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Old 12-12-2007, 10:20 PM   #1
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Rivet Winterizing while part-timing

I have a different winterizing situation and would appreciate any advice. My permanent home is in Arkansas and I work in NW Tennessee. I'm living in the Airstream Monday thru Thursday and go back to Arkansas on weekends. I can't do a full blown winterization. I'm uncomfortable leaving any type of heat on in the trailer while I'm gone for the weekend and realize I'm asking for freeze problems this winter.
Does anyone have tips or ideas on doing a quick winterization before I leave for the weekend,... something that will increase my chances of not damaging the plumbing system and can be quickly reversed on Mondays.

Thanks,
TCM
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:44 PM   #2
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hi tcm...

if a wintering bypass kit is installed at the water pump...

you could pump antifreeze into the fresh water lines and water pump, in under 10 minutes.

might take a quart or 2 but it could be captured at the taps and used over and over...

and it would even less time to undo this.

that doesn't protect the tanks...

but leaving 'stuff' in the black tank lowers the freezing point some.

the wash water tank could be drained quickly.

does the trailer have electrical power via ac?

IF you aren't willing to leave the furnace on, how about a ceramic or oil filled space heater?

these are 1000 to 1500 watts and some have thermostat like controls...

of course they don't directly warm the tanks, but they do warm the shell and interior structure, so some heat gets to the tanks.

i use 2 of these,

davis air dryer


one placed near the water pump (under the closet floor) and one inside the galley plumbing area.

they are basically a small low temp coil inside a protective case and are designed to run 24/7....

it's just enough warmth to avoid frost and moisture related issues (mildew) but very safe in confined spaces.

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:39 PM   #3
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One added comment to 2Air's good analysis--put a little antifreeze in the drains to keep the traps from freezing. I doubt the traps will break, but if they are frozen, it's a heck of an inconvenience to thaw them. Sink and shower/tub.

If your pipe drains are good, just open them and the faucet(s). Make sure you don't have any loops or humps in the lines that will trap water and create a section of pipe that's full. The most fragile point in your whole system is the toilet valve. Make sure you drain the water in the pipes/tubes up inside the toilet by stepping on the pedal after you've opened the pipe drains--this goes for the shower valves, too. In my experience, it is amazing how many trouble spots there are in a small trailer where water will be trapped even with the drains open--even when I think about it I often forget one spot or another and the spring brings with it some fixit time. Make yourself a checklist (but don't admit it).

I agree with 2Air about the tanks--if it gets above freezing during the day, the tanks will be OK (but I still would make sure they aren't full). If you're connected to city water, you need to disconnect and let the pipe from your inlet to the pressure regulator drain.

Give yourself 30 minutes to do a thorough job--if you rush you will have a 3-hr repair job when you get back.

2Air, cute little device, but it looks like it's just an enclosed 13W element with no fan. Why not put in a 15W refrigerator or bug light? I think light bulbs are pretty safe too, say in a cheap trouble light fixture. And at about 1/10 the cost.

Zep
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
... cute little device, but it looks like it's just an enclosed 13W element with no fan. Why not put in a 15W refrigerator or bug light? ...
hi zep, that's exactly what it is.

more like a 70 or 130 w bulb i think. they make to sizes.

a mechanics bulb holder light thing, might work (we used to hang one in the pooch house during winter) but the bulbs do burn out, or break

and incandescent bulbs are hot enough that direct contact with other things isn't safe.

this little encased element is safe in direct contact with furnishings/framing...

and no light means no growth of some critters...

i purchased mine about 18 years ago. they were way less $$ and are still in use every season.

so 2-3 bucks per year (annualized) is in the 'light bulb' price range, but a LOT more durable...

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:59 PM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks for the replies, it's going to be an interesting winter and I appreciate the help. Good advice and things I hadn't thought of or read about on the forums.
TCM
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:32 PM   #6
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TCM1,

What solution did you end up using? How did it work?

I'm getting ready to part time through the winter and any advise you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for you help.

KB
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