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Old 08-21-2015, 11:39 PM   #29
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Thanks for sharing that. I was wondering where, how and why the leaks were coming from the center on my windshield? Though I haven't had it fixed yet it may happen sooner than later since taking a hit dead center on the windshield during a trip earlier this year. The crack is still smaller than a dime if it starts to spread then I'll replace it.


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Old 08-31-2015, 08:18 AM   #30
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New interstate leaking

A big thank you to all who gave me advice . I took her to an airstream dealer who tested the van for leaks and they found two sources. One was the air conditioner. After they removed it they discovered the factory had not caulked completely around the opening. The other was "the awning seam". They removed all the old caulking, including the bad job the other guy did, and replaced with new. Forgot to ask what they used. However, being an airstream only dealer I have hope they used the right stuff. Now to get her out in the rain. We are going to Yellowstone next week where they predict freezing temperatures at night. We will be dry camping. Any advice?
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:24 AM   #31
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Disappointing re JC , but good to hear it was satisfactorily resolved, and assuming this was all done under warranty at no cost to you.

Getting down to the roof seems to be the best way to find and resolve the source of leaks.



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Old 08-31-2015, 09:15 PM   #32
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We are going to Yellowstone next week where they predict freezing temperatures at night. We will be dry camping. Any advice?
BB
Make sure your batteries are in good shape as the tank heaters will run them down. Also might put some RV antifreeze in the gray tank and then run the macerator 'til the pink stuff comes out the hose since it's outside and not protected from freezing. A full tank of propane is necessary also.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:44 PM   #33
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Make sure your batteries are in good shape as the tank heaters will run them down. Also might put some RV antifreeze in the gray tank and then run the macerator 'til the pink stuff comes out the hose since it's outside and not protected from freezing. A full tank of propane is necessary also.
It depends on how long temperatures are expected to be below freezing, and how far. A quick check of the Weather Channel Online for Yellowstone shows overnight lows Saturday, September 6th and Sunday September 7th of 24-25°F, which of course will occur just before dawn. That's in the "4P" range— People, Pets, Plants, Plumbing, in the order that temperature will be a problem for them.

On those two nights, you can expect the tank heaters to run pretty much all night beginning around midnight, and if you're running them off batteries alone, you can expect your batteries to be dead, dead, dead when you wake up. Tank heaters are best used when you have shore power. The other nights in the next couple of weeks temperatures will only reach the 3P level— People, Pets, Plants— because temperatures won't be below freezing long enough to harm your plumbing.

If it was me, I'd dry-camp in every sense of the word, with your tanks all winterized so you don't need to run the tank heaters. Paper plates, plastic utensils, and Styrofoam cups to eliminate the need for washing dishes, waterless hand sanitizer for hygiene (you can use it all over if necessary, as I learned after foot surgery when I was forbidden to shower), etc.

You should still be able to use the toilet, flushing by pouring in bottled water (not bottled water you buy, just gallon jugs you filled at home and stored in the van; an empty RV antifreeze jug works well). The black tank is half above floor level and is warmed by the furnace, not by a tank heater. Caveat— don't use any tank additives, especially if you've added some RV antifreeze to the black tank. Tank treatments don't mix well with antifreeze; together they form a "goop" that is hard to clean out of the tank.

Also, adding to 73Shark's excellent advice, when you run punk stuff through the macerator pump, lay out the entire discharge hose— don't leave any of it on the reel. Water can be trapped in the loops of hose on the reel, and you want to make sure it's all out. Then after you've run the punk stuff through the hose, you can roll up the hose on the reel again.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:51 AM   #34
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...
...We are going to Yellowstone next week where they predict freezing temperatures at night. We will be dry camping. Any advice?
BB
(1) What the others said about water management.

(2) Both interior and exterior windshield covers used simultaneously, if you can procure them in time (can't remember if that was mentioned previously on this thread). Doubling them up will significantly slow heat loss. Get the kind that include side window pieces or extensions. I got Heatshield brand custom fitted for the inside (the side window pieces stick on with suction cups) and one of the Sprinter-specific wraparound reflective fabric covers for the outside.

