Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: forgot to winterize and it went to 21 last night

Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/10/16 01:35pm

I drained the water heater but I dont have any anti freeze and no way to blow out the system.

Supposed to go to 25 tonight.

We are going camping next week... thurs thru sunday.

What should I look for to try and avoid a problem? Parts I should try and order?


Posted By: Rainier on 12/10/16 01:47pm

open low level drains, throw some RV antifreeee in your black tank, and down your sinks, shower, etc You should be fine as long as it doesn't stay below freezing level for a long period of time. If you are able you can put a portable heater in your rig and set it to 60 degrees or even cooler that will help as well.


Posted By: 2oldman on 12/10/16 01:49pm

Fill wh back up. Turn it on. Let hw flow into lines every few hours. Keep rig heated as much as possible.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/10/16 02:12pm

I guess I was looking for ideas on damage already done.. antifreeze is on order and will be here monday. I live in the south so it was probably below freezing for around 4-6 hours and same tonight.


Posted By: midnightsadie on 12/10/16 02:30pm

put a heater in there open cabinet doors you should be ok.


Posted By: 2oldman on 12/10/16 02:55pm

barchetta1 wrote:

I guess I was looking for ideas on damage already done..
You said 'avoid'


Posted By: IdaD on 12/10/16 03:05pm

21 isn't cold. Just heating the rig a bit and opening the cabinets should prevent any issues. Check for broken traps but you're likely just fine. I camped in colder temps elk hunting a few weeks ago.


2015 Cummins Ram 4wd CC/SB



Posted By: Dick_B on 12/10/16 03:14pm

Almost everyone sells RV antifreeze. No need for a compressor.


Dick_B
2003 SunnyBrook 27FKS
2011 3/4 T Chevrolet Suburban
Equal-i-zer Hitch
One wife, two electric bikes (both Currie Tech Path+ models)


Posted By: Tal/IL on 12/10/16 03:15pm

If you were only below freezing for several hours, you are fine.


35 miles from Normal, IL. As close to normal as I'll ever be.

2006 Country Coach Inspire Genoa 40ft



Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/10/16 04:53pm

Well, hoping for the best. Its 33 already and its only 7pm. I suppose i could go get some windshield washer and add that to the drains anyway.


Posted By: coolmom42 on 12/10/16 05:16pm

Put a space or 2 inside. They are cheap and abundant this time of year. Any WM or Dollar General will have them.

If you are not willing to do that for some reason, do the following:

Drain the water system and water heater.

Go to Walmart and get some RV antifreeze. I know you are not far from a WM in SC.

Pump the antifreeze through the water lines until they all run pink. Pour some in the traps and toilet.


Single empty-nester in Middle TN, sometimes with a friend or grandchild on board


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/10/16 05:49pm

I put windshield washer fluid in the drains.. better late than never.


Posted By: TXiceman on 12/10/16 05:59pm

But did you drain the water lines and the water heater.


Amateur Radio Operator.
2013 HitchHiker 38RLRSB Champagne, toted with a 2012, F350, 6.7L PSD, Crewcab, dually. 3.73 axle, Full Time RVer.
Travel with a standard schnauzer and a Timneh African Gray parrot


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/10/16 06:05pm

coolmom42 wrote:

Put a space or 2 inside. They are cheap and abundant this time of year. Any WM or Dollar General will have them.

If you are not willing to do that for some reason, do the following:

Drain the water system and water heater.

Go to Walmart and get some RV antifreeze. I know you are not far from a WM in SC.

Pump the antifreeze through the water lines until they all run pink. Pour some in the traps and toilet.


No electric power at storage.
I need to clean the darn water tank.. I pulled drain out and something very disgusting came out. we just bought this unit and have had it out a few times but have not gotten around to that task.. we've always had water at the site..

So no way to pump water unless I want whatever is in there in the lines.. which I do not..

so just hoping for the best.. I just looked and it was in the 20's last night for nearly 8 hours.. ouch..

I did look at the drain plumbing and saw no leaks while I was there..

I would think if I were going to have an issue it would be where the water hose connects.. but who knows.. ugh.. I wont let this happen again.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/10/16 06:07pm

TXiceman wrote:

But did you drain the water lines and the water heater.


Only the water heater.. so I guess that means the hot lines are drained..

cold ones, no, I dont know of any way to drain the cold lines??


Posted By: magic43 on 12/10/16 06:25pm

After you have drained the fresh water tank, turn on your pump. Open the faucets both hot and cold until no water runs. Hold the toilet valve open until no water runs. With the antifreeze in the holding tanks, you should be OK.


magic43


Posted By: SDcampowneroperator on 12/10/16 08:30pm

barchetta1 wrote:

I put windshield washer fluid in the drains.. better late than never.

