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Old 11-23-2014, 05:31 PM   #1
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Winterization: Alternatives for water system antifreeze??

I must admit to being a relative newbie (2 year owner) living in the South, with the Monaco parked in the drive way next to the house on full 50 Amp service. Because of that, I have not worried much about winter water freezes. I have done what the previous owner of this coach did (who didn't have 50A service) and the first winter bought two 120 VAC heaters with a 900 and 1500 watt switch on mechanical timers. I ran them on the 800 watt setting. I bought two... one placed in the aqua hot bay beside the house/gray/black tanks and one inside the coach.I opened the refer doors and all cabinet doors with "hidden water lines". That has worked great! Last year, I did the same. This year, doing the same. However, I am going to get into a situation where I need to leave the coach in an area for several weeks away from home this winter, and sure as heck, if I do, the temperature will fall to 18 and I will have trouble. So, I need to really winterize for this period of time. Now, my question is, is there any alternative to buying the Campco waterline antifreeze by the gallon? Is there a concentrated version or only premixed. I have no local motorhome place to order it, and will have to order it via Amazon or Camping World. Rather than ship in what is probably alcohol-laced and dye-tinted solution, is there any easier way to "make my own" drinking system appropriate antifreeze? Are there any alternatives? Now that I think about it, I guess there are camper type RV places locally that probably carry the Campco stuff. However, any other way to do it? Please enlightened me, you far North inhabitants....


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Old 11-23-2014, 05:39 PM   #2
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Hi Gary, some claim to use Vodka....... https://www.google.com/search?q=VODA...v2.com&spell=1

Quote: I switched the pink stuff with the cheapest Vodka I can find. Just pump it through until you can smell it coming out of each faucet ect.

I have done it for fifteen years now with no bad effects.

1. No taste
2. Doesn't freeze
3. Sanitizes
4. Party in the Spring

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Old 11-23-2014, 05:41 PM   #3
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Generally blow the lines out with a compressor set to 45 lb. Open the drain for the fresh water tank. Drain the gray and black tank.

On the 5er turn the hot water bypass and take out the anode to drain the tank (thats it for the hot water).

Hook up the air to the city water service inlet and then go and open each tap and low spot individually. Go around to each tap in sequence and open it until it is just blowing air plus a bit of spray. Do the circuit several times to allow the water in the lines to pool so the compressor can blow it out.

After blowing the lines out I like to put in pink. Open each tap until the pink appears. Want the low spots and the water pump to have antifreeze in them.

Add antifreeze to the traps.

If you are only going to 18 it should be good to just blow the lines out. Still have to put something in the water pump and traps so they do not freeze and break.
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:50 PM   #4
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You can buy plumbing antifreeze at almost any hardware store/ Walmart.
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:59 PM   #5
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First, you can get the pink RV antifreeze at Walmart, tractor supply, Advance Auto and a host of places other than Camping World. It is pretty cheap.

From your signature, it appears you have both an Anthem (or one on order??) and a Monaco Dynasty, both with Aqua Hot. According to all the Aqua Hot experts, you cannot winterized it by just blowing the water out of the fresh water lines. Some water will remain in the small diameter fresh water loop/coil and it can freeze rendering the Aqua Hot pretty much trashed. So I would use a compressor to blow the water out of all your lines and drain all that you can, but then pump the pink stuff at least thru the hot water plumbing. I am told it takes about 4 gallons of RV antifreeze just to do the Aqua Hot (fill that coil).

We keep our coach plugged into 50 amp service, leave the electric and diesel Aqua Hot burner turned on with T stats set to 48F and have not had an issue in some pretty cold weather last winter here in Virginia. I do also place a trouble light with a 75 watt bulb in the wet bay near the water pump and use one of those Thermo cubes to turn that off and on with freezing temps. We do keep a close eye on the electric and, if we have a power failure, my plan is to run the generator until power comes back. I always keep the fuel tank full.
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Old 11-28-2014, 12:20 AM   #6
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With the AquaHot, you may not need to winterize at all. If yours is like mine, it has a thermostat setting for the basement to keep that from freezing. You can also set the house thermostats to 50* to keep the other plumbing warm. Set the AquaHot on electric heat and you're good.

A couple of years ago, I had to leave my motorhome on an owned lot that was 200 miles from home. Circumstances prevented me from getting back to the motorhome for a year. I used the AquaHot instead of winterizing. This was in AZ at 6300' where temps can get to 0* or less. When I finally got back to the motorhome, everything was fine.
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Old 11-28-2014, 12:38 AM   #7
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For twenty bucks worth of antifreeze, I would never NOT use it. My rig takes 3 gallons and I carry that at all times just in case.

Just look at all the "Unexpected" cold weather in the past few weeks.

Or, how about Yellowstone in JUNE?

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Old 11-29-2014, 10:23 AM   #8
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It is -4 F up here, and with an aquahot I just don't take the chance. Also, even cheap vodka isn't cheap.

I did buy one of these recently on Amazon

I had one that was based on a tire valve, but you had to really work to get enough air. This one also means you can do it without trying to keep the air hose in contact with the air fitting.

I use it when I don't expect a severe freeze before I will use the coach again.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by distaff View Post
I had one that was based on a tire valve, but you had to really work to get enough air. This one also means you can do it without trying to keep the air hose in contact with the air fitting.
Nice to see they are making that style now. I made my own using some plumbing fittings and a quick connect stud years ago when all I could find was the tire valve style. Using the quick connect eliminates any issues with the hose falling off, and gives much more potential air flow. The one you have is likely cheaper than making it up from generic fittings. Although I was able to change mine over to a higher flow style fitting when I got my higher capacity compressor and switched over my other tools.

I use the blowout plug a lot. Our RV season extends into mid November, when it's cold enough that the water lines behind the fridge can freeze, even though the heat is on inside the rig. So in mid October I will use the blowout plug to blow the air out of the lines going to the fridge, and not have to winterize the rest of the coach. Then, come mid November, when I fully winterize, I blow out the water before pumping antifreeze (use less antifreeze that way) and then blow out the antifreeze (makes it easier to flush in the spring with much less residual taste.)

For the OP, being so far South and only worried about a one time occasional freeze, just blowing out the lines may be sufficient, except for any potential AquaHot issues. (For me, with the long hard winter, I do both blowout and antifreeze!)

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