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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > How to de-winterize your trailer? *UPDATE*

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brmiller

Georgia

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Posted: 03/14/18 07:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are new to RVing and just picked up our trailer last weekend. We are planning a trip this weekend but I need to de-winterize the trailer.

Are there any resources or tips on this? I've watched several videos online but I'm still a little hesitant.

Any advice is very much appreciated!

* This post was edited 03/14/18 07:16pm by brmiller *

SoundGuy

S Ontario

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Posted: 03/14/18 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not much to it ... I just pour 1/2 cup of bleach into a gallon of water, pour that mix into the fresh water tank, fill the tank with water, run the various faucets until they run clear, let it sit overnight. The next day I drain that mix from the system, refill the tank with fresh water and run that through. Some might add vinegar to offset the bleach smell, some might flush the system with fresh water several times but I don't bother as the bleach smell eventually disperses.

brmiller

Georgia

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Posted: 03/14/18 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoundGuy wrote:

Not much to it ... I just pour 1/2 cup of bleach into a gallon of water, pour that mix into the fresh water tank, fill the tank with water, run the various faucets until they run clear, let it sit overnight. The next day I drain that mix from the system, refill the tank with fresh water and run that through. Some might add vinegar to offset the bleach smell, some might flush the system with fresh water several times but I don't bother as the bleach smell eventually disperses.


Thank you for the info.

What about water pumps and water heaters? Anything I need to know/be concerned with those units?

drsteve

Michigan

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Posted: 03/14/18 08:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

brmiller wrote:

SoundGuy wrote:

Not much to it ... I just pour 1/2 cup of bleach into a gallon of water, pour that mix into the fresh water tank, fill the tank with water, run the various faucets until they run clear, let it sit overnight. The next day I drain that mix from the system, refill the tank with fresh water and run that through. Some might add vinegar to offset the bleach smell, some might flush the system with fresh water several times but I don't bother as the bleach smell eventually disperses.


Thank you for the info.

What about water pumps and water heaters? Anything I need to know/be concerned with those units?


Your water heater will have a bypass valve that must be returned to the proper position for normal operation. Valve is located on the back side of the WH tank.


2006 Silverado 1500HD Crew Cab 2WD 6.0L 3.73 8600 GVWR
2018 Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition 223RBS
1991 Palomino Filly PUP

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 03/14/18 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

De-winterizing an RV is just a matter of running fresh water through all your water lines.

Initially, your water heater should be in by-pass. You want to keep it there until your lines are clear of the pink stuff. After all your lines are clear by running water through them, then open the water heater and fill it. If it never had RV antifreeze in it, it doesn't need to be flushed, except maybe, to give it an initial rinse.

Hopefully, you have no RV antifreeze in your fresh water tank. Assuming it's empty, you can either add water to the tank and pump the water from there, which will also clean out the water pump. Or, hook up to city water (garden hose) and just let the water flow through all the lines (hot and cold, toilet and all sinks, shower, outside kitchens, outside showers) until all the lines are clear of the antifreeze (no foaming, pink color will go away quick, watch for the foam in the water.)

It's really just that simple.

If you want to sanitize your system, then do that AFTER you cleared the antifreeze and you are getting no more foaming or air bubbles in the water (hot and cold).

FYI, not everyone thinks its necessary to sanitize. I haven't satirized except for only 1 time on all 3 of my travel trailers, and that was the day I brought them home from the dealer. Never sanitized again.

If yo live in town and have town or city treated water from a treatment facility, your water already has all the "sanitization" it needs. Just fill your tank, run through the lines, let it sit a while, and go camping.

If your water supply is on a private well, then you may want to sanitize. But to each his own.

FYI, we drink from the fresh water tank, and also from regular garden hoses. 63 years old and ain't dead yet! Germaphobia is highly over rated!


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Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 03/14/18 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Me. i don't use the fresh water tank. So all I do is hook up the city water, and turn it on. instant dewinterizing


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coolmom42

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 03/14/18 08:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's not as complicated as people make out.

