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How to Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express

As winter approaches, many RVers begin to think about how they should winterize their campers, especially when is a small travel trailer. If you own a Coachmen Freedom there are some specific things you need to do to make sure your travel trailer is ready for the cold weather, whether you are going to use it for traveling or living or just store it during winter. In this article, learn How to Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express, Express Ultra Lite, etc., How to Store a Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer During Winter, Winterization for Travel or Live In, and De-winterization. Also, if you are reading this and you need to winterize a Coachmen Catalina Camper, a Coachmen Viking, a Coachmen Clipper, Spirit, or an Apex travel trailer, you may want to continue reading this article. I believe you will find this information and the step-by-step for winterizing your Coachmen travel trailer very helpful.

Do You Have to Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express?

What if you don’t plan to use your Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer during winter? Do you have to winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express if you just going to store it? Yes. Whether you plan on using your Coachmen Freedom Express or not, the water systems must be fully winterized with RV antifreeze to protect your investment and prevent burst pipes. We summarize the activities you should do to properly store the trailer during winter and to prepare it for the winter getaway.

Also, if you plan to winterize your Coachmen Freedom Express for travel or live in, even if the travel trailer hasn’t a furnace, proper insulation will keep the interior heated for the most challenging freezing temperatures, providing comfort and relaxation for maximum enjoyment of your travel trailer during the coldest season. One of the most frequent situations during winter is “the water pump is not turned on or operating properly”. Often the reason is that the water is frozen in the plumbing system because the Coachmen travel trailer water system was not properly winterized. A furnace is not enough to winterize the plumbing system.

So, the great advantage of a travel trailer, moreover if it is a small camper, like a Coachmen Clipper, is that it will be easy to stay warm.

Let’s see how to insulate, stay warm and winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer.

Prevent Pipes and Pumps Damage During RV Winter Storage

For detailed winterizing procedures, consult the Coachmen’s manual (manual for owners). This is a brief step-by-step for winterization using the SHURFLO by-pass pump of many Coachmen travel trailers.

If the water in the system is allowed to freeze, the piping and pump may suffer significant harm. This kind of failure voids the warranty. The pump should be fully drained before doing the following since this provides the best protection against damage:

First, empty the water tank. If the tank lacks a drain valve, open all taps and let the pump run until the tank is completely empty.

Then, allow the pump to clear the water from the pipes by opening all of the taps (including the lowest valve or drain), and then switch the pump OFF.

Next, disconnect the piping at the pump’s inlet/outlet ports using a pan to capture any leftover water.

Switch on the pump and let it run until the water drains. Once the piping has been cleared, turn OFF the pump’s power. Never reattach the pump’s piping. Make a note that the plumbing is unplugged at the tank filling as a reminder.

Finally, to prevent any harm, all faucets must be left open. To prevent p-traps and toilet seals, you can pour potable antifreeze down drains and toilets. Before putting the plumbing back into operation, clean the system.

How to Store a Coachmen Freedom Express During Winter

If you are not going to use your Coachmen Freedom Express During Winter and want to keep it safe from bursting, you will need to winterize. Therefore, you will need to winterize your Coachmen travel trailer to store it during winter.

Here is this checklist to properly Store a Coachmen Trailer During Winter. Let’s see How to Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer for winter storage.

