How to Drain Down a Caravan for Winter, with the Floe Drain Down Kit
There are two reasons you will want to drain down your caravan or motorhome water system. The most common use is winterising - a complete caravan drain down for winter is the best way to totally protect your mobile home against frost and burst pipes. Floe drain down kits make the task easy, with no plumbing or DIY skill necessary.
Caravan Burst Pipes Cause Real Damage
A burst pipe in a caravan or motorhome can be catastrophic, especially when the vehicle is in winter storage. Carpets can be ruined, chipboard panelling can expand and be destroyed and flooring can become delaminated, spongy and be extremely expensive to repair. Even if you are lucky and damage is minimal, damp in a caravan gives rise to unpleasant odours that are hard to get rid of. Draining down is quick and simple, and can save a lot of heartache, effort and expense.
Fresh Water Tastes Much Better
Even in the summertime, if your caravan or motorhome is not used regularly, water sat in taps and pipes can be stale and impure, making even freshly introduced water taste unpleasant. Draining down between uses prevents this old, stale water sitting in your pipes, giving you instant fresh water when you fill up your water container or tank.
Caravan Drain Down is Easy with the Floe Caravan Drainage Kit
The Floe caravan drain down kit makes the task of purging your water supply extremely quick and easy. Available for all major water inlet systems including Truma, Carver and Whale, the floe kits blow the water out of your taps, pipes and fittings using compressed air. All you need is a pump with a pressure gauge – you can use a footpump, an electric air compressor or bicycle pump as long as it has a gauge.
Important! The pressure used whilst draining down must be no higher than 15PSI (1 BAR), as this is the water pressure handled by most onboard pumps.
Step by Step Caravan Drain-Down
- Turn off the onboard pump at your caravan’s control panel
- Empty the caravan water heater by opening the dump valve. Opening a tap before doing this prevents a vacuum forming and helps the water to flow.
- Close the dump valve, and make sure all of the taps, showers etc in the caravan are fully turned off.
- You are now ready to blow the remaining water from the system. Connect the floë connector head to your caravan’s water inlet. If your vehicle has an internal water tank, ensure that the water supply control is set to feed water from an external source rather than the tank.
- Connect your pump or compressor and build up the pressure to 15 PSI (1 BAR). It is important to continue to the next step immediately, do not leave air pressure built up in your system.
- Each tap must be drained on both hot and cold settings. Starting at your kitchen basin, turn the tap all the way to 'Hot' and open the tap. As water is blown through the system, the air will follow through and may “spit” the water. Have a dishcloth ready and hold this around the tap to guard against splashback.
- Close the tap, build up the pressure again to 15PSI, then turn the tap all the way to 'Cold'; and repeat the process.
- Repeat the 'Hot' and 'Cold' draining process through the caravan, moving on to bathroom handbasin, any other basins and the shower
- If you have any external water outlets, do these last in the same manner.
- Finally, build the pressure up to 15 PSI one last time, then open the water heater dump valve to expel any remaining water from the system.
For motorhomes using an internal water tank the procedure is a little different and requires the drain-down device to be installed. Using the caravan drain down system would be ineffective due to the vents in the water tank allowing the pressurised air to escape. A shut-off valve is inserted into the pipework between the tank and water pump to isolate the vented tank, using a simple push-on pipe connection. A second T-connection is then fitted after the shut-off valve which allows the Floe device to be attached. This is an easy DIY installation, but you may wish to have a caravan service engineer install the system for you if you are not comfortable with this.
Once the initial installation has been completed, the drain-down procedure is broadly the same as the above process for touring caravans, the main differences being that before connecting the Floe kit, after draining the water tank and emptying the electric water heater with the dump valve, the water pump should be emptied by turning on a tap for a few seconds with the pump switched on. The Floe shut-off valve should then be closed to isolate the tank, then the Floe kit and pump/compressor connected.
When Floe and the compressor/pump are connected, follow steps 6 onwards in the caravan drain down sequence, going through the 'hot' and 'cold' taps separately on each basin/shower. At the end of the sequence, pressurise the system once more and then open the Floe shut-off valve to push any water before the Floe connection back into the tank, and drain the tank again. Where a pump will not allow a reverse flow, refer to the instructions with the Floe motorhome drain down kit.
Why Drain Down Both Hot and Cold Taps?
When water comes into your caravan from an external source (whether mains connection or aquaroll type container) the pipes split two ways. One pipe heads off directly (or via a filter) to the cold water outlets. The other goes to the caravan water heater unit, then to the hot water outlets. This means that there are two branches of pipe systems, both of which require draining down.
Vehicle/Model Specific Instructions
In addition to this guide, make sure to read all instructions from your caravan and with the floë kit. The kits also come with a comprehensive instructional DVD to take you through the process step by step.
Which Connector Do I Have?
A Floe winterising kit is available for most major types of fresh water inlet, and you will need to choose the correct kit for your caravan.
Truma Pistol Assembly
The Truma pistol assembly pictured above has a distinctive 'D'-shaped connection with two electric lugs directly above the water inlet hole. The "Truma" name will be visible on the flap cover.
Truma/Carver Crystal 2 Combo Assembly
The Truma/Carver Crystal 2 assembly has distinctive lugs to the right of the water inlet connection with the electric connections beside the water hole. The "Truma" name will be visible on the flap cover.
The Whale assembly pictured left has the water inlet pipe protruding at the top right of the unit. The Whale name will be visible on the flap cover.
View the Floë Demonstration Videos
The demonstration videos below go over instructions to drain down a caravan, and the motorhome drain down system. They show just how simple it is to keep your water pipes clean and protected from stale and stagnant water, frost and burst pipes.
The video demonstration also shows just how much water can be left inside the system after using only gravity to empty pipes - which is why you can drain down much more thoroughly and effectively using the Flow Winterise Drainage System.
Draining Down a Touring Caravan
Draining Down a Motorhome