Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-13-2008, 12:06 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2005 28' International CCD
daly city , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 9
Black tank freeze up- Help!

I am quickly realizing that there is much more info here that is NOT in my manual. Anyways, as I come accross all the problems I created by towing my rig thru -22 Nevada, I am gathering knowledge for the future.
I got all the water lines and grey tank unfrozen, but the black tank is a problem. The sensor says it is empty but it is backed up into the toilet. I have been trying to get some hot water up into the drain pipes under the trailer, but I am not having much success. I am at Tiger Run resort in Breckenridge CO, so the temps don't help.
Also, when I was running the water in the bathroom sink, the toilet backed up more. What (horrible?) situation would cause that? That sink is linked to the grey tank, at least in the manual. That sink drain seems blocked as I don't see it run out the grey water valve while running the water.
Lastly, is there a good source for lots of info on winter travel and living? All those questions I should have asked before!
Thanks, David
__________________

__________________
tornado-bait is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
1 Rivet Member
 
2005 28' International CCD
daly city , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 9
One more question: someone at the RV park said to pour sidewalk salt into the toilet. Safe?
__________________

__________________
tornado-bait is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 12:21 AM   #3
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hi t'bait

how's the skiing?

part of the issue is determining if it's FROZEN or otherwise blocked with solids.

if it's truely frozen, you'll need to thaw it, i don't think adding salt or anitfreeze will help much.

now if this is more of a solids problem (from being parked a long time)

here is a thread that may help...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...ank-31189.html

or this one...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f446...ght-34456.html

ultimately u may need a sucker/pumper honey bucket truck to make a visit and get things moving again.

there is an entire section on winter living, and some of the threads are just chilling!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462/

as for the blank tank rising with your lav sink...

some are plumbed this way, regardless of the owners's manual

OR u could have the 3 drain values turned such that the gray is backing up into the black...

now regardless of how u fix it, PLEASE POST PHOTOS of the process and outcome...

i can't understand why noone takes me up on this last request.

2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 09:19 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
Once the big drainage valves and pipes leading to them are frozen there is little hope of unfreezing them without wrapping them with the heater tape used for that purpose and waiting for better weather so the tape will work. If all else fails, you could skirt the trailer and rent a salemander heater to blow hot air under the trailer. I used this technique to unfreeze the plumbing on a crawl space under a house. It most likely would be less costly than paying an RV dealer to bring it into his heated shop to unfreeze it.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 09:19 AM   #5
More than one rivet loose
 
thecatsandi's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Keymar , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,754
You are going to need to get the tank warm, as well as the drain lines. Salt may work but it will take a loong time. if you decide to try anti-freeze make sure you use RV anti-freeze. If you use Auto Anti-freeze you risk a BIG fine.
__________________
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 09:20 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,811
Images: 12
At -22 degrees you most likely froze the tank rather than haveing a solid blockage. The best way to thaw it is to get it inside.

There is no value to the insulation Airstream installs.They use blocks of foam placed around the tank with no means of completing the insulation at the joints. Much like insualting your house and leaving the windows open. This means the insulation is just a waste of time.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 10:40 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
fotochop's Avatar
 
1969 23' Safari
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 699
Images: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
At -22 degrees you most likely froze the tank rather than haveing a solid blockage. The best way to thaw it is to get it inside.

There is no value to the insulation Airstream installs.They use blocks of foam placed around the tank with no means of completing the insulation at the joints. Much like insualting your house and leaving the windows open. This means the insulation is just a waste of time.
Sympathies For Your Solids, t-bait. In light of the above (crazy design, I agree) do you guys think it would help to add non-expanding foam between the styro panels around my black tank (out of the unit now) upon re-installing? (at -22 it's probably all just p-in' in the wind, no pun intended..) Someone needs to market an expandable 'heat-skirt'...nevermind..we do it all ourselves anyway... good luck!
fotochop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 10:44 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
clancy_boy's Avatar
 
2003 22' International CCD
Kiln , Mississippi
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,780
Images: 8
My only thoughts are if you thaw the unit out and are not in a location where you can dump it easily then you may be in for one big surprise. Freezing usually involves some expansion of the liquids. There may be some cracks in the plumbing when you thaw the system out. Being indoors may be a bit messy - I for one don't want to see photos but if you post them I may peek at them . Can you skirt the unit as others have suggested and pump heat under there? I recognize that you are in a cold location and that may not ne easy. You only have to raise it a few degrees for a short time to melt the mess. Good Luck......
__________________
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
The family has grown.
2003 22' INTERNATIONAL CCD
clancy_boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 10:59 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Bambi_Bandit's Avatar

 
2008 27' International FB
1964 19' Globetrotter
1955 26' Cruiser Overlander
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 604
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tornado-bait
Also, when I was running the water in the bathroom sink, the toilet backed up more. What (horrible?) situation would cause that? That sink is linked to the grey tank, at least in the manual. That sink drain seems blocked as I don't see it run out the grey water valve while running the water.
The newer 28' floorplan (post 2002 or 2003 I think) all have separate grey/back tanks, as opposed to the single large black/grey combo they used to used earlier.

