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Old 12-04-2018, 09:43 AM   #1
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2019 22' Sport
Quartzsite , Arizona
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Winterize-Blowing Out Lines Compressor Question

Howdy,

Well I thought I'd be on the road before and freezes but it got down to 33° last night with 2 weeks to go!

I have drained the tanks and lines and water heater and prefer blowing out the lines to anti-freeze options.

Problem is my AS is in storage and difficult to get water and power.

My Tacoma has a 4 amp inverter built in and I have seen some oil free compressors that run at 2 amps Campbell Hausfeld 3-Gallon Portable Electric Horizontal Air Compressor is 2 amps. $80 for a kit! Get up to 110psi

Any ideas if this will work?

I have to read up on this but need to address today I think. I fear this may not be enough to overcome the 6 gallon water heater and build up enough pressure to vacate the entire system...

Thanks,

Warren
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:54 AM   #2
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The water heater has a drain plug. Bypass the tank after it is drained. After draining system hot and cold lines at low points. You can blow the lines using a bicycle pump if need be. You only need 40 to 50 PSI to pressurize the lines each time you blow a tap. There is enough air volume in the trailer lines to move out the residual water after draining the system. This method takes a bit longer but is every bit as effective as a compressor with an air reservoir.

Check out this vid from The Fit RV

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Old 12-04-2018, 09:57 AM   #3
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It is not the air pressure you need it is the volume necessary to move the water ahead of the air.

Yes that compressor will work if you can get a reserve tank between it and the trailer and work out of the tank once it is a pressure.

If you can't make up a system that will allow you to blow down the trailer you can just pump anti freeze directly into the trailer. By pass and drain the water heater and pump anti freeze in while opening one faucet at a time till you see anti freeze come out at that faucet. Don't forget the toilet and the traps. Any water that you pushed out and into the gray water tank will not be enough to cause a problem. For additional insurance you can pore additional anti freeze into the tank via one of the traps.

This will take about a gallon of anti freeze if your trailer has a water heater by pass. Close to 6 gallons if not. This is because you will have to fill the heater with water before water will be pushed int the hot water lines.

If the next 2 weeks the temperature will not drop below 25 degrees during the night and go go up to 40 during the days you should be OK without winterizing before you travel. It take a good 12 to 15 hours several degrees below freezing to freeze the lines in the trailer.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:31 AM   #4
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Hi

What it takes to freeze the trailer is highly dependent on the local micro climate and the wind. What the thermometer at the local airport sees is not always what you see at a campsite. Various bits and pieces of the plumbing are hanging out here and there so they might cool down pretty fast. People have had significant damage from a 29 degrees overnight sort of "freeze"

====

This all sounds like a terrific excuse to get yourself an early Christmas present of a nice new 2KW inverter / generator . That would solve the immediate issue of power for a real compressor *and* give you a useful accessory for the future. The same "surprise it's cold" issue camping at a zero hookups site will also drive you to a generator pretty quickly. The furnace pulls a lot of battery power ....

That said, *can* you get the job done with a small compressor? Sure you can. Plan on spending an afternoon doing the job. You will spend a lot of time on each step with a small unit

======

Regardless of the compressor size, the approach is the same. Open the drain valves and let them do what they can. That includes the fresh water tank. Mine take overnight to stop dripping. (don't forget to open all the faucets ...). Then get the hot water heater dumped and isolated.

After that, it's a lot of on/off/on with each faucet / valve in the trailer. The hot side of a faucet gets treated as a separate device from the cold side. You wait for the compressor to stop at each cycle. You blow each one until there is no water.

After that is all done, you disassemble the water pump and get it cleared out or play games blowing it out (carefully) via the fresh water tank.

Pause for about 20 minutes to let things drain back down the lines.Then re-do the full circuit of all the faucets. It's the same drill as before. You cycle each and blow until you get no more water. That pause and full cycle gets repeated until the full cycle gives no more water. If you are lucky that may not be very many cycles.

======

With a small compressor I'd run a fairly long air hose as a "reserve tank". It will not help as much as a real tank, but it is better than nothing at all. The hose cuts down max flow rate, but stores air. Not ideal ....

Bob
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:57 AM   #5
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My first Airstream was a 1985 Excella 30'er. I don't recall it having low point drains but it may have. My current AS is a 2001 also 30'er and it does have low point drains. Now, in theory, the low point drains should be at the LOW POINT of the plumbing. Hence them being called LPD's. We all know that something this simple just ain't always so. But, back to the theory, if you open the LPD's and open the interior faucets to let air in shouldn't ALL the water drain from the lines ???? Now I'm not going to be the guinea pig here. I do open the LPD's but I also blow the lines with compressed air.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:19 PM   #6
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Viair 450 Automatic for Winterization

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
...

