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Old 09-19-2016, 10:43 AM   #1
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Portable air compressor recommendation for winterizing

I winterize our Jayco 2013 X20E Travel Trailer by draining the hot water tank, then blowing compressed air through the lines. It always works great and is simple.

The problem is we have to keep it in a lot some distance away. So rather than bring it home after every trip, I'm thinking of getting a portable air compressor and then blowing it out at the campground. That way we can take it out whenever we want in the winter and then drop it off at the storage lot and save time.

I'd like a portable compressor that has adequate airflow yet it is as lightweight as possible. Does anyone have one you'd recommend?

Dale
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:09 PM   #2
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http://m.acehardware.com//product/in...1-149cee13dd41

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Old 09-19-2016, 12:11 PM   #3
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remember dont go over 30psi. max is 35psi or your gonna start having leaks

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Old 09-19-2016, 10:07 PM   #4
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Thanks. That looks like just what I need. Since you recommended it, I'm sure it has adequate airflow and I looked it up -- just under 20 lbs. Probably hard to get much lighter than that.

The only thing I could not find were the dimensions, but based on a similar model from another company I'm guessing 16 x 15 x 7 wouldn't be far off. That's certainly small enough to live with.

Thanks.

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Old 09-19-2016, 10:08 PM   #5
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Good reminder. Thanks.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:21 AM   #6
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remember dont go over 30psi. max is 35psi or your gonna start having leaks

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That is an exaggeration. Some of the more current water pumps put out 60+ psi. Obviously you don't want to push the safe margins of the plumbing system, but 50 psi would definitely be safe. I usually set my regulator at 45-50 psi to winterize, and water pressure around 50-55 psi.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:31 AM   #7
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That is an exaggeration. Some of the more current water pumps put out 60+ psi. Obviously you don't want to push the safe margins of the plumbing system, but 50 psi would definitely be safe. I usually set my regulator at 45-50 psi to winterize, and water pressure around 50-55 psi.
+1

I usually set mine to around 40 PSI

About the compressor linked above; that compressor uses 120V AC. It would be nice IMO to have something that is 12V DC so it can be used anywhere. You can get a standard oilless, 3 gallon pancake (or hot dog) compressor for around $100 to use at home.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:38 AM   #8
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The PSI is much more of a concern with the plumbing system closed. However when you are clearing lines you will have open valves and/or faucets so the pressure won't build in the plumbing.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:12 AM   #9
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I agree that a 12V compressor would be even better. My concern is that a 12V compressor may not put out enough air flow to do the job. If anyone has one they have found works well, I'd love to hear about it.

I have looked at the pancake compressors, and they are attractive. The ones I've seen have significantly more weight as the tradeoff. I already have a full size portable compressor at home, so I'd plan to keep this one in the TT and plug it in and use it as we leave the campground. But I'm open to better ways of doing it of which I've not thought.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:14 AM   #10
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Your post raises an interesting question. I've always blown out the lines with all the faucets open. That makes the only reason to watch pressure be if you forget to open a faucet sometime. But I saw a video the other day that recommended opening and blowing out the faucets one by one. I've never done it that way and have not had any problems so I don't know if it makes any difference.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by stlsailor View Post
I agree that a 12V compressor would be even better. My concern is that a 12V compressor may not put out enough air flow to do the job. If anyone has one they have found works well, I'd love to hear about it.

I have looked at the pancake compressors, and they are attractive. The ones I've seen have significantly more weight as the tradeoff. I already have a full size portable compressor at home, so I'd plan to keep this one in the TT and plug it in and use it as we leave the campground. But I'm open to better ways of doing it of which I've not thought.
This video shows how the guys from "RV Geeks" do it with a 12V, high volume compressor:



