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Old 09-14-2015, 09:26 AM   #1
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How much RV Antifreeze needed

We're winterizing and putting our Class C Winnie into storage in late October here in WI. In late January, we are heading south and west to San Diego. Probably taking a week or so to get there and it will be at least 2-3 days/nights in fairly cold weather before getting to warmer clime. We'll leave water system winterized but my question is how much RV antifreeze should we put in grey water and black water tanks to cover us those first few days? The tanks are exposed underneath and they do have heating pads on them. Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:35 AM   #2
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I live in MI and don't add antifreeze to the holding tanks or the H2O system, just all the sink and shower traps. I blow out the H2O system. We leave for warmer weather the first week of Jan. and spend our 1st night on the road in a motel. Usually South of Indianapolis or Chicago, depending on the route we take. By the 2nd night we are in a climate that is warm enough to sleep comfortably in the RV and can water up the system. It took about 10 years to figure out this schedule works for us and have been doing iy for 8 years now.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
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I don't put any rv antifreeze in the water heater, nor any extra in the holding tanks. Whatever ends up there with the winterizing of the faucets and toilet is all. Its the water expanding into ice in a closed environment that causes a problem. A small amount of liquid in the holding tanks, even freezing up, should not be an issue. Good Luck. Others may disagree and even put antifreeze in the fresh water tank. Good Luck with that too.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:22 PM   #4
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Lots of threads about winterizing.

I live in Northern Michigan.

You'll need 3-maybe even 6 gallons of pink rv antifreeze. I fill a 4 gallon container and suck the antifreeze out of that.

Install a winterizing siphon between your fresh water tank and the main water supply line.

Drain your fresh water tank. Drain your water heater, I put in a valve at the drain plug, and turn on the water heater bypass. Some have one valve, some have three valves. Some put AF in these, I don't.

Place that uptake hose from the siphon in your pink antifeeze supply container and turn on the pump. Add more AF as needed.
Run every faucet, hot and cold, until you get a good flow of pink, inside and out (outside sprayer or shower). Don't forget the sprayer at the kitchen sink. And the toilet.

Put a bit of pink in each drain trap, I put some down the toilet too.

I have to do the washing machine and the water supply to the icemaker.

In the spring I put water in the freshwater tank, add a little bit of bleach, reset the waterheater bypass, and flush the antifreeze out of all of the lines. I cycle through every faucet several times.

You'll learn. Take your time, be methodical. I did, after two trailers and three motorhomes.


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Old 09-14-2015, 08:54 PM   #5
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Don't forget to blow out your black tank washer if you have one.


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Old 09-15-2015, 07:49 AM   #6
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In the past I have been able to get away with 1 to 2 gallons of the pink stuff, I drain the water heater and isolate it with the bypass. Open all faucets and outside shower and run the pump until I get pink stuff coming out. Hasn't failed me yet. I dump some in the waste tanks and traps.
This year, I may forgo the pink stuff and try blowing out the system with compressed air. The pink stuff takes a long time to get rid of in the spring.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the excellent ideas and tips! Will probably use a combination of what you have all shared. Definitely will use compressed air and do a thorough winterization with minimum antifreeze before putting it away. Plan to get far enough south to be comfortable be the end of the second day on the road if all goes well. Will have backup plans if weather intervenes/road issues, etc.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:18 PM   #8
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I just drain the lines and tanks. Put some RV antifreeze in the drains and then I undo the water into the toilet at the toilet line, this drains the flush valve, usually a very expensive cheap plastic part that loves to freeze.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:06 PM   #9
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I use air for the whole water system. Anti-freeze in traps. I drain all water first. Don't forget low point drains.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:57 PM   #10
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I was camping in quartzite with some friends, sitting and dipping. I asked my friend, a very mechanically adept individual, what that blue tube and red tubes were hanging down from his rig. Previously he had told me how difficult winterizing his RV was. He said he didn't know. I asked if they were drains. Don't think so. He said he never saw any valves. We took a flashlight, slid back the access panel to see two beautiful valves. Amazing!
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:19 PM   #11
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Just blowing out the lines may work well if all the plumbing tubes were installed without sags or low points that are isolated. Even then if some water does remain in the system it will gravitate to the low points. If enough accumulates it could cause a line to crack.


Personally I would never trust just blowing out the lines in areas where the temperatures regularly go below -20F. A couple gallons of RV antifreeze is good and cheap insurance that any remaining water will not cause damage.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:37 PM   #12
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I'm assuming your talking about using the tanks while traveling.

We live in Northern Ohio and head south right before Christmas, departing Ohio with a fully winterized MH.

The first couple days are below freezing. everything is winterized, so if we use the toilet, we flush it with windshield washer fluid, Same with the gray, if we use the sinks, we flush them with windshield washer fluid.

Make sure the fluid your using is antifreeze. The blue water they sell in the southern states will freeze at 32 deg.

ALSO - in the spring and summer, keep your eyes open as I find regular ole RV antifreeze on sale for $2 a gallon.
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:11 PM   #13
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Open all valves including shower hot and cold, open drain valves, unhook water line to toilet. Put RV antifreeze in drains, done. Pex can withstand freezing in drained lines, PVC fittings no. U may find PVC fittings in low points, oops.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:55 AM   #14
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I would be interested in more people's thoughts on blowing the fresh water lines as opposed to antifreeze. Takes forever to get taste out of system. I winterize my pool each year by blowing the lines & have never had a problem. Also, RV is garaged when not in use.
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