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De-winterizng an RV

campingshadow
Explorer
Explorer
Just got a used RV. It has been in storage for sometime and all water was blown out and then everything shut down for the winter. There is some red stuff in the toilet. That is what I know. Can someone point me to a good video or explanation of how to get the water back on?

I saw something on a website before about sanitizing the tanks. But right now the RV is in the side yard and I do not want to flood it with water. Best option would be to do all this in an RV park where everything goes down the drain…..but temporarily the RV cannot be moved, so side yard it is. Any help will be much appreciated.
Shadow and LD
Angel. 15 lb Toy Fox Terrier

2001 Damon Intruder. 349. Class A

Semi-retired and loving it!!!!
15 REPLIES 15

opnspaces
Navigator
Navigator
On my trailer I was stumped by an access door that had trim all around it like a picture frame. Turns out the top of the frame was not connected and the whole panel slides up to remove it.
.
2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton **** 2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH **** 1986 Coleman Columbia Popup

Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
Remove the drawer under the closet over the water heater to see how the panel is secured. A previous RV of ours had the panel secured by spring clips that allowed the panel to be easily popped off.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

campingshadow
Explorer
Explorer
Glad to report we found the fresh water fill. Not where you would expect it to be….near the wet bay. Heck no, it is on the other side of the RV……..ON THE SIDE OF THE BEDROOM SLIDEOUT ! Not under it……right on the side. Where the coach is white and so is the fill. With the slide out, never thought to look there!

Just one more mystery solved. Thanks for all the help and suggestions, guys.

It may take a village to raise a kid, but apparently it takes a lot of friendly, helpful RVers to get this gal straightened out. Still, there are more mysteries to unravel….like where is the fuse located for the HWH levelers? ??????
Shadow and LD
Angel. 15 lb Toy Fox Terrier

2001 Damon Intruder. 349. Class A

Semi-retired and loving it!!!!

campingshadow
Explorer
Explorer
Ah, but after getting the city water to work and all faucets working……dangled if there is not another water issue. Cannot figure how to fill the water tank. Again called the previous owners and they never filled it. Just used city water hookups.

I have examined every inch of the outside of the RV and there is no water tank fill valve. In the wet bay there is a hookup for city water and directly below it another clearly labeled for flushing the waste tank. I saw pictures of Intruders - Some with clear outside hookups and some not.

Read several people talked about turning some valve on the city water to tank fill. But my connection does not have that option either. Read the owners manual and it tells me nothing.

This is getting really annoying with this RV. Something so simple as filling a tank. I have owned several RV,s and never had these kinds of issues. Driving me nuts and it is a dang short trip.
Shadow and LD
Angel. 15 lb Toy Fox Terrier

2001 Damon Intruder. 349. Class A

Semi-retired and loving it!!!!

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
Glad you got that sorted out at least and thanks for reporting back.

Jeff - 2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

campingshadow
Explorer
Explorer
Well, as it turns out, I did contact the previous owner who has been so helpful. Turns out he never used a bypass. He blew out all the lines and put RV anti-freeze in the traps and toilet. So got the water working in kitchen and bathroom. Now, apparently the fresh water level sensor is not working as we have been filling the tank for 20 minutes and it is still showing empty. And one of the two low drain valves is dripping pretty good.

So little by little, we are getting there. Might be able to actually use this RV soon. Lol
Shadow and LD
Angel. 15 lb Toy Fox Terrier

2001 Damon Intruder. 349. Class A

Semi-retired and loving it!!!!

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
campingshadow wrote:
Ok….time to admit I am dumb! Took me forever to figure out the bypass valve was nowhere on the water heater…..or at least the part on the outside of the RV.

Now next stumbling block. It is apparently behind a panel in the bedroom under a closet and drawer. Even has a notice on it saying to remove the panel to get access to the water heater.

How nice. Except the panel has no hinges, no pulls, no screws or any way to remove it except for somehow prying it off. My luck I would try that and destroy the panel or the frame around it.

Someone tell me why I was dumb enough to buy another motor home! Is there a secret in a “guys only” manual that tells how to do this stuff? The one I am with is suffering from some mental decline and is no help at all. Figured getting an RV would be good for him to get out and enjoy before his mind is too far gone. So far have not made it out of the yard! ??????


