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Old 09-09-2022, 04:24 PM   #1
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Questions about southbound winterizing

Hi Folks,

New to the site and have tried to find like threads but none found. We have a 36' bumper pull which we bought in June to head south to Arizona from Calgary for the winter. First time heading south for the winter with an RV (have had previous 5th wheel and camper) We have 3 stops down, in Great Falls, Pocatello and St. George, all campgrounds and all areas we are familiar with from annual truck travels southbound in the past.

I plan to winterize the fresh water tank and water lines by using compressed air, and antifreeze in the traps. Will haul a couple of 20litre water bottles, but would like to use the toilet on the way down.

I have read elsewhere that some folks keep their furnace running while on the road and use their black tanks prepped with some anti freeze. We have enclosed heated underbelly, for what that may or may not be worth. I know we can dewinterize in St. George or our destination in Tucson but would appreciate comments on how you folks do the trip south. Leaving at end of October and planning 3 nights, 4 days on the road. Returning in mid April.

Cheers,
Keith
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Old 09-09-2022, 04:47 PM   #2
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I head from Minnesota to Arizona every winter in much the same way - blow out lines, antifreeze traps, etc. I am generally in freezing temps most of the way down.

I use the toilet all the way down with no worries about freezing (using bottled water to flush.) The big flat-bottomed black tank can freeze inside without doing damage.

I do pour a half-gallon or so of antifreeze into the toilet at the beginning, while the black tank is still empty - because I worry about the drain valve and the piping down to it - that way the antifreeze just sits down where damage could be done.

I've never had an issue doing it that way.
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Old 09-09-2022, 06:05 PM   #3
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That’s pretty much what we do Bobby,
We depart home two trip south in winter.
Empty tanks. Lines blown. Pink in traps.
No need to put anything in fresh tank.
We carry a single 7 gal (25 liter) reliant jug, which is more than enough for two or more days of use for flushing the toilet. We don’t put pink in the toilet because pink is useless when diluted with water. Never had a problem with water freezing in black tank.
When we get to warm weather, we de-winterize, flush and refill tanks, and open bypass valves for hot water heater.
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Old 09-09-2022, 11:09 PM   #4
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Your prep is quite adequate for your trip. You will encounter a variety of weather conditions on the drive. I know S. Alberta can get very cold end of October. Ditto Montana and Idaho. South of Pocatello, the weather in late October could be freezing, or not. Northern Utah might get snow that time of year, but there are exceptions and one must be careful on the mountain passes along that route. That is the time of year that the seasonal weather patterns are changing.
St.George usually won't freeze until mid-to-late December. But Cedar City and points north do get snow sooner, being at higher elevations.
You should be OK if you decide to de-winterize at St.George.
OTOH, waiting to dewinterize until you get to AZ won't harm anything at all.

Consider taking along a small pancake compressor just in case you do end up de-winterizing north of St. George.

l
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Old 09-10-2022, 09:40 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies folks. Do any of you drive with the RV furnace running, and what do you do with the gray water from washing up and doing dishes? I would think to dump it down the toilet. I imagine the campgrounds would have their washroom facilities open.

Thanks for the input on the trip down, I have been travelling that route to southern Baja for about 10 years so know it well. Have been lucky heading down most of the time to avoid really bad weather, only once hitting a blizzard south of Dillon, MT in April coming home. Once I get south of Helena, will have most of the mountain passes behind me, but Monida still ahead and the climb between SLC and St. George.
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Old 09-10-2022, 05:48 PM   #6
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We try not to create any gray water when in transit from freezing ambient to warmer climate. Our trip to warm ambients is just two days. For that time, we use large body wipes to clean up, and brush teeth with bottled water, spit in toilet. No cooking. Meals at restaurants, and fruit/veggie snacks. If we must make a eating mess, we use paper plates, and cups.
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Old 09-10-2022, 07:14 PM   #7
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That's about what we do when traveling south from Ohio in the cold winter. We watch the weather forecasts for the different areas we will be stopping. We take a 4 gallon water jug for drinking, cooking and any other needs. I do prime the black tank, I figure a little ice will not hurt it. The first campground that we fell we can travel without concern of freeze we de-winterize.
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Old 09-14-2022, 06:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input folks. Winterized the unit today; drained fresh tank, hwh, blew out the lines and put pink in the traps and a bit in the black tank. First time blowing out lines, used to adding pink and have to admit, I like the comfort of seeing the pink flow through...air just leaves me wondering if everything is clear. Hopefully all will be well at the other end.

