Need help with anti-freeze flush for Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
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Name: Azer
Trailer: Scamp 16', 2007
Colorado
Posts: 14
Need help with anti-freeze flush for Scamp

Greetings!

I live in Fort Collins, CO. About 2 weeks ago I drained the water storage tank (main and hot) and the grey and black tanks as part of my winterizing. Unfortunately, only today did I try to do the anti-freeze flush. (I have a 16' Scamp, 2007, and am trying to follow the procedure in the manual.) I had the following problem: After filling the water tank with ~1 gallon of RV Anti-Freeze, I first turned on the electric pump (it made the expected whirring sound), I then turned on the cold water faucet in the sink and waited for the colored (RV) fluid to appear, but it did not! The system made gargling type sounds and spat out a small amount of clear water only, even after I waited for about 5 minutes. I also turned on the shower faucet and got a small amount of clear water, but not colored water.

I suspect one of the following may be wrong:
1. My driveway is not horizontal, and the back of the trailer is higher than the front. I can't see where the pipes connect to the water tank, but if it is too near the back of the tank then the inlet may be above the level of the fluid (given that the tank is not horizontal on my drive and I only put in 1 gallon). I tried to look but can't see where the pipe meets the tank. I could move the trailer to the road but that is quite difficult right now. Easier would be to add another 1 or 2 gallons of the anti-freeze, which would bring the fluid level higher and ensure that it can enter the needed pipe inlet - is there reason why this would be a bad idea (apart from cost of anti-freeze)?
2. It is possible there is a bit of ice that has formed within the pipe network somewhere, that is blocking the needed flow. (Note that I did get some clear water through, so it isn't totally frozen up, but I suppose some small constriction may be frozen.) How to check (wait for a warm day...)? Would this be very bad?
3. The pump needs to be primed or has some other problem, but I doubt this is the case. (It worked at the end of the summer and even now makes the correct sound and manages to pull through a bit of residual water).
4. Something totally different?

Please suggest how I can trouble shoot this in the easiest way? Also, how important is this anti-freeze step given that I have emptied the main tanks?

Thanks!,
Azer
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
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I'd put another couple of gallons of anti-freeze in, your right you may not have enough for the pump to pull it in.
If you have had really cold weather then fire up the furnace it won't take much to warm up.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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Name: Randy
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD
Duluth,Minnesota
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One gallon just isn't enough- especially since you are not level. Even when I'm level I need at least 2 gallons to get some flow but I just dump in 3 gallons and let enough pump through all of the faucets to fill the p-traps. At 2.79 a gallon here in Northern MN it's cheap insurance when it hits 30 below. Even if you had a little bit of ice it hasn't been cold enough for long enough to cause any problems. Just make sure you bypass the water heater before you pump the pink stuff through your lines or maybe that was also part of your problem if you hadn't bypassed it before you turned the pump on. I'm sure your going to be ok once you add a few more gallons so your pump isn't sucking air....Good luck.....
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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I suspect the problem is that your tank is not level which might actually cause a second problem in that the water in it may not be completely drained - meaning what anti freeze you have already put in may be diluted. My driveway is also not level but I use leveling blocks to help with that. If you can get the trailer level and then drain that would be the best. There is no harm in using more than a gallon of anti freeze to get the job done.

Is it possible that you didnt shut off the hot water bypass and when you turned on the pump it all went to the hot water tank? Hate to admit it but I did that one year ;-)

Dont forget to keep some to pour down your shower drain (turn on the shower floor pump) and kitchen and bath room sink if you have them.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:25 PM   #5
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Name: Azer
Trailer: Scamp 16', 2007
Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Hagen View Post
.... Just make sure you bypass the water heater before you pump the pink stuff through your lines or maybe that was also part of your problem if you hadn't bypassed it before you turned the pump on.
How do I do this? (I don't recall reading this in the manual. I did drain the water heater by removing the plastic bolt that I accessed from the outside where the water heater controls are, but I didn't do anything else.)
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:29 PM   #6
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Name: Azer
Trailer: Scamp 16', 2007
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[QUOTE=Carol H;345030... meaning what anti freeze you have already put in may be diluted. My driveway is also not level but I use leveling blocks to help with that.[/QUOTE]

I likely do have slightly diluted anti-freeze now. Would you suggest draining it all out, or no big deal (it must be only weakly diluted, and I will add another 2 or 3 gallons of anti-freeze)?

