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Old 11-13-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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winterize / not winterize

We are new owners of a 1999 holiday rambler, based out of little rock arkansas. We plan on using the motorhome all winter long because we like winter camping also. I anticipate the maximum time between uses could be 2 or possibly 3 weeks. Our winters here are not generally sustained freezing conditions, but we do drop below that 32 degree mark for several days at a time. I hesitate to do a full winterization and then spoil it by taking a 2 or 3 day trip and having to redo the winterization again. Any thoughts or ideas or how to enjoy the winter and yet still protect the motorhome? Any of our trips will definitely be southern it and in warmer climates; no northern trips planned.

Regards to all.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:18 PM   #2
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A lot depends on the rig... For the most part water lines run inside, along the outside wall in most motor homes, Not under but there are some that are under.

If your rig has "Heated bays" it is the furnace that heats them more than likely.. Thus if you don't run the furnace, no heat in the compartmetns with water.. >What i do, since I don't like to burn propane and the furnace has.... er... Issues... Just now (won't work) is this: I put a string of C=9 size Christmas tree lamps in the bay below the fresh water tank, the other side (Where the black and gray are) along with inlets, outlets, the dog shower and such, in fact all my "Non indoor plubmbing" is in that pass through compartment) got a 100 watt lamp (ok, there is a 2nd gray tank elsewhere but I keep it empty)

This gives me about 10 degrees.

The thermo cube type outlet adapter (Thermostat plug/outlet, on at 35 off at 40 something) turns the lights on and off

As for the lines INSIDE the motor home.. I'd recommend some form of heat.

OR just blow the lines out. and drain the water heater

Do drain the ice maker supply line and solenoid and shut it off.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:13 PM   #3
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If you have power, just place a half dozen or so light bulbs (60w) around the key areas...water pump, basement areas, water heater, W/D, ice maker, etc. I put the bulbs in small desk type lamps with flexible heads. If you are going to have a hard freeze put some A/F in the P traps and toilet.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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I am in north Mississippi and all I do is drain fresh water tank and water heater, blow out all lines add some anti freeze to gray tank, black tank, and p traps. Nothing in fresh tank, no problems. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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We use our Pace year round. For us, blowing out with air is cheap and quick. When we return from a trip, we clean the motorhome. Then I open all drains. We unload the motorhome . Finally I go out, start the air compressor, hook it to the motorhome, go inside and open all faucets , commode, shower, etc. Finally, I add antifreeze to the traps and I'm done. It takes about fifteen minutes.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:47 PM   #6
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I live in central Wisconsin, but I winter in warmer areas and do get occasional night time freezing temps.

I have had no problems, (neither when driving or overnight parking or in a campground), in temps as low as 15-20 degrees F. (I do not connect the outside water hose, except to fill , and I, do not connect the sewer hose, except when dumping).

This is my experience with complete winterizing, without antifreeze or compressed air:

During the first 3 years that I owned my '96 Sahara it saw temps as low as -20 degrees F for stretches as long as 2-3 days in a row. (Some years there were more than one cold spell a year).

The past 7 years I have had to winterized twice a year because we now travel to warmer areas in early Dec and return in late March.
(The the coldest storage temps it sees now are in the late fall and early spring, 0 degrees F or above).

I have NEVER used antifreeze in the water lines, (the traps and washer yes).

Further I have NEVER "blown out" the water lines.

I open ALL faucets, and the low point drains.
I GRAVITY drain the water lines, water tank, water heater, and toilet.
I disconnect both the IN and OUT water lines from the water pump and run it 'till dry, (less than 2 minutes).
I disconnect the ice maker water lines at the solenoid, (located on the bottom, behind the front panel), and run it 'till it tries to get water, (the solenoid activates).
I drain the Splindide lint filter, (lower right, front), and run the washer through 2 rinse cycles, (I put 2 cups of the pink stuff in the tub after the 1st rinse cycle).

I have NEVER had a cracked plumbing pipe or a leak in the water system, and the ice maker and washer have operated as they should, each time that I have "summarized" the coach.

That is how I winterize, and it has NOT caused ANY freeze related problems.

