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Old 03-28-2014, 08:23 PM   #1
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2014 Airstream Interstate 3500 De-Winterizing Hell

Winterizing Hell - Help! I went thru my first winter in my new 2014 Interstate 3500. Had it winterized at dealership. Now I am trying to flush and de-winterize. I finally found the two water gate valves (white knob on cold water line and red hot water line) under rear passenger seat cup holder. I need to locate other valves...I cant figure out how to access the hot water heater to close the drain valve. It is under the rear seat/bed but how do I access that area? At worst case I will take back to dealer but I sure would like to know how to locate and access all water valves and low point drain valves. Any help appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:36 PM   #2
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Actually you would want to open the hot water bypass valve?

It is located to the left (from the back of the AI) between the seat and the box that is covered with carpet. No need to remove the protective box. As the box only goes back (or towards the front of the RF) part way. The valve is located right after the box ends. USe a flaslight under the seat to the left you should see the valve.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:36 AM   #3
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There are also two valves under the galley sink on the floor. To access them, you need to pull the drawer out under the microwave. You will need to release the drawer tracks to pull it out beyond the stops a little ways to allow you to get your arm back far enough to reach the valves. A flashlight will help here also.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:25 AM   #4
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And Airstream employs orangutans to design and build these. And they are also about 5' tall and only weigh in at 125 pounds. And they are full-time gymnasts too. What real, older, adult full-sized person can reach the valves for the water heater and the ones buried under the sink? The hot and cold water drain valves under the cup holder are about the only ones that are easily accessible.

Good motorhome builders have the design team actually USE for a week at a time what they build. If Airstream did that, maybe things would be different. Country Coach Class A builder, when they were still in business, used to have not only the design team but also the various employees who were on the build-line spend weekends or longer with their families camping in their units. They would have a long and comprehensive report to complete after their vacation. Sadly to say, not all comments were followed and even they too still stuck to some stupid build designs because they "looked better" even if not practical sometimes.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Actually you would want to open the hot water bypass valve?

It is located to the left (from the back of the AI) between the seat and the box that is covered with carpet. No need to remove the protective box. As the box only goes back (or towards the front of the RF) part way. The valve is located right after the box ends. USe a flaslight under the seat to the left you should see the valve.
I cannot get my hand into the hot water box under the rear seat. The seat does not lift and the box walls do not open...I think I would have to have arms like a 10 year old girl to squeeze into the compartment which holds the hot water heater!!
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:04 PM   #6
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Are you removing the black, fuzzy wall? It's just Velcro'd on. I found that removing it makes it much easier. I originally moved the lounge forward a few inches to get to it but removing the wall makes it mucho easier. FWIW, I have the rear lounge.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:46 PM   #7
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Pull off the black carpet on the left side as 73Shark said. With your head about in the middle of the rear opening, and below seat level, you can look to the left and see a yellow handle. It will turn a quarter-turn, but you have to turn it at a very awkward wrist angle. Having winterized 3 times this winter, and unwinterized exactly as often, I have found that the easiest way for me is to grip the handle with a pair of channel-locks (gently!) and use the channel-lock pliers to turn the handle.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:22 AM   #8
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I did, in fact, see the yellow gate valve and it was open (parallel) to the water tubing, so I tried closing the valve- very awkward and painful procedure. I found no way to "remove" the wood box around the styrofoam covered hot water tank, so I had to monkey around my arms and put the bed/seat back about a foot to get in there. However, that still did not allow water to flow when I turned the water pump on- nothing but air.

I looked inside the grated door on outside back left of coach (driver side rear) where propane pilot is located and I observed the hot water pressure relief valve and a white plastic nut that was screwed in- is that the hot water tank bleed off/drain valve?

I need to make sure the hot water drain valve is closed- the dealership told me that when they winterize they OPEN the hot water drain valve.
Where is that located?

Also, are there any drain valves UNDERNEATH COACH that I need to close?

<I was able to access the two water valves under galley sink by simply removing bottom drawer off slides.>

Thanks guys.


Kevin

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Old 03-30-2014, 11:14 AM   #9
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having been through it three times this winter any tips on getting ther taste of anit freez out of the water ... or did you not use any just air? I did a combo of both maybe over kill but given the winter we had this year vewry cold for very long not normal at all I was glad I went a bit over board
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:15 PM   #10
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I drained and used compressed air at a max of 20 psi to clean, flush, blow out the lines. I preferred not to add the antifreeze. And I keep the unit in a heated garage, but we were heading south while it was still below freezing.

Once we got to southern GA we added water and did not have to flush anything. I also carried 2 gallons of windshield washer antifreeze which I used to flush toilet when traveling the first 2 days. Cheaper than using the special RV antifreeze.
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:06 PM   #11
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I cant figure out how to access the hot water heater to close the drain valve.
I think we've ALL been missing something. TexasJudge specifically said drain valve, and we've all been talking about the bypass valve. The water heater drain valve (actually a drain plug) is on the outside of the van, inside that hinged flat white panel on the driver's side rear quarter panel. Open it by twisting that little eye-shaped piece a quarter turn. Inside the panel, you'll find a pressure relief valve near the top, which needs to be closed, and a drain plug near but not quite at the bottom. The plug needs to be inserted and tightened. You may need to use some thread tape to get a good seal; be sure to use the kind meant for potable water.

If the drain plug itself has been lost, you can buy more through Amazon, Camping World, or Parts66. You may be able to find them in the four feet of shelf space Walmart devotes to RV supplies, if you're lucky. But hopefully the drain plug was put back in the drain, or is lying loose inside the compartment and you'll see it once you open it up.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:19 PM   #12
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having been through it three times this winter any tips on getting the taste of antifreeze out of the water ... or did you not use any just air?
I drain the antifreeze and partially fill and drain a couple of times. Also add a small quantity of bleach on the first fill to sanitize. Also open the faucets and low point drains in order to flush out the lines. We usually drink bottled water tho.
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