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Old 10-25-2017, 06:27 PM   #1
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Scamp 13 Std.
Minnesota
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Winterizing Scamp according to Scamp directions

I'm trying to successfully winterize my Scamp according to the provided Scamp directions in the printed manual and in the online video.

I poured 2 gallons of RV antifreeze into the water reservoir after draining the reservoir, all lines and the water heater. The written manual seems to indicate that you only winterize the reservoir, the cold water lines, traps and toilet, that it is sufficient to simply drain the hot water lines

The online video, though, goes one step further and indicates that some water probably remains between the water pump and the water heater. To winterize that, says the Scamp online video, you should run the water from the hot tap into the sink for "several seconds."

My problem seems to be that when I turn the pump on to run the hot water line into the sink, even for up to a minute, that I'm only getting air, no pink water. The video clearly shows pink water coming out at this point in the instructions.

Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Bill
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:27 PM   #2
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If you get water from the hot water tap while winterizing, you are doing something wrong.
First step should be to shut off the water heater inlet valve and drain the heater.
With just the hot side tap on you should get no water or air after first step.
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:34 AM   #3
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If you get water from the hot water tap while winterizing, you are doing something wrong.
First step should be to shut off the water heater inlet valve and drain the heater.
With just the hot side tap on you should get no water or air after first step.
Thanks for your response Floyd. I'm trying to figure out, though, why Scamp does not include the step of shutting off the water heater inlet valve in either of the two forms of instructions it provides.

Rather, in the video instructions, it states that water will remain between the pump and the hot water heater inlet and then goes on to say that is why you should turn on the hot water tap for "several seconds," presumably to allow some antifreeze into the tubing and inlet valve of the hot water heater.

After giving that instruction in the video, it demonstrates someone turning on the hot water valve ("for several seconds") and pink antifreeze clearly coming out of the sink faucet. I'm getting nothing but air, no antifreeze at all at that step.

I'm now wondering if I used so much of the antifreeze of the two gallons I put in the reservoir in winterizing the cold water lines, that there wasn't enough remaining to draw enough antifreeze into the hot water lines to even reach the sink faucet? It is acting a lot like running out of water in the reservoir at the campground, requiring a refill.

I realize, Floyd, that with your experience with winterizing and your situation that you are doing this in a different way. As a newbie, I'm just trying to follow the Scamp instructions.

Bill
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:24 AM   #4
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Bill, it seems to me that the Scamp design (at least in my camper) leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to winterizing. (In my rig) there is not a proper water heater bypass but instead only a shutoff valve. IMHO you should turn this valve off before running antifreeze trough through system. You don't want antifreeze in you water heater - for one thing it will take (usually) six more gallons to fill it and get it run through the hot water lines. But here is the catch-22: Once you shut off this valve, the hot water pipes and plumbing are isolated.

Now if you fully drain the plumbing then in theory at least it will get the water out of the hot side so it wont freeze and do damage. Pull the water heater drain plug, open the over-pressure valve (optional), open all faucets, open the water heater shutoff valve, open the fresh water drain valve, open the low point valves (near the grey water dump under the camper), and let gravity do its thing. If the low point valves are not the low point because of the way the trailer is parked then do something so that the plumbing low point valves are in fact the low point (move camper, jack up opposite side). Raise the shower head / sprayer and open the valve in the handle. Lastly, remove the screen at the city water inlet and push in the check valve to allow water to exit the valve.

Once fully drained, esp. the hot side, close the water heater shutoff valve, the rest of the valves and faucets, and proceed to winterize the cold side.

But a proper water heater bypass that would allow you to run antifreeze through the hot water plumbing without running antifreeze into and through the water heater would be a good option. Any video you have seen with antifreeze coming out the hot water faucets probably has a bypass.

(BTW, I find that a tea kettle is MUCH easier to winterize )
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:22 AM   #5
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Suggestion for the Hot Water Side

My wife and I just winterized our Scamp 16 for the first time. We also found the one published by Scamp to be generic and I was afraid incomplete.

A post I read offered the following idea which we followed. Here is the extra step we took.

(This was done once the cold water side was fully winterized toilet, traps, shower drain were full of anti freeze, water heater empty, plug out and bypass valve closed.)

All faucets are in the closed position

Now the Hot water lines:

With a gloved hand (rubber glove) I covered the farthest faucet outlet (or closed the shower head valve) to prevent water from flowing out the faucet.

Opened the hot water side. (which is currently isolated)

Opened the cold water faucet

With the demand pump 'ON' the anti freeze flows backwards from the cold water side into the hot water side because I had the faucet outlet block with my hand. The end result is pink RV anti freeze eventually exiting out of the water heater drain. I then stop and move to the next faucet. (Closing the one I just finished with.) I then repeat the procedure.

