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Old 01-09-2015, 10:20 AM   #15
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Success! We have no idea what the actual factor was but we have water waking up this morning. With the advice from CWF to turn our furnace up to high (I leave it at 62 but turned it up to 68 from 10:30pm on last night), left the electric heater aimed into the cabinetry (drawers out, doors open) where the fresh water tank is located, and hoped for the best. This morning I turned the water pump on and it made a very loud noise and then when dead quiet. i thought it had died. However, I tried the water anyway and WE HAD WATER!!!

The pump turned on the way it should when the faucet is open and shut off when the faucet was shut.

I believe the moral of the story is our furnace just has to be turned up way higher than we thought. This also allowed the gray tank to dump easier as well this morning. We know we are insane for moving into our Airstream the first week of January (which turned out to be brutal weather-wise) in Missouri without knowing anything about her or wintering other than our constant reading of the forums. It's people like you (especially CWF!) who help us feel welcome and a part of such an amazing group!

Hopefully we have water for the foreseeable future as we are supposed to be above freezing for the extended forecast.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:38 AM   #16
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Yay!!! Now you have a good idea how to 'rough' it..in cold weather =)
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:29 PM   #17
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Airstreams are ice boxes. Your water line(s) are frozen. Open all access points to warm the areas that water lines and the pump can warm up from the interior heating.

I would avoid using your trailer's water pump and fresh water tank during the cold months. Use the city water inlet. Better yet... camp dry and use the RV Park restrooms.

Personally, and I am a small minority of Airstream owners that will NEVER camp in an Airstream during the cold months, except far enough south to be sure the chance of a string of freezing air temperatures. We run DRY. Use water jugs for fresh water and use the RV Park facilities.

We are leaving next week from Colorado to the desert Southwest. Dry on the road and dry until we get to where we will be camped... and careful not to be caught in a cold spell that also occur at Tucson, Arizona that will freeze up trailer water systems.

Convenience is nice, but you must consider that it may not be worth the possible damage to your fresh water system in the trailer. Tifspiff9 has it figured out. For us... Dry Camp until you are in an area that minimizes the chance of a "hard freeze". You might consider it over kill... but you are having the problem.... not us.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:43 PM   #18
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:00 PM   #19
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+1 on the advice to dry camp. Water snafus can get expensive really quick. Ust the campground facility as much as possible, bottled water for personal use and a 5 gal bucket with sawdust or kitty litter for night time needs. Health care stores have absorbent liner bags for commodes that are also good in a bucket.
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:12 PM   #20
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Happy to hear you have water again. There are many ways to deal with freezing weather & Airstreams but I believe (IMHO) knowing the layout of your trailer's lines, tanks, H2O heater, low point drains, etc will help you develop a method that works best for you.

When below freezing part of my strategy is to keep any supplemental heater(s) away from the A/S thermostat to keep the furnace cycling. A lot depends on how cold & how long it will be below freezing. Keep asking, there's a wealth of info & support around.

Although, I do like the suggestions to take advantage of getting to a warmer area if you can!
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:46 PM   #21
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We definitely aim to be in a warmer climate as soon as possible. However, our jobs are still here and we are living full-time in the Airstream (I wish it was just camping). Until a virtual job comes through, we are here trying to make it all work and learning a ton along the way.

Latest conundrum, we have water but only cold. We use the campground showers to avoid condensation so this isn't a huge inconvenience, but I want to make sure everything is working properly. We can't hook up to city water until the campground fixes the spigot at our site.
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tifspiff9 View Post
Hi! We've had the furnace on the entire time we've been here. Couldn't have lived without it. The electric heater is just supplemental and currently aimed into the cabinetry where the fresh water tank resides.
Hi, I guess I missed where you said your furnace was on all of the time. My oil filled heater will put heat to my thermostat and the furnace will shut off. So I won't use my oil filled heater in really cold weather. Also, I had my fresh water tank out once and the inlet pipe [PEX] is outside of the tank, but inside of the tank cover, so it could freeze before the tank freezes. That would be my guess as to what happened to you. Glad it's working now.
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Airstreams are ice boxes. Your water line(s) are frozen. Open all access points to warm the areas that water lines and the pump can warm up from the interior heating.

I would avoid using your trailer's water pump and fresh water tank during the cold months. Use the city water inlet. Better yet... camp dry and use the RV Park restrooms.

Personally, and I am a small minority of Airstream owners that will NEVER camp in an Airstream during the cold months, except far enough south to be sure the chance of a string of freezing air temperatures. We run DRY. Use water jugs for fresh water and use the RV Park facilities.

We are leaving next week from Colorado to the desert Southwest. Dry on the road and dry until we get to where we will be camped... and careful not to be caught in a cold spell that also occur at Tucson, Arizona that will freeze up trailer water systems.

