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Old 12-14-2017, 01:47 PM   #1
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Quick trip NORTH?

HI all,

In late January my wife and I are going to drive from St. Augustine Florida to Medina OH. to pick up our new puppy. The quickest route is 14 hours and the plan is to run up and turn around and head back. As long as the coach is kept warm is there anything I should know with regard to winterizing? I have a 2016 EXT. We just plan on using the toilet and bottled water on the run up and down and then dump when we get back to florida...I doubt if I will have 30 amp access in the north so most likely generator overnight and propane furnace.

Any suggestions welcomed. First time driving the airstream in the cold and snow most likely. The "all season" tires look like they can handle snow.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:23 PM   #2
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I would schedule the trip with a 2 day window of clearer weather as far a snow or freezing rain. That should not be that hard to find a window if you have Weather Bug on your phone.

As for cold nights. If you have not winterized it takes over 12 hours of below 32 before you have to worry about the interior of the trailer freezing. Much longer if you have any form of heat at night. We had winterized the trailer and we stopped over night coming north and it was 17 outside when we got up. Bottled water had survived on the counter top.

I would suggest no water in the fresh water tank, antifreeze in the traps, have drained the gray water for winter and put some antifreeze, 1/2 gallon should more than cover you, in the black tank and on the toilet valve. Keep the anti freeze in the bath room to cover the valve after each usage. Any and everything goes in the black tank till you get south again.

One trip it was 27 when we left New Jersey and 27 when we got to Santa Rosa Fl. I will say the sheets were cold when we first got in bed.
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:19 PM   #3
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I assume you are staying in the van and will have heat and with power you will have the tank heaters on. You don't need 30A service. 15-20A service will do for most winter needs. The weak point on an Interstate is the outside shower fittings. They will likely freeze if temp drops near 20degF. You can protect the outside shower with electric pipe heat cable.
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:59 AM   #4
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The main things you have to worry about freezing are the check valve/pressure regulator in the municipal water intake, and the exterior shower. Neither one gets much heat from inside the van, and can freeze. Keeping the galley cabinets cracked open to allow furnace heat to reach the back side of the municipal water intake and the back side of the outside shower will help.

Also the macerator pump is prone to freezing, since it is not heated by anything, not by the furnace and not by the tank heaters. Empty the black and gray tanks, and run some RV antifreeze through the macerator pump, then don't dump the waste tanks until the temperature is several degrees above freezing.

I was camping at Bayou Segnette State Park just recently when south Louisiana had the Great Sneaux Day ("Sneaux" is a neo-Cajun thing, same as "Geaux Tigers" for LSU fans). Temperatures were below freezing for several nights in a row (mid-20s) but warmed to the high-30's or mid-40's during the day most days (except the Great Sneaux Day itself, when it was still below 32F at noon). The plumbing in my Interstate was just fine, using furnace heat and electric tank heaters.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:55 AM   #5
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salt on the roads will pit aluminum!
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
I assume you are staying in the van and will have heat and with power you will have the tank heaters on. You don't need 30A service. 15-20A service will do for most winter needs. The weak point on an Interstate is the outside shower fittings. They will likely freeze if temp drops near 20degF. You can protect the outside shower with electric pipe heat cable.
I dont expect any campgrounds to be open so we will attempt to time it so we can get far enough south to find a campground open after the pick up in Medina Ohio being 14-15 hours from St. Augustine and with 2 drivers were hoping for a quick turnaround.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water View Post
salt on the roads will pit aluminum!
Welcome to the AirForums!

HowieE mentioned finding a window of opportunity where snow or freezing rain will not affect the OP's drive down to Florida and back. So salt on the roads should not be an issue. But since this was your first post, and I don't want to dismiss your concerns, allow me to give you my 2 worth…

The OP owns an Airstream Interstate class B motorhome, which is made of fine German steel, and painted. If it's black or silver, it's also clear-coated (the white Interstates like mine are painted but not clear-coated). It's not aluminum. They will be driving their car one way, and driving both their car and their new Interstate mororhome back.

But even for a trailer, salt will not pit clear-coated aluminum, it will only pit bare aluminum, and only if allowed to stay on the aluminum long enough for galvanic action to take place. If it's washed off promptly it won't have enough time to cause corrosion. So with a modicum of care, even trailer owners traveling in winter shouldn't let the fear of encountering salted roads prevent winter camping.

I hope this reply adequately addresses your concern.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water View Post
salt on the roads will pit aluminum!
Can't do anything about that but I will wash and rinse the underside of the coach. Actually, I probably get more salt on the coach in Florida since we live on the ocean.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:24 AM   #9
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We are going to run up 95 to I believe 26 then over to 71 or 77 can't remember. That route is 14 hours compared to 20 hours going up 75. We will probably be taking a break the first day and spending the night in the coach in a rest area or wal-mart to get several hours of shut eye. On the way back, we both plan on driving south till we get to a point where freezing temps aren't an issue which I assume will be after we go thru the mountain pass and get into south carolina (maybe)......

With a new puppy there will be many frequent stops to let the little girl out and relieve herself.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
I would schedule the trip with a 2 day window of clearer weather as far a snow or freezing rain. That should not be that hard to find a window if you have Weather Bug on your phone.

As for cold nights. If you have not winterized it takes over 12 hours of below 32 before you have to worry about the interior of the trailer freezing. Much longer if you have any form of heat at night. We had winterized the trailer and we stopped over night coming north and it was 17 outside when we got up. Bottled water had survived on the counter top.

I would suggest no water in the fresh water tank, antifreeze in the traps, have drained the gray water for winter and put some antifreeze, 1/2 gallon should more than cover you, in the black tank and on the toilet valve. Keep the anti freeze in the bath room to cover the valve after each usage. Any and everything goes in the black tank till you get south again.

One trip it was 27 when we left New Jersey and 27 when we got to Santa Rosa Fl. I will say the sheets were cold when we first got in bed.
We don't have a trailer, we will be driving our interstate EXT from Florida and then back. Not towing a car as we did on the way down so the trip should be easier with just the van. I will have the heat on while driving and the tank heaters. We will use bottled water for drinking and when we use the toilet.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:13 AM   #11
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Good advice so far especially Protagonist as a fellow IS owner.

At the bottom of this monthly chart are the temps forecast for January -- quite cold needless to say:

https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/me...monyr=1/1/2018

These monthly charts are remarkably accurate as you approach the departure day, because the NWS updates them in real time, based on the actual weather data.

Quite an adventure -- have fun!

Peter
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:15 AM   #12
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My solution to winter camping

Some friends have a few camping get togethers over the winter. I leave my camper winterized. I use a port potti ( about $80 ), and jugs of water.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:03 AM   #13
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In regards to freezing concern about the outside shower I'll offer a couple of comments to minimize this concern.

On my 2018 GT model there are shut off valves to the outside shower under the refrigerator. I don't know if your unit is the same but if you would blow out these lines with air then close these valves there should be little if any water left in the lines to the outside shower.

If you want added insurance that the shower won't freeze you could run antifreeze in the lines then shut off the valve. Please note that I am suggesting antifreeze in the line to the shower only because you were going to use the fresh water system for the toilet only. I would not suggest this if you were going to use it for other purposes because there will be a dead leg of antifreeze between the shut off valves to the shower and the other water lines in the unit. Some of this antifreeze will mix with the water used at the sinks.


Have a safe trip.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:46 AM   #14
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What happens if the outside shower does freeze? Is it likely to cause permanent damage? Or only interfere with the operation of the shower. We never use this feature, anyway.
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