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ScottyGS

Winterizing

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Hey Gang!

 

It's that time of year again.  I plan to winterize with compressed air after our November trip south.  I made this checklist up from several sources including the RV Geeks video on winterizing with the Viair compressor.  It does need refining. I did not consult the manual as it is in the trailer in storage and a bit too far to drive.

 

I was NOT able to find the Oliver Video. The link is broken.  Does anyone know where it is?

 

Comments, Advice, Suggestions, Winterizing Flame Wars.... all appreciated

 

Travel Safe,

 

Scotty

 

Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145

Winterize-Oliver-LE2-with-AIR.docx

  • Thanks 2

Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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I kind of figured you might have this scoped out.  The Buzz Man strikes again!

 

Much Thanks Amigo.

 

Scotty

  • Thanks 2

Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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Thanks for the list Buzzy. I've been thinking about this for a while now.

 

Questions, if the lines are well blown out with compressed air (awesome tip about blowing out the toilet with the peddle down btw), is it still necessary to add anti freeze to the system? For sure all the traps and toilet need to be treated, but I am leery to add the stuff to my fresh water tank as it is near impossible to completely drain as far as I can tell. This would make it hard to get all the chemical out in the future.

 

Also wondering about the final winterized state of the black/gray tanks. Should they be left dry, or should maybe some antifreeze be put in there to keep things from drying out? I can see an argument either way, but I'm new to this game.

 

How about interior heat? I'm thinking of getting a small electric heater of some sort (radiant, forced air, heat lamp like for reptiles??), along with a small fan to keep the air moving inside. I'll probably pull up the fabric seat covers for our dinette and rear table, then remove the fiberglass seat covers underneath to expose the plumbing and tanks below to some of the conditioned cabin air.

 

Oliver really needs to get their winterizing video back up. But thanks again for your tips.

 

Dave

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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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I talked to Tommy Staggs at Oliver on Friday about winterization. I sent the following email to him after our conversation and asked him to respond. When I receive his response, I'll share the update. I'm pretty sure I'll add the step regarding the "cup/filter" for the water pump.

 

Tommy,

 

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about winterization. I’ve prepared this short check-list. Let me know if I missed anything or got something wrong.

 

Winterization: 9/14/2016 Conversation with Tommy

 

Empty black and grey tanks

Drain freshwater tank

Remove anode from water heater to drain

Release water pressure in water heater

Bypass water heater (access from inside under bed—on bottom of water heater)

Use air compressor set at 35 psi to blow air through fresh water fill, city water and the one in back of the trailer for at least 1 minute each. Do this with faucets open. Should expel all water

Replace anode in water heater

Reverse step to bypass water heater

Pour small amount of RV antifreeze in kitchen/bathroom sinks and shower drain to protect the traps

Pour a small amount of RV antifreeze in toilet to keep toilet thing lubricated.

 

To use the trailer when ready in the spring, you don’t need to do anything because you don’t have antifreeze in anything other than the drains.

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

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Thanks, Buzzy. I've ordered some Thedford toilet seal lubricant. How did you lubricate or treat the valves for the black and grey tanks?

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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Remove anode from water heater to drain

 

Release water pressure in water heater

LOL, you might want to reverse those steps unless you want to soak your crotch.

 

Pop the little pressure release lever first, CLOSE IT AGAIN, then go about removing that huge drain/ anode plug. Then stand to one side and open the relief valve again to let air into the tank. Remember that you have six gallons of water that will come out a 1 inch hole in rather a hurry.....

 

Remember to flush the heck out of the heater using a wand before reinstalling the old anode, or a new one. You can buy one for less than $10 or make one from aluminum tubing if you are handy. You might be amazed at how much sediment and scale comes out the hole; even if you use a filter on your city water connection, there will be built up scale inside the tank walls. The amount depends on how hard the water is and how much you use the heater....

 

You can use the same wand to rinse out any remaining crud from your black tank that the factory rinse system might have missed, by lowering it carefully through the toilet. Plug any gaps around the wand with an old towel and wear safety glasses!

 

The water heater tank may not drain completely - you can blow out any residual water with an air gun before putting it back together.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 3

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Hey John, you are so right about the order in which to do those two steps! I've revised my checklist accordingly. Regarding the wand, did you purchase one? Can you post a website link so I can understand what you're talking about? That sounds like a good tool to have.

