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Old 05-09-2015, 01:27 PM   #1
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1988 32' Excella
Vestal , New York
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Winterizing 1989 Excella 32 ft Airstream

I would like to have a straight forward step-by-step checklist for winterizing my Airstream. I have tried using the manual that came with the trailer, and managed to lose my hot water tank, pump, and toilet flush valve. I resorted to storing it at my son's house in Georgia so it wouldn't freeze. I then looked into heated winter storage in upstate NY where I live, and didn't like either the expense of that idea or the facility. So, if someone out there with much more experience than I could help out, I really would appreciate it.
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:20 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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Assuming you dumped the holding tanks after the last camping trip. Ifnot do it now.

Drain the fresh water tank.

Blow out the system from the city water connection. Every faucet till just droplets are coming out. You will need to
buy or can make an adapter.

Drain the hot water heater. I use an 18 in. piece of hose in the drain to siphon off the bottom of the tank.

Close the hot water bypass valve if so equipped. If not install one.

Remove the hose from the fresh water tank to pump filter at the filter.

Put a hose into a gallon of anti freeze and connect to the pump filter.

Turn on the pump and while it is running open each faucet, hot and cold, till antifreeze shows. Same with toilet, bidet hose if equipped, and shower. Should take less than a gallon to do it.

Plug hot water heater drain.

Pour antifreeze into each trap, kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower drain, and toilet. Any extra antifreeze from this will go in the holding tanks.

In the spring fill fresh water tank and draw water from each faucet, hot cold and toilet till water is clear of foam. Hook up to city water and flush faucets again as some antifreeze will be in that line also. Drain the balance of the fresh water tank and close drain.

Open hot water heater bypass and fill heater. This may stir up sediment from the bottom of the tank and clog the strainers on the kitchen and bathroom faucets. If flow is less remove and clean strainers.

Save instruction for the fall.
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Old 05-09-2015, 03:59 PM   #3
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1988 32' Excella
Vestal , New York
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Just one stupid question: Where would the hot water bypass valve be? (Assuming there is one.) Thanks, all the rest seems very clear and in retrospect, obvious.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:15 PM   #4
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1981 27' Excella II
mays landing , South Jersey
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They usually are right alongside the water heater. Go to utube and search. Lots of info on any problems. Sal
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:20 PM   #5
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On your unit, Airstream was doing a quality job back then, it should be a single 3 x 4 assembly with 1/4 turn handle along the side of the heater. Generally accessible from the inside of the trailer, often under the bathroom sink.
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:27 PM   #6
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Little early to winterize unless you're in the Southern Gemisphere isn't it? Makes me glad I live in SoCal where we don't even know what winterize means.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Barker View Post
I would like to have a straight forward step-by-step checklist for winterizing my Airstream. I have tried using the manual that came with the trailer, and managed to lose my hot water tank, pump, and toilet flush valve. I resorted to storing it at my son's house in Georgia so it wouldn't freeze. I then looked into heated winter storage in upstate NY where I live, and didn't like either the expense of that idea or the facility. So, if someone out there with much more experience than I could help out, I really would appreciate it.
Like any mobile home where freezing is likely, you need to either wire wrap pipes with a heater tape that is connected to a thermostat that engages the heat tape that keeps the pipes from freezing and install a heater block coil ( Like an engine block heater that northerners use when they park their cars and plug in there engines) into your water heater if you are using it during winter months. If you are not actively using it, then you need to use a anti-freeze that is made for potable water systems. Camper stores carry these items and you'll have to install them or pay someone. There is no short cuts and no sugar coating it to make it easier than doing it the right way. Some mobile home even skirt around the whole base bottom to shield the undersides from extreme open air elements as well as heat the underside with variable means like space heaters so the floor never reaches below freezing. Including insulation to hold heat so the space heater doesn't stay on. Other than that there is no other cheap way than to leave it in the south where warmer climate is.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:50 PM   #8
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2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
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Hi Dan. We've had good luck with blowing the water from the system using compressed air. We live a little south of you but plenty cold enough for a hard freeze. I drain the hot water tank. Then, with a home-made fitting ( but they can be purchased ) attached to the hose fitting I connect the compressor line. I reduce the pressure on the compressor to 40-50psi. Some say we don't need to since the trailer has a pressure regulator. I still do it. I let the compressor do it's thing while I go around and open each faucet until just vapor blows out. Don't forget the toilet flush valve. If you have any in line water filters I remove them and just put the empty canister on. ( I put a new filter in for the next season). I'm anal about this so I do it 2 or 3 times just to be positive there's no standing water. I include the low point drains too. When done I attach the air line to the black tank flush for a quick blow out there too. When done I disconnect the inlet and outlet lines to the water pump and run the pump ( put a towel on the floor ) for a few seconds to pump any water out. A cup or so of RV anti-freeze in each trap and toilet bowl and I'm done. Has worked for me for 9 years now with no winter freeze issues. Others choose to pump RV anti-freeze through the system. That works well also. So choose one method or the other and go for it.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:55 PM   #9
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1983 31' Excella
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Similar question on a 82 Airstream 32 excella. Without a bypass am I correct that pumping the anti freeze in thru the city water inlet I will have to have enough anti freeze to fill the HW heater before it starts going thru the lines?. My heater is on the street side which is the opposite of my previous 89. and there is no bypass. Looked under the bathroom sink , nothing there. Is there another way to bypass the heater. Thank You
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