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Winterizing using the blow out method: no longer recommended


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11 hours ago, ScubaRx said:

The only reason to blow the lines out only to refill them with liquid would be to keep from partially diluting the antifreeze.

Full disclosure: living in North Mississippi, in 13 years I've never used a drop of antifreeze. I usually do drain the the lines and water heater and blow them out but as we are usually back on the road in mid January, I sometimes don't get around to it.

As far as traveling in freezing weather, a full tank of water would take a long time to freeze, I've never worried about it. The pex lines won't burst even if frozen solid but all the fittings run the risk. I do carry pex rings and fittings plus cutting and crimping tools with me.

This makes a good point. I might add while blowing out my lines over the weekend, with the help of my wife, I was astounded at the amount of water that still flushed through the faucets both kitchen and bath. Effectively as Steve states there is a significant amount of dilution within the water lines if not blown out. Whether its enough to compromise the integrity of winterization is anybodies guess. 

However my suspicion is a full tank of water in the northern climates I live (Montana) will freeze fairly soon. Its not uncommon here to have sub zero temps with howling winds where anything freezes quickly. 

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The only reason to blow the lines out only to refill them with liquid would be to keep from partially diluting the antifreeze. Full disclosure: living in North Mississippi, in 13 years I've never

The cost of antifreeze?

We do both methods. We NEVER put air on the pump inlet though. After blow out we put the water heater to bypass. After flushing in the Spring we do sanitize the tank and lines. And flush again. Whole

4 hours ago, bhncb said:

 

I do this quite a bit. While I've made some pretty extensive modification to make it easier, all you really need do is:  Bypass (and drain) the water heater, blow out the lines and leave spigots open, then add some antifreeze to the traps. 

For subfreezing use, the Truma water heater is a no-brainer. I added the antifreeze kit but it is only usable if the water system remains charged, like is possible in a motor home that is continuously heated. Where feasible, the kit does save having to re-purge the system every time the heater is drained but it consumes significant power for the heater element and internal circulation pump that runs continuously.  Otherwise, draining the Truma is almost a non-event making the added cost of the kit a waste.

 

That is an awesome chunk of information and super reassuring.  At the core of why we chose an Oliver.

I am curious about your modifications but think I may have seen some of the details in previous winterizing posts.  Great suggestion to leave spigots open and fill the traps.  Seemed to me as well that the cost of the plug in heater did not justify itself.  May find it's easier and pick one up but will without for a while.

As to the Truma, I was told by a tech there that the current models only need to be thoroughly gravity drained = allowing 5-10 minutes.  She suggested not even pulling the filter which, I think I would do cause, why not?

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4 hours ago, routlaw said:

This makes a good point. I might add while blowing out my lines over the weekend, with the help of my wife, I was astounded at the amount of water that still flushed through the faucets both kitchen and bath. Effectively as Steve states there is a significant amount of dilution within the water lines if not blown out. Whether its enough to compromise the integrity of winterization is anybodies guess. 

However my suspicion is a full tank of water in the northern climates I live (Montana) will freeze fairly soon. Its not uncommon here to have sub zero temps with howling winds where anything freezes quickly. 

Great to know on the water trapped in lines to be displaced.  Having a compressor of some sort seems useful for many reasons so, given that input, makes sense to go ahead an blow out lines before adding antifreeze.  Guess the alternative would be to flush through a lot more AF to cut the dilution by why waste the $?

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6 minutes ago, GAP said:

As to the Truma, I was told by a tech there that the current models only need to be thoroughly gravity drained = allowing 5-10 minutes.  She suggested not even pulling the filter which, I think I would do cause, why not?

This must be very preliminary information but sounds a bit odd to me. Except for "not even pulling the filter", what has been described is how the draining process works on non-current model. The filter all but removes itself when the drain is opened. It will be interesting to see the documentation when it catches up.

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This afternoon I raised the hitch once again to acquire a decent angle for the remaining water left in the gray tank after flushing the kitchen and bath faucets from the previous effort with pressurized air. Much to my surprise there was a full 3-4 gallons of water that drained from the dump valve. Keep in mind I had already emptied the gray tank previously and did a thorough purge a few days ago. Effectively this is a lot of water to potentially dilute the anti-freeze in the lines.

