Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-14-2016, 09:32 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
kfrere's Avatar
 
2008 31' Classic
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Lenoir City , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 214
Weather question ASAP

My van is kept in our RV garage. We are expecting snow/sleet/freezing temps tonight and tomorrow. It is imperative that I be at my office tomorrow. I have a 30 amp plug on the side of my office building and am thinking about parking the van there to be there in case roads are treacherous tomorrow.

Im not worried about staying warm, and will turn tank heaters on. But, Am I risking any damage to equipment outside my van such as the solar panel, etc. because of the ice factor?



Sent from my iPad using Airstream Forums
__________________

__________________
Kelly & Matt
WBCCI - #4335
2005 Diesel Excursion
2008 31' Custom Classic "Moonshine"
2016 Interstate "BugOut"
kfrere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 09:35 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
AnnArborBob's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,769
Images: 12
If you can keep the inside of the van heated to avoid frozen pipes, nothing on the outside will be affected by snow, sleet or ice unless a tree branch falls on it.
__________________

__________________
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
AnnArborBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 09:43 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
paiceman's Avatar

 
2017 30' Classic
Upper St Clair , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,434
Images: 1
Airstreams are designed to be used, outside - what AnnArborBob said
__________________
SAFE TRAVELS
2017 30' Classic - F350 6.7 Diesel Crew
USAF - Military Training Instructor (TI) - 68-72
paiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 09:52 AM   #4
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
Im not worried about staying warm, and will turn tank heaters on. But, Am I risking any damage to equipment outside my van such as the solar panel, etc. because of the ice factor?
The only things affected by freezing temps/ice will be:

1 - Macerator pump. It traps some water and is not heated, so it will freeze. Not a problem as long as you don't try to use it until it thaws. The small amount of trapped water won't break anything inside the pump if you ran it dry for a few seconds last time you dumped, but it will cause you to blow the fuse if you turn it on while frozen.
2 - Municipal Water Inlet. The check valve and pressure regulator can trap a small amount of water, and even with the interior heated, the inlet itself can freeze. Keep the galley lower cabinets/drawers open to allow furnace heat to reach the fitting from inside.
3 - Exterior Shower Fitting. Ditto.
4 - Discharge Hose. The hose is coiled vertically on the drum, so if you didn't unreel the entire hose last time you dumped your black and gray tanks, it's possible for water to be trapped in the loops of hose on the reel. That's why I've gotten in the habit of unreeling all 20 feet of hose every time I dump the tanks even if the sewer connection/dump station is only five feet away.

Try to avoid using the sliding side door if there is a glaze of ice on the van; the retractable step can be frozen in place and its motor may not be strong enough to break it free. Another chance for a blown fuse. This is really only a problem in the case of freezing rain/sleet, but forewarned is forearmed.

I've been camping in my Interstate in below-freezing temperatures, and those were the only things that ever caused me problems then.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 10:40 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Muskogee , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 452
Protag, I agree with you on every point but one: Because the pump is at the same level as the 3" PVC pipe to the tank, when the level of the water being pumped falls below the top of the pipe, the pump starts pumping air. At that point, the macerator cannot ever be drained of all the fluid and it can possibly freeze in extreme cold and ruin the pump, no matter how long you run the macerator. Water can't be pumped when there is half air in the pipe. I would guess that a good two or three gallons are left in the 3" pipe back to the tanks that never fully drains out because the pipe is at the same level as the pump. It will expand and break the seals. The only way to protect the pump of extreme cold is to drain it by pulling off the hose (hence my mod to add a Flex-T and adapter). Even with anti-freeze, it will still freeze if it get extremely cold unless you use many gallons of the stuff since there is so much water left in the pipes behind the pump. I learned that lesson the hard way. If Airstream had simply placed the pump about 1.5" lower, then the level of the liquid would be below the top of the pipe, and all the water could be removed. To make matters worse, they rivet the mounting plate to the floor, so you can't lower it, either, without a major job. It is a very poorly designed system and does not function as it should.
__________________
2011 Interstate WD/Lounge
gmillerok1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 11:00 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
InterBlog's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,432
For the most part, I agree with the other posters, but I add this caveat.

While parking under the conditions you cite should not present an issue, IMO the Interstate is not designed to bear the kinds of frozen slush accumulations that can occur in conditions such as you describe.

You will often hear the responsive comment "your Interstate was designed to be used outdoors" but I believe that represents an oversimplified analysis where winter is concerned. Your plumbing, generator, tanks, etc. were not designed to bear the weight of the ice that can get plastered beneath a vehicle from driving in certain types of wintry conditions. That is the possibility that I would be most concerned about if I were you.

