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Old 01-22-2019, 05:53 PM   #1
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Itching to get back out in my Airstream

I purchased my 28' Flying Cloud late last summer and only had 3 months of camping before I had to winterize it. I live in Chicago (but am from Miami), so really have no idea when I can reverse the process and get back on the road again (I'm a weekend warrior with a couple weeks for longer trips).

Anyone insight is greatly appreciated. I figure May is probably okay, but can I start in April? Any general rules of thumb (besides move south?!).

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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We’re from St Louis and have s 25ft and loving it down in warm sunny Ft Meyers beach
Come on down!
I’ll have to winterize before heading back
Lot of people staying down here all winter
You should be good as son as night temps stay above freezing
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:37 PM   #3
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Look up the almanac date of last freeze and last frost in your area.
Here is Kansas City area campground typically re-open April 1 with water on.
(state park types).
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:03 PM   #4
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We are also itching ...dry camping helps to extend the season.

Repeat as necessary ...
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:14 PM   #5
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Wow! Been out there for 5 months! My wife and I are on our way home!

Good luck on your travels and try to stay out there as long as you can!
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:19 PM   #6
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Itching to get back out in my Airstream

Greetings yellowcake!

I spent many of my early years in Kankakee, Illinois -- not too very far from your location. We generally considered our camping season the second week in March through the first week in November. We typically winterized around the first week in October and reversed the process the first week in April -- we would keep check on long-range forecasts and adjust as necessary on winterize/de-winterize operations.

During the early and late season camping trips while the coach was winterized, we would leave the potable water system winterized, but would carry 5-gallon jugs of water for use (typically 4 for a weekend) -- one reserved for use in flushing toilet, two for cooking, dish washing, and drinking, and the fourth as a reserve. At the end of the weekend, we would dump the waste water holding tanks and pour about one cup of RV anti-freeze down the shower drain, bathroom wash basin drain, and Kitchen sink drains. We heated water for dish washing on the stove top, and utilized the bath house for showers -- a somewhat minor inconvenience for the solitude of the early or late season camping adventures.

Good luck with your adventures!

Kevin
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:01 PM   #7
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Yellowcake, I am also in Chicago (technically Oak Park). My first extended trip will be the last week of March, but I’ll get out earlier if I can. Assuming you’ve lived here for a while, our winters of late have been pretty warm overall with only small windows of cold and snow of the sort we’re seeing this week.

In general I’d say “sometime in March” is a safe bet to get out, with the understanding that you may want to reserve some time at the end of your trip to re-prep your trailer for winter in case it returns. In the 10 years I’ve been back here I’ve seen everything from snowstorms to summer weather in April.

We sure do get screwed at both ends of the thermometer here, don’t we? But I believe strongly that it makes us appreciate great weather more. I’ve lived all over—both coasts and abroad—and am so glad to be back in the Midwest.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:56 AM   #8
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Do you know how to winterize your trailer?

That bit of knowledge opens up a lot more camping season. One can de-winterize for a trip, using the furnace as necessary to keep things from freezing (including human occupants). Then winterize the rig again before the next cold snap.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:49 AM   #9
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We purchased our new 28 Serenity at the end of April, 2018. We managed 45 nights in it before year end. It is now winterized. We plan some weekend trips before Soring - if the weather would only cooperate. Easy to re-winterize as needed.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:52 PM   #10
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Hi Yellowcake. I have lived here all my life. I am also itching to go. Most state campgrounds around open the water (showers) on May 1st, but they open camping in April. I have camped with bringing a portable toilet and my 5 gallon jug of fresh water. Next year we need to go south for winter. Looks like we are in for more cold and snow. Maybe we could meet up sometime.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:06 PM   #11
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Assuming the plumbing in your 2019 is PEX, it is more forgiving to a freeze than older plumbing. If you dewinterize I would not worry if the temp dips overnight into the 25 to 32 degree range. You can always plug in an electric or propane space heater.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:32 PM   #12
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Yellowcake, We lived in the Western Suburbs for many years and now are in Atlanta. We camp year 'round here, but the low 20's are about my limit for comfort. The trailer is fine, I just don't like the cold outdoors. That said, your furnace has vents down to your holding tanks to keep them from freezing during winter camping. With practice (and an air compressor) it takes about 20 minutes to winterize your trailer yourself. Establish a checklist and make sure to follow it every time and you will be fine.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:31 AM   #13
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Off topic: Is your username 'Yellowcake' in reference to uranium oxide or to a delicious vanilla flavoured cake?
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:50 AM   #14
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You’re in to me! Lol. It’s uranium.
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