In our first trailer we enjoyed having a winter bypass kit installed on the water pump and were sad to find that there wasn’t one in our Keystone Hideout. So I set out to rectify this situation and make the winterization process a bit easier. I chose to install the Camco 36543 Pump Converter Winterizing Kit and outline the steps for this easy modification below. I did need to purchase about $4 in extra parts at the hardware store, but other than that you really only need a way to cut the existing line, a drill (for access to the area) and maybe a wrench to tighten things up.
For those that don’t know, the bypass kit allows you to change the source that the pump in the RV pulls from. So typically the pump pulls water from the freshwater tank. However with a bypass you are able to switch that to another source. That second source is a straw of sorts that you can insert into an RV Antifreeze bottle and pull the antifreeze into the pump and throughout the RV. So with the bypass installed, I will simply flip the bypass switch, insert the straw into the RV Antifreeze bottle and then flip on the pump (There is more to the winterizing process that will be covered in a separate post). When I am done, I will turn off the pump, take the straw out of the RV Antifreeze bottle and return the bypass switch to the normal position.
To start the install I had to remove all the stuff stored under our bed and remove the small cover panel to expose the area where the pump is. From there I could determine the direction of water flow (in my case it was from Right to Left). I was able to determine this by the arrow on the pump and also verifying the “City Water” line coming in from the wall tied into the line to the right (after) the pump. By knowing the direction of the flow, we can determine where we want to install the bypass. Since we want switch the source from the fresh water tank to the straw that will pull in RV Antifreeze, we will need to place the bypass on the left side of the pump (Please verify your flow as it may be different). This will allow the RV Antifreeze to be pull from the bottle, through the pump and into the rest of the RV.
I disconnected the line into the pump (Be sure to have a towel nearby as there my be some water that comes out of the pump) and then cut the line a few inches back from the connector that goes into the pump. I quickly realized that the 1/2 inch hose would not fit onto the 1/2 inch connector on the 3-way valve that came in the kit. This required a quick trip to the local hardware store to get some fittings with barb connectors and some hose clamps.
Now with the all the needed parts in hand I worked to assemble them. I connected the line that would go into the pump first and used the hose clamp to tighten the connection. I then took the other fitting and pushed the barb side into the hose coming up from the freshwater tank and screwed the other side onto the 3-valve. From there I attached it back to the pump and was ready to winterize…