Winterizing the RV part 2

Oh man, this wasn’t the easy job I had hoped it would be.

A few days ago when I drained the system I had hoped it would go perfectly smooth and quickly like I saw in the YouTube videos I had been watching. In them, they just open some valves to drain the tanks, put a tube into the bottle of antifreeze, open a valve and run the faucets. Done!

Nothing ever happens quickly. Nothing is ever, ever easy. Most of all, nothing ever goes perfectly according to plan.


Yeah… It didn’t work out that way for me.

Firstly, when I hooked up the antifreeze to pump kit, I installed the bypass valve backward.

The water pump showing the bypass valve installed. Backward.

I’m sure it was on the instructions somewhere, but I didn’t see it and the flow wasn’t on the valve. I spent about 35 minutes not understanding why the heck the pump was running, valves were open, but the antifreeze wasn’t being drawn into the pump. I even poured water and antifreeze down the tube to help prime the pump, and when I saw that wasn’t even being drawn into the pump at all, is when I suspected the valve was at fault.

I disassembled the unit, flipped the valve around and the pump drew antifreeze into the system, much faster than I would have anticipated. Within 20 seconds the bottle was nearly empty and no antifreeze was flowing out of the faucets, so it was going somewhere else.

The utility basement showing the main water drains and also the shore water hookup.

I walked around and finally noticed that the shore water hookup was open and the antifreeze was gushing all over the place in the basement. Great. I closed that up and started the pump again. This now caused antifreeze to flow in the faucet but something else was amiss.I heard sounds of fluid running into the hot water tank, which shouldn’t happen because I switched the valve to bypass the tank. Well, apparently the valve is junk, and I had to disconnect the cold water line from the tank and let the fluid flow into a bowl on the floor, but not before I managed to spray antifreeze all over the wall of the bathroom.

Our hot water tank with the lines disconnected.

With that finally taken care of, I was able to run antifreeze through the cold water system, but not the hot water systems because the water heater lacked the proper valves. I hope that doesn’t cause issues in the spring! The hot water system is drained at least.

Finally, after running antifreeze though the water system I poured some down all the taps and into the toilet. Job finished. Only when spring rolls around and I fill the system with water and pressurize it will I know if I did the job properly. I’ll have to flush out the water heater for the little bit of antifreeze that made its way in there, but it wasn’t much, so I don’t think it’ll be an issue (I hope).

All in all, I saved about $150 over taking it to the RV stealer.

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