  1. Start by thoroughly cleaning both the inside and outside of your camper. Any dirt, dust, or debris that can create issues throughout the winter will be removed as a result of this.
  2. Empty the tank and turn off the electricity if you have an electric water heater.
  3. Shut off the gas if your water heater is gas.
  4. After that, you must flush the lines and empty all the freshwater tanks.
  5. After the freshwater tanks are empty, you must add RV antifreeze to them. Therefore, empty the fresh water tank and fill the tanks with RV antifreeze. This will shield your plumbing from the elements throughout the winter.
  6. The grey water tank is the next stop, so move over. You must totally empty it before adding a couple of gallons of RV antifreeze. Add RV antifreeze to the holding tank after flushing the toilet.
  7. Disconnect the water lines from the faucets, then fill them with RV antifreeze.
  8. Remember to prepare your furnace for the winter. The owner’s handbook that came with your vehicle should include detailed instructions on how to accomplish this.
  9. Winterize the refrigerator by removing the propane or cutting off the power.
  10. Disconnect the water lines from the faucets. The RV antifreeze should flow through them.
  11. Inspect the RV roof and patch any cracks or holes after adding the antifreeze to the plumbing system. Examine the roof and, if necessary, use RV roof sealant to repair any cracks. Additionally, check for leaks in the RV refrigerator roof vent cover (leaks repair guide). This will lessen the chance of water damage to your Coachmen travel trailer as a result of leaks.
  12. Disconnect the battery or batteries and keep them at room temperature, dry, aired, and away from moisture. Before putting your deep-cycle RV batteries away, check their condition and give them a thorough recharge. Even though it’s not winter, always completely charge your batteries before storing them (see this guide to learn more about recharging your deep-cycle RV batteries). It is highly advised to recharge your stored batteries at least once every two to three months if stored at temperatures over 85°F (30°C), and more regularly if stored in cold conditions, even though a good deep cycle battery may be stored for up to nine months without a recharge.
  13. Checking the condition of the tires is an additional winterizing duty for your camper. Tire covers may be used to shield the tires of your camper from the elements. To reduce the weight on the tires, it’s also a good idea to put the camper on blocks. So, if necessary, think about employing RV leveling blocks.
  14. Cover your trailer’s top with a sturdy tarp. This will assist in shielding it from snow and ice. Put a tarp or shrink wrap over the air conditioner to protect it.
  15. Empty the refrigerator and freezer of any perishable food in your camper. To deter mice from entering your camper, make sure it is tidy and food-free.
  16. Install moisture collectors to stop mold from forming inside your camper or the inside from stinking due to humidity. These reasonably priced silica-gel-based moisture collectors will prevent condensation from building up within the camper, eliminating unpleasant odors and furniture damage. Read more about How to Prevent Mold in RV During Storage
  17. Ensure that all windows and doors are tightly sealed.
  18. Use a tarp or shrink wrap to cover the travel trailer.
  19. If at all possible, keep the camper in a dry, safe location.

By following these tips, you can winterize your Coachmen Freedom Express and be prepared for the cold weather.

How to Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer for Using

The water system must be winterized if you leave your recreational vehicle in an unheated location throughout the winter. The parts of the water system will be harmed if the necessary winterization procedures are not carried out.

Remember that any water storage device, such as a washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator with an ice maker, or other, has to be winterized. The instructions should be in the product’s owner’s manual. The antifreeze method is suggested if no instructions are supplied for winterizing the appliance.

You must winterize the plumbing if you intend to use your Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer in the cold months. To prevent the pipes from freezing, apply non-toxic RV antifreeze to the water system. Additionally, use space heaters. The freshwater tank should also be completely drained to avoid the water freezing and expanding, which might harm the tank.

If you own a small Coachmen travel trailer and want to be ready for winter, there are some things you need to do to winterize it. Here are some tips on winterizing a Coachmen Freedom Express for winter.

Let’s see How to Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer to travel during cold weather.

Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer Plumbing System/Water System

This is a brief explanation for Winterize a Coachmen Camper Plumbing System/Water System. In the following paragraphs, you will find a very thorough explanation of how to perform the winterization and de-winterization of a Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer.

