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Old 12-16-2016, 10:41 AM   #1
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Winterizing while hooked up?

We are full-timing in our new Airstream, but we know the next few nights will be very cold at night (15's). We are hooked up with electric, but not hooked up to water, and we have flushed all black and gray. We also plan to flush all the fresh water too if needed.

My question is: do we need dump all the fresh water too, and flush lines with RV antifreeze? Or will the gas and electric heaters provide sufficient warmth throughout the rig to protect it?

Thanks for all your feedback -- most winterizing articles, videos, etc. assume that the rig will be stored. None of them (that I can find) address what to do if the rig is being lived in and is hooked up to electric.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:46 AM   #2
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If the cold is only overnight and not remaining below 20 degrees the following day you will be OK. just talked to a member that is full timing it and last night was 10 degrees.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:35 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! It will be helpful if you specify the year and model/length of your AS, as models differ in their susceptibility to freezing weather. In general your plan seems sound, but various remote plumbing runs might be vulnerable to freezing IMO. In our Flying Cloud 20' for instance, the rear storage area contains lots of plumbing runs which are in an unheated space, and would likely freeze and burst with 15 F temps, and a strong wind hitting the rear of the trailer.

Ditto for the plumbing runs to the shower valve and outdoor shower, on our street side amidships. Even with the interior of the trailer at 65 F, the plumbing buried in the street side wall would end up closer to the 15 F exterior temp, than to the interior 65, especially with a wind from that direction.

Good luck!

Peter



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Originally Posted by Geeksharka View Post
We are full-timing in our new Airstream, but we know the next few nights will be very cold at night (15's). We are hooked up with electric, but not hooked up to water, and we have flushed all black and gray. We also plan to flush all the fresh water too if needed.

My question is: do we need dump all the fresh water too, and flush lines with RV antifreeze? Or will the gas and electric heaters provide sufficient warmth throughout the rig to protect it?

Thanks for all your feedback -- most winterizing articles, videos, etc. assume that the rig will be stored. None of them (that I can find) address what to do if the rig is being lived in and is hooked up to electric.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:56 PM   #4
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Drain hot water, leave unplugged, drain fresh, byoass hot and pump some rv fluid in. I am not able to find and repair a buried pioed and it woukd be very expensive to find and fix. Use bittled water and make yousekf a pirta pottie, peace of mind.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:47 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. Our model is a 2017 25FB Flying Cloud. We've drained all the water, all tanks, hot and cold. Are only hooked up to Electricity. We are now trying to ensure that the pilot for the water heater doesn't keep trying to light. Unclear if that is needed, and if so, how to find and disable the water heater pilot light.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:31 PM   #6
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Never mind -- I was way overthinking everything. We simply flipped the electric and gas pilot switches in the bathroom. I think we're good. Hard freeze tonight, so fingers crossed.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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Sounds good. When you go to bed maybe leave cabinet doors open so that the interior warmth can get closer to any pipes, where residual water may be. In our FC20 I would open one door under the kitchen sink, bath sink, and under the dinette seating where our water heater is. [not sure where yours is]

Since you are hooked up to electric, you could also turn on any lights in your exterior storage areas for extra heat there. In ours, that would throw a small amount of heat into the rear storage area where we have some piping.

The trap for the shower floor drain may be vulnerable too, so if you can get any RV antifreeze and dump two cups down there, that would help. Cheap vodka will do fine also [in the trap ]

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- You don't have an electric macerator as part of your toilet, do you? If near the cold air, it too could be vulnerable IMO. I think these are mainly in the Interstate motor homes, but no harm in measuring twice and cutting once!
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Old 12-17-2016, 03:50 PM   #8
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We have same year and model as you. Let us know how it went. I would be concerned with the outdoor shower. GL
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:27 PM   #9
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This is from the AS website:

Are Airstream travel trailers suitable for living in the cold winter months?

Any exterior water or sewer lines will freeze if they have fluids in them. Keep them dry. Interior tanks and plumbing will be okay as long as you keep the unit heated.

You will need to use your furnace for heat. Air conditioners with heat strips and heat pumps do not work at low temperatures (below 38 degrees). The furnace will help keep the trailerís internal water lines from freezing. Heat ducts or heating pads also assist with the lines and tanks. Running your furnace will quickly deplete your batteries if you are not connected to electricity, though. A catalytic heater may be an option as they do not use electricity.

You can put a gallon of RV antifreeze into your gray and black tanks as this will settle down to the drain pipes and helps prevent the pipes from freezing up. A trick for the exterior is to buy a spare sewer outlet cap, then drill and mount a lamp socket to it. Wire up the socket and use a low wattage bulb such as a Christmas light. It will keep the outlet area warm as well as the adjoining pipes.

Take in your city water line at night and use your internal fresh water tank overnight. Use your fresh water & sewer hoses as needed but take them up and drain them well until you need them again. Be sure to winterize the city water inlet.

Traveling on icy roadways is definitely more dangerous as traveling during the summer.

Use silver roll insulation between the windows & the curtains as well as the skylight and fan locations. This will help retain heat when extremely cold.

Keep your electrical cords, cable & phone lines off the ground, as they may become stuck to snow & ice.

A blow dryer is a safe way to thaw pipes.

Be sure to install fresh batteries in your smoke alarm before traveling.

Do not use your cooktop and/or oven to heat your unit. These are for cooking only.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:00 PM   #10
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So much mixed advice to consider.

I have a 2016 FC 25 rear bed. I am planning living in it full time parked with shore power and attached to city water on an Island off the coast of Washington State. I read and worried a lot. As the temperature seldom gets less than 24-26F, and usually for about 4-6 days, about 5 times per winter, I have -- only when this cold -- merely let the unmetered sink-water flow at lead pencil width and it will not freeze the hose crossing about 30 feet on the ground. I leave the grey water outlet open. The only other precaution is to leave the hot water tank heating off electricity; this seems to provide enough warmth to where most plumbing is located to ward off anything freezing. I keep the inside temp between 55 at night and 66 in the day with 2 small space heaters and top the heat off occasionally with the furnace. That's it. So far not any problem after 10-12 unseasonably cold days.
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeksharka View Post
Never mind -- I was way overthinking everything. We simply flipped the electric and gas pilot switches in the bathroom. I think we're good. Hard freeze tonight, so fingers crossed.
Please let us know how you made out, and whether you had any neighbors with RV's that experienced any freeze-ups.

Rob, what works for you may not work for other 25' models IMO (front bed vs. rear bed). As noted earlier, our FC20 has exposed pipes in the rear storage area which would definitely freeze up early especially with any wind coming from that direction.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:54 PM   #12
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Winterizing while hooked up?

Spent a couple weeks in 22 degree weather in Northern Alabama.

Filled water tank and ran on pump at night. Disconnected and drained fresh water hose at night. Turned on tank heaters 24 hours a day because we had power hookup.

Burned lots of propane to stay warm, heat water, but no other issues. Left a vent cracked to let humidity out. Dogs and people did fine.


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