection and put about 40 psig of pressure if you can get it to pressurize.

Good luck.

Ken
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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Check the water heater for water, if the plug is removed that's a good sign. Check the water lines connected to the heater, is there a bypass line of some type hooked up? If so, this is good, can you determine if the heater is being bypassed?
--if NO bypass line, (this is optional) you will want to buy, or make one for testing--doesn't have to be elaborate for testing, you just need to disconnect the cold-in and hot-out lines, and buy/make a piece of hose to connect them together to bypass the water heater temporarily...

Check outside for line drains.
--If the drain valves are also outside, check to see if they're open or closed. If you don't know which way is open or closed, operate the valve. If it was closed, SOME water should come out, even if only a few drips. (which is good). If it was open, nothing should happen--assume you just closed them...
--if the drain valves are inside, you'll need to track them down. This could mean removing beds, looking under sofa's, in back of cabinets-- In our Cruise Air the water lines run along the bottom edge of the drivers side wall in the bedroom, and they're covered with some trim that's carpeted. The trim "looks like" it's permanent, but most of my line drain valves are under it. Locating all the drains should mean you've located all the water lines too-- Now, IF you find a bunch of water draining from the line drains when you locate and open them, this is probably NOT GOOD, it's likely you'll find some split water lines. Otherwise, you should be okay---

Put about 5 gallons of water in the tank. Make sure all the water valves in the motorhome are shut -all sinks, all showerheads, toilet, washer if there is one. Put some sort of bucket under all of the drain traps...Turn on the water pump for about 10 seconds. Shut it off and inspect all the waterlines and connections for leaks or spray. Go outside and check the drain lines to make sure all the valves are off...

If you're ok so far, open all the faucets and run the pump until all or most of the air is out of the lines, should take only about 15 or 20 seconds. Turn off the pump. Now check all the drain traps for leaks.

If you're okay, shut all the faucets, and run the pump to see if it will build pressure and shut off. If so, that's good. If not, shut off the pump... Now re-check all the lines for leaks.

If you're good, then reconnect the water heater, install the plug if needed, then open a hot water faucet, and run the pump to fill the tank. When the tank reaches full, you'll get water from the faucet, wait until most of the air is finished, then shut off the faucet. If the pump stops, check the heater for leaks...

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Old 04-04-2010, 01:42 PM   #4
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I'd start w/water in the holding tank and the pressure pump on. If the pump "bumps" every do often you will hear it. It is bumping pressure back up to the pressure limit switch setting. The loss of pressure usually means a leak. Now you have to find it.
Under each sink.
@ valve for toilet.
Under the coach floor (basement).
Water filter canisters if so equipped.
Plumbing feeding shower (this one can be a pain as it is frequently totally hidden behind the tub/surround in older units, so it may mean removing surround & maybe tub if you fix all other leaks and still suspect one here).

The floor in your rig may be particle board. That will tolerate some leakage but not continued. If you find leaks that have gone on for a while you may be in for some repair work on the floor or other particle board elements. Good news is you probably got a lot of features for a great price.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses guys!

I'm going to spend some time on this tomorrow, I'll let you know what I find.

I think this will be a great rig for me and my family after I get some of these things taken care of.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:11 AM   #6
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Titan, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy the website. Good luck and keep us posted.
Hopefully they at least drained the lines and water heater.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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So I spent today looking at the plumbing issues.

I found that the water was drained (thank goodness) but the hot water heater was split open like a beer left in the freezer. So I by passed the water heater and changed and tightened fittings here and there. Now I have no leaks and the water flows nicely!!

Thanks again for all the help, now on to the next problem furnace not igniting!

Stay tuned ( I'll be needing some help)
Thanks
Jeff
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:28 AM   #8
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Jeff, when you are ready, we can continue the topic of the furnace in the Systems & Appliance section. Glad to hear you did not have everything busted. To bad about the water heater though.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:59 PM   #9
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If I may add something and see what response I receive. I have a HR Vacationer 2005. I drained the water and hot water heater and put antifreeze in all the traps. Unfortunitly, when I tested it yesterday I had both toilets leaking at the valves (sealand) which I have replaced at the tune of 100.00 for both. Also, the hot water line at the litchen sink was broken completly into at the fitting to the faucet.
Why did the valves not empty and the hot water line break? To my knowledge there are no other issues.

Thanks,

PapaD
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:05 AM   #10
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Water was left in the system for it to freeze and break the plumbing system.
The best method of winterizing is to pump potable antifreeze through all of the water lines, faucets, valves; anything that has water in it with the exception of the water heater; drain it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:31 PM   #11
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Darn good information but I think you guys missed one little thingie ....
ALWAYS POUR ANTI FREEZE IN YOUR ''P'' TRAPS UNDER THE SINKS AND THE BATHTUB DRAIN. This will prevent freezing of these units .....
Also. If you have an outside shower thingie. .... unscrew the hoze off of it when you winterize the unit and I usually put about a big cup of antifreeze in my gray and black water tanks just for good measure.

If you use this valuable information it will cost you ten cents and you must pay me the next time you see me........
Seajay the sailor man .....
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:07 PM   #12
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Seajay....... I owe ya .30 cents....10 cents is past due.......Let me know when ya R on the east coast so we can even up !

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Old 05-13-2010, 06:17 AM   #13
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honesty pays, sometimes, but not now..

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkendzor View Post
Seajay....... I owe ya .30 cents....10 cents is past due.......Let me know when ya R on the east coast so we can even up !

Paulie
My accounting firm of ''Catchum, Squeeze and Run'' had informed me as to the delinquent balance due on your account. Due to your honesty I shall personally recall my collection agency of ''Grabum', Shakeum' and Take'' that was dispatched last week on the noon train to Pa. via Atlanta, thru Memphis, to Richmond, by Columbus and then to Pittsburgh. (we get a discount for taking the serendipitous route) Due to late fees, surcharges, collection fees, miscellaneous costs, interest, interest on the interest and several other things that I cant remember right now your delinquency account has now skyrocketed to eighty seven dollars and twelve cents payable the next time you see me. (I use to work for Visa credit card company)
Lol.... Be safe my friend ......
Seajay the sailor man .....
God bless our troops and bring them home soon and safe...
If you can read... Thank a teacher... If you read English...
THANK A VET.....
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