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Old 10-26-2009, 06:53 AM   #1
rek
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Do I need to winterize for 5 weeks of cold?

We live in West Virginia where it can get very cold but not til near Thanksgiving when it may go below freezing nearly all day. We are planning on heading south to South Carolina or Florida after the first of the year. Could I do without winterizing if I had our MH hooked up to a 20amp circuit and had the furnace set at 50degrees. This would only be for 5 weeks at the most until we were in warmer climate. I don't know if it would be worth not winterizing but would like to hear if others may have this nice problem.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:16 AM   #2
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I've done my 5th wheel that way when I was planning to go to FL in Dec. I set furnace on it's lowest (about 45), opened all the low point drains, drained fresh water tank, pulled the drain plug from the water heater, and placed a small portable 1,000 watt heater near the water pump. I didn't have any issues, our low temps usually don't get much below 20 or 25 until January.

But, this year I spent the $8 for the two gallons of pink antifreeze that it holds and pumped that in for the peace of mind.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:40 AM   #3
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We live in western Va and use our MH year round for holiday trips and such. I hate putting in pink stuff just to clean it out for a quick weekend. I drain the HW heater and open the low drain points. I then place a cube heater on the dinette and open all lower cupboards in the galley and bath. I also place a 100w light-bulb in both the storage bay where the pump is in and the "park service" storage bay. I found some nice thermostat switches from a greenhouse supply store for the lights that come on at 46 deg. Put a little pink stuff in all traps and call her done. If I anticipate a long lull in trips or severe low temps I hook up my air compressor to the fresh water inlet and blow out the lines for an added measure of safety.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:36 AM   #4
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We live in Colorado and head south to the gulf coast of Texas every year usually mid-to the end of November. This morning it's 19 degrees. I seldom winterize for the same reasons the others here mentioned.

Because my rig is a motorhome and it has a permanent mounted propane tank I installed one of those extend-a-stay adapters and use a couple of portable propane tanks and just run the furnance off of those all the time. I have the thermostat set to about 45 degrees. The freshwater, black and grey tanks as well as all the plumbing are installed in the basement area. This area is heated by the furnace also. The only thing I have to worry about is the water heater, which is in a different area. I have a space heater mounted in this area on a thermostat.

When it's cold like it is this morning and stays that way for a week or so I do go through the propane but the cold usually doesn't last that long.

In 5 years I've never had a problem.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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You could do the blow-out method instead of antifreeze.

I personally would just winterize with antifreeze for the peace of mind. It doesn't take that long to de-winterize.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:34 PM   #6
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I always use the pink stuff. I figure that it is cheap in comparison to the amount of money I have tied up in the motor home. We had a friend try to get by without anti freeze and some low spots froze up on him. It cost him a small fortune to have the plumbing redone. Anti freeze may not be cheap but it makes for peace of mind.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:25 PM   #7
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If you were in the mountains of eastern WV, I'd say winterize it with the pink stuff. At $3 per gallon for rv antifreeze, the few dollars you spend on it (our coach takes 5 gallons if I'm generous with what I put in the traps & pour down the tanks to cover the bottom drains), it's worth the peace of mind. But since you're close to Parkersburg, you could probably get away with opening the low point drains, draining the fresh & hot water tanks & blowing out the lines. Then just keep an eye on the temps & if forcast for well below freezing for an extended time, turn that propane furnace on low & get some trouble lights for the pump & service bays.

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Old 11-03-2009, 07:31 AM   #8
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Bob,
that is a great idea about the external propane tank, how did you do the mod? do you have pics?
greatly appreciated.
thanks
Mo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob (WA0MQE) View Post
We live in Colorado and head south to the gulf coast of Texas every year usually mid-to the end of November. This morning it's 19 degrees. I seldom winterize for the same reasons the others here mentioned.

Because my rig is a motorhome and it has a permanent mounted propane tank I installed one of those extend-a-stay adapters and use a couple of portable propane tanks and just run the furnance off of those all the time. I have the thermostat set to about 45 degrees. The freshwater, black and grey tanks as well as all the plumbing are installed in the basement area. This area is heated by the furnace also. The only thing I have to worry about is the water heater, which is in a different area. I have a space heater mounted in this area on a thermostat.

When it's cold like it is this morning and stays that way for a week or so I do go through the propane but the cold usually doesn't last that long.

In 5 years I've never had a problem.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:08 AM   #9
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If it is going to be colder than your rig is rated for for more than a few hours I'd take the time to drain the lines... Now, this is not full winterization..

First, I should explain I have heated tanks on my house so I am good to 20 degrees... Addition of light bulbs to the proper compartments gives me about another 10 degrees, say good to 15 to be safe.

But if you are planing on sleeping in the rig, and thus have the furnace on, What I'd do is blow the water lines (Air) drain the heater and supply tank, drain the holding tanks and stock a jerry can of water in case you need to use some inside. Do not worry abou the traps or toilet (no pink stuff needed at all) then when you get to warmer temps.. Re-fill and go
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:26 PM   #10
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I beg to differ. . .Voice of experience says it is absolutely necessary to run RVAF thru the toilet valve. Failure to do so will likely cost about $48 in material plus toilet removal/replacement. While the toilet has likely no trap, it DOES have a supply valve that will fracture from water expanding. I do not believe there is a reliable method of clearing the water out. Air pressure can't always get the low points dry.
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