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Old 02-09-2016, 08:18 AM   #1
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Cold weather on the road. What to do?

I keep my 2011 FC 30 in conditioned indoor storage, consequently, it is not winterized. I will take it out of storage Friday, in preparation with a trip to FL. The low that morning will be 24 with a high of 44. Friday night the temp swill drop to 24 again. Saturday will have a high of 31 and a low of 22 in North GA where we will spend the night. To keep things from freezing while on the road south, can I run the furnace? I don't mind winterizing it for Friday night, but will need water Sat. night and hate to have to winterize in again for one day. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:06 AM   #2
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Run the furnace.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:10 AM   #3
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Yes, that was my thought.

I don't think you need to winterize for your travel time south, just get thyself to warmer climes and don't dally along the way.


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Old 02-09-2016, 09:14 AM   #4
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You should be fine while on the road if the temperature is above freezing during the day.
If you are in the trailer sat. night and have used the heater before retiring it will be fine.

Remember it takes 80 time the energy to freeze water from 32 liquid to 32 solid as it does to drop water one degree.

I went through Tenn. several weeks ago, on the way to Fl., with 8 hours of snow in the hills. That was fun.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:15 AM   #5
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When towing in below freezing temperatures we run the furnace on the road. Just make sure to turn it off if you go into a gas station with your rig. If the ambient temperatures during the day get above freezing, you may not need to run the furnace all the time.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:16 AM   #6
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We just did that

Took our Safari from FL to OH with overnight temperatures in the upper teens lower twenties. Ran the furnace at night. Brought a Classic back, with the same temperatures for the first two nights. Again, ran the furnace. The only problem we had was I thought it was going to be warmer Saturday night so I hooked up to water. The hose was frozen in the morning. Fill your water tank about half full and use that water instead of hooking up. The furnace should keep everything int the belly from freezing.

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Old 02-09-2016, 09:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
If the ambient temperatures during the day get above freezing, you may not need to run the furnace all the time.
Set the thermostat as low as it will go just before you hit the road. Then if the daytime temperatures get warm enough, the thermostat will shut off the furnace for you.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:26 AM   #8
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Perhaps I am overly concerned about freeze damage (it's a Minnesota thing) but I would open the plumbing and fresh water tank drains, not use the storage tanks, and get along without water until in warm weather. Run the furnace as advised above for residual water left in the lines.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:42 AM   #9
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Perhaps I am overly concerned about freeze damage (it's a Minnesota thing) but I would open the plumbing and fresh water tank drains, not use the storage tanks, and get along without water until in warm weather. Run the furnace as advised above for residual water left in the lines.
I am inclined to agree with doug's advice. Why not also blow out the lines with air? It only takes 10-15 minutes.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. ANY freeze-up of a plumbing line would be a bad way to start the trip south. Been there -- done that -- not fun to be doing plumbing repairs on the first day after arrival for a planned trip!

If you are only talking about waiting a couple of days, the risk of bursting a pipe (it usually happens in the hardest-to-get-to location IMO) is not worth it.

Please follow-up with the steps you take (if any), and how the trailer fared.

Thanks,

Peter

PS -- The forecast lows for the next few days for Atlanta are below average, and well below freezing, consistent with your original post. Check the line graphs at the bottom of this monthly page:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/atl...weather/348181

PS2 -- If you are driving during a period of below-freezing weather, the pipes will lose heat much more quickly due to the air movement (compared to sitting still in a campground with your heat on).
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:59 AM   #10
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PS2 -- If you are driving during a period of below-freezing weather, the pipes will lose heat much more quickly due to the air movement (compared to sitting still in a campground with your heat on).
Lets not get hysterical. The pipes are not subject to air flow while on the road. Even if the pipes where exposed the wind chill factor, that is so commonly quoted, applies to evaporation of moisture off the skin.

The piping used in an Airstream today is plastic and quite forgiving even if freezing does happen. My city water connection has frozen at least a half dozen times while connected without a problem. That connection is the first place to freeze if the trailer has water on board.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:07 AM   #11
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"hysterical?"

The remote spaces in which the most vulnerable pipes are located will lose heat most quickly, and those spaces are furthest from the heated interior of the trailer.

Just being cautious -- and experienced with having to correct my own poor winterization on the road, just as we were settling in to our first day on the beach in San Diego when a cracked elbow at the back of the water heater burst and leaked all over the place. [Edit -- which required removal of the bed and platform, carpeting, etc. just to get to the cracked fitting, not to mention that this was on a Sunday morning, and required digging out the remnants of the shattered elbow from the water heater. Fortunately the local hardware store was excellent and had BOTH the plastic elbow AND the right tap for cleaning up the female threads in the water heater -- quite a project for the first day of vacation!]

As I said in the earlier post, in an assessment of risk/reward, cost/benefit, the advantages of heading south with the plumbing charged and on, is not worth it in my personal opinion, under the OP's stated parameters.

All volunteers to help repair burst frozen fittings in Florida can apply here.

Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:15 AM   #12
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Even if the pipes where exposed the wind chill factor, that is so commonly quoted, applies to evaporation of moisture off the skin.
The fact that wind chill doesn't affect pipes is best illustrated with the following example, using the official National Weather Service wind chill chart…

Consider an air temperature of 35F. Pipes will not freeze at this temperature. I'm sure we can all agree on that.

Now add a 20mph wind. The wind chill is 24F. The wind chill is now below freezing, but the pipes still will not freeze, because the actual temperature is still 35F, above freezing.

Wind chill only affects how quickly something will get colder, not how cold it will get.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:41 AM   #13
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Been in this situation in the past a few times. We blow the lines dry with the compressor and rough it with jug water and rest stops but that's in my '69
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:55 AM   #14
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I pull my trailer in and through the Colorado Mountains all winter long. (I live in the middle of the mountains.) I fill my water and split a gallon jug of RV antifreeze between my gray and black tanks to cover the exposed valves. I set my furnace thermostat to 50F and have never frozen a line, even in sub zero temps. (It was -14F when I pulled out of the house on my last trip.)

It is true that the lines used by Airstream today are pretty forgiving to freezing but unfortunately, there are a few components that are not made from that material. The brass hot water shutoff is one, and the low point drains are another. But, still with lots of miles and days in super cold temps, no problems in my experience.

The advice above to shut your furnace off before hitting the gas station is a no-joke good practice and should include the fridge and hot water heater if on propane. Those are three sparks that might be very un-welcomed in the presence of gasoline fumes. I was standing at a pump fueling just two weeks ago when another motorist, filling a small gas can, left the can unattended for just a second. The gas can tipped over and the hose didn't shut off. The can dumped and the hose kept pumping fuel on the ground. It was a matter of seconds before the spill was within feet of my trailer. I was thankful that I had turned all the units off.

Have a safe trip.
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