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Old 11-08-2018, 07:22 PM   #1
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Short-term winterizing

We're at an RV park in Georgia and are flying North for Christmas. Sometimes it's in the 70's that time of year, but last New Year's it went down to 14.
We're full-time so don't want to have to do the antifreeze thing, especially for a just-in-case situation, so what's the best course?
Drain everything and hope for the best? Keep the water running at a slow trickle with the tanks open? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:33 PM   #2
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Start by checking the 30 day forecast.

I'd at least drain the water tanks and blow out the lines. Recovery then is a matter of just adding water.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:11 PM   #3
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Over the years we've quite often had multiple camping trips worked into the winter, and gone long into the shoulder seasons where long hard multi day freezes between use were the norm. I just blow out my lines and drain the waste tanks. Whether or not I drain the hot water tank depends on how long I think the cold will last. It's well insulated and can go a couple days at pretty low temps before I have to worry about it. On the other hand, should it freeze it's going to be costly.


When you blow out your lines, my experience has been the toilet flush valve and oxygenics shower head are the most likely to be damaged in a light freeze. Don't forget them.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:12 PM   #4
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Recovering from a plumbing hard freeze will take you much more time than preventing it in the first place. You could have to replace every faucet, shower control, water pump, toilet valves, multiple drain traps, etc,; not to mention fittings behind walls/floors.

I drain my water heater & operate their bypass valves, attach a short suction line to the water pump and pump antifreeze (glycol only; no alcohol, no aftertaste) by operating every faucet, shower, toilet. Takes a 1/2 hr max. Even when the week ahead forecast is mild, I'm a worrier. This gives me one less thing to worry about while I enjoy Christmas.

Oh, and I leave the fridge on, and make sure I have enough propane to power it should the power go out.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:26 PM   #5
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I use my motorhome on and off during the wintertime. I just winterize it every time once I am done. It dose not take long and cost vey little compare to the fix solution.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:14 AM   #6
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:44 PM   #7
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Not knowing what kind of rig you have. I would dump the gray and black tanks as I do for winterizing. Then add RV antifreeze to them. I would also keep the inside normal warm with all appropriate cabinet doors open.


If the prediction is for a long freeze. I would just winterize.
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:56 PM   #8
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Not knowing what kind of rig you have. I would dump the gray and black tanks as I do for winterizing. Then add RV antifreeze to them. I would also keep the inside normal warm with all appropriate cabinet doors open.


If the prediction is for a long freeze. I would just winterize.
So are you leaving the furnace on unattended? Electric heaters?
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:14 PM   #9
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Took me 20 minutes with DW I can sleep at night I would just do it !
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:28 AM   #10
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Since we full-time and there'll be plenty to do already before the early morning flight, antifreeze doesn't seem practical. Yes, I know, repairing freeze damage isn't practical either, but we'll need water up til the point of departure.
Has anyone ever just let the water trickle as you'd do in a house, leaving the gray tank open? I was thinking about that along with heat tape wrapped on the intake hose in pool noodles.
I've also heard of leaving the furnace on at the lowest setting, but I don't like the idea of propane fires running while I'm not around.
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Old 11-11-2018, 03:15 PM   #11
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I learned from experience not to leave the water system pressurized when gone for long periods of time. A leak that goes for days tends to do damage, and for whatever reason Iíve had several water leaks develop over the years, but never any gas leaks.

However you do it, air or antifreeze, winterizing can almost always be done in less than 30 minutes. Whether or not you can expect freeze damage is one of those depends things. Should a system still hooked to pressurized water freeze the damage will likely be more significant.
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:29 PM   #12
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but we'll need water up til the point of departure.
The evening before, we have dinner, and then shower, and then I winterize. For the morning, a two liter bottle of water at the kitchen sink (coffee & breakfast) and one in the bathroom (brush teeth, flush, etc) works for us. Before we go out the door, I dump a cup of antifreeze in both traps.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:51 PM   #13
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Since we full-time and there'll be plenty to do already before the early morning flight, antifreeze doesn't seem practical. Yes, I know, repairing freeze damage isn't practical either, but we'll need water up til the point of departure.
Has anyone ever just let the water trickle as you'd do in a house, leaving the gray tank open? I was thinking about that along with heat tape wrapped on the intake hose in pool noodles.
I've also heard of leaving the furnace on at the lowest setting, but I don't like the idea of propane fires running while I'm not around.
Sounds like you really don't want to hear the right answer. You need to at least blow the lines out and antifreeze the traps and tanks. Use a jug of water to flush the last night or go get a room.
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Old 11-13-2018, 10:26 AM   #14
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Sounds like you really don't want to hear the right answer. You need to at least blow the lines out and antifreeze the traps and tanks. Use a jug of water to flush the last night or go get a room.
Nope, i just want to hear the all options and to see if there's anyone with differing experiences as I'm trying to compile as much info on this as possible. It's pretty clear to me that blowing the lines/adding antifreeze is going to be the most stress-free way to go.
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