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Old 11-11-2014, 01:49 AM   #1
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Help! Urgent Need to Winterize Citation Sprinter SR/Siesta SR

Got caught flat-footed; unusually long fall weather then a sudden onset of single digit temperatures. I have a sudden need to winterize our Citation Sprinter SR!

I spent a couple hours today, using observation and the generic owner manual, trying to figure out to use the "wet" method to winterize our Citation Sprinter SR.

I've drained the fresh water, drained the hot water heater, isolated the fresh water tank (I think) but can't figure out how to get antifreeze into the pipes. Manual says to "pour 4-6 gallons" into the fresh water tank and run pump until red shows at the faucets/showers. I've opened the service panels inside under the bed and in the exterior storage compartment beneath the bed. Can't see any way to pour anything directly into the fresh water tank.

Can anyone provide some guidance?

Ed
2015 Citation Sprinter SR
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:16 AM   #2
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There should be a fill point on the exterior of the coach - the one you use to fill the fresh water tank.

Some coaches have an in-line point near the water pump whereby you can simply put antifreeze into the pipes and bypass the water tank, but perhaps your's does not have this feature.

Another method that is commonly used is to put air pressure (20psi or less) directly into the city water inlet by use of an air compressor, and open all of the faucets (one at a time) until air comes out. This does a pretty good job also.
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:51 AM   #3
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Many thanks. I did get the cold water supply lines drained and filled with antifreeze but the myriad of valves still has me somewhat stumped. Under the bed I found a supply line to the water pump that allowed me to connect a 'T' valve I found at the local RV shop. With that attached I simply dropped the attached hose into a gallon jug of antifreeze and ran the pump and filled all the cold water supply lines.

Hopefully running the coach heater overnight (forecast low of 9) will keep the hot water lines ok until I figure out which valves to turn which way to fill them rather than the hot water heater.

Ed
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:57 AM   #4
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Ed,
I'd like to know how this turns out, especially if you filled the hot water heater with the antifreeze solution. I admit that all of the valves on my rig were a bit intimidating when we de-winterized it and I'm not sure that I could reverse my work to put it back into wet winter storage mode.
John & Gail,
Athens, GA
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
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I do the following:

1. turn off the water heater (gas and or electric) and water pump power. If you have hot water, wait several hours for the water to cool down.

2. find the drain for the water tank - if there is one. It should look like this:



Open the drain to empty the fresh water tank.

(not all coaches have such a water drain. If not, you will have to run a faucet until all of the water has been drained out of the tank.

3. remove the drain plug in the lower drain on the water heater, and open the upper safety valve to allow the water to drain more quickly.



4. Virtually all late model RVs have a winter bypass kit on the water heater. Turn the valves so that the in-line valves are closed, and the crossover valve is open (turn them in the opposite direction they are normally in).



The valves are closed when the knob is perpendicular to the water line, and open when the knob is in line with the water line. Like this:



In the winterize position, the bypass kit couples the hot and cold water lines to the cold water inlet. This means that both lines will be simultaneously fed from the water source. Of course, you still have to open the faucet on the hot and cold water side to drain the water from the hot and cold water lines.

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Old 11-12-2014, 10:47 AM   #6
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Part 2:

5. Optionally blow out the water lines:

I use an air compressor, set for about 10psi or so, and connect it to the city water inlet via a fitting:



The fitting goes into the City Water inlet, wherever that might be.



I then turn on the air compressor, and open each faucet, one at a time, first the hot water side, then the cold water side (vice versa), until no water comes out. I start with the faucet furthest from the water pump, and then each one in turn, until I get to the closest one... but then, I go back the other direction - opening each faucet individually until I am back at the furthest one.

Don't forget to do the shower, outside shower (if you have one), and toilet too.

And if you have one, the low point drain as well. In my coach, the low point drain is next to the water pump on the floor of the rig. There are valves here that dump the waterlines under the coach. These should be opened and air blown through them as well.



When done, close off the low point drain.

6. I then connect a jug of pink antifreeze to the antifreeze injection point in the RV.



There is a valve at the bottom of this fitting, so make sure you turn it on, otherwise, you will fill the water tank with antifreeze, and not the water lines.