I grew up in northeastern Canada, and we were always dealing with big ice chunks building up under vehicles.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20160214_SLUSH.JPG
Views:	68
Size:	35.1 KB
ID:	257252  
__________________
InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 11:12 AM   #7
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post
Protag, I agree with you on every point but one: Because the pump is at the same level as the 3" PVC pipe to the tank, when the level of the water being pumped falls below the top of the pipe, the pump starts pumping air. At that point, the macerator cannot ever be drained of all the fluid and it can possibly freeze in extreme cold and ruin the pump, no matter how long you run the macerator.
Maybe they changed it on the 2012 models, because I've had the macerator pump freeze while winter camping at Poverty Point State Park, LA, and after it thawed it was perfectly fine. No leaks, no damage to the wastewater systems.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 02:10 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Muskogee , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 452
No, it's the same. There's a big difference in a freeze in LA and MN or other colder climates! While it may get below freezing in LA, it does not get as cold, or for as long, as it does in northern climates. It may be yours was not fully frozen, but enough to keep the motor from turning. My macerator wasn't damaged the first year, which in Oklahoma, was a pretty typical winter. But in the next winter, it got to about 0F for a week or more and when spring came, the macerator was toast. When I called Airstream about it, since it was in warranty, they said it would be covered, unless the damage was caused by freezing, which it definitely was, so they obviously have had the issue reported before. The leaks were around the seals where the point is attached to the motor. I just replaced it myself.
In a hard and long freeze, it definitely won't survive unless the liquid is drained completely out of it.
__________________
2011 Interstate WD/Lounge
gmillerok1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 03:39 PM   #9
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post
In a hard and long freeze, it definitely won't survive unless the liquid is drained completely out of it.
Well, at Poverty Point, the high temperature for the four-day trip was a paltry 27F. I wouldn't have even bothered with the macerator pump except that I arrived with nearly-full waste tanks from my previous trip, and not enough remaining capacity to last the full four days.

Obviously your experiences are different, but I can only go by my own experiences. If I was the OP, I'd be conservative and take the most pessimistic reply as gospel just in case, because unfounded optimism can prove expensive in the long run if that optimistic opinion is proven wrong.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 04:27 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Nowhere , Somewhere
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,419
Blog Entries: 2
Make sure the thirty amp is 120 volt.
__________________
avionstream is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 07:53 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Muskogee , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Well, at Poverty Point, the high temperature for the four-day trip was a paltry 27F. I wouldn't have even bothered with the macerator pump except that I arrived with nearly-full waste tanks from my previous trip, and not enough remaining capacity to last the full four days.

Obviously your experiences are different, but I can only go by my own experiences. If I was the OP, I'd be conservative and take the most pessimistic reply as gospel just in case, because unfounded optimism can prove expensive in the long run if that optimistic opinion is proven wrong.
I would think that the heat in the cabin also helped keep the pump from damage. In my case, the high was in the single digits and the interior was not heated. It was simply too much for the pump to handle.
__________________
2011 Interstate WD/Lounge
gmillerok1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 08:43 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
NevadaGeo's Avatar
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Genoa , Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,305
Be Proactive

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
My van is kept in our RV garage. We are expecting snow/sleet/freezing temps tonight and tomorrow. It is imperative that I be at my office tomorrow. I have a 30 amp plug on the side of my office building and am thinking about parking the van there to be there in case roads are treacherous tomorrow.

Im not worried about staying warm, and will turn tank heaters on. But, Am I risking any damage to equipment outside my van such as the solar panel, etc. because of the ice factor?
Sent from my iPad using Airstream Forums
If you are thinking about it, your intuition may be telling you to get some heat on it. Don't count on "just a little freeze", you might be in the odd hollow that's 20 degrees colder than the rest of the county. If you're driving in slush and you're outdoor air shows 17 degrees, think you are driving in enough salt to keep slushy at 17 degrees. Do more than you need and be happy that you wasted some effort keeping your unit from freezing.
__________________
I admit to being powerless over housecleaning and social niceities
Airforums 22655 and now, WBCCI 22655

NevadaGeo
NevadaGeo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 12:02 AM   #13
Trying to Retire
 
MILATV's Avatar
 
Decatur , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 342
Images: 7
I just run a gallon or so of RV antifreeze through the pump after the tanks are drained. If staying in cold I flush with antifreeze. Tank heaters use a bunch of battery .

Also, I don't put antifreeze in the fresh water tank any more. Did that once and even after flushing 3-4 full tanks it still tastes nasty.


Mike
__________________

__________________
Mike
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
If you work until you have everything you 'WANT' - it will probably be too late to enjoy it.
Live in the Moment and enjoy today.
MILATV is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need Advice ASAP please - Brake controller question LizGK Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 36 04-05-2014 03:21 PM
Towing Question, need help asap, thanks! againstfifte Tow Vehicles 24 10-20-2008 07:07 PM
Flex Plate Problems - need info asap rklies Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 1 08-10-2006 08:39 AM
hot drum--help ASAP please Zeppelinium Brakes & Brake Controllers 23 08-09-2006 11:28 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.