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Old 11-03-2011, 08:23 AM   #1
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Location: Baton Rouge LA
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How to short-term winterize?

I see lots of discussions on winterizing, but they seem to refer to winterizing for several months. What do you do if your FW is parked somewhere with no shore power and you're going to be using it every week or two?

This is in the south (southern MS, but not on the coast), lowest temps might be in the teens, but more commonly in the 20s. Many days, the temps will never get close to freezing, and when it does freeze, the temperature seldom stays below freezing for more than a few hours.

It's under a shed but not skirted yet, although we probably will skirt it at some point. We'll be using it every week or two so the full winterizing treatment probably isn't practical, although it may be necessary.

We will have a large propane tank so it would be possible to leave the thermostat set really low, except that we don't yet have enough battery power to run the furnace fan for a week or two. We probably eventually will have lots of solar panels on the shed roof and a battery bank but that won't happy soon.



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Old 11-03-2011, 09:21 AM   #2
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I would think that leaving the FW parked under a cover is a good thing but leaving the lines full of water is something you would want to avoid. If your going to be leaving the FW without heat for 2 weeks or so I would still blow out the water lines and put the proper anti-freeze in the traps and water pump. I would also take out everything that would freeze or at the very least put it in the fridge. Its well insulated and if a mess is made its the easyiest to clean up.

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Old 11-03-2011, 11:44 AM   #3
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If at all possible, I would leave her powered up.

Can u get an auto start module for your genny?
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:51 AM   #4
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You don't have much choice...
- Get shore power.
- Get a generator with an auto start feature...it will start when the batteries get low.
- Use the propane and recharge the battery elsewhere.

As a side note, when I want to protect my RV for a short period of time in the winter and don't want to do a full winterization, I blow out the lines and position small lamps with 60w bulbs in the key areas. I put one each in the outside water closet, inside the washer/dryer, in back of the refrig and on the Aqua Hot (heater). Also put the A/F in the toilet and P traps.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:20 AM   #5
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Wish shore power were a possibility, but it's not. The property is in the middle of a national forest so there won't ever be any shore power back there.

How long will an autostart generator run? Will it shut off once the batteries are charged, and restart when necessary? Neither of the generators we have will run more than about 12 hours on a tank of fuel. Will ask my SO about autostart generators. He'll know something.

Looks like the solar for keeping the batteries charged is going to be a necessity, sooner rather than later, but we'll have to find something that generates a little bit of heat from 12V to put where the tanks are.

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Old 11-04-2011, 08:55 AM   #6
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Here in W Wa where it is rare to get lower than teens, I just drain the tanks(including hot water) and drain the lines. If I won't have power I either put some anti freeze in the traps or use toilet paper center roll to blow them out. So far have not got any smell. Without power you should take the battery(s) home where you can keep them charged. Has worked for me. If temp gets to or below 25 for more than a couple hrs, there is danger of damage if you don't do something.

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Old 11-04-2011, 09:36 AM   #7
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We have a 5th wheel that we use through out the winter in the north. When it's time to leave it I use my water pump to pump pink to all faucets one at a time starting closest to the pump let enough run to put some in p traps and don't forget the toilet. Then open the drain on water heater and while it's draining open hot water faucets one at a time the vacuum created by water running put of the heater will suck the lines dry. Leave the faucets open so there is room for expansion. I've been doing this every two weeks for the last six years and never had a pipe freeze hard enough to cause any damage and it only takes about ten minutes, after a little practice.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:39 AM   #8
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I just did a search on "auto start generator" and came up with this link Power Accessories | Automatic Generator Start | Xantrex for one alternative.

I have no idea how long your generator would need to run to bring the charge back to full. I would doubt it would need more than 3 hours.

There are other products that do this also.

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