Finally, turn the pump on, and turn each faucet on, both hot and cold (one at a time). This time though, start with the closest faucet and go to the end. Leave them on until antifreeze runs through the faucet.

Make sure you have closed the low-point drains before doing this.

Finally, dump some pink antifreeze in the toilet, shower drain, and sink drains to treat the "P" traps.

When you are done with this step, the RV is winterized.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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My procedure is nearly identical with a couple of exceptions:
- I don't blow out the lines first
- After working each faucet with the system still pressurized I'll also crack open the low point drains for a sec to get some pink stuff in those valves, crack open the bypass valves on the water heater to get pink stuff there, and (with some reduced pressure in the system) tap the check valve on the city water inlet to make sure pink comes out there as well.
This way I know there is antifreeze everywhere.
(You want reduced pressure when you tap the check valve because it can be damaged if it "slams closed" too quickly--found that out the hard way in an older camper.)
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:41 PM   #8
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For sure I am probably doing more than needed by both blowing out the water lines then also running antifreeze in them.

I have found though that even after blowing out the lines that sometimes when running the anti-freeze, I get clear water for a second or two before the stream turns pink. So I am not all sure whether or not blowing the lines gets rid of all of the water.

I suppose though that by blowing out the water, there is less of a chance of diluting the anti-freeze initially.

And actually - come to think of it - the reason I blow out the lines is for "pre-winterization". For example, if it looks like the temps will dip below freezing - and if it is before we winterize the coach for good, I usually blow out the water lines.

Then if we go camping again, it just takes a couple of minutes to run all of the air out of the lines. And I am not wasting anti-freeze during this period if we get warm weather later, and go camping once or twice in the late season.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:46 PM   #9
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I am not sure I know what you mean by "tap the check valve on the city water inlet". Can you elaborate on that?

Are you actually smacking it to get it to open, or sticking something into the valve to open it?
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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On the city water inlet if you remove the strainer you can see the end of the check valve (and its spring). I'll usually just gently push on it with my finger until water flows out. Its hard to do with the water system fully pressurized so I'll run the pump until it stops then crack a faucet for a little bit to relieve some of the pressure.
I couldn't find a picture online of it, but this website does describe the feature (and show someone pressing on it, step 6):
http://www.recworldrv.com/index.php?pid=320
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:49 PM   #11
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OK, I got it now.

I guess that when I blow out the lines from the city water connection it takes care of any water in that area.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:08 PM   #12
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Thanks for the very useful information here on winterizing. I'll print it off and hang on to it for future use. Supposed to see the first few days of below freezing weather here in the next couple of days. Thus far, all I've done is blow out the lines and drained the tanks. May be time to add some of the pink stuff. Should have known anyone from Michigan would know all the ins and outs of winterizing.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:17 PM   #13
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With the winter storms you have received in the last couple of years, seems you might have to become an expert at winterization too... yuck.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:57 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone. I've got it done, no damage, and I'll post step by step with pictures tomorrow as I have another urgent need now; get the snow thrower out of storage to be ready for the weather forecast for tomorrow. We've been below 32 all day and lows have been in single digits overnight since yesterday. Expecting 6-12 inches of snow by Saturday

FW28z's diagrams were the solution as one of the valves I needed to move was "hiding" behind a hot air duct.

For the record we generally expect significant below freezing temperatures around mid-December so I usually winterize around 12/1. IE I harvested the last of the tomatoes Sunday when it was 64F. Guess we're caught in the "Vortex".

Ed
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:59 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone. I've got it done, no damage, and I'll post step by step with pictures tomorrow as I have another urgent need now: get the snow thrower out of storage to be ready for the weather forecast for tomorrow. We've been below 32 all day and lows have been in single digits overnight since yesterday. Expecting 6-12 inches of snow by Saturday

FW28z's diagrams were the solution as one of the valves I needed to move was "hiding" behind a hot air duct.

For the record we generally expect significant below freezing temperatures around mid-December so I usually winterize around 12/1. IE I harvested the last of the tomatoes Sunday when it was 64F. Guess we're caught in the "Vortex".

