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Old 09-15-2019, 07:33 PM   #1
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Winterize using air?

We had a travel trailer for about 5 years before we bought our 2019 Tiffin Phaeton 40AH. Every year before the snow I would winterize the TT using antifreeze as we would not use it in the winter as I am not retired. I am still not fully retired but I can now work while being mobile. We live where we get 200 inches of snow a year. We are looking to take multiple trips over the winter returning home for 3-4 weeks at a time. With the Phaeton we will be storing it inside out of the weather but not heated. I do not like the idea of winterizing it with antifreeze multiple times a year. Does anyone use the compressed air method? I know I would still need to put antifreeze in the drains but blowing out the lines seems easier and quicker. I looked at the Phaeton manual and they only talk about the antifreeze method. Will using air void the warranty or destroy something?

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Old 09-15-2019, 07:45 PM   #2
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I don't see why using air would be an issue. I'm not familiar with that particular RV, but typically, air isn't a big problem for your water systems. They started out dry at the factory. Besides, that RV antifreeze stuff makes your water lines stink for a while. The hard part will be figuring out how to get air into the system reliably. You'll need to pressurize it somehow and not rely on the water pump to run dry and pump air into the lines for you. You need enough air flow to push the water out.

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Old 09-15-2019, 07:47 PM   #3
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Iíve had good luck blowing out my lines when doing shoulder season and a few winter trips to warmer climates. During the winter we only need to travel 350 miles or so to be in areas with decent daytime temps, and night temps generally in the 20ís.

Prior to returning, I generally just pull the water tank drain plug, hit the bypass lever and hook up the viair 450 compressor using a pressure regulator that Viair now sells for the purpose. The toilet valve, oxygen is shower head and faucets are the vulnerable to freezing items in my rigs fresh water system so I make sure they are free of residue. No issues in several years.

The big issue I havenít figured out is the road salt which sometimes I canít rinse off right away due to cold temps. Nasty stuff.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:48 PM   #4
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I always use compressed air to winterize......BUT, the newer coaches are getting much more complex. Like the hot water heating systems. If you do use compressed air make sure whatever hot water system you have is capable of being winterized by using the compressed air method. Also things like dishwashers, water filters, washing machines etc. must be planned out on how to blow the air through.

Keep us informed. I'd love to know what you decide.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:59 PM   #5
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I owned a Class C for ~10 years and our current coach for 11 years. I have never used antifreeze but instead used compressed air. My wife never liked the idea of using antifreeze.

I have the adapter that screws into the water line and have a clip on type air nozzle. I set the air pressure to ~40-50 psi, although I never really let the air pressure build. Prior to starting I drain the water tank and the water heater. When I start I leave one faucet open and let it blow until it is pretty much air then turn on another faucet before turning off the first one. Since we usually dump the grey & black tanks prior to parking I will keep small buckets under the faucets and then dump the water out the door. I keep rotating through all the faucets and shower, ice maker, washer/dryer, and toilet. I then go back to the first faucet and start over again. I do this about 6 times until absolutely nothing blows out. I then take the intake off the water pump and blow through it to purge the water and make sure the water heater tank is empty. I do pour antifreeze down the P traps. I can do this in about 2 hours, but to get going again I just fill the water tank and I'm good to go.

Never had a problem
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:26 PM   #6
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Why would you even chance it by using just air with a new coach. I live in the cold climates and winterized it three times last winter. I assume you have the Aqua-Hot system. You will have a very expensive mistake if the water does not fully clear out of the coils,and there is no visual way to check that. Same with the rest of the water system. Say goodby to your warranty and insurance probably wont help.

Its a royal pita,I will say that, but trust me,you will sleep better knowing its properly winterized.
You can save on some antifreeze by blowing everything down first. Then just pump the antifreeze.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:49 PM   #7
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I don't know what type of travel trailer you had, but now you have a several hundred thousand dollar coach with complicated & expensive to repair/replace systems. Do you really want to chance it just to cut corners saving your time? I wouldn't, but it's your decision.

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Old 09-15-2019, 10:21 PM   #8
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I have used the air method for years. Where we live does not get that cold but freezing is freezing. A couple of things that I have learned over the years:
Make sure you hit the toilet pedal to get the little bit of water out of the valve
If you have an outside shower, don't forget it.
Drop the line off the ice maker and make sure it is empty.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:31 AM   #9
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Check your owners manual. If you have any questions, call Tiffin.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:56 AM   #10
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I do not have a Aqua Hot system which would force me to use antifreeze. I planned on calling Tiffin today to see what they say about using air. I agree that using antifreeze leaves residue in the lines that can take awhile to get out, this is why I want to use air if possible.
I will let you know what Tiffin says.
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:20 AM   #11
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The water System is designed to handle +/- 50 PSI .

Whether air or water, it doesn't know the difference.

Set your compressor for 50 PSI, charge up the system and open and close each faucet until very little water comes out. I do mine a few times each tap to be sure no big pockets of water remain.
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:25 AM   #12
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We have used something similar to this for years. There's a catch to it though, it doesn't remove 100% of the water. It's possible to leave a little in the line that will settle into a low spot. If there's enough and it freezes you could still rupture a fitting or line.

Even here in Texas when it gets cold enough I use antifreeze.

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Old 09-16-2019, 05:29 AM   #13
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Get the good brass screw in fitting for the water inlet and clip the air hose onto it and let it run for 5 minutes with all valves open. That is what our book says. As I piddle around doing other things it is usually at least 15 min of air. I also hit the toilet valve, remove the undersink filter and make sure the shower head is down and valve open including the outside one. Drain hot water heater as well. Some pink in the traps, and done. We removed the ice maker so no issue there.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:24 AM   #14
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Called Tiffin, they said I can do air or antifreeze. They do antifreeze at the factory when they pressure check the system for leaks, the pink liquid shows up easily, no leaks and they are done. The guy at Tiffin would not come out and say but he was implying that with either method if there is a break they do not cover it, as it is out of their control as to how it was winterized. Still not sure but I am leaning towards antifreeze.

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