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Old 10-25-2020, 12:00 PM   #1
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Winterize your RV with compressed air

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Old 10-25-2020, 12:23 PM   #2
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A few things.

First, I doubt you need to use air pressure to drain the hot water tank. Mine specifically says you don't. Just removing the plug is sufficient. Any remaining water is fine per the manufacturer.

Second, they don't seem to mention the bypass valves on the hot water tank. I'm not sure how you blow out a system without that especially if you've opened the hot water tank!

Third, as I mentioned recently I went to a system where I use low point drains, then fill with antifreeze, then blow out with air. My system though is a small system where filling it with antifreeze takes less than 2 gallons. When blown out that amount then mainly goes into protected traps and grey/black water tanks when it is blown out of the system. I then reset the hot water tank bypass valves and I'm ready to go the next time. No dewinterization beyond filling the fresh water and hot water tanks.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:00 PM   #3
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Joe,

When there are no low point drains, how will you know/how can you verify all water is removed from the plumbing using only air pressure?? If you have an onboard clothes washer, It cannot be winterized with air pressure alone..
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:11 PM   #4
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You blow the system out thru the faucets, kitchen, bathroom, shower, and the toilet flush valve. Continue blowing until you get only air. You might have to do this several times to get the water in the low parts of the pipe runs out. I just did this on my rig, DW helped, took about 10 minutes. I opened all the drains first, bypassed and drained the WH, closed the drains and blew out the lines with compressed air via the campground water connection.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:23 PM   #5
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One other thing that occurred to me. They really needed to somehow remove that hose--I assume that's not difficult. Otherwise you'll have water going out of that hose and back into the system for quite some time as you blow air through and the water loops up and then down, up and then down. Also I doubt it would be an issue, but you'll still have some water in that hose.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:51 PM   #6
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The compressed air method does not get all the water out of the lines, nor does the flush out with antifreeze. The compressed air method counts on what I call milk bottle freeze theory.

If you had a milk bottle on you front porch with a good cap freeze it would break the glass bottle. But now if you took the cap off and let it freeze the frozen milk would expand up and out of the bottle with out breaking the bottle.

As long as the freezing water has somewhere to expand it will not break. Exceptions short 90 degree or greater turns.

A couple things I have had that use the same principle: Swimming pools: the pool when it freeze it rises but does not break the pool, also you take off the end of the water jets coming in from the filter to allow the ice to more freely flow as it expand. Underground sprinklers in deep frost level areas. Just use compressed air to blow out lines until you see air and water vapor only from all sprinklers on that zone.

A fun fact: -50 RV antifreeze has a freeze point of 20 degrees. But its does not expand the same as H2O
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:58 PM   #7
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The compressed air method does not get all the water out of the lines, nor does the flush out with antifreeze.
But the drain it, fill it with antifreeze and then blow it out method I'm proposing would effectively get all the water out--but admittedly not all the liquid. ;-)
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Old 10-25-2020, 04:33 PM   #8
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But the drain it, fill it with antifreeze and then blow it out method I'm proposing would effectively get all the water out--but admittedly not all the liquid. ;-)
That will work too.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:01 PM   #9
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So some have used air only with no issues, some use antifreeze with no issue, and some use a combo of both with no issue. Apparently theres more than 1 way to do it thats just fine.
This will be my 1st yr with an RV, and I choose to blow out the lines, then suck up some AF thru the winterizeing tube to hit the pump. Next time I will simply blow air thru the winterizing tube.
I do have a cruiser that I have always just poured several gals of AF in the water tank and then ran thru the system till all pink. My boats dont have the luxury of low point drains. 10 yrs and Ive never had an issue.

Possibly instead of stating what has worked, we can get comments on what has not, and the method that was used?
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:05 PM   #10
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Possibly instead of stating what has worked, we can get comments on what has not, and the method that was used?
I would guess it would be being sloppy and forgetting something, like maybe not clearing the line to the toilet or the exterior shower. Basically just getting distracted and forgetting something. So not the process picked, but the execution.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:15 AM   #11
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I do the air compressor method and rv antifreeze in the drains but learned the hard way that my hot water on demand still held water and froze hard ruining the heater. Now I disconnect the lines going to the unit and continue to blow out the lines, and as an added measure I take the compressor hose directly to the heater connections, I only have my compressor set at 30 lbs to prevent problems.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:57 AM   #12
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That's a very fancy and costly blow out gatget in that video. All you need is the compressor and a fitting. Drain everything however your RV is set up. Attach the compressor line, set the output air at about 40 pounds or thereabouts then let 'er 'rip' for 5 minutes or so while you make the rounds 2-3 times of the faucets and drains, opening one at a time to include the HW heater fridge ice makers, washers, dish washers toilets and filter housings.



I use RV antifreeze as the water pump is not easily visible so use that to draw antifreeze in the entire system except the HW heater which is now shut off from the water system. In my case 1.5 gallons will do the job including adding a cup to each trap. If you have a SeaLand/Dometic toilet, make sure the vaccum breaker has antifreeze. Replacements are not cheap.



Our RV has a simple water system that takes about 30-45 minutes including getting the necessary tools out of my basement workshop. The rest of the normal winterizing project takes days as SWMBO spends hours washing/waxing/storing, etc
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:20 AM   #13
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I destroyed my on demand last winter from an inadequate blow-out. Had to replace it cause the coil damage was too extensive to repair myself. I did the blow out this year (per owners manual again). I let the MH sit for a half hour or so, re-did the routine and got about a cup of water out of the kitchen faucet. I'm guessing it was from the on demand WH and other places that water was trapped. I did the same a 3rd time and I got no water out of the system. I'm going to run anti-freeze through even though I'm sure I got all the water out. I don't want to replace another OD water heater.

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I do the air compressor method and rv antifreeze in the drains but learned the hard way that my hot water on demand still held water and froze hard ruining the heater. Now I disconnect the lines going to the unit and continue to blow out the lines, and as an added measure I take the compressor hose directly to the heater connections, I only have my compressor set at 30 lbs to prevent problems.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:12 AM   #14
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Possibly instead of stating what has worked, we can get comments on what has not, and the method that was used?
My in-laws just put a space heater in the inside. That actually mostly works in Tennessee, though after the first winter they developed a water leak in their outdoor kitchen. Incredibly, they convinced CW to split the repair bill with them.

If you have a diesel motorhome, don't forget about winterizing your fuel. Put in a bottle or three of winter treatment unless you are absolutely certain that you have winter diesel. Ideally, add it immediately before filling up to ensure it's well-mixed. Then go for a drive and run everything that uses diesel fuel (e.g. generator, hydronic heat) to ensure that all non-winterized diesel in all lines, filters, etc. gets consumed and replaced by winterized diesel. Cold-related problems can occur at temperatures as high as 40 degrees (though it's uncommon).

And for all motorhomes, if you want to be really thorough or live in a place that gets extreme cold (below zero), test your coolant. Coolant loses its antifreeze properties over time. Normal coolant needs to be replaced every ~5 years, though extended-life coolant can get an additive instead. Don't forget your generator (unless it's air-cooled).
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