However, that being said, when Airstream put the the separate black in, the bathroom sink drain is set to drain in the black tank. The kitchen sink and shower are the only ones that drain to the grey.

May be a bit late now, but I used to wrap my drain valves with electric heat tape and wrapped it with insulated foam tape. Plugged it in when the weather was near freezing or would freeze.

That may help thaw the drain valve and elbow that is currently exposed. If you can crank up the heater (not heat pump) and get heat onto the tanks, and use the heat tape to thaw the valve(s) (sounds like black is the only one frozen) you should be able to dump in a few hours, depending on the ambient temperatures.
__________________
Kevin & Prim Li
Bandit the Siberian Husky (RIP) & "G" the Min-Pin (RIP)
Cosmo the Custom 2008 27FB Intl CCD
Maxwell the 1964 Globe Trotter
Name TBD the 1955 Overlander
WBCCI # 6155
AIR # 6155

2nd love - 2006 28' Safari LS
1st love - 2004 19' CCD Bambi
Bambi_Bandit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 01:35 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,811
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fotochop
Sympathies For Your Solids, t-bait. In light of the above (crazy design, I agree) do you guys think it would help to add non-expanding foam between the styro panels around my black tank (out of the unit now) upon re-installing? (at -22 it's probably all just p-in' in the wind, no pun intended..) Someone needs to market an expandable 'heat-skirt'...nevermind..we do it all ourselves anyway... good luck!
If you want any level of integrity to the insulation on the tanks then YES you would have to seal them 100%. A truly fully insulated tank with liquid in it would significantly extend freezeing time. The more liquid is in the tank the longer it would take for the valve area to freeze because of the ajacent thermal mass of the water.

The problem he currently has is the the valve, the area most exposed and with a smaller thermal mass than the tank, is frozen and thus precluding draining. Most plastics are somewait forgiving to the expansion that occures when ice thaws. However the valve assemblys tend to be of a harder type plastic than the tanks and thus may crack during thawing. Heat should be appled slowly. If you skirt the trailer and use a heater don't put the heat directly on the valve.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 01:46 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
InsideOut's Avatar

 
1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,793
Images: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by tornado-bait
I am at Tiger Run resort in Breckenridge CO, so the temps don't help.
You may want to hook-up and drive down to Denver today...it's 62-degrees! Although another storm is expected to blow in this evening...and last through tomorrow. It's less than a two hour drive...

Shari
__________________
Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | WBCCI DenCO Unit | Sisters on the Fly | Tin Can Tourists
BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 02:09 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
87MH's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by tornado-bait
I am quickly realizing that there is much more info here that is NOT in my manual.....is there a good source for lots of info on winter travel and living?
Heere is a link for a holding tank heater - don't know anything about it...

RV Holding Tank Heater on Sale

Thought the knowledge of it may be of some importance to those of you who are not as temperature challenged as I am.
__________________
Dennis

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2008, 04:42 PM   #13
Ready-to-Travel
 
pmclemore's Avatar

 
2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,494
I'm with Shari with one additional suggestion: Since your tanks are so full, they're sloshing, I think you need a pump-out down from your john.

Then head for warmer climes - then find a big parking lot and find a sunny spot you can hover over.

Good luck - you've had a pretty good run-in with misery.

Pat
__________________
pmclemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2008, 09:54 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
2005 28' International CCD
daly city , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 9
thanks for all the great advise and links to winter living. The tank thawed on its own afterall. We had one day of 36 degree weather and sun and that un-did it. Phew!
I am now installing the heat tape and insulation. Was curious as to the post on keeping more water in the holding tanks, rather than empty. I do let the black sit, but have been keeping the grey completely empty. Both valves do freeze up each time though and I haven't emptied the black since.
What exactly does a holding tank heater accomlish? Is it something that would help on a newer trailer like mine?
thanks, David
__________________

__________________
tornado-bait 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
Black tank overflow Robfike Classic Motorhomes 8 09-11-2006 09:06 PM
Do I have to use the Black Tank? jimsease Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 8 08-09-2006 11:22 PM
Black Tank Devoman Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 14 08-02-2006 01:13 PM
Black tank Gunnyusmc All Argosy Trailers 4 07-19-2004 05:42 PM
Black Tank Gunnyusmc Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 3 07-02-2003 08:38 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:27 AM.


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.