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Old 02-25-2021, 04:41 PM   #1
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Where do you winterize/de-winterize

So we just bought a used Thor motorhome out of a rental fleet that was winterized. I'm not sure I can get away with parking the rig out in front of my house and dumping that much water on the street, along with the antifreeze and bleach. My storage place has a dump site, but only non-potable water for flushing the black.

So for people who can't do their winterization/de-winterization at home, where do you do it? Do you rent a spot for a day? Right now I think my idea is to drive home and do the fresh water parts, let the black and grey fill up, and then drive to my storage place (only a couple miles) to dump, then back home for more water. Any one got any better ideas?
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:51 PM   #2
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

I think you've already got it figured out!

I would suggest that you create a signature showing the make and model of your RV. This will make it easier for folks to help with any questions you may have. Below is a link showing how to do that! Look at post #30.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f62/foru...ml#post3101035

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:15 PM   #3
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When de-winterizing, the starting point is :
Empty black water tank.
Empty grey water tank.
Empty fresh water tank.
Empty water heater tank with the winterizing valves set to bypass.
May have a removed or loose cap on water pump debris filter on the inlet side.
May have a removed or loose drain plug on hot water heater.
May have fresh water tank drain valve open.
RV antifreeze in cold and hot water lines and drain traps, none in fresh water tank


At most 2 gallons of RV antifreeze is used to protect the water lines, keep the toilet bowl and sink traps airtight.

So, you don't need to drain anything again to de-winterize.

You can put water in your fresh tank and make sure the water pump inlet debris filter cap is on tight, then use the water pump to flush the RV antifreeze out of the lines and into your grey and black tank, by opening faucets and shower valves one at a time.

You make sure the hot water tank drain plug is reinstalled. You turn the hot water tank winterizing valves back to normal, using the water pump again fill the hot water tank with water, opening a hot water faucet until the water tank fills and air stops coming out.

You'll end up with only a few gallons of water in your grey tank and less than a gallon in your black tank. You can just travel that way until your camping trip.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:30 PM   #4
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Powercat is right on the money.

However you (Taco John) mentioned bleach, so I assume that you want to also sanitize your fresh water tank as part of your de-winterization procedure. Is that correct? If so, I recommend decoupling this from your dewinterization. The easiest way to do it is when you're traveling to a FHU site. Before you leave, fill tank with fresh water and bleach solution, run some through all faucets and shower. Drive X hours to FHU site. Then drain the system, fill up with water again, drain again, etc until bleach taste is mostly gone from water.

I winterize and dewinterize several times during the winter for various trips, and don't detect any funky growth in the fresh water between cycles. I also don't need to do any extensive flushing because I use a propylene-glycol winterization fluid rather than ethyl alcohol. The former does not "stain" or leave a residue in the pipes. I sanitize my fresh water tank once per year as described above. Hope this helps!
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:51 PM   #5
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Powercat is right on the money.

However you (Taco John) mentioned bleach, so I assume that you want to also sanitize your fresh water tank as part of your de-winterization procedure. Is that correct? If so, I recommend decoupling this from your dewinterization. The easiest way to do it is when you're traveling to a FHU site. Before you leave, fill tank with fresh water and bleach solution, run some through all faucets and shower. Drive X hours to FHU site. Then drain the system, fill up with water again, drain again, etc until bleach taste is mostly gone from water.

I winterize and dewinterize several times during the winter for various trips, and don't detect any funky growth in the fresh water between cycles. I also don't need to do any extensive flushing because I use a propylene-glycol winterization fluid rather than ethyl alcohol. The former does not "stain" or leave a residue in the pipes. I sanitize my fresh water tank once per year as described above. Hope this helps!
Thanks for this info, I will probably do the separate sanitation step. I think I need to use an ethyl alcohol antifreeze for true winter storage because it will get too cold for a week or so here in Colorado for propylene. I also plan to winterize and de-winterize to extend the camping season, so maybe use propylene glycol for that period and ethyl alcohol for long-term winterization.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:31 PM   #6
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I'm in Colorado too! Yeah if you never unwinterize while there's a frost danger your camping season will only be 4-5 months long, lol.

