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Old 08-12-2016, 04:52 PM   #29
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If/when water in a slight sag in a RV water line freezes it will not necessarily crack or break the water line... if the line has been drained properly, (aka: not FULL of water).

That's a chance I have taken when winterizing , (with NO cracks, breaks or floods), for the 20 years I've owned my coach.
(I'm not "bragging" or suggesting you or anyone else do what I do).

BTW for the last 13 years I've winterized my coach TWICE each year for storage in freezing weather.
Once before driving south for the winter in late Nov... and again before returning to Wisconsin in late March.

Mel
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Mel, IMHO you have been lucky. Water expands 20% when it freezes and flexible water lines can handle that, but if that water migrates into the valves in the refrigerator or the spray valve on the toilet they have no ability to handle 20% expansion. Additionally the couplings/joints used in the water system are rigid and cannot handle the 20%.

Living on Cape Cod we also have to winterize twice a year, in November before we head south and if we come home before April first. In my opinion it is better to spend a few extra dollars on anti freeze then to hope that you get ALL the water out of your system by blowing out the lines, that to me is too risky. As Bobb.25 said, "I am always amazed that when I repeat the process after 10 minutes I still get water out of some that I thought were dry".
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:29 AM   #30
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One more point learned the hard way. Operate *all* the valves when either blowing out or using pink stuff. Almost all the valves used in RV's are a variation of a ball valve with a rotating cavity that the liquid passes through. If you shut off a valve with water in the line it traps a cavity full of water that expands and cracks the valve body. Simply operating the valve will either blow out the water or replace it with anti freeze.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:09 AM   #31
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I don't think anyone is winterizing with windshield fluid, (If you are, STOP - don't do that, its bad for the plumbing)


I, like many others, use windshield fluid to flush the toilet while in transit from sub zero to warmer climates, I usually dump a 1/2 cup to clear the sides of the toilet bowl with the drain open, then after closing the drain, dump about 1 inch in the bowl to keep the seals wet.

AND - its great for windshield washing too.

I would not recommend leaving this mixture in the black tanks for any length of time as the alcohol could have negative impact on the valve seals.

I generally watch the sales and buy -20 windshield washer for 0.99 a gallon, and RV antifreeze for $2.50 a gallon. I always carry several gallons of each with me
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:42 AM   #32
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One more point learned the hard way. Operate *all* the valves when either blowing out or using pink stuff. Almost all the valves used in RV's are a variation of a ball valve with a rotating cavity that the liquid passes through. If you shut off a valve with water in the line it traps a cavity full of water that expands and cracks the valve body. Simply operating the valves will either blow out the water or replace it with anti freeze.
nothermark

That's an important part of "proper winterizing"... whether you blow out the lines, use antifreeze or simply gravity drain the fresh water system.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:58 AM   #33
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Wow, a lot of folks using huge amount of anti freeze. Instead of flushing with the pink stuff, i like to use the windsheild washer fluid, half the price.
WARNING:
That is a perfect example of why nobody should take any advice found on an internet forum seriously.
See: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...fluid+toxicity
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Old 08-13-2016, 05:14 PM   #34
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I live in Reno, NV. Winters can get as cold as -10 degrees. I always empty the holding tanks and hot water heater and fresh water at my last stop. When I winterize, I use two gallons of antifreeze, making sure that the water heater is bypassed. I usually take the coach to So. Calif. at Christmas, but I always wait to de-winterize until I hit the warmer climate. Just take a couple of gallons of water with you, you'll be alright. By the way, if there's some liquid in your black or grey tank, it's not going to hurt anything, as long as it's less than 1/4 of the tank.
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Old 08-13-2016, 05:50 PM   #35
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To "run the fresh tank dry", (aka: empty the water tank), methinks most RV owners simply open the tank drain and let the water run out onto the ground.
(That's how I do it).
Mel
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Actually Chiefig's presumption about my "run the fresh tank dry" comment was spot on. We run whatever is in the fresh tank thru the plumbing and into the holding tanks - which we then dump through an "approved" dump hookup.

Ultimately, I do open the fresh water tank valve as well as the low point drains - however, when I do - there's very little left in the tanks. I'd be surprised if I put much more than a gallon of liquid total on the ground. Sure, I know that it's nothing but fresh water ... but campgrounds, neighbors and anybody watch doesn't know that and looks askance at any fluids being dumped on the ground. If you're in a campground and dumping significant amounts of fresh water - you're leaving a mess for the next guy to set up in. It's just too easy to use the plumbing and handle it in the manner that all fluids are supposed to be.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:09 PM   #36
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I realize that each of us is in a unique place in terms of our personal financial resources. But knowing that still doesn't stop me from being a little surprised when cost is cited as a driver for cutting corners on something like winterizing - whether it's using something other than the proscribed antifreeze or scrimping on the amount of antifreeze use - I just don't get it.

