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5th Wheel winterizing

by , Posted to on 10/01/2010 9:10 PM | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
OK, I have just had what must be about the dumbest damn thing I've seen in a spell.  I went to winterize the 7 month old 5th wheeler and decided I would blow out the lines and then circulate a little RV antifreeze for good measure.  So I hooked up the air hose to the "city" water supply hose fitting.  For the life of me, I could not get the plumbing to take air.

What gives?  A checkvalve or something go bad?


And for the smart alecks, yes I did open the faucets and no, it was nearly 55 degrees while doing this so it isn't frozen.  For a while I was able to hook up the garden hose and get some water into the plumbing, but only a trickle.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/01/2010 9:13 PM | Reply #1 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/28/2007
Location: ND
Must have a valve somewhere that switches it from the onboard tank to the external source.  You shouldn't have to blow it out.  There is probably a drain line below each faucet.  You just drain the tank, the water heater, and open the drain lines below the faucets and then open the faucets and gravity takes over.  Pour some rv in the traps and you should be good I'd think. 
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/01/2010 9:19 PM | Reply #2 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
No drain lines below the faucets or tub.

As it was, I took the line off the water pump and used that to blow out the rest of the camper. 

The holding tank has a drain, speaking of which I need to go crack'er open.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/01/2010 9:45 PM | Reply #3 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 10/16/2009
Location: ND
Dont listen to eyexer,   to avoid alot of damage theres much more to it than that. 

Your city water fill has a valve in it that closes off with more than about 15 psi of pressure to make sure you dont blow out the plumbing with too much water pressure Turn down the PSI in your compresser and try it again. 
Also be sure if you're filling with anti freeze, you are bypassing your waterheater or you'll use a heck of alot of antifreeze filling the waterheater before it even goes into your plumbing.

Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 07:40 AM | Reply #4 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/27/2002
Location: ND
Correct, there should be a shut-off at the water heater. Then pull the line from your holding tank to the pump,they have a special RV funnel that fits the line perfectly and start filling and have someone in turning faucets on as you go. Don't forget the "crapper". Also the small filtered water spout (kitchen) if equipped.
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 08:31 AM | Reply #5 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
aggiefan Said:
Your city water fill has a valve in it that closes off with more than about 15 psi of pressure to make sure you dont blow out the plumbing with too much water pressure Turn down the PSI in your compresser and try it again. 
That must be the kind of valve in the way here and is now defective.  While the owners manual recommends no more than 30 psi of air to blow out the lines, I had my cheap Craftsman regulator set at 22-27 psi.  I note though that that most city water systems are between 40 and 50 psi.  Mine at the house normally reads 43-47 psi during the summer while everyone is irrigating their pasture, but I just went and looked at the gage and it was 64 psi.  Holy crap!    So I toned that down just a tad before my house blew a gasket.

Rural water systems are quirky to say the least, some of my neighbors have to have booster pumps in their house in order to maintain pressure.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 08:34 AM | Reply #6 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
p.s.  No shutoff available on my Forrest River to the water heater.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 08:37 AM | Reply #7 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/28/2007
Location: ND
aggiefan Said:
Dont listen to eyexer,   to avoid alot of damage theres much more to it than that. 

Your city water fill has a valve in it that closes off with more than about 15 psi of pressure to make sure you dont blow out the plumbing with too much water pressure Turn down the PSI in your compresser and try it again. 
Also be sure if you're filling with anti freeze, you are bypassing your waterheater or you'll use a heck of alot of antifreeze filling the waterheater before it even goes into your plumbing.
lol, yea I guess my camper was rather old. 

Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 08:48 AM | Reply #8 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/27/2002
Location: ND
   If you put a small amount of water in your holding tank, does the pump circulate water like it is suppose too? If it is a new 5th, almost all have a bypass for water heater. Some are very hard to find (behind heater) under the cabinets.
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 09:10 AM | Reply #9 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
Yes, the pump and freshwater tank side of the plumbing works just fine.  


I looked long and hard for a way to bypass the water heater.  Even bought a $33 kit of hose and valves designed to do just that, but with the way mine is configured and placed it is near impossible to do it and have the valves be even remotely user friendly.  I would have to take out a panel on the sink base that is not designed to be removed and replaced on a regular basis.