Mel
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:09 PM   #7
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Nearly every year I winterize, and re-winterize post a trip or two. Like a few posts above, it only takes me 15 minutes as well. Drain all water, and hot water, connect a compressor, open all faucets and pour a/f in the traps. Real easy and quick.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:34 PM   #8
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I live in western tenessee. I simply plug in to 30 amp shore power and run two delonghi space heaters at 1500 watts. never frozen. it is truly not as hard as you think.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:41 PM   #9
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You realise, at 8-1/2 cents per KW thats about $6/day for electric. Gotcha thinking now. That's $180/month. Can't find inside storage for less than that?

10 gals pink antifreeze at Wal-Mart $39
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:09 PM   #10
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I just moved into inside storage, an RV Spa. It's about 200 a month plus utilities, (gas and electric). For me it was the best answer, since I had to park it somewhere anyway. Plus, I can go do little odds and ends work on it and take it out once a month or more for short trips. No need to winterized, just look out for varmints.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:59 PM   #11
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I live in the Seattle area and it can get cold/freezing. I have used a couple of ceramic heaters on the the low 800 watts setting and the thermostats at about 55 degrees. I open all the cabinets that have plumbing. If it is going to be a long freezing spell I have added another to the utility bay. I have done this for many years and have not had a problem.

I set the propane furnace to 45 degrees in case the ceramics can't keep up or a power outage.

This also keeps the MH dry and smelling good, not musty. In this area that is important.

The portable heaters work well on keeping the MH warm when out camping in cold weather and are on a 50 amp service. I use one when on 30 amp. set one up front and the other in the rear. The small cube type are easy to store and last a long time (years).

P.S. In cold spells I turn the water heater on. Usually on propane setting. Uses too much wattage and with heaters running too much of a load.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:10 PM   #12
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I would have to say get the water out of the lines. It won't take much effort but could cost you big bucks if you don't. At least do like the one poster says and open lowest drain and open faucets that would get most of it out. Me its a full drain and blow out with pink in the drains. We had several days of sub zero last winter and I won't risk a blown pipe. Don't want to get to CG in the spring and find out the pipe has a blowout. Consider it VERY cheap insurance NO COST.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:45 AM   #13
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Winterizing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post
I live in central Wisconsin, but I winter in warmer areas and do get occasional night time freezing temps.

I have had no problems, (neither when driving or overnight parking or in a campground), in temps as low as 15-20 degrees F. (I do not connect the outside water hose, except to fill , and I, do not connect the sewer hose, except when dumping).

This is my experience with complete winterizing, without antifreeze or compressed air:

During the first 3 years that I owned my '96 Sahara it saw temps as low as -20 degrees F for stretches as long as 2-3 days in a row. (Some years there were more than one cold spell a year).

The past 7 years I have had to winterized twice a year because we now travel to warmer areas in early Dec and return in late March.
(The the coldest storage temps it sees now are in the late fall and early spring, 0 degrees F or above).

I have NEVER used antifreeze in the water lines, (the traps and washer yes).

Further I have NEVER "blown out" the water lines.

I open ALL faucets, and the low point drains.
I GRAVITY drain the water lines, water tank, water heater, and toilet.
I disconnect both the IN and OUT water lines from the water pump and run it 'till dry, (less than 2 minutes).
I disconnect the ice maker water lines at the solenoid, (located on the bottom, behind the front panel), and run it 'till it tries to get water, (the solenoid activates).
I drain the Splindide lint filter, (lower right, front), and run the washer through 2 rinse cycles, (I put 2 cups of the pink stuff in the tub after the 1st rinse cycle).

I have NEVER had a cracked plumbing pipe or a leak in the water system, and the ice maker and washer have operated as they should, each time that I have "summarized" the coach.

That is how I winterize, and it has NOT caused ANY freeze related problems.

Mel
I usually open all the faucets and low water drain, water heater, and fresh water....turn the water pump on and drain the lines - put pink in the drains and I'm good to go....never blown the lines - I usually do two short trips south during winter months. Never had a problem either....done this for the past 4 winters.....

Bobby
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