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Old 02-09-2014, 09:19 AM   #15
Don't forget your cat nap
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Port Orchard , Washington
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Originally Posted by HeirsDreamJJ View Post
Here's the view from our front door:

Wow. the snow must be 10 feet deep. All I can see is white.


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Old 02-09-2014, 09:38 AM   #16
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South of the river , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by Marklar View Post
Howdy folks,
We just traded in our 20' Safari for a brand new 2014 30' International signature. It is our 4th year full timing but our first 6 day freeze in the new Airstream. All is well except for one thing. Our black tank froze. The question for you fellow Airstreamers is this. How does a fully insulated black tank freeze?
I would not characterize any of the tanks in an Airstream as "fully insulated" in any context other than in comparison to other RVs.

The insulation is thin and does not provide a continuous thermal barrier around the tank -- there are gaps.

The handle pulls in and out easily which means that we are frozen inside. How far up do you think we may have frozen?
My guess? Not far.

The tank is set up in such a way that it can't be wrapped in heat tape. A skirt is in our near future and if we can thaw out we'll pour some antifreeze down there next time the temp drops. Thanks so much for your help!
RV antifreeze is ineffective once diluted. Some people use salt. Although it's corrosive to metal, if you don't have any leaks, with a modern rig like yours it should never come into contact with anything but plastic. In your situation I would start by pouring a quantity of salt down the toilet.

To learn to see below the surface, you must adjust your altitude
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
A couple of pails of hot water should do it. Unusual though usually it is the valve that freezes.

If the valve does freeze pour a couple of gallons of hot water in the end of the sewer hose and then lift the hose up so that it forces the hot water up against the valve. In a couple of minutes you should be able to open the valve. Don't force the handle or you will have just a handle.
This is good advice
To learn to see below the surface, you must adjust your altitude
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:13 AM   #18
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1975 31' Excella 500
Toronto , Ontario
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Yes that's exactly what it looks like!! The good news is I spent all afternoon searching for how to post a photo and forgot all about our frozen black tank.
We got a new heavy duty extension cord and hubby taped the connection to waterproof it and so far no tripping. You've heard of Hot in Cleveland? We're about to be Hot Sh** in Toronto. (we hope)
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:45 AM   #19
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1978 25' Tradewind
London , England
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French Alps

We've been in snowy frosty weather before but we have been full timing 16 months now. Next week we are heading off for three MONTHS skiing in the French Alps. Some scary stories here on the forum but I dont think the tempeatures are as low as in the US - maybe worst is -10F at night. I like the polystyrene skirt idea. Is it better to keep dump valves open? Is salt and antifreeze a must? With skirts , can I use the fresh water tank? We have a 78 Tradewind with a great German propane warm air heater. We also have two oil-filled radiators at 2Kw and 1.5Kw. So far we've only run them at half settings and haven't needed the gas. We have good British sheep's wool insulation stuffed in all the places Airstream leave out!
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:41 AM   #20
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Denver , Colorado
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I thought the tank heaters were supposed to prevent freezing tanks. Is that not what the tank heaters do? Or are they only so effective?

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