Even if/when I go "over the top" and use 10-12 gallons to winterize my coach - at $3.00 a gallon - it still represents a less than $40 investment to protect a vehicle that has a value significantly more than that. If cutting back a by a few gallons or by using the wrong type of fluid to save a couple of bucks - results in a "ineffective" winterization job - the cost and inconvenience to repair/replace fixtures and plumping is so significant that I just can't fathom even thinking about taking that risk.
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:01 AM   #37
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I realize that each of us is in a unique place in terms of our personal financial resources. But knowing that still doesn't stop me from being a little surprised when cost is cited as a driver for cutting corners on something like winterizing - whether it's using something other than the proscribed antifreeze or scrimping on the amount of antifreeze use - I just don't get it.

Even if/when I go "over the top" and use 10-12 gallons to winterize my coach - at $3.00 a gallon - it still represents a less than $40 investment to protect a vehicle that has a value significantly more than that. If cutting back a by a few gallons or by using the wrong type of fluid to save a couple of bucks - results in a "ineffective" winterization job - the cost and inconvenience to repair/replace fixtures and plumping is so significant that I just can't fathom even thinking about taking that risk.
SpaceNorman
I gravity drain my fresh water system, (using no compressed air or RV antifreeze), NOT to save money but to save TIME, (both when winterizing and dewinterizing).

I realize that method of winterizing is unconventional and not for everyone.
That's why I say: That's NOT my recommendation and I'm NOT saying you should do it that way ...BUT it is the way I've SUCCESSFULLY winterized my coach for 20 years.

I'm all about easy.

Mel
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:22 AM   #38
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I gravity drain my fresh water system, (using no compressed air or RV antifreeze), NOT to save money but to save TIME, (both when winterizing and dewinterizing).

I realize that method of winterizing is unconventional and not for everyone.
That's why I say: That's NOT my recommendation and I'm NOT saying you should do it that way ...BUT it is the way I've SUCCESSFULLY winterized my coach for 20 years.

I'm all about easy.

Mel
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Where does your coach spend the winter months?
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:56 AM   #39
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FWIW - it may not matter that much. As I recall one of the interesting properties of water is that the ice solid phase takes up more space than the liquid phase. The damage is done when the phase change occurs. After that ice shrinks as it cools just like any other solid.

FWIW2 the glycol used in RV antifreeze shrinks when it phase changes. I think somewhere around zero deg F. That way it does not damage valves but can cause them to stick. Not normally an issue but could be for someone leaving a very cold area where they were in storage mode. I think I would either thaw out the mh for a few days before leaving or play car for a day or two until I got into more reasonable temperatures.
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:47 AM   #40
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Where does your coach spend the winter months?
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From 1996 until 2002 my coach was stored outside in central Wisconsin all winter.... (where temps get as low as -20 degrees F).

2003-2012 was in the south for the months of Dec., Jan., and Feb. (and some years March).

In 2013 in Wisconsin.

Since then its been in the south from Dec. through either Feb. or March.

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Old 08-14-2016, 10:55 AM   #41
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I try to cover all the bases. I drain everything as completely as possible sometimes letting the MH sit for a day or two with everything open. Then I blow out everything with compressed air. Yes, I do have a pressure regulator in my air line. Lastly I pour three or four gallons of RV anti freeze into the fresh water tank and turn the onboard pump on. I cycle every valve on until I see clear pink anti freeze flowing which also fills and protects drain traps. I also run the anti freeze into the toilet until it too shows pink. I disconnect the shower hose to assure nothing is trapped in it and leave it disconnected until spring.
I usually use most of the antifreeze in the fresh water tank but leave any unused in it for the winter months. The tank gets drained and flushed in the spring. I save what I drain out in the spring for the following winterizing.
I use the anti freeze as a safety net as well as for the lubricating of valves and seals.
I bought RV antifreeze last fall at a local hardware store for $1.99 per gallon buy one get one free. They had a limit of two per customer but had a lot of it. I do a lot of business with this store so the manager rang me up several times cash sale and I walked out with two cases of six gallons each.
I also use a gallon to winterize my crop sprayer in the fall as it is stored in my unheated pole barn for the winter.
I wonder how anyone can get away with just opening drains and hoping for the best. What happens to the residual in the waterpump etc.? I have never seen all the water lines in my MH and hope I never have to. How do I know I don't have a drooping line somewhere which won't completely drain out. If I can't see it now how am I going to get to it to repair it? Blowing out the lines still won't protect the waterpump. The check valve in the pump would prevent water from being removed from the pump.
I use the water heater bypass valves and drain the heater leaving the plug out until spring.
Even with all the care I take winterizing the water system I still get the jitters in the spring when I put water into the system the first time for the season.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:43 AM   #42
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I wonder how anyone can get away with just opening drains and hoping for the best. What happens to the residual in the waterpump etc.? The check valve in the pump would prevent water from being removed from the pump.
Lynn
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When I say I simply GRAVITY DRAIN EVERYTHING in my fresh water system... that means EVERYTHING...(including the water pump, etc.).

BTW the more I read that I HAVE TO at least "blow out the lines" the more I wonder WHY and HOW "gravity draining everything" HAS WORKED when winterizing my coach for 20 years.

Mel
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