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Old 01-06-2015, 10:22 PM   #1
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When winterizing, why can't I just add anti-freeze?

Hi everyone,

This is my first winter with an RV. I live in Cleveland Ohio and right now it's 12 degrees. My rig is in an indoor heated storage facility and I didn't winterize. I'm going to Florida in February with stops in Cincinnati, Chattanooga, Tallahassee, and then on to Naples. I'll be returning to Cleveland and cold temperatures again at the end of February.

I haven't drained my water system. Why can't I just add anti-freeze, and then just flush that out when I get to warmer weather? Then on the way back, just add anti-freeze again? Why does the system have to be drained first?

Thanks for any help that you can provide.


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Old 01-06-2015, 10:36 PM   #2
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You can, but it will take more anti-freeze since you will be mixxing some of the pure anti-freeze with water. You want pure anti-freeze for the most part.
I drain the lines, then add the anti-freeze. Some drain the lines, blow them out and add the anti-freeze. Others just blow out the lines although with that method you take a chance on not all the water being removed and pooling then freezing which can also brake a line.

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Old 01-07-2015, 05:48 AM   #3
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MrD's process shouldn't take much of your time and will give you the protection your seeking. We used to live in Maine and followed the identical process with temperature as low as -19F! I would suggest using your hot water bypass and leaving that empty and dump your fresh water tank completely.

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Old 01-07-2015, 06:56 AM   #4
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Right now the weather is extreme and you risk damaging your water system. For the effort and cost required you would be better served winterizing with RV antifreeze.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:18 AM   #5
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If it is in a heated facility then you should not have any problems with freezing UNLESS you loose power. So at the least, drain your water heater, put it on by pass, open your low water drains and blow out your lines. Empty fresh water tank and gray and black tanks. a little antifreeze in the sink, commode and shower drains should do the trick IF you loose power to your heated facility.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:22 AM   #6
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I would just blow out the lines and drain the tanks for the trip south. Do a more comprehensive winterizing when you come back in Feb.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:44 PM   #7
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You have heated tanks right, they are heated by the propane furnace. I assume you'll run the furnace for personal heat while heading South. That should prevent them, and water lines from freezing. Run water heater to protect it from freezing while in cold weather. One thing many forget/overlook is the water pump, some are close to an access door and subjected to colder temps than the rest of the water lines. I use a remote thermometer to watch temps in the water pump bay.
Returning, watch the weather ahead of you to determine when to winterize, OR, wait until you get the coach back into that heated storage where you don't need to winterize by doing the same as when going South.

When winterizing with RV anti-freeze, water should be drained first, otherwise when you get home you'll have water in your holding tanks because the RV anti-freeze pushed it out of the water system and into the holding tanks. You then have the problem of where to drain holding tanks in freezing weather. Of course this may be accomplished at your last CG stop before getting home-if you find one open. Can't do it sooner because you are living in the MH.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:13 AM   #8
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Also keep in mind that rv antifreeze will actually freeze, it just doesn't expand.

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