 

Don

  • Thanks 1

Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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Hey John, you are so right about the order in which to do those two steps! I’ve revised my checklist accordingly. Regarding the wand, did you purchase one? Can you post a website link so I can understand what you’re talking about? That sounds like a good tool to have. Don

Don, I don't have a trailer at the moment.... that info was from years past.

 

You can buy one online like this one: .... https://www.amazon.com/Camco-11691-Water-Heater-Rinser/dp/B002XL2IBS ... but I made my own by drilling half a dozen holes in the sides of an 18 inch piece of 3/8 inch aluminum tubing and crimping the end closed, so the water would shoot out in all directions. I flared the other end and used automotive fittings to adapt to a garden hose connector.

 

It really is a tool you should have, and use often.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Water heater rinse education

 

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Water heater rinse education

 

Cool, thanks very much for posting. I never knew about the acid cleaning trick.

 

The video shows why it is better to close the pressure relief valve again, after bleeding off pressure, then open it after the drain plug is completely out. This way the water does not surge out suddenly and uncontrollably until you are standing well clear and ready for it.

 

There are always things to learn......

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Don,

 

I have used this - https://www.amazon.com/Camco-40246-Drain-Valve-Lube/dp/B000EDSSG6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1477089759&sr=8-2&keywords=rv+valve+lubricant - to lube the slider valves on several RV's including the Oliver.  Its $12.19 fir 16 oz at Amazon.

 

Also, I just noticed today that there is a section in my Owners manual covering Winterization - I didn't realize that the outside shower unit had to be treated separately.  I'll be sure to take care of that prior to the really cold weather setting in.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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…You can use the same wand to rinse out any remaining crud from your black tank that the factory rinse system might have missed, by lowering it carefully through the toilet. Plug any gaps around the wand with an old towel and wear safety glasses!...

 

You can do the "old towel and safety glasses" thing if you want, but it'll take all the fun out of it.

 

If I had anything to add to this, it would be:

 

1 - Do not let a full black tank sit for a month or two (and percolate) after you return home.

 

2 - When you do get around to flushing it, do not turn the black tank flush on to "completely" fill (and thereby pressurize) the black tank.

 

3 - If you have already done #2 above, DO NOT peer down into the toilet with a flashlight as you press the foot pedal to check the level.

 

4 - If you've gotten this far you should have listened to the John's very wise advice.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Buzzy,

 

I sent another email to Tommy this morning. The folks at Oliver seem to be very busy these days, but I hope to hear from him next week. I'm going to Minneapolis on Sunday to hear jazz Sunday and Monday nights, but I'll be back on Tuesday. If I haven't heard from him by then, I'll try to reach him by phone.

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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I emailed Tommy on October 3 about the missing winterization video. He replied that "We took the video off because something wasn't right in the video." I emailed him on October 11 that I really need the video, as I was planning to use an air compressor, and the written instructions do not cover that. I asked that he email me the old video, and I would be happy to review the old video despite errors. He replied on October 12  " I don't have any video or manual instructions for blowing air through the system. I think they are working on that."


David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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DO NOT peer down into the toilet with a flashlight as you press the foot pedal to check the level.

This is such a simple sentence, yet it contains such depths of hidden meaning.

Thank you for making me laugh out loud.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Flying Sea Turtle Winterizing update

 

Well ... first things first.  I tease Buzzy every now and then about the amount of DETAIL he puts into everything.  But I do have to say a very public and very heartfelt THANK YOU!   Buzz Man, your winterizing procedure was on the money.   And it helped me a lot.  Thank you very much!

 

Now for the update part.  This week we will see temps drop below freezing to about 24 degrees that will last 4-6 hours overnight.  That was a bit too much for me, so we pack up some stuff and drove a bit over an hour to where we have the FST stored.  I won't call this a winterizing but a pre-winterizing.  I used the compressed air method in the first part of Buzzy's checklist and then protected the P traps in both sinks and shower with RV Anti Freeze.  I did not pump RV Antifreeze into the entire system because......