  1. Empty the tank of fresh water. To do this, turn on all of the RV’s faucets before turning on the freshwater tank’s drain valve. Close all of the faucets and the drain valve after the tank is empty.
  2. The next step is to cut the water line off from the city water connection. Open all of the RV’s faucets once the line has been severed to let any residual water in the pipes drain.
  3. Non-toxic RV antifreeze has to be added to the system now that the fresh water tank has been drained and the water pipes have been cut off. The plumbing in your RV may be shielded against freezing temperatures by using antifreeze designed specifically for RVs.
  4. Simply pour non-toxic RV antifreeze into the fresh water tank through the fill port to add it to the system. When the tank is full, open every faucet in the RV and let the water flow until colored antifreeze starts to come out.
  5. After all of the faucets have stopped dripping antifreeze, plug the fill hole in the freshwater tank.
  6. Ensure that all of your Coachmen Freedom Express plumbing pipes are filled with RV antifreeze. Pour RV antifreeze into the shower, sinks, and toilets, as well as the rest of the RV’s drains, to accomplish this. Run all of the RV’s faucets for a while after pouring antifreeze into the drains to ensure that it gets to all of the fittings. Your RV’s water system will be adequately winterized if the faucets are shut off after a short period.
  7. Remember to prepare your Coachmen Freedom Express furnace for winter. For detailed instructions on how to install this, be sure to refer to your owner’s handbook because the furnace brand may vary based on your Coachmen series, floor plan, and year.

Let’s step-by-step How to Winterize the Water System of a Coachmen Freedom Express, according to the Forest River’s manual.

Winterizing Using Air Compressed

Let’s review the winterization and de-winterization of a Coachmen Freedom Express by using air compressed.

  1. Never use antifreeze for cars. In the potable (drinking) water systems of your RV, only use non-toxic RV antifreeze. To avoid burst pipes, subsequent leaks, and damage to your Coachmen Freedom Express due to incorrect camper plumbing winterization, mix the non-toxic RV antifreeze in the proportion recommended by the antifreeze manufacturer.
  2. Remove the fresh water tank’s lid.
  3. Fill up the holding tanks for wastewater.
  4. By opening the bypass valve (A) and shutting the hot (B) and cold (C) valves as illustrated in the images below, you may adjust the bypass valve on the water heater.
  5. Water heater removal Consult your water heater’s owner’s handbook.
how to winterize a coachmen freedom express ultra lite
  • Before changing the canister, remove and discard the filter cartridge if your machine has a water filtering system. Changing the filter will be essential after de-winterizing.
  • Open all fixtures, both internal and exterior, including the flush valve, supply lines for the washing machine, shower heads, and low point drain. If you have a washing machine, use the warm cycle to wash your items until no more water comes out, and then spin the washer until all the water is gone.
  • Turn on the water pump for at least 30 seconds to drain any water from the pipes.
  • Limit the air pressure to 30 PSI at most.
how to winterize a coachmen freedom express
  1. The City Water Connection screen (see the image above) needs to be taken out. A blowout plug (adapter) should be connected to the city water connection.
  2. As soon as the water is no longer visible running out of any interior or exterior fixtures, appliances, or lines, attach an air hose to the water lines and blow them out.
  3. Replace the Screen, take out the blowout plug from the city water connection, and shut all fittings, fixtures, and low-point drains.
  4. If the system has one, flush water from it and connects air to the Black Tank Flush inlet. There is no screen with the Black Tank Flush system.
  5. Fill the tank, p-traps, and interior and exterior drain with one quart of RV antifreeze (if provided).
  6. Pour 12 gallons of antifreeze into each toilet, close the flush valve, and then add enough antifreeze to cover the valve by one inch.

Winterizing with RV Antifreeze Only

Let’s review the winterization and de-winterization of a Coachmen Freedom Express by using RV antifreeze (instead of air compressed).

