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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all-

I am a new owner of the 2003 21RS and wanted to attempt to winterize my camper instead of paying a dealership to do it. If anyone can give me any info on how to do it via video, manual, or a step-by-step post I would be very grateful!

I have looked the drivers side back storage compartment and have seen the pump, just not sure where to begin to start the pumping of antifreeze through the lines, and how to drain the water heater and the fresh water holding tank etc...Also do I need to blow air into the lines (not sure how)?

Thanks again, KB
 

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I am a first season Outback owner. I also have a 03 21RS. Here are the few things I can share with you:

1. The FW tank drain is on the driver's side towards the back of the trailer. It is between the rear bumper and the axle. Poke your head down there an you will see it sticking out. Uncrew the cap and the water will drain. I drain unused water after every trip.

2. The water heater tank drain is located behind the hx cover. It is a plastic plug on the lower left of the assembly. Unscrew the plug and then open the pressure relief valve and let the water drain out.

Pointing to drain in this picture.

Not my pic.

3. One other location to drain is the Low Point Drain. This allows you to drain all the water out of the system. It is located near the black and gray tank handles under the trailer. There should be two of them and they look like the FW tank drain. Unscrew and drain.

As for the rest of it I will take mine to the local stealership and have them do the antifreeze for $70.
 

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For my needs, I simply blow out the lines with a compressor and then pour RV Antifreeze in the traps, and drain hot water tank. That works great here in PNW, but for others where is get COLD, a complete winterization is needed.

Here is a link to what you need to do. Important...turn off hot water heater and put a sticky note over switch that says "FILL TANK BEFORE TURNING BACK ON". Then drain hot water tank. You will also need to flip to values into "bypass" mode, so water coming off the pump will not fill the hot water tank.


You will need a hot water tank bypass kit. Here is one on Amazon. This kit is easy to install (I did it on previous Outback)...just put it on the intake side of your pump. This takes about 20 mins.

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-35983-Quick-Permanent-By-Pass/dp/B0006JJ57Y

Once all that is done, you will put the hose from your bypass kit into the RV Antifreeze jugs and turn on the hot/cold water at each location until you see the pink Antifreeze coming out. Do this for all locations...including shower and toilet and outside faucets. Pour enough Antifreeze in each sink and the shower to fill the p-trap.

That is it. No reason to spend the $70 (or more) at a dealer and hassle with taking your RV to them to do this. Cost will be around $10 a year, once you have the kit installed.

BTW...I am Winterizing this weekend...
 

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1 - Behind the water heater there is a bypass valve. Turn this to bypass.
2 - Pull water heater drain plug and leave it out.
3 - Open low point drains for fresh tank and hot and cold lines.
4 - Use air pressure at the city water connection to blow air through to the low point drain. Once dry, cap drain.
5 - Open each water tap in turn and blow air into the city connection until just air comes out.
6 - Gain access to the water pump.
7 - If the last owner install a winterizing kit there should be a valve with about a 2' hose connected to the pump inlet. If not then go to your local RV dealer and get one and install it.
8 - With pump winterizing valve open, place hose in to jug of RV winterizing anti freeze and turn on the pump.
9 - Go to each tap, both hot and cold and run them until the pink fluid comes out, then move to the next tap. Do not forget the toilet or the outside shower or kitchen.
10 - the entire trailer water system should take about 1 to 1.5 gallons of fluid.
11 - Once all taps are done, turn off pump and open all taps and leave them open all winter.
12 - Depending on how much you ran from each tap you may have to add a little to each drain trap to make sure the "P" trap is full of pink.

Don't worry about a little residual water in the Black or Grey tanks but they should have been completely drained at the end of your last trip. Do not put the Pink into your fresh water or water heater tank.
 

