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Old 11-28-2012, 04:19 PM   #15
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2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
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We had the same thing happen a few years ago while traveling from NJ to sunny Florida. Stayed overnight in Roanoke, Va and it went to 27 deg. Faucets froze but when things thawed out later that morning there was no damage. The freeze wasn't enough to cause any of the piping to freeze but within the faucets there is very small clearances with small amounts of water and they readily will sieze up. So long as you refrain from forcing them and risking tearing internal "O" rings you should be fine.

In fact you probably already know that, I hope.

Roger in NJ

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:23 PM   #16
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I'm dreading going back in there....when I was in there I turned the heat back on.

I'll address it soon..still busy with the move...but heater is on!

Thank you all again for the help...or advice...or just the feelings of not ,feeling to bad....make sense?



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Old 11-28-2012, 09:02 PM   #17
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Hoping for the best, faucets are out in the open, everything else is in cabinets, walls, or under the floor. At 27 degrees that may be enough to keep them safe.

doug k
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #18
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I did that a couple years ago - had to replace a pipe. Not the end of the world, but annoying. We hardly ever get serious freezes.

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #19
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Tyler , Texas
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Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
A big goof up is having your Airstream land on its roof....

With that being said, you need to get everything thawed out. Heat it up, open all the cabinets to help with warm air flow. Leave all the faucets open as you thaw.... leave the pump off, and make sure warm air can get to it, your accumulator, and any pump strainer.

When you have it warmed up, only then can you see if there has been any damage!

If you have split a fitting or cracked a line, keep an eye out for leaks, and certainly catch the drips.

When weather permits, hook up to city water and inspect for leaks aside from the onboard pump.

If the Airsteram gods are with you maybe you'll be lucky and escape with little or no damage... this will be your one and only freeze goof!

Best of luck, and keep us posted!

Better to first check thawed plumbing with compressed air.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:45 PM   #20
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I personally think you are doomed, but that is just because I've seen nothing but destruction in my Airstream from freezing temperatures. My vinyl floor cracked like the Grand Canyon.

If your faucets were frozen, that tells me the whole system was pressurized, so there is water everywhere. This means it likely froze everywhere. Pex doesn't expand any better than copper, and all the fittings are copper anyway. Those little rubber bands they call fasteners hardly contain 50psi.

You should also know that the 'low point' drains on the Airstream aren't. They have lots of places the plumbing runs up, then downhill, then up again. No draining that without air or pushing antifreeze though. It wouldn't be that hard to create a truly serviceable plumbing system, but say you've cracked the water going to your shower... you're screwed. You can't get in there without demolishing the surround (at least in my trailer).

The reason 27 degrees is plenty to kill an RV (not just an AIrstream), is they basically have no R value. Without that furnace going, you are going to reach outside temperature fast. It doesn't help the first things to get cold are under the galley, which is closest to the outside and has little air flow. And, the pipes run up against the wall.

So, now I've prepared you for the worst, so if it doesn't happen you will be happy. That is how Airstream customer service works.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:18 AM   #21
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Missoula , Montana
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Welcome to the great northwest, Shane. I feel for you - but you might just hop on over to Spokane Valley and meet the good folks of Airstream of Spokane. They are a great crew. They can help probably pull you inside their heated shop and figure out just what's the best course of action... and then winterize you until next spring when you can deal with this - and get on with your move up here!
(and I'm only 100 yards further from you than Mefly2!)
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #22
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The toilet water valve will be the first to break. So when you re-pressurize watch for leaks there.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:25 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
So, now I've prepared you for the worst, so if it doesn't happen you will be happy. That is how Airstream customer service works.
...Want a job?...
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:23 AM   #24
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I would also recommend seeing the people at Airstream of Spokane. They charge about $89 to winterize, and they can check for leaks at the same time. Highly recommend!
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:17 PM   #25
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"Oh no!!!? I messed up, I think....badly.
We just relocated from Texas to spokane and. . ."

Yeah, we relocated from Sunny California to Spokane and messed up too, so don't feel like you're the first. Our damage was a cracked strainer cup on the suction side of the pump. The PEX and faucets were fine. As I recall, less than a $20 problem including shipping.

Welcome to Spokane!

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Old 12-07-2012, 12:43 AM   #26
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1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Originally Posted by Friday View Post

If your faucets were frozen, that tells me the whole system was pressurized, so there is water everywhere. This means it likely froze everywhere. Pex doesn't expand any better than copper, and all the fittings are copper anyway. Those little rubber bands they call fasteners hardly contain 50psi.

I don't agree with any of the above statements.


I don't really think that you have damaged anything. Lots of folks seem to be making a big problem out of a little problem. I would run the heat for about 30 minute to one hour and start up the water pump. Then proceed to drain your water system or add antifreeze to it. I just drain all my water and put antifreeze in the traps.

Good Luck, Dan
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:26 AM   #27
1993 34' Limited
Hamilton , Ontario
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I bought an airstream 34' trailer that wasn't winterized!! After checking it out I found the city water connection was cracked as well as the fresh water aux filter had split. Other than that it was fine .
It had the pex lines. You could use an air compressor with appropriate adapter to the city water supply and charge the system with air and check for any leaks. (low air pressure 50 PSI +-)
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:50 PM   #28
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Hard Freezes and "Soft" Freezes

Camping in the Rockies in July can get you down to an 18 degree evening and a 70 degree afternoon.... all in 14 hours of time. Dubois, Wyoming in July can surprise you... at the Double Cabin campsite described in Boondocking.

The 18 degree morning did freeze up the system and the water pump. We opened the door to the water pump compartment and would "test" to see if the pump was operating. If not, we would test it later. This was done by quickly hitting the on/off switch to the water pump. At night or traveling on the road, we ALWAYS have the water pump OFF. Once the water pump ran, everything else was fine. But... even in July you can get a Hard Freeze.

Getting into the upper 20's will open the pump compartment door and let the air circulate, for what that is worth. If it is in the 20's for a number of days, then the water freezing is a problem, but I have not encountered any equipment or water line damages.

When we stored our AS at outdoor storage, I would drain the water system and leave them open until Spring travel. I took the pink trailer drain antifreeze and filled all of the drains... sinks and shower. I did not have the water lines blown out and have had no problems.

I now am lucky to have the trailer in our garage at home, but after four years of outdoor storage in Colorado weather, I have had no freezing damage. Of course in Colorado, a very cold evening in dry air can be a wonderful sunny warm day, so there are fewer hours in the dangerous maximum expansion of ice in "partially filled water lines under no pressure". If a water line is full of air with some residual water... it can not expand the same as water lines that are full with the expansion nowhere to go but against the water lines.

Call me a country boob, but blowing out the lines is the best alternative. Emptying your water system, antifreeze in your water traps is a distant second.

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