As my last double check I then open the cold water heater inlet valve a couple seconds to make sure it is protected and put the drain plug back into the water heater. I release any remaining pressure at the city water inlet.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff T View Post
...

A post I read offered the following idea which we followed. Here is the extra step we took.
..
So if I understand, you have antifreeze INSIDE your water heater tank?
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
So if I understand, you have antifreeze INSIDE your water heater tank?
Gordon, I don't see how you can make sure that every hose, valve, fitting and plug can be winterized without getting at least some antifreeze in the water heater.

What is your concern with at least some antifreeze in the water heater? Is it damaging to the water heater? Any undesirable toxic effects? Or just having to buy that much antifreeze?

In Minnesota, or elsewhere in the upper midwest and in the northeast, I'd say it is critical to do as complete a job as possible.

Thanks for your first very detailed response to my first query above. It is deeply appreciated.

Bill
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff T View Post
My wife and I just winterized our Scamp 16 for the first time. We also found the one published by Scamp to be generic and I was afraid incomplete.

A post I read offered the following idea which we followed. Here is the extra step we took.

(This was done once the cold water side was fully winterized toilet, traps, shower drain were full of anti freeze, water heater empty, plug out and bypass valve closed.)

All faucets are in the closed position

Now the Hot water lines:

With a gloved hand (rubber glove) I covered the farthest faucet outlet (or closed the shower head valve) to prevent water from flowing out the faucet.

Opened the hot water side. (which is currently isolated)

Opened the cold water faucet

With the demand pump 'ON' the anti freeze flows backwards from the cold water side into the hot water side because I had the faucet outlet block with my hand. The end result is pink RV anti freeze eventually exiting out of the water heater drain. I then stop and move to the next faucet. (Closing the one I just finished with.) I then repeat the procedure.

As my last double check I then open the cold water heater inlet valve a couple seconds to make sure it is protected and put the drain plug back into the water heater. I release any remaining pressure at the city water inlet.
Thanks Jeff, for your complete reply laying out this approach in detail. I think there is much merit to this in order to get at the hot water side as completely as possible without using any more antifreeze than necessary.

Bill
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill MN View Post
..
What is your concern with at least some antifreeze in the water heater? Is it damaging to the water heater? Any undesirable toxic effects? Or just having to buy that much antifreeze?
...
As I understand it (and I am open to being corrected), the objections are that it is an unnecessary cost, and that because some liquid (abut a quart) remains in the water heater tank (but will not cause freeze damage), it is hard to flush out all the antifreeze. Some of it might back-flow into the cold water side but outside of bad taste toxicity of RV antifreeze should not be a problem.

I should add that the gravity draining of the hot water plumbing in (my) Scamp only works because apparently the hot water pipes have no loops or anything that will trap water. They all allow water to flow to the low point valve. If your hot water plumbing traps water then using a water heater bypass, and running antifreeze through the rest of the hot side plumbing, seems like a no-brainer. But AF is not needed in water heater itself and will add around $15 or more to the cost.

And as always, different campers are.. well different. What works for one might not for another.

EDIT: a little googling comes up with a report from Suburban that antifreeze will eat away at the anode rod, so if you have one and put AF in the water heater, remove it and replace it with a plug for storage. I understand that Atwood heaters, which is likely what Scamp uses, do not have an anode rod so no worries.
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill MN View Post
Thanks for your response Floyd. I'm trying to figure out, though, why Scamp does not include the step of shutting off the water heater inlet valve in either of the two forms of instructions it provides.

Rather, in the video instructions, it states that water will remain between the pump and the hot water heater inlet and then goes on to say that is why you should turn on the hot water tap for "several seconds," presumably to allow some antifreeze into the tubing and inlet valve of the hot water heater.

After giving that instruction in the video, it demonstrates someone turning on the hot water valve ("for several seconds") and pink antifreeze clearly coming out of the sink faucet. I'm getting nothing but air, no antifreeze at all at that step.

I'm now wondering if I used so much of the antifreeze of the two gallons I put in the reservoir in winterizing the cold water lines, that there wasn't enough remaining to draw enough antifreeze into the hot water lines to even reach the sink faucet? It is acting a lot like running out of water in the reservoir at the campground, requiring a refill.

I realize, Floyd, that with your experience with winterizing and your situation that you are doing this in a different way. As a newbie, I'm just trying to follow the Scamp instructions.