  1. 4-6 gallons of non-toxic RV antifreeze should be purchased.
  2. Drainage of all tanks is required (fresh water and waste water holding tanks).
  3. You can bypass the water heater by opening the Bypass Valve (A) and closing the Hot (B) and Cold (C) Valves.
  4. While the valve handle perpendicular to the water line is closed, the handle parallel to the water line is open. (These valves are situated close to the entering pipes at the rear of the water heater.) The water heater is typically located in a base cabinet in kitchens. An access panel may have to be taken off to access the bypass valve.)
winterizing coachmen travel trailer
  • Consult your water heater’s owner’s handbook.
  • Before changing the canister, remove and discard the filter cartridge if your machine has a water filtering system. Changing the filter will be essential after de-winterizing.
  • Fill the water pump’s input with antifreeze by either: A. If a nearby valve is accessible, open it, then place the winterization hose inside the antifreeze container. B. Unplug the water line from the pump’s input and connect a short section of the hose to the antifreeze container.
  • All interior and exterior faucets should have their cold water side open when the pump is turned on. Until the antifreeze (which is often pink in color) comes out, keep the taps open. Continually use the hot water side.
  • Pour one gallon of antifreeze down the toilet to winterize the black holding tank after flushing the toilet until the antifreeze is visible in the bowl. If a toilet sprayer is available, use it until antifreeze is found.
  • Fill each interior and exterior drain, p-trap, toilet, and tank with one quart of RV antifreeze (if fitted).
  • Pour 12 gallons of antifreeze into each toilet, then shut the flush valve and cover the valve with one inch of antifreeze.
  • If you have a black tank flush system, pour antifreeze into the Black Tank Flush inlet using a hand pump (available from your RV dealer).

We recommend watching the following water system winterization video from the manufacturer to visualize the step-by-step summary above. Then, continue reading this article to discuss more actions needed to protect your travel trailer during winter and to winterize for live-in or travel.

Winterization Video

Maintain the Trailer’s Electrical Wiring

There are a few more steps you can take to winterize your Coachmen Freedom Express camper and keep it in good condition. To avoid any shorts, you should first wrap insulating tape over any exposed electrical wire. Additionally, you should keep all of your camping supplies inside the camper to shield it from the elements.

Prepare the Coachmen Travel Trailer Tires for Cold temperatures

Tire blowouts can result from the air in tires condensing in cold temperatures. Before starting any journey, make sure to check the tire pressure.

To avoid flat spots, you should lastly check that the tires are filled to the correct pressure.

How To Prepare The Camper Tires For Winter

When temperatures are going down, it’s time to prepare the travel trailer tires for winter. Here are some tips for winterizing a Coachmen Freedom Express:

  1. Verify your tires’ air pressure. Tires tend to lose air pressure more rapidly in colder climates, so it’s crucial to routinely check them and re-inflate them as necessary.
  2. To keep your tires from the elements and increase their lifespan, think about investing in tire covers.
  3. Make careful you store your travel trailer on a level surface if you intend to do so for the winter. This will lessen the likelihood of flat patches forming in your tires.
  4. Before each travel, make sure to check your tires for cracks or other indications of wear and strain. Before driving, have the tires checked for damage and fixed or replaced as necessary.

Review Status and Charge of Deep Cycle Batteries when Winterizing a Coachmen Freedom Express

When temperatures dip, batteries frequently lose their charge. Even if they are deep cycle batteries for RVs, lithium phosphate batteries are particularly affected by this. We frequently keep our batteries plugged in throughout the winter, which is incorrect. And it causes a significant amount of the batteries we use in the RV to degrade.

During the winter, it is preferable to disconnect the RV battery or batteries and store them somewhere warm and dry. Before storing them, check the status and charge them.

If you wish to travel throughout the winter in your Coachmen Freedom Express, make sure you have the appropriate deep cycle batteries for camping and that they are properly charged.

What are the Best Deep Cycle Batteries for RVs in Cold Weather?

Choosing the right batteries to keep your RV functioning smoothly is one of the most crucial factors to take into account while winterizing it. There are a few different types of deep-cycle RV batteries that are suitable for all types of recreational vehicles and boats. The best deep-cycle batteries during the coldest season are the RV AGM batteries.

Deep cycle batteries are made to be discharged and recharged several times over a year, making them ideal for those long winter evenings when you need to keep the lights and heaters on.

In comparison to other battery types like lithium batteries, AGM batteries are also less likely to freeze. As a result, you can relax knowing that your RV will be operational even when the outside temperature is at its lowest.

Whatever type of deep cycle battery you decide on for your RV, be careful to maintain a proper charge throughout the winter.

Take the time to maintain your travel trailer battery in good condition because a dead battery is one of the quickest ways to ruin your winter holiday. You can be confident that your Coachmen will be prepared for everything the winter may bring with a little forethought.