Windshield washer fluid is disastrous on waste water systems. Like using bleach, it kills the beneficial bacteria that break down the wastes. Please do not use anything with alcohol, ethanol, methanol as a freeze point depressant in waste systems.
Plumbing A/F is glycol based, safe for waste systems, piping. Including ours! Its what you drink a gallon of for your (yuck) colonoscopy!


Posted By: KKELLER14K on 12/10/16 08:48pm

I find that the first thing to break is the faucets...next, your toilet valve...been there wrecked that. Any heat inside is better than none...crack all the cabinetry open and run the LP heater on low if you have to...but if you got shore power just a few space heaters on low will do just to keep the interior from freezing up.


Posted By: coolmom42 on 12/10/16 08:57pm

I don't understand why you are so reluctant to properly winterize this RV. It shouldn't take over an hour.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 04:49am

coolmom42 wrote:

I don't understand why you are so reluctant to properly winterize this RV. It shouldn't take over an hour.



no running water and no electricity at storage. I did open the faucets and held the toilet open for a bit.

Damage if any is done.. so I learned my lesson. Its 23 now.

Taking it home was not an option either.

this post about windshield washer fluid being disastrous was humorous.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 04:52am

KKELLER14K wrote:

I find that the first thing to break is the faucets...next, your toilet valve...been there wrecked that. Any heat inside is better than none...crack all the cabinetry open and run the LP heater on low if you have to...but if you got shore power just a few space heaters on low will do just to keep the interior from freezing up.


THIS is what I wanted to know.. thank you. Now I can just buy these and have them on hand so my next trip is not a total nightmare. Mine is a 2004, wouldnt hurt to replace these anyway.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 04:53am

barchetta1 wrote:

KKELLER14K wrote:

I find that the first thing to break is the faucets...next, your toilet valve...been there wrecked that. Any heat inside is better than none...crack all the cabinetry open and run the LP heater on low if you have to...but if you got shore power just a few space heaters on low will do just to keep the interior from freezing up.


THIS is what I wanted to know.. thank you. Now I can just buy these and have them on hand so my next trip is not a total nightmare. Mine is a 2004, wouldnt hurt to replace these anyway.




EDIT: why I didnt run the lp heater is beyond me.. I guess I was thinking it would be dangerous but thats silly.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 05:07am

Ugh I didnt know I had low side drains nor a method to suck from a 1 gallon jug. idiot. just read instructions online.

live and learn


Posted By: EV2 on 12/11/16 05:22am

barchetta1 wrote:



Damage if any is done.. so I learned my lesson. Its 23 now.


Be aware that freeze damage is cumulative. The freeze expands, then with a partial thaw and refreeze it continues to expand further. Resolving as soon as thawed is to your advantage.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 05:55am

EV2 wrote:

barchetta1 wrote:



Damage if any is done.. so I learned my lesson. Its 23 now.


Be aware that freeze damage is cumulative. The freeze expands, then with a partial thaw and refreeze it continues to expand further. Resolving as soon as thawed is to your advantage.


yeah thats why I did what I could yesterday..

I was thinking, since I drained the water heater and didnt turn on the bypass valve, might I have drained some of the cold water system? It would potentially be a low point as its below the floor?


Posted By: SkiSmuggs on 12/11/16 07:32am

The best partial remedy is to open the low point and fresh tank drains, then open all faucets, including outdoor shower and indoor shower, kitchen and bathroom sinks. Hold toilet flush open for a minute or so. Then pour a cup or so of RV anti-freeze into all drains to protect traps. RV anti-freeze is available at all hardware stores, Walmarts, maybe auto supply stores. You may be okay just doing that as it doesn't stay that cold where you are.


2015 F350 XLT PSD 6.7 Crew Cab, Andersen Ultimate hitch
2012 Cougar High Country 299RKS 5th wheel, Mor/Ryde pinbox, 300w of solar



Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 08:06am

SkiSmuggs wrote:

The best partial remedy is to open the low point and fresh tank drains, then open all faucets, including outdoor shower and indoor shower, kitchen and bathroom sinks. Hold toilet flush open for a minute or so. Then pour a cup or so of RV anti-freeze into all drains to protect traps. RV anti-freeze is available at all hardware stores, Walmarts, maybe auto supply stores. You may be okay just doing that as it doesn't stay that cold where you are.


thanks.. im heading to walmart now.


