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Old 10-23-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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Do I need to turn the furnace on?

Hello good folks, days - down to 25 degrees or so but to warm to about 50 during the day. My AS has not been winterized because we are planning a trip to Texas during Thanksgiving. No water in fresh water tank but we haven't drained the water heater. Do I need to turn the furnace on during the night hours at this point? Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #2
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Yes you do.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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IMHO you are at the borderline.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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I would turn the furnace on at the lowest setting and open the lower cabinet doors.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:21 PM   #5
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We use a radiator style oil filled heater to keep everything from freezing in our Argosy. If you are hooked to shore power, given the length of your trailer, I would think that 2 of them would do nicely as a fairly inexpensive option - certainly cheaper than running your furnace off of propane.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:42 PM   #6
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IMHO you are at the borderline.
Ditto IMO. We've experienced slushy lines at 25 degrees. A furnace set at the lowest temperature setting, or at least a reliable space heater as others have suggested would be prudent.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:29 PM   #7
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Just put my furnace on tonight. It's 2C outside and 6C inside the Airstream. I've set the thermostat at 5C so that should just keep it from freezing. I did the same thing at the start of the season when the outside temperature hit 0C and nothing froze on me. Winterization is next week.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:38 AM   #8
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The furnace will blow hot air at the pipes, underneath the flooring. It is hard to replicate this with a space heater. But the furnace can stay on with a low setting.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:11 AM   #9
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Is 55 degrees about right for the furnace? Darn cold weather - putting a crimp in my plans for sure!
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:04 AM   #10
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another option

I have winter camped while my trailer was winterized.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:31 PM   #11
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I think we've kept ours around 55-60F, with the low 60s being a temperature warm enough to help with the interior condensation problem as we are sleep in a small space involving 2 adults, a dog, and perhaps damp towels or jackets. We also kept the cupboard doors open. No problem with this, even when we found a half inch of ice on a dishpan we'd inadvertently left outside. But this was in a campsite where daytime temperatures were well above freezing.

But winterizing does buy a lot of peace of mind, even if it comes with some inconvenience.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #12
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I spent two winters in an RV park in Fruitland, Idaho, living three days per week in our Limited. I skirted my trailer with foam board which would be a bigger job than is needed for your situation. In addition, and this may be useful to you, when leaving for my four days at home I inserted a 40 watt incandescent light bulb in the water heater compartment (being careful to not touch any wiring, etc. that might melt), then I attached the WH door cover that I fabricated from 2” insulation foam board (I need not give step-by-step instructions as it was a pretty simple set-up AND-- you've got to remember to take off the cover and remove the light bulb when lighting the heater – ask me how I know to do this). I also covered the city water inlet with an insulated foam cover. Needless to say, I used a hose heater when we were at the trailer but always disconnected from the hydrant and drained the hose (leaving it connected to the trailer and of course, unplugging the heater wire from power) when going home for the four days. Inside I opened cabinet doors in the galley, the bathroom, AND the bedside cabinet that shrouded the city water inlet. Then, when leaving, I'd place our little ceramic heater in the doorway between the galley and the bed/bath area (blowing toward the bed/bath), and turn the control to about mid-range. Since we were parked for the long term we had no water in the fresh water tank and always made sure both gray and black tanks were drained. However, based on my experience of towing Airstreams thirty years in cold climates, I don't think I'd worry too much about freezing those tanks unless you have an extended period of temps down around 25 degrees. By the way, my reason for not using my furnaces when going home (I had two in the Limited) was I didn't trust them. I've found that they sometimes fail to light and this would have created a big problem. Also, I need to say, if you use a ceramic or other type electric heater, be sure to get one that has mechanical controls. I found that my more “modern” one with digital controls would not return to services after a power outage and this could provide some nasty surprises! Gene
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