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Your post raises an interesting question. I've always blown out the lines with all the faucets open. That makes the only reason to watch pressure be if you forget to open a faucet sometime. But I saw a video the other day that recommended opening and blowing out the faucets one by one. I've never done it that way and have not had any problems so I don't know if it makes any difference.
I do it by opening the faucets one at a time. If you set the line pressure on your compressor to the appropriate level, the lines shouldn't get above the set line pressure. So I use a QC air adapter on my city water connection. After I have set and adjusted and verified the line pressure at 40 PSI, I QC the air hose to the city water (WH is bypassed and drained separately) and go to each faucet and open it until little to no water comes out. I go to each and every faucet including the outside shower and open both hot and cold valves. Then I open the pressurized low point drains.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:11 AM   #12
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I agree that a 12V compressor would be even better. My concern is that a 12V compressor may not put out enough air flow to do the job. If anyone has one they have found works well, I'd love to hear about it.
The small 12V that you can get just about everywhere will work just fine. Start out by draining the water heater and the close the bypass valves. Then open and drain at the low point drains and the tank drain valves. Close those valves and connect the compressor to the fresh water connection using the screw in nipple. With all the faucets closed inside [or leave one open if you wish] turn on the compressor. By the time you are inside there will be plenty of psi in the lines to start. I like to close all for maybe 20 seconds to get some psi in the line if you started with one open. Then open one at a time [hot then cold] at each fixture. After doing the kitchen sink [where I start] close those valves and move into the bathroom. Repeat the process at the sink and then move to the shower. I like to unscrew the handheld hose at the bottom and leave it hanging [remember to open the top hand unit so it will drain]. Don't forget the toilet line. As you open each valve, let it drain until it hisses and no more water is pushed out. A little spitting is normal. To be safe, I repeat the whole process going back to the kitchen sink and doing it all again. With everything closed, move promptly to the low point drains outside and open them again one at a time. Some water will have collected there so let them go until they spit. Finally open the fresh tank drain and let it completely drain. Go back inside and pour a 1/2 cup of pink stuff in each sink so it settles in the p drains. I also do the same in the shower and into the toilet bowl to keep the seal moist. You are now done.

Its not a race but after you've done it a few times you can do the whole process in less than 15 minutes. The small compressor is my recommendation because it will easily do the job, it can be stowed in your tote holding stuff like that, and it obviously can be used anywhere. I have winterized on the fly in a wally world parking lot or rest area on a trip north back into [I came home too early] winter weather many times. When I get home I make sure to go back thru the process the next morning just to make sure. I have never had an issue when I redo the process.
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Old 09-20-2016, 12:15 PM   #13
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How cold does it get Baldwin? I doubt you are talking about Baldwin WI.

Nice that you live somewhere warm enough to go out in the winter months. There are not too many places open up here in the frozen tundra, during the winter. I have heard of two SP with plowed RV spots along the North Shore (Lake Superior).

I have never tried my 12V compressor. I do use my small 120V portable compressor with a small accumulation tank maybe 5 gallons. I set my pressure fairly low, maybe 25 psi, air volume is the key to pushing out the water. I place a ľ turn garden hose valve on my city water connection then connect the compressor to that valve directly. This way I can open and close the valve to allow the compressor to build up pressure (aka volume). Open one faucet valve at a time, starting closest to the city water connection and work my way around. Donít forget to open all your bypass valves for a moment to drain out any captured water. I am probably a little anal about it, and spend about 10-15 minutes blowing out the lines, but I go through them multiple times to ensure there is very little water accumulating in low points.

Afterwards, I install RV antifreeze, then blow the excess out, and into the various P-traps. This way my pipes are fairly empty and well protected from the Mother Nature. My plan is to never ever have to replace a broken fitting, because the one that will break will be the one you just cannot reach without tearing into something.
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:59 AM   #14
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I bought one of these to blow out my water lines with.. added bonus it can also inflate my tires before I start driving on them ..
3 gal. 1/3 HP 100 PSI Oilless Pancake Air Compressor