Posted By: artman on 12/11/16 08:58am

barchetta1 wrote:

It would potentially be a low point as its below the floor?


I would have a look under the trailer to find the drain point ( water needs to go somewhere ).
Windows make a great point of reference going from outside to inside.


2017 Arctic fox 27-5l


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 10:14am

I found two capped drain lines.. uncapped them. saw some ice on the ends.. this is not looking good. furnace is on, going back in a few hours. Tried to run the pump but it wont run.. I suppose frozen.

Per the owners manual, supposed to add 5 gal of anti freeze to water tank.. which I cant do because it needs to be cleaned first..

Supposedlly a filter on the pump which was supposed to be removed and replaced with a winterizing filter..

Drains are no where long enough to get into a jug of anti freeze.. I need an adapter.. and why there are two I dont know.. they are right below the outdoor shower.. maybe they are just for the shower.. I dont know.


Added proper anti freeze to drains.

I think I really screwed up.


Posted By: Dave and Sue on 12/11/16 10:58am

Quote:

I think I really screwed up


Probably,but maybe not.Do you have a walmart near by?Is so get some rv antifreeze there.Jumper cables to your battery if it's dead or low charged.You can make a adapter hose to pump from jugs to lines.If you need to clean out the tank you can do that in the spring.Run your furnace and pump and dump anti freeze in the drain.Not hard to do and can save many dollars in damage.If you don't know how to do these things,Google is your friend. Good luck.


2011 Ram 3500 Dually Mega Cab
2016 Chaparral 370FL



Posted By: RAS43 on 12/11/16 11:08am

barchetta1 wrote:



Drains are no where long enough to get into a jug of anti freeze.. I need an adapter.. and why there are two I dont know.. they are right below the outdoor shower.. maybe they are just for the shower.. I dont know.


There should be 1 drain for the cold line and 1 for hot.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 11:15am

Dave and Sue wrote:

Quote:

I think I really screwed up


Probably,but maybe not.Do you have a walmart near by?Is so get some rv antifreeze there.Jumper cables to your battery if it's dead or low charged.You can make a adapter hose to pump from jugs to lines.If you need to clean out the tank you can do that in the spring.Run your furnace and pump and dump anti freeze in the drain.Not hard to do and can save many dollars in damage.If you don't know how to do these things,Google is your friend. Good luck.



I dont think my pump is going to self prime.. but I may give it a try. I think my only hope is that when I dumped my water heater and left the cap off that the lines drained. There is still dripping water coming out after two days.

Ive got to come up with a way to check for damage before leaving thursday.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 11:21am

RAS43 wrote:

barchetta1 wrote:



Drains are no where long enough to get into a jug of anti freeze.. I need an adapter.. and why there are two I dont know.. they are right below the outdoor shower.. maybe they are just for the shower.. I dont know.


There should be 1 drain for the cold line and 1 for hot.


OK.. well then it makes sense. If I had only known this 2 days ago.


Posted By: artman on 12/11/16 11:26am

RAS43 wrote:

barchetta1 wrote:



Drains are no where long enough to get into a jug of anti freeze.. I need an adapter.. and why there are two I dont know.. they are right below the outdoor shower.. maybe they are just for the shower.. I dont know.


There should be 1 drain for the cold line and 1 for hot.


Like RAS43 said two drains but you don't need to get a jug of anti freeze close to them.

Might want to level the trailer also so these two drains are at a low point.

Most likely you have a valve that switches the pump from using the tank to a hose that goes nowhere.
Close all the faucets and drain vales.
Turn on the water heater bypass valve ( no reason to put anti freeze in it since you have drained it).

Put the hose in the jug and run the pump.
Run each faucet and drain until you see anti freeze.


Posted By: 2oldman on 12/11/16 11:27am

barchetta1 wrote:

EDIT: why I didnt run the lp heater is beyond me.. I guess I was thinking it would be dangerous but thats silly.
Are you running it now? That's about your only hope at this point. Get that sucker warmed up.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 12:50pm

2oldman wrote:

barchetta1 wrote:

EDIT: why I didnt run the lp heater is beyond me.. I guess I was thinking it would be dangerous but thats silly.
Are you running it now? That's about your only hope at this point. Get that sucker warmed up.


Yes.. its running. been on for almost 3 hours. its not supposed to get freezing tonight..

Im going to try and use the pump to pull anifreeze thru the drain tubes but I seriously doubt it will prime. It seems my unit is designed to do this via the tank.

I did press the toilet valve and I could actually hear water move.. good sign I guess.


