Sunday, April 27, 2014


Finally had two things. 

First, a weekend where I am spending both Saturday and Sunday here in town and don't have anything specific on the agenda.  Second, temperatures that are finally consistently above freezing. 

That can only mean one thing for a travel trailer owner such as I!   (See post title) 

It's funny to hear camping veterans describe the process.  "Oh, de-winterizing is easy!  Just add fresh water to the tank, then turn on all the faucets until the pink antifreeze is gone." 

Well, cough cough.

They are partly correct. 

However I first needed to check out the water pump as there can be a bypass valve that allows water to get pumped through the system without going into the hot water heater.  Given that the water heater is six gallons that's a significant savings of pink antifreeze.  So, remove the panel that gives me access to the water pump.  Don't see any type of bypass valve anywhere.  Don't see any type of valve, period. 


Get out the manuals.  Have an overall owner's manual for the camper plus I have a manual from the water pump manufacturer.  The water pump manual makes no reference to bypass valves.  However the camper manual does have a short section discussing bypassing the hot water heater.  But I sure can't find these valves anywhere. 

Then I read through the manual for the pump itself.  Figured I can just move ahead with what I know.  Fill fresh water tank (with brand spanking-new white hose).  Then click on the water pump switch and turn on kitchen faucet (cold side). 

Rat-a-tat-tat-tat noise comes from the water pump.  A trickle of pink water flows out of the aforementioned fixture.  Nothing more than a trickle.  Not the normal flow you'd expect from a faucet. 


Back to the manuals.  Add more water to the fresh tank.  This time I follow the water pump instructions to the letter.  Open all faucets first, then turn on pump switch. 

I get a pretty good flow from the bathroom sink and tub.  The toilet flushes with no problems.  Doesn't take too long for the pink water to turn clear.  But still no decent water pressure from the kitchen sink. 

Then I get the bright idea to also turn on the outdoor shower (which draws off the kitchen sink water inlets).  Again, some pink antifreeze flows through the handheld nozzle but it doesn't have any effect on the kitchen sink efficiency. 


I take the 18-volt battery-operated working light that came with my Dewalt power tool set (thank you, Santa!).  Take a look under the galley sink.  Then Geogal takes a look.  She sees that one of the lines going to the outdoor shower is kinked.  True, but I still can't see how that affects the water pressure for the sink.  (If anything, you think that would actually make the pressure to the sink that much better.) 

Now it's time to break for lunch. 

Later I decide to explore something else.  The water pump manual indicated the pump would be supplying water to all the faucets, plus the hot water heater tank.  But I still have not screwed the water heater tank plug back in the socket.  Why am I not seeing water flowing out of the drain plug? 

Harkens back to something the tech said when I did the walk-through before leaving the dealer's lot back in frigid February.  He noted when I took off a certain panel that would give me access to the back of the hot water heater.  Instead that panel led to the water pump. 


How can I take a look at the back of the heater?  Check the outside of the camper, then go back in and see where it's located. 

Underneath my leather sofa (which folds down into a bed).  Pull the sofa up halfway and I see a panel held fast by a couple of wood screws.  Remove the screws and viola!  Back of the hot water heater. 

I then see the three valves to which the owner's manual was referring.  Yes! 

Hot water is in my future. 

But it's not present yet.  I still need to put the drain plug back in.  That will require a socket of a certain size and the socket wrench sizes I have on hand are all too small.  And in my small town both of the hardware/home improvement stores are closed on Sunday. 

I can wait. 

And I still don't know if this will have any effect on the kitchen sink.  However it's great to approach something like this with four thoughts in mind:

1)  Take my time. 

2)  Be willing to learn as I go. 

3)  Realize that the more I learn about this camper, the better able I will be to handle issues in the future. 


4)  Have a sense of humor!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Warm up already!

Yes, the temps have been above freezing but given it's April and it's northwest Kansas I'm not convinced we've seen the last of the freezing overnights. 

C'mon Mother Nature, I want to de-winterize my camper and see how ALL my systems work!

I think I've already figured out where I want to go Memorial Day weekend (Geogal and Geoana will be going to Omaha to see a show so I'm on my own).  More to follow.