(3) When dry camping in freezing weather, I eliminate regular bedding and default to my back country sleeping bag, which is rated for well below zero. That way I can turn the heater way down at night, use less propane and battery (electricity is necessary to run the fan) and still be warm. Essentially the Interstate begins to function more like a conventional tent at that point. But cold-weather sleeping bags can be rather bulky and present a storage challenge, especially given that it's not good for the loft to compress them continually. In case you are interested, here is the Interstate storage solution that I developed for our bags:
THE INTERSTATE BLOG: STORING BEDDING IN AN AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE

(4) Please post back on how your trip goes. My husband has been agitating for Yellowstone and I have heard that there is only a narrow window every year when there are NOT freezing temps (and the place is overrun with tourists during the non-freezing time). Therefore we will likely be going at some point when it is freezing. And I can tell from previous threads that there is a lot more that many of us could learn about dry camping in an Interstate. Being a higher-end vehicle, it's mostly not used that way, which means a smaller experience base.

Good luck!
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:14 AM   #35
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Adding to this.....

be sure your propane tank is full

consider taking with you micro fleece or silk long underwear for sleeping, also heavy socks.....you will then be snug as a bug in a rug, and won't need your furnace temp set as high.

We/I have been in temps down into the teens, dry camping, and nothing froze, including ourselves.

Have a great time.


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Old 09-02-2015, 10:38 AM   #36
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Camping in freezing temps

From your comments sounds like it would be better for us to use shore power for the tank heaters. Yellowstone does have one campground with hookups. Will that solve our potential pipe freezing problem?
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:54 AM   #37
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From your comments sounds like it would be better for us to use shore power for the tank heaters. Yellowstone does have one campground with hookups. Will that solve our potential pipe freezing problem?
Almost. As 73shark noted, the macerator pump is not heated, and needs to have RV antifreeze run through it. And as I noted, water can be trapped in the loops of discharge hose on the reel, so you need to reel out the entire hose when you run the RV antifreeze through the macerator pump.

Also, get a couple of Styrofoam faucet covers, and put one over your municipal water intake and one over your exterior shower hookup, because you can't winterize those two exterior fittings without winterizing your whole plumbing system. The covers should allow the interior heat to keep them warm enough not to freeze since it will slow heat loss to the outside through the fittings.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:33 AM   #38
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From your comments sounds like it would be better for us to use shore power for the tank heaters. Yellowstone does have one campground with hookups. Will that solve our potential pipe freezing problem?
BB
Unless temps are below freezing for an extended time, you will probably be just fine.

We have never had pipes freeze, just running the furnace when dry camping with temps in the teens.

It is not ideal, but the basic rule of thumb is that if it is warm enough for you inside, it is warm enough to prevent freezing pipes, and that has always been true for us.


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Old 09-02-2015, 11:56 AM   #39
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It is not ideal, but the basic rule of thumb is that if it is warm enough for you inside, it is warm enough to prevent freezing pipes, and that has always been true for us.
And yet on my 2012 Interstate, I've had the municipal water intake, exterior shower connection, and macerator pump freeze when an unexpected cold snap in the middle of a camping trip caused the temperature to drop into the mid-twenties overnight when I wasn't prepared for freezing conditions. All the other plumbing was fine, between the furnace and the tank heaters, but not those three items.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:12 PM   #40
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The other piece of general advice I'd give is to be tolerant of your own reactions. Dry camping in below freezing temps might get old for your faster than you expect! Allow yourself that reaction if it does come to pass.

I say this because I missed meeting with some off-Forum Interstate owners earlier this year for that reason. Last winter was terrible and they were supposed to be traveling leisurely in the southern states where it should not have been as severely cold as it was. But they got sick and tired of their danged pipes freezing and the other inconveniences, so rather than stopping in Houston as originally planned, they blasted straight through to Arizona where they could relax and enjoy some warmth!


It's supposed to be fun, right? So go back on the grid if it proves to be less fun than anticipated. Of course that has the possible complexity of not being able to get last-minute hook-up reservations if you need them...
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:18 PM   #41
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And yet on my 2012 Interstate, I've had the municipal water intake, exterior shower connection, and macerator pump freeze when an unexpected cold snap in the middle of a camping trip caused the temperature to drop into the mid-twenties overnight when I wasn't prepared for freezing conditions. All the other plumbing was fine, between the furnace and the tank heaters, but not those three items.
Those are all external things, tho, Protag.

I think her plan is to be dry camping, but even with hookups available you wouldn't want to be connected to water if you were expecting freezing temps.


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Old 09-02-2015, 07:18 PM   #42
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Those are all external things, tho, Protag.
My point exactly. You can't winterize the municipal water hookup by itself, and you can't winterize the external shower by itself. To winterize either one, you've got to winterize the whole van. So if the plan is to dry-camp with electric hookup so the tank heaters can be used, and have a full freshwater tank and not be winterized, then Babybella needs to winterize the macerator pump— which can be winterized by itself— and protect the external shower and municipal water hookups to keep them from freezing since they're not heated very well by the furnace.
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