How to winterize without HW bypass valve?? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:11 PM   #1
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How to winterize without HW bypass valve??

Hi all,

Im about to winterize my new to me EggCamper. I just realized it does not have a hot water heater bypass. I am aware I can install a kit, but may save that for a later date until I'm more able (leg surgery). I prefer to use the air and pink stuff both.

My hot water heater is not your standard surburban - it looks exactly like the one in my home - but mini. Its vertical electric only. It does not have a bypass valve. I know how to drain it - but I just dont know how to winterize my hot lines without the bypass.

Is there a procedure for winterizing with antifreeze without the bypass setup and valves??

Thank you!!
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWScarab View Post
Hi all,

Im about to winterize my new to me EggCamper. I just realized it does not have a hot water heater bypass. I am aware I can install a kit, but may save that for a later date until I'm more able (leg surgery). I prefer to use the air and pink stuff both.

My hot water heater is not your standard surburban - it looks exactly like the one in my home - but mini. Its vertical electric only. It does not have a bypass valve. I know how to drain it - but I just dont know how to winterize my hot lines without the bypass.

Is there a procedure for winterizing with antifreeze without the bypass setup and valves??
Thank you!!
If its like your home water heater, doesn't it have an inlet shutoff valve?
If so it is a simple matter to winterize. Scamp has an inlet shut off valve and that's all that is needed for winterizing.
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Old 10-24-2016, 04:43 PM   #3
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I winterize as follows:
Drain Fresh water tank
With an air compressor, blow out all lines, hot water heater first, the cold water lines, then hot water lines.
Put a full container contents of RV antifreeze in the fresh water tank
Start the water pump
Make sure you have pink (colour of the antifreeze) in the furthest away cold service (mine is the toilet). Work your way back to the tank. Then repeat with hot water service.
I then drain the fresh water tank, and then blow out all the lines again as above. The idea is that the lines are by and large dry, with RV antifreeze collecting in the low spots.
In the spring, make sure to flush everything clear with fresh water before firing up the hot water heater.


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Old 10-24-2016, 05:13 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! Believe it or not, no valves at all. No cold inlet valve. Attached is a pic. I'm thinking maybe if I can match the threads maybe I just unscrew the hot and cold from heater then thread on a home made jumper tube between the hot and cold lines. At that point maybe I just take the water heater in the house for the winter ha! Thoughts?

I guess the easiest would be to buy a jumper kit tho and install now. Or maybe I buy 6 more gallons of pink stuff and fill tank during winterize toon. I was just hoping for a quick solution for this time only.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JWScarab View Post
Thanks guys! Believe it or not, no valves at all. No cold inlet valve. Attached is a pic. I'm thinking maybe if I can match the threads maybe I just unscrew the hot and cold from heater then thread on a home made jumper tube between the hot and cold lines. At that point maybe I just take the water heater in the house for the winter ha! Thoughts?

I guess the easiest would be to buy a jumper kit tho and install now. Or maybe I buy 6 more gallons of pink stuff and fill tank during winterize toon. I was just hoping for a quick solution for this time only.
Looking at your picture you have hand tighten fittings (both female). All you need is a piece of hose (or plastic pipe) with the right male thread on both ends and VIOLA! bypass!
Or you could just buy a small ball valve and screw it directly inline at the inlet.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:46 AM   #6
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I just empty all water, then put pink antifreeze into the fresh water tank and use the trailer pump and run it through all the faucets until pink comes out. That's it. I do not blow the lines.

I do take out the anodize rod and heating element in the hot water tank and replace these each season, which drains the hot water tank. I don't see why you cannot just let pink stuff into the hot water tank, although I do have a bypass on my 2013 Casita 17' Spirit.

I live just outside of Nashville, TN. Temps have been below 0 degrees for short periods of time. I do keep my battery indoors on a trickle charger.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:51 AM   #7
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Also I put in about 4 to 6 gallons of the pink stuff into the fresh water tank, then when I drain it out I save as much as I can and reuse it.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:32 PM   #8
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At all costs I would avoid putting antifreeze into a hot water tank or a fresh water tank.. I don't know how sensitive your sense of smell and taste are but in my humble experience it seems to me that the scent and flavor of antifreeze never leaves your water system once you have introduced antifreeze into the hot water tank.. It's like the aluminum gods and the antifreeze gods form some sort of lifetime friendship and once introduced to each other they never part.. You will always be reminded that at one time you put antifreeze into the hot water tank.. And to put antifreeze into you fresh water tank is not only a waste of antifreeze it too will be there for a long time to remind you that you should not have done that either..