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All the previous recommendations on anti freeze are valid. However, I actually just use compressed air to blow out the lines, even though we have some pretty harsh weather in the winter. Even in these harsh environments, you can get by without antifreeze. It is not too hard to get all the water out of the system with compressed air. Here are the steps I follow:

1. Open all faucets, including exterior faucets and showers.

2. Open low point drains.

3. Remove plug from water heater and open the pressure vent on the water heater.

4. When done draining, close all faucets and drains.

5. Close the bypass valve on the water heater.

6. Set air compressor to about 50 psi.

7. Using an adapter you can get at Walmart, introduce the air into the system at the city water connection while DW (or somebody else) opens the cold water valve on one faucet. Water will come out. When the water stops flowing, repeat for the hot water faucet valve.

8. Repeat process for all valves in the trailer. Do not forget the outside faucets or the toilet.

9. Once all faucets are done, open the water heater bypass valve and all the faucets and then reopen the low point drains. Some water will likely come out.

10. Close all the faucets and drains. Repeat the process as many times as necessary so that no water comes out. Normally it takes us three or four times to get all the water out.

11. When I am convinced that all the water is out, I open the heater bypass (just easier in the spring), I reinstall the plug in the heater lightly torqued (just to keep critters out), install low point drain caps (again lightly torqued to keep critters out), open the lines into the water pump to ensure no water is in the pump, then reinstall.

12. Pour antifreeze down all drains.

It is that simple, been doing it for years this way and have never had an issue. It gets very cold up here for extended periods, so there is no doubt the lines would freeze if there was water in them. Nice thing about this method is that in the spring, you just add water and you are done. No flushing.

Sorry, I probably just confused you even more.

DAN
 

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BTW...I am Winterizing this weekend...
What!?? It is only early October? Why give up so early?


We still have three trips left. One this three day Columbus Day weekend, one on the three day Veterans Day weekend, and the Grand Finale on Thanksgiving Weekend.

We started going camping on Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago on a whim. Weather was beautiful and just decided to take the trailer and truck out of winterization and go for it. We had so much fun that it is now an annual event (weather permitting). We smoke a turkey, watch football, hang out around the fire, drink a bit too much, make way too much noise (but it doesn't matter since there is nobody else there!), and just generally have a great time to close out the year. You should try it.


DAN
 

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BTW...I am Winterizing this weekend...
What!?? It is only early October? Why give up so early?


We still have three trips left. One this three day Columbus Day weekend, one on the three day Veterans Day weekend, and the Grand Finale on Thanksgiving Weekend.

We started going camping on Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago on a whim. Weather was beautiful and just decided to take the trailer and truck out of winterization and go for it. We had so much fun that it is now an annual event (weather permitting). We smoke a turkey, watch football, hang out around the fire, drink a bit too much, make way too much noise (but it doesn't matter since there is nobody else there!), and just generally have a great time to close out the year. You should try it.


DAN
[/quote]

We have camped in the Fall / Winter and loved it. However, we know have a beach house (1.5hrs away) and driving there is a LOT easier in the winter.
 

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If you do not have a bypass on the water pump, look in the rear compartment and follow the hose off the pump that leads back,under the floor to the water tank... Unscrew the hose from the pump.. Go to your outdoor shower, remove the hose from the taps, remove the shower head from the hose... This hose will screw onto the threads of the pump.. Place other end of hose in pink antifreeze jug and turn on the pump.. Open each facet slowly unit pink appears, then do the next tap, including the outside shower taps. Once completed turn off pump, remove shower hose from pump, reattach the line from the water tank..

All this is done after you have bypassed and drained the water heater, opened/drained/closed the low point drains...

I also pour a bit of pink into the water (maybe a liter, I also pour about a liter into the toilet and let that go into the tank, also add about a cup or two to the toilet bowl and let it sit over winter to keep the seal from drying out...

** I also do one step which your not supposed to do and that is once the pump is off I will pry the screen out from the City water connection and slowly press on the check valve just until pink starts to come out... Take note that this can and in most cases it does cause the seal on the check valve to "flip" over, causing the check valve to actually leak whenever you are using the water tank and pump... So Beware, and know that this can happen before you do it and follow that step at your own discretion..**
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Guy's, I really appreciate the info and I hope to get a few more weekend's of camping before the weather turn's here in Kansas and before I attempt the winterization process. Have a great weekend!

