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Old 09-14-2013, 07:19 AM   #1
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1995 34' Excella
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step by step Winterizing for Vintage Airstreams

As I awoke this morning I can definitely feel the nip in the air. I have been thinking about the proper steps for winterizing our 68 Tradewind for a couple weeks now, I know it is not too far away. I have talked with some about blowing the lines and using the Pink RV antifreeze and others who just blow the lines only. I would like to hear from other vintage owners and get your step by step procedure for winterizing. I want to do the best job I can do on my first go at winterizing. Thanks for all your valuable info!
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:37 AM   #2
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In over 27 years of RV ownership & care we have done it both ways (anti-freeze, & just blowing the lines our). It depended on where we lived at the time & how cold we expected it to get. For example when we lived in northern IL & OH we always blew out the lines, drained the tanks, & pumped antifreeze thru the system & poured some in all the tanks, including the fresh water.

In Northern Texas (south of Dallas) we just blew the lines out and drained the tanks. Then poured antifreeze in the drains.

In Southern VA, we would blow out the lines, watch the long range forecast & pump antifreeze in if it was going to drop below 20 deg for several days.

We always used our RV's in the winter and even with the antifreeze we found that restoring the system to use was worth the hassle.

RV antifreeze also helps lubricate the seals throughout the ststem.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:14 PM   #3
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PattyDoug,

Thank you for the helpful info, it is hard to tell anymore what type of Winter to expect here in the South. Just to be on the safe side I want to do all that I can to protect the Coach. All the best!
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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Eric,

We dump the black and grey tanks when leaving with the idea that cold weather will come before we camp again. When I get to our storage site, I blow out the lines through the low point drains, drain the water heater (usually I remove the plug at the campground and put it back in at the storage yard), and I pour RV Antifreeze in the "P" traps (enough so some goes all the way to the grey tank), and a bit into the black tank. If a real cold front is on its way (less than 20f) then I will pump antifreeze into the water lines as well. I have never put any into the fresh water tank. So far that has worked for the winters in Atlanta.
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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Thanks Craig, When you say you blow out the lines through the low point drains, I am guessing your unit is equipped with drains from the factory. I appreciate your help,as this is my first time at winterizing.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:30 PM   #6
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I follow the Airstream checklist and drain all the holding tanks including hot water. I blow the lines with compressed air going from outlet to outlet several times. ( Don't forget the toilet and sink sprayers if you have them). I climb below and open the low point drains and give them a minute or so to blow and don't forget the black tank sprayer and external faucet if you have it. I remove the filter in the kitchen faucet and leave it out to be replaced with a new one in the spring. We have a whole house water filter below the bathroom counter and I remove that one also. With all that done I make sure all the faucets and drains are closed and put some RV antifreeze into all the drain traps and toilet bowl. I disconnect the shower hose and leave it off. I don't see the need to put antifreeze into the holding tanks. They're empty and even if there's some water remaining it can freeze without any damage. Finally I remove the inlet and outlet hoses to the water pump and let it drain any residual water onto a towel. Some remove the pump and bring it indoors. That's fine if you want but I've never done that. This sounds like a lot of steps but it all goes quickly and you can do other things as you go. We've been good through many northeast winters. Now, in the spring don't forget to close the drain for the hot water. I did once and was scratching my head when my pump wouldn't prime and that was the reason. Replace your filters and charge the system.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:50 PM   #7
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Roger,

Thank you very much for all the valuable info.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falcon-N-Air View Post
Roger,

Thank you very much for all the valuable info.
Agreed, truly appreciate your insight on preparing for our first winter with our first Airstream.
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