Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winterizing Tip - Don't Forget Your Traps!!

    If you, like me, have a Winter Season you know all about winterizing your RV so bad things don't happen when it gets below freezing. Especially to your fresh water system. There are two schools of thought on winterizing. Some folks prefer to pump their whole system full of the "pink stuff" or, more properly, RV WaterLine Antifreeze. This is a non-toxic, supposedly tasteless liquid that won't freeze at typical winter temperatures. The other method is to blow out your water system with compressed air. (Not too much pressure! About 40PSI or so is plenty.) I use the latter. So far, over several years I've had no problems at all. Well, that's not entirely true. I did have a cracked PVC pipe.

Typical RV Sink Drain
You see, blowing out the water lines takes care of both your cold and hot water pipes but does NOTHING to remove the water from your DRAINS! Each drain in your RV has an "S" or more properly a "U" shaped bend that keeps odors from flowing back up into your living space. Invented by, no kidding, Thomas Crapper in 1880. A small amount of water remains in the elbow to block vapors from coming back out. Ingenious, really. The only problem with this? When the temperature gets below freezing the water freezes, cracking the elbow. Come summer, your drain has a big crack in it and water flows out into whatever is beneath. Kitchen cabinets, your floor.... Well, you get the idea! Bad Mojo!

You Can Buy ANY Brand!
Simply pouring in about a quart (to be safe!) of the pink antifreeze will ensure all the water is displaced and what remains won't freeze and crack your pipes. Make sure you do EVERY drain, even the separate sinks of a double sink. Some of them have TWO drains!  Usually, I buy a brand name waterline antifreeze for a little bit more money, but it's still only about five dollars a gallon. Enough (for me) to do four drains. I also add some to the toilet and let it sit to keep the seals moist. Couldn't hurt, but may help in the spring. Sometimes the simplest preventive medicine can save you from a world of pain and expense further down the road. I know.

I had a crack in my shower drain 4 years ago from, what else, a frozen drain elbow. It was VERY difficult to get to and ended up taking hours to fix. Not fun being under the RV while dirt, grime and water pour on your head. Yay! Don't repeat my mistake. I know I won't do it again!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Thank you!! This is exactly what I did this year.....

    1. Anon,
      Always nice to have independent confirmation that what you did was spot on!

      Rich "The Wanderman"


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