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First time winterizing


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I have never winterized my garaged motorhome before but our temperatures in Oklahoma are supposed to stay well below freezing for longer than I can remember. I’ll use the air pressure message but the instructions are a little unclear on some points.

 

First, the air pressure method says the water heater drain is in the back of the tank but the antifreeze instructions says it’s in the front. Given there is no way to get to the back of the tank without removing the whole assembly I think I’ll go with it being the nylon plug in the front. That, however leaves something to be desired. When it is removed the water pours out on the flat area of the box below it so the flow can’t be directed into a bucket. All of this is to ask is there any plug for the drain available that has an on/off valve and means of attaching a hose so water doesn’t go all over the floor?

 

Second, I know where three of the low point drains are but, referring to low point drains, the book says they are next to the “Manibloc manifold”. I don’t have the slightest idea what that is nor does the book tell mean. Am I looking for any other low point drains besides the ones under the water pump?

 

Third, there is a hose fitting on the water service panel (see attached image) that isn’t in the book picture of that panel. It is labeled “winterize connection”. I find nothing about it in the book. Does anyone know anything about it?

 

Thanks             
Ed              
‘05 HR Ambassador

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Just came back from trying to blow air through the faucets. Didn’t get any spitting of water as I expected nor any air noise at the faucets. Nothing in the book is said about the positioning of the water fill valve so I assumed it should be in the city water position. However there is a sign on the wall or the water service bay (see attached) that says, for winterizing, the water control valve should be in the fresh water fill position, horizontal, and the tank shutoff valve should be in some center position. Now the picture is clear as mud to me. Put the lever in the horizontal or vertical position since it’s labeled “tank fill”?And what/where is the tank shutoff? More to the point, is this set up for when using the compressed air or antifreeze winterizing method? Or both?

Ed        
‘05 HR Ambassador 

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Much of the discussion depends on weather you have a Water heater or AquaHot system for heat and water.  In any case the valve should first be set to tank fill and blow a bit of air to clear that line and then be sure to open the tank drain .. hopefully empty that.  Now close the lever just like when you connect a hose to your RV to use water from a campsite. Make sure you do not use over 40 PSI !!!  you can blow lines!!!  Go inside and open faucets, shower and any other place including flushing toilet and run the washer on rinse.  Most of this should be in your owners manual actually. The Manablock if you have it  has red and blue water lines coming out of it goinf to each water connection in your RV. It could be behind an access panel in the wet bay or in the storage bay nearest to the wet bay. Once you find it.. open the bottom 2 ports (1Red 1Blue) to drain low point.   If all of this is completed you need to decide if you have a water heater or AquaHot.   If AquaHot the manufacturer recommends you pump in RV antifreeze.. See your Manual for how to get the RV pump to suck in the antifreeze.  If water heater check again on how to open the water heater drain and ensure the tank is empty.   I know this sounds like a lot, but step thru each part slowly and you can do all of the winterize process in an hour or less.  Others can provide detail for the water heater procedure steps if you can't find it easily.  I am sure you can do it all !

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2 hours ago, bill4029 said:

Much of the discussion depends on weather you have a Water heater or AquaHot system for heat and water.  In any case the valve should first be set to tank fill and blow a bit of air to clear that line and then be sure to open the tank drain .. hopefully empty that.  Now close the lever just like when you connect a hose to your RV to use water from a campsite. Make sure you do not use over 40 PSI !!!  you can blow lines!!!  Go inside and open faucets, shower and any other place including flushing toilet and run the washer on rinse.  Most of this should be in your owners manual actually. The Manablock if you have it  has red and blue water lines coming out of it goinf to each water connection in your RV. It could be behind an access panel in the wet bay or in the storage bay nearest to the wet bay. Once you find it.. open the bottom 2 ports (1Red 1Blue) to drain low point.   If all of this is completed you need to decide if you have a water heater or AquaHot.   If AquaHot the manufacturer recommends you pump in RV antifreeze.. See your Manual for how to get the RV pump to suck in the antifreeze.  If water heater check again on how to open the water heater drain and ensure the tank is empty.   I know this sounds like a lot, but step thru each part slowly and you can do all of the winterize process in an hour or less.  Others can provide detail for the water heater procedure steps if you can't find it easily.  I am sure you can do it all !