Ed
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:45 AM   #16
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Question Ice maker

Thor walked me thru the winterizing procedure and answered all my questions. However, we did not address the ice maker. I haven't done the antifreeze yet, plan to do that tomorrow.

We have a full size house fridge with ice maker. Can I just run the antifreeze through the fresh water tank and into the ice maker?

From reading on the net, it sounds like I might end up with bad tasting ice when we de-winterize. Can this be remedied by just tossing the ice for a few days.

Any help here is appreciated for this newbie.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:17 PM   #17
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There is a lot of advice not to put anti-freeze in areas such as the water tank as you will get bad taste.

I don't necessarily agree with that, as you are putting anti-freeze in your water lines anyway, so what's the difference?

On the other hand, we always use jug water for consumption; cooking and coffee, and use coach water only for cleaning, showers, etc.

When I owned a boat, it didn't have a bypass kit on the water heater (11 gallon heater), and had two tanks that were 40 gallons each, and no low point drains (not in a boat).

The first year I winterized, I think I bought 30 gallons of anti-freeze! That was the procedure in the manual.

At any rate, there was anti-freeze in the tanks and water heater, and in the spring-time, you simply need to flush with clean water for awhile. If flushed with enough water, we never had any issues with bad tasting water.

In fact, the only time we had "bad" water is when we did not use the water quickly enough - which is why I now have the practice of using the on-board water system rather than hooking to city water.

Of course, the high cost of buying so much anti-freeze on the boat, I installed a water heater bypass, and started to blow out the lines with compressed air prior to running just a couple of gallons of anti-freeze in the lines.

Of course, in a boat, you have to run anti-freeze through the engines, air conditioner pump, and shower sump, so you are still going to need 6~8 gallons of pink-antifreeze.

However, it's been my experience that if you run enough clean flush water through the system in the spring, you won't have a bad taste.

Unfortunately, this may be a bit harder to do than it seems. For example, with the boat, oddly enough, there is no grey water tank - you simply just dump the sinks and shower overboard. In fact, the sinks are directly plumbed to exit over the side.

And this is allowed even in environmentally sensitive areas such as the Great Lakes (unless you go over to Canada, then you cannot do it).

So why it's less of a restriction to dump grey water in the Great Lakes than the restriction on dumping grey water at a campground is dumbfounding to me. Yea, I can see the point if they are worried about flooding the campsites with water and causing a muddy mess, but the "excuse" always given is the Health Dep't.

But I digress... (I am, afterall - a Raconteur).

The only issue I see is dumping clean water through the grey tank system as you flush the faucets. You will typically need to flush more water through the system than the grey tank can hold to get it clean, and if you have a lot of property, I suppose you could dump on the back '40. Otherwise, you will have to go to a dump station or a park with full hookup to do this.

For your ice system, I don't have one on my coach, so I can only speculate (well, I do have a portable one, but that is another story).

If you are concerned about taste, I think I'd blow the lines with air first, then hopefully gravity would remove all of the water in your line going to the fridge. Then, hopefully, there is a valve in the water line somewhere that you can turn off, prior to putting anti-freeze into the system.

Whether or not this will get rid of all of the water out of the ice maker, I don't know as there is probably an internal valve or two somewhere in the mechanism.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:40 PM   #18
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When I dewinterize I connect my house water to the city water inlet, run all the faucets until they aren't pink, then I let the water run through the outside shower for a good 10 minutes or so to completely flush the system.
You can always also do the sanitize procedure (which I try to do at least once a year): Put some bleach in the water tank, run all the faucets until you can smell the bleach. Take it for a drive to slosh stuff around then purge everything (like above: empty fresh water tank, refill, run all faucets until no bleach smell, then run outside shower for a bit). This usually gets rid of any funny taste for me.
(As for how much bleach..I forget I usually look it up but its a small amount, like 1/2 cup for 20 gallons or so..)
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:12 PM   #19
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There's a lot of great info here; thanks again to FW28z! I've got pictures and step by step for how I winterized my Citation Sprinter 24DR ready but wondered if I should post as a new thread to make it easier to find. Thoughts?

Ed
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