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Old 03-12-2017, 08:56 AM   #1
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Dewinterizing Strategy

We are heading out on our first epic voyage on Friday: Maryland to Arizona.

We'll be away for 5 weeks (we've NEVER had this much time off before). This is also the first major trip for us in our 2016 Tiffin 32SA.

It is currently winterized and my plan was to go to a local CG, flush the system and fill the water to about 1/3rd. We'd leave the next morning. Long term forecasts up to recently had us in the high 30's the night before and we'd be leaving with the temps in the 40's and as we headed slightly south through Tenn, we'd have days above freezing with nights slightly above freezing.

Now we're looking at the 15 - 20's the night before with below freezing temps during the day while traveling until we get to Memphis on day 3....

I have a 2/3rds full tank of propane (whatever that means) currently, and am keeping the inside of the rig heated with an oil-filled heater (it's currently in the mid-40's with the overnight temp outside going down to the high 20's).

1. I only have a 15amp electrical plugin.
2. I can go to a local shop and get the propane topped off
3. I am worried about dewinterizing too soon and freezing something while on the road.

so:

should I wait until Memphis to dewinterize? We're carrying water and the campgrounds we'll overnight in have showers....

How do you guys handle this when you're getting ready to flee the cold?

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Old 03-12-2017, 09:11 AM   #2
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Leave the coach winterized until you get south far enough to not encounter freezing temps for lengthy periods of time.
If you want to use the commode purchase a few gallons of RV antifreeze and use it--diluted with water--to flush until you get south. Same with the sinks.
When you do stop, I would open any cupboards that have water lines going thru them--after you dewinterize--if you again encounter freezing temps at nite.
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:32 AM   #3
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The method of leaving everything winterized and using bottled water and rv antifreeze to dry camp is 100% safe.

2/3 is a full tank of propane (allowing for expansion) no need to top off.

On the other hand: your rig is 2016 and designed for the cold weather without freezing up -- as long as you are heating at a reasonable temperature.
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by biggcrisp View Post
The method of leaving everything winterized and using bottled water and rv antifreeze to dry camp is 100% safe.

2/3 is a full tank of propane (allowing for expansion) no need to top off.

On the other hand: your rig is 2016 and designed for the cold weather without freezing up -- as long as you are heating at a reasonable temperature.
Yeah, that's my thoughts overall. I'd dewinterize, but I have to still leave it overnight in sub freezing weather and am worried if the propane runs out or the regulator seizes up like on my first rig, we start the epic journey with water and the need to find a tech to fix it....

I'll wait till Memphis unless the weather moderates, I guess....I have antifreeze and bottled water. I mix up a jug for the bathroom and sinks til we get there. Better safe than sorry until I gain some confidence.
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:58 AM   #5
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Unless the forecast calls for "polar vortex" type temperatures - I'd dewinterize at home before I left. If you're keeping the interior of the coach up to temperature and running the heater in the wet - you won't have problems freezing with overnight lows in the 20's and daytime temps above freezing. As long as the forecast lows are in the 20's or above - we dewinterize and enjoy the trip with running water, regular showers and clean dishes.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceNorman View Post
Unless the forecast calls for "polar vortex" type temperatures - I'd dewinterize at home before I left. If you're keeping the interior of the coach up to temperature and running the heater in the wet - you won't have problems freezing with overnight lows in the 20's and daytime temps above freezing. As long as the forecast lows are in the 20's or above - we dewinterize and enjoy the trip with running water, regular showers and clean dishes.
I agree with the above method...........I want the full use of my Coach while on the road and living in it, if the weather at your house will allow you to do it, there is a "Winter Blast" most of us are under right now on the east coast......
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:35 AM   #7
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Your motor home is made to deal with those temperatures. Put some water in the tank, so you can flush the toilet. When you get to your first stop you can flush everything. Just don't be afraid to use the furnace if it gets cold.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:10 PM   #8
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Some of us roll the dice and some don't play the game. I'd take jugs of water for the first day or two then expect to be where I could safely dewinterize. I'd also take the electric heater with the idea that I could always run the generator if the furnace failed.
;-)
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:12 PM   #9
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I would de-winterize it at home, sterilize the system, put new filters in, etc., load with water and keep the heat on. While de-winterizing is easy it still is something that should be done before you leave in case something breaks or you need something. The heat doesn't use that much propane besides most RV parks and Pilot/Flying J's will have propane to re-fill the tank when you get to your destination. The last thing you want is to find out something doesn't works or you have a leak when you get to your destination. If you are really worried about freezing you can de-winterize, sterilize the system and then drain it until you get to your first stop where you can fill the tank.
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:44 PM   #10
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I would de-winterize it at home, sterilize the system, put new filters in, etc., load with water and keep the heat on. While de-winterizing is easy it still is something that should be done before you leave in case something breaks or you need something. The heat doesn't use that much propane besides most RV parks and Pilot/Flying J's will have propane to re-fill the tank when you get to your destination. The last thing you want is to find out something doesn't works or you have a leak when you get to your destination. If you are really worried about freezing you can de-winterize, sterilize the system and then drain it until you get to your first stop where you can fill the tank.


You are right! I can dewinterize then just blow the system out with air for overnight, fill the water tank with my traveling allotment in the morning , hitch up the toad and go.

That's the ticket. My wife wife likes to make gray water (her words) and doesn't like to be deprived of the amenities while on the road.

You guys are the best!

I now have a plan.
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:25 PM   #11
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I just don't bother to winterize in the first place. I hate the taste of antifreeze and it takes months to get it out of the system. I live in Georgia and the lowest temp I experienced last year was 18 degrees. I have a Suburban propane heater in a 2001 Tiffin Allegro bus. I leave the furnace turned on to the lowest setting (40 degrees). I was concerned about keeping the wet bays above freezing so installed remote read thermometers in the both sides of the wet bay, in the furnace return vent, and in the interior of the motorhome. I have hookups in the yard where I park it to keep the batteries charged and run the furnace. 15 amps is enough if you start with the batteries charged. No thermometer reached the freezing point (They record the lowest temp)

Two winters so far and no indication of freezing. Just keep the hatches on the outside compartments closed and locked. My Tiffin compartments are still sealed after 15 years so yours should be fine. Tiffin also has a furnace outlet in the tank area to cover just such a problem.

I use a tank of propane about once per month in the winter. That is a good time to start the rig, take it to get filled with propane, exercise the engine, and the generator. Re-park and you have an extra bedroom for guests, or an impromptu weekend getaway.

When I was younger, I winterized every year by blowing out the lines with compressed air then every spring I replaced a section of water or sewer line that I missed. I tried the antifreeze and found it unsatisfactory.

My recommendation for you is to de-winterize at home, verify that everything works then fill with water and enjoy your trip. No bottles to trip over no mess to deal with and your entire motorhome is yours to enjoy for the entire trip.

Clearly others disagree with this advice, but it works for me.
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