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Old 10-30-2009, 08:24 PM   #1
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2006 22' Interstate
Black Hawk , Colorado
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freezing problems

We just tried using our Interstate in winter but had troulbe with water lines freezing and also trap under the shower freezing, Any suggestions? supposedly you can use in winter without winterizing

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Old 10-30-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Hello sherryht2 - welcome to the forums!

Winter use of an Airstream, Interstate or any RV is in the eye of the beholder. We've already had reports of sharp cold weather at higher altitudes. My personal low for the end of October was around zero degrees in 1991. Add wind (or being underway) and temperatures at the margin of the shell can be very low in spite of a propane furnace operating. I have succeeded in towing successfully in the mid teens. Think I'd have to give it up any colder than that.

Strategies include leaving lower cabinets open so heated air may circulate closer to the floor. A shower trap seems like an area that would be too isolated to receive any warm air. Vintage Airstreams would have a shower mixer on an outside wall, resulting in freezing and tough repairs. There are known vulnerabilities.

You seem to be experiencing the limits to use of a 'wet' Interstate. Winterizing and using an Airstream as an aluminum tent (no water at all) has been documented frequently. Just what overnight temps are you experiencing?


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Old 10-30-2009, 10:52 PM   #3
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Hi, although we recently camped in zero degrees and my outside water hose frose again, [about four times now] I keep water in the fresh tank and keep my furnace running 24 hours if necessary. My trailer needs the furnace running to keep the tanks from freezing and from me freezing too. We have, and use, an electric blanket and an oil filled heater, but only when it it above freezing temps; Otherwise my furnace won't turn on. [with oil filled heater on] I don't know if you have the electric tank warmers or have to use the furnace like we do.
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:01 AM   #4
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Normal , Illinois
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We are AS Interstate owners for 2 1/2 years, who have involuntarily camped in sub-freezing weather several times. We keep the furnace or space heater running inside all the time, and the bathroom door open at night to prevent freezing. We fill our fresh water tank and disconnect from the outside water source. This has worked well.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:29 AM   #5
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I fulltime and don't winterize beyond putting an electric heating tape on my water supply hose... Of course I live in eastern Virginia about 12 miles from the NC Line.

Now if we have a really long cold snap, I'll drain my tanks disconnect the water hose, blow the lines and use a shower house for all the "necessaries". Haven't had to do that yet, but I'm prepared.

Winter in Colorado in a B-Van is another thing entirely.

Lots of people use their Airstreams year round, If you parked, you can skirt a trailer or van, if you are mobile and aren't in a warm climate then blow the lines and carry bottled water. One person I know advocates draping a plastic liner over the throne for night time "needs" then disposing of it in the nearest restroom the next day, others use a porta potty.

Good luck for the rest of the winter!

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:51 AM   #6
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battle ground, , Washington
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good info and a story here for your thoughts

An acquaintance of mine purchased a century class Freightliner with a full-on moho chassis; brought it to SW Washington in winter from back east (Indiana?) He made a bonzai run, and this $300,000 rig froze the fresh water tank enroute. I was flabbergasted, as my pea brain said this problem would/should have been forseen by the mfg and overcome-especially in light of the $$$. But, I guess this just isn't a priority with the mfg's-the info the forum has given here is well worth remembering-thanks to all who have given insight. Although my rig is safe and warm inside right now, I plan to travel in winter so I better figger on how to keep it from freezing when enroute. Thanks again. Oh, and this problem ought to be thought of during any total floor off resto/rebuilds, too.
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:27 PM   #7
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2005 22' Interstate
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
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A couple of additional suggestions:

1) Pour a bit of antifreeze into the traps between uses. This should keep them from freezing.

2) Wrap heat tape around all of the accessible plumbing and plug it in when it gets very cold. Use the genset when moving or boondocking.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:28 PM   #8
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I'm curious if running the water (lowest faucet in the line) would at least keep the pipes from freezing? We don't have many night of really cold weather here in North Florida but that's the method we use we it does freeze. Carol

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