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Old 10-28-2013, 09:43 AM   #1
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Winterizing

I am thinking about leaving my coach plugged in and the heat on all winter in the carport that's attached to the house. I will also be keeping water in the tanks to use the unit. I would appreciate any advise to keep from harming the unit in any way. I live in East Tennessee and it does get below freezing throughout the winter.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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I am thinking about leaving my coach plugged in and the heat on all winter in the carport that's attached to the house. I will also be keeping water in the tanks to use the unit. I would appreciate any advise to keep from harming the unit in any way. I live in East Tennessee and it does get below freezing throughout the winter.
Thanks
Pay special attention that you don't cook your batteries. Being plugged in all the time with your converter charging the batteries all the time will fry your batteries in no time.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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Yep if you stay plugged in all the time, your batteries will require frequent checks since your converter will cause the liquid to bubble and evaporate. I've exposed the plates and damaged the batteries by not checking frequently.

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Old 10-28-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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Or, Replace Your Converter

As soon as I got our current Airstream, I replaced the converter-charger with an Iota DLS-55 with a smart charger. It stayed plugged in for the last two winters since we had it parked in an RV resort here in Mesa, and the batteries did fine. This winter, since we won't be living in the Airstream, I removed the batteries and keep them in my garage on a Battery Minder smart charger.
You must top off the battery electrolyte with distilled water at least twice a year, but this will always be the case proportionate to how much you use your Airstream.

P.S. In every Airstream I have owned, I have replaced the converter as soon as I buy it. I once insisted on using Progessive Dynamics Inteli-Power converters. This time I switched to an Iota DLS-55 in my current Airstream, and I am very pleased.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #5
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If you are concerned about the batteries being overcharged and have a modern converter. Just disconnect the batteries and tape off the leads. I always remove the battery and just use the converter when plugged in at home. Haven't had a problem in 4 years.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:27 PM   #6
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Can I just put the AS in "store" mode while plugged in? It is my understanding that the batteries will not be charging in store mode. Am I correct or am I missing something? What if you live in your AS full time?
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:47 PM   #7
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I believe that the 2014 is wired to charge batteries in the "Store Mode."
You can always disconnect the batteries if that is the case.
But, they will discharge in 4-8 weeks depending on their condition (if they are lead-acid, flooded batteries).
Otherwise, I like your plan to keep heat on the trailer with electric space heaters. Be sure to open the cabinets.
I would remove the batteries and maintain them in the garage on a Battery Minder as I do.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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Since 1991, I never winterize my 1976 A.S. just dump gray & black tanks pump what water out as in 1976 A.S. did not provide method to empty potable tank, back into heated machine shed plug into 110, do not disconect batts. or any thing else furnace off, lock doors, forget till next spring, never ever had prob. batts. or any thing else. I also keep P.U. tractors etc. in shed so I can justify heating.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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Since 1991, I never winterize my 1976 A.S. just dump gray & black tanks pump what water out as in 1976 A.S. did not provide method to empty potable tank, back into heated machine shed plug into 110, do not disconect batts. or any thing else furnace off, lock doors, forget till next spring, never ever had prob. batts. or any thing else. I also keep P.U. tractors etc. in shed so I can justify heating.
Sounds like you are keeping a charge on the batteries with the converter-charger. Correct?
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:01 PM   #10
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Smile converter charger

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Sounds like you are keeping a charge on the batteries with the converter-charger. Correct?
Yes, never fried batts. since 1962 [first A.S.]. converter 1n 1976 crashed replaced, never had prob. w/batts. never used batt. tender etc. avg. batt. life 6 yrs. Also keep plugged in except on road or boondocking.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:08 PM   #11
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Conucur

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Yes, never fried batts. since 1962 [first A.S.]. converter 1n 1976 crashed replaced, never had prob. w/batts. never used batt. tender etc. avg. batt. life 6 yrs.
I charge all winter as well.
For the last two winters, they stayed in the Airstream.
This year they came out of the Airstream and into the garage on the Battery Minder because the Airstream is in a storage lot.
My experience matches yours except my average battery life is closer to 5 years.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:56 PM   #12
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What is "winter"??? Hardly can comprehend here in Central Texas..but, I have experienced -20F and 60MPH wind...and have seen what it does to man made things. We are sorta praying for a mild winter here again in Central Texas...any freeze we can handle with inboard heat for a day.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:01 PM   #13
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Are you heating it with the furnace or a space heater?

If the furnace, that will heat the fresh water tank and the other tanks, but will use a lot of propane. You might need to get a larger propane tank. The furnace fan will keep the batteries from getting too charged, but you should check them frequently and add water when necessary.

If you use a space heater, the water tanks get no heat and can freeze unless you seal; seal around the trailer and provide some heat from underneath the tanks.

If the temp gets below 20˚, keep any eye on the tanks as the furnace can only do so much. You can do as you would with a space heater—seal around the bottom of the trailer and possibly supplement with heat from below. If you keep water connected, you will either have to remove the hose when the temp goes below freezing, or get a heated hose. If you keep water connected to city water and keep the fresh water tank empty, you will still have to heat the black and grey tanks.

Airstreams are not really meant for winter use. The insulation is very thin and the metal and glass dissipates heat fast. It can and is done, but not without some challenges. There are a number of threads about winter living—check them out.

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Old 11-03-2013, 01:17 AM   #14
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Hi, I bought this at Camping World today for about $4.00 and will possibly need to use it some day. I believe that the hose will be too short. I can fix that.
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