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Old 11-18-2013, 08:59 AM   #15
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1.Wind will increase heat loss through conductivity on anything. With a body you also have increased evaporation and cooling of moisture on the skin.
The difference is, a live body (person or non-lizard pet) has a metabolism that tries to maintain its temperature, so faster heat loss means the metabolism has to work harder. That's why living bodies are susceptible to wind chill. But even with a live body, you can't cool it down lower than the ambient temperature. If the outside temperature is 40F, a human body will not get any colder than 40F, either, even with a wind chill of 0F.
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2.I'm sure you are right but I am a belt and suspenders man and will stick to the antifreeze for peace of mind.
There is no one right answer when it comes to winterizing. Depending on where you live, whether you have an air compressor that will do the job, and how cautious you want to be, there is a wide spectrum between winterizing by blowing out the lines, winterizing by adding antifreeze, or a combination of the two. I don't routinely add antifreeze to my freshwater system, but I'll never say anyone is wrong who does.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:23 AM   #16
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Lets be safe here.

There are several methods that do not use antifreeze and yes they may work for the individual using a given method. But they should not be applied across the board.

A simple blow down will leave water in the pump head and the line leading to and from the pump. This can leave several feet of piping unprotected depending on your rigs layout.

Draining only again leaves the pump head and the pump siphon tube full of water. If you have a water filter that will remain full of water.

Those with autofill systems have to clear the solenoid valve and the copper tube leading to the freshwater tank. That will be the first thing to freeze.

Doing nothing and leaving the system full of water in temperate areas. A quick deep freeze hits while you are out of town and you have a problem.

It is just not worth if to save $5.00 for a gallon of antifreeze and run the risk. A freeze is not like a blown light bulb it will not occur where it is easy and cheap to fix.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:24 AM   #17
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So, for the OP's vehicle, as he drives along at 60 mph, say at a temperature of 20F, then the rate of cooling of his water pipes will be far greater than if he was parked.
There are pipes outside the camper in the wind? Airstream is usually pretty good to prevent that, as much as possible...
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:50 AM   #18
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There are pipes outside the camper in the wind? Airstream is usually pretty good to prevent that, as much as possible...
Oh dear me.

The Airstream is insulated, but the insulation only has a certain R value (whatever that may be). The vehicle when driving will be warmed from the inside, and cooled from the outside. I am not familiar with the Sprinter-style Airsteams, but if anything like the LY`s and Classics, unless you have the furnace on, the rear gets relatively cool. If the air temperature is fairly low, say 20F, then the lowest temperature possible within the Airstream would be 20F. But the pipes will be within closets and behind partitions, and I doubt if there is ducted warm air into those spaces. Therefore cooling within these spaces that contain the pipes will be faster if you are driving at 60 mph than if you are stationary. Does that make any sense to you whatsoever?

In addition, the hot water tank is always relatively exposed to outside temperatures, and that would be a primary concern to me, if it had not been drained, and if it had also not been used (i.e. heated) in a while.

I`d agree that there is only a small chance of freezing in western Oregon, but I have lived through at least 3 periods in that area when the temperature was low for a week or more to a degree that 3 foot deep water pipes froze (that earth is a pretty good insulator too) and when I would think that it would be an unnecessary risk not to winterize thoroughly, including draining the hot water tank (easy enough job).

On one of those nice $150k Mercedes units, what damage do you think cost-wise that an undetected split water pipe could do in say a 24 hour period? And what do you think your insurance company might say if some assessor had the sudden thought to ask you if you had winterized the vehicle?
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:08 AM   #19
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Having lived about 70 miles south of you for 18 years I would say winterize fully. I can remember 6 degree nights and frozen buried water pipes. Don't risk burst pipes or water heater tank: for half an hour's work you'll have peace of mind.
Looking up statistics for Portland, OR
Average low temps are above freezing year-round, if only barely in December~January.
Record low temps are below freezing from November through May, with the lowest ever being -3F in February.

Statistics for my neck of the woods, New Orleans
Average low temperature is above 40F year-round.
Record low temperature is below freezing November through March, with the lowest ever being 11F in December.

I don't winterize based on average or record lows, however. Based on average temps, I'd have a problem in colder-than-average years. Based on record temps, I'd be winterized already, and stay that way until after Mardi Gras, rather than taking advantage of our year-round campgrounds. That's why I check the 10-day extended forecast, and winterize only when the extended forecast shows freezing temps coming within 10 days.

I consider it "risk management." Full winterizing, belt-and-suspenders I would consider "risk avoidance." Risk avoidance is safer than risk management, but limits my options too much. There are too many long holiday weekends in winter when I have extra time off from work and can go camping, from Thanksgiving to Mardi Gras, and I have trips planned for every blessed one of them.

Because of my scheduled trips, in a cold winter I may end up winterizing four or five times, rather than the once that our northern brethren experience. So for me, all that antifreeze would really add up, and so would the time spent, if I went the full "risk avoidance" route every time I winterize.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #20
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Looking up statistics for Portland, OR…
Average low temps are above freezing year-round, if only barely in December~January.
Record low temps are below freezing from November through May, with the lowest ever being -3F in February.

Statistics for my neck of the woods, New Orleans…
Average low temperature is above 40F year-round.
Record low temperature is below freezing November through March, with the lowest ever being 11F in December.
Yep, if I lived where you live I wouldn`t bother winterizing. And one or two cold days in a row are not significant, the potential problems are likely when there is a string of 5 or more days with night time temperatures in the low teens or less.

It`s just a matter of common sense, and not spoiling the ship for a ha`porth of tar.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #21
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We are missing a few point here.