By following these simple tips, you can winterize your Coachmen Freedom Express and keep it in good condition all winter long.

Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express for Live In or Travel

If you are living in a Coachmen Freedom Express or want to live in one, there are a few things you need to do to winterize it.

Let’s see How to Winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer for Living or Travelling

Even while some of these preparations might seem simple, they are all crucial to ensuring that your camper is prepared for the cooler months.

You should first check to see that all of your pipes have been emptied. This applies to tanks holding freshwater, greywater, and blackwater. Additionally, make sure that all of the faucets are shut off and the toilet is flushed.

The drains in your sinks, showers, and toilets all need non-toxic RV antifreeze to be added next.

Additionally, you’ll want to confirm that your furnace is in good functioning condition. Additionally, winterize the furnace using RV antifreeze. This is crucial since, throughout the winter, you’ll want to be able to keep your camper warm.

Don’t depend solely on one sort of energy source to heat your Coachmen travel trailer, is another piece of advice. Don’t just say “electric systems” or “propane” if you want to stay somewhere or travel for a considerable amount of time. Try to combine them as much as you can. I recommended reading the article in the following link to better understand different options for How to Heat A Camper Without Electricity. I believe those tips can be very helpful if you are going to boondock or if suddenly you are in an unexpected situation like in a middle of a winter storm, not prepared, and running out of fuel.

If you plan on using your Coachmen Freedom Express camper during the winter, make sure to invest in a good-quality heater even if you own a model with a furnace.

Insulating your Coachmen travel trailer is another thing you should do to retain the heat inside and stay warm without using a lot of electricity. Weather stripping can be used around the doors and windows to achieve this. Additionally, you might wish to insulate your camper’s walls and ceiling.

Learn more about How to Winterize a Camper To Live In & Travel in our post

How to Insulate a Coachmen Freedom Express to Travel and Live In

One of the most important things you can do to winterize your Coachmen Freedom Express is to insulate it.

Be sure to take your time to insulate properly your Coachmen travel trailer. Even if you possess a travel trailer with a furnace, make sure to spend money on a high-quality heater.

How to Stay Warm in a Coachmen travel trailer

Verify the functionality of your heating system. This applies to the heater, stove, and any additional heat sources you intend to use. Make sure they are capable of keeping you warm by testing them before you go on your journey.

Don’t overuse space heaters. While space heaters can help keep you warm, inappropriate usage of them might result in a fire risk.

Dress warmly inside your Coachmen travel trailer to conserve energy. Even if the temperature inside your camper drops, wearing layers of clothing will keep you warm.

Learn more tips for Staying Warm in a Camper in Winter in our post.

How to Insulate a Freedom Express travel trailer

Let’s see How to Insulate a Coachmen Freedom Express.

There are a few different ways you can insulate a travel trailer with no inconveniences. Although there are several materials in the market, one option is to use Reflectix, which is a foil-backed bubble wrap insulation. It is a lightweight material, easy to cut.

When you install this material, the heat is reflected into your trailer, keeping the inside warmer during the cold time and helping you to save energy. Cut the Reflectix or similar material, to the size needed to cover windows, and doors if needed, to fit the right way, and then tape it to hold it to the surfaces of the Coachmen Freedom Express.

I like to insulate the floor of the Coachmen Freedom Express. Let’s be honest. The only thing to insulate the interior from the exterior at floor level is just a thin piece of wood. If you want to insulate the floor, I would suggest using foam sheets to cover the floor.

To keep the cold air out, whichever choice you use, be sure to cover all the windows and doors. Additionally, you need to guarantee that your camper is tightly sealed.

Installing an RV skirting system is another excellent approach to preparing your Coachmen Freedom Express for winter. This will shield your camper from the wind and the cold and prevents animals from crawling inside. You should be able to select an RV skirting system that exactly matches your camper because there are so many different types available.

Make sure the windows and doors are all properly closed. If there are any openings, fill them with caulk or weatherstripping. Placing plastic over the windows is a smart move as it will further insulate them.