Can you please elaborate about propylene glycol not being good for long term winterization? The stuff I've been getting is marked to be safe down to -50F. I'm sure there's a fudge factor due to advertising but I've never had a problem with temps down to negative teens. Do you live along the front range or up in the mountains?
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:51 PM   #7
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I'm in Colorado too! Yeah if you never unwinterize while there's a frost danger your camping season will only be 4-5 months long, lol.

Can you please elaborate about propylene glycol not being good for long term winterization? The stuff I've been getting is marked to be safe down to -50F. I'm sure there's a fudge factor due to advertising but I've never had a problem with temps down to negative teens. Do you live along the front range or up in the mountains?
I use my RV during the winter so I just use an air compressor to blow out the lines. 20 minutes and done. I put a little RV antifreeze in the drains, toilet and gray/black tanks just to protect the valves. About 1 gallon each time.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:48 AM   #8
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I'm in Colorado too! Yeah if you never unwinterize while there's a frost danger your camping season will only be 4-5 months long, lol.

Can you please elaborate about propylene glycol not being good for long term winterization? The stuff I've been getting is marked to be safe down to -50F. I'm sure there's a fudge factor due to advertising but I've never had a problem with temps down to negative teens. Do you live along the front range or up in the mountains?
Front Range. I saw a couple product listings for propylene glycol that listed a freezing point above zero. But now I'm seeing more that are -50. Maybe I just saw a cheap version (watered down) or bad product listing.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:37 AM   #9
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We dewinterize at a FHU site the first night we leave on a trip. We winterize on the last night before we come home, again in a FHU site. We just plan on shorter travel days the first and last day, even though it only takes 45 minutes or so now (we have an ice maker in our residential refrigerator and a washing machine e which take a bit more time than some). Once the temps are expected to only go to the mid 20s, we just blow out the lines, but we watch forecasts and could winterize if a cold blast comes through. We do have indoor, non-heated storage though.
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:51 AM   #10
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We have been traveling to Texas from Wisconsin a couple of times during the winter. Our plan is to carry two gallons of RV anti-freeze for the return trip or in case we get caught during a cold snap.

We start out with the travel trailer winterized.

We drive from Wisconsin to St Louis and stay in a hotel. Continue on to Arkansas.

Campgrounds are open there and usually have open water/dump sites. All flushing and necessary sanitizing is done there.

Continue on our way. Many campgrounds are open and have water until we get to South West Texas. There we make sure to have a full fresh water tank before heading for Big Bend National Park. (The park recommends visitor's bring at least 5 gallons per person.)

Return trip is done in reverse.

If you have an onboard compressor, the blow out method may be more convenient in the future. Check out various U-Tube videos and other sites for how to do it properly and prevent freeze damage.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:17 PM   #11
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The only problem I see may be dumping the tanks. Some campgrounds use septic systems and may frown upon the antifreeze being dumped. Same with the bleach. It will kill the bacteria in the septic system.
If you use propylene glycol anti freeze, there is no harm dumping that into the street. It is non toxic to animals and humans. It's actually found in a lot of foods you eat. As far as the bleach, the small amount of bleach used is just about harmless. I do my TT in our driveway and just flush the area with a good amount of water.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:31 PM   #12
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As the the first three responses, you have got the idea. RV or plumbing antifreeze is non toxic and can be dumped into a septic or town sewage system.
I have winterized in a rest area on the side of I75 coming home into freezing weather and also dewinterized in a campground heading south.

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Old 02-27-2021, 07:45 PM   #13
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Well, I winterize twice a yr.
Once in the fall and once when we get back from Florida in late January.
I just winterize in my driveway if it’s above freezing, if not I winterize on the way back.
This year I got lucky the day we got back it was 40 and the next day was 45.
Winterized when we got back.
De-winterize.....I just hook up in a campground and use the campground water to rinse all the antifreeze out. Then dump as usual. I do nothing special
My first trip this spring,I will dewinterizing at my first stop in Ohio.

Oh BTW, I also put my own sewer dump in next to my house, I use it when I need it. I don’t use it to dewinterize. No need to.
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