Convenience is nice, but you must consider that it may not be worth the possible damage to your fresh water system in the trailer. Tifspiff9 has it figured out. For us... Dry Camp until you are in an area that minimizes the chance of a "hard freeze". You might consider it over kill... but you are having the problem.... not us.
Hi, I have had my fresh water hose freeze several times in cold weather; Plan to buy a heated hose, but haven't yet. My water pump with my fresh water tank saved us. Glad that I always have fresh water in the tank when traveling. It always gets drained when we get back home. My furnace is set at either 66 or 68 degrees at the lowest with occupants in it.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:01 AM   #24
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Tifspiff9... your next situation will be this:

The furnace on and with a number of individuals within the trailer... water system now running... the condensation overnight will raise the humidity upwards to 100%. You will get water condensation on the interior windows and if cool enough, the walls. It can be especially bad if you shower, damp clothing when you reenter the trailer, etc.

You must consider tweaking the ceiling vents to vent and get some fresh air into the trailer.

I know. It sounds counterproductive with the water lines freezing up and now someone says... vent the interior. When you awaken in the morning you will feel not only damp, but possibly wet. You are now living in an Airstream Sauna.

If you step out into the cold air, outside the trailer, you will be needing to be de iced like a Boeing aircraft. That is the one fact that nobody talks about.

The arid west starts with humidity at 2% to 15% inside the trailer... and closed up... a rain forest. Low elevations can be 80% humidity, warmed up and lowered to 50% but just four people exhaling needs to be considered.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:58 PM   #25
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Crank that Dyson up, move to Florida, or call your Dad for help!
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:07 PM   #26
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Ray, we are very concerned about the condensation and will be purchasing a dehumidifier asap (Home Depot only carries 30 pints minimum!?) to counteract it as best we can. We are using the campground showers to offset the major steam from showers.

And just to update, for some unknown reason yet again, we now have hot water as well as cold. We are completely up and running!? I'm bordering on "possession" as my new theory as I cannot figure out why things just start working again. It has been relatively warm (35 degrees today) so I'm not sure if there was another thaw out. We have kept the furnace at 70 (seems really toasty but I want my Airstream to work) and moved the Dyson heater up into the front bedroom to not confuse the thermostat. All of these things seem to somehow have gotten us working again. Hooray for an ice storm tomorrow!

As always, thank you all for your eagerness to help and support! I love being an Airstream owner and part of such a great community!
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:22 PM   #27
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Good info all. I just finished 6 weeks in CO, TX, and OH with temps between 8 and 40F. Most of the time below freezing. Ran the furnace, but had a problem with it shutting off and having to recycle the on-off switch to regain heat. Jackson Center found a bent sail switch arm after we had changed the thermostat. They put my old thermostat back in when it proved not to be the problem. Meanwhile my water pump quit without any noise. Turns out the 10 amp fuse @ the pump was blown. I figured it must have happened when the pump did not get enough heat to stay thawed out. I had water flow other than that. I think the idea of a layer of ice forming in the tank is plausible and could account for the loud unusual noise of the pump running dry. One year in a Streamline, I full timed in Omaha from Dec-Jul with constent temps below freezing. I survived by running the Coleman funace using two 100# bottles and delivery service. Also, I used the shortest piece of water hose possible with a short heat strip and insulation. I also fabricated a short sewer hose. All this worked well after the initial hook up. It took 4-5 hours for the heat strip to thaw out the site's water connection after i hooked it up. Although, my holding tank froze when it was really cold I only dumped when the ambient temp was above freezing. The only real glitch i had was the Colaman's blower had a dead spot on the armature which caused be to go ooutside in the middle of the night and stick a screw driver in the intake grill and give the motor shaft a nudge. This worked until the owner at Camper City on L street gave me a used motor for me to use while he ordered me a new one..I never did have to replace the used motor during the next 17 years. Winter camping is fun if you plan ahead. Always listen to other's experiences.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:44 PM   #28
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Tiffspiff9... I believe you helped very many other trailer owners with your post. Thank you tossing it out as a Thread. Water line freeze ups are more common than one would think. Having a 30 footer leaves a lot of water lines to ice up.

Missouri has tougher winters than we do in Colorado! Just do not let the word get out. It is only the ski areas that promote the heavy snow and exaggerate the depth. Today... low 50's. Tomorrow... chance of snow.

When we hit -18 and lower, our "sucker well head" will freeze up. Depending on the air pressure it can pull the -18F down and freeze up. So we have a large plastic "fake rock" and insert and plug in a 100 watt light bulb inside the "rock". The well draws the warmer air and solved that problem.

Keep us up to date. You will have some comfort knowing that these Airstream Facts and Fantasy issues ARE REAL, but discovering why is hard earned knowledge.

Great Post. Been there. Done it and do not want to repeat!
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