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Old 10-28-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
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What were the designers thinking ???

Ok, it's time to winterize as the temps are going into the high 20's tonight here. On our 1st AS, it was so simple to access the by-pass valves and water pump to hook up a siphon hose that went into the gallon of anti-freeze.
Now that we've upsized to the 27FBSE, the water pump is in a very tight compartment under the wardrobe. There are multiple heater hoses running through the compartment that further limit room for ones hands. In addition, the inlet connection to the water pump, faces the wheel-well, giving me about 2'' to connect the hose. Bottom line, it's an impossible task.
Now, I know there are two ways to winterize. One is to blow out the system with compressed air and the other is the method used above. If AS is going to give an owner two options, make them both realistic.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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Be careful: first time I winterized mine (a few weeks ago), I first blew out the lines with compressed air. Carefully. Thoroughly. Then (belt and suspenders) I hooked up inlet side of water pump to a gallon of antifreeze and opened each tap until antifreeze came out. In total, I got several cups of water out before the antifreeze! Where was this water? Dunno. Why didn't it get blown out? Dunno. What would have happened over winter if I'd not used antifreeze? Dunno.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:23 PM   #3
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You can always pour the anti-freeze in the fresh water tank and pump it thru the system from there.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:24 PM   #4
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Our 98 Excella has much of the same problems. Once I bypass the hotwater heater which you have to have extremely long arms to reach the shut off valves I use an air tank to blow out the lines. Don't use over 40 lbs. pressure. I then use the water pump to pump the antifreeze into the pipes and we make sure each valve is turned on separately so the pink juice comes out. It also lets us get a little pink juice in the p traps. I first learned that you have to hold your mouth right to get the siphonhose attached but after the first time it goes pretty easy. When you use your water pump to drain your fresh water tank make sure you shut the drain valves off before putting the anti freeze in or the anti freeze will end up on the ground.

Wish you luck.

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Old 10-28-2008, 05:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FordTruck View Post
Ok, it's time to winterize as the temps are going into the high 20's tonight here. On our 1st AS, it was so simple to access the by-pass valves and water pump to hook up a siphon hose that went into the gallon of anti-freeze.
Now that we've upsized to the 27FBSE, the water pump is in a very tight compartment under the wardrobe. There are multiple heater hoses running through the compartment that further limit room for ones hands. In addition, the inlet connection to the water pump, faces the wheel-well, giving me about 2'' to connect the hose. Bottom line, it's an impossible task.
Now, I know there are two ways to winterize. One is to blow out the system with compressed air and the other is the method used above. If AS is going to give an owner two options, make them both realistic.
Our pump is located in the same position. When we bought the trailer last month I had the dealer install a valve and hose on the pump inlet so that I have a length of hose already attached for the antifreeze jug - just have to reach down to the pump to give the valve a half turn. It works fine.

I just did the antifreeze thing the other week and it took only a little over a gallon of antifreeze and the whole job was done in a few minutes.

I would be a bit concerned about relying just on compressed air to blow the pipes clear as I have heard that it may still be possible for residual water to accumulate at some location within the pipes and cause freezing damage.

No personal experience with that though.

Brian.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:34 PM   #6
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This is an easy one..........

What were the designers thinking ???


My guess is that they were not thinking of you at all! If the designers had to work on their own stuff, my bet is that it would be easier!
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:19 PM   #7
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Be careful: first time I winterized mine (a few weeks ago), I first blew out the lines with compressed air. Carefully. Thoroughly. Then (belt and suspenders) I hooked up inlet side of water pump to a gallon of antifreeze and opened each tap until antifreeze came out. In total, I got several cups of water out before the antifreeze! Where was this water? Dunno. Why didn't it get blown out? Dunno. What would have happened over winter if I'd not used antifreeze? Dunno.
My manual states to run the tongue jack to the extreme up and down positions while blowing out the lines to let gravity do its work. After I do that and introduce the antifreeze via the water pump only a little bit of water comes out of the faucets, toilet, and shower head before I see the pink stuff.

I also remove the clear plastic bowl on the filter between the potable water tank and the water pump and dump about a cup of the pink stuff in the filter to displace any residual water.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FordTruck View Post
Now that we've upsized to the 27FBSE, the water pump is in a very tight compartment under the wardrobe. There are multiple heater hoses running through the compartment that further limit room for ones hands. In addition, the inlet connection to the water pump, faces the wheel-well, giving me about 2'' to connect the hose. Bottom line, it's an impossible task.
Hey Ford, my DH made a good modification on our 27FB that makes the job easier and the pump more accessable. Here is the explanation and pictures.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/show...2&postcount=16
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:14 PM   #9
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Quite a few models have the water pump located in that impossible place under the wardrobe. The filter on the pump is at the back of the pump and although the manual says to clean it annually, it is inaccessible. Last year I just put antifreeze in the fresh water tank and pumped it through the system.

Then I complained to Airstream about how the pump location made it impossible to follow their instructions. I had already bought a bypass kit for the water pump. Airstream authorized the installation of the kit and relocating the pump at no charge to me. I haven't used it yet, but the upshot is I don't have to put a gallon or two of antifreeze in the tank and I can get to the filter. Now the pump is turned 90˚ and closer to the hallway under the wardrobe. So, write a letter to Airstream (don't mention me) and complain you can't follow their instructions. Maybe they'll get the idea and put the pump in a better place. There's a long thread about this problem probably located under "water pump" or something like that.

Maybe that extra water came from the hot water heater. Last year I keep blowing out water forever (seemed that way) to get the heater empty. Then I read the manual on the water heater and found out it's ok to leave a few gallons in it and if the water freezes, it won't hurt it. Upshot, you can't completely drain the water heater.

There will always be some drops here and there and maybe a bit more. If water is confined it'll burst the pipes, but if it has room to expand (11%), it won't break anything. Of course, unless you have X-ray vision you can't really know if there's a low spot filled with water where the water is confined enough to break the pipe. I believe the company advises to just blow out the system and not to worry about adding antifreeze it everything. With a bypass on the pump, however, you can add antifreeze to the pump and the pipes. More important is to add antifreeze to the traps, the toilet and pump plus some in the black water tank with the deodorizer.

Gene
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:19 PM   #10
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In addition to our Bauxite Beauty, we have a 16 year-old SOB MOHO. There is no room to add the winterizing bypass to that water pump either and the owner's manual suggests putting the anti-freeze in the fresh water tank and pumping it from there. We were lucky with the AS, there is lots of room (after I moved the water pump a foot and a half) for that additional tubing. I also added a 'soft' hose leading to and from the water pump to help silence it. The pupm manufacturer recommends flexible tubing on the intake and output from the pump - the AS factory uses rigid tubing.Best of luck!
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