Already some damage though.. went to pull the sink sprayer out and it came right off the fitting. I pressed it back on and it stayed. also tried to blow into the hose.. nothing.. with the sink on of course.


not good...


Already determined which toilet valve I have [emoticon]


Posted By: KKELLER14K on 12/11/16 01:56pm

What a bummer...do the best you can. Only the spring will tell as you get everything up and running. Here is another possible thing you could do since you don't have shore power, you don't want to kill your batteries running a fan. (I will probably get thrown under the bus here but it beats breaking something)....just buy one of those little buddy heaters and hook it up in the middle of the floor, connect to a lp tank, slightly crack your roof vents and run it. No one is inside just disable your co detector so it doesn't go off, and visit each day. IMHO anything to get some heat in there... and since you have no power these little guys put out a lot of heat and use no power...just a thought.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 01:59pm

KKELLER14K wrote:

What a bummer...do the best you can. Only the spring will tell as you get everything up and running. Here is another possible thing you could do since you don't have shore power (I will probably get thrown under the bus here but it beats breaking something)....just buy one of those little buddy heaters and hook it up in the middle of the floor, connect to a lp tank, slightly crack your roof vents and run it. No one is inside just disable your co detector so it doesn't go off, and visit each day. IMHO anything to get some heat in there... and since you have no power these little guys put out a lot of heat and use no power...just a thought.


Furnace is running now and we leave for a 4 day trip thursday... so it wont be until spring [emoticon]

I have another post about replacing the toilet... and Im probably order the shower, bath sink, kitchen sink and outside shower faucets..


I should be covered.


Posted By: KKELLER14K on 12/11/16 02:36pm

I just caught that fact...crossing my fingers for you...lol...but seriously don't run on your batteries if you don't have to. Those faucets are cheap fixes...the toilet valve not so much...but yes be prepared. Do you have a wet bath? not so bad but water on a dry bath floor is a nightmare...ask me how I know...not so lol. Just Google it.. look up that heater buddy you will see what I mean...not to expensive a fix for your situation. Pay very close attention to that outside shower valve because if it breaks behind it... it can flood your interior compartment space..no place for the water to go just be ready to shut the pump off. When my valves broke they at least they leaked into the sinks and not underneath. The toilet...another story.


Posted By: barchetta1 on 12/11/16 03:19pm

KKELLER14K wrote:

I just caught that fact...crossing my fingers for you...lol...but seriously don't run on your batteries if you don't have to. Those faucets are cheap fixes...the toilet valve not so much...but yes be prepared. Do you have a wet bath? not so bad but water on a dry bath floor is a nightmare...ask me how I know...not so lol. Just Google it.. look up that heater buddy you will see what I mean...not to expensive a fix for your situation. Pay very close attention to that outside shower valve because if it breaks behind it... it can flood your interior compartment space..no place for the water to go just be ready to shut the pump off. When my valves broke they at least they leaked into the sinks and not underneath. The toilet...another story.


I just went and shutdown the furnace. I agree on the outdoor shower. I have learned a lot thru this little episode.

Im planning for the worst when we hook the water up (thursday).. I have a really nice water regulator so I can bring up the pressure slowly and keep inspecting the faucets.. Im a little worried about compression connections.. going to investigate cures for that as well..


I think an emergency plumbing kit is a great idea to have.


Posted By: djousma on 12/12/16 06:17am

I hope you don't have any other freeze damage....this could be the tip of the iceberg so to speak. The worst will be if there are split water lines inside a wall somewhere. Your upcoming trip questionable.....you may have many more surprises awaiting you. If it were me, after your trip, get your trailer to a RV dealer, and have them warm it up, and test everything for you, then properly winterize it, and then you will be good until spring.


Dave
2016 F350 Lariat 4x4 FX4 SRW CC SB 6.7 Magnetic Metallic
2017 Forest River Cardinal 3850RL



Posted By: KKELLER14K on 12/12/16 10:52pm

The lines and unions are usually pretty tough...it is the hard plastic fixtures that will fail...they just can't flex enough...


Posted By: Billzo on 12/25/16 11:24am

Regarding the pump failing to not prime. I had the same problem when I tried for the first time to winterize my trailer. I installed the Camco winterizing kit which is a T setup with a hose that goes to the gallon container. I had to pour antifreeze into the tube and have it run down to the pump. Eventually the pump membrane caught some fluid and it began to pump on its own.

* This post was edited 12/31/16 11:35am by Billzo *


2000 McKenzie Monaco 36RLT
2014 Ram 2500 HD Outdoorsman SLT Longbed


Print  |  Close