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Old 02-11-2016, 08:37 PM   #1
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New FW owner looking for advice on winterizing

We just purchased a 2005 Dutchman Colorado 28BH FW. It has the cold weather package I think, and we have it plugged in at our house with an oil filled space heater running inside. We just took delivery this month (water was hooked up and flowing at the dealer) and although we live in western Washington state where winters are mild, I'm still wondering if we are safe from freeze damage. At what point is the outside temperature low enough to cause damage.

We are feeling a bit overwhelmed so we appreciate any help you experienced folks can give us.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:46 PM   #2
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Your trailer is plumbed with wirsbo piping that is freeze proof. Meaning that it can freeze and the pipes wont break. However its never good thing to freeze your pipes. 32 degrees is freezing so anything under that and there is the potential with enough exposure unheated that they will freeze. I work in Mountain Search & Rescue and had a Raptor prior to our new Voltage and the pipes would freeze on a regular basis while up at base camp and I never had a problem other that no water until we came off the mountain.

BTW. Like the name. Wade, meaning Wanderer. so i'm assuming your name is wade as well?
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:04 PM   #3
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Your trailer is plumbed with wirsbo piping that is freeze proof. Meaning that it can freeze and the pipes wont break. However its never good thing to freeze your pipes. 32 degrees is freezing so anything under that and there is the potential with enough exposure unheated that they will freeze. I work in Mountain Search & Rescue and had a Raptor prior to our new Voltage and the pipes would freeze on a regular basis while up at base camp and I never had a problem other that no water until we came off the mountain.

BTW. Like the name. Wade, meaning Wanderer. so i'm assuming your name is wade as well?
Yes, our last name is Wade. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:52 PM   #4
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While the water pipes may be Wirsbo/PEX that doesn't mean the plastic couplings used in the plumbing scheme won't freeze and burst. Then there's the water pump proper to consider also. Any faucets close to the exterior may freeze as well.

Oh yeah, the water heater also. A major replacement cost if it splits.

When it gets to close to freezing temperatures in an RV everything is at risk.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:42 AM   #5
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Get one of the adapters and thoroughly blow the lines with compressed air, hold the pressure to around 35 psi. Then pour a cup or so of RV antifreeze in the plumbing P-traps and you will be good well down into the teens. Depending on on how and what your cold weather package entails is anybody's guess.

Winterizing process:
  • Remove plug, drain water heater
  • Turn bypass levers to winter
  • Hookup adapter and compressor WATCH THE OVERALL AIR PRESSURE!
  • Open one faucet at a time and let it blow until it is all air and no water.
  • Open low point drains last (usually under the unit somewhere, might be 2-4 of them
  • Add antifreeze to plumbing traps
  • Make sure fresh water tank is drained, leave valve open
  • Locate water pump and make sure it has been drained too
  • Don't forget the outside shower... been there and had to replace more than one

The only problem with using just the oil filled radiator is that many "cold" weather packages depend on having warm air from the furnace circulating in the belly pan or other areas of the camper to keep things from freezing up, that costs money for the LP.

Once you get the hang of "blowing the lines" it can be done in 10-15 minutes or so. This is how I winterize in the my part of the Deep South. I can head a couple of hours south to warmer weather, enjoy a long weekend of camping, blow the lines before I leave and just park the camper when I get back and it will be ready to roll again when I am ready.

Aaron
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:01 AM   #6
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Thanks for the detailed procedure wahoonc! I will get this done ASAP.
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by WanderingWades View Post
Thanks for the detailed procedure wahoonc! I will get this done ASAP.
I think we get a little colder than you, we get down below -0 F for a few days, 2-3 times a year.

I went the anti-freeze once, then we decided to go to the coast for Christmas that year. It was a pain in the butt to do a spring prep in December.

Ever since I been draining the tank and blowing the lines. Never had a plumbing problem due to frozen pipes.

Saved a bunch on anti-freeze over the years, a 3 gallon jug does me 2 or more years.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:11 PM   #8
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Aaron says,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Make sure fresh water tank is drained, leave valve open. There are others that subscribe to this step also.