With a small compressor I'd run a fairly long air hose as a "reserve tank". It will not help as much as a real tank, but it is better than nothing at all. The hose cuts down max flow rate, but stores air. Not ideal ....
My Viair 450 automatic has a continuous duty cycle so can be left on for the full winterization. Combined with the Viair RV winterization kit (air pressure regulator and quick connect fittings) it will automatically shut off when the desired pressure in the system is reached.

The plumbing system has plenty of volume (assume 1/5" diameter pex and 100 feet of plumbing tubing you have more than 1 gallon of air. If you leave the empty hot water tank in the system you will have over 7 gallons of volume.) You can go from tap to tap inside and not have to go outside again until you are doing the outside shower.

As space and weight are always limiting factors when camping I like to have tools/equipment that serves more than one purpose (tire inflation and winterization). Or, as OTRA 15 likes to say: K.I.S.S.

Viair RV Winterization Kit
Click image for larger version

Name:	90145_rv-winterization-kit.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	26.6 KB
ID:	329123
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:44 PM   #7
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Well..

I bought the $79 Kobalt 2 amp compressor kit from Lowes that included a cheap hose. Ran full speed on my Tacoma's stock 400w inverter.

I would not have wanted to do this with any less of a compressor much less a bicycle pump as it took about 30 minutes and 5 cycles or draining.

It seemed to be oil free. After getting to pressure I blew into a white clothe and no staining or smell.

What I did was prime to 50psi. Opened and closed furthest faucet, let pressure build and then next furthest and so on.

The repeated on hot system. I was surprised so much water came out of the hot side! Even more but I don't think I switched to hot when draining the system so lines were full.

Probably not gonna freeze before I hit the road but it was cold enough last night for me to be proactive! In think it was 34° and not gonna warm up drastically soon.

Thanks,

Warren
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
My Viair 450 automatic has a continuous duty cycle so can be left on for the full winterization. Combined with the Viair RV winterization kit (air pressure regulator and quick connect fittings) it will automatically shut off when the desired pressure in the system is reached.

The plumbing system has plenty of volume (assume 1/5" diameter pex and 100 feet of plumbing tubing you have more than 1 gallon of air. If you leave the empty hot water tank in the system you will have over 7 gallons of volume.) You can go from tap to tap inside and not have to go outside again until you are doing the outside shower.

As space and weight are always limiting factors when camping I like to have tools/equipment that serves more than one purpose (tire inflation and winterization). Or, as OTRA 15 likes to say: K.I.S.S.

Viair RV Winterization Kit
Attachment 329123
Hmmm.

My Viair 88P (which is maddeningly MIA!) was not continuous duty. You have to pause between tires when filling just 10psi.

The Kobalt I used was more efficient I'm sure as well as cheaper BUT bigger and heavier!

Adventure.AS do you use battery on TV to power it? I would have engine running with the 88P.

I'm gonna check this one out!

Thanks,

Warren
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:28 PM   #9
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I just use a Stanley brand combination jump starter box/compressor sold at Sams Club for $60.I set the pressure shutoff at 40psi.Works great.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rounder44 View Post
Hmmm.

My Viair 88P (which is maddeningly MIA!) was not continuous duty. You have to pause between tires when filling just 10psi.

The Kobalt I used was more efficient I'm sure as well as cheaper BUT bigger and heavier!

Adventure.AS do you use battery on TV to power it? I would have engine running with the 88P.

I'm gonna check this one out!

Thanks,

Warren
I often just use the trailer batteries, especially if plugged in to shore power, but the TV battery withe engine running is better.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:05 PM   #11
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Lots of threads on this process.

Here's just one.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458...ml#post2031057

One technique i follow is to alternate with a nose up nose then nose down attitude when blowing to the lp drains. Makers sense to get the lp as low as possible...gravity assist doesn't hurt. I also pump the lp drains with my finger. Cap the drain tube for a 5 count...repeat, repeat, repeat. Seems to help get that last bit of moisture out.

Bob
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:35 PM   #12
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New Hudson , Michigan
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I do both, anti-freeze is really easy if you pick up the camco winterizing kit that bypasses the tank and gives you a direct line to put into a 1-gallon antifreeze jug, flip on the pump and it sucks it right through the lines, open each faucet till it runs pink and done. Usually takes about 2 gallons for my 30ft FC.
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