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4 minutes ago, routlaw said:

This afternoon I raised the hitch once again to acquire a decent angle for the remaining water left in the gray tank after flushing the kitchen and bath faucets from the previous effort with pressurized air. Much to my surprise there was a full 3-4 gallons of water that drained from the dump valve. Keep in mind I had already emptied the gray tank previously and did a thorough purge a few days ago. Effectively this is a lot of water to potentially dilute the anti-freeze in the lines.

Wow, wow, wow.  When you made the first run at blowing the lines, were you level?  Guess it makes sense to have everything drain towards the stern so as to get some assist from a little tilttilation.  Where do you think all that water was hiding?  I saw in one of the threads that someone had stated they were using a few gallons of AF to winterize.  I couldn't understand why so much was needed. Wonder if the extra is to minimize the dilution?  Thanks for sharing.

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2 hours ago, routlaw said:

This afternoon I raised the hitch once again to acquire a decent angle for the remaining water left in the gray tank after flushing the kitchen and bath faucets from the previous effort with pressurized air. Much to my surprise there was a full 3-4 gallons of water that drained from the dump valve. Keep in mind I had already emptied the gray tank previously and did a thorough purge a few days ago. Effectively this is a lot of water to potentially dilute the anti-freeze in the lines.

Are you sure you're not cross-pollinating topics? 

(Sorry. Somehow I got cut off before finishing my thought.)

I don't see how, other than maybe in the hot water heater, that much water could have remained after your initial blowout. The entire system of 1/2" lines doesn't hold near that much when full. Surely there must have been some left behind after draining the tank.

 

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Yes trailer was level while blowing the lines, but tilted to allow better drainage from the gray water tank which tends to drain much slower than the black tank and needs all the assist it can get. Still scratching my head on that amount of water, unless I missed something during the process but felt my procedure was very thorough. 

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I totally agree with you, but the hot water tank had long been emptied so it could not have come from there. That much water seemed incredulous to me as well especially given the amount of time allowed for the gray water tank to drain on the first effort. Agreed also one could not imagine that much water setting in half inch lines. Its all water under the bridge at this point anyway, though still a mystery. 

Thanks

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On 10/13/2020 at 3:48 PM, routlaw said:

This afternoon I raised the hitch once again to acquire a decent angle for the remaining water left in the gray tank after flushing the kitchen and bath faucets from the previous effort with pressurized air. Much to my surprise there was a full 3-4 gallons of water that drained from the dump valve. Keep in mind I had already emptied the gray tank previously and did a thorough purge a few days ago. Effectively this is a lot of water to potentially dilute the anti-freeze in the lines.

Don't you think the reason RV antifreeze is rated to -50 degrees is to account for some dilution caused by residual water in the plumbing?

 

Ray and Susan Huff

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7 minutes ago, Susan Huff said:

Don't you think the reason RV antifreeze is rated to -50 degrees is to account for some dilution caused by residual water in the plumbing?

That helps, yes. 

But, it's actually necessary to winterize to (or close to)  -50 in Northern Minnesota,  Alaska, and some other places. 

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Just now, SeaDawg said:

That helps, yes. 

But, it's actually necessary to winterize to (or close to)  -50 in Northern Minnesota,  Alaska, and some other places. 

Ugh . . . . . I can't imagine living there!

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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On 10/15/2020 at 5:29 PM, Susan Huff said:

Don't you think the reason RV antifreeze is rated to -50 degrees is to account for some dilution caused by residual water in the plumbing?

 

Perhaps, but this would be far from a dependable scientific process. FWIW I feel far more comfortable knowing the lines are treated to -50 as oppose to somewhere between 32 degrees and hypothetically 10 degrees.

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While we are on the subject of winterization procedures and options:

Forgive the lack of sophistication on my part but I'll be a total novice when taking deliver in December.  

-  Has anyone actually had first hand experience of damage after carefully blowing out lines and ports.  I have seen it suggested that even a single drop of water can cause things to break but don't recall anyone stating they've actually suffered the consequence.

