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  1. #1
    Site Sponsor sande005's Avatar
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    In campground winterizing

    Not new to this at all, but a very late fall trip has me thinking...
    I prefer, for storage here in Minnesota, to blow out all the lines with air first, and then add antifreeze. It is not uncommon for us to get snow/freezing weather by Halloween. Last year we made a return trip just before that date, and at the last campground before home, I winterized just with antifreeze. Doable, but not fun when the morning temp was 38 degrees. I was a bit nervous over the winter, but spring revealed no issues.
    This year we will be returning mid-November. I'll keep an eye on the weather for the trip, and winterize in a better climate CG. Then motel it for the last night or two home. (Almost all northern locations for camping will be closed by then).
    So, 'tis impractical to lug along my main bigger air compressor. I have a small Harbor Freight 12v I use for tires, etc. on the road. Would one of the smallish portable tanks (again, Harbor Freight) have enough capacity to do a decent job of blowing out the lines? Fill it using the small compressor, then use it for the job.
    Or am I overthinking it, and just doing a good job of draining and using -75 antifreeze good enough?

    (For those in less northern climes, it is not uncommon to get streaks of -15 to -30 below over the winter...hence the preferred belt and suspenders!)
    Last edited by sande005; 10-16-2021 at 07:42 AM.
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  2. #2
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    My understanding is the purpose of blowing out the lines before antifreeze is to reduce dilution, while in warmer areas some folks rely on air only. In your case you might compensate for a less thorough blowout by just using more antifreeze to offset the dilution due to slightly greater amount of water remaining in any low points. Antifreeze is cheap, so use double your normal amount and sleep well?
    Dave and Cathy
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sande005 View Post
    Not new to this at all, but a very late fall trip has me thinking...
    I prefer, for storage here in Minnesota, to blow out all the lines with air first, and then add antifreeze. It is not uncommon for us to get snow/freezing weather by Halloween. Last year we made a return trip just before that date, and at the last campground before home, I winterized just with antifreeze. Doable, but not fun when the morning temp was 38 degrees. I was a bit nervous over the winter, but spring revealed no issues.
    This year we will be returning mid-November. I'll keep an eye on the weather for the trip, and winterize in a better climate CG. Then motel it for the last night or two home. (Almost all northern locations for camping will be closed by then).
    So, 'tis impractical to lug along my main bigger air compressor. I have a small Harbor Freight 12v I use for tires, etc. on the road. Would one of the smallish portable tanks (again, Harbor Freight) have enough capacity to do a decent job of blowing out the lines? Fill it using the small compressor, then use it for the job.
    Or am I overthinking it, and just doing a good job of draining and using -75 antifreeze good enough?

    (For those in less northern climes, it is not uncommon to get streaks of -15 to -30 below over the winter...hence the preferred belt and suspenders!)
    I live just north of you in Minnesota, we just had our first freeze here last night. Late by 2 weeks.
    I carry a small craftsman compressor , 1.2 gallon, 135 psi, 2.8 cam. it will fill tires to 80 psi and has no problems blowing out system. It just takes longer to fill system, cycle off, and I continue to push water out.
    I use 2 gallons of anti freeze for entire system.
    My new tankless heater specifically says to blow out with 25 psi pressure, then put antifreeze thru it.
    I bypass water heater, just donít want pink stuff in it.
    We leave soon for AZ, no freeze there😎
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  4. #4
    Long Hauler geotex1's Avatar
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    Honestly, you are over-thinking it. If you drain the system of most water first, your dilution will be TINY. Offset that with an extra $5 in antifreeze and run the pink out of the taps a bit longer. FWIW, I normally would blow out and then antifreeze as well if home and winterizing. However, we're camping more often into December and return to the cold of the mountains. So I'm winterizing leaving campgrounds like yourself. Have even dewinterized and rewinterized since the freezing weather hits the sticks and bricks early!
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  5. #5
    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    I open the low point drains and let the antifreeze out as well
    I donít see the purpose of keeping the lines filled with it
    I had a jug with a bit of antifreeze left in it that is in my shed. It gels pretty firm where I live and I didnít want that in my lines
    I open drains on the return home from last trip
    Blow lines
    Add antifreeze
    Drain antifreeze

    Takes 15 minutes


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NB Canada View Post
    I open the low point drains and let the antifreeze out as well
    I don’t see the purpose of keeping the lines filled with it
    I had a jug with a bit of antifreeze left in it that is in my shed. It gels pretty firm where I live and I didn’t want that in my lines
    I open drains on the return home from last trip
    Blow lines
    Add antifreeze
    Drain antifreeze

    Takes 15 minutes


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    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    I did the same thing. Once the antifreeze displaces /mixes with any remaining water, it’s done its job and can be released to be replaced by air.
    Dave and Cathy
    2017 Porsche Cayenne S
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  7. #7
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    Just air for me...no antifreeze. I leave the faucets open and double check the low point drains a few weeks after. Never had a problem in 20 years doing it this way, but I'm a bit south of you.
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  8. #8
    Site Team Redapple63's Avatar
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    Here in the SoCal desert, I drain then use 45lbs of air pressure and call it good. Never freezing for more than 8 or 10 hours at a time.
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  9. #9
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    I use a small two gallon air compressor and it does a good enough job blowing the lines. The main thing is to blow the city water connection and black tank rinse connections. Everything else will be protected by pumping antifreeze through all faucets, outside hose ports and toilet using the water pump.

  10. #10
    Seasoned Camper
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    I am 'air only' guy as well. No issues for the last 5 plus years in Colorado (knock on wood).
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