Have you contacted the previous owner? Are you certain it's behind the water heater? Often they are near the water pump or in the wet bay.

Jeff - 2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

campingshadow
Explorer
Explorer
Ok….time to admit I am dumb! Took me forever to figure out the bypass valve was nowhere on the water heater…..or at least the part on the outside of the RV.

Now next stumbling block. It is apparently behind a panel in the bedroom under a closet and drawer. Even has a notice on it saying to remove the panel to get access to the water heater.

How nice. Except the panel has no hinges, no pulls, no screws or any way to remove it except for somehow prying it off. My luck I would try that and destroy the panel or the frame around it.

Someone tell me why I was dumb enough to buy another motor home! Is there a secret in a “guys only” manual that tells how to do this stuff? The one I am with is suffering from some mental decline and is no help at all. Figured getting an RV would be good for him to get out and enjoy before his mind is too far gone. So far have not made it out of the yard! ??????
Shadow and LD
Angel. 15 lb Toy Fox Terrier

2001 Damon Intruder. 349. Class A

Semi-retired and loving it!!!!

Flapper
Explorer
Explorer
About sanitizing -
It is something you should do at least once a year, when first dewinterizing. And perhaps again after any period of a couple of months or more of not using. Nothing that grows in the system will make you sick, but can produce "musty" tasting water, or give a rotten egg smell to it.
Traditional is to use 1/4 cup of bleach to each 15 gal of water your fresh tank can hold. Use only plain bleach - no color laundry or smell enhancers, or other additives. Premix the bleach in a gallon of water to weaken it, before adding to your tank. How to depends on your trailer - some have an outside port that you can just pour it in (and then use a hose to fill the tank). Use the water pump to have the bleach water come out of every fixture and faucet. Make sure to also do the same for outside shower/water spigots, the toilet, shower, as well as the low point drains. Yes, you should fill your hot water heater with the bleach water too.
Some will warn about corrosion of the aluminum tank, but the concentration is very low AND it won't be in there all that long. But the heater is one of the best places to grow things. Let it all sit for 4-6 hrs.
Drain your fresh tank, and pull the plug on the heater to drain it. Open your low point drains to drain all the piping. Yes, it is safe to just dump on the lawn, it will not hurt grass/plants at all, and dissipates rapidly.
Fill your fresh tank again, and run clean water through everything to flush any remainder out.
2012 F150 Eco, 4x4, SCrew, Max Tow, HD Payload
2017 Grand Design Imagine 2670MK

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
Could you try calling the previous owner and asking them?

Jeff - 2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

wallynm
Explorer
Explorer
Look on the internet for your year make and model RV the search for instruction manuals!
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JKJavelin
Explorer III
Explorer III
If it is truly red in color, it's probably holding tank valve lubricant. It's very red. Good for your seals.
JK
https://www.campingworld.com/thetford-drain-valve-lubricant---24-oz.-4179.html?utm_source=google&utm...
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craig7h
Nomad II
Nomad II
rk911 gave you some great advice. Let me add and maybe go a different route.

I am thinking of sanitizing the water lines. Look at the water pump, hopefully you will see a extra hose coming from a valve that may have a cap on the end. This hose and valve is used for two things one to winterize by sucking the RV Pink stuff out of the gal. jug into the lines. The second is sanitizing the lines after you flush them out with fresh water. Take a gal. jug fill with fresh water and bleach (i forget the amount of bleach to water) turn on pump one faucet at a time until you smell the bleach. Leave the bleach water in the lines for a short time. Then flush with fresh water again.

I would take this time to clean out the water heater. There is a plastic wand made for that. I think walmart even carries it. The wand will go in the water heater and hopefully clean out any particles that should not be there.

Good Luck
Itasca Meridian SE 36g
Road Master Tow Dolly

campingshadow
Explorer
Explorer
There is a big bottle of pink RV antifreeze liquid that came with the RV. I will check again and see if that is what came with the RV. Previous owner had used the RV for years so I suspect all should be good. Thanks for the detailed instructions. I will follow them tomorrow. And let ya know how I make out.
Shadow and LD
Angel. 15 lb Toy Fox Terrier

2001 Damon Intruder. 349. Class A

Semi-retired and loving it!!!!