Thanks, KB
 

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I agree it is way to early to winterize, just now getting cool enough to enjoy the out doors.but when you are ready, just blow the lines out with air and put some pink antifreeze in the P traps.
 

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All the previous recommendations on anti freeze are valid. However, I actually just use compressed air to blow out the lines, even though we have some pretty harsh weather in the winter. Even in these harsh environments, you can get by without antifreeze. It is not too hard to get all the water out of the system with compressed air. Here are the steps I follow:

1. Open all faucets, including exterior faucets and showers.

2. Open low point drains.

3. Remove plug from water heater and open the pressure vent on the water heater.

4. When done draining, close all faucets and drains.

5. Close the bypass valve on the water heater.

6. Set air compressor to about 50 psi.

7. Using an adapter you can get at Walmart, introduce the air into the system at the city water connection while DW (or somebody else) opens the cold water valve on one faucet. Water will come out. When the water stops flowing, repeat for the hot water faucet valve.

8. Repeat process for all valves in the trailer. Do not forget the outside faucets or the toilet.

9. Once all faucets are done, open the water heater bypass valve and all the faucets and then reopen the low point drains. Some water will likely come out.

10. Close all the faucets and drains. Repeat the process as many times as necessary so that no water comes out. Normally it takes us three or four times to get all the water out.

11. When I am convinced that all the water is out, I open the heater bypass (just easier in the spring), I reinstall the plug in the heater lightly torqued (just to keep critters out), install low point drain caps (again lightly torqued to keep critters out), open the lines into the water pump to ensure no water is in the pump, then reinstall.

12. Pour antifreeze down all drains.

It is that simple, been doing it for years this way and have never had an issue. It gets very cold up here for extended periods, so there is no doubt the lines would freeze if there was water in them. Nice thing about this method is that in the spring, you just add water and you are done. No flushing.

Sorry, I probably just confused you even more.

DAN
This is the process we used for years and we never had a problem. Quick, simple and a single jug of antifreeze lasts several winters. Definitely gets my vote of approval! Will likely have to go with the full winterization now that we have relocated.

-CC
 

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That is it. No reason to spend the $70 (or more) at a dealer and hassle with taking your RV to them to do this. Cost will be around $10 a year, once you have the kit installed.
Thanks to all the good advice on here I saved myself $64 on winterization. The winterization bypass kit on the pump was already installed. I didn't know it was this easy.

Thanks everyone for the great insight and wisdom!

AA
 

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One thing that I haven't seen mentioned yet is to be sure to blow out the line for the black tank flush. All of the newer units come with the flush installed from the factory and most that didn't come with them have had them installed. We, unfortunately, had to end our camping season early this year as my son earned a position on our local travel hockey team and as the goalie, it's hard to miss a game. As the fall is our favorite time of the year to camp, my son had a hard time trying to decide if he would rather play or camp. I think his decision to play was a wise one.
 

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I overheard someone say that they stuff steel wool into all kinds of openings on the TT before they store it. I didn't have the chance to talk to them about it Anyone have any ideas if this is effective ( I assume to keep rodents out) and, if so, where abouts are they referring?

Thanks,
AA
 

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Yes it is effective.Stuff in any little crack you think a mouse can get in.That and spray foam are your friend if you park in an area where rodents may be an issue.Slides are a very common place for entry.Have a close look underneath your dinette when it's in the out position and you will see lots of entry points.Poor slide design in comparrison to others i have seen.If you park on a paved driveway not near any feilds as i do shouldn't be a problem.
 

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I overheard someone say that they stuff steel wool into all kinds of openings on the TT before they store it. I didn't have the chance to talk to them about it Anyone have any ideas if this is effective ( I assume to keep rodents out) and, if so, where abouts are they referring?

Thanks,
AA
I would use brass wool instead of steel wool, as steel will rust.
 
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