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Old 05-29-2016, 11:53 AM   #15
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When we travel up north in the fall, we are always flexible when it comes to weather. Last fall, we took off in mid-Sep with the idea of making the Tetons by late Sept and kayaking in front of golden aspens and on blue lakes. The weather held, and it was perfect. We even camped at Bryce in early Oct.

But we were always ready to head south if the weather appeared to get too cold. There's always someplace great to go.

So - make your plans and bail if you have to. If you put too much faith in long-term weather reports, you'll never go anyplace.

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Old 05-29-2016, 12:04 PM   #16
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As far as I'm concerned, Airstream ought to do it at the factory as a standard feature, with it wired into the tank heater circuit.

But a do-it-yourself solution certainly should be doable.

I agree with you. When I got home to Maryland in March from our month in Florida we got a stretch of freezing weather. I didn't want to winterize again so I ran a heater inside, turned on the tank heaters and wrapped the macerator and exposed sewer line with 120VAC heat tape.


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Old 05-29-2016, 12:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
When we travel up north in the fall, we are always flexible when it comes to weather. Last fall, we took off in mid-Sep with the idea of making the Tetons by late Sept and kayaking in front of golden aspens and on blue lakes. The weather held, and it was perfect. We even camped at Bryce in early Oct.

But we were always ready to head south if the weather appeared to get too cold. There's always someplace great to go.

So - make your plans and bail if you have to. If you put too much faith in long-term weather reports, you'll never go anyplace.

Pat

Pat - this is great advice!


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Old 05-29-2016, 02:04 PM   #18
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... Even though the macerator pump froze, there was no damage to it— fortunately I had run it dry the previous time I used it, so there wasn't enough liquid in it to expand enough to break anything.
It is not possible to run it dry, and likely was half full of liquid-it just was not cold enough to freeze. The only way to remove all the liquid is to remove the hose from the pump. Learned that lesson the hard way.

You simply can't pump half air and half liquid uphill. There is always about three quarts of liquid once the level falls about half-way the height of the hose-when it states to sputter after draining the tank-because of the poor design of the waste disposal system itself.

You were likely just lucky more than likely than anything else.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:14 PM   #19
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Good to hear more stories of winter travel. So is there no good solution to using the macerator pump in cold weather? I read about putting anti-freeze in there but is that an easy thing?
Drain the gray water tank and then put a gallon of RV antifreeze in it and pump it out. That will leave some antifreeze in the pump and even if some water was left, the dilution should be negligible.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:58 PM   #20
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You simply can't pump half air and half liquid uphill. There is always about three quarts of liquid once the level falls about half-way the height of the hose-when it states to sputter after draining the tank-because of the poor design of the waste disposal system itself.
I won't argue the point. As a mechanical engineer I have some familiarity with pumps, and I know that the macerator pump wasn't completely dry. When I typed "I ran it dry" what I meant was "I ran it until it started sucking air."

In any event, the macerator pump was frozen, enough that I couldn't even turn it manually in either direction. The following week when I went to a dump station in above-freezing weather the pump worked just fine without having to turn it manually, so the only thing jamming the pump before must have been ice on the inlet side and not any other kind of debris.

And yes, it was probably pure dumb luck— I never have smart luck!— that there wasn't any lasting damage.
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Old 05-29-2016, 05:19 PM   #21
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We went to Breckenridge Colorado in freezing weather this last winter. Worked out fine. We just put 5 gallons of RV antifreeze aka the pink stuff in the holding tank and pumped the macerator until we had a solid stream of pink.
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Old 05-29-2016, 05:47 PM   #22
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October might be a little too chancy for me. Pretty much allergic to cold weather.

My truck shuts down automatically should I attempt to turn North after first of October.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:00 AM   #23
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And here we are, wondering if we will use our new Interstate when it is 30 to 40 degrees F in winter time. Thanks for posting that. Gives me motivation to use ours all year around.

Hi, we were from Southern California and traveling during any time of year was normal for us. We greatly enjoyed this trip.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:02 AM   #24
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Sounds like you hit the year they had the horrible storm come through. Tons of cattle were lost. The fickle October weather in SD. Glad you came through it all OK.

Chuck

Hi, yes; The locals told us that it was an un-expected/early storm that year.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:09 AM   #25
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Didn't get the memo, huh?
.
Hi, we started at a Rally in Northern California. [Jackson Rancheria] It was a long drive for a weekend rally so we added a few days at Jackson and decided to turn this rally into a trip. [why not?] We told several people at the rally that we were headed to South Dakota, and they told us that we were crazy. They were right, but we had a great time seeing Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Bad Lands, Wall Drug, Snow and Ice which we never got in Lakewood, Ca.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:45 PM   #26
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Drain the gray water tank and then put a gallon of RV antifreeze in it and pump it out. That will leave some antifreeze in the pump and even if some water was left, the dilution should be negligible.
Thanks. That seems pretty easy. Somehow I thought I had to screw around by the pump and get the antifreeze in there.
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Old 05-30-2016, 04:42 PM   #27
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OP, I don't know if anyone said it above, but be the weather fine or poor, good luck with your trip!!


I was last in the Black Hills ca. 1993 on a work-related assignment, but I hope to get there again one day in our Interstate (it's a long trek from Texas). What I remember most vividly was hiking through the National Forest and seeing tourmaline crystals naturally strewn about the forest floor. Not gem-quality, of course, but absolutely fascinating nonetheless. Most visitors to the area didn't even realize what they were.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:11 PM   #28
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Ok Thanks everyone who weighed in w/ S Dakota experience. Maybe we'll move our trip up several weeks, and of course retain the flexibility to detour south if necessary.

THANKS
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