Thanks Bill. I’ve done most of that. I have a water heater, Atwood. The only thing I haven’t done is turn the fill valve to tank and use the compressed air. I don’t know what this will do but I’ll try it tomorrow. 
            
What I do know is, with the water source set to city water, the low point and potable water valves set to drain and a faucet open nothing happens when I put air pressure on the water source hose. 
           
Let’s go back to that tank source valve in the picture in my second post. What and where is it if it is not the portables water drain valve? The instructions say to open it along with the low point drains then blow air in. After that leave them open until de-winterizing. That’s all the instructions say.

Ed

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I know Monaco places these things in different places based on models.  A previous coach I had was a 06 Beaver Monterey and there were a set of valves that were behind a removable panel on the wall that is next to the wet bay. it had a label to indicate the bypass for suction fill of antifreeze and the normal position.  In your case I am thinking you should have an access panel in a similar spot. You may have to search a bit.  When you camp and have water hooked up the water does flow normally ?  If so the air on the hose line should allow you to do the blow out. If not there has to be another valve set in the wrong direction. I wish I had a book to help more.    

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When im on my last trip before winter,  I drain fresh tank and open my low point drains in the water mngmnt cabinet and drive home with faucets all open. I also hold open toilet flusher so water drains back from it. I think movement of the coach helps insure good drainage. 

When I use air I first open all faucets and low point drains.  After that I blow air in fill coupling with lever set to city water. Leave open low point drains , but close all faucets so the air pushes water thru the plumbing to the low points. Be gentle with the air pressure, but strikes me faucets must be closed or air will escape at first faucet and do nothing.  Before finishing run water pump for 5 seconds or so to get water out of it snd out nearby drains.

Only need to drain water heater using large outside plug. Catch most of it with bucket because will drain with good stream that clears heater shelf. Bucket needs to be 6 gallons or greater and yes last of it dribbles but thats life.

Also plug should be anode tube to fight corrosion in heater, so get one if just plastic plug. 

Ive never used coolant and I live at 4000 feet and get hard freezes during the winter. Hope this helps.

Greg W

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10 hours ago, Greg W said:

 

Only need to drain water heater using large outside plug. Catch most of it with bucket because will drain with good stream that clears heater shelf. Bucket needs to be 6 gallons or greater and yes last of it dribbles but thats life.

Greg W

When I pulled my water heater plug the water pulsed out and I only got about 1 gallon. Maybe if I had opened the lever on the faucet near the top front of the water heater it would have released the vacuum an the water would have flowed better.

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1 hour ago, saflyer said:

When I pulled my water heater plug the water pulsed out and I only got about 1 gallon. Maybe if I had opened the lever on the faucet near the top front of the water heater it would have released the vacuum an the water would have flowed better.

Sorry didnt mention you have to open upper kever to let air flow and replace the water.

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5 hours ago, Dennis H said:

Greg, does your method also remove the water in the filters or do you do that manually??....Dennis

I have no filters that I know of, haha but bet need done manually and might be an issue to fully draining system.

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Take note:

Suburban water heaters have a sacrificial anode because they have steel tanks.

Use an OEM anode as some of the aftermarket versions DON'T WORK!

 

Atwood water heaters have an aluminum tank and do not require an anode rod.

 

 

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  • saflyer changed the title to First time winterizing

For those that drain the water heater....when I had my Dynasty, it too would drip/drain water in places I didn't want it to. I took a short piece of 2" PVC pipe and split it in half. Placed it under the drain and let er rip. Water went where I wanted it to go not where it chose to go.....Dennis

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When winterizing my coach for Wisconsin winter weather I have never "blown out with air" or used RV antifreeze.... (other than 2 cups full in the washer and a cup full in each of the 3 P-Traps).


After completely GRAVITY DRAINING everything in the fresh water system I pour 2 cups full of RV antifreeze into the drum of the Splendide Combo and run it through a rinse cycle.