 

We are going on a trip down to South Carolina for a couple weeks around Thanksgiving.  My original plan was to use only compressed air and a few cups of RV Antifreeze for the entire winter.  I first learned about this method from the RV geeks youtube video.  Google RV Geeks and Winterize and you will find it easy.  After doing a bit more research I have decided to winterize with RV Antifreeze when we put the trailer up for final winter storage about the beginning of December.   Here are my reasons for going the extra mile and using the Antifreeze:

We will have to sanitize tanks anyway and that will pretty much completely get rid of the pink stuff

I saw some other youtube videos that said compressed air might not be adequate for really cold climates

My fear that somewhere there would be a little pocket of water that would cause trouble (Thanks again Buzz)

Started thinking about any seals in the system.  Seals are usually designed to stay wet.  Not sure drying them out would be good.

So when we return, I will have the storage place do the RV Antifreeze for me.   They are the Pro's and the price was right.  Will have them install the Dexter Easy Flex next summer as well.  HEY... if it's worth doing... it's worth paying someone to do it RIGHT!  :-)

 

So to sum up.  It was a COLD!  WET!   NASTY job (can you tell I like to bitch a bit?)  but I followed Buzzys Instructions and got it done.

 

After we settle the trailer in permanent for the winter, I plan to put her up on jacks and wrap the tires.  Any advice on that would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks for all the replies and shared knowledge and  Best of Luck getting your Ollie's ready for Old Man Winter.

 

Scotty

 

FST Hull # 145

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


CTDEGAMDMANHNJNYNCPASCTNVAxlg.jpg

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While preparing the Oliver for winter, drained the tanks and noticed that the fresh water tank reads 19%. Any one else get false readings?

 

 


Grayson and Ann Cook


Northwest CT and Mid Coast Maine


2016 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed FP


Toyota Tundra, Extra Cab, Long bed, 5.7 V8


Yippee-i-o-ki-yah

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Just can't resist -

 

I get false readings all the time - at least according to my wife!

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Buzzy,

 

Couple of things....

 

You might want to re-think leaving the rear jacks down over the winter.  I had the idea to raise the tires with them for winter storage and was advised by Oliver that they were not meant to be left down for long periods of time.  How much pressure is too much?  Your guess is as good as mine.

 

My thoughts were to use the rear levelers to raise the tires off the ground and then put some jack stands underneath and lower the trailer onto them.  Still need to research exactly where would be a safe point on the chassis to do that.

 

Also, I realized yesterday that I forgot to put compressed air into the winterization inlet.  The one that you draw water into from jerry cans.  I put air into the fresh water tank fill and the city water connections and got the water out of both faucets.  Blew it out pretty good.  Also did the float bowl of the water pump like you said.  My concern is that it is going down to 28 degrees (for many hours)  on Wednesday where the trailer is stored.   Do you think it will be all right?  Its an hour drive to storage (one way) and I would hate to have to go back up there.

 

I might call Tommy or Jason tomorrow to get their opinion.   I can't imagine there would be any appreciable amount of water left in the system but you know how worry goes.

 

Hope we get a chance to meet up with you one day.  Would be nice to share a beer or two at the campfire.

 

Scotty

 

 

 

 


Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC


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Scotty,

 

For what its worth - I really don't think that you have much to worry about with a temp of 28 degrees even for several hours.  I assume that you have left the outside shower faucets in an open position.  These are the most exposed to the outside and water in the valve might freeze at that temperature (although I still doubt it would be enough to cause damage).  Other than that I think you are good given what you have already done given the "protected" other parts that could freeze (protected from the wind and they have insulation).

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Grayson,

 

since the water supply outlet of the water tank is set slightly above the bottom of the tank, it is very hard to completely drain. Certainly it will never drain completely when the trailer is level. I have to tip mine up quite a bit to get most (but not all) of it out. See the pic

 

q0hqkxy01m9s14rjqxx9se1xx8at4s4k.thumb.jpg.968d7ff2bddaff9473a6e8344012cf19.jpg

 

I too was told not to use the onboard jacks for extended periods of time, so I'm going to make some wood ones from scrap. I believe the best place to locate them is directly under the spring/axle connection and not just on the axle tube. You guys with the dual axles might have some more figuring to do.