In this case I would, drain the hot water tank, make up a female-female connector to to connect the two male fittings that belong on the hot and cold sides of the water tank making the system complete.. Then unscrew the fresh water intake line from the side of the water pump and attach a female union that has a 3ft length or so of water line to it.. Put this water line into a jug of antifreeze and turn on the pump, this will pump the antifreeze through the system..

With the pump on, open each of the taps/valves one at a time until the pink antifreeze flows out of the tap..

Don't forget to do the toilet, shower head and outside shower if you have one..

Then, turn off the pump, crack one of the taps open for just a split second, to release most but not all of the pressure, and go outside and push the center of the "city water" inlet in anticipation of seeing the pink antifreeze flowing out of here too.. If it's just water coming out of the city water the first time, repeat the process, turn on the pump (this puts more antifreeze in the line), turn off the pump, crack that tap again and close it quickly (this reduces the back pressure on the city water line valve), go back out side and push in the center of the city water valve again (this make take 2 or 3 times to finally see the pink antifreeze flow out - but it is worth the effort)

Instead of putting antifreeze into the fresh water tank - just drain it - even if there is an inch of water in the tank there is LOTS of room for the water to freeze and expand without doing any damage to the tank..

For the black and gray tanks, be sure that you have drained them.. The antifreeze that goes down the drains and toilet as you flush the system will protect these tanks..

One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you flush enough antifreeze through the taps to ensure that the sink "traps" are loaded with antifreeze as well..

Once you have cleaned up all the pink stuff (it stains the plastic fixtures) remove the line from the antifreeze bottle and the pump, reattach the line from the on board water tank to the pump and you are ready to put fresh water into the on board tank and purge the pink elixir from the system in the spring..

Hope this helps..
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:08 PM   #9
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Very good explanation, Chris.

I just want to mention that one reason Chris is using the water pump to run anti-freeze through is that that will get anti-freeze into the toilet valve when you bring up the anti-freeze by flushing. You cannot protect the toilet valve from cracking and causing an expensive repair unless you do that. Just putting anti-freeze down the toilet will not protect the valve.

We also never put anti-freeze in the fresh or hot water tanks.
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:37 PM   #10
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My old pop-up camper had a tee valve and short length of tubing so you could turn the valve and then pump antifreeze from a small jug instead of the fresh water tank. I lost that nice feature when I "upgraded" to a Scamp.

Not a big deal to me since I don't drink from the fresh water tank.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:53 PM   #11
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Thanks all!! I think what I need to do is get out there and do the bypass kit, and the suction hose too while I'm at it! Then I'm good to go. I wanted to wait till spring so I'm not working my leg too much, but I can do it carefully! I'm going to do the mods now and keep the antifreeze out of the water heater and tank! Thanks everybody for all the tips!
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:04 PM   #12
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I installed a male garden hose fitting on the outlet of the water heater, and a female fitting on the outlet hose. With the reverse at the inlet. When I winterize, I simply connect the inlet and outlet hoses together.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
If its like your home water heater, doesn't it have an inlet shutoff valve?
If so it is a simple matter to winterize. Scamp has an inlet shut off valve and that's all that is needed for winterizing.
When shutting off the inlet valve on the Scamp it is most likely like the Casita and that automatically sends the antifreeze past the hot water tank in a bypass line. Shutting off the inlet valve does not let the antifreeze go through the hot water lines unless there is a bypass. The hot water tank has to be full to let the lines get the antifreeze without a bypass and that is not a good idea. Look behind the hot water lines as my bypass valve is pretty hidden but it is on the bypass line. They don't look like the old ones where you had 2 or 3 valves to change.
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:42 AM   #14
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I do have a by pass valve on the hot water tank so I have never put antifreeze into the hot water tank. However, I do put the pink into the fresh water tank, black and and grey tank, and have not noticed odors or taste issues, perhaps because after I empty the pink in the spring I then rinse with bleach, following that with baking soda/water mixture. Works well for me.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:20 AM   #15
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Chris - I just sent your reply to myself via email - labeled winterizing the egg. I agree - its a great explanation!!! Thank you!
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:29 AM   #16
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I have not yet installed the water heater bypass kit I bought a couple of weeks ago. My '92 came without one.

