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Friday, November 2, 2018

Winterizing - 2018 Lexor TS


Asking owners for their preferred method of winterizing, the most common answer was "stay in Florida."  For most of us, that isn't an option so we need to protect our rigs. Though we could take our Lexor to a dealer for winterizing, we have found that no one cares as much about our rig as we do, so we prefer to do it ourselves.

There are good instructions in the Pleasure-Way Owner's Manual, but for someone who hasn't winterized before, a few more details and additional photos might make it easier.

Disclaimer: I'm not a professional, nor do I play one on TV, so consult your owners manual and follow these instructions at your own risk.

Here's the forecast that had us gathering up our winterizing supplies.

If you have an older model, we did a similar set of instructions for our 2014 Plateau TS. Click on the link to go to that model: The Link.
1) Gather Tools and Supplies


1a) RV Antifreeze
Buy two of the gallon bottles of a non-toxic pink colored RV or Marine antifreeze.

Note: Andy recommended in a comment "buy antifreeze containing propylene glycol instead of of antifreeze with ethyl alcohol in it. It's better for the seals and it doesn't freeze as easily."
1b) Phillips Head Screwdriver #2
Find one of these PH2 heads, hopefully not a rusty one made in China like ours. You will use it to remove the access door to the water heater.
1c) Winterizing Siphon. We made our own with hose and an adapter. Four feet of hose is plenty, but our Lowes only sold it in twenty foot lengths.

This right angle adapter is easy to screw onto the pump inlet. Find one at your local rv dealer or order a Shurflo 244-3926 Elbow Adapter online.

Push the hose onto the barbed end of the adapter and you have made your very own winterizing siphon.


2) Lighten Your Load (Drain your tanks)
Go empty your grey and black waste tanks. You know how to do this and no one wants to look at those pictures. Give the tanks an extra rinse for the last time this season.


3) Drain Your Freshwater Tank

3a) Find the fresh water tank drain on the passenger side just forward of the rear wheel (where the water is dripping out in this photo).
3b) Open the valve by turning the handle 90 degrees.
3c) Let the residual fresh water drain out.

3d) Turn the water pump off.

3e) Open the sink faucets to let the pressure out of both the hot and cold water lines.
4) Bypass Your Water Heater

4a) Open the panel under the fridge with your Phillips #2 screwdriver.

Note: these are about the only screws in the rig that aren't the Robertson square head screws commonplace in Canada.
This is how the valves looked under the access door set for summer use. We should have inspected these earlier. It looks like the dealer never opened the white recirculation line when commissioning our van.
4b) Set the valves to bypass your hot water heater. You are reading along in your manual, right?

From the Pleasure-Way Owner's Manual, page 28:
"Turn the bypass valves on the top red line, bottom blue line and the white center line to the closed position. (The handle is closed when it is turned 90 degrees to the water line.)

Open the valve that is located where the blue line coming up from the bottom and the red line coming down from the top are connected."

This photo shows how we set our valves for winterizing.
5) Drain Your Water Heater

5a) Turn the latch and remove the Truma water heater door. Pull outward from the top. The bottom fits into slots in the frame and can be lifted out.
Here is the interior magic revealed.

5b) Find the power switch in the upper right hand corner.
5c) Turn the switch from on (shown here) to the center off position.
5d) The power should now be off. Confirm this by looking a at the led just above the switch. It should not be illuminated.
5e) Locate the black latch at the top of the easy drain lever.

5f) Double check that you released the pressure in both hot and cold water lines by opening sink faucets before proceeding (remember 3e?). You do not want to get sprayed with water from a pressurized system.

5g) Okay, now go ahead and push up on the latch until it releases the yellow drain handle.

There is a video at the bottom of this post if that would help. Go ahead, scroll down, watch it now, and then come back to this step.
5h) Now pull down on the drain handle until it pops the water filter out of the heater. It takes a little bit of a push to get the tightly fitting filter to release.
5i) You will be rewarded with a contained waterfall as the small accumulator tank on the water heater drains out.
5j) Here's what the filter looks like once removed. It is more of a screen than a filter. Go ahead and inspect the "O" rings and wash any sediment out of the screen. Refer to the Truma manual for more information. Ours was perfectly clean upon removal.
5k) The helpful Truma technician that spoke to us at the November 2018 Sarasota Pleasure-Way Rally recommended leaving the filter out over the winter. He also said to put it somewhere in the water heater compartment so it wouldn't get lost. We found that it fit in the lower right corner.

