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  #1  
Old 03-26-2007, 12:00 AM
Andy_ColoradoTex
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Question Winterizing a TM is easy, but how easy?

Hi everyone,

I've been interested in a Trailmanor for years, visiting RV shows and our local dealer on and off, and I'm close to purchasing a trailer. One of the advantages of a TM that is important to me is the ease of winterizing one.

I live in Texas but own land at 8000' in Colorado. Visiting Colorado is my primary reason for purchasing a trailer. I would likely leave the trailer on my property for weeks or even months at a time, sometimes dropping in for just a night or two. So I'd like to leave it "winterized" when I leave it, but want to spend as little time as possible doing that.

Is this a big advantage to a Trailmanor? I'd love to hear from people who have also owned other types of travel trailers, who know from experience if it is really a big difference. This will be my first trailer, so I only know what I've read.

Thanks in advance,
Andy
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2007, 12:01 PM
lnussbau
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I'd add to Leon's post that the charged battery would survive IF you leave the trailer closed up (or at least the bathroom walls down). When open, the propane detector, etc. are drawing power, but the kill switch in the bathroom wall will shut them off when the wall is lowered.

And yes, it's a breeze to winterize the trailer (much easier than the Class C motor home I had 30 years ago) -- instructions in the manual don't even mention the water pump -- just open the faucets and then open the drains, though for peace of mind you may want to go a bit beyond the manual, as Leon suggests.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2007, 03:52 PM
Freedom
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You could just add, "Remove one wire from the battery." to your winterizing checklist. We live where it gets cold - it was 23 F this morning and below zero for quite a while during the winter. All I've ever had to do to winterize was open the drains, open the faucets, and pour a little RV antifreeze in the drains. I don't think that part is even necessary, but being a little over cautious can't hurt. Some people have reported parasitic loads even when the TM is closed, so I would pull a wire from the battery - preferably the ground side or take the fuse out of the hot wire - just don't lose it!
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2007, 05:19 PM
Andy_ColoradoTex
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Question

Thanks for the replies. I'm at work writing this on my phone, so please forgive me if it ends up looking weird for some reason.

My problem is, having never owned a trailer, I don't know how MUCH easier it is on a Trailmanor. (I've read many posts on winterizing a TM, and it does seem easy). If this would save me 30 minutes when I'm packing up and leaving the trailer at a high altitude, that's worth a lot to me. If it saves 5 minutes, then I don't need to concern myself with this when deciding whether to go with Trailmanor or something else.

Thanks again,
Andy
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2007, 05:41 PM
Freedom
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The TM is stored closed on the back patio with a blue tarp over it. I wish I had a garage to put it in, but I can't extend the existing garage and the DW won't let me build an additional one beside the house.
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2007, 10:14 PM
Bill & Lisa
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Andy, having just purchased a 5th wheel let me tell you what is involved in winterizing that and most other conventional trailers.

Basic result of the steps below is that you fill the water lines with anti freeze instead of water.

First thing you must do is BYPASS the hot water heater (isolate it from the rest of the piping system) otherwise you would need 6/10 or even 12 gals of antifreeze just to fill the hot water heater. Once it is isolated you have to drain the water out. This is done by removing the anode from the tank and letting the water splash all over your feet. You probably need a special socket to get the anode out - I brough one when I replace the anode on my TM which is a yearly maintainance item.

Then you have to introduce antifreeze at the suction of the pump. Most higher end units have a special connection in their hook up section (outside) to allow you to attach a small length of hose and put the end in a gallon jug of antifreeze. Low end units require you to disconnect the piping at the entrance to the pump and use tygon tubing to suck antifreeze out of the jug. The pump is normally tightly squeezed under the sink or some other out of the way place.

Then you turn on the pump and one at a time open the fawcets until you have anti freeze come out. You must bleed the water out of all the lines including the ones to the outside shower, to the washer and dryer hook ups (even if you don't have a washer and dryer hooked up!)

you then need to pour antifreeze down all of the drains to ensure the water seal has antifreeze in it and you have some in each of the holding tanks.

You also want to fully drain your fresh water tank. Some units have drain lines off the tank, others require you to pump all the water out one of the fawcets using the pump until the tank is empty.

First time I do it I am going to allow myself 2 hours but will probably get the procedure down to 1 hours with practice.

Hopefully this provides the comparison you were looking for.

Bill
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2007, 11:12 PM
Andy_ColoradoTex
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Thanks Bill, this is just the type of info I'm looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill & Lisa View Post
Andy, having just purchased a 5th wheel let me tell you what is involved in winterizing that and most other conventional trailers.

Basic result of the steps below is that you fill the water lines with anti freeze instead of water.
So after reviewing the steps in Mike & Kelly's user manual, it seems to me that the main difference is that the Trailmanor is designed to reliably drain all the water out through the low-point drains, so that you don't have to flush the plumbing with anti-freeze. You just need to add anti-freeze to the sink traps and toilet. Am I correct (about that being the big difference between a Trailmanor and something else)?

Do some travel trailers not have low-point drains at all? Or if they do, are they just not trustworthy?

Regardless, this is a very cool feature.

Thanks,
Andy
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2007, 11:53 PM
Freedom
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You're also talking several gallons of RV antifreeze each year with a regular Travel Trailer - I'm still using the same gallon I used on our tent trailer before and now three years with the TM and still have a half gallon left! That's one half gallon in six years. Also, once you get that taste in your fresh water lines on a regular TT it takes a long time and many gallons of water to get rid of it! Since we only put it in drains, there's never any taste in the fresh water.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2007, 11:52 AM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_ColoradoTex View Post
So after reviewing the steps in Mike & Kelly's user manual, it seems to me that the main difference is that the Trailmanor is designed to reliably drain all the water out through the low-point drains, so that you don't have to flush the plumbing with anti-freeze. You just need to add anti-freeze to the sink traps and toilet.
Andy
Let me chime in with a couple things.

PLUMBING: First, the low point drains will drain all the water out EXCEPT THE SHOWER. For the inside shower, remove the shower head and lay it - and the hose - in the bottom of the tub. For the outside shower, you must open the shower nozzle compartment, turn on the faucets, and remove the shower head from the end of the hose, as Leon said in his first post.

If you dump the toilet before you leave the TM, you DON'T need to put antifreeze in the toilet, since there is no water in it. However, if you haven't dumped, then antifreeze is probably a good idea.

BATTERY: Assuming your battery is fully charged, DON'T remove the battery from the TM, but DO disconnect it (remove one wire or the fuse). A battery is happier at very low temperatures than it is at moderate temps ("happier" meaning that the self-discharge rate is much lower at low temps.) All of the battery-manufacturers' web site will confirm this. However, if your battery is only partially charged, then either charge it or remove it to a warmer place. A partially charged battery will freeze.

Leon is also right that some of the parasitic loads are disconnected when you lower the bathroom wall - but some are not.

Bill
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2007, 03:53 PM
lnussbau
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Just to compare with Bill's post, it takes me about 5 minutes to open the faucets and open the drain valves, then a couple more to put a little antifreeze in the sinks and toilet. I walk away while it's still draining.

Of course this assumes you'd already dumped the holding tank and toilet before parking the TM.
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