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Old 07-31-2014, 07:41 AM   #1
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Why do we winterize exactly?

Hi everyone,

When I picked up my unit this past May, I was talking to the tech as I was going through everything. I assumed that winterizing was done to stop the water lines from freezing/bursting. He said that wasn't true, it was for the fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen and that in fact leaving a small space heater on in the middle of the kitchen floor is just as good as winterizing (aside from the fact that you could set your rig on fire).
So I'm wondering what exactly doesn't winterizing protect?
I'm coming up on my first fall/winter and haven't yet decided if I'm going to do it myself or bring it in. I'd like to do it myself so if I want to go out on a warm weekend in Feb (we live in NC), I can do it and then re-winterize myself.

As always, thanks!
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:10 AM   #2
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Winterizing is to protect all your plumbing fixtures and hoses. If they freeze you will have one heck of a mess come spring. IMHO a small heater in the middle of the kitchen floor will not help all the plumbing in the underneath area. You should learn how to winterize/dewinterize your rig and dont forget things like the outdoor shower and san-T-flush, these are commonly overlooked. Check out youtube or ask someone who knows for help. I doubt I would trust your dealer to give you good info.

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Old 07-31-2014, 09:13 AM   #3
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I think your tech is steering you in the wrong direction. You are correct in that the water lines will freeze if it gets cold enough - below 30 for an extended time. The PEX lines they use now will actually stretch when starting to freeze due to the expansion of the water - but the fittings/faucets/etc don't. This can break the water line fittings. Water in your pump can also freeze causing damage. Not sure how cold your winters are - maybe a small heater is all you need.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:31 AM   #4
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Us folks in the cold part of the country winterize to protect the plumbing, and to insure that we won't have a mess to fix come spring when we want to use our unit again.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:33 AM   #5
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I would think a small heater could cause a large electric bill! The anti-freeze is not expensive and it doesn't take that long to do the job. To be on the safe side, I would winterize. You never know what kind of weather you will get - it could be a super cold winter! Perhaps a friend with an RV can show you how.

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Old 07-31-2014, 11:40 AM   #6
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Winterizing is actually pretty easy once you have done it. Living in NC you probably don't get real cold? I know it is relative to where you live what cold is. LOL. You may be able to just get by with opening all the faucets and low points and just blow the lines clear. I think that's what I am going to do this year. But I would still pour some antifreeze in the sink traps and toilet bowl.

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Old 07-31-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
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X2 on comments and advice from Loneoak and TimD. Fairly simple procedure you can easily do no need to go to dealer. I would never be comfortable leaving a small heater on plus the electric cost. The simpler and less costly measures are best. Good Luck.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:49 PM   #8
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Here's a website with the basic info on how to winterize.

Good luck
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:37 PM   #9
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I would never leave anything generating heat unattended in camper. You got some good ol fashion bad advice.

Winterizing takes me every bit of 20 minutes a season, not counting the trip to Walmart to buy antifreeze.

If I can do it, anyone can. The only way to screw up is to forget to open the water heater bypass...

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Old 07-31-2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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Nachtmask- I see you are in Orange county. I'm just up the road in alamance county. I'm guessing you got your ST from one of the two local camping worlds. Winterize your trailer yourself, don't pay them to do it. It is easy and quick. The rv/marine antifreeze is available at Wal-Mart for a few $ per gallon. Save the jugs the antifreeze comes in. If we get a warm weekend, you can run the pink stuff back into the jugs and reuse after the trip. We do get cold enough here to do damage to the tt. One of my friends busted a line running to her toilet (her trailer is at a lake about an hour from me). We usually winterize for the season in November and dewinterize in March. Occasionally we take a Feb trip and just do a fast rewinterization when the trip is done.

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Old 09-23-2014, 12:44 PM   #11
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Does anyone but me, blow out all the lines with a small air compressor..???
I'v done the RV antifreeze, but think blowing out all the lines is easier.
Any dis-advantages?
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:56 PM   #12
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I do that and THEN put in the antifreeze....

I think the issue is that some valves/low points will always collect some water...

last winter while at the dealers for 3 months and they said they winterized but didn't - my shower controls and icemaker line greeted me the next time out with falling waters
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:59 PM   #13
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I do both here in Ontario Canada,by blowing the lines out first you don't need near as much anti freeze to do the job.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:15 PM   #14
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X2 on the blow out then add RV antifreeze. I picked up four gallons at local home center for $1.50 / gallon after rebate this year.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:40 PM   #15
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My last trip planned for this year is to Talladega in October. I am thinking about taking a small air compressor along and blowing out the lines before we leave. Then I figure I would leave all of the faucets open and drive the 650 miles home with the caps off of the low point drains. I think with all of the movement, everything should be dry by time we get home.

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Old 09-23-2014, 07:29 PM   #16
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I blew out all my lines then antifreeze. I think this time I will blow them out but just use antifreeze in traps and toilet. I have talked to several campers that is all they do. That way if I choose to go somewhere I won't have to worry about flushing all the lines. It gets cold here but may be more important for folks where it gets reeeaaallly cold and stays that way.

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Old 09-24-2014, 10:16 AM   #17
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Ditto - blow then fill.

Blowing out helps get rid of more water (also helps push a bit out of HW tank if you blow before switching bypass).

Antifreeze is more insurance. I spent $4 on 2 gal. of antifreeze. Well worth the piece of mind.
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