I also use one of these to blow out the water lines
Blow Out Hose - Direcsource Ltd TS-N19 - Winterizing - Camping World
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:04 AM   #15
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Really it just doesn't take that much air volume or psi to blow out the lines. Use what you've got but the small 12V is all you need to do the job properly and safely as it is almost impossible to over do the psi with one of them. The added value of being able to do the deed on the fly is worth its weight in gold when you're heading north in early March and get a weather report showing temps in the teens an hour into your trip the next day. Did the job start to finish while the wife was brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed, in a Wally world parking lot between Birmingham and Montgomery.
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:22 PM   #16
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The small 12V that you can get just about everywhere will work just fine. Start out by draining the water heater and the close the bypass valves. Then open and drain at the low point drains and the tank drain valves. Close those valves and connect the compressor to the fresh water connection using the screw in nipple. With all the faucets closed inside [or leave one open if you wish] turn on the compressor. By the time you are inside there will be plenty of psi in the lines to start. I like to close all for maybe 20 seconds to get some psi in the line if you started with one open. Then open one at a time [hot then cold] at each fixture. After doing the kitchen sink [where I start] close those valves and move into the bathroom. Repeat the process at the sink and then move to the shower. I like to unscrew the handheld hose at the bottom and leave it hanging [remember to open the top hand unit so it will drain]. Don't forget the toilet line. As you open each valve, let it drain until it hisses and no more water is pushed out. A little spitting is normal. To be safe, I repeat the whole process going back to the kitchen sink and doing it all again. With everything closed, move promptly to the low point drains outside and open them again one at a time. Some water will have collected there so let them go until they spit. Finally open the fresh tank drain and let it completely drain. Go back inside and pour a 1/2 cup of pink stuff in each sink so it settles in the p drains. I also do the same in the shower and into the toilet bowl to keep the seal moist. You are now done.

Its not a race but after you've done it a few times you can do the whole process in less than 15 minutes. The small compressor is my recommendation because it will easily do the job, it can be stowed in your tote holding stuff like that, and it obviously can be used anywhere. I have winterized on the fly in a wally world parking lot or rest area on a trip north back into [I came home too early] winter weather many times. When I get home I make sure to go back thru the process the next morning just to make sure. I have never had an issue when I redo the process.
This is great, my first winter is in front of me here in New York and I've been thinking about how I want to winterize. You've just talked me into using my portable air compressor supplemented by antifreeze in all the drains/p-traps. I saw that the RVGeeks suggest attaching a standard water pressure regulator to the brass blowout plug before screwing it into the city water connection as a low-tech-but-effective way to protect the water lines. My 12v compressor definitely isn't going to exceed 55psi (which is what my ShurFlo 4008 water pump is rated for) but I may try their pressure regulator tip anyway - unless someone thinks it's a poor idea?
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:31 PM   #17
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This is great, my first winter is in front of me here in New York and I've been thinking about how I want to winterize. You've just talked me into using my portable air compressor supplemented by antifreeze in all the drains/p-traps. I saw that the RVGeeks suggest attaching a standard water pressure regulator to the brass blowout plug before screwing it into the city water connection as a low-tech-but-effective way to protect the water lines. My 12v compressor definitely isn't going to exceed 55psi (which is what my ShurFlo 4008 water pump is rated for) but I may try their pressure regulator tip anyway - unless someone thinks it's a poor idea?
You'll do fine, just take your time and do all the faucets, valves, and fixtures twice. The only thing I ever screwed up in all the years doing it this way is forgetting the outside shower, JUST LIKE I DOD IN MY PREVIOUS POST. I remove the hose / head just like the inside shower and blow out the lines one at a time just like inside. I don't use the outside shower so I haven't reattached the hose in recent years.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:33 PM   #18
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You'll do fine, just take your time and do all the faucets, valves, and fixtures twice. The only thing I ever screwed up in all the years doing it this way is forgetting the outside shower, JUST LIKE I DOD IN MY PREVIOUS POST. I remove the hose / head just like the inside shower and blow out the lines one at a time just like inside. I don't use the outside shower so I haven't reattached the hose in recent years.


This is the reason I'm seriously considering installing some valves inside the cabinet that holds my outside shower service connection. If I can isolate (keep dry) my outside shower, it won't ever need to be winterized


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