Antifreeze-only winterizing - what to do with Alde?

idletabidletab Posts: 57Member
I have decided to winterize with the antifreeze only method, including placing it into the fresh water tank on my 400 (I know this is somewhat controversial).

My question is around the Alde - I have drained it using the yellow "tab" valves, and set it to bypass before introducing antifreeze. Then I ran all faucets until I saw pink, emptied the black and gray tanks, poured some more antifreeze down the drains and a bit more down the toilet. Lastly opened the fresh water drain until I saw pink, and did the same with the two water line valves near the Alde. That all I need to do? Surely some small amount of water remains in the Alde, is that OK?

Comments

  • JEBJEB Posts: 265Member
    For the Alde, you are fine.  A little water in the tank is not a problem so long as you drained as much as you can by popping the two yellow valves.  Water freezing in a tank is not problematic if it has substantial room to expand.  I had Atwood water heaters for years and the location of the drain plug made it impossible to drain the last 1/2” of water from the tank.  Never had a problem. 

    As for the rest of your system, I’d do a couple of more things.  Open the city water valve and take out the screen. Press on the valve to release residual pressure and water.  Go to the water pump and remove the plastic filter basket and dump it out. Pour some antifreeze into the toilet bowl with the valve closed.  It’ll help protect the valve seals.  
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • idletabidletab Posts: 57Member
    Thanks Jeb. Last question - should I leave the lines pressurized? As in, turn on the water pump, wait til it stops, then turn off and go? Or should I drain the lines after that?
  • JEBJEB Posts: 265Member
    edited October 9
    idletab said:
    Thanks Jeb. Last question - should I leave the lines pressurized? As in, turn on the water pump, wait til it stops, then turn off and go? Or should I drain the lines after that?
    Not really “pressurized” but filled.  Yes, you want to leave all of the water lines filled with antifreeze.  Don’t drain them after you see antifreeze coming out the taps. Antifreeze displaces water and will keep any residual water left behind diluted. Another thing to remember is that antifreeze does in fact freeze. It just doesn’t expand when it freezes, so it doesn’t hurt anything. It will adopt the consistency of a slurpee when it gets really cold.

    One final belt and suspenders recommendation.  If you want to winterize absolutely everything, get a small RV antifreeze hand pump and use it to put antifreeze into the city water and black tank flush lines. Overkill, but if you want to be absolutely sure, that’s all that’s left to protect. 
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 363Member
    It's also perfectly fine to add RV antifreeze into the Alde hot water tank.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 2,041Member
    Once you put some antifreeze in both gray and black tanks keep the outer dump cap on but move both gates back and forth a bit to get antifreeze in there. They’ve been known to break otherwise. Sounds like you’re about ready for winter!
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,242Moderator
    I recall a recommendation--by Alde, I believe--not to put antifreeze in the HW tank. However, I think this was related to winter use of the Alde for cabin heat--some vague concern about heating the antifreeze possibly causing solvents to volatilize and do unspecified damage to people or property. 
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 363Member
    @ScottG ; - Both the 3010 and 3020 owner's manuals describe using RV antifreeze for winterizing and storage.  I'm not sure what solvents you are talking about as RV antifreeze nowadays is non-toxic and typically made from ethanol or propylene glycol.  Maybe something to do with the pink dye?
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,730Moderator
    If you choose to use antifreeze in the Alde and heat your cabin while winterized, you must make sure the Alde AF tolerates the high temperatures of the Alde.  Otherwise, it can degrade and somehow damage the Alde.  Alde does not require owners to add AF to the Alde. But, if you will not use the Alde, then it’s all good with adding x brand AF.
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,242Moderator
    edited October 9
    @ColoradoJon, you are indeed correct about the Alde manual...
    • Antifreeze method: Follow the recommendations of the Recreational Vehicle manufacturer and fill thewater system with a non-toxic antifreeze.
    It was so long ago--and not particularly relevant to me as I don't use antifreeze--that I don't recall where that bit of info came from, whether a direct communication with Alde, something from nuCamp, or just a suggestion pulled from someone's hip pocket.
    Ethanol won't boil until >170F, so there shouldn't be a danger of blowing off your alcohol by running the Alde. There was a recent discussion about the potential for ethanol-based antifreeze to degrade rubber seals and other components, but I don't know to what extent that applies to the Alde's innards.