 

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9 hours ago, Mel S - '96 Safari said:

When winterizing my coach for Wisconsin winter weather I have never "blown out with air" or used RV antifreeze.... (other than 2 cups full in the washer and a cup full in each of the 3 P-Traps).


After completely GRAVITY DRAINING everything in the fresh water system I pour 2 cups full of RV antifreeze into the drum of the Splendide Combo and run it through a rinse cycle.

 

Sounds like a nice, simple solution.

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On 2/14/2021 at 12:15 PM, Dennis H said:

For those that drain the water heater....when I had my Dynasty, it too would drip/drain water in places I didn't want it to. I took a short piece of 2" PVC pipe and split it in half. Placed it under the drain and let er rip. Water went where I wanted it to go not where it chose to go.....Dennis

That’s helpful. Simplicity is usually best. I’ll try that next time. BTW, I broke the head off the nylon drain plug a couple of years ago. What a pain. I just saw a video addressing what to do when that happens. The main takeaway is, since they age and fatigue, install a new plug every year. 

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I’m making headway but here are few things I need clarification on:

(1) There is a picture on the water service bay panel showing the city water/tank fill valve and a tank shutoff valve. Verbiage says to see owner’s manual for more information but I don’t find any. As mentioned by others on this thread I believe the lever is positioned to tank fill then air blown in to clear the inlet and main fresh water drain and low point valves. Then it is put in the city water position to drain all of the faucets. Is that correct?

What is the tank shutoff valve? I only find the fresh water tank drain valve.

(2) There is a Winterize Connection port and it says to see owner’s manual but I don’t find anything on it. I believe it might be to put antifreeze into the system rather than using the gravity fill port. But how ones it work? What is the path for the antifreeze from the port to the pump? For some reason there is so little flow of water from the fresh water tank to the pump that I can’t use the antifreeze method. Maybe this Winterize Connection will help me overcome that problem.

(3) The Atwood water heater drain instructions say there is a Master On/Off switch on the back of the heater. I have to access the back of it through a small door in one of the basement storage bays. Can’t see much but haven’t found that switch. Can anyone tell me what it looks like and where it is located?

The Splendide combo washer/dryer instructions from the manufacturer has winterizing instructions fir antifreeze method only. When search for the water heater information I found Holiday Rambler instructions for winterizing it with air pressure.  

A side note on the air pressure method. Using a standard air pressure chuck gets very tiring holding it on the air inlet valve adapter for the water hose. Does anyone know of a better adapter that can be clamped on so I don’t have to hold the two hoses together constantly? Pictures would be helpful.
 

Thanks for all the help.
 

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3 hours ago, saflyer said:

I’m making headway but here are few things I need clarification on:

(1) There is a picture on the water service bay panel showing the city water/tank fill valve and a tank shutoff valve. Verbiage says to see owner’s manual for more information but I don’t find any. As mentioned by others on this thread I believe the lever is positioned to tank fill then air blown in to clear the inlet and main fresh water drain and low point valves. Then it is put in the city water position to drain all of the faucets. Is that correct?

What is the tank shutoff valve? I only find the fresh water tank drain valve.

(2) There is a Winterize Connection port and it says to see owner’s manual but I don’t find anything on it. I believe it might be to put antifreeze into the system rather than using the gravity fill port. But how ones it work? What is the path for the antifreeze from the port to the pump? For some reason there is so little flow of water from the fresh water tank to the pump that I can’t use the antifreeze method. Maybe this Winterize Connection will help me overcome that problem.

(3) The Atwood water heater drain instructions say there is a Master On/Off switch on the back of the heater. I have to access the back of it through a small door in one of the basement storage bays. Can’t see much but haven’t found that switch. Can anyone tell me what it looks like and where it is located?

The Splendide combo washer/dryer instructions from the manufacturer has winterizing instructions fir antifreeze method only. When search for the water heater information I found Holiday Rambler instructions for winterizing it with air pressure.  

A side note on the air pressure method. Using a standard air pressure chuck gets very tiring holding it on the air inlet valve adapter for the water hose. Does anyone know of a better adapter that can be clamped on so I don’t have to hold the two hoses together constantly? Pictures would be helpful.
 

