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Old 11-29-2010, 05:48 PM   #15
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Wow I didn't know that a Airstream ever frooze with the heat on I have been in -14 last winter and we didn't freeze wow! I did leave a drawer out so the air could get around under the beds. I have frooze inlet lines before but never anything in the coach.... (Keep the furnace on while traveling)
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:57 PM   #16
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Then set the lid on pail by the side of the road with a "FREE" sign on it.
No free sign. My brother in law said he saw where a store put out some items they wanted to get rid of. Put a FREE sign out. Two days later still there, put a $10.00 sign on the stuff and it was gone the next day.
]Go figure.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:24 PM   #17
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Then set the lid on pail by the side of the road with a "FREE" sign on it.
A paper sack with some matches come to mind.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:35 PM   #18
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Yeah. $10. Honor Pay.

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:48 PM   #19
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Yeah, I assumed -- based only on our Airstream -- that all of them were winterworthy. When we started giving discounts and got a lot more Airstreams in, that's when I discovered that that assumption was false: Some are only warm-weather rigs.

(Even so, I wouldn't trust our rig in the temps we get here in the winter.)


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Wow I didn't know that a Airstream ever frooze with the heat on I have been in -14 last winter and we didn't freeze wow! I did leave a drawer out so the air could get around under the beds. I have frooze inlet lines before but never anything in the coach.... (Keep the furnace on while traveling)
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:22 PM   #20
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I have a 2008 23ft Int. In my owners manual section titled Winter Traveling on pg C-7 states " The furnace supplies heat to the water lines and tanks on all models except the 22ft. It has 12-v heat pads for the tanks. These pads are individually switched with the switch located next to the monitor panel." Arent these pads supposed to prevent tank freeze ups (especially with RV antifreeze)? TMarquis I'm assuming your 23 ft Int is the same as my 2008. My warranty info has a the warranty card for these heat pads., but I dont have these switches. I just assumed they thermostatically turned on when needed. Any know more about these heat pads and switches?

Paul
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:56 PM   #21
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While a strong wind might get the cold air through a crevice or two, wind chill is only significant as a perceived temperature on the human face. Wind chill does not affect inanimate objects. If the wind was gusting to 30 or 35 mph in your case (causing a -20 wind chill), the temp was about 5 above.
Wayne gotta disagree. Wind encourages convection. It carries away heat better than still air. A prime example is your engine radiator fan. If air movement is unnecessary to carry away heat, the fan wouldn't exist. True it will only cool to ambient temp, but if that temp is below freezing it will encourage the problem we're discussing. The tanks/plumbing/valves gain heat from the interior via conduction, radiation, and convection. They lose it to the outside air using the same forces. If the balance remains above 32 we're good. A stiff wind can change the balance for the worse.

My 25' has heated tanks but the dump plumbing is hanging in the wind.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:25 PM   #22
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Freeze

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So I decided to take our 23ft 2009 international to the ski resorts last weekend for some winter fun. Staying at a RV park is way cheaper than a hotel or condo, but I think I may have paid a price anyway.
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I thought I had all the tricks for winter camping down. I ran the furnace at 65 the entire weekend and had a portable oil filled electric going at full blast as well. I put RV antifreeze in the black and grey tanks and used the internal water tank as opposed to using a city hookup. BUT THE TANKS FROZE anyway.

Of course it did get down to -11 one night so maybe I was doomed no matter what. The faucets only seized up for a few hours but once they freed up i kept a slow drip going which seemed to help. When it was time to leave Sunday we opened up the dump valves but nothing came out.

So I figured we try again near home where the temperatures were in the 40's. I guess I didn't put enough antifreeze in the tanks. Because even after a few hours at 40 degrees we could not get the black tank to empty. (the grey did) So I decided to try the sewer flush thinking it might loosen things up, but all that did was raise the level in my black tank to the only a few inches from coming out of the toilet.

So the weather in CO is not looking to get much above freezing for the next few days. I will attempt to thaw things by maybe leaving the trailer inside a dealers garage for a day if possible.

Anyway, I'm freaking out!
How much damage does the occasional accidental freeze cause? Is my black tank ruined? Is having the sewage so close to coming out of the bowl going to mess up things? Are the newer plastic pipes more resistant to cracking than the older metal ones? Is it just to risky to attempt winter camping? i've heard of retrofits done to trailers where heating pads are installed around tanks and pipes. Do these sort of modifications work well?