5l) Close up the "easy drain lever"

5m) Put the exterior cover back on the compartment and turn the latch to secure it.
7) Anti-Freeze Time

7a) Disconnect the water line from the inlet side of your pump, just before the water strainer.

We put a towel and a small bowl there to collect any water that might spill.

7b) Attach the siphon hose to your pump screen inlet.

7c) Put the other end into a gallon jug of RV/Marine non-toxic antifreeze.
7d) Close any faucets you opened earlier.

7e) Turn your water pump on.
8) Make All Your Water Pink

8a) Run your sink faucet turned to hot until it runs pink, then again turned to cold until that runs pink.
8b) Depress the foot pedal on your toilet until pink water comes into the bowl.
8c) Run cold water in the bathroom sink until it comes out pink.

8d) Repeat for the hot water.

8e) Run the shower until the water comes out pink.
Don't forget the outside shower!

8f) Run the cold water in the outside shower until that comes out pink.

8g) Repeat for the hot water.
This isn't in the manual, but other owners mentioned getting water out of the city water fitting so it doesn't crack.

8h) Gently pull out the screen from the city water connection.
8i) Standing to the side, depress the small white button in the middle and you should get a little water and pink stuff to spray out.
8j) Put the screen back in and close up the City Water inlet.

8k) It is also a good time to check that your propane switch is turned off.

8l) Turn off the water pump and disconnect the siphon hose.

8m) Reattach the original fresh water supply hose fitting and clean-up any spills.

Save some anti-freeze for step 9c.
9) Drain the Recirculation Line

9a) Locate the low point drains under the van, forward of the fresh water tank.
9b) Open the valve on the white water line by turning it 90 degrees.
9c) Pour 1/2 cup of anti-freeze into the drain in the galley sink.

9d) Pour 1/2 cup of anti-freeze into the drain in the bathroom sink.
9e) Pour 1/2 cup of anti-freeze into the shower-drain.

9) Disconnect Your Batteries

Now that your plumbing is protected, it is time to insure your expensive batteries are safe from freezing. These batteries can be damaged if charged during freezing temperatures. Read more about this in your manual, especially when it comes time to exercise your generator.

9a) Open the back doors and find the Red Key Charge Line Disconnect on the left side, under the couch, just above the batteries.
9b) Turn the key 90 degrees and remove it to prevent charging from the coach alternator or the solar panels.

9c) Turn the 12 Volt Battery Disconnect Switch  off under the control panel by the sliding door. Different from the Red Key Charge Line Disconnect, this switch prevents charging from shore power or the generator.  Note: Look up the directions for exercising the generator in your Lexor manual to insure you do it safely if you run the generator when your batteries are cold.

9c) Remove any small batteries from flashlights, remote controls, or other items in your van so they don't leak over the winter.

10) Go reward yourself with the beverage of your choice.

11) Please leave a comment if this was helpful or if you notice anything that could be improved.

Video: Draining the Truma AquaGo Plus Water Heater

15 comments:

  1. thanks for the post! It's interesting that your '18 Lexor TS had the white recirculation line valve turned off. We had the same thing happen in our '18 Plateau TS. Water heater wouldn't work and it took some investigation to figure out why (no cold water into water heater)

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  2. Great writeup - the pics are very helpful!
    The only thing I’d add is to buy antifreeze containing propylene glycol instead of antifreeze with ethyl alcohol in it. It’s better for the seals and it doesn’t freeze as easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andy. I didn't know the difference, but bought the right one by chance. Will add that to the antifreeze section.

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  3. Thanks for the great post. We had done our 2019 TS for the first time a couple of weeks prior. Makes me feel more confident (but not completely) that we got it right.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment and congratulations on your (very) new TS. We wish you many years on interesting adventures and hope to see you on the road sometime.

