Maintenance, Troubleshooting


More than two weeks after we started the winterizing process, we were still working through the steps in the E-trek Owner’s Manual. Although we had watched several videos, E-trek winterizing has specific requirements that are not often covered in videos. For example, the E-trek uses a different type of hot water system, and also includes an instant hot/filtered water system in the galley that needs certain care in the winterizing process.

Following are the Winterizing Instructions from the E-trek Owner’s Manual, as well as our progress at each step.

1. Purchase, have on hand the following items:  4 gallons antifreeze, replacement filter for instant hot, bucket for dumping, funnel (completed 11/10)

2. Dump and rinse grey and black water tanks (completed 11/1)

We arrived home from our final trip of the season on November 1st. On the way home, we had emptied the black and grey tanks at Cabela’s; however, when we got home we added some water and disinfectant to the black tank via the toilet.  We also let the remaining water in the fresh tank run through the kitchen faucet and into the grey water tank, emptied the tanks again, so we consider Step 2 complete.

3. Turn off water pump (completed 11/12)

4. Empty fresh water (completed 11/12)

5. Open city water valve (completed 11/12)

6. Allow air to enter system (completed 11/12)

  • Kitchen faucet
  • Bathroom faucet
  • Instant hot–press and hold until no more water comes out (?)

This is where many instructional videos recommend using an air compressor to blow out the lines. We used a bicycle pump and adaptor to push the air through the water lines, similar to the process demonstrated in Mike Wendland’s video (completed 11/12)

7. Close city water valve (black handle across water line (completed 11/12)

8. Close faucets (completed 11/12)

9. Close fresh water tank drain–black handle perpendicular to water line (completed 11/12)

At this point we had to stop, since Karl could not get access to the valves, even using his new “creeper.” Unfortunately (or fortunately), Karl had removed the camera prior to going under the E-trek, so we did not capture the glasses incident mentioned in our previous post.


Over the weekend, Karl manufactured a DIY ramp using some rubber tiles we were using as a doggy door mat on the deck. So with the hot water heater now bypassed in step 10 below, we were ready to proceed.

10. Webasto valves (completed 11/15)

  • Open shunt valve
  • Close 2 H/C valves

11. Pour 2.5 gallons of antifreeze into the fresh water fill–use funnel (completed 11/15)

At this point Karl wanted to go on his bicycle ride before it started getting dark, so I was given the task of locating the correct breaker to complete Step 12. The breakers were labeled well, so no problem. When Karl still wasn’t back after two hours, rather than file a missing persons report, I decided to give it a go on my own, encouraged by my success finding the correct breaker. I even decided to wear the action camera to document my progress.  It also helps when you want to go back and make sure you did everything properly.


12. Turn off breaker in 120 volt circuit breaker box which powers instant hot (completed 11/15)

13. Turn on water pump (completed 11/15)

14. Turn on kitchen cold water until pink antifreeze comes out. Close faucet (completed 11/15)

15. Flush toilet until pink antifreeze comes out. (completed 11/15)

16. Turn on bathroom cold water until pink antifreeze comes out. Close faucet. (completed 11/15)

17. Press and hold instant hot cold handle until undiluted pink antifreeze comes out. Repeat with instant hot hot water handle (needs to fill with gallon of antifreeze). (partially completed 11/15–nothing came out of instant hot hot handle)

Confusion again at this step: Not only was there no more antifreeze coming out, instead we were seeing water coming out of the faucets. At this point we stopped again. Also, we needed more antifreeze. I thought maybe I had let the faucets run too long, but after watching my video, I can confirm that I properly followed the steps. On Tuesday I purchased two more gallons of antifreeze and Wednesday morning we continued.

18. Open city valve for 60 seconds to flush with antifreeze.(completed 11/18)

19. Turn water pump off. Open a faucet to relieve pressure. (completed 11/18)

20. Empty contents of instant hot filter and reinstall–new filter will be installed when dewinterizing (completed 11/18)

21. Drain Webasto. Open kitchen hot water faucet to allow air into hot water system. 10-15 minutes (completed 11/12)

22. Turn on water pump. Open kitchen sink hot water faucet until antifreeze emerges. Repeat bathroom sink. (completed 11/15)

We still saw water coming through the faucets, from where we did not know. We decided to empty the grey and black tanks into our waste bucket, and were surprised that together, the black and grey tanks contained six gallons. Less than four gallons of antifreeze had been added to the system (and some leaked out when the fresh water drain was inadvertently left open, so we don’t know where the water is coming from.)

23. Pour .5 gallon antifreeze down sink into gray water tank. (completed 11/18/15)

24. Empty black water tank until no more water is being discharged–use gravity to empty hose. (completed 11/18/15–see #22 above)

25. Open gray water tank until no more water discharged. There should be only a small amount of water and antifreeze.(completed 11/18–see #22 above)

26. Divide remaining gallon of antifreeze between shower, bathroom sink, and kitchen sink drains.(completed 11/26)

27. Open fresh water tank-drain until antifreeze comes out.(completed 11/26)

28. Turn off water pump.(completed 11/26)

After some rain followed by a few seasonably cold days, we are enjoying a very mild Thanksgiving, so we decided it was time to finish winterizing. Happy Thanksgiving!

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