Anyway I just really wish there was a worry free way to camp with all the conveniences a trailer offers (water and bathroom) in the winter.

Thanks for listening!


One error you probably made was running the portable oil heater at full blast. This allowed the furnace to only work part time and restricted the circulation of warm air to the lower part of trailer.
Let the furnace do the work, and use the portable as a backup. Just run it on the low setting when warm air circulation is important.
2nd error was not enough RV PINK STUFF in the waste water system. Remember that the valve is at the lowest point and usually exposed to the outside, or close to it.

Cold weather will usually get the waste water side before the fresh water side, if no PINK is added. Generally we have more volume of fresh water which takes a bit longer to gel. and the fresh tank is not directly exposed as is the waste valve.

Hope all works out for you.
Dave
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:38 PM   #23
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2nd error was not enough RV PINK STUFF in the waste water system. Remember that the valve is at the lowest point and usually exposed to the outside, or close to it.
Yes and water has poor heat conduction characteristics compared to metals so the cold water stratifies at the bottom with little to heat it.
Thermal Conductivity of some common Materials

Question: is there a chart of freeze protection for RV antifreeze similar to automotive antifreeze as a mixture? Or does RV antifreeze quickly lose protection when mixed with even a minimum amount of water?

I would think a little heat applied to the very bottom of the waste system, such as at the tank valves would be helpful...heat tape perhaps?

I agree about the furnace in cold temps you want it to do all the work because on most of our trailers there are ducts to the tanks. I'd consider running the thermostat at a little higher temp than needed for sleeping comfort, to try to blast the tanks and plumbing with as much radiant heat from the body as possible.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:05 AM   #24
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RV Pink Stuff

I don't know what the dilution ratios are for the PINK.
But I do make sure I have 2 or 3 jugs if I am heading for cold weather.

Remember the waste valve is only a 3" pipe and when exposed is like an ice cube tray. (small volume, and large exposed surface.) It cools off real fast, compared to the larger volume of fresh water in a tank that has a large volume compared to the surface exposed.

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:05 AM   #25
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I have done lots of dry camping while skiing in WV. I used bottled water and paper plates. To keep warm I ran the furnace, an oil filled electric heater and an electric blanket. We had use of a bath house, but I like the idea of a 5 gallon bucket with kitty litter if no bath facitilites are available. I got lots of skiing in for not much money. The mid week ski pass at Snowshoe Resort was about $300 and the camping was $300 for 3 months, electricity included. I only heated the trailer when I was there for skiing. When I arrived at the trailer I turned the electric blanket on first and then the furnace and electric heater. The refrig kept the beer from freezing.

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:16 AM   #26
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Hi, I thought about what you said and remember camping in zero degree weather. And another poster has similar thoughts to mine. I have, and use, an oil filled heater in my trailer, but in freezing weather, I can't use it because the only place I can have it is on the living room floor, close to my kitchen; This oil filled heater will heat up the area where my thermostat is located causing little or no operation from my furnace. My outside fresh water hose froze, but nothing else.
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:14 AM   #27
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Wayne gotta disagree. Wind encourages convection. It carries away heat better than still air. A prime example is your engine radiator fan. If air movement is unnecessary to carry away heat, the fan wouldn't exist. True it will only cool to ambient temp, but if that temp is below freezing it will encourage the problem we're discussing. The tanks/plumbing/valves gain heat from the interior via conduction, radiation, and convection. They lose it to the outside air using the same forces. If the balance remains above 32 we're good. A stiff wind can change the balance for the worse.

My 25' has heated tanks but the dump plumbing is hanging in the wind.
True, I guess I didn't make myself clear. I was trying to point out that temp was probably about +5, not -20. So the OP's problem was even worse than he thought as it occurred at a much warmer temp than it seemed.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:55 AM   #28
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We do not use the water or pipes diring the winter--last thing I need is a busted pipe. So we keep plenty of drinking water around, use a five gallon bucket if needed for the 'other' things. Also a
walmart bag will fit down in those toilets, but you gotta be kind of careful ...keep the trailer under skirted to keep any form of wind from going under-thats a must. We use a Mr Heater tank attachment for heat when it's needed the most, and a small ceramic heater that will keep the air 'roasted peanut quality'. Get that stuff out of those tanks and don't mess with it next time you go out in wintertime- it's not worth the hassel.
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