-  If going the anti freeze route, whether after blowing out or not, does the anti freeze left in the line end up in the fresh water tank when you wake things up?  If so, assuming one has winterized with AF while traveling between camp locations, does that small amount of AF mixed in a mostly full tank of fresh, contaminate it to the point where it is innapropriate to use for none potable applications?

-  Is the hose included in the accessory kit supplied with the trailer BPA free?  25' or 50'?  

-  Can't tell from videos or list sent by Anita if a Water Bandit (male threaded hose connection to a short tapered rubber hose meant to fit over a stripped spiget) or one of these Valterra Quick Fill w/Shut Off are included.  There are some tiny included items shown in the prep videos that look like they may fit the bill.

details, details, details

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rv antifreeze is dyed pink for two reasons. 1. So people don't confuse it with lethal automotive radiator antifreeze. 2. So that when water turns clear from pink, when you de-winterize, you know it's out if the system.

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1 hour ago, GAP said:

Has anyone actually had first hand experience of damage after carefully blowing out lines and ports.  I have seen it suggested that even a single drop of water can cause things to break but don't recall anyone stating they've actually suffered the consequence.

 

Yes - prior to my Oliver I had several other brands.  In using the compressed air "blow out" method "carefully" I found a broken exterior shower and a broken check valve.  Note that our winter here in western NC really aren't too bad with temps rarely dipping below 20 degrees and even then not for long.  But, it happened anyway which is why I now only use RV antifreeze for winterization.

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1 hour ago, GAP said:

If going the anti freeze route, whether after blowing out or not, does the anti freeze left in the line end up in the fresh water tank when you wake things up?  If so, assuming one has winterized with AF while traveling between camp locations, does that small amount of AF mixed in a mostly full tank of fresh, contaminate it to the point where it is innapropriate to use for none potable applications?

 

By "fresh water tank" I assume that you do not mean either the grey or black tanks but really do mean the fresh water tank.  To properly winterize all areas of the Oliver, one of the steps is to use a hand pump to put a small amount of antifreeze in the fresh water intake, the city water intake and the black tank flush intake.  In turn when one de-winterizes that small amount of antifreeze would wind up in the fresh water tank.  However, after sitting in storage for even a small amount of time (4 plus weeks) I'd flush and sanitize my fresh water tank as a matter of course.  This activity would flush that small amount of antifreeze out of the system.

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1 hour ago, GAP said:

Is the hose included in the accessory kit supplied with the trailer BPA free?  25' or 50'?  

 

The hose included is 25 feet and is drinking water safe.  But, I do not specifically know if it is BPA free.

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1 hour ago, GAP said:

Can't tell from videos or list sent by Anita if a Water Bandit (male threaded hose connection to a short tapered rubber hose meant to fit over a stripped spiget) or one of these Valterra Quick Fill w/Shut Off are included.

 

Unless Oliver has changed the assortment - a Water Bandit is NOT included.  I'd call my Sales Rep for a full list of what is included for your specific Oliver.

Hope this helps you.

Bill

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

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Yes there will be anti freeze deposited in your fresh water tank, assuming you go through the proper de-winterization procedure. You should flush this out before using your fresh water tank. It is my understanding this is the same product used by the medical industry when performing some medical test procedures. I'm not an expert on this however. 

Its doubtful very small amounts of water left in a line could cause the failure you speak of. Not buying into that one. Not sure about the hose part, we purchased ours separately but perhaps Oliver is handling things different these days new deliveries. Don't know anything about the last paragraph, all new to me. 

In conclusion we never ever drink water from the fresh water tank. For one thing it taste terrible after only a few hours setting in one of those tanks. Not sure of the chemical makeup of these tanks but they appear to leach into the water. Personally I think anyone is asking for trouble by drinking from the holding tanks anyway. We always carry extra supplies of fresh water along stored in 5 gallon BPA free jugs and use this for drinking and cooking. The fresh water in the holding tanks is use for washes dishes and people and nothing else. 

