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PostPosted: October 4th, 2017, 1:20 pm 
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Hi Chinook Peeps! We bought our first RV--a wee 2002 Chinook Concourse. I just love this little camper van--I named it Vinnie. I have been reading as much as I can via the web (how I found this forum), and going over the manuals that came with (for systems within--not the actual Chinook manual--although I found a 2000 manual online). Some things are not clear--either through the user's manual, or online. So--this forum makes sense to ask, since all of you are of the Chinook Tribe.

I plan on doing the water hookups to our RV up at home to get a feeling of what has to be done when we are away. My first question is the city water portal verses the other fill port. Does the city water connection fill the holding tank? I realize this port is for when using pressurized water--and that the water pump is not necessary. Does it bypass the water pump and fresh water holding tank? I will start with that question and await your wisdom.

Thank you in advance!
Michele

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PostPosted: October 5th, 2017, 7:05 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I'm sure others here are much more campground savvy, but I'll get things started.

1) The "non pressure" fill (just a hole) is so you can just "lay" a hose in the hole and fill the potable water tank. Presuming you have the stock setup, the vent is right near the fill, so when it's full water should start coming out the vent (but it's a very good idea to not just walk away while it's filling, IMO). You can also -- with some difficulty - why don't they put these things on an angle? -- fill the tank through this opening by pouring in jugs or etc. (might need a funnel). This can come in handy if you can't find a fill station but still want to put water in the tank.

2) The pressure fill you hook a garden hose type hose up to it (although they make special white ones that are supposed to be less toxic than run of the mill garden hoses) and then you have pressurized water in your Chinook without using your water pump or filling/using the potable water tank (someone correct me if I'm wrong here). One thing you might want to consider: Instead of just keeping the pressure hose hooked up while you are at a campground, instead fill your tank, take the hose away, and then run off your tank. Why do I say this? Because if there is any sort of problem with the pressure system, you could end up with an infinite number of gallons of water in your Chinook :o People (with all makes of RV's) have gone out sightseeing and come back to just that.... Gaaaah. That's a personal choice though and obviously it doesn't always go awry, it's just a possibility.

One other use for the pressure fill is that you can buy a little nipple that screws onto it and then you can blow air into the system as a winterizing tactic.

I can't remember if my original water system pressure fill was plastic or brass, but if plastic, just know that you can retrofit with brass (somewhat heavier duty). It may be brass already though.

******

This next is on the subject of the holding tanks (grey water [sinks/shower], and black water [toilet]). While you can hook up a sewer hose "permanently" while you are camped at a site with sewer, people who do more of this type of camping than I do recommend NOT just letting the black tank "run free" into the sewer hose. Reason is the liquid can cruise speedily on out leaving the solids behind, and then you can end up with "poop mountain" stuck in your black holding tank. So what you can do instead is leave the grey water valve open to run freely into the campground sewer (if you want to), but leave the black water valve closed until the tank starts getting full and then empty it all at once.

Again, welcome!

BG

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PostPosted: October 6th, 2017, 5:57 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2016, 6:21 am
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Location: Front Range, Colorado
The city water connection doesn't fill the tank.

I don't use it. I had a flood because of the very reason BG explained. I just fill my tank and use the pump. Although, to be fair I almost never camp somewhere I have a water connection. I feel high class even when I just have power.

If you do plan to use it, BUY THIS!!!!!!

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-40055-Brass-Pressure-Regulator/dp/B003BZD08U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507341284&sr=8-1&keywords=camco+pressure+regulator

They carry it at Walmart, too, so you can buy it in person even if you're on a trip. Trust me, you need a pressure regulator. It will keep your system from flooding your RV. Don't learn the hard way like I did.

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PostPosted: October 6th, 2017, 9:28 pm 
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Location: Southern CA
Isn't there already a pressure regulator in the city input? Or that is just a check valve? I remember seen one when I check behind the kitchen sink.

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2017, 12:22 am 
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Thank you all for your responses! (And yes, I see that in my exuberance of making my 1st post--I made another not realizing that the post wasn't instantaneous...).

I hooked up my water last night for the first time. I did buy the brass pressure regulator from our local rv place, as our outdoor hydrant at our house could double as a pressure washer. I have since learned (now that I have water), that our Moen faucet needs a new filter cartridge (of course this model is discontinued...). Sigh... But this is why I am giving it all a whirl while being comfortably 10 feet from our house, instead of 1000 miles away.

We plan to take our Chinook cross country, leaving Vermont the first week of December and heading down to Arizona. I think, given the time of year, we will probably winterize the system, so we don't get into any trouble with freezing. (My husband doesn't think it is necessary as the plumbing is inside((except that stinking outdoor shower thing)). Looks like many campgrounds along the way are open all season with bath houses, so that is probably what we will do on our maiden voyage. It is interesting the various opinions of winterizing. Some folks drain and draw the antifreeze throughout, some say just gravity drain, and use compressed air to blow out, putting pink stuff in traps. I did buy the brass fitting (I think I saw this mention on this forum), where you can use compressed air, and with open spigots get the most water out.

Anyway, my learning curve continues...

