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I wanted to share my first-time experience winterizing my new (new to me) 2004 Signature Conquest. I tend to thoroughly research everything and could not do so without this forum. I want to express my sincere appreciation to the founders, administrators and members for making this all possible.
My findings are as follows:

  1. Based on my research, I choose to use propylene glycol-based RV antifreeze instead of the more common and cheaper ethanol-based RV antifreeze:
    • Ethanol mixed or pure is flammable and may harm the plumbing faucet rubber seals.
    • Advertisements for RV antifreeze are misleading. Most contain a mixture of ethanol and glycol which many times is only specified as a potential range by percent of each.
    • I responded to a NAPA propylene glycol internet search and went to pick it up. Much to my dismay I read the lable and found it to be a mixture with ethanol. It was pink. Fortunately, the store had a small stock of propylene glycol-based RV antifreeze from a prior customer special order. It was blue. 
    • Based on my in-store experience, I went online and found this specification for the offered propylene glycol (see this link):  -100 WinterSafe RV Anti-Freeze - Non-Toxic PG (starbrite.com).
    • Ethanol-based RV antifreeze looks like me to be always pink in color and sells for around $4 to $10.
    • Propylene glycol RV antifreeze looks like me to be always blue in color and sells for around $33 to +++.
    • It is pricy but I found it at Napa online for 20% off (quantity discount) and free ship to home (see this link):  Antifreeze / RV Recreational Vehicle StarBrite 1 GAL NCB 31500 | Buy Online - NAPA Auto Parts (napaonline.com) . There are probably other places to buy but this is what I settled on.
    • I hope to be able to recover and re-use my expensive propylene glycol RV anti-freeze. 
    • Here is a picture of the propylene glycol I used:
      643758342_PropyleneGlycol.jpg.cf31823aee50650eb385105ec7431170.jpg
  2. I looked at a lot of systems that were advertised to make the introduction of the RV anti-freeze easier. It turned out that a simple city water supply hose attachment to use 40 psi air pressure to remove the water remaining after a tank drain and the attachment of a short extension to the freshwater tube feeding the water pump in my Aqua-Hot bay was the easiest to use, fast and also the most economical. I used 1/2" ID poly tube from ACE Hardware and bought small hose clamps to match. I removed my filters but chose not to bypass due to expense and space requirements. This method uses a little more glycol but looks least likely to introduce leaks. And was also based on my neophyte plumbing experience. Plus, no RV anti-freeze had to be put in the water tank. Also, the air blow-out let me use less RV anti-freeze. I used 7 gallons including the washer/dryer combo and tank back-flush system. I just followed the directions for each in my coach manual.
    • Here is a picture of my water pump connections:  
       870891341_WaterfPumpConnection.jpg.dab695a5e3af3396448d6bfe881a0c19.jpg
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I don't winterize anymore and just leave the AH electric element ON (now on its own thermostat) but we are in Texas so it is different. One thing I used to do is to remove the water filter cartridges and replace them with empty water bottles to displace the volume. All I needed was 2-3 gallons of antifreeze for all with same temporary hookup to the pump. But you can't be too safe, good job!

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Thanks Lee,  I have never winterized living in No Tex not far from Ivan maybe 100 miles, that's not far in Tx.  It can get cold here occasionally so we must be prepared to do something.  I just make sure the heat is operating.   Not ever needing RV antifreeze before I thought all of it was pink. If you have to keep buying antifreeze at $33 gal it might pay you to go ahead and move to Florida.  LOL   You could live in the RV, many do

 

2 hours ago, Ivan K said:

I don't winterize anymore and just leave the AH electric element ON (now on its own thermostat) but we are in Texas so it is different. One thing I used to do is to remove the water filter cartridges and replace them with empty water bottles to displace the volume. All I needed was 2-3 gallons of antifreeze for all with same temporary hookup to the pump. But you can't be too safe, good job!

Ivan, ingenious idea, bottles in place of the filters.   Can you elaborate on the AH elect now being on it's own thermostat?

Edited by Ray Davis
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17 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

 Can you elaborate on the AH elect now being on it's own thermostat?

Ray, I simply added a thermostat parallel to the AH element switch (12V) under kitchen counter, same one as was recently posted as a cheap alternative to basement heat thermostat. It really works good for being $9 on ebay. Added a LED indicator to the switch so I can confirm its function, just in case I forgot or was incapacitated:) to turn it ON if we get one of those cold nights, assuming we don't lose electricity. 

IMG_20221117_122111774.jpg

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We are hoping to do so no later than next year.
A lot of people like Florida and prices are up.
I am sure we will find a way to manage.
Going full time while looking for budget matching deals is clearly in the picture.

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2 hours ago, Ivan K said:

Ray, I simply added a thermostat parallel to the AH element switch (12V) under kitchen counter, same one as was recently posted as a cheap alternative to basement heat thermostat. It really works good for being $9 on ebay. Added a LED indicator to the switch so I can confirm its function, just in case I forgot or was incapacitated:) to turn it ON if we get one of those cold nights, assuming we don't lose electricity. 

IMG_20221117_122111774.jpg

With this, you can set the temp of the boiler fluid to the temp you want?

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28 minutes ago, 96 EVO said:

With this, you can set the temp of the boiler fluid to the temp you want?

No, the fluid temp is still controlled by the AH, it would only turn the element ON/Off as necessary if I'm not around to do it myself, so the  exchangers don't just blow cold air.

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1 hour ago, Ivan K said:

No, the fluid temp is still controlled by the AH, it would only turn the element ON/Off as necessary if I'm not around to do it myself, so the  exchangers don't just blow cold air.

Couldn't the same thing be adapted to the diesel side?  It seem to me it could be set at a higher temp to come on when the elect can't keep up.

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10 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

Couldn't the same thing be adapted to the diesel side?  It seem to me it could be set at a higher temp to come on when the elect can't keep up.

I haven't looked into that, Ray, I know there are more wires to the diesel switch, at least one is just for the indicator but it is also a momentary switch so there might be more to it. I bet it could be done, just not as simple as the electric side.

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15 hours ago, Ivan K said:

it is also a momentary switch

I didn't know it if mine is in some way a momentary switch.   Mine seems to be Diesel on or off along side is the elect on & off.   Is your switch like my generator start sw, hold it down until it starts?

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43 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

I didn't know it if mine is in some way a momentary switch.   Mine seems to be Diesel on or off along side is the elect on & off.   Is your switch like my generator start sw, hold it down until it starts?

Well, mine appears to be momentary in the OFF function, maybe it doesn't have to be but that's what it is. Stays down to start and run, momentary to stop, now that I tried it to confirm. Sort of like a flipped around gen switch. It is in a picture above. I haven't looked at the charts for it since it wasn't in the scope of what I wanted to accomplish and the electric heat alone was enough to keep it from freezing up, until global cooling kicks in, again...

  • Haha 1
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