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Old 12-12-2013, 07:01 PM   #1
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Winterize before my winter trip?

So I did not plan to winterize because I live in Los Angeles. I don't suspect it will ever get below freezing for any real extended amount of time. I am, however, traveling in the trailer to NE Ohio for X-mas. I leave late next week and will arrive on the 24th, stay one week and then take about 10 days to get back to LA. The temp there is well below freezing and I suspect it will stay that way the whole time. That being said:

Is there anyway to use my water system while on the road from LA to Ohio and back again? I sure would love to use the facilities and take the occasional shower. Even cooking will be hard of I don't have water to wash dishes with... Any suggestions?

Thanks for any help. I know topics similar to this have been discussed...
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:46 PM   #2
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Running the furnace while traveling, and when you stop, should take care of the plumbing. It is ducted into the underbelly. Set the furnace on maybe 50 while moving, then whatever you like when you stop. Enjoy the full advantages of your trailer year round.

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Old 12-12-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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It all depends on the weather. Running the furnace and water heaterwill work down to zero or so if you leave cabinet doors open.
We carry an extra pump for transferring water when we boondock but can also use it to winterize by the side of the road in about ten minutes if need be.
When below freezing we prefer to just use jugs and paper plates. and leave the trailer winterized. You can always rent a shower in a truck stop if need be.

I lived in Northeast Ohio most of my life (and don't miss it a bit) and the weather is a crap shoot as you know.
I have had trailers slush up enough that water wouldn't run even with the heat on..
If it really cold run a little through each faucet whenever you stop.
While you can get by in cold weather the Airstream is not a good cold weather trailer and you may find you are going through 30 lbs of propane every 2 days or so if it gets bad.
Good luck, maybe you will hit a warm spell.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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Check you propane tanks regularly while traveling. The wind will be blowing at your traveling speed, making the chill effect colder and increasing the air exchange rate inside the trailer, with more air leaking through window seals and the belly pan, etc. So it will take more propane than normal.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:22 PM   #5
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We got stuck up north late and had regular temps in 20's for a week. Flew through propane and also be sure to have generator ready as the furnace running nonstop runs them down.

And that d$!n condensation.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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Check you propane tanks regularly while traveling. The wind will be blowing at your traveling speed, making the chill effect colder and increasing the air exchange rate inside the trailer, with more air leaking through window seals and the belly pan, etc. So it will take more propane than normal.
Wind chill normally has no effect on inanimate objects. HOWEVER, a trailer with the furnace running has a metabolism of sorts (it tries to maintain its own temperature) just like a living critter, so wind chill WILL affect it then. And as you're towing, regardless of what the actual wind is, the effective wind will be at least equal to your travel speed, as A W Warn said.

It's actually to your advantage to travel winterized, and only unwinterize when you reach your destination. You not only take wind chill out of the equation (the trailer isn't trying to maintain its temperature, and so wind has no effect on the rate of heat transfer), but it also means the fridge doesn't use as much propane, either. It doesn't have to work as hard to cool the inside of the fridge if the outside of the fridge isn't heated. And you don't need the water heater running if the water heater is empty.

One can get by just fine for overnight stops without water in the lines. Carry a jug of antifreeze to add to the holding tanks, and bottled water. Carry the bottled water in the heated portion of the tow vehicle until you park for the night, and only carry a day's worth so it's less effort to move the water from tow vehicle to trailer once you fire up the furnace; you can buy more water along the way if you have to. Heat water for sponge-bathing, if necessary, on the stove; carry a teakettle.

At your destination, you can figure out your water supply and such based on actual conditions. But having an air compressor along to blow out the water lines before the trip back would not be amiss, if you do unwinterize and use on-board water at your destination.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:52 AM   #7
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So I decided that I am going to winterize today before my trip. I will dewinterize on my way back south after Ohio. To blow out the lines, can I use a air pump for car tires? We have an emergency kit with a 12v air compressor to re inflate a low tire, will that work?
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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If just blowing out the lines you really need a high volume air supply.

A 12v air compressor will only get the bulk of the water out, this wont be good unless you also use RV-antifreeze. When using RV-antifreeze you don't really need to blow out the lines unless the temps you will be expecting are close to the limit for the RV-antifreeze (I think -50*) or you plan on reusing the antifreeze (some people do but it's not that expensive).
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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So if I just use the rv antifreeze, I just pump it through the pump...and run it through the system? How much do I need? Then I know to put it in the p traps too...
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:33 PM   #10
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If just blowing out the lines you really need a high volume air supply.

A 12v air compressor will only get the bulk of the water out, this wont be good unless you also use RV-antifreeze.
I use a 120vAC air compressor with a 1.5-gallon tank pressurized to 150psi, blowing at 60psi through a pressure regulator. Works fine to blow out the water. A 12vDC compressor won't do the job.

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So if I just use the rv antifreeze, I just pump it through the pump...and run it through the system? How much do I need? Then I know to put it in the p traps too...
If you remember to bypass the water heater first you should get by just fine with a couple of gallons.
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