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Old 12-10-2021, 11:57 PM   #1
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Winter Travel with a Camper

This has probably been answered many times before but I am not finding what I need in the searches.

I have a 2020 Eagle HT TT which in about a week and a half we plan on taking it down to Florida and in a few weeks bring it back. We live in Southeast Michigan and the camper is sitting in a storage lot and has been winterized by the dealer.

I need to get it out of Michigan without freezing or damaging anything. The reason for taking the camper is that it will allow us to stop along the way without having to deal with ugly bathrooms and eating at restaurants for every meal.

My thoughts were to fill the fresh tank about 1/3 full (I don't think they put antifreeze in it but I need to verify that), and leave the hot water tank bypassed until we get to our first KOA campsite in Kentucky.

That is the easy part. Bringing it back in the middle of January has me a bit concerned. I have considered finding a Flying J or equivelent and dumping the tanks. Then either take it back to the dealer to winterize it or just pull the plug on hot water tank, let the fresh water drain out, and refill the lines with antifreeze.

I would take our old Airstream out in the winter but I never activated the plumbing. That worked fine plus since it didn't have slide outs the heater could be left running if needed.

Any other recommendations or do I have this all wrong?

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Old 12-11-2021, 07:18 AM   #2
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You have a good plan in place already. The only thing that I would add is that you could bring a couple of gal of antifreeze with you so that you could winterize along the way back if necessary. As you said, just stop at a Flying J, dump everything, and then run the antifreeze through your lines.
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Old 12-11-2021, 08:40 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reassurance.
I figured I would bring some, not sure how much though.

The last time I winterized anything was our old 73 Airstream and it took more than I planned on, but I didn't have a way to bypass the water heater back then. I also didn't know about the plug that drains all the water out.
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Old 12-11-2021, 11:25 PM   #4
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Buddy of mine travel to Florida every Christmas from Minnesota in his class B MH. He leaves fully winterized. He carries jugs of water until it is warm enough to dewinterize. He flushes the toilet with windshield fluid. Once warm enough he flushes the system.

On the way home, once it gets cold he rewinterizes.

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Old 12-12-2021, 07:04 AM   #5
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You are way overthinking this. I wouldn't put any water in a tank if you don't need it. My black tank always has a couple of gallons, just to keep the bottom of the tank wet. When we travel to Florida in the winter we bring a couple gallon jugs of water with us. If we need to use the restroom on the road, we dump some water out of the gallon jug to flush.

When we know our next destination will involve freezing weather on the drive home, we winterize our camper at the last warm location so I'm not doing it after a long day of driving or in the freezing cold weather.

WInterizing isn't difficult at all. I'm not sure why some people dread it so much. It takes 2 gallons of anti-freeze for most campers and about 5 minutes of time. If you've never winterized before, perhaps you can do a test run while you're warm in Florida. 2 gallon jugs of water and some food dye will work to let you know you've gotten fluid through all the lines.
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Old 12-12-2021, 10:08 AM   #6
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I never heard of the food dye test. I think that is a great idea to try if you want to build your confidence.
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Old 12-12-2021, 10:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
Buddy of mine travel to Florida every Christmas from Minnesota in his class B MH. He leaves fully winterized. He carries jugs of water until it is warm enough to dewinterize. He flushes the toilet with windshield fluid. Once warm enough he flushes the system.

On the way home, once it gets cold he rewinterizes.
This is what we do. We go from Maine to Florida for a month and return in March.. The last freeze here is in May so we have to rewinterize.

Winterizing is not difficult at least in our unit. The first time it was mentally challenging but now we don't think about it except to check that we closed every valve we should.

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Old 12-15-2021, 11:55 PM   #8
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I screwed up winterizing our antique airstream 3 years ago and it cost me the toilet and water heater. It also lost the fridge and furnace that year (not related to winterizing) and since I don't have a barn anymore to house rebuilding it along with the city not allowing camper/RVs in the driveway, we bought a new Jayco in 2019. My other problem with that camper was that the valves to bypass the water heater stopped working so I had to pretty much fill the hot water tank with antifreeze.

This last fall is probably the last time I will pay to winterize it but I liked idea that the dealer guarantees that it was properly done if it turned out there was a problem.

