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Old 11-25-2007, 08:55 PM   #1
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Oops - we didn't winterize in time

OK - so we're fairly new to this. This is our second winter owning an Airstream. We have to get some warranty work done on the trailer, so we decided to let the dealer winterize it for us (we have an appt. this week). When the outside temp. got low, we turned the heat on in the camper. Well. . . it got really warm (50s - 70s), so we turned the heat off and forgot to turn it back on. One night this week, it got below freezing (upper twenties - not sure for how long). What are the chances we blew out some of the plumbing? We live in NJ and have a 2006 Safari.
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:58 PM   #2
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How warm was it the day before?
Was the system under pressure?
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:00 PM   #3
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Not likely. Just get it done ASAP. I've gone below freezing dozens of times for a few hours and nothing will happen. It's the deep freeze where the liquids have time to expand but it can sneak up on you so be careful.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:42 PM   #4
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OK - I feel a bit better. Ironically, it was quite warm the day before - the temperature actually got up to 70 degrees! The below freezing temps likely occurred for a few hours during the night (It was above freezing when we went to bed, but was in the upper 20s when we awoke).

Thanks again for the reassuring replies - I'll let you know how we make out.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mother ship
OK - so we're fairly new to this. This is our second winter owning an Airstream. We have to get some warranty work done on the trailer, so we decided to let the dealer winterize it for us (we have an appt. this week). When the outside temp. got low, we turned the heat on in the camper. Well. . . it got really warm (50s - 70s), so we turned the heat off and forgot to turn it back on. One night this week, it got below freezing (upper twenties - not sure for how long). What are the chances we blew out some of the plumbing? We live in NJ and have a 2006 Safari.
The same thing happened to us this year but I had at least opened up all the drains under the trailer and drained off the excess water a few weeks prior to the cold snap. The first sign of an issue was when we tried to blow the lines out with our air compressor.

Nothing happened.

Further investigation revealed that the six feet of water line in the rear compartment between the city water valve and the water pressure device had frozen (but not burst). That problem was solved by putting a small electric heater in the compartment for a few hours.

After the first issue was solved, we moved on to blowing out the water from all the lines. We like to do this extra step as we feel there is less diluting of the antifreeze if we can clear out the water from the lines ahead of putting in the antifreeze. Anyhow, the next sign of an issue was when we turned on our water pump to suck the antifreeze thru the lines.

Nothing happened.

Further investigation revealed that the water in the water pump had frozen (but no damage). We again pulled out our trusty electric heater and ran it for a few hours under the gaucho. Problem solved.

Note to self -- next year...don't wait so long to winterize!
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:14 PM   #6
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It is written that
"Many are chilled, but few are frozen."
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:03 PM   #7
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It does take time for the water to freeze and expand enough to cause any great damage. I think you are fine.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by yukionna
Note to self -- next year...don't wait so long to winterize!
Hmmmmm. . . sounds like a plan!
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:02 PM   #9
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Freeze in California?

We had hard frezes overnight in SF area several years ago, and hadn't given thought to winterizing or draining former trailer.. We discovered failure mode was toilet flush valve body, which sprung leak detectable when system pressurized. It acted like a teensy Rain Bird sprinkler each time the water pump pulsed.. NOW it seems funny.... Wasn't so funny as we were about to head out on a trip when we discovered it..

Turning on water pump is better initial test than city water with hose, since you might be able to ehar problem and find it and shut water off quicker.. May still have to check city water inlet as well.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:45 PM   #10
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Well, for what it's worth, to winterize is to succumb, but I totally understand it needs to be done so don't send me hate mail, I do it too. I have a Lance also running and just took it to Nebraska and my god was it was bone chilling in Wyoming. God I love that state for some reason. I left it warmed last year and will this year too. I get VERY close to the US coldest spots in the winter by driving only 200 miles with chains. Sometimes the road is closed because of avalanche possibility but usually not, so plan to test this winter again. 81 Airstream is headed with me this year to test other inverters, converters and batteries.
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