  • JEBJEB Posts: 265Member
    It's also perfectly fine to add RV antifreeze into the Alde hot water tank.
    It might not hurt anything, but it is a waste of antifreeze. If adding antifreeze to a hot water tank served a useful purpose, why do manufacturers install bypass valves?
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 2,041Member
    edited October 9
    Side note here... notice how cheery my response was last night? We got an unexpected ice and snow storm during the night, 4” of snow at my house covering a nifty layer of ice. This morning there’s broken trees on about every block in my area, some streets are barely passable, some have no power. I’m very thankful I blew out my lines last night and tucked Ladybug in her shed! Today’s project is adding the antifreeze. And that’s why I winterize!  :)
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 363Member
    @JEB - Some people don't mind the 'waste of antifreeze' as this method is still very popular.  All I'm saying is if you are using the antifreeze method don't worry about getting it into the Alde hot water tank.  Personally I prefer the blowout method.

    There are many reasons why there are bypass valves - maintenance primarily.  Or to simply bypass the system altogether if you don't use hot water.

    @ScottG - I remember seeing the Alde warning posted here a while back, from you, I think!  Had this discussion before :).  I've never seen anything official from Alde on it, though.  Just anecdotal discussions on forums.

    @Homebodyatheart - it's too early!  We are supposed to be getting a winter storm today.  I've got my [email protected] winterized, but haven't winterized myself yet!
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,730Moderator
    @ColoradoJon, the US Alde rep Spencer attends nuCamp and he is present for their question and answer session.  He confirmed the antifreeze in the Alde issue.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • JEBJEB Posts: 265Member
    edited October 10

    There are many reasons why there are bypass valves - maintenance primarily.  Or to simply bypass the system altogether if you don't use hot water.
    Nope.  Sorry. That is incorrect @ColoradoJon.  Maintenance is always done on a drained and depressurized water system.  Bypass valves are installed exclusively for winterizing, which is why they are frequently referred to as winterizing valves.  I’ve been at this awhile.  I do not know a single veteran RVer that puts antifreeze in their water heater—at least not intentionally.  I don’t know a single manufacturer or RV dealer that recommends it. It’s silly.  And from what @Sharon_is_SAM is saying about the Alde in particular, it might also be detrimental.  Don’t do it.  At best it is merely wasteful.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 363Member
    edited October 11
    @Sharon_is_SAM - If RV antifreeze is not good for the Alde I'm sure they would mention it in the Alde user manual.  I have never been to 'nuCamp', so I cannot verify whatever was said there.

    @JEB - Right!  Never said anything about not draining or depressurizing the system, or whatever else you are trying to imply about my knowledge.  Please do not put words in my mouth.

    The Alde manual states that winterizing with RV antifreeze is acceptable, is all I'm saying.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • rcuomorcuomo Posts: 216Member
    From the Alde 3010 manual:

    2018 Tab 320S- mfg’d 4/17, purchased 9/17
    Mods- spare & bike rack on tongue, Renogy suitcase connection, cargo & door nets, sway bar, wired rear camera, Norcold aux fan
    TV 2017- Honda Ridgeline RTL-E- 5000# tow capacity, 600# tongue capacity
    Home Base- Huntington LI
  • JEBJEB Posts: 265Member

    @JEB - Right!  Never said anything about not draining or depressurizing the system, or whatever else you are trying to imply about my knowledge.  Please do not put words in my mouth.
    Sorry, not putting words in your mouth.  Merely pointing out the flaw in your logic regarding the use of a bypass valve.  Bypass valves are not used for maintenance, ever, because there is nothing to bypass if the water system is drained and depressurized.  Don’t get so defensive. You might learn something.
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
    2019 Chevy Colorado ZR1 Duramax
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,730Moderator
    If you don’t use the Alde while there is AF in the Alde water tank, then it is definitely ok to use AF.  Let’s leave it at that.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • VernaVerna Posts: 5,328Administrator
    It seems that this is a discussion for more than one person to be correct. Please do not argue here—take it to private messages if you feel so strongly about “your method of winterization” is correct. 

    I hope the moral of this discussion is that there is more than one way to winterize and “your way” is not the only way. 
    Verna, Indianapolis, IN, living full time in my 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite white/red, towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost; [email protected] Administrator




  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 363Member
    JEB said:

    @JEB - Right!  Never said anything about not draining or depressurizing the system, or whatever else you are trying to imply about my knowledge.  Please do not put words in my mouth.
    Sorry, not putting words in your mouth.  Merely pointing out the flaw in your logic regarding the use of a bypass valve.  Bypass valves are not used for maintenance, ever, because there is nothing to bypass if the water system is drained and depressurized.  Don’t get so defensive. You might learn something.
    To say 'not ever' is false.  I used the bypass valves twice this summer for maintenance that had nothing to do with winterization.  Both times required me to bypass the Alde AND pressurize the system.  Don't get so defensive.  You might learn something.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,242Moderator
    The bypass valve is also used to keep bleach out of the Alde when sanitizing the system.
    Whether or not putting bleach in your Alde will summons the wrath of the Four Horseman is the topic of another, um, discussion.
    Play nice, people. RDWHAHB!  ;-)
Sign In or Register to comment.