Guess I could go the long way and make that panel removable.

As is, I simply drained the lines by removing the pressure side from the pump and pushed air through the faucets.

I'll have to look at getting some warranty work done on it next spring with regard to the city water supply line as I open it up for use.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 10:42 AM | Reply #10 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/06/2002
Location: ND
Allen,

I have a 2002 Sprinter, and the by pass to the water
heater is right under the front sink.  The other camper
I owned had the by pass back by the water heater itself.
On the newer campers, I don't know, but you would think
it would have to be accessible.

When I hook up to an "outside" source of water, there
is a pressure valve that screws into the end of the water
hose.  This prevents to much water pressure from
blowing the lines off.  I don't know if any of this helps
you.

566thMedCo/54thMedevacDet(Dust-Off)
"The louder you scream, the faster we come"


 
 

 

Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 11:42 AM | Reply #11 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
greyrider,

Yeah, I too bought an external pressure regulator for the city water hookup, not thinking there could be an internal one to the camper.

I can see the lines to and from the water heater and there isn't a single valve on them or the bypass line.  And while they are under the sink, they're a real biatch to get to.

Well, it's late enough in the morning and I should probably just call the dealer now and get the low-down on this.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 12:16 PM | Reply #12 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/06/2002
Location: ND
Allen,

Let me know what the dealer tells you.  I am very
curious myself.  I just came in from crawling around
my 5th wheel to see what else I could find.

Take Care

566thMedCo/54thMedevacDet(Dust-Off)
"The louder you scream, the faster we come"


 
 

 

Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 7:57 PM | Reply #13 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
OK, so here's the skinny.  The new 5th wheelers do indeed have a check valve in them that makes hooking air up to the city water supply an exercise in futility.  The check valve, of all stupid things, needs to have water pressure on the backside in order to allow water in from a garden hose fitting.  FOR the life of me, I don't get it, but that's the way it is and you can't just hook up an air line to blow all the water out.  Well, you can but you need to figure out a way to depress the trigger on that checkvalve while the air fitting is screwed in.  Maybe turning the screen around would do it, or a pebble, or........?


No water heater bypass on my camper.  Camper is plumbed with PEX tubing, so I scheduled an appointment for it to be bypassed by someone who has the tools and patience to work with PEX.  I HATE PEX tubing!
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 8:50 PM | Reply #14 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/06/2002
Location: ND
Allen,

Wow, what a bunch of crap!  It sounds to me like
they want you to take it to a dealer to have it worked
on, just like they have done with all the vehicles.
I don't know why they messed up something that
was so simple and made so complicated.

Good luck to ya...........

566thMedCo/54thMedevacDet(Dust-Off)
"The louder you scream, the faster we come"


 
 

 

Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/02/2010 11:34 PM | Reply #15 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/28/2007
Location: ND
Allen Said:
OK, so here's the skinny.  The new 5th wheelers do indeed have a check valve in them that makes hooking air up to the city water supply an exercise in futility.  The check valve, of all stupid things, needs to have water pressure on the backside in order to allow water in from a garden hose fitting.  FOR the life of me, I don't get it, but that's the way it is and you can't just hook up an air line to blow all the water out.  Well, you can but you need to figure out a way to depress the trigger on that checkvalve while the air fitting is screwed in.  Maybe turning the screen around would do it, or a pebble, or........?


No water heater bypass on my camper.  Camper is plumbed with PEX tubing, so I scheduled an appointment for it to be bypassed by someone who has the tools and patience to work with PEX.  I HATE PEX tubing!
if you have the tools pex is the bomb.  I've plumbed several houses with it now and will never use copper again.

Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/03/2010 12:59 PM | Reply #16 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/25/2007
Location: ND
ditto on the pex.  the crimper was a well spend $170 and i am a tight ass when it comes to spending money on things like that.  tis one of the most used tools in my box now and the most borrowed out as well.  can't figure out what is so special about the tool that they need to get that much money for it.  but, was still worth it.  
Born to hunt and fish... Forced to work!
Re: 5th Wheel winterizing
by on 10/03/2010 4:46 PM | Reply #17 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/02/2004
Location: ND
Don't forget the out side shower if your camper has one.  I forgot mine one year and needless to say I had a leak that next summer.  Randy
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Posted On: 10/01/2010 9:10 PM
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