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Old 11-09-2014, 05:28 PM   #1
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Black/grey tank winterizing

Do most folks leave the the black and grey tanks completely dry during winter? I can't remember what I did last year, but I know I have a few gallons in my black tank, no way to dump at home, and I need to winterize before a pretty hard freeze coming next weekend. I thought I read that a freeze wouldn't hurt the heavy tanks??


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Old 11-09-2014, 06:08 PM   #2
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Do most folks leave the the black and grey tanks completely dry during winter? I can't remember what I did last year, but I know I have a few gallons in my black tank, no way to dump at home, and I need to winterize before a pretty hard freeze coming next weekend. I thought I read that a freeze wouldn't hurt the heavy tanks??


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A freeze will hurt anything that has water in it, unless the water has been treated, or the water is emptied.

If the trailer is plugged into city power, then running the furnace at a temperature of about 50 degrees, will keep the tanks from freezing. But if the coach is not being used, that's a huge waste of LPG.

Installing electric heaters will work, but the furnace fan must run constantly, or else.

Basically, if the coach is not going to be used, then simply drain the black and gray tanks, along with the water tank, and all the water lines, including the water heater and water filter, or remove the filter.

Winterizing is never a bad idea, plus it's a good no charge insurance policy, just in case.

The cost to correct damage from a freeze up in an Airstream, can easily be several thousands of dollars.

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Old 11-09-2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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I don't know for sure if it could cause a problem as I have always dumped ours each Fall when winterizing, but unless you get several replies assuring that it won't be a problem, then if I were you, I think I would be tempted to just chuck in a couple of gallons of RV antifreeze if only for peace of mind not to have to worry about it! It's only a few bucks a gallon.

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Old 11-09-2014, 06:20 PM   #4
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Dump the tanks and save the money you would spend on antifreeze.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:07 PM   #5
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Dump the tanks and save the money you would spend on antifreeze.
I may have misunderstood, I thought the OP said he could not dump the tank at home.

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Old 11-09-2014, 08:11 PM   #6
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it is the valves and the pipes that go to them that are one of the biggest problems. They will freeze and break the pipes. Dump the tanks. You can use a bucket if at home and dump it into the toilet in the house. But don't leave them with any liquid in them at all.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:26 PM   #7
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Use a bucket. X2


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Old 11-09-2014, 09:04 PM   #8
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Use a bucket. X2



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Yup, drain in a bucket and carry in to the toilet. Then put a gallon of AF in the gray and the black tank.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:05 PM   #9
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Oh crap...........

Not the answer I wanted but thanks. Maybe I'll just dump in the storm sewer.

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Old 11-09-2014, 10:08 PM   #10
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It's just poop! Less disgusting than my grandson's diaper, and I have to deal with that from time to time too.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:32 AM   #11
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Maybe I'll just dump in the storm sewer.
Not recommended. Storm drains don't lead to sewer treatment plants, but to a simple discharge.

However, if you have a sewer clean-out plug anywhere at home (most homes do) and it's outdoors rather than in the basement, then you can dump into the cleanout.

As for leaving the liquid in your black tank and adding antifreeze, the temperature rating for the antifreeze is for pure, undiluted antifreeze in copper pipes. Starbrite Brand RV antifreeze published an interesting chart. Seems that antifreeze rated at -50F doesn't freeze at -50F, it freezes at +12F, but it doesn't expand enough to break a copper pipe until it reaches -50F. In a PVC pipe, undiluted antifreeze rated at -50F only protects to -10F because PVC is more brittle and breaks easier under fluid expansion.

Comparing the freezing points of RV antifreeze at different concentrations:
Antifreeze rated at -50F freezes at +12F if undiluted, and no better than plain water if diluted at all.
Antifreeze rated at -100F freezes at -60F if undiluted, -6F if diluted at a 2:1 ratio of antifreeze to water, +9F if diluted 1:1, and same as water if diluted 1:2.
Antifreeze rated at -200F freezes at -100F if undiluted, -80F if diluted 2:1, -28F if diluted 1:1, and +5F if diluted 1:2 antifreeze to water.

Until I looked it up, I thought that antifreeze rated at -50F froze at -50F, but that's not really the case. Learn something new every day!
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:45 AM   #12
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Pro....pretty sure he was making a funny reference to Christmas Vacation.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:49 AM   #13
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Pro....pretty sure he was making a funny reference to Christmas Vacation.
It's Monday. I'm at work. I work for the Federal Government. Three things in a row that virtually guarantee that I don't get jokes at the moment.

But you have to admit, my later stuff about the freezing point of RV antifreeze was interesting Maybe not actually useful, but interesting.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:52 AM   #14
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But you're like....what 2 months from retirement???? So, your Monday, Fed reference have no credence!

The at work part...I'll only give you room for lack of "investment" and "distraction" and "joyous anxiousness and excitement".
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