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Old 02-18-2014, 07:02 AM   #1
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2010 22' Interstate
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Spring Trip... Temps Cold

We have a spring trip planned for early March. Evening temps the week before our trip may reach the mid teens. I need to de-winterize before the trip and will be out of the freezing areas the first day of traveling.

What temps will be safe after I drain the system? I can have the shop blow the hoses free but I thought some moisture may stay in the system.

Would it be safe if I drained the antifreeze, used air to clear the system and then left the furnace on?

I don't need to add water to any of the tanks until after I get there.

Think I would be safe doing what I listed above and leaving the furnace on?
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:19 AM   #2
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Would it be safe if I drained the antifreeze, used air to clear the system and then left the furnace on?

I don't need to add water to any of the tanks until after I get there.
You would be safe even without the furnace on. If the system was previously filled with antifreeze, and then blown out, any residual moisture left in the lines will be antifreeze so the cold won't hurt anything. All you have to do is, once you get to warmer climes and fill your lines with water, let the water run long enough to get rid of the residual antifreeze. RV antifreeze may be nontoxic, but it's still nasty to drink.

In fact, if you leave the furnace off, you might be able to leave the fridge off, too, and the food will stay cold without having to burn any propane until you get far enough south.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:23 AM   #3
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Protag, you are an absolute wealth of useful information.

Seriously, your technical expertise and breakdowns are so helpful.

Thanks for being so willing to share.


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Old 02-18-2014, 08:30 AM   #4
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We departed Blacksburg, VA on Sunday with snow covering the ground and the roof of the Airstream and temperatures in the teens. The snow was off the roof by the time we crossed into S.C. and no problem. We left the antifreeze in the lines and all tanks empty until we reached our camp on the coast. All is well and the sun is blazing! Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:42 AM   #5
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I have NOT winterized mine from last year (stays inside all winter), our trip looks like it will be the 3rd week of March. Since I'm going south, hopefully in a day I will be in a "warmer" climate so I wont have to worry about it. But in the end we will decide when time gets closer to the date of departure. I would imagine it will borderline for me to run down the road with no antifreeze protection.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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ZoominC6, I would hope in the future you clean off the snow from the roof of the Mercedes. Here in PA and other states there is a law that you must clean off the vehicle, especially the roofs. A personal friends wife was killed about 6 years ago when an ice sheet flew off a truck and went thru her windshield. Almost decapitated her. Yes, you say its only loose snow, then I will tell you of accidents here in PA when a pile of snow hits a car and the driver loses visibility and has an accident. Happens all the time and the police just don't issue enough tickets to big, little and personal van trucks. I wish they did.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:59 PM   #7
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While I said I would be out of cold weather the first day of driving, the unit will sit for four or five days in the drive way before we are able to go. Our RV dealer is about an hour away and we would have to do it the prior weekend and possibly pick it up on Monday for an early Saturday take off. According to AccuWeather today, the temps may be in the low to upper 20's. That's a far cry from the low to mid teens reported yesterday.

Sitting the week in mid 20's should be ok?
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
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Sitting the week in mid 20's should be ok?
If winterized, yes— including if you blow antifreeze out of the plumbing but don't add water, as previously discussed.

Your Interstate's chassis battery will temporarily register about 15~20% less charge due to the cold, but it will not be harmed by the cold— it will just take a few seconds longer to start, is all, but shouldn't be so low that you require a jump start. Moreso on the extra time to start if you have to run the glow plugs for more than a few seconds first. Your house batteries will show a similar loss of charge due to cold. Good news in both cases, as temperatures warm up that lost charge comes back; cold temperatues just inhibit the chemical reactions taking place inside the batteries.

Temperatures in the 20s shouldn't be cold enough to cause your diesel fuel to gel even if you're using #2 diesel (summer blend) rather than #1 diesel (winter blend). Good thing, because anti-gelling additives tend to reduce the lubricity of diesel fuel, and that's an issue best avoided if you can.

Don't forget to check the air in your tires; temperatures will be cold enough for them to register a few pounds low if the last time you checked was in warmer weather. Don't forget the spare, either.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #9
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Ditto for the snow on the roof. I was traveling from my home to NC one weekend and a lady in a subaru pulled onto the interstate (I-95N) near Fayetteville the morning after a 6 inch snow followed by a coating of ice. As she accelerated in the merge lane, I moved to the left but did not pass her. In an instant, a sheet of ice went airborne and landed right in the middle of my TV's windshield. It shattered into a web of cracks and I was showered by quite a bit of fine glass, although luckilly the pane remained intact. I sped up and flagged her down.

I did not call the State Patrol but rather collected her insurance information, confident in the fact that she was at fault. It so happened she was covered by my same company (USAA) so I was fairly confident in a satisfactory resolution.

To this day, i am wary of ice covered vehicles and keep my distance, especially at that time of the morning when the sun is up and the ice is melting.
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