I have always felt the same way.
If you are going to pump pink stuff why bother blowing out the lines. Never have blown out the lines and I have an air compressor.
For the OP. No, you do not need to buy an air compressor.
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I blow out the lines first and then pump pink stuff. With most of the water out of the lines, I feel there pink stuff would be full strength (not partially dilluted). Also, I like to make sure the pump is full of pink stuff. It gets cold here at times... like 20 below for an extreme.
That is my thought for blowing out the lines first.
If you live in a area like I did in Portland Oregon, 26F the coldest day when I lived there in winter of 2007/8, blowing out the lines was just fine, you really only need to get out 90% of the water, and what might freeze will not block the line 100% and pressurize it to the point of bursting a line.
If you live in a area that is subject to -20F, then pumping in the anti-freeze is a wonderful idea. If it remained full strength, all the better. Yet if it does freeze, there is no place for it to expand to unless there is air in the lines. So Piano Tuner's idea of blowing out the anti-freeze leaves behind no water, and space for the antifreeze to expand if it does decide to freeze, and also recovers the full strength anti-freeze.
That is a lot of effort, but will pay off with no broken lines.
I only did the air because I was keeping my RV mostly warm, and did not want the taste in the water lines.
I blow out the lines and then use Anti freeze. However this is overkill. Just pumping in anti freeze is sufficient.
My thoughts are air alone is risky. Every Spring their are a few posters with damage because they did not use anti freeze,however you don't hear o posters with damage that did use anti freeze unless they forgot the outside shower!
To the OP you do not need a compressor to winterize anti freeze alone is adequate
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I bought a foreclosed house back in 2003 for a rental property, this home was winterized and had sat empty for five years. It had all copper water lines & copper hot water baseboard system, needless to say I crossed my fingers when we first turned on the water. There were no blow outs or leaks anywhere, I was was very happy. They only use a small compressor (air) to winterize these homes.
As a contractor & Realtor, I've seen plenty of froze-burst copper pipes in the last 20+ years. If air is good enough for a $100,000-$1,000,000 home it is certainly good enough for a camper.
I can see how most would rather just juice it up with the pink stuff, no need to drag out a compressor, extension cords & worry if they got it all, etc...
Got one more trip planned in a few weeks, then it will be time to put it down for the winter. Always wondered, if I'm going to pump the pink juice through all the lines until it comes out the faucet, why do most people still blow them out first? Seems to me pumping a couple of gallons of anti-freeze through the thing will displace all the water. What's the point? (or, do I REALLY need to go buy an air compressor? )
Blow the lines first for overkill, IFyou have a compressor, and want to waste the time. Not necessary. For me, my time is worth more than a couple more gallons of antifreeze at $3.99/gallon. I drain first from the low points, pump through until only pink stuff comes out the low point, then the faucets, etc., and then drain it all again via the low point. Pumping will force out any remaining water after draining. No worry about taste after flushing in the spring. I would never drink from the holding tank anyway. Bottled water for drinking. Holding tank for other fresh water needs.
And the LAST place I would buy it is at an RV store. Double the price. Most building supply stores sell it for cottages, etc.
* This post was
edited 11/04/11 07:42am by BossCamper *
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Knowing how frugal many RVers are, after spending $50K more or less on a rig, I would say that blowing out the lines is cheaper than buying three gallons of antifreeze but no more effective; possibly even less effective in preventing frozen water damage.
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I do both air and antifreeze. If someone has “been blowin them out for 20 years” they will never be persuaded otherwise. I know both methods is overkill for me but I don’t mind doing a little extra and having peace of mind that during freezing temps all the plumbing is safe.
I've done both but I prefere pumping antifreeze in the fresh water lines and drain lines especially with a 5th wheel trailer (multi level). I always flush and sanitize the water system each spring anyway so no antifreeze taste in my RV's fresh water system.
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Honestly, I never blew out the lines until I got a small compressor. Just pumping the pink stuff through works. But blowing out the lines is part of the ritual now. Although if I was smart, I would have just blown out the lines last week and gone camping this week. That way I could wait before the final storage to pump in the pink stuff. So temporary protection is blowing out the lines. Better protection (to me) is pumping in the pink stuff.
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