HOW TO WINTERIZE A RESTROOM TRAILER
If a restroom trailer will be stored in freezing temperatures it should be winterized to prevent damage to the plumbing system and components. Freezing damage can harm any component of the system, including the water tanks, toilets, urinals, pumps, or restroom trailer piping.
Before you begin to prepare the restroom trailer for cold weather storage, a brief explanation of the plumbing system will help you to understand the operation of the restroom trailer.
The plumbing can be divided into two separate systems. The fresh water system consists of those items which are used to deliver water for your use, while the waste water system is made up of the drains and tanks which store and remove water that has been used on the restroom trailer. Both systems and components require some “winterization”.
If your new restroom trailer was built with an on board fresh water holding tank then the plumbing system has the dual ability to be self contained with onboard storage, or use facilities provided by an external pressurized source. In either case, the components of the restroom trailer plumbing system operates like those in your home. Components of the plumbing system consist of strong, lightweight, corrosion resistant materials that provide long life and easy cleaning. By following the instructions outlined here, you can expect efficient operation with a minimum of restroom trailer maintenance.
(It is important to note that if your restroom trailer was manufactured during the fall or winter months the factory has anti- freeze placed in the water lines to protect them from freezing. The anti-freeze liquid can be recognized by its pink color. This anti-freeze should be flushed from the system after trailer is heated and before each time the trailer is placed into service).
WINTERIZATION – The winterization of the restroom trailer can be accomplished by “adding anti-freeze to the plumbing system” OR by “draining and blowing the water out of the system”.
INSTALLING ANTI-FREEZE IN A RESTROOM TRAILER
The first common method to winterize the restroom trailer is to remove the water and replace the fresh water system with an RV trailer brand anti-freeze. (This is available at any large retailer or RV dealer).
Level the restroom trailer to help system drainage. Confirm you have a proper electrical source to the trailer.
DRAIN EXISTING WATER OUT OF RESTROOM TRAILER SYSTEM
Begin this process by first draining as much water out of the on board fresh tank and water lines as possible. The fresh water tank will have a drain located on the bottom of the tank which allows the water to be drained into the waste holding tank below the floor or if allowed, to drain to the ground outside.
1. If your restroom trailer has a water heater, first confirm the electric is turned off to the water heater so you don’t burn up the heating element in water heater when water is removed from your restroom trailer.
2. Turn the water pump switch on.
3. Open all faucets. (Can begin with faucet or toilet farthest from water supply)
4. Run water until all water is drained from the fresh water tank and water lines. This water will be drained into your restroom trailer waste water tank.
5. Drain the waste water tank to remove as much water and waste from the restroom trailer as possible.
6. If the water heater has a drain, open and drain out water, then close the water supply valve and open the bypass valve to allow antifreeze to flow bypass the water heater. If there is no drain (which is common with small water heaters) the water heater will need to be removed or filled with antifreeze.
ADD ANTI-FREEZE TO RESTROOM TRAILER WATER SYSTEM
An RV anti-freeze (propylene glycol)is recommended for your restroom trailer. To add anti-freeze to the restroom trailer plumbing system it can be drawn from the existing on board water tank by dumping anti-freeze in the tank or by drawing from an individual container. It will take several gallons to be added to the system.
1. After anti-freeze is dumped into the restroom trailer fresh tank, turn on the water pump and open all of the fixtures until the pink anti-freeze flows out. (Can begin with faucet or toilet farthest from water supply)
2. Close each faucet as the pink solution flows freely from it. This also includes the water line to the toilet.
3. Perform this process with every restroom trailer sink and toilet.
4. Confirm anti-freeze is in every p-traps for the toilets, flushing urinals (if applicable) and sinks. An amount of anti-freeze left in waste tank will prevent the restroom trailer waste tank from freezing.
DRAIN & BLOW OUT WATER
To use the compressed air method to winterize the restroom trailer, begin with the steps above to drain the existing water out of the system.
1. In order to clear the fresh water lines with air you will need an air compressor and a fitting to attach to the fresh water lines. Connect the air hose to the city fill connection.
2. If the restroom trailer has an on board fresh water tank, open the fresh tank fill valve and let the compressed air clear the fresh tank supply line. Once the water has cleared this line, close the valve.
3. Open the city fill valve. Then go to each of the sinks, toilets and urinals and let them run until only dry air comes out. It may be helpful to begin with the fixture farthest from the air supply. It may take several tries of opening the restroom trailer toilets & sinks until only air comes out and water has been removed.
Even though the water may have been removed from the fresh water system, you will still need to add anti-freeze to any P-traps where water may be trapped in the waste water system. This includes sinks, toilets or urinals.
Be sure to read the literature supplied with restroom trailer plumbing components, such as the pump, for troubleshooting tips. Also remember that it is possible for an electrical problem to cause water system problems. Lack of power to the pump can be caused by a variety of reasons. If you are unsure of how to locate and/or repair a plumbing problem, it is best to have a qualified plumber handle the job.
Before using the system again in warmer weather, completely flush the restroom trailer systems with water, flush the toilet, and sanitize the entire fresh water system. In the event that when using the restroom trailer during cold weather, the water in a tank or drain line should happen to freeze, you should take immediate steps to thaw it before damage to the system occurs. DO NOT continue to use water system components if such a condition exists. If damage has occurred, make sure to have it repaired before using again.