On another note, has anyone gotten notices of lot rental increases? We reserved in July at Desert Trails RV in Tucson @ $685/MO thru to April 15. Got an email today, price is increasing January 1 to $785/mo. Blaming inflation. Not much we can do but bite the bullet and carry on.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:18 PM   #9
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I have one question to you all about blowing out the lines. The manual says to open all fixtures and then apply compressed air at 30#, which I did. I am now wondering whether the fixtures should be open one at a time, blown out, and then closed, moving on to the next fixture, or whether having them all open at once is adequate to clear the lines.

Your comments would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Keith
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Old 09-16-2022, 03:34 PM   #10
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I do it one at a time, to maximize volume blasting though each line, and I do it in a specific order so that I don't leave pockets. (Closest to the source first.) And then I repeat it all.

But I'm sort of compulsive. I'm probably overdoing it, but then I've spent enough time in Minnesota fixing frozen lines behind walls in houses, barns, RVs, and boats to know that overdoing it many times is still less work than pulling apart walls and tracing leaks and replacing pipe and tubing and repairing water damage. I hate that.
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Old 09-16-2022, 04:40 PM   #11
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Thanks Bobby,

Yes, was thinking about that afterwards, as there is two schools of thought but I'm using the engine compressor on my truck and doing it at the RV storage where there are no facilities. Won't take much to drive back and give it one more go....like you said, better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 09-16-2022, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southboun View Post
I have one question to you all about blowing out the lines. The manual says to open all fixtures and then apply compressed air at 30#, which I did. I am now wondering whether the fixtures should be open one at a time, blown out, and then closed, moving on to the next fixture, or whether having them all open at once is adequate to clear the lines.

Your comments would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Keith
I blow out one fixture one at a time starting close to the water pump and working out. Drain the shower hose and kitchen sprayer. Remove any inline filters. I also run about 2 cups of the pink stuff through the water pump. I had a Water pump freeze and break. Don't forget to drain your water heater, drain the water going to the fridge ice maker and water.

I also leave all faucets and low point drains open
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Old 09-17-2022, 09:21 AM   #13
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In order for water to break something by freezing, it has to be trapped somewhere where there is no room for expansion. If you first empty the fresh water tank, and then run the pump dry, there won’t be any water in the pump that can freeze. Then bypass and empty the hot water tank. Then blow lines, both hot and cold, one at a time starting with the fixture furthest from the blue/red purge valves, and working your way back toward the valves. Remove the shower hose, and hang it up before purging the shower. If you’ve purged the lines well, I can’t find a good reason to pump pink through the lines. Just pour about two cups of pink into every trap. Don’t forget the shower.
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Old 09-17-2022, 04:18 PM   #14
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I appreciate all the input folks.

Went back today and did one faucet/fixture at a time, starting with the bathroom; toilet, shower, sink. Amazed at how much blew out. Then headed to the kitchen and couldn't believe the amount that was still in the lines. Bobby thought he was compulsive doing it twice, so I guess I'm ocd, doing it three times. Ran the pump dry and then refilled all the traps with pink. I am glad I redid everything and now will sleep better.

Final chore to wash the roof and body at the truck/rv wash and then wait for the end of October to head south.

Can someone please advise how to get my rv/truck particulars at the bottom of my posts?

Thanks again folks, super glad I decided to join this site.
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