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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 10-31-2008
Wandering Wandering is offline
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Thumbs up Winterizing Your 'Bird Tips - COMBINED THREADS

I am traveling to a cold climate this winter and am wondering about winterizing the bus. I have never had to drain the fresh tank or pipes before. I tried the tank drain switches in the bedroom just above the floor and they don't seem to do anything. Are they air operated? Does the air pressure need to be up? How do they work ? I don't want busted pipes! THANKS!
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2009
adamssam adamssam is online now
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Default winterizing a 1983 35' FC

I know it's April 29th and asking about winterizing a motorhome is either really to late, or really, really early, but I'm going to be in the process of replacing my fresh water pump soon, so while I'm at it I want to install a system to put antifreeze into the plumbing without dismantling the pipes from the pump. Anyone have suggestions how to do this, best location and good brands? Also, does anyone want to explain the correct process of winterizing a 83 FC?
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Sam and Ellen Adams
1983 FC 35, Bought June 2004, Sold Dec. 2017
1991 WB Bought April 2018
Valparaiso, Indiana
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2009
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gcyeaw gcyeaw is online now
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Sam,
There are two sources for water, City and water tank. To properly winterize with pink stuff you need to insure the input side of the city and pump are both purged. You can purchase a cheap, low volume water pump to hook to the city water inlet and pump pink stuff into the system. You will still need to figure out how to get the pink stuff into the pump line. I believe the output of the tank would be the place to insert a tee and two valves so you can shut off the tank and suck in pink stuff using the onboard pump. You should probably do that first.

Secondly, you need to install a bypass for the water heater, there is no need to put 10 or 12 gallons of pink stuff in it, and if you forget and turn it on in the spring with pink stuff in it you will create an odour that will take months to clear out.

Don't forget to fill the sink and shower traps with pink stuff when you are finished to purge any remaining water. I also would completely drain the holding tanks and add a gallon of pink stuff to keep the valve seals moist and prevent freezing.


On my 83 FC 35 I used the integrated air valve to purge the water out of the system. I spent a lot of time letting the pressure build and then opened the various valves to blow the water out. I did it in a truck shop parking lot because the coach had a blown transmission and it was very far from home.
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Old 04-29-2009
Tim Tim is offline
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there are a couple of ways to winterize your unit, but let me say since I work on alot of other brands too, I see different way to do things the do work pretty good, and thay do make a 2 way water valve that can be installed at the water pump inlet that has a hose attached to one side , and the pump on the other, you do need a water heater bypass kit also, or install 3 water shutoff valves if you just want to use something you can get at the hardware store, and then you just put the hose at the water pump in a gallon jug of antifreeze and turn the pump on and just shoot a little air in the city water connection, and you can winterize in just a few minutes, but may have to install a drain for the water heater that drains thru the floor,if your coach doesnt have one
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2009
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Sam,

Follow the tips in this thread, read the Blue Box manual, Search "winterization" on the forum. There should be more info. on the various precedures. These Birds have copper pipe and brass connectors.
They are not very forgiving in freezing temps and are difficult to repair.
The biggest fear for us is to winterize late Fall for a harsh month or two, then drive south for Winter, then add fresh water. This is not the time to find leaks and wish a better winterization process was followed. We use the blow-out system installed by BB, but we do not trust this system to clear all the water. Water can hide in the low spots and the air can blow past, still leaving some water, We also pump the RV pink stuff into the city water inlet and blow it out again. Drain the HWT & by-pass it as suggested. Drill a hole in the floor if a drain is not connected.
Remember the pump, pee traps, ice maker, Instant hot water, toilet spray, etc. I may be forgetting something......
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2009
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Sam,

Follow the tips in this thread, read the Blue Box manual, Search "winterization" on the forum. There should be more info. on the various procedures, that others follow. These Birds have copper pipe and brass connectors.
They are not very forgiving in freezing temps and are difficult to repair.
The biggest fear for us, is to winterize late Fall for a harsh month or two, then drive south for Winter, then add fresh water. This is not the time to find leaks and wish a better winterization process was followed. We use the blow-out system installed by BB, but we do not trust this system to clear all the water. Water can hide in the low spots and the air can blow past, still leaving some water, We also pump the RV pink stuff into the city water inlet and blow it out again. By-pass the HWT as suggested & drain, ( drill a hole in the floor if a drain tube is not connected).
Remember the pump, pee traps, ice maker, Instant hot water, toilet spray, etc. I may be forgetting something......
We follow this same procedure for our home residence.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2009
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Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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Default Winterizing

I'm glad I read this thread. I thought winterizing meant heading south to Texas or Arizona or Florida for the winter. Gosh, there is another way to winterize? I better check this out as I'm sure I am spending more for fuel than the pink stuff.

Best,
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2009
adamssam adamssam is online now
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Thanks guys, sounds like I'm going to need to install a water heater bypass valve and some kind of hand held pump to get the pink stuff in the city water pipe also, or just head south, that definitely sounds easier!
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1983 FC 35, Bought June 2004, Sold Dec. 2017
1991 WB Bought April 2018
Valparaiso, Indiana
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2009
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Sam,

Instead of getting a pump, just use the one you have. Put a Y-valve on the intake side of the pump. On one side of the valve's in port is your existing plumbing from the fresh water tank. On the other in port of the valve you put about a four foot piece of clear tubing. When you want to pump pink, just put the free end of the clear tube into a jugg of the good stuff, switch the valve, turn on the existing pump, open any faucet and watch how fast a gallon can dissappear. You might need 3 or 4 gallons your first time.

With all that being said, I just use the air purge and pour the pink into the traps.

Glenn
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  #10  
Old 05-02-2009
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Oops.....I now understand what you are saying about the hand pump. I wonder if we were to place a few valves in the correct places if we could use the existing pump to pull water from the city water connection?

When you own a bird, you will spend a few hundred on built in valveing versus carrying a $10 hand pump
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