Also, can you describe your leveling blocks and how you use them?

thanks, Azer
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Name: Bob Ruggles
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Michigan
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I can't imagine why you'd pour the antifreeze in the water tank. Just get a 2-3 foot hose with a fitting on one end that will attach to the intake end of your water pump. Takes much less antifreeze, saves money, and remember that antifreeze has a nasty taste if you don't completely purge it from tank and lines. I guess pouring into the tank might be necessary if the pump is inaccessible, though. Any RV dealer can make a suitable hose very cheaply.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:35 AM   #8
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Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD
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Originally Posted by Azer View Post
How do I do this? (I don't recall reading this in the manual. I did drain the water heater by removing the plastic bolt that I accessed from the outside where the water heater controls are, but I didn't do anything else.)
Someone with a Scamp may be able to tell you where the bypass for the water heater is. There should be an access panel on the inside in the back of your Scamp next to the water heater where you would should find the bypass valve. Next make sure you use wheel chocks on the opposite side you need to level,then jack up the side you need to level and put levelling blocks or as I do just use 2x10's to put under the tire so your coach is level. Drain out your fresh water tank and start over with 2 or 3 gallons of fresh anti-freeze, turn your pump on and open your faucets one at a time until the pink stuff comes out and gets enough in the p-traps-you should be good to go!
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:05 AM   #9
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Azer on my Scamp the hot water tank is located under the kitchen sink and the bypass valves for it are located in front of it in the same location. Access is from the door under the sink. All Scamps may not have one - it may have been added by the previous owner.

If you dont have one then its important when you drain the hot water tank that you keep the hot water taps open in the kitchen and bathroom when draining the tank. I am not sure how it works without a bypass but it may be that once you empty the hot water tank that it will stay empty if you dont turn on a hot water tap again. Hopefully someone else who actually doesnt have a bypass on their Scamp can comment.

I use the Ramble RV leveling Blocks. If you dont already have a package of them I highly recommend them. They come in handy for many uses - under tires to level it side to side, under rear jacks and front jacks on soft ground etc. You can use wood to do the same but I have found that wood tends to get slippery when wet and I had an incident a few years ago where the trailer slid sideways off wooden blocks when someone pushed lightly on it.

As you have indicated that your trailer is not level front to back and higher at the back you could stack some blocks and put them under your tongue jack to level the trailer. I was just thinking though as the trailer is higher at the back any water in the tank should be going to the outlet valve which is located at the front on the tank on mine (take a look in the hatch the tank is in and you will see the water line going out of it). If thats the case it doesn't explain your problem - if the trailer isnt level side to side it can also be a problem as the outlet line may not be centered on the tank - its set off slightly to one side on mine.

I actually purchased a Winterizing Hand Pump last year which does as Bob suggests avoid having to put a bunch of anti freeze in the water tank - but as he says the issue with using them is making sure you actually get some anti freeze into the water pump as well which may be an issue. I actually went back to just adding the anti freeze to the tank and pumping it through everything as getting the anti freeze into the pump itself using the hand pump turned out to take more time. At the end of the day any which way you do it you are going to have to rinse the whole system out well more than once in the spring regardless just to clear the anti freeze taste from the hoses themselves.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:13 PM   #10
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by closing the inlet to the hot water tank and opening the the hot taps, you can back feed the anti freeze through hot lines from the tank.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orcus79 View Post
by closing the inlet to the hot water tank and opening the the hot taps, you can back feed the anti freeze through hot lines from the tank.
Sean, do all the Scamps have a bypass or inlet valve you can shut off to the hot water tank? I know mine does but the OP seems to indicate his manual doesnt show one. I would be surprised if they didnt but you never know.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:25 PM   #12
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Ontario
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No bypass valve on my phone 2012 Scamp
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:45 PM   #13
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Trailer: Bigfoot
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Suprisingly, most trailers, classic and modern, don't have a bypass as far as my limited observation has shown, it is indeed an option on some makes. So not having one wouldn't be out of the question.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:46 PM   #14
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Name: Randy
Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD
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I bought my 2003 Casita used and it came with a hot water heater by-pass valve so I just assumed they all came standard on all RV's. I know one thing if mine hadn't come with one and I would have installed a bypass valve fairly soon after purchasing! If it is available as an option I can't believe it would cost very much to have one installed at the factory while they are building it.
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