Bill
Actually the inlet line to the water heater is merely a "T" off the cold water line so the there will be no water trapped between the pump and the heater.
The only way to get water out of the hot water tap is to have the heater tank full (just like home tank water heaters)
With the hot water tank drained, it works best to leave the HW taps closed until all cold water lines are flushed to the sinks and toilet.
Then it is a simple matter to back flush the hot water lines by placing a hand securely over the faucet outlet, next open the hot side tap, then open the cold side tap to let some antifreeze back flush the hot water line.
Then shut off the cold tap then shut off the hot tap... done.
The whole process of winterization is a simple matter, which takes longer to explain properly, than to do properly!
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
As I understand it (and I am open to being corrected), the objections are that it is an unnecessary cost, and that because some liquid (abut a quart) remains in the water heater tank (but will not cause freeze damage), it is hard to flush out all the antifreeze. Some of it might back-flow into the cold water side but outside of bad taste toxicity of RV antifreeze should not be a problem.

I should add that the gravity draining of the hot water plumbing in (my) Scamp only works because apparently the hot water pipes have no loops or anything that will trap water. They all allow water to flow to the low point valve. If your hot water plumbing traps water then using a water heater bypass, and running antifreeze through the rest of the hot side plumbing, seems like a no-brainer. But AF is not needed in water heater itself and will add around $15 or more to the cost.

And as always, different campers are.. well different. What works for one might not for another.
Actually My water heater apparently drains completely, but certainly would have no more residual antifreeze than anywhere else in the system, and the tank can be rinsed in the spring by removing the plug, opening the inlet valve and running the pump to clear the fresh tank, the pump, and the hot water tank. Then replace the plug and rinse rest of the system. This is a good time to disinfect the system as well if desired.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
...
The only way to get water out of the hot water tap is to have the heater tank full (just like home tank water heaters)
I assume you mean to flow in the normal direction, into the sink. To get water out of the hot water tap for winterizing, I think open the drains and the tap and allow it to gravity drain out of the tap would be sufficient (for the tap at least).

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post

With the hot water tank drained, it works best to leave the HW taps closed until all cold water lines are flushed to the sinks and toilet.
Then it is a simple matter to back flush the hot water lines by placing a hand securely over the faucet outlet, next open the hot side tap, then open the cold side tap to let some antifreeze back flush the hot water line.
Then shut off the cold tap then shut off the hot tap... done.
..
With the pump on I assume, and some will flow backwards into the water heater as I see it.. not much if your are quick, but more if you hold your hand over the tap outlet and let the AF flow for longer.

Its a good idea. There was a similar suggestion for the shower-head. Really all one needs to do it figure out how water / AF flows and get it to flow where it is needed.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:51 AM   #13
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Winterizing

After my first attempt at winterizing our 16 Scamp here in Central Michigan we now winterizing by heading south below the hard freeze line

OK to get serious one thing I nearly missed was the front shower/sink drain pump. This moves water from the bathroom back to the gray water tank. I made sure to put RV antifreeze in the drain and run the drain pump for a bit to make sure it had pink juice in it. Since that hangs well below the floor it will otherwise likely freeze ASAP and kill the pump when temps are low.

Oh, it took quite a bit of spring flushing to clear the pink stuff out of our freshwater tank before the horrible taste was gone. Clearly, I had OD'd the amount or RV antifreeze I added the first time.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:56 AM   #14
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The water heater drain plug is out until the very end of the winterizing process. The tank has a residual amount of water/anti freeze. I put the plug back in hand tight and plan on cleaning the system before placing the fresh water back in use. This would include a hand wand in the water heater to flush it good. The plug would go back in for the summer season with Teflon tape and wrench tight. (We can get below zero here so being cautious with our efforts here.)
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:58 AM   #15
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BILL MN:

I winterize my Scamp FROM the water tank and it eliminates ALL possibilities of water remaining anywhere- IF - you drain the water heater, black and grey tanks first. I make sure my water tank is drained and pour 1 gal of antifreeze into it. (13' Scamp).

ALWAYS turn on the "bypass" lever at the water heater or it WILL try and go into the water heater costing you MUCHO antifreeze.

I then turn on all my "cold" water faucets (one at a time) including the spray nozzle in the shower and flushing the toilet until "red" comes through all of them.

Floyd taught me a trick of holding your finger over the faucet outlet, turning on the hot water faucet then the cold water and it would "force" the antifreeze BACK through the hot water lines all the way to the water heater! I've done this for both the bath AND kitchen sink. It works because you can trace the water lines and see it.

People misunderstand water freezing sometimes. If your water heater is empty, it will still have a small amount of residual water in it. If that freezes, it wont hurt anything because it has PLENTY of room for expansion. With waterlines full of water and under pressure- such as with the city water- then when it freezes.... ... yeah...something's got to give. That make sense??

For what it's worth...the antifreeze we're pushing BACK through the line-- where's it going? None other than the water heater!! So it's a win-win there. One other advantage to using your fresh water tank- when I get through, I go outside at the city water inlet, reach inside and press the little check-valve and 99% of the time, "red" antifreeze will shoot out there as well....and bro...you have'r nailed.