Wind has NO EFFECT with respect to freezing on things other than LIVING things. Wind effects the evaporation rate off a living thing and thus gives the feeling of a lower temperature but it does not lower the temperature. Yes it will accelerate the rate of heat loss but it can not lower the ambient temperature.

Another point commonly lost is that insulation does not keep something from freezing it only postpones it. If there is not a heat source on the protected side of the insulation postponement is the best you will get. In fact insulation can be a detriment. Say it is below freezing for the first night and goes above freezing during the next day. The insulation prevents the system from coming up to that days temperature and starts the system on second night at a lower temperature.

The one thing to keep in mind here is it take 80 times as much loss of heat to freeze a drop of water from 32 degrees water to 32 degrees ice as it did to drop that same drop from 33 water to 32 water.

Another thing is the damage is not done during freezing it is done during thawing.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:22 AM   #22
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Wind has NO EFFECT with respect to freezing on things other than LIVING things. ....Yes it will accelerate the rate of heat loss ....
I guess I`m getting sick of a circular discussion here. I`d just point out that you contradict yourself. Last word from me.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:31 AM   #23
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Ok so here is what I did yersterday ..... I wanted to get one of those kits to put a "by pass" at the water pump so I went to camping world to get it driving Morrison because my plan was to rent a spot for the day at a near by RV park so I could use the dump and the electricity and have a place to work. I should explain I live in a floating home in the middle of the columbia river. Our parking is limited and Morrison barely fits with is back end sort of hanging over a steep bank. On my way to camping world I had a thought. They have a free dumpstaion, they have a big parking lot, I spent lots of money there, I have a genset, so I decided to do the work there.

Well I went in and bought the by pass kit, and a wrench they had hanging on the wall for removing the plug from the hot water tank and it came with two repalcement plugs. So the plan was:
1. Drain the freshwater tank ( I didnt think to use your idea of using the out side shower next time I will) I did not get under it and use that plug I forgot it had been mentioned before in other posts and there is no mention of it in the AS owners manual.
2. Blow the lines clear with the low point drains open
3.Close them again and first drain then blow out the hot water heater, then set by pass valve in winterized position.
4. Dump the tanks
5. Pump antifreeze though the line using the pump and the by pass..... so here is where my plan went a bit sideways the by pass kit as it was could not be used the pump in Morrison has Flo-Jets "quick connect " fittings not the more mundane threaded conectings. Had I known before I left I think I might have all I need for my own sort of by pass here in the boat well as my boat has much the same pump on it. So step 5 became
5a.Add two gallons of anitfreeze to the fresh water tank And pump through system till pink runs though both the cold and hot sides of all including the out side shower and head. (if needed add more anitfreeze)
6. Pour antifreeze in all drains including the floor drain in the shower
7. Return to dump to dump tanks again thus getting antifreeze in bot dump valves and the pump and hose.

so thats what I did took all together including the messing around in camping world first buying the returning the by pass kit about 2 hours and a good portion of that was waitng in line for the pump out twice and talking with folks in the parking lot that wanted to ask about Morrison.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:35 AM   #24
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If you are at a temp outside just above freezing, and never below freezing...how much wind will it take to freeze the pipes?

If just below freezing, but just ever so barely....I suppose in principle winds could hasten the transfer of heat...but in the end, freezing temps freeze and non-freezing temps do not? I think?
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:43 AM   #25
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If you are at a temp outside just above freezing, and never below freezing...how much wind will it take to freeze the pipes?

If just below freezing, but just ever so barely....I suppose in principle winds could hasten the transfer of heat...but in the end, freezing temps freeze and non-freezing temps do not? I think?
I believe you are correct. As long as the exposed pipes or tanks are not wet on the surface, the temperature of the liquid inside should never go below the ambient temperature. All the wind would do is hasten the cooling to ambient.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
If you are at a temp outside just above freezing, and never below freezing...how much wind will it take to freeze the pipes?

If just below freezing, but just ever so barely....I suppose in principle winds could hasten the transfer of heat...but in the end, freezing temps freeze and non-freezing temps do not? I think?
In your fist comment the pipes would never freeze.

In you second the pipes would freeze in time but the wind would not be a contributing factor.

We have to separate the hysteria that the weather man promotes with respect to our comfort from science.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:47 AM   #27
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Another thing is the damage is not done during freezing it is done during thawing.
Actually, having seen frozen centrifugal pumps that were ruined at one of our field facilities by a cold snap (cast steel sump pump housing cracked) long before they thawed out, I'd have to dispute that. It's the expansion of the ice as it forms that does the damage. It has only snowed three times since I've lived here, and this was one of those times.

Side note…
I'm confused about all of the emphasis on wind chill in so many of these posts. It's not really germaine to whether— or how extensively— to winterize in a mild climate.

Another side note…
No mention has been made about which pink antifreeze to get. RV antifreeze comes in several grades, depending on what the concentration of propylene glycol is. The rating listed on the jug is the temperature at which a copper pipe containing the antifreeze will burst. Plastic pipe will burst at higher temps, about 40F higher than copper on average, for the same wall thickness on the pipe. You would need RV antifreeze rated for 40F colder than the temperatures you expect to encounter, if you want to protect the plastic pipe.

So, if you want to protect your Interstate's plumbing from a Portland winter, where the record low temperature ever was -3F, you need RV antifreeze rated for about -50F, which is about 58% propylene glycol, to protect against the record low temp.

Here in New Orleans, IF I were to use RV antifreeze, I would only need antifreeze rated for -30F, or about 52% propylene glycol, to protect against the record low temperature of all time. And most years, I could buy any RV antifreeze, regardless of the temperature rating, and still be okay, because even the lowest concentration will provide enough protection for our typical mild winters.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:52 AM   #28
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All of the RV antifreeze sold locally that I have seen is good for -50 degrees F. It typically runs about $2 a gallon.
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