Run water from any source--city or tank-- and flush all the antifreeze out of the lines first, until there is no foaming or visible pink stuff.

Find out the size of your freshwater tank. You will need 1/4 cup bleach for every 15 gallons.

Close the drain to the freshwater tank if it is open. Fill it about halfway and add the bleach. Then finish filling it.

Open all the coldwater taps (don't forget the outside shower) and run the pump until water comes out. You should smell the bleach. Close the cold water taps.

Look at your water heater plumbing. If it is bypassed, turn the valves so it is not. Then open the hotwater taps. Run the pump until the water heater fills and water comes out of all the hot taps.

Let the system stand as is for 12-24 hours.

Drain the tank.

Refill the tank with fresh water.

Repeat the process above with opening taps and running the pump until the bleach smell is mostly gone. Be sure to run the hot water long enough to flush through the water heater.

If you want to be sure of getting rid of all the bleach taste, add 3% hydrogen peroxide (the kind used as a disinfectant) to the second tank of water, in the same ratio as the bleach.

If you have a hose to hook up to a water supply, it's a good idea to disinfect it too. Use the same bleach mixture in it as for the trailer, let it stand, and flush it out. It's a good idea to store it with the ends fastened together, to keep it clean.

Takes longer to describe the process than to do it.

We sanitize any time the trailer sits unused for a month or longer. We often fill from Forest Service wells or other sources that may be safe but are never chlorinated. If you never fill from anything but chlorinated water supplies, you will be fine with once a year.


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DavidP

Raleigh

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Posted: 03/14/18 08:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like to fully flush all lines prior to sanitizing by running water through all faucets. Get all the pink stuff out before sanitizing. After doing this make sure you put the water heater back in the (Non) bypass position. You can also give the low point drains a quick turn while under pressure to push out antifreeze or anything that may collect there. I too use bleach in the tank and let it sit a few hours and then drain the tank and flush the system with fresh water. I also refill the tank and allow it to drain a couple times. Remove the water heater drain plug and spray water into the hole and allow it to run back out flushing anything at the base of the heater. When you open the bypass some antifreeze can get by and end up in the tank. Flushing through the drain gets that and anything else that settled out.

You may have a siphon hose on the pump with a valve. Make sure that valve is closed. You may also have a valve from the tank to the pump, make sure that is in the proper position depending on water source. Every camper is a little different and things can vary a bit but that is pretty much it. Enjoy!

SoundGuy

S Ontario

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Posted: 03/14/18 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

drsteve wrote:

Your water heater will have a bypass valve that must be returned to the proper position for normal operation. Valve is located on the back side of the WH tank.


Since the OP is a newbie it's entirely possible his dealer winterized his trailer ... if so, it's also possible the tech returned the water heater bypass valve(s) to the summer position after winterizing. My own dealer does this, the reasoning being that it's just that much easier for new owners such as the OP to start using the trailer in the spring by simply filling the system with water.

rbpru

North Central Indiana

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Posted: 03/14/18 08:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The quickest way is to hook up a hose to the TT s city water inlet and flush the antifreeze from the pipes through the faucets. Keep the hot water tank bypassed so the antifreeze does no get in. Do not forget the toilet flush.

We use our outside water tap.

You could fill and sanitize your fresh water tank and use it to flush your antifreeze but I like to do it as a separate operation so the bleach water can slosh in the fresh tank, while I go to the dump station to dump the antifreeze from the gray and black tanks.

I have found that no matter how well I flush the system, there is always a bit if bleach or antifreeze residual favor in the water for a while. I try to reduce this by opening the hot water heater bypass and flushing it when all else is done. Our water heater is easy to reach.

It sounds complicated but it is not.


Good luck and enjoy your new RV.


Twenty six foot 2010 Dutchmen Lite pulled with a 2011 EcoBoost F-150 4x4.

Just right for Grandpa, Grandma and the dog.


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