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Old 12-02-2009, 08:24 PM   #1
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Winterizing in Texas

For another newbie. We live in central Texas where we dont normally have extended freezes. Our vintage AS is stored in an enclosed shed but we will will have some periods of freezing weather. (like tomorrow!) What do we need to do to protect the trailer one day and be ready to go camping the next? Is a small heater in the shed practical or even lights in the shed or trailer? How long would the temps need to be freezing to cause damage? Is antifreeze necessary?
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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Well, one hard freeze, and there goes the plumbing, in a pricey and sometimes messy way.

I think the question you need to ask yourself is what is the chance of that happening?

If it CAN happen there, then my opinion is prepare for it fully as we all do up north. In for a penny, in for a pound. Half measures are just that.

Now, if you can store it in a manner that ambient air in the storage unit always stays above freezing, mazel tov! Don't worry, be happy!

If you're in doubt about how to winterize, just use the Google search tool in the airforums.com Search function (in the blue bar up top).

Lots of folks have written tons of good stuff on the question...
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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Suggest going to Walmart and buying three gallons of RV antifreeze--about 4 bucks a gallon. Then follow the instructions in the owners manual or on the posting mentioned above, including making sure the water pump has the antifreeze in it, and you're all set. Really not tough to do--when you see the pink fluid coming out of all the fawcets (hot and cold) and toilet you're protected.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:13 PM   #4
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I can't imagine that in San Antonio, in an enclosed building that you would ever have a prolonged hard freeze anytime, over the winter, enough to hurt your plumbing. I'm 1600 miles north of you and won't have that problem till middle of January.
If you really think it's a problem put a small electric heater inside the trailer.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:57 PM   #5
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Fishergal,

I'm down here in SA too, and all I do is plug in a small AC heater, set it's thermostat so it only runs when it's cold, and open all the cabinet doors where the water pipes are...i.e. under the sink in the bath and kitchen. That will take care of freezing down to about 25 degrees for the few hours we will have those temps.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #6
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Greetings from the north (TX that is)

Below freezing temps & not winterizing = some risk. Even in central TX.

That said, the risk is pretty minimal if you take some reasonable precautions. Your copper plumbing (assuming it hasn't been updated) is more susceptible to freeze damage than PEX.

A short dip below freezing is pretty unlikely to do any damage at all.

Having the trailer in an enclosed area should help moderate the temps somewhat.

I agree with the suggestion above to just put a small electric heater inside if the temps are heading below freezing. If you want to be extra cautious, make sure the pump is off, no shore water is connected and open all the water taps.

If you won't be camping for a bit and don't want to fool with the electric heater, you can always drain the water heater, blow the water out of all the lines with compressed air, put some pink stuff in the drains and keep your fingers crossed. That should be all you need until the temps are really below freezing for a longer period than normal down there.

If there is exceptionally cold weather coming in though, follow the normal winterizing procedures that are mentioned above for the folks that have winter. The first time you do it, it will take a while. With practice, it gets easier and quicker. Here's hoping you don't get too much practice in San Antonio though ;-)

Here in north TX, I just set the furnace for 40 degrees and buy the required propane to keep the interior above freezing. I use the trailer two or three weekends a month, year round though. I want to be ready to hook up and go at the drop of a hat.

Just my 2 cents.

Wayne
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:30 PM   #7
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I never winterized in Atlanta and didn't have the trailer enclosed either. I just drained the water, left all the valves & faucets open and put a small electric heater in the trailer. No problems and always ready to go. San Antonio should be warmer than Atlanta -- at least it was when I was stationed there.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:00 PM   #8
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We live in Tucson where we can have freezes, but they are infrequent, usually not extreme freezes, and never for prolonged periods... We store our Bambi in a "Bambi Port" attached to the house that is open on three sides with hanging tarps on 2 of those 3 sides. We do not winterize as we go camping frequently in the winter andn want to be ready to roll. If it's going to freeze, we set the furnace to 40 degrees and open all the cabinet doors, etc, so the warm air can get into closed places. An electric heater inside is not as efficient as it does not heat the belly pan area like the furnace will. If you are storing in an enclosed space and you can keep that space above freezing (with a heater...electric or otherwise) ... you should not have any troubles. We have camped with nights into the high 20s with no trouble ... we disconnect the city water hose and use the furnace. Happy trails!
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:28 AM   #9
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Here is a queston

We are leaving Houston TX today for a Airstream Unit Rally that will be in Conroe TX, just north of Houston. Believe it or not they are predicting SNOW on late Friday or early Saturday. Temps could drop below freezing for a short time. I always winterize with the pink stuff over the winter while the AS is in enclosed storage just to be safe. But what do I do about freezing conditions while on the road and camped. I am a fair weather camper and my old 1976 does not have a furnace. I carry 2 small elect heaters that keep us warm when needed.

Don
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:56 AM   #10
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If you are mildly concerned....at least drain all the water
using the low point drain valves....open all the valves...
release the water in the toilet....the "short list" can prevent
the Major damage.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adonh View Post
We are leaving Houston TX today for a Airstream Unit Rally that will be in Conroe TX, just north of Houston. Believe it or not they are predicting SNOW on late Friday or early Saturday. Temps could drop below freezing for a short time. I always winterize with the pink stuff over the winter while the AS is in enclosed storage just to be safe. But what do I do about freezing conditions while on the road and camped. I am a fair weather camper and my old 1976 does not have a furnace. I carry 2 small elect heaters that keep us warm when needed.

Don
Don - Weather.com says it could get to 25 degrees overnight Friday in Conroe. I'm not sure exactly where you will be, but it could be a degree or two colder than that. I wouldn't worry about freezing conditions while you are travelling, but Friday night, I would certainly make sure I was disconnected from the city water and the hose was drained. Keep the electric heaters cranked up and you will probably be warm enough inside. Keep the cabinet doors ajar under sinks and near the bath if you can to ensure some warm air gets to the pipes.

If you are keeping the trailer warm enough for you to stay in, the plumbing should be OK. No longer than it will be below freezing, I would not really worry about the tanks. It looks like it will be warmer Saturday and Sunday.

Good luck!

Wayne
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethowens View Post
....at least drain all the water
using the low point drain valves....open all the valves...
release the water in the toilet...
Yep. From someone who left his AS in enclosed storage in San Antonio for a long time... I drained everything fully and blew out the waterlines with low pressure compressed air.

I'm betting on "global warming" to take care of the remaining freeze threat.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:23 AM   #13
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I Live in the Woodlands, TX - just a couple miles south of Conroe. Like you I haven't had to winterize my RV, and called Airstream for some advice.

Buttom line was to get all the water out of my RV & clean/empty the Black & Grey water tanks. I opened the main drain & the cock valves, blew compressed air in the City water intake to get the remaining water out. Also disconnected the the outlet & inlets on the water pumps.

Then poured RV Antifreeze into the the sinks, showers, & toilet then drained the black & gray water tanks again.

Also topped off the water in the battery with distilled water & charged the batteries.

Randy from the Airstream factory said I should be fine.

Hope it helps. Took me about an hour.
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:49 AM   #14
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We are having the coldest morning here this year, or last.....20 degrees as I type this.

Sure hope that little electric heater is working.
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