I wanted to put some water in the tank so I can flush the toilet, although now that I think about it, a jug or 2 of water would probably suffice for the first portion of the trip before we check into our first campground on the way down. That also will work on last leg of the trip home. I'll just put a bottle of hand sanitizer in the sink.

I almost always over think it the first time I try something new or different, when I skip that step it usually comes back to haunt me.

This will only be the second time that we will be traveling in winter (I don't count the times in Alabama we took it out in January). The first time was back in 2008 when I took the Airstream (which we were in the middle of rebuilding) to Alabama in February when we moved down there - in a heavy duty snow storm in Michigan and ice the rest of the way through most of Tennessee.
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Old 12-25-2021, 01:25 PM   #9
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Like Kim Glass, we also live in Maine and have to winterize our motorhome. If we have to use the the toilet we pour some antifreeze in after using the toilet. Same goes for the bathroom sink, a little antifreeze after. We carry water jugs for drinking and flushing. We head to Florida in Mid January and back in March. Dewinterize as soon as it’s warm enough not to freeze.
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Old 12-25-2021, 02:14 PM   #10
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I'd put like 10gal in your fresh tank, hook and book. You're heading south, its just gonna get warmer. Your fresh tank is not going to freeze. If you have to use the toilet on the way down, flush it with the pink pop in the lines. I'm sure the waste in the toilet ain't gonna care if it goes down with pop or water. Lol! On your way home push it as far north as you can before you have to winterize. Dayton, OH. would be a good place. That puts you within say 4 non stop hours of home. You may be surprised on your way home, it could be 50* back here and you wint have to winterize until you get back home! Lol! Even if you cant dump until you get home, so what. Dump a few gallons of boiling water in the tanks, itll thaw out and dump just fine.
ALSO, dont forget to take the needed gallons of pink pop with you in case you cant find it out on the road.
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Old 12-25-2021, 09:35 PM   #11
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Live in TN so usually not freezing for weeks at a time. But when we use MH in winter and freezing weather, I take a couple of jugs of water for toilet like some said. I don't fill fresh water tank until I'm where it is warm. On way back to cold, drain WH and bypass. Drain all lines and put a little antifreeze in black and gray tanks. Ours has 5 low point drains that get 90% of water out. When I get home drain black and gray tanks (have own sewer drain). Hook air to water inlet and go to each faucet and toilet to get out all water
Put a little antifreeze in traps and good to go. Never put antifreeze in system. Over 20 years, no problem. Takes about 5 minutes once air I hooked up to winterize.
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Old 12-28-2021, 11:57 AM   #12
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Going south

Yea did that with my motorhome couple years ago I left everything winterized once I had gone further south past Tennessee area I was warm enough to dewinterize and it was great .bought antifreeze in Floridaís and winterized later on the way coming back home ..the dirty roads coming back close to home (Ontario)was not so good to cold to clean it when I made it back so parked cleaned it in spring

So overall your better off going south and staying there drive back in warmer weather Ö.or store it in say we did one time in Murtle beach and drove the rest of the way without are RV so I had to go back in spring and get it
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Old 12-28-2021, 12:26 PM   #13
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I just drove to Duluth MN with my Jayco Melbourne. It will get to minus 3 tonight. Stay winterized. Use the RV anti-freeze in the black tank and only urinate when you must. Dump as soon as you get somewhere warm. Iím also testing how long my propane will last for the fridge and heater. We had a lot of wind and now cold. Think I can go about five days if I donít heat above 62 or so. Testing the new lithium batteries too. Using a tank heater pad and the batteries stay above freezing. The batteries will discharge to -22 degrees. But if you want to charge them they have to be above freezing. I just want to know that I can boondock five days in the cold without worrying. Wonít do it much.
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Old 12-28-2021, 02:26 PM   #14
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Instead of anti-freeze, could you not just blow out all of the lines with compressed air to witerize once you get close to home? Other than some anti-freeze in you P-traps, you wouldn't need any.


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Old 12-28-2021, 04:27 PM   #15
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In my MH I used the propane in 6 days, was low 20s, did run fridge and water heater some, never ran heat full time, just when showering and very low at night. Did have water in it and never froze. A 35 GS Seneca.
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winter camping

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