Should fresh water tank drain completely? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-06-2017, 06:54 PM   #1
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Name: Andy
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Should fresh water tank drain completely?

I have a Scamp, just wondering if there is a trick to getting the last 1/2" or so of water out of the fresh water tank? The valve to drain it is open and I've tilted the trailer forward so the drain is at the lowest but there is still a fair bit of water in it.

I get that putting antifreeze to winterize will probably dilute it enough so that it won't be an issue, but if it won't ever fully drain how can you clean out the antifreeze afterward? Do you just run water through with the valve open to flush it out?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:06 PM   #2
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I don't put anti-freeze in the fresh water tank. In any event, there is plenty of room for expansion, if the water freezes. You want to pump antifreeze through the lines. I use a hand pump and pump it through the city water inlet after draining and bypassing the water heater. Not sure of Scamp water system, but I wouldn't put antifreeze in the fresh water tank.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:20 PM   #3
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Clean out for water tank

Here is an idea for you to have a way to clean out that last little bit of water in the tank. You can buy a kayak deck hatch on line in several sizes. Mount the frame on the top of the tank with a sealant and stainless screws. The opening hatch can be screwed on and off easily, so that water won't escape, or you can put a towel in the hole and wipe down the inside of the tank.


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I found that a 5 inch opening was big enough for a towel and my hand. You can find them on ebay, amazon, or other sources.

Dave Heffner
Roseburg, OR
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:59 PM   #4
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I like your style, that is a great idea!
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:43 PM   #5
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Glen, the issue is not the water in the tank, but residual water in the water pump. I've had a water pump blown apart by freezing, and since then, I always put RV antifreeze into the fresh water tank, and use the water pump to pump it through the system. Before and after I do this I blow the lines clear with air, to limit the RV antifreeze to the few low spots I have in the system. I then flush completely in the spring.


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Old 10-06-2017, 11:58 PM   #6
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I run the pump for 20 - 30 seconds after draining the fresh water tank.
That was what I was advised to do and what has worked for eight years now.
My hand pump pushes RV antifreeze through the lines. I have a compressor and used it a couple times, but I like being reassured when I see pink liquid coming out of the taps.
You can add a winterizing kit that allows you to use the electric pump to draw antifreeze from a jug instead of pouring gallons of it into the fresh water tank. I would do that if I didn't already have the hand pump.
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Victor Benz View Post
Glen, the issue is not the water in the tank, but residual water in the water pump. I've had a water pump blown apart by freezing, and since then, I always put RV antifreeze into the fresh water tank, and use the water pump to pump it through the system. Before and after I do this I blow the lines clear with air, to limit the RV antifreeze to the few low spots I have in the system. I then flush completely in the spring. Vic
Hi Vic, just tossing this out to those of you that have to winterize. Would just disconnecting one side line of the water pump eliminate a freeze condition as any expansion of freezing water has a place to go?
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:43 AM   #8
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I run the pump for 20 - 30 seconds after draining the fresh water tank.
That was what I was advised to do and what has worked for eight years now.
My hand pump pushes RV antifreeze through the lines. I have a compressor and used it a couple times, but I like being reassured when I see pink liquid coming out of the taps.
You can add a winterizing kit that allows you to use the electric pump to draw antifreeze from a jug instead of pouring gallons of it into the fresh water tank. I would do that if I didn't already have the hand pump.
I have a water pump out in my garage with a cracked lower housing that says otherwise if you live in really cold temps. Previous owner “blew out the lines” but didn’t use antifreeze. First water fill was exciting for me.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:56 AM   #9
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I open the drain on the ride home. The trailer bouncing around drains the tank. Don't forget to close the valve before adding antifreeze I buy a gallon at Walmart. Dump it in the tank and run the faucet until I see pink then let run a bit more to get some in the trap. Seven Vermont winter's, no issues. Raz
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:20 AM   #10
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Hi Vic, just tossing this out to those of you that have to winterize. Would just disconnecting one side line of the water pump eliminate a freeze condition as any expansion of freezing water has a place to go?
If you disconnect the inlet side of your pump and get a fitting with a length of tubing, you can connect it to the inlet side and put the tube into a gallon of antifreeze, and use the pump to winterize the trailer. And as Raz has said, driving with the fresh water tank drain open generally drains the tank completely. And you do want to have a water heater bypass.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:26 AM   #11
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Great suggestions

Makes perfect sense to drive with the valve open to drain it, also like the idea of the 'deck plate' to be able to fully clean in there. I used to brew beer and don't like the idea of a closed space that I can't see to clean (or boil water in).

CPW - can you expand on the water heater bypass? That is to keep antifreeze out of the water heater I assume. Is that a switch you flip, or something you have to configure separately?
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:43 AM   #12
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If you disconnect the inlet side of your pump and get a fitting with a length of tubing, you can connect it to the inlet side and put the tube into a gallon of antifreeze, and use the pump to winterize the trailer. And as Raz has said, driving with the fresh water tank drain open generally drains the tank completely. And you do want to have a water heater bypass.
You could easily mount a valve before the pump. I had to help a friend with an R-Pod camper and they have one for winterizing. It's at the 6 minute mark in this video:

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Old 10-07-2017, 08:56 AM   #13
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I have the most complex or complete water system offered by Scamp and I live in the upper Midwest where we have plenty of deep freeze temperatures.
Our Scamp has a inlet shutoff valve to the water heater which we use when winterizing.

Our method is far easier to do than to explain.
It takes about 5 minutes and is as follows...

1] Close the inlet valve to the water heater and drain the water heater.
Leave the plug out.

2] Drain the fresh water tank then close the drain.

3] Pour antifreeze into the fresh water tank.

4] Turn the pump on.

5] Open the closest cold water faucet until you see pink, then close it.
Proceed to next furthest and do the same, flush the toilet too.

6] Furthest first,Place your hand over the faucet outlet, open the hot water faucet, then the cold. pink will flow backward to through the hot water lines to the tank. Close the cold then the hot.

7] Shut off the pump and place the plug back into the water heater drain.

8] DONE!

It is important to drain the water heater. remember it stays full unless drained from the outside plug.

Do not sanitize your system at the time you winterize, a few drops of bleach in a gallon of antifreeze will turn the whole gallon clear. This makes it impossible to see pink in the lines or at the sinks.
This method requires no tools except a socket for the drain plug on the water heater.

In the spring simply open the inlet valve on the water heater, put 5 or 6 gallons of water into the empty fresh water tank and run it until all lines run clear.
You could drain the water heater at this point, but it is not really needed.

This would be a good time to sanitize, in the spring after putting the system back in service.

There are certainly other effective methods for winterizing, learn them all and pick the one you like.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:04 AM   #14
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Draining Scamp Tank

You have the right idea by lowering the front hitch jack.
On our 2000 16 ft Scamp, the drain port is at the right front corner, but on the front wall up off the bottom. It helps to raise the left wheel if you can.
I never worried about drying out the tank.
To remove the antifreeze in spring, after draining as much as you can, give it many small rinses with fresh water. until it drains clear.
RV antifreeze is Propylene Glycol. It is safe for human consumption.

You can add a shot of bleach to kill any "beasties" in there. But may not need that if your water is chlorinated.
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