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  4. Great pictures and discussion. I was able to do this myself a week ago on my 2018 Lexor TS. It really is easy when done in order. However, I would have much preferred to have your directions in hand, they are clear, concise and reassuring. I did see a couple of other instructions about opening all the 3 low point drains (and fresh water tank drain, drove around a bit to help flush them all), which I did to empty those lines, closed all 3 low points, ran the antifreeze in through the pump, and when finished reopened the white low point for the season. I put some ball valves on my under sink connections for a 'permanent' solution, though it looks a bit clunky. When I turned my pump on it sucked in over 2 gallons before the whole system was pressurized, then the remainder of a third gallon finished the open/close of faucets, sink drains, etc. I got a 4th gallon and made sure all the faucets/toilet were indeed full. This sounds like much more than anyone else has reported? I put my Truma filter inside the compartment with the cutoff and bypass valves, thinking I wouldn't need to worry about losing it if I had placed in the outside access compartment?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words. I'm not sure why opening the low point drains is needed since antifreeze should be sucked through those lines when running water through the faucets. A little surprised that the system needed four gallons. Maybe you were just overly cautious in making sure everything was running pink. Too much can't hurt unless there is a leak somewhere.

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  5. Thank you very much for the excellent detail you provided.

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  6. Hi, Really excited seeing your Lexor advises as I'm new in RVing and Lexor where my is coming in 2 weeks with Lexor FL. I order another Lagun table but don't know if they'll allow it.

    I have some electronic questions and hope you can help....
    1. When driving on the road, do I need to turn on the coach battery disconnect such that the Lithium will be charged by the chassis alternator?
    2. If I'm not driving just parking on my driveway, the solar is up and do I have to turn on this battery disconnect to get lithium charged?
    3. How about if I have shore power connected at the driveway, Do I need it on also?
    4. Let's say if I have to turn on the generator, should this switch on to charge the battery?

    I'm so confused with all these after reading their manual...Hope you can help and really love your camping pictures and definitely it'll be my destination....

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  7. Great great explanation where I read the manual but now, it is much cleared. I have questions where the fresh tank valve and the 3 low point valves, should they be closed after or leave it on?

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  8. We left the fresh tank valve and the white low point drain valve open, and then drove the van around our neighborhood to help the little bit of water left in the fresh water tank slosh out. Afterwards we closed the valves. Don't open the blue or red low point drains or the anti-freeze might drain out. This might be a good question for Pleasure-Way.

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  9. My thought are in italics below each of your questions:

    When driving on the road, do I need to turn on the coach battery disconnect such that the Lithium will be charged by the chassis alternator?
    Yes, the red key disconnect switch needs to be on to charge from the alternator.
    
2. If I'm not driving just parking on my driveway, the solar is up and do I have to turn on this battery disconnect to get lithium charged?

    Same as 1, the red key disconnect switch controls charging of the batteries by the alternator and the solar panels.
    
3. How about if I have shore power connected at the driveway, Do I need it on also?
    
No, shore power will charge the batteries as long as the 12 volt battery disconnect switch is on.
    
4. Let's say if I have to turn on the generator, should this switch be on to charge the battery?

    No, the generator will charge the batteries as long as the 12 volt battery disconnect switch is on.

    The manual is a bit confusing on this because there are two places to disconnect charging of the batteries, the Red Key Disconnect Switch, and the 12 volt battery disconnect switch (which is also red).
    The Red Key Disconnect Switch is under the sofa and controls power going from the solar panels and engine alternator to the batteries.

    The 12 Volt Battery Disconnect Switch is next to the Spyder touch screen display by the door and controls power going from shore power or the generator, the two 110-120V sources, to the batteries.

    Note that there is a section in the manual that details how to run the generator in the winter without harming your batteries. Be sure and read that before exercising your generator in freezing temperatures.

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  10. Thanks for the reply and it really helps....

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  11. Hi after reading your comment I meant the 12 Volt Battery Disconnect Switch in all cases and that's where I'm confused. The Red key one is primary for solar and chassis charging to the lithium. Can you please help me to understanding what should I do with the 12 Volt Battery Disconnect switch next to the Spyder touch screen since this switch will draw amp also. Thanks in advance....

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  12. Turn the 12 Volt Battery Disconnect switch off when you aren't using the van. It will prevent discharge of the batteries from things like the propane detector. It also prevents charging from shore power or the generator. We leave it on unless we aren't going to use the van for a week or more. The draw from the Spyder control is less than 1A.

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