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To Winterize Now or Not?


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Hey folks, I need some advice. I have an Elite I "Li'l Ollie" Hull #1209 in Upper East TN.  In two weeks we will be at Huntington Beach SP for a week. Nighttime temps there will be in the 50's.  My issue is that we're going to have 2-3 cold nights here at home 28-30 degrees then warm up to upper 30's & 40's at night and long range says maybe a dip to 26 one night over these next two weeks.  I have the Ollie in a metal covered shed not heated but with electric.  I was hoping to delay winterizing until I return to avoid winterizing and having to drain the antifreeze when on this trip and winterizing again.   I was going to run a small ceramic heater while stored here that we use when we camp with electric that works well and open up the compartments to expose pipes as much as possible.  I had also thought I might get a couple of pipe heat strips if needed. What are your thoughts, what would you do?

Ron

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Except for the 26 degree night (unless your weather forecasters are like our - i.e. not worth a darn) I'd would not do a thing.  For that 26 degree night I'd make sure that my kitchen drawers were open (warmer air to the kitchen faucet). and the access hatches to the basement area were open and the closet door open as well as the bathroom door.  Finally, you might place a small wad of insulation in the outside sower door and pour a 1/2 cup of RV anti-freeze in each of the drains (Bath sink, Kitchen sink and don't forget the shower drain) .  All of this is to make sure that you get some warm(er) air into the areas where the pipes are. 

In my case, I've put pipe insulation on all pipes that I can get to so I'm really not concerned until things get down below the middle 20's for short periods of time.

On a side note - you might want to PM Patriot about restaurants and other details concerning HBSP given that he just returned from there.

Bill

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49 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Except for the 26 degree night (unless your weather forecasters are like our - i.e. not worth a darn) I'd would not do a thing.  For that 26 degree night I'd make sure that my kitchen drawers were open (warmer air to the kitchen faucet). and the access hatches to the basement area were open and the closet door open as well as the bathroom door.  Finally, you might place a small wad of insulation in the outside sower door and pour a 1/2 cup of RV anti-freeze in each of the drains (Bath sink, Kitchen sink and don't forget the shower drain) .  All of this is to make sure that you get some warm(er) air into the areas where the pipes are. 

In my case, I've put pipe insulation on all pipes that I can get to so I'm really not concerned until things get down below the middle 20's for short periods of time.

On a side note - you might want to PM Patriot about restaurants and other details concerning HBSP given that he just returned from there.

Bill

Sound advice, thanks Bill.  What type of pipe insulation did you use? Did you wrap them or did you just stuff insulation around them or both? 

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Went down to Lowe's and got a number pieces of 1/2 inch foam pipe insulation like THIS.

For that outside shower insulation - if you don't have some regular fiberglass insulation laying around then you can simply use a couple of old rags.

Bill

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5 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Went down to Lowe's and got a number pieces of 1/2 inch foam pipe insulation like THIS.

For that outside shower insulation - if you don't have some regular fiberglass insulation laying around then you can simply use a couple of old rags.

Bill

Understand, I've used before.  I've got plenty of the fiberglass around. Did you stuff any around fittings?

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I assume that you are talking about the exterior fittings - city water, fresh water, winterization and black tank cleaning ports.

At the temps you are talking about I would not worry about these.  Yes if you have something to wrap around them it would not hurt but, again, I would not worry.

As a note - these exterior fittings are one of the vulnerable places that many people forget about when winterizing.  These take a couple of "pumps" of anti-freeze when doing the regular winterization process with a pump like THIS.

Bill

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By the way - 

If the weather forecast changes calling for even lower temps - the regular winterization process really doesn't take very long. to either complete or to reverse.  Yes, it will cost two or three gallons of anti-freeze, but, if there is any question regarding the temps then it is far cheaper to pay for the anti-freeze as compared to the cost of replacing a shower assembly, external fittings and/or anti-siphon valves (mostly found just inboard of the exterior fittings).

Bill

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I agree with topgun2;  it's so easy to winterize, why go through the steps suggested above but still worry that you didn't do it right?  Just spend the 45 minutes and a couple gals of anti-freeze and sleep comfortably not worrying.