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2 hours ago, routlaw said:

In conclusion we never ever drink water from the fresh water tank. For one thing it taste terrible after only a few hours setting in one of those tanks. Not sure of the chemical makeup of these tanks but they appear to leach into the water. Personally I think anyone is asking for trouble by drinking from the holding tanks anyway. We always carry extra supplies of fresh water along stored in 5 gallon BPA free jugs and use this for drinking and cooking. The fresh water in the holding tanks is use for washes dishes and people and nothing else. 

This is what we do as well.  Water from our fresh tank is used to shower, flush, and wash dishes.  Any water use for drinking, coffee or cooking is bottled water that we buy or fill and bring from home.

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Lots of good info in those responses.  Super helpful.

I am 100% with you all on not using the fresh water tank for drinking/cooking.  If it leaches a taste than it's either not BPA free and/or some of the rest of the system must not be drinking friendly.  Either way, my plan was to carry a 5 gallon and a couple of loose (easier to handle in the trailer) single gallon bags that can fold up for storage.  BPA free all around.

My biggest concern is about traveling between camp spots in below freezing situations.  I'm feeling iffy about travel with the on board propane heater doing it's thing.  I'd also be reluctant to dump a full fresh water tank just for travel especially in winter where we will be staying often at camps with no hook ups.  Will probably experiment with blowing lines out, drain the Truma, keepfresh water tank mostly full.  Perhaps, in deep cold, will add antifreeze to everything but the port and line feeding the freshwater tank.  Once at camp, I can turn on the heat and flush out lines.

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On 10/23/2020 at 1:20 PM, GAP said:

Lots of good info in those responses.  Super helpful.

I am 100% with you all on not using the fresh water tank for drinking/cooking.  If it leaches a taste than it's either not BPA free and/or some of the rest of the system must not be drinking friendly.  Either way, my plan was to carry a 5 gallon and a couple of loose (easier to handle in the trailer) single gallon bags that can fold up for storage.  BPA free all around.

My biggest concern is about traveling between camp spots in below freezing situations.  I'm feeling iffy about travel with the on board propane heater doing it's thing.  I'd also be reluctant to dump a full fresh water tank just for travel especially in winter where we will be staying often at camps with no hook ups.  Will probably experiment with blowing lines out, drain the Truma, keepfresh water tank mostly full.  Perhaps, in deep cold, will add antifreeze to everything but the port and line feeding the freshwater tank.  Once at camp, I can turn on the heat and flush out lines.

Am going to try just blowing out tanks this winter, for ease and easier resumption (had some residual “antifreeze bouquet” after last winterization) .  There is some good insight/tips on that method  in this thread. Regarding the fresh water tanks, I have never experienced a poor taste - have had more issues with some campground water regarding taste.   Maybe after spending a little time in the Horn of Africa and getting giardia, I am a little less sensitive to potential water issues 😜.  If it’s from a chlorinated public water supply I am fine with it and I wouldn’t think cooking with tank water would be of any issue.  We do take some bottled water though for convenience and guaranteed taste (or lack thereof).

 

Garry and Kristi

Apex, NC

2018 Oliver Elite II Hull 372

TV 2015 Ram 1500 3.0 L EcoDiesel

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My water pump will not pull antifreeze in from the rear inlet so I decided to partially fill the freshwater tank and try to pull in water from there.  After filling the freshwater tank to 45% and turning the valves back to normal, I found that the pump would not pull any freshwater either. Note that the pump sounds normal and I checked the clear filter housing next to the pump for debris and found none.

I was in Palo Duro Canyon a couple of week ago and the night before I left the temps dropped down to 25'F (was below freezing from 10:30pm until 7am).  I had drained my tanks and unhooked the water hose before it started getting cold.  The temperature in the water pump area never dropped below 38'F.

Has anyone had issues with the LE2 vapor locking?  Any suggestions on getting the pump to pull water/antifreeeze again? 

I am in Austin, TX so I am not in a big hurry to winterize yet and could use the blow-out method if needed.

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My pump has never had any problems pulling water up dry lines. You might try opening both the intake and return valves to the tank, which will let water cycle through without much resistance, and see if that works. 

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