 

Don't forget to blow out the black tank rinse inlet. I will probably also unscrew the exterior shower head and blow those lines out as well. Luckily here in Portland, we don't get the prolonged freezes that you folks up in the NE get.

 

Thanks to Buzzy for getting this thread going. You've put down a lot of good info and it's appreciated and a great help to all of us new to trailering. "Belt and suspenders"... it's a good thing!

 

Dave


2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107


1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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I have to tip mine up quite a bit to get most (but not all) of it out.  

I think raising the front to ensure all the tanks are as empty as possible is a terrific idea. However, if you do that and then level the trailer, the remaining two or three (?) gallons of fresh water will be distributed over the entire bottom of the tank. Even if this were to freeze solid for month or two, it will likely do no harm at all because it is such a thin layer over a large area.

 

The problem with ice damage occurs in small confined spaces where there is no room for expansion. That is why we worry about pipes and pumps. The tanks themselves, if emptied, are really not much of a worry.

 

A trick nobody has mentioned is that you can open the fresh and gray drains and trailer the guy around for a while. Any remaining fluids will get sloshed around and out onto the ground. Please don't do this with the black tank!

 

I am so eager to have an Oliver so I can actually do this stuff instead of just read and write about it!

 

Oh yeah, I personally am reluctant to spray any kind of lubricant into locks, other than the special lubes that are intended for the application. T-9 or Tri-Flow or WD-40 or any of these universal lubes just don't work real well in the tiny confined spaces inside the tumblers of a lock, and they attract airborne dust.

 

I use this on all my locks, and it is fantastic, if a little messy. ... https://www.amazon.com/AGS-LE5-Lock-Ease/dp/B000CIJUGA

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Tommy Staggs replied this morning and said that the following is ok as a winterization procedure. I will probably read all of the posts and add things to the list, but here's what Tommy gave his stamp of approval to:

 

Winterization: 10/14/2016 Conversation with Tommy

 

Empty black and grey tanks

Drain freshwater tank

Release water pressure in water heater

Remove anode from water heater to drain

Bypass water heater (access from inside under bed—on bottom of water heater)

Use air compressor set at 35 psi to blow air through fresh water fill, city water and the one in back of the trailer for at least 1 minute each. Do this with faucets open. Should expel all water

Replace anode in water heater

Reverse step to bypass water heater

Pour small amount of RV antifreeze in kitchen/bathroom sinks and shower drain to protect the traps

Pour a small amount of RV antifreeze in toilet to keep toilet thing lubricated.

 

To use the trailer when ready in the spring, you don’t need to do anything because you don’t have antifreeze in anything other than the drains.

 

Add remove strainer bowl on inlet side of water pump, empty water from bowl, clean any debris from metal screen, and reinstall

  • Thanks 3

Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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Winterizing Question:

 

I live in North MS, and while it is not nearly so cold as some of you, it does drop to midteens several times during a normal winter, and might run 4 or 5 days below freezing during the depth of the season.

 

I would hope to use the trailer through the year and hate the idea of winterizing, traveling, winterizing again, and traveling again.  First I am not terribly mechanically inclined, and second it seems a lot of trouble and expense.

 

What is wrong with simply running the furnace during those winter cold spells.  Wouln't that keep systems fluid?  What concerns would I have?  Perhaps the outside shower?  I'll have to figure that one out...but I run my 2,800 SF home with propane furnaces, the small Ollie seems little additonal expense.

 

Feedback?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mike and Elizabeth Smith


Snow Lake Shores, MS


2016 Ford F150 3.5 EB, max tow (20,900  miles pulling Ollie since Sept 2016)


 


 

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Mike,

 

With regards to Buzzy's water heater issue I would think that it would be fairly simple for short term "winterization" to simply use the by-pass (winterization) valves to by-pass the water heater, pull the anode rod/drain plug to empty the water heater and then, as you suggest, simply heat the rest of the camper.  Certainly this would be fairly easy assuming that you store your Oliver at home or at a place that has electric.  With regards to the outside shower - it is already inside two doors, but I would still pack that area from the outside with a little bit of insulation.  Just to be on the really safe side you might also want to leave open the dinette "hatch" and the curbside rear "hatch".

 

Bill

  • Thanks 1

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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