First Timer Winterizing
First Timer Winterizing
Oct 2 2012, 10:35 AM
Joined: 18-September 12
Member No.: 74541
One more trip before we close down our Class C for the winter. We have read a lot of information on "how to" and tips from charcoal to absorb moisture, drier sheets in drawers, moth balls, etc.
Looking for additional info from "seasoned" RVers like yourselves
- We assume we have to drain everything in holding tanks (fresh water, grey & black water) and are aware of the antifreeze addition.
- Keep refrigerator doors open
- Remove ALL food ... what about dishes, sheets/blankets, etc.?
- disconnect house battery?
- anything we need to do to generator?
- amount of fuel to keep in tank? We were advised to run generator once a month for 30 min. and drive vehicle a little to prevent "flat" spots on tires
- propane in tank?
Anything else? Thank you for your help
|John Q Citizen||
Oct 6 2012, 11:31 PM
Joined: 25-September 12
Member No.: 74784
Drain all coach tanks, including water heater. Leave drain on the water supply tank open. If your coach water system is equipped with an antifreeze siphon and a water heater bypass, the potable antifreeze is the easiest way to go. If not, use a blow-out plug on your city water inlet. First drain the water heater, and replace the plug. Then raise the air pressure to about 60PSI and open individual water valves until no more spray comes out. Start with the valve farthest from the water supply, and work toward the supply. I used a ¾” male hose fitting with a tubeless tire valve stem pushed through it. Just thread it into the city water fitting and tighten it down. It shouldn’t have to be too tight. The pin in the check valve on the water inlet should protrude into the hole in the valve stem, so no damage should occur. I used to take my coach to a nearby filling station and use their air to blow the system out. Put the air hose on, bring the system up to about 60PSI, go inside and open the valve that you want to bleed. Close valve, and repeat until everything is dry. Don’t forget the toilet line. Lastly, while the water lines are pressurized, remove the drain plug from the water heater. I blow out or use antifreeze even if the coach has water system drains. One low spot in the lines could ruin your spring. Don’t forget antifreeze in drain traps. Auto antifreeze can be used here. A little extra antifreeze in the drains will go to the lowest parts of the holding system and prevent possible freeze problems there. Waste water tanks can be drained before blowing out the water system or filing it with antifreeze. Only a small amount of water will will accumulate due to the winterizing process.
Remove all perishables, including canned goods. Don’t forget “dry” perishables. We left a clove of garlic in our unit one winter. It had fallen down behind some other items in the cupboard. We were half way through the next summer before we figured out what the odor was.
Crack the roof vents just enough to get a little air circulation. If you have access to power, put a low wattage heat source in the coach. Just an incandescent table lamp or a low wattage heater is sufficient. The idea is to raise the air temperature in the coach just a little higher than the outside temperature. This will promote air circulation through the cracked vents, and help dissipate accumulated moisture. (Works in boats too).
We leave dishes and silverware right where they are. Wash the refrigerator out with water with baking soda in it. Remove all components and make sure to clean out the groves in the sides of the cabinet where the shelves go. Leave a little soda residue on everything. Prop doors open. It is not necessary to have them wide open. Just make they don’t seal closed.
If moisture is going to be a problem, remove all bedding, towels, and linen.
I have had no problems with Flat spots on tires. When spring comes, the tires will warm up and even tires with hard nylon cord will lose their flat spots in just a few miles.
I leave my propane on except when I am filling the tank. I figure if the tank is empty in the spring, I have a leak to find. I’d rather do that than discover, and try to troubleshoot a leak in the middle of a trip someplace. I once had a leak in a propane line that was in the same compartment as the water pump! Not a good situation.
Another consideration is tires. Tires contain a compound that retards the action of the sun. This compound is released, in very small quantities by the flexing of the tires as you drive. Tires designed for continual use, (car, light truck, etc.) contain the least of this compound. Occasional use tires, (Specialty RV tires and trailer tires) have more of this compound, because they are not used as much. Anyway, no driving, no flexing, so the tires don’t get the protection they need. Therefore, it is a good idea to protect the tires from the sun during storage. Vinyl covers, pieces of plywood, shade are some of the ways to protect the tires.
Fill fuel tank(S) to minimize condensation. Treat fuel with a stabilizer. I use PRI-G (PRI-D for diesels) from Power Research Inc. (I have a friend that uses the same product in his airplane). I believe PRI-G is now available at some Camping World stores. Run the genset and engine long enough to get the stabilizer into the entire fuel system. PRI is a good idea any time a vehicle is going to sit for more than a month. It costs about $600 to change an in-tank electric fuel pump. I replaced them in five different vehicles before I got educated about fuel stabilizers.
Change the oil in the genset (1) when you winterize, and (2) when you get ready to use your coach in the spring. (My Onan technician says, ”you can pay me now, or you can pay me later”). Consider removing chassis and house batteries and store them someplace where it will be above freezing, (I am more a proponent of “dead” storage, than the “run everything every month” storage. Even running an internal combustion engines, with no load, for 30 minutes will not clear the acids from the exhaust system. Exhaust acids can raise cain with the exhaust sensors that are on many modern (post 1970) engines. Don’t place Storage batteries directly on a cement floor. This will increase discharge. Instead, place them on 1” wood strips. If you are going to run power to your motor home with the batteries removed in storage, make sure the positive battery cables are not grounded. I wrap them in a rag and tape the rag in place.
As far as rodent control, I use a Riddix plug-in rodent repeller in both my house and the motor home. We have had no problems in the house, even though roof rats and mice inhabit the area, and no problems in the motor home, even though our storage area has no power to the sites. If you can use shore power for humidity control, you will have an operational Riddix also.