While the temperatures are cold, protecting your restroom trailer from becoming a frozen igloo is vital because your Satellite SuiteTM trailer works mainly with water and pipes to function. Frozen water in pipes is no joke because the icy water expands within the lines and will cause cracking leading to damage and expensive repairs. Below we cover three different winterization methods depending on whether you plan to store your trailer for the season or use it during the winter months.
Winterizing with Compressed Air
The first method we cover will have you remove all water from the trailer for seasonal storage. You will need an air hose with a ¾ inch-threaded fitting on the end (or an identical-sized fitting from a garden hose attached to the air hose with a hose clamp.)
- Run a small amount of RV antifreeze through the pumps; a small amount of water will remain after the blowout and must be treated to prevent freezing.
- Drain the trailer’s fresh water tank, and pump. Some trailers have a water heater tank, drain that too.
- Run the water pump until it is dry.
- Connect the air compressor to the water intake valve on the side of your trailer.
- Open the Fill Valve on the freshwater tank.
- Turn on the compressed air and clear the line.
- Close the Fill Valve when finished.
- Open the City Fill Valve and turn on the compressed air.
- With the compressed air on, open each toilet and water fixture in the trailer, start with the one furthest away from the air supply and work backward towards the air source.
- Flush each toilet and urinal until there is only air escaping.
- Turn off the air compressor when toilets and urinals are clear.
- Finally, ensure the ball valve on each toilet is closed and add a few ounces of RV antifreeze. For the urinals, pour in 16 ounces of RV antifreeze.
Your Trailer’s plumbing system is now clear and ready for storage.
Winterizing Using RV Antifreeze
An alternative to the air-compressor method is to use a water pump to pump in RV antifreeze throughout the trailer’s plumbing. You will need an onboard water pump or an external 12-volt pump along with a clear-antifreeze-supply hose.
- For trailers with a water heater, use the drain to empty the water heater tank.
- Open the bypass valve. Opening the bypass valve prevents the antifreeze from flowing into the water heater.
- Use the clear hose and connect it to the water pump intake.
- Place the end of the clear hose into a gallon of RV antifreeze.
- Turn on the pump to begin pumping antifreeze into the system.
- Starting at the fixture furthest from the water pump, open the fixture spigot and run until only pure antifreeze is visible. Do this for each toilet, sink, and urinal.
Note: If you use an onboard pump to distribute the antifreeze, open the City Fill Valve and external Shut-Off Valve at the city water connection. Run until pure antifreeze is visible.
Using your Satellite Suite in Freezing Temperatures
Your Satellite SuiteTM must be equipped with the optional Arctic Package if you want to use it during the fall and winter months. The Arctic Package will provide electric forced air heat to the cabin and service area, insulation for the waste tank, and 110-volt waste tank heat pads to keep it ice-free.
To operate the Arctic Package:
- Plug all electrical cords (20 amp maximum) into all receptacles.
- Turn on all electrical breakers (except men’s and women’s AC.)
- Turn on cabin heat below vanity and adjust thermostat in the service area.
- Turn on circuit breaker switch for heat pads.
Tips When Operating in Inclement Weather
Dump Valve: Ice and snow can prevent your dump valve from operating efficiently. Clear all ice and snow away from the valve before using. The dump valve should be insulated with heat trace to prevent freezing.
Water Supply: Ice and snow can freeze your water supply lines and prevent you from operating efficiently. Clear all ice and snow away from the ¾ inch water valve before using. Check your water supply source to ensure it is clear and flowing before operating. Supply lines should be insulated with heat trace to prevent freezing.
Skirting the Trailer: Protecting your Satellite SuiteTM from inclement weather is essential to ensuring years of use. Skirting the trailer will prevent cold air from circulating underneath and reduce the chance of freezing when temperatures fall below freezing.
Monitoring your System: We recommend monitoring the water and heating system often. This will ensure your trailer will not require maintenance or replacement parts due to winter operation.
For more information on Satellite SuiteTM maintenance, please refer to Satellite Suites Resource page. Winterizing your Satellite SuiteTM will ensure that pipes remain in good condition and have many years of reliable operation. Read about winterizing your truck fleet here. As we wrap up our winterization blog series, we want to remind you that no matter how cold it gets, trailer winterization is snow much fun! Thank you for reading.