Thanks for all the help.
 

C425AF74-2F60-4240-AAA6-B588A60F2F32.jpeg

With lever set to tank fill and pushing air to it, think you will only empty tank fill tube, but test will tell if air comes out low point drains.   I would think lever on city water should push water to low point drains but suggest finding member with similar model since my Neptune could be different.  As some have said, may not need air pressure to drain system if low points are in fact the lowest points.

Tank shutoff valve is confusing since city water, tank fill lever should isolate the tank but my Neptune doesnt have one.

Hopefully folks with your model can chime in. Good luck.

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I open the low point drains after blowing out the lines, so you don't lose the air instead of pushing it up to the faucets.

As to hooking up the air hose, this will help.

https://smile.amazon.com/Winterize-Motorhome-Camper-Travel-Trailer/dp/B017CM0134/ref=sr_1_10?crid=3NATAHEKIP4SY&dchild=1&keywords=rv+winterize+blowout+adapter&qid=1613462406&sprefix=rv+winteriz%2Caps%2C255&sr=8-10

 

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12 hours ago, Dave Pumphrey said:

I open the low point drains after blowing out the lines, so you don't lose the air instead of pushing it up to the faucets.

As to hooking up the air hose, this will help.

https://smile.amazon.com/Winterize-Motorhome-Camper-Travel-Trailer/dp/B017CM0134/ref=sr_1_10?crid=3NATAHEKIP4SY&dchild=1&keywords=rv+winterize+blowout+adapter&qid=1613462406&sprefix=rv+winteriz%2Caps%2C255&sr=8-10

 

That’s great Dave. Nice and simple. The one I have has a Schrader valve. 
 

Thanks,           
Ed

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2 hours ago, saflyer said:

That’s grade Dave. Nice and simple. The one I have has a Schrader valve. 
 

Thanks,           
Ed

No disrespect, but seems if faucets and low drains open then most of the water will gravity drain. Then by closing all faucets a little air will push remaining water out low point drains?  I get a little more water out by finally running pump for 5 seconds or so.

Gravity is your friend. Greg W

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Caution when using air to 'blow' out the lines. Air can, indeed blow out your lines. You'll have more issues than if you just let them freeze. The referred plug is simply that. If you hook that up to your compressor hose you'll most likely be finding pieces of your supply lines all over the coach. MAXIMUM PRESSURE IS 40 PSI. Best rig for blowing air thru your system is a trigger nozzle with a regulator on it, a short hose for convenience and the hose connection referred to above. Remember, MAX PRESSURE 40 PSI.....Dennis

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Drain the fresh water tank and all holding tanks.  Now might be a good time to pressure clean the holding tanks (black and grey water) to remove any Struvite deposits (yout.be/2mGY63kgjh8)

 

Drain the water heater and leave the plug out, then close the cold water input side valve.  Make sure the bypass valve is NOT routing water into the water heater.

Having drained the plumbing as much as possible previously via low-point drains, now make sure that all valves are closed so you have a closed system.

20 lbs. will work just as good as 60 lbs.  Connect the compressor to the the Schrader valve and pressurize the plumbing to 20-30 lbs.   Then open the farthest faucet cold first, then hot.

Repressurize to 20-30 lbs. and go to the next faucet, etc. until all fixtures have been flushed.  Sinks, shower, toilet, toilet sprayer, outside shower, electric pressure washer, and the washer.

Open the low point drain valves, the fresh water drain, and all fixtures so any residual fluids can escape.

Pour a couple cups of RV antifreeze into the washer and run a rinse cycle briefly.  Pour 1 cup antifreeze into each sink trap and the shower(s) drain.

If you have a pressure regulator switch on the compressor you should be able to set to 20 lbs. and keep the compressor running.  It should shut off shortly after you connect to the Schrader valve, meaning it only pumps when the pressure drops.  If it runs continuously use above method.

Pray for warmer weather so you can flush out the tanks and sanitize for the next season.  If all else fails, head South!

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18 minutes ago, 6Wheels said:

If all else fails, head South!

South? Rio Grande Valley was in the low 20’s!

I’m dreaming of the Keys.

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