Winterizing your trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2007, 08:08 AM   #1
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Folks, it's that time of year! Time to winterize for most of us. There is an excellent tutorial link on the left side of the screen, Winterizing, that will help you get through it successfully!

Please ask any questions you may have here, and as a veteran "winterizer" who has made every mistake in the book at least twice, I'll do my best to help, as I'm sure will other winterizing veteran members who have felt your pain!

Roger
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:31 AM   #2
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The article suggests replacing the plastic drain plug with an anode rod - I have had Atwood water heaters in my last few trailers, that have a plastic tank and I don't believe that Atwood recommends an anode. it might be best to check with the tank manufacturer.

Secondly, I did not see anything about purging the water from the outside city water intake. I have installed anti-freeze, then remove the intake screen, depressed the white plunger until pink appears. Sometimes I need to pressurize the system firstly by turning the water pump on, waiting until it shuts off, turn the switch off, then do the white plunger routine. Otherwise, you have fresh water in this line, that could freeze.

I live in a climate where -30 is not unexpected, so try to ensure a thorough job.

Rick B
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
The article suggests replacing the plastic drain plug with an anode rod - I have had Atwood water heaters in my last few trailers, that have a plastic tank and I don't believe that Atwood recommends an anode. it might be best to check with the tank manufacturer.

Secondly, I did not see anything about purging the water from the outside city water intake. I have installed anti-freeze, then remove the intake screen, depressed the white plunger until pink appears. Sometimes I need to pressurize the system firstly by turning the water pump on, waiting until it shuts off, turn the switch off, then do the white plunger routine. Otherwise, you have fresh water in this line, that could freeze.

I live in a climate where -30 is not unexpected, so try to ensure a thorough job.

Rick B
First item: The idea is to replace the plastic plug with a drain petcock
Quote:
If yours doesn't already have a drain petcock/anode installed, this would be an excellent time to install one rather than replacing the plastic plug.
You're right tho, I think the words "/anode" probably should be removed from this portion (FYI, if you have a hotwater heater you already have an anode rod installed). But the drain petcock should stay.


Second item:
Quote:
The idea is to remove all water from the system. There are two ways to do that, first is to blow the entire system out with compressed air until there is no water vapor coming from any faucet or shower head. This obviously involves using an air compressor and a fitting that screws into the city water inlet with a schrader valve (like a car tire valve) on it for the compressor fitting. It works well provided that you ensure all of the water is out, and you have the time to do it.
The point is, if nothing is in the lines, there's nothing to freeze.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:37 AM   #4
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First item: The idea is to replace the plastic plug with a drain petcock


You're right tho, I think the words "/anode" probably should be removed from this portion (FYI, if you have a hotwater heater you already have an anode rod installed). But the drain petcock should stay.

Whoa! Hold on a minute! That's not necessarily the case. Most water heaters shipped in our RVs (Atwood) don't ship with an anode rod. Particularly those that don't have electric elements. AND... Rick... plastic water heater tanks? With a propane flame applied to them? Hmmm... I know that there are just electric tanks out there that are fiberglass, but...

Atwood water heaters say their cladding eliminates the need for an anode... but they're still not a bad idea... Suburban water heaters do have anodes supplied in their tanks, but you see fewer Suburbans than Atwoods.

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Old 10-29-2007, 09:56 AM   #5
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:56 AM   #6
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Rick... plastic water heater tanks? With a propane flame applied to them? Hmmm... I know that there are just electric tanks out there that are fiberglass, but...


Roger

Sorry Roger, the tanks are actually aluminum, as indeed plastic may melt with either the electric element or propane flame
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:39 PM   #7
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Thanks Rick & Donna... now back to our regularly scheduled thread... winterizing questions!

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Old 10-29-2007, 05:46 PM   #8
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My second year to winterize! Boy, was it faster this time Probably only took about 30 minutes - the longest part was draining the fresh water tank.

Got everything done except draining the hot water heater - dang that tight drain plug - couldn't get it undone last year either! But, I have an appointment with an RV place to undo it for me - and fix my 3-way fridge that wants to think it's a 2 way and not run on propane.