I also don't like the idea of RV antifreeze in my freshwater system, so have avoided it.

I drain the fresh water tank, open a cold faucet and run the pump until it sucks air, drain the water heater, put the plug back in loose, then blow compressed air through the lines from the city water fitting doing the hot and cold lines one at a time to each faucet. Purging the toilet flush valve is a matter of flushing while compressed air is applied to the city water fitting until air comes out.

The last steps are to take the plug back out of the water heater and disconnect the pump inlets and outlets and then run the pump for a second so that it can blow any water inside it out onto a conveniently placed rag.

An interesting side effect of this winterizing technique is that the water heater does not fill with water until you open a hot water tap. If you leave the hot water taps turned off, the hot water lines and the heater stay 'vapor locked' full of air even if you're using the cold water system in the normal way. That's 48+ lbs of water you're not carrying around in your trailer.

All of that said, I'm going to be installing the hot water bypass kit this fall - we just don't use the water heater all that much, and being able to bypass it is a useful option.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:30 PM   #17
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Here's my water system winterizing drill.

There is no need for a water heater bypass, and this will protect your water pump from freezing; something that blowing the lines out with air will not accomplish.

1) Buy 3 gallons of RV antifreeze.

2) Empty the freshwater supply tank and remove the drain plug on the water heater.

3) Close the drain valve and pour the 3 gallons of anti freeze into the supply tank.

4) Turn on the water pump until you see pink anti freeze in the supply line of the water heater. Turn off the shutoff valve in the water heater supply line.

5) Open the cold side of the kitchen fixture. Close when the water turns pink.

6) Open the hot side of the kitchen fixture. Cover the faucet with your hand and open the cold side. Close the cold side when the outlet side of the water heater turns pink.

7) Do the same thing at the shower; use the 'off' setting on the shower head instead of your hand.

8) Fill the toilet until pink shows up in the bowl.

9) Poke your finger into the city water inlet until pink comes out. Be ready to turn off the pump if the valve does not seat properly.

Congratulations! You are now ready for the winter camping season!

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Old 10-29-2016, 07:49 PM   #18
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Well, I just got back from Lowe's. For $6 and change including tax, I have a hot water heater bypass AND a water pump inlet suction tube. Will be winterizing without antifreeze in fresh water tank or water heater!

I may install a permanent bypass and suction tube in the future - but for now this will do the job just fine! Heck, its so easy - maybe I just use this each year. Less ball valves and joints to leak.

Thanks all !!!
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Old 11-08-2016, 12:46 AM   #19
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No broken yokes a.k.a Winterizing you egg.

We have a 1980 4500 and we have found the best way for us is to start with going to the back of your regular tow vehicle and measure the height of the trailer ball and write that down on a piece of paper and add 1/2 inch to that measurement, again write that down on that piece of paper. Senior here.

Now go to the front of your egg and adjust the bottom edge of the coupler height to that measurement. Now get in the tow vehicle and very carefully back up to the egg so the trailer ball sits right where the couple can come down and latch to it. This may take the better part of a morning if you aren't good at backing and judging where you are, or you could always ask you wife to guide you but we know how that goes sometimes. When you get it all lined up, lower the trailer coupler down on the trailer ball.

When it is down all the way, you can latch the hitch to the ball and put a hitch pin or lock on it to secure it. Next raise the tongue jack all the way and attach the safety chains to the tow vehicle. Now plug in the electrical connector to the tow vehicle and do a brake and light check to insure that they are working. Do a walk around to make sure that you have disconnected the shore power and dog chain. Now get in the tow vehicle and check that the GPS is set for Quartsite, AZ. Be careful again as you pull on the the street. This is also a good time to look in the passenger seat to be sure you haven't forgotten anyone. Air fair is expensive and the TSA aren't very friendly people and you don't want to have to tow your egg to Sky Harbor airport in Pheonix to pick her up, it's known as "not a happy camper".

Well, now your on the street, just follow the old GPS til you get there. It sure beats hauling anything freezable in to the house for the winter, pouring all that antifreeze crap in the plumbing and blowing out the lines and still having to fix some plumbing when you are ready to go on your first trip of the spring.

Have a happy winter and watch of for us old guys.
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Old 11-08-2016, 01:24 AM   #20
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Death Valley CA is closer than Quartzsite, AZ. Heading that way soon.
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