Tuesday, September 26, 2023


RV Doctor: Reader’s RV antifreeze won’t circulate; also has dead “plug-ins”

Dear Gary,
I recently purchased a 2007 R-Vision Trail-Lite RV. I live in Iowa and am trying to winterize it but when I put the RV antifreeze in, I can’t get it to circulate throughout the system. Am I doing something wrong or do you think I have a bad pump? The owner’s manual has very sparse information.

I also have a couple of plug-ins that don’t have any juice. Do you happen to know where I can get an electrical diagram for this camper? Thanks! —Bill A. 

Dear Bill,
The easiest way to induce the RV antifreeze into the system is to pour a couple gallons directly into the fresh water tank and allow the 12-volt pump to pump it through the system. Are you saying your water pump won’t operate at all?

You can also empty the tank, disconnect the hose leading to the water pump inlet and insert that hose into a bottle of RV antifreeze, but that still requires the RV’s water pump.

There are also kits available that attach to the kitchen faucet where you can “back fill” the system using a manual hand pump. Some RVs are equipped with a “tee” fitting and valve located between the tank and pump that permits a short section of hose to be inserted directly into the bottle of RV antifreeze. These types of kits can easily be added after the fact. Some even come equipped with a separate, permanent tank for the antifreeze. But if your water pump pumps water, it will pump antifreeze.

I’m assuming the “plug-ins” you refer to are 120-volt AC receptacles. If all the circuit breakers are turned on and you do have power at other receptacles, check the GFCI mounted in the lavatory or galley. It’s likely tripped and is protecting more than just that receptacle. Simply push the reset button and then check those other receptacles. GFCIs are usually configured to protect the bathroom and/or galley circuit PLUS all other receptacles installed downstream of that one.

Personally I do not have a source for an electrical diagram (if one even exists) for the Trail-Lite. You might search on eBay for “RV owners manual.” Sorry I can’t be of more assistance.

gary-736Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.




  1. Is it possible that the user hasn’t bypassed or drained the water heater and the pump is trying to fill it up before any antifreeze will come out of the faucets?

  2. Why would you look for a wiring diagram for an rv. They don’t exist for a home. Well, maybe a Trac home where every one is identical and even then things change.wires in an Rv go outlet to outlet and in my last two, they clamp the outlets onto the wires so it isn’t even cut. The only wiring box is usually at the gfci outlet because they don’t make clamp on outlets in gfci. Probably a bad gfci outlet. They are electronic and really subject to surges and spikes. Look there first.

    • Well, in the civilized world a house requires a wiring diagram. Our city will not give you a permit for a new or renovation build w/o one. Even the electrician requires it to do his job properly…

      Stay cool

  3. Read Mike Sokol’s columns on RV electricity. Very informative. You probably will have to “build” your own electrical diagram. Get a “fox and hound”, and chase it down. Get a label gun and label your breakers. Helps in the long run.


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