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Old 11-24-2014, 04:39 PM   #1
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Snoqualmie , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Not winterizing - is there something i need to know

Just got my 1st Airstream (and 1st trailer) last week (2010 25FB) - love it. We decided that we may take it out sometime in the next 6 to 8 weeks, and also - may use if we have guests over. Thus, deciding not to winterize. So, I plan on just leaving it plugged in, and keeping the inside temperature around high 40's (and just up-ing the temp when we decide to use it).
Is there anything else i should be doing? I live in Washington state - so temperature does not typically get very low for any length of time.

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Old 11-24-2014, 05:26 PM   #2
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2000 19' Bambi
mt. Prospect , Illinois
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Everything inside should be okay if the heat is on - water tank, lines, etc. Leave cabinet and bath doors open if no one is in there. Everything outside is at risk of freezing, and breaking, if the temp drops below 32 for any extended period - drain lines, etc. I would, at least, drain the tanks (and don't use them while parked) and put some antifreeze in through the toilet and shower drain to protect the drain lines.

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Old 11-24-2014, 05:42 PM   #3
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1992 29' Excella
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,300
Judgement Call

My guess is that you'll be fine with your approach but it's up to you to decide how to handle the situation.

There are several threads on this forum that discuss winterizing. In the southeast, where I live, I use the method of simply blowing out the water lines with air pressure, draining the tanks, draining the low-point water valves, and adding anti-freeze in the traps. So far so good for over 12 years.

It sounds like your weather may be less severe than my area. For comparison, we may have several days where the temperature is below freezing - not just overnight lows - but all day. To me, that's a hard freeze and warrants draining tanks, etc.

However, if I had access to electricity and didn't care about using propane I would simply leave a heater turned on and wouldn't perform the winterizing procedure. The furnace in our 1992 Classic routes warm air to the sewer tanks as well as the fresh water tank.

In lieu of running the furnace you could try the technique of leaving cabinet doors open and using space heaters - that may work but you won't have heat directed specifically at the tanks.

So, it's a judgement call and it's totally up to you.
Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:46 PM   #4
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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we leave an electric heater going in ours, I feel like it keeps it from getting musty inside as well. The only time we've had an issue is when the heater went out, and by the time I noticed it a pipe had froze, so I got to replace a pipe in the spring.

I do drain and blow the water out of the pipes, and put a little RV antifreeze in the traps and the black tank. As long as you don't put antifreeze in the fresh water tank, it's ready to go.

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Old 11-24-2014, 05:48 PM   #5
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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Just teasing you now, so don't get upset...

Grumble grumble, typical Western Washington person who thinks that all of Washington is west of the mountains and is all warm in the winter. Trust those of us who have lived in Eastern Washington, it gets really cold on the east side of the state.

But I digress.... you should be fine if you leave heat on as you mention. As another post stated, leave cabinets open when not using the rig and it probably would be best if you don't leave water in the water tank as it is below the floor and more prone to freezing in the case of really cold weather (even in Western Washington it gets below freezing now and then).

Enjoy your new Airstream and take it out to Kalaloch to do some beach camping.

(former long term Pullman Washington resident)
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:49 AM   #6
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Snoqualmie , Washington
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thanks to all -- and love eastern Washington - probably will be our first trip in our Airstream -- since i don't mind spending a little propane - sounds like I will just leave the furnace on low, open the doors and cabinets, and go buy a little anti-freeze and put in the traps and black tank. Thanks for helping me get educated.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:43 AM   #7
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If your water inlet is like my 2014 31' , it will freeze..
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:05 AM   #8
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Metairie , Louisiana
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Your situation is not too different from what we experience along the Gulf Coast. As long as the interior of your Airstream can be kept above freezing, there are only two things to be wary of:

1 - The check valve/pressure regulator in your municipal water inlet may freeze, being so close to the outer skin. Solution is to blow out the municipal water inlet, and make sure all of your winter usage is from the on-board supply, which you would fill at the start of the trip, and drain at the end of it.

2 - Your external shower, if you have one, may freeze. Solution is to blow out the shower connection, then not use it all winter. While I wouldn't rely upon one while en route, while parked you might be able to cover it with one of those dome-shaped styrofoam outdoor faucet covers. Which, come to think of it, might also work on your municipal water inlet.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:26 AM   #9
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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I never winterize except when...

I full time in eastern Virginia near the ocean.

But what happens if I have to go out of town for three days and the temp is 23 degrees AND the campground might have a power outage because it's not on a main grid and I've seen the power go off for hours at a time when some fool hits a pole and the road is icy so it's hard for the crews to get there and fix the mess... and will my furnace reset itself and start up again?

OK worlds longest run-on sentence / stream of consciousness thing ever.

If you're right there to do an emergency evacuation OR have your Airstream stored in an underground cave with a constant temp of 54 F you'll never need to winterize or even blow air through all the pipes. If you leave on vacation? Spend a few bucks, it's cheap insurance.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:49 PM   #10
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Princeton , New Jersey
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The first thing that will freeze is the city water connection and the pipe just inside it. So if possible leave whatever cabinet is next to it open to get some heat from the interior. Mine is under the bed and i can leave the storage cabinet under the bed open to move some heat in that direction.

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1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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