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Old 10-03-2010, 11:21 AM   #1
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Winterizing my Airstream

I need some help please....I am having to leave my Airstream in Colorado for the winter and have been told that I need to winterize it. What exactly do I need to do? The park manager says I need to put antifreeze in the lines, moth balls around the outside etc...does anyone have experience with this to give me guidance. Any advice I would greatly appreciate.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:53 PM   #2
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1. Open and drain the low point drains under the galley and in the bottom of the bathroom closet, draining the waterlines and fresh water tank
2. Drain the water out of the water heater
3. Bypass the hot water heater if you have a bypass
4. Pump RV antifreeze (not automotive) into the system opening each faucet, shower head, and toilet until antifreeze comes out. There are several methods including: pumping through a faucet or using the water pump
5 Pour a cup of antifreeze into sink and shower traps
6.Some people also blow out the plumbing lines with an air compressor and a special fitting
7.If you have a water heater bypass you will need 4 gallons of antifreeze. No bypass 6 gallons.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:48 PM   #3
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maybe a trickle charger with voltage float for the battery
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #4
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I blow the lines with air and then pump anti freeze in. RV stores sell a pump that allows you to pump anti freeze through the fresh water in take. My friend and I have used this method for several years with no problems. Oh, be sure to drain and by pass the hot water heater.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I hate that it's time to winterize! If you have a flat screen tv take it out. Freezing temps are hard on the LEDs.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:59 AM   #6
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winterizing

First time for me too. So much information to sift through to figure out the right thing. My question: is compressed air necessary if pumping antifreeze with the water pump? Should drains be left open during and after pumping of antifreeze?
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:36 AM   #7
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I blew out the lines and then pumped in anti freeze through the lines by using my water pump. Then I removed the shower head and the kitchen faucet. I left the drains open. I then removed EVERYTHING including the hgtv. I also heard dryer sheets keep mice away so I put them inside the camper, not sure if it's a wise tail but it smells good so what the heck. After I parked it I removed both batteries and have them at home on trickle chargers. I also sprayed any filform spots and all my seams (outside) with bio shield. I might have gone overboard but Id rather be safe than sorry. It's not that hard to do but take your time and follow the directions.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:54 AM   #8
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Hi Callie-B -- welcome to the Forums!

You may need to install a bypass valve just before your pump. These aren't part of the original equipment although a previous owner (PO) may have installed one.

An air compressor helps push out some water -- you'll use less antifreeze that way.

The major 'less antifreeze' step is draining your HW heater and turning the valves to winter position before you pump antifreeze through. The amount it takes to fill the HW heater amazed me the one year I forgot to do that.
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One of the better discussions on winterizing is john hd's thread, Getting ready for the freeze - winterize, contained in the broader winterizing subforum.

Holler if you need help.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:03 AM   #9
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I collect RV antifreeze at each tap as they run. I re-use this recycled antifreeze as I pump it through the other taps. This is another reason I like blowing out first -- the antifreeze is not diluted and so I am assured that the valves & low points receive full strength stuff. Don't forget to run your toilet flush valve too.

I don't feel I need to leave the plumbing full of antifreeze. With the pump off, I open a hot & cold faucet somewhere in the trailer to let air in and then drain out antifreeze from my low point drain under the trailer. This extra relatively full strength antifreeze goes into the sink & shower P-traps -- a quart in each poured relatively fast should flush out all the water. I'm not a fanatic but find it takes me about 3 gallons of the juice. I start with 4 just in case and usually have a gallon on standby for next year.

You'll start this whole process with your HW heater drained from the outside and your fresh, gray and black tanks drained. Sometimes I raise the opposite side up on a few leveling blocks. There will be some quarts or a gallon or more left in the tanks under the trailer. That small amount won't hurt these sturdy tanks. Some of the antifreeze gets into the gray tank -- doesn't need it but won't hurt it. Try to avoid getting any into the fresh tank. This syrupy stuff is hard to rinse out.

In the spring I run fresh water through everything and it ends up in the gray tank for the first tank dump of the spring. Not sure how legit this is... Any residual RV antifreeze foams a lot at the taps and I give up -- it takes the first couple of weekend trips before it starts running clear. Until then I use jugs of water to water the dogs. RV antifreeze is not toxic like auto fluid but I like to minimize extra reasons for canine drippy syndrome in my terrestrial submarine...

And finally -- RV antifreeze kills grass.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #10
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We also blow out the lines before adding RV antifreeze. We are in a cold area and don't want to take any risks. In addition to removing the main batteries, we also remove the batteries in our smoke and CO detectors and leave those hanging open to remind us to put in fresh in the spring. Airstream recommends leaving all the cabinet doors open for better circulation.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
1. Open and drain the low point drains under the galley and in the bottom of the bathroom closet, draining the waterlines and fresh water tank
2. Drain the water out of the water heater
3. Bypass the hot water heater if you have a bypass
4. Pump RV antifreeze (not automotive) into the system opening each faucet, shower head, and toilet until antifreeze comes out. There are several methods including: pumping through a faucet or using the water pump
5 Pour a cup of antifreeze into sink and shower traps
6.Some people also blow out the plumbing lines with an air compressor and a special fitting
7.If you have a water heater bypass you will need 4 gallons of antifreeze. No bypass 6 gallons.
It is that time of year again - does anyone have pictures or could tell me where the low point drain valves are on a 2008 23FB? I don't know that I've seen these before when I've watched them winterize my unit. Going to try to do it myself this year.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:10 PM   #12
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I live in Colorado and winterize my AS by blowing out the lines.
Here is the proceedure.
1. drain water out of fresh water tank and hot water tank. Close water valve and put the plug back in the hot water tank. Completely drain each holding tank. Don't put water and deodrant into the black tank
2. Attach compressed air fitting onto city water outlet. It has 1/2 thread (garden hose) fittings on one side and a bicycle type air fitting on the other. These are available at an rv supply store.
3. Hook up air compressor to the fitting. I use a 120 volt inflator, available at an auto parts store for about $40. Let it run for a couple of minutes and start turning on water valves. Don't forget the toilet, the toilet sprayer if there is one, the kitchen sprayer and any outdoor faucets. I turn on each valve on 2 or three times until there is nothing but air coming out. If you use a big compressor turn the pressure down to 40 pounds.
4. When there is nothing but air coming out of all the faucets, find the fresh water pump. Mine lives under the street side clothes closet. Disconect both fittings from the pump. You should be able to do this by hand. Have a small towel available to catch the water. Run the pump for a few seconds to empty it of water. Hook it back up.
5. Take a gallon bottle of rv anti freeze and put a small amount of Rv anti freeze in each tap (kitchen sink, bathroom sink and shower. Use enough so that rv anti freeze flows out of the trap into the gray water tank. Put the rest into the toilet.
That's it, your done. It takes me about an hour and is dead easy.
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