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Old 09-21-2022, 11:02 PM   #11
ShrimpBurrito
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Shane -- Have you ever tried not using antifreeze? I've not had a TM in a freezing climate where it just sits (not camping), but it's always been my understanding that antifreeze is not required in a TM.

One of my TMs will be in the northeast going forward, so I will soon find out!

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Old 09-22-2022, 07:47 AM   #12
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I’ve always poured antifreeze down the drains. I didn’t start pushing antifreeze through the plumbing until I installed the SeaLand toilet and the flush valve froze and cracked the first winter. After that, antifreeze is required. I bet now that the SeaLand is standard equipment you’ll see the winterizing procedure changes from the factory.
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShrimpBurrito View Post
Shane -- Have you ever tried not using antifreeze? I've not had a TM in a freezing climate where it just sits (not camping), but it's always been my understanding that antifreeze is not required in a TM.
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There are many very good posts / threads about winterizing, and a Search on that term will pull them up. My understanding has always been the same as yours, EXCEPT that some minor (easy) steps are needed. As I recall them ---
Take off the inside shower head, shake it dry and set it aside. Drain the hose. Leave the valves ON.
Take off the outside shower head, shake it dry, and set it aside. Drain the hose. Leave the valves ON.
Run the pump for a few seconds to get most of the water out of the pump head.
Leave all faucets ON for the winter, including the faucets for the showers, sinks, and under-body drains. If any water collects, this will give it a place to go.

Being a belt and suspenders guy, I always used to put some non-toxic antifreeze down all the drains, as you do, even though the plastic plumbing is supposed to be able to handle freezing without breaking.

By the way, for those who want to run antifreeze through the system, it is often said that you need a water heater bypass in place, or you will need to fill the water heater with lots of expensive antifreeze. I think this is incorrect on several counts. Anti-freeze is only $4 a gallon at Walmart, and the TM water heater is only 6 gallons. Compared to the annoyance and cost of putting in a bypass, and then working around it when you need access to something else under there, I would consider this cheap.

My 2020 2720QS came with a factory-installed water heater bypass. It makes everything under the counter cramped, and a PITA to work on. I don't think the factory is doing this any more, though I would like to know if I am wrong about this.

Just my experience ...

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Old 09-22-2022, 11:19 AM   #14
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I've previously installed by-passes for the pump and water heater. Neither of my rigs had low-point drains, so your only options were blow the water out with compressed air and run the pump till it's dry (which it never really is) and hope you got it all, or pump pink through the system, bypassing the fresh and hot water tanks, or do both.

I know a couple of folks who just blew the water out and then ran the pump dry, and still ended up with a cracked pump head, and I know that most of you probably follow exactly what Bill said - with his additional steps - and have never had a problem.

But I would rather install the by-pass valve to the pump and not take that chance. Case in point, when I cut the line between the tank and the pump to install the valve, about a 1/4 cup of water came down from the pump end. Now that may have just been in the line, and not coming back down from the pump, but just the fact that water came out from a spot that I was hoping was water-less is making me feel much better about installing that valve. It was cheaper ($35) and easier to install the by-pass than it would be to replace a cracked pump, so I just call it insurance.

Like Shane, I also have a standard Thetford flush toilet, and I do need to know I have pink in the flush valve so it doesn't crack over winter.

I won't worry about the water heater. The small amount of water in there won't cause any problems, and I don't need to fill it with 6 gallons of pink! If I get industrious, I might put a valve in there, but my main worry was the pump and the toilet.
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Old 09-22-2022, 01:07 PM   #15
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Bill said ď By the way, for those who want to run antifreeze through the system, it is often said that you need a water heater bypass in place, or you will need to fill the water heater with lots of expensive antifreeze. I think this is incorrect on several counts. Anti-freeze is only $4 a gallon at Walmart, and the TM water heater is only 6 gallons. Compared to the annoyance and cost of putting in a bypass, and then working around it when you need access to something else under there, I would consider this cheap.Ē

Well, letís do some math. 6 gallons of antifreeze to fill the water heater plus another gallon to push through the plumbing is 7 gallons. At $4/gallon, thatís $28 worth of antifreeze EVERY YEAR. Camco makes a real nice bypass kit for $24. Add the 1 gallon of antifreeze to push through the lines, and your first year cost is that same $28 plus maybe an hour of time to install the bypass. After that, your winterizing cost is $4 for one gallon of antifreeze.

Camco 35953 8" Supreme Permanent By-Pass Kit for 6 Gallon Tank - https://a.co/d/4hEWG3K

Bill said ď My 2020 2720QS came with a factory-installed water heater bypass. It makes everything under the counter cramped, and a PITA to work on.Ē

Did they use a kit similar to the Camco one linked above or is it a bunch of PEX tees and valves running every which way under the sink? The Camco kit is pretty neat and clean but I have seen some of the homemade bypasses installed on other brand campers. They arenít pretty.

Bill said ď I don't think the factory is doing this any more, though I would like to know if I am wrong about this.Ē

You were correct up until a few months ago. They do install a bypass again.
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Old 09-22-2022, 02:47 PM   #16
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Shane said "I didn’t start pushing antifreeze through the plumbing until I installed the SeaLand toilet and the flush valve froze and cracked the first winter." In other words, you need to be able to push a bit of cold water through the cold water line to the toilet, without filling the water heater. And you need to do this only if you change the toilet. To do this, and avoid the whole bypass thing, would it not be possible to put a simple shutoff valve in the existing cold water feed to the water heater, thus avoiding the whole "how many gallons of antifreeze to fill it"?

Hey, I'm not telling anyone what to do, just putting out some possibilities. If you are a fan of bypasses, go for it. And if the factory started installing bypasses again, it is entirely possible that they did so because they re-routed the pipes, and now the system won't reliably gravity-drain. Or more likely, because someone came to them with the whole "need a bypass to save gallons of anti freeze" thing. Paul Wipf told me in person that this was the reason they started putting in a bypass in the first place.

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Old 09-22-2022, 02:53 PM   #17
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would it not be possible to put a simple shutoff valve in the existing cold water feed to the water heater, thus avoiding the whole "how many gallons of antifreeze to fill it"?

Bill
That's basically my plan Bill. Just cut the pex going to the heater and insert a 1/4 turn ball valve. Like I said, I'm not particularly concerned about the pex lines themselves freezing. It's just the pump and the toilet for me.

So I'm off to pick up 4 ball valves - one for the cold line to the water heater and 4 to replace the drain valves that are either broken (2) or getting really tired and probably ready to break next time I turn the handles!
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:38 PM   #18
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The bypass valve location for pump. And the planned spot for the one in the cold line to the water heater. Just a single 1/4 turn valve. Nothing fancy. Next week. I have 3 days of siding to finish up first!
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Old 09-22-2022, 09:45 PM   #19
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Bill said “ In other words, you need to be able to push a bit of cold water through the cold water line to the toilet, without filling the water heater. And you need to do this only if you change the toilet. To do this, and avoid the whole bypass thing, would it not be possible to put a simple shutoff valve in the existing cold water feed to the water heater, thus avoiding the whole "how many gallons of antifreeze to fill it"?”

Valid point. But if you’re going that far, why not install the second valve with a hose in between the two and push the pink through the hot side as well?
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