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Old 12-31-2021, 12:54 PM   #1
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Semi-winterization needed

Hi,

Situation: I have a 2007 Greyhawk. Iím in Arizona and so it rarely gets freezing here for long, but the temp will drop to and below freezing (low of 27F) for about 12 hours in the coming days.

Iím using the motorhome to cook and leaving the thermostat at 45 when not in use. I have drained the grey and black tanks and put antifreeze in them. I was hooked up to water and have taken that off for the freeze. I have about 1/3 tank of fresh water in there. I have the tank heaters on for when it gets too cold. I donít want to put rv antifreeze in the fresh hold.

Question: What do I absolutely have to do to make sure nothing cracks? Getting water into it now (for various reasons) is difficult. I can drain things, but idk if itís better to leave the fresh tank empty or with some in it. What about the hot water heater? Anything else Iím not thinking of?

Thank you for your suggestions!
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Old 12-31-2021, 01:36 PM   #2
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Do you have power? Sounds like you do with tank heaters on and cooking..

If you didn't want to fully winterize for some reason and take a risk, I'd:
1) open low point drains and let water out
2) drain hot water tank
3) leave tank heaters on
4) put RV antifreeze in the sinks to fill the traps
5) drop some RV antifreeze in the grey and black
6) open all the cabinets that have plumbing in them to allow additional air flow including raising the bed if the valve selectors/pump is under it.
7) close slides to reduce exterior exposure and air transfer

If you have power you could go a little less and put a space heater in there, use electric water heater and leave everything as is, opening cabinets/bed to allow extra air transfer. Parts I'd worry about there are the exposed lines under the unit, like low point drains. Perhaps point an incandescent light at it if you can.
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Old 12-31-2021, 02:07 PM   #3
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It's hard to beat compressed air (with a regulator) for removing water from the lines that might freeze in the conditions you describe. (That's especially true if you have an on-demand hot water heater, because those pipes are very thin and can freeze quickly.) We use compressed air for light/intermittent freezes and then compressed air plus antifreeze to fully winterize. It's really pretty easy to do and easy to reverse when you have access to fresh water fill.

I wouldn't worry about the tanks unless there's a prolonged freeze. If there's a lot of fluid in them it's very unlikely it will freeze that quickly and if there's only a little water in them freezing won't hurt anything because any ice that forms can expand without damaging the container. The black and grey water has a lower freezing point and might not freeze even at a prolonged temp of 27 degrees.
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Old 12-31-2021, 02:17 PM   #4
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Where u at????

So far PHX is hitting maybe aiw of 35
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Old 12-31-2021, 02:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dbahn View Post
It's hard to beat compressed air (with a regulator) for removing water from the lines that might freeze in the conditions you describe. (That's especially true if you have an on-demand hot water heater, because those pipes are very thin and can freeze quickly.) We use compressed air for light/intermittent freezes and then compressed air plus antifreeze to fully winterize. It's really pretty easy to do and easy to reverse when you have access to fresh water fill.

I wouldn't worry about the tanks unless there's a prolonged freeze. If there's a lot of fluid in them it's very unlikely it will freeze that quickly and if there's only a little water in them freezing won't hurt anything because any ice that forms can expand without damaging the container. The black and grey water has a lower freezing point and might not freeze even at a prolonged temp of 27 degrees.
Thanks, but donít have an air compressor. Not sure how I would do it anyway, open the hot water drain in the bay and blow through there? Wouldnít gravity pretty much do it? Cheers!
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Old 12-31-2021, 02:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mini4mw View Post
Do you have power? Sounds like you do with tank heaters on and cooking..

If you didn't want to fully winterize for some reason and take a risk, I'd:
1) open low point drains and let water out
2) drain hot water tank
3) leave tank heaters on
4) put RV antifreeze in the sinks to fill the traps
5) drop some RV antifreeze in the grey and black
6) open all the cabinets that have plumbing in them to allow additional air flow including raising the bed if the valve selectors/pump is under it.
7) close slides to reduce exterior exposure and air transfer

If you have power you could go a little less and put a space heater in there, use electric water heater and leave everything as is, opening cabinets/bed to allow extra air transfer. Parts I'd worry about there are the exposed lines under the unit, like low point drains. Perhaps point an incandescent light at it if you can.
All good tips and about what I figured. Is it a bad idea to leave the water heater on if it’s drained tho?
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Old 12-31-2021, 02:47 PM   #7
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Thanks, but donít have an air compressor. Not sure how I would do it anyway, open the hot water drain in the bay and blow through there? Wouldnít gravity pretty much do it? Cheers!
You hook it up through fresh water fill, and just open the faucets to let air replace the water.

Compared to repairing plumbing an air compressor and pressure regulator is a good investment. Plus it can be used for tire inflation as well.
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Old 12-31-2021, 11:35 PM   #8
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It's 12*F outside right now. I'll keep my opinions short: if you want a guarantee, you winterize. Done. 'Nuff said. If you want to try to buy a compressor and blow out the lines, go for it. Many, many people do that and are successful. I don't. I use the RV Antifreeze.


It takes me 10 mins to winterize and I sleep not worrying.


Finally, 27*F for a few hours (you said 12, but I'm guessing 27 is a low) is probably survivable. Especially if the RV gets nice and warm during the day. I won't winterize here if the overnight low is mid 20's. But I do leave the heat on
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Old 01-01-2022, 01:00 AM   #9
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We camp nearly every year with the temps in the low to mid 20's with no issues. The biggest thing you have against you, your water pipes run under the floor exposed to the elements. These pipes will freeze long before the tanks (thermal mass).

Drain the water lines and turn off the water heater. Keeping the heat on will protect the inside plumbing. One additional tip, what ever cabinets that do have plumbing keep the doors ajar. This will allow a little more heat into these venerable locations.
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Old 01-01-2022, 02:21 AM   #10
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All good tips and about what I figured. Is it a bad idea to leave the water heater on if itís drained tho?
No, you don't want the water heater on if there's no water connected to the RV, or the lines have been drained. You'll burn it out quickly, especially if on the electric side.
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Old 01-03-2022, 12:33 PM   #11
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right, sorry. I meant if you had power you could leave electric water heater on and not drain it..
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Old 01-03-2022, 05:04 PM   #12
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I'm guessing that accidentally leaving the on-demand hot water heater switch on is no big deal, since there should never be any flow (anti-freeze or "air") sufficient to start the burner?
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Old 01-04-2022, 09:06 AM   #13
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Makes sense but wouldn't test it as the pipe walls are so thin to transfer heat efficiently. Assuming it never cut on, and can't think of a reason it would, I'd be worried about a slow battery drain.
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Old 01-04-2022, 09:15 AM   #14
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The Arizona winter is over, two days of a low of 37deg

Spring is HERE!!!!!!!


LOL
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