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2017, 7:21 am 
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Location: Front Range, Colorado
I live in Colorado and store my Chinook a 9,000 feet in the winter. It gets cold here. I lived in VT for a while too. Also very cold. I'd probably winterize with antifreeze in all tanks. They don't have to be full, but there should be pink stuff in the bottoms and NO water. I also make sure that every drain line get's antifreeze. Cleaning it out in the spring is a bit of a pain since the bitter taste can linger a while, but I'd rather have to buy 7 gallons of antifreeze than start replacing hoses and pipes (I don't have a hot water heater bypass, so it takes a lot of antifreeze).

As far as traveling, I might not fully winterize, but you have a few more items that are at risk than you mentioned. Your fresh water system might be inside, but your gray and black tanks are outside. Both sit out in the cold. Also, you have drain hoses from your fresh and hot water tanks that sit out in the cold. It's up to you. Maybe it depends on the route you take. If you head due south first, you can probably get away without winterizing. Maybe leave VT empty, with the lines blown out and then find a place to fill once you are comfortably south.

I have an older Chinook (1994), so mine may have some differences. I didn't have a built in pressure regulator.

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2017, 9:18 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
N & M,

Usually posts are pretty much instantaneous, but I think maybe on your first few there is a delay due to moderation (to pick up spammers). So it should improve.

On winterizing for travel (maybe we'll cross paths in AZ - nice choice for wintertime Chinooking), I would probably fully winterize, but that somewhat depends on how fast you're going to be traveling, and how likely you are to be in very low temps.

I think of it as two systems:

1) Supply

This would be the potable water tank, the PEX pressure lines, faucets, outside shower, water heater, water pump.

If you do drain and winterize the potable water tank, don't put anti-freeze in it, IMO. The foaming and aftertaste are a real bear to get out, and any little bit of water in the tank will just make a harmless ice cube - lots of open space for it to expand.

Drain and bypass the water heater (if you decide it is necessary).

Drain the supply lines and shower line (there are petcocks underneath the rig and diagrams in the manual).

Drain the pump.

I probably wouldn't do the anti-freeze routine for a travel trip, but.... that's a judgement call.

With all of the above done, it sounds primitive, but you are still able to carry jugs of water and use those at the sink and to flush the toilet (toilet is basically just an open pit that you pour water down, whether with the foot pedal or a jug).

2) Drain system

This includes the larger drain pipes and waste holding tanks and blade valves (by dump area).

The first thing that will freeze in this system is the traps. Those are the U shaped things under the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower (outside and exposed). If in this sort of situation, I carry a jug of -100º anti-freeze (I like the non-alcool sold at places like West Marine because it doesn't evaporate as fast and may be easier on seals. The -100º means a bit of dilution leaves it still relatively effective). I pour it into the traps to displace the water that usually lives there. Then I don't use the bathroom sink or the shower (that's the trap that would be a BEAR to replace), but you could and then refill trap when necessary. I'll either use the kitchen sink or a bucket in the sink if I'm really in coooold weather. The dump valves may freeze shut, but I think they typically survive fine - just don't open them till the heat of the day (and if something happens to them they are a replaceable maintenence item anyway). Your holding tanks are unlikely to freeze, being large and having expansion room anyway.

******

Of course if you are traveling FAST, you may choose to do only some of this. Do watch the shower trap, and the fresh water supply line that runs behind the shower (toilet, bath sink, and maybe outside shower supply). You can also open the cupboard doors and the couch door and even heat them if you have electric heaters going. If you do choose to go "non winterized," I'd at least lay in a bottle or two of the -100º in case you change your mind. If you are going to be camping with electric hookup, grab an electric heater or two from Wal-Mart - you can generally use one on high (1500 watts) or a couple on lower settings. They can be aimed into the cupboards, the bathroom, etc.

I wrote this a bit quickly as a friend is waiting for me to help with a project, so beware that there might be gaps or etc.

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2017, 9:44 am 
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Location: Southern CA
I wish there are indoor valves that shut off water (hot and cold) to the outside shower, so that it will eliminate the concern of these line freezing since they are outside. The lines are insulated with foam, however.

As for the bathroom sink trap, I think it should be pretty accessible and easy to change. No?

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2017, 4:23 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
chin_k wrote:
I wish there are indoor valves that shut off water (hot and cold) to the outside shower, so that it will eliminate the concern of these line freezing since they are outside.


Mine does have valves to specifically isolate the outside shower. My year has the outside shower in the rear wall, just above the "tire locker." To get to the valves you open the "tire locker" door and reach/look just above it inside the locker. There are two oval turn wheels (hot and cold).

Later models I believe moved the shower to the compartment where the campground hookups are; I don't know if that one has shutoffs.

chin_k wrote:
As for the bathroom sink trap, I think it should be pretty accessible and easy to change. No?


The trap that I'm saying would be a real bear to replace is the bathroom (main) shower trap. It's under the floor/shower stall (outside) and above the grey tank. Maybe someone's done it and it's not that bad, but it's sure going to be a lot harder than any of the other ones.

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PostPosted: October 8th, 2017, 7:02 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 10:56 am
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Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Norman&Michele wrote:
our Moen faucet needs a new filter cartridge (of course this model is discontinued...).


The Moen faucets have a lifetime warranty. I did not realize that could apply to our obsolete cartridge faucet head when I called 800-289-6636 and ordered a replacement Pull-out Spout to screw onto the metal hose. Sorry don't know the replacement part number, and don't think they make the filter model any longer. But you can let them know that it is to replace the PureTouch filtering faucet model 87810. Later I heard on a forum that someone received their replacement free on warranty.

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