Then it will be time to pile some stuff back inside and do winter camping
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:49 PM   #9
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Thanks Rick & Donna... now back to our regularly scheduled thread... winterizing questions!

Roger
My solution is to just move South.
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:34 PM   #10
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My solution is to just move South.
High River?
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:46 PM   #11
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High River?
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:46 PM   #12
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My solution is to just move South.
What... to the south side of your yard?

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Old 10-29-2007, 06:47 PM   #13
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What... to the south side of your yard?

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Old 10-31-2007, 04:49 PM   #14
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The advice to open the relief valve is important: I didn't get around to opening mine until the drain flow had stopped, and when I opened it more water came out. This air entrance - at least in my heater - is important to getting complete drainage, not just to make it flow more smoothly or rapidly.

Now back to the anode for a moment...

Not only do the Suburbans (or at least my pre-Suburban unit from American Appliance) have an anode rod, they don't put it in the drain plug fitting. Instead, it enters the heater from the "back" side, so you see it on the inside of the trailer. I just wouldn't want someone to go to the effort of replacing the convenient drain fitting with a plug containing an anode rod, when the anode is already in the other side of the heater.
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:39 PM   #15
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Went camping down in Emmetsburg, Iowa over the weekend, expecting the RV park to have full hookups; they only had electricity. So I could not rinse my tanks like I wanted to.

Anyway, I dumped my holding tanks Sunday evening after returning home. I proceeded to winterize tonight. It took about an hour and two gallons of non toxic RV anti freeze to winterize my 2000 Scamp 16 with front Bathroom.

7th year in a row, and I'm finally getting this down to a science!

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:45 PM   #16
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It's that time again for some of us.. darn

Okay I've followed the winterizing instructions (no compressor) and I'm good till the water pump and turning the valve to stop the pump from drawing from the water tank. I do not seem to have a valve like that, so do I just put the RV antifreeze in the water tank?

Also the two outlets on the outside of the trailer for water connection/filling do I put antifreeze down them?

Thanks in advance. Leanne
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:35 PM   #17
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Leanne, with no winterizing valve then you will need to disconnect the water line from the tank side of the pump and feed them into your antifreeze container so that the pump draws the antifreeze through the system. No need to put the antifreeze into the fresh water tank - just make sure it is drained. This would be a great time to install a winterizing valve - they sell a kit at any RV parts place, I recently installed one and it was quite easy to do. I don't do anything at the city water inlet, just make sure all the taps, shower, toilet, everything runs straight antifreeze. Also pour some down all the traps.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:45 PM   #18
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I have a winterizing question also.

What is the proper tool I should be equipped with for removing the drain plug from the water heater?

I couldn't get this done myself last fall and had to get help with it, but I'd like to make sure I'm properly equipped this year so I can get it done after the upcoming weekend outing. Thanks!!
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:16 PM   #19
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I do not seem to have a valve like that, so do I just put the RV antifreeze in the water tank?
I guess I should have also stated put the antifreeze in the water tank to then be able to get it to through the water pump so that I can get it to all locations.

Lainey, thanks for your input. My water pump is below my fridge and behind a furnace vent hose, so difficult to get at for installing a winterizing valve. (for me anyway).

Tomorrow I'm going to call a rental place to see if I can rent an air compressor to blow out the lines.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:02 PM   #20
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Lainey, once again I have some info and haven't a clue where it came from and I'm not certain all anode rods/plugs are the same size, but this is the info I've saved for myself.
Quote:
As far as the anode rod I would use "Liquid Wrench" instead of WD40, let it set for at least a day and then using a 1/2" breaker bar and the correct 1 1/16" socket (use a 6 point one, meaning there are six flat sides inside the socket) with the bar laying horizontal and the handle end pointing to the rear of the trailer pull up wards. They are VERY tight when new so be sure the socket is the correct one and a large enough breaker bar to handle it. You can always slide a piece of pipe over the handle on the breaker bar to gain more leverage.
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