Why? Why leave it open?
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:31 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:46 PM   #10
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Aaron says,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Make sure fresh water tank is drained, leave valve open. There are others that subscribe to this step also.


Why? Why leave it open?
No matter how hard you try to get it totally empty, there is always just enough water sitting in the tank to fill the valve.

My camper sits on the driveway when I winterize it, then I move it to it's parking spot and level it up. There is always a trail of water, then again in the spring when I move it back to the driveway.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:51 PM   #11
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Seems to me a fella could leave it open for a few days, or partially open to make sure it's all drained out. I would be concerned about critters getting up inside the tank and funkin' it out.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
Seems to me a fella could leave it open for a few days, or partially open to make sure it's all drained out. I would be concerned about critters getting up inside the tank and funkin' it out.
When you clean and flush your tank in the sping your going to look after any little buggers that may have found there way into the tank.

We don't have them pole vaulting critters up here, but if we did I would tie a piece of SS screen over the end of it.

Lots of protein though and the price of beef these days.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Get one of the adapters and thoroughly blow the lines with compressed air, hold the pressure to around 35 psi. Then pour a cup or so of RV antifreeze in the plumbing P-traps and you will be good well down into the teens. Depending on on how and what your cold weather package entails is anybody's guess.

Winterizing process:
  • Remove plug, drain water heater
  • Turn bypass levers to winter
  • Hookup adapter and compressor WATCH THE OVERALL AIR PRESSURE!
  • Open one faucet at a time and let it blow until it is all air and no water.
  • Open low point drains last (usually under the unit somewhere, might be 2-4 of them
  • Add antifreeze to plumbing traps
  • Make sure fresh water tank is drained, leave valve open
  • Locate water pump and make sure it has been drained too
  • Don't forget the outside shower... been there and had to replace more than one

The only problem with using just the oil filled radiator is that many "cold" weather packages depend on having warm air from the furnace circulating in the belly pan or other areas of the camper to keep things from freezing up, that costs money for the LP.

Once you get the hang of "blowing the lines" it can be done in 10-15 minutes or so. This is how I winterize in the my part of the Deep South. I can head a couple of hours south to warmer weather, enjoy a long weekend of camping, blow the lines before I leave and just park the camper when I get back and it will be ready to roll again when I am ready.

Aaron
Thanks Wahoonc, We used your procedure to winterizes the FW and it worked great. Dont really have access to the pump, so I hope blowing out and draining the lines is adequate. Thanks again!
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:00 PM   #14
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Try just turning the water pump on and letting it run dry for several seconds. Since the fresh water tank is empty, running the pump dry should draw in nothing but air and purge any water out of the pump. That little bit of water left in the pump could freeze, expand, and bust the pump. That little bit of water purged into the plumbing lines shouldn't be of worry, there is room for that tiny bit of water to expand if frozen while in the lines.

I've done winterizing with both air only and air followed by antifreeze in the lines. I never had an issue with either and the adding antifreeze after an air purge only takes a few more minutes and a couple dollars worth of anti freeze. Flushing with fresh water in the spring cleans the plumbing out just fine in my opinion. The piece of mind from doing that final anti freeze step is knowing that no water could have remained hidden away because it would have been displaced by anti freeze. But it is true that if the lines are free of water and full of air then there is nothing in there to freeze and cause damage.
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Old 02-25-2016, 02:56 PM   #15
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Here in South Florida, we just throw an extra spread on the bed and we are winterized....
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Old 02-25-2016, 04:46 PM   #16
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Here in South Florida, we just throw an extra spread on the bed and we are winterized....
Could we park our RV at your house?
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:05 PM   #17
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Could we park our RV at your house?
I have 5 acres and am closer to you then going all the way to Flordia. Going to be 85 here today. Come on down.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:10 PM   #18
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Didn't I see a forum rule where rubbing it in isn't allowed?????
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:12 PM   #19
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Oh I think it's okay. When it's 115 here in the summer maybe WanderingWades can invite us up to Washington.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:35 PM   #20
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Don't forget the outside spray nozzle if you have one, you'll need to plug in the supplied hose and flush it out with air. There's just enough water trapped in the end to split the connector, ask me how I know.
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