Finally, when I've ran antifreeze through my drain (from the faucets), I dont drain my tanks and just leave the antifreeze in there.

Ok... 7 yrs of my method with zero problems so far. Some just use "air" to clear the lines. I use both (air first of course)
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:33 AM   #16
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I've been using a combination of mostly air plus a little bit of antifreeze for the pump and drains.
I first drain and then re-plug the hot water heater, and then I use the my air compressor to blow water out of every line one at a time, hot and cold, including the line to the toilet. This gets water out of every line, including the hot water line beyond the water heater.
After that, I drain the water tank again since there will be a little bit of water in it.
Next step is to protect the water pump with RV antifreeze since it was isolated from the city inlet where I connected the air compressor. For that, I had installed a switch that allows you to bypass the fresh water tank (which I already drained) and switch to another inlet hose where I use about a cup or two of RV antifreeze and suck it through the water pump until it comes out the cold water faucet. That protects the pump from freezing.
After that, I pour a little antifreeze into the shower drain and turn that pump on to protect that pump from freezing.
Pour a little antifreeze down each drain and good to go for another year.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
...
ALWAYS turn on the "bypass" lever at the water heater or it WILL try and go into the water heater costing you MUCHO antifreeze.
...
Floyd taught me a trick of holding your finger over the faucet outlet, turning on the hot water faucet then the cold water and it would "force" the antifreeze BACK through the hot water lines all the way to the water heater! ...
What I call a bypass reroutes water (AF) to the hot water lines so there would be no need to use Floyd's method to get AF into the hot side. AF would flow from the fresh water tank through the bypass to the hot water piping and to the hot taps and shower. A proper bypass also shuts off the water heater on the hot side as well as the cold side, so no water or AF gets in it.

My Scamp does not have a bypass.. it has a cold water inlet shutoff only. Once it is closed, water (AF) will not go into the hot water side of the plumbing (unless you do the Floyd trick or otherwise cross connect the cold pipe to hot pipe).

The terminology can confuse the issue.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:40 AM   #18
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Once more, I will re-write my winterizing "scheme" with a few corrections gleaned from the wisest of the wise. Thanks for all your ideas.

I winterized successfully last year and have every confidence that I have succeeded again this year. New England winters can be quite cold.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
I assume you mean to flow in the normal direction, into the sink. To get water out of the hot water tap for winterizing, I think open the drains and the tap and allow it to gravity drain out of the tap would be sufficient (for the tap at least).



With the pump on I assume, and some will flow backwards into the water heater as I see it.. not much if your are quick, but more if you hold your hand over the tap outlet and let the AF flow for longer.

Its a good idea. There was a similar suggestion for the shower-head. Really all one needs to do it figure out how water / AF flows and get it to flow where it is needed.
Well my winterizing project is done, I almost hesitate to call it a project because it was so ridiculously simple. Like Floyd said, it almost takes as much time to frame the question and the answers than it does to do the actual process.

I want to thank everyone who answered, it was most helpful and reassuring for this newbie. I know it takes a lot of patience to answer these questions from people who don't always fully understand what they're doing. So my hat is off to all you good folks.

I did the back-flush method that was described by several people. I was especially concerned about the hot-water hose that comes out of the hot water heater and runs along the floor of the Scamp behind the sink and the stove, and has a splitter somewhere around the sink but I wasn't able to see it. I didn't want any remaining water to be sitting in that hose, particularly around the splitter. The back-flush method took care of that and by posting my wife outside to watch the open hot water drain, she was able to tell me when she saw pink fluid coming out of the drain, as I first back-flushed the hot water line in the shower, and then in the kitchen sink.

So all the lines, valves, splitters, traps and toilet, etc. are winterized and with a minimum amount of anti-freeze remaining in the Atwood water heater.

Thanks so much!

Bill
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:56 PM   #20
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I want to thank everyone here who posted. We just got our first trailer with a complete plumbing system, two sinks, toilet, shower, w/h, black and gray tanks, and supply tank. I've come to the conclusion that I didn't know what I didn't know. It's all a little overwhelming.

As someone here said; this is a twice a year process for us that have to winterize, then flush the system when snowbirding down south, re-winterize before returning north, and finally flush again before our summer camping. I expect to be a lot further along the learning curve this time next year!

Floyd, you're always looking for topics to discuss at Scamp Camp in Highland Hammocks S.P. in FL. I would benefit greatly from a class on "Winterizing Your Scamp". I'm sure others would benefit from a good discussion on that topic as well, because there seem to be as many methods as there are members. This might be a good class to give at a trailer, pointing out valves, drains, etc. instead of a general discussion at the picnic table.

At the risk of offending anyone by leaving their name out, I think I learned a little from everyone who posted on this thread. Good topic, timely, and much needed! Thx again

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