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Old 10-03-2018, 04:54 PM   #1
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Winterizing Question

Hello all:

First post. Sounds like a dumb question, but if the fresh water tank is empty, the grey water and black water tanks are empty, hot water heater is empty, why do I have to put anti freeze in in the fresh water tank? (That's where it goes, right?)

I am not an experienced travel trailer enthusiast, so this is a legit question. If someone has a reasonable explanation as to why, I would be glad to hear it.

Thanks in advance

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Old 10-03-2018, 05:14 PM   #2
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Nope. Most RV's have a siphon line off the water pump to suck antifreeze into the fresh water system. If your's doesn't, it can be added. That way you will only use about 2 gallons of antifreeze to winterize your rig.

All tanks drained.
Water heater drained and bypassed (may be a separate kit if not in place from factory)
Pump antifreeze in fresh water lines thru siphon line.
Pour antifreeze in all traps to prevent freezing.
Pour antifreeze into toilet to keep toilet seal wet over the winter.

Hope this helps.

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Old 10-03-2018, 05:21 PM   #3
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To winterize, you need to either empty the water lines in the trailer or fill them with RV antifreeze. If you want to empty them, use an air compressor at about 35 psi to blow the lines out. A fitting that screws into the city water line and connects to an air hose is available at Amazon, Walmart, etc. I hook up the compressor and then open each faucet, one by one and let all water out of the line. I don't hurry, giving time for each branch to empty. I then pour a cup or two of RV antifreeze into each sink trap and enough to cover the seal in the toilet bowl.

I've done it with RV antifreeze, then I hook up a suction line at the water pump inlet and allow the pump to fill the lines. I turn on each faucet until it shows the color (pink) of the RV antifreeze and then move to the next faucet, shower, or toilet. I do have a winterizing bypass so I don't have to fill the water heater. I drain the lines to the water tank by removing the strainer and draining any water from the lines. I don't put the RV antifreeze into the water tank, it drains enough that any ice that forms won't harm anything.

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Old 10-03-2018, 05:22 PM   #4
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Or, you can use compressed air to blow all of the water out of the water lines, ice maker, filters etc.

No matter what method you choose, if you need help....just ask. There are plenty of knowledgeable and experienced people on this forum!
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:26 PM   #5
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As mentioned don't put antifreeze in the fresh water tank. You can also blow the water lines out with air instead of adding antifreeze, just make sure you get all the water out. Either method still requires you to put a cup or so of antifreeze in the toilet and traps.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:39 PM   #6
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An RV supply store will have a kit with a siphon hose that fits on the input side of your water pump. It will have maybe 18" of clear plastic hose that fits into a gallon jug of pink, non toxic RV antifreeze.

It will take 2 - 3 gallons using this method.

Make sure you have the hot water tank bypass valve in the correct position as you do not want antifreeze filling the 6 or 10 gallon hot water tank.

You winterize because there is water left in thd hot and cold water lines.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:21 AM   #7
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Blowing out the lines won't remove any water that is in the water pump or immediate before/after it, will it?

I have a bypass to isolate the water heater from the water lines, and a bypass right before the water pump that allows me to suction the pink antifreeze straight from the gallon jugs into the water lines. Make sure you have thoroughly drained that water heater too.

After winterizing, I drain the pink stuff from the water lines so they don't soak in it all winter.
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Old 10-04-2018, 01:22 PM   #8
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A really good way to learn what to do is to Google "winterizing a travel trailer". There's tons of videos out there on YouTube.


Here's one for example:

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Old 10-04-2018, 01:42 PM   #9
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Not everyone has an air compressor or understands how to regulate the pressure so you do not damage the piping in a rig. Pretty easy to pump in non-toxic antifreeze and come spring flush it out.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:04 PM   #10
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I use air and rv antifreeze. I suck it in through the pump on the winterize setting on my valves. My previous rv, I would blow out the lines with air, and could still see water at the pump. Rv antifreeze is cheap insurance. I make sure to put half gallon into the black tank, and pour enough down the ptraps at the sink and shower, to put about the same amount in the gray tank. What can happen is if there is a bit of water left in the tanks after draining them, the water can run down to the valve and freeze. This will cause the valve to crack and ruin it. Also if you have a sprayer on your toilet, dont forget to drain it as well. Another one people forget is the ice maker.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:36 AM   #11
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Thanx Lori.

I think one step they forgot was open the "low point drains". Under your trailer there should be two (Usually one blue colored and one red) They will be right next to each other. My one trailer had low point drains in 2 places under the unit.

Uncap these and let the water drain out. Now if you do happen to have even a small air compressor, blow air into the "city water" inlet. The is the inlet you would hook up a water hose to if your were at a campground that you had full service. "Do not use a lot of air pressure" it doesn't take much pressure to force the remaining water out. Put the caps back on before you add your RV antifreeze.

Pictures below are of the low point drains (My low point drains have a valve inside the trailer rather than a cap under the trailer) The other picture is of the fitting I made up to put air into the city water inlet.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:33 AM   #12
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Using RV antifreeze makes certain hidden areas are protected. On our previous TT there was a section of the toilet piping that didnít get fully drained and it froze and cracked over the winter.

Our current ORV CreekSide 23RKS only needs one gallon of antifreeze for the whole system and traps. Just make sure you run the fluid through every faucet.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:45 AM   #13
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The use of RV Antifreeze or compressed air are both sound ways to winterize. A person just needs to educate oneself of the proper steps and procedures to safely accomplish each.

I've been winterizing travel trailers and motorhomes using compressed air for 54 years now and no problems.
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:10 AM   #14
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The antifreeze is the best way . Make sure you dump some down each drain and into the black tank. Whatever you do , DO NOT put the antifreeze in the fresh water tank. You will be flushing it out forever to get it all out. Leave the drain valve open and leave the line to the pump disconnected.

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