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Old 11-05-2006, 09:00 PM   #1
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2000 30' Limited
Austin , Texas
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Our First Winter With Our Airstream

We purchased out 30' Classic Last Easter and we are going we are Leaving Austin Nov. 18th and going camping for the week. My question is about avoiding the freezing pipes. We are going to Big Bend or New Mexico depending on the weather. Is it best to just drain the Water out or fill the water lines with anti-freeze? Please Help us out..
Thank You!!

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Old 11-05-2006, 09:08 PM   #2
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Come to California!

Sorry, that wasn't much help, but I've never had to winterize.....there are threads that talk about this, do a search. You should get some answers.

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Old 11-05-2006, 09:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Come to California!

Sorry, that wasn't much help, but I've never had to winterize.....there are threads that talk about this, do a search. You should get some answers.
You beat me to it.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 11-05-2006, 10:46 PM   #4
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Hello silversled -- and welcome to the Forums!

Altitude is going to increase your exposure to colder temperatures. But first, be very cautious proceeding in any frosty conditions -- or snow. Park it, turn up the furnace and have a good book or two.

Two 30# LP tanks will last longer than any summer season -- but disappear in a week or less of cold camping. Top them off before you leave home and monitor usage closely.

The inside of a trailer gets cold fast when underway. Plan on running the furnace when temps go below freezing -- yes, while underway too. (no need to do at all if above freezing of course) All the pipes are above the floor and run in spaces along with the furnace ducts. This is your principal weapon in protecting the plumbing. A space heater feels good to human inhabitants but does not warm this area under cabinets down at floor level.

A recent thread reported safe temperatures inside an unheated trailer as outside temperatures approached the 20 degree range. Take that with a grain of salt, especially if underway. Err on the side of safe plumbing. The consequences are annoying as heck, time consuming and expensive.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 11-06-2006, 08:06 AM   #5
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Hi Bob,

i agree that the trailer gets collllddddddd fast while underway.

but I thought the danger of pipes freezing while moving was low, due to the constant agitation of the H2O.

the idea of rolling down the road with my furnace going full blast makes me vaguely uneasy, though i'll admit there's not particular reason it should. and, i routinely travel with the fridge running on propane.

common sense (and the law i think) dictate that gas appliances be turned OFF before gassing up. ok i'll admit to sometimes leaving the fridge on, but keep the trailer well away from all of the the pumps.

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Old 11-06-2006, 10:43 AM   #6
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I've stayed in our 30' Classic when the overnight temperatures were in the upper 20's, with the furnace on, and not had any problems.

Personally, if I expected the temperature to be much lower than that, I would put antifreeze in the lines. Plus, if I thought that I wasn't going to be running the furnace for an extended period of time (say an hour or longer - such as if I was towing in freezing weather) then I'd want to have my water lines, drains, etc. winterized. I blow out the lines with compressed air first, and then pump antifreeze into them.

I've never tried to stay in colder temperatures than the upper 20's to test how low the lines are safe from freezing, and I don't want to test that in any case.

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Old 11-06-2006, 11:24 AM   #7
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Jon - I'd guess sloshing works for the tanks. It can't really happen in a pipe with no air space. Running LP while underway definitely raises some flags but can be effective if one finds themself in suddenly cold conditions. Weather is variable and none of us can spend weeks and weeks of trailering right at the edge of "too cold." Yes, turning off onboard LP devices (fridge and/or furnace) while gassing is mandated; couldn't fit all the provisos in one post.

John - We all get very effective and quick at winterizing. A few readers (myself included) actually have carried air compressors on the road for unplanned situations. It should be said many of us reach a point where we wouldn't bother un-winterizing if we had to use our Airstreams late in the Fall -- bring jugs of water, use outhouses, and treat the trailer like it's an aluminum tent. And this finally is an answer to silversled's original post in this thread. I do get windy at times ... .

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Old 11-06-2006, 12:43 PM   #8
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If you keeep the heat on you won't have any problems. If hooked up to electric you can use ceramic heaters to supplement the furnace, but keep in mind, if there is water in the tanks, the heat needs to be ducted to the tanks to prevent freezing.

If hooked up to water, leave it running a trickle at the bathroom sink to prevent freezing in the standpipe or your water hose. Make sure you have your sewer hose hooked up and gray valve open. However, a trickle will not fill the gray tank overnight.

If dry camping in freezing weather, use a plastic wash basin at both sinks and dump gray water into the toilet. Put rock salt into the toilet tank and it won't freeze. Limits showers as all used water must go into the waste tank but it still better than carry water in jugs.

Works in Canadian winters!
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:01 PM   #9
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lots of good answers here but i don't think you'll have a freezing problem where you're going at BB or southern NM until later into winter. I have a winterizing kit installed in my 30'classic. It's little more than a a tee and valve mounted to the water pump. In the winter I carry a couple gals of RV antifreeze with me just in case. in a emergency you mearly pump anti freeze through the lines forcing the fresh water ahead of it. when all lines run pink you're safe. Of course you should drain the hot water and fresh water tank first and turn water heater valves to the by-pass position--pieman
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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500 posts

Hey Mike,

You just hit the magic 500 posts. Congratulations.


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