Post your tips and recommendations on how you winterize your rv here! Thanks!

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Good point!! I was wondering that myself!!

  The city water fill usually has a brass check valve (city water in but RV water cant flow out via the RV water pump) very near where you attach your water hose and Ive never had a problem with freezing in any of the hose hook ups. Its still the same as discussed above, you have to winterize all the plumbing lines and drains and traps etc with whichever method you choose to use or risk.

 John T

What do I do if I am living full time in my 5th wheel? It is a1994, and I live in Dallas, Texas and need to know what to do for winter

There are several neat blogs and posts by other GORVers about how they live full time in their rv in sub zero weather.  Type  "winter"  and/or "winterize" in the little ole SEARCH BOX very top right. about 10 pages and some neat pics will pop up.

  Jim, I doubt the bottom diverter valve is the problem, as long as it turns Id guess it diverts water flow from the tank instead to the by pass hose. IF BE MORE APT TO SUSPECT A STUCK CHECK VALVE PROBLEM due to lime or rust or iron corrosion. If working properly it lets hot water flow OUT OF the heater but will NOT let it flow from the by pass hose INTO the heater. If it was stuck things will work but if you try to winterize the AFZ goes into the tank instead of the rest of the pipes as its designed. THIS ASSUMES YOU HAVE A SINGLE VALVE AND CHECK VALVE SYSTEM. That's why I prefer a 2 valve system, I know where those valves are set and no worry about a sticking check valve.

 John T

The interesting thing is that antifreeze is not going back into the HW tank. I can build pressure with the antifreeze with that bypass closed and the HW tank drain wide open (pressure relief valve open too).

I'll have to take it apart and see what's going on there. Nothing's ever simple :). I feel like I should get antifreeze through the hot side despite my blowing it out with 20 PSI. The HW line was frozen in 2 spots when I bought it last year despite evidence that the PO pumped antifreeze through it. I guess he couldn't get it to the HW either.

Okay I'm a dope. 

I got under there to take a closer look and it turns out that the big "T" in the picture was hiding ANOTHER valve!

 

I don't think the previous owner saw that, either, because there was only antifreeze in the cold water side of the system. The HW lines to the shower had frozen and split. I had to repair them when I first fired it up this past Spring.

So when you flip BOTH valves, it allows the cold water feed (the feed from the water pump) to pressurize the HW side too. Now I have pink stuff everywhere.

  WAY TO GO JIM,,,,,,,,,hey that 2 valve system is better anyway in my opinion. Congratulations............

 By the way, its supposed to be near 60 tomorrow here in Southern Indiana so Im going to winterize my RV.

 I drive up a certain direction on a slope so the fresh water tanks bottom drain is at the lowest point and drain it dry,,,,,,,,,,Then I turn the RV so the water pumps pickup is at the lowest point in the tank,,,,,,,,,,,dump AFZ in the tank,,,,,,,,,,Drain then by pass the hot water heater,,,,,,,,,,,,,run the pump till I get pink out every faucet (leave them open when doine),,,,,,,,,then return hot water by pass to normal and run a bit more AFZ which flows into water heater bottom,,,,,pour some extra AFZ down every trap,,,,,,,,,,then drain any left over AFZ,,,,,,,,,,pour some AFZ in the toilet so the seal stays wet,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,put her to bed. 

  I already changed oil and filter and added a bunch of Sta Bil and Lucas Gas Treatment to a full tank of gas,,,,,,,,exercise the genset almost once a week,,,,,,,,,aired tires to 80 PSI,,,,,,,,,,smart charger is plugged in which floats batteries at 13.2 volts,,,,,,,,,cleaned and blew out the furnace and fridge and hot water heater,,,,,,,,,,,oiled the doors and locks and hinges,,,,,,,,put tools and parts away and checked spare parts and supplies inventory,,,,,,,,,,IM READY TO HEAD SOUTH AS SOON AS THE LAST KID LEAVES AFTER CHRISTMAS LOL

 John T

Now that I've re-read your post, I understand what you meant by the "2 valve system". I've driven all around my hilly area with the fresh water drain open - there's not a drop left in it. I think I'm good for this winter's nap. NJ winter's aren't so awful that I can't take it for a little exercise once in a while, which is what I intend to do. I run the generator weekly. I do need to put some Sta-Bil in the fuel. I need to get out and top it off first, though. Especially now that gas is so "inexpensive" ($2.61/gallon currently).

Thought so...there was no check valve inthe previous photo. Be aware..the mineralization onthe fittings are a sign of previous leaks. Use a pressure reg and keep an eye for leaks in the region..
good point john. this is the only area not addressed by the waterpump bypass. i suspect that cavitation of the antifreeze dilutes this water and thus protects then area of pipe since ive never seen a freeze here. but my climate here is not as extreme as others. a blow out plug would be good here, especially if the line is longer where it meets the manifold. i do like the waterpump bypass for it protects the pump head.
Ethylene glycol is car antifreeze...NEVER use. Proplylene glycol is rv potable water system antifreeze and is the same stuff used for a laxitive in powdered form...VERY safe. Systems blown out completely should be safe but i guess in extreme conditions some areas could still freeze. Antifreeze is the best choice. A waterpump bypass and water heater bypass should be installed. Drain water heater and put in bypass position. Put water pump in bypass and hook up bypass hose to a gallon of antifreese. Turn on pump and run every faucet(hot and cold) till you see pink plus a little extra for the traps. Do the toilet and exterior shower too. Your done. To dewinterize, take the water pump out of bypass and pump water till all clear. Take water heater out of bypass and run hot water faucet till all air escapes. Make sure all heat sources to water heater are OFF while water heater is in bypass. A heat element will last less than a minute with no water.

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