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Old 10-14-2018, 08:15 AM   #1
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Winterization - Newbie Question

I live in Northeast Pennsylvania, and have had my first RV, a Beaver Monterey for just 2 days. With old man winter approaching, I am wondering if it is feasible to avoid the whole winterization process by simply keeping the coach heated all winter? This beaver has insulated bays and the Alladin system seems to monitor basement temperatures. Alternatively, what do I need to do? It has the hydro hot furnance and a reservoir for antifreeze that is empty presently. I am expecting our first below freezing night to occur in the next 2-3 weeks. Thanks in advance for responding.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBNY View Post
I live in Northeast Pennsylvania, and have had my first RV, a Beaver Monterey for just 2 days. With old man winter approaching, I am wondering if it is feasible to avoid the whole winterization process by simply keeping the coach heated all winter? This beaver has insulated bays and the Alladin system seems to monitor basement temperatures. Alternatively, what do I need to do? It has the hydro hot furnance and a reservoir for antifreeze that is empty presently. I am expecting our first below freezing night to occur in the next 2-3 weeks. Thanks in advance for responding.
Even if you leave it heated you should buy one of these - https://www.amazon.com/Winterize-Mot...r+hose+fitting - and blow out the water from the lines. I tend to set the air pressure pretty high but I start with a tap open in the coach, then connect the air, and move inside from tap to tap until I get air, pretty much having a tap always open so I don't build up enough air pressure to pop open the pex fittings. Then I disconnect the air and go back and close the final tap. Don't forget to flush the toilet and the outside water tap.

ANY water frozen in the aquahot coils can play hell with the system and they are very expensive to replace. If plugged in, fuses blow, power fails (especially in blizzards), and the aquahot systems occasionally fail. I assume you don't have a washing machine in your coach, if you do I don't think you can blow them out with air, so it is at risk.

Having said that it takes me about 20 minutes to do a full winterization with plumbing antifreeze (we take no chances up here in Alberta) and I can sleep at night. I assume you have a bypass in your wet bay. The only tricky bit is if you have installed water filters as you have to empty them first by unscrewing the filter cartridges and dumping out the water. I removed my filters to solve that problem.

If you can, but the antifreeze in the large jugs, the small ones are ok for a trailer but with a motorhome you will be changing jugs a lot (or use a large bucket and pour all the antifreeze into it).
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:27 PM   #3
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Paul had pretty good advice. And when it comes to the Hyrdo-Hot, do NOT winterize it by blowing it out, alone. Water will collect in the low points in the fresh water coils and it will freeze and break if it gets cold enough, and the cost to repair can come close to the cost to replace the unit. We are talking thousands of dollars. Use anti-freeze for that part of your system, at a minimum.

Before you start, be sure your black and gray tanks are completely empty.

You could use air and blow out all of the lines, one at a time, hot and cold, until you are getting just air from them. Then, you could close all taps and fawcets and then open your low point hot water drain. Then pump anti-freeze until it comes out the hot low point drain. That should ensure that you have nothing but anti-freeze in your Hydro-Hot. You can then blow it out, if you like, but it's not necessary to do that. When you are all finished, open the low point hot and cold drains and open one of your sink's hot and cold water valves to drain anything that may be remaining, then be sure to close them.

Also, don't forget to drain the fresh tank and the line from the fresh tank to the pump. I would NOT suggest putting anti-freeze in your fresh tank to pump into the rest of your coach. You will be weeks or months getting the taste out of your fresh water tank water.

Drain any water that you put into your drains from your gray and black tanks, again.

Be sure to pour a couple of cups down each of your sink, shower and washer drains so they don't freeze. I also try to put an extra couple or three cups down one of the drains so that I have plenty of anti-freeze present at the gray tank dump valve so it doesn't freeze and break. The same goes for the toilet. Be sure to put some down there, too, so it doesn't freeze on you. A broken gray or black tank valve due to freezing would not be a fun spring-time surprise.

Lastly, if you can keep your coach warm with it's onboard heating system, and can keep your Hydro-Hot up to temperature, you shouldn't need to winterize it. If any of those heat sources fail, however, and if you don't know it's happened, you may be in for a sad surprise at a later date.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:24 PM   #4
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I would suggest you just winterize it properly, and be done. Having to repair broken plumbing due to freezing can get expensive. Heating it all winter would cost far more than just winterizing it. Its not hard to do, and there is all the knowledge you need right here on the forum. Lots of Youtubes on the subject as well.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:17 PM   #5
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5 gallons (probably the most you'll use) cost less than $20 & you'd have about an hour of your time (since winterizing would be new to you - if experienced, less than 30 minutes).

Are you really wanting to roll the dice on not having expensive repairs in the Spring for that little output in cash & time?

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Old 10-17-2018, 09:41 PM   #6
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IBNY,

Don't forget to drain and add antifreeze to your washing machine if you have one in the coach. Be sure it drains by running a spin cycle, also if you have an ice maker in your refrigerator. Sometimes these appliances are overlooked.
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