I appreciate that the odds are you'll be fine, but why take a chance?

 

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10 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

By the way - 

If the weather forecast changes calling for even lower temps - the regular winterization process really doesn't take very long. to either complete or to reverse.  Yes, it will cost two or three gallons of anti-freeze, but, if there is any question regarding the temps then it is far cheaper to pay for the anti-freeze as compared to the cost of replacing a shower assembly, external fittings and/or anti-siphon valves (mostly found just inboard of the exterior fittings).

Bill

I promise I'll stop after this.  I agree on the anti-freeze.  I was just thinking about in the future insulating like you did.  By fittings, I mean all the connections especially in the compartments that house the hot water heater, pump, on galley side.  Some of these don't seems to lend themselves to the foam.  I was just wondering if you felt it was necessary to address these areas by stuffing insulation around them. Thanks for taking the time 

fittings .jpg

more fittings .jpg

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3 minutes ago, hobo said:

I agree with topgun2;  it's so easy to winterize, why go through the steps suggested above but still worry that you didn't do it right?  Just spend the 45 minutes and a couple gals of anti-freeze and sleep comfortably not worrying.

I appreciate that the odds are you'll be fine, but why take a chance?

 

I agree

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No problem at all - keep those questions coming.  If you have the question then it is highly likely that someone else has it too.

They do sell both "angles" and larger diameter sections of this type of foam insulation.  Other than a couple of spots where I happened to have these angled pieces left over from doing my home, I simply either used larger diameter for straight fittings or cut the foam such that it would form a 45 or 90 degree bend.  This is easy to do with either a razor or a sharp knife.  Some places - like the small filter on the water pump - I simply got as close as I could and wrapped electrical tape over the end of the insulation such that insulation would close around the fitting as tight as possible.

Note that another advantage of doing this pipe insulation is that it does make the water pump "activity" a bit quieter than it is without the insulation.

Bill

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In San Antonio we get into the 20s for a few days several times a year.  I’ve never winterized.  On those occasions I turn on the hot water tank, set the furnace at 55, open all the hull openings and turn on our electric space heater.  No problems coming up on our 7th winter.  We’re currently at Cumberland Mountain State Park outside of Crossville and the temps are supposed to get into the mid to low 20s at night starting Monday.  All I need to do is disconnect the water hose and we’ll be fine.  Mike

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I would winterize it and take zero chance.
 It’s so fast and easy to winterize, odds are you’ll be fine but I’d rather sway on the side of certainty instead of odds. 

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Just another thought on the pipe insulation. I put it on also, not as much for insulation as for sound. At least in my trailer the water pump creates vibration and putting on the pipe insulation helps with the noise. One other thing I do is remove the plastic outside shower head make sure the metal hose is drained and shove it back inside the trailer. Even when I have winterized. I have heard people say that shower head is prone to cracking if it freezes. 

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Hello I am new to this forum I have a question regarding winterizing and the suburban water heater Expecting very cold temps  I have already drained the water and taken the anode out. But will still be traveling in a couple of days. Does anyone put the anode back for travel or use a plug to keep road dirt getting in … my old rv did not have a anode and had just a plastic plug which we kept in after draining

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57 minutes ago, Kansa said:

But will still be traveling in a couple of days.

If you are traveling now and for the next few days I would just keep the tank full and turned on.  Is the rest of the trailer winterized already?

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Yes I have winterized will be traveling after the freeze so will dewinterize after I arrive at my destination 

 

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I would not use a plastic plug.

Simply put the anode rod back in - it is simple enough to do and thus prevents "forgetting" to do it later.

More than likely the reason there was a plastic plug in your old heater was because it was not a Suburban water and thus didn't have a steel tank which requires an anode rod to help prevent problems with the interior of these steel tanks.

Bill 

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We winterized yesterday being risk adverse. I think it took maybe 25 minutes to winterize taking our time. The Truma makes winterizing really easy. In the fall we pack and carry our winterization hose and pump with us along with a few gallons of anti freeze should we take off to a much warmer costal climate.

 

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