After insulating your camper, you may add a few finishing touches to make it cozier yet. To help block drafts, hang drapes over the windows and doors. Bring some carpets or rugs inside so you can keep your feet toasty.

We recommend you read our article about How to Insulate a Camper to learn more about preventing heat loss.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Coachmen Freedom Express will be ready for winter.

De-Winterizing a Coachmen Freedom Express

Now, let’s see the step-by-step to de-winterize a Coachmen Freedom Express Water System.

  1. Empty the fresh water tank and any holding tanks for wastewater.
  2. Fill up the fresh water tank with a garden hose.
  3. Attach the drain plug to the water heater and close the pressure relief valve.
  4. Switch on the pump, then turn all interior and external faucets’ cold water faucets. Close the faucets when the antifreeze has been flushed from the water lines and has been replaced with clean water.
  5. Repeat step 4 on the hot water side.
  6. Fill the water heater tank and switch the bypass valve on the water heater to NORMAL.
  7. Continue flushing the toilet until the toilet bowl is completely clear. Use the toilet sprayer, if available, until the water is clear.
  8. Refill the waste water holding tanks and drain the freshwater tank.
  9. Clean the water system in accordance with the directions in this handbook.
  10. If a freshwater filter has already been put in place, empty the water lines, take the assembly apart, clean it, and then put it back together using a new water filter.
  11. If available, OPEN the water supply line to the dishwasher, washer, and water/ice maker in the refrigerator.

When de-winterizing the travel trailer, sanitization is a must. Besides the importance of the quality of the water in our water system and removing chemicals, the most common cause of early pump failure and declining performance over time is improper sanitization. Lack of sanitizing can result in scale building on the valves and diaphragm, which will reduce flow and create leak back (occasional pump cycling when no faucets are open or tank filling when connected to city water).

De-Winterization Video

De-Winterization Video

Final Thoughts When Winterizing a Coachmen Freedom Express

A final piece of advice when winterizing a Coachmen Freedom Express and any travel trailer (including Coachmen Catalina, Viking, Clipper, Spirit, Apex, etc.). Pay attention to the following precautions:

  • Take the appropriate steps to prevent fresh water and drainage systems from being harmed by freezing. Understanding everything covered in the sections on the winterization of canneries and water systems is crucial because of this. The water system and any other water systems in the camper must be winterized whether you are taking a trip or storing the camper in a tank throughout the winter.
  • If the propane tank contains moisture or has been overfilled, propane regulator freeze-ups can happen in any type of weather. Use only propane fuel free of moisture, and never fill the tank more than 80%. It is advised that you have systems that utilize various fuels. electricity, solar power, gas, etc. Don’t rely on a single source of energy.
  • It is essential to keep utilizing your vents and vent fans during cold weather.
  • Plan for more frequent furnace running, which will increase battery draw and gas consumption. This will prevent the wet air from leaving the building.
  • More condensation will form if the camper is tightly closed in chilly weather. A dehumidifier can be required to reduce condensation during cold season use.
  • Before opening or using the trailer’s compartment doors, locks, windows, vents, and other features, check the outside extrusions for moisture that has frozen.
  • Make sure you carry adequate non-toxic RV antifreeze if you want to stay on the road or park for a while.

We hope this article about how to winterize the Coachmen Freedom Express will help you winterize your Coachmen travel trailer correctly, and encourage you to enjoy it during the winter.

About Ward Greenway

Since I was 5 years old, I remember being inside my father's pop-up camper crossing the USA. My passion for RVs and Campers grew until I graduated in Mechanical Engineering (Tennessee). Then, I took my passion to the next level. Because I wanted to improve the design and engineering of the RVs I enjoyed them so much. I have been lucky to work for Central RV New Zealand, Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd (Australia), Forest River Inc., and Mercury Marine, as a Mechanical Design Engineer. I have seen and improved hundreds of RV floor plans. Nowadays, I enjoy RV living full time in my Mallard travel trailer and the joy of meeting new friends along the way who help me put the best on CamperOutdoor.com

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