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Old 11-09-2014, 07:58 PM   #15
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Thanks, David, got my eye on it. As Gnorts says, may have to skedaddle to FLA for awhile.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:17 PM   #16
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North FL is no guarantee you will not freeze up. The only time my trailer froze and split a water line was overnight in Brunswick GA, right at the FL state line. I left NC de-winterized and stopped for the night, thinking no way it would freeze when I was that far south. Having to fix a water pipe on vacation sort of takes the fun away.

Either winterize or leave the furnace running. That is the only sure way when it gets below freezing. And if it is very cold while you are moving, below the floor can freeze even with the furnace running.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:58 PM   #17
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If your "storage" area is an RV park with hookups, you can leave the furnace on set at the minimum temperature and it will not freeze. I do that here at home all the time. Actually, unless the forecast calls for temps in the 20's or below, I just use a little electric heater to keep it from freezing, and I've been doing that for years.

If I suspect temps in the teens (yes it can happen here, but not very often) I drain the water system, and then blow it out with air pressure, and keep the little electric heater going. I have never done a full winterization on an Airstream, and I've never had a burst pipe, or any other damage.
Steve what type of electric heater do you use? How do you get power to the electrical heater?
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:51 AM   #18
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Sounds like there are two options:

1) Travel winterized

2) Winterizing/de-winterizing as I go depending on the weather and "storage" plans.

As to 1), backwater tank can still be used, correct, would just have to be re-winterized after every dump? Would have to carry my own water, shower at campgrounds, do dishes in a pan, just like tent camping.

Is their a compromise? Hook up to water only at commercial sites, eliminating need to fool around with the already winterized freshwater/greywater tanks? Just unwinterize/re-winterize the pipes?

As to 2) how time-consuming is the process?

Sorry for the newbie questions and for the patience. Didn't realize all of this would get so complicated.

And much gratitude for every response thus far.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:24 AM   #19
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Steve what type of electric heater do you use? How do you get power to the electrical heater?
I just use a small 120VAC 1500 watt electric heater plugged into one of the utility outlets in the trailer. Of course, the trailer is plugged into shore power. In the coldest of weather here, it will keep it warm enough in the trailer to prevent the pipes from freezing.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:29 AM   #20
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I don't understand your idea that the blackwater tank can be used.

The toilet uses fresh water from the trailer's system to flush stuff into that black tank. Toilet valves are easily damaged by freezing, and that water comes all the way from the tank/water pump or from the city connection. That would purge the antifreeze from the water lines.

Two ways out of that:
1. Use the campground toilets, just like in a tent.
2. Some people line the toilet with a plastic bag, put in some kitty litter and dispose of the results with the trash.

When you pick up your trailer, take time to learn to winterize. It's really not that hard, or that expensive.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:35 AM   #21
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Some years I winterize 2 or 3 times. I will winterize today. We usually take the trailer out Thanksgiving weekend, so after I use it I will winterize it again. If we use it Christmas, I will winterize it again. If we use it in January or February I will winterize it again. It doesn't take very long, especially with the winterizing kit and valve attached to the pump. Sometimes it is so cold at Thanksgiving I don't even bother hooking up to city water. The way to get around that is to park close to the bath house or run the propane furnace and use on-board water.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:38 AM   #22
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I have also traveled a couple of times in sub freezing weather with the furnace running to prevent freezing the pipes. It worked.

The key to getting by without winterizing is to know how long it is forecast to stay below freezing. Almost any heat inside the trailer will prevent freezing if it's only going below freezing for a few hours.

But days.....that will burn lots of propane.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:00 AM   #23
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Ok, I think I got it. Keep an eye on the weather. Use the furnace when it is marginal . Learn to winterize and do so as necessary when it is not or when the furnace cannot be run.

Thanks to everyone for freely sharing their experiences and advice. Can't wait to meet you collectively on the road.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:07 AM   #24
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Let me add one more detail. Tanks don't need to be "winterized" if they're empty. I guess the few cups of water that escape the drain valves will freeze, but there's not enough of it to break the tank.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:19 AM   #25
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As to 1), backwater tank can still be used, correct, would just have to be re-winterized after every dump?
Clean fresh water freezes at 32°F. The water in your black tank is not clean fresh water. Urine freezes somewhere between 29°F and 30°F depending on the amount of dissolved salts and sugars in it.* Anyway, the point is, your black tank will freeze last, but it will still freeze.

Important point: If you pour a gallon or so of RV antifreeze into your black tank to keep it from freezing while you're using it, do not add any chemicals or enzymes. Some chemical tank treatments react poorly with RV antifreeze to form a goopy substance best described as "slime."

*Disgusting, I know, by there is a medical test called cryoscopy that measures kidney function by determining the freezing point of a patient's urine— as a diabetic I've had to give urine samples for cryoscopy, so I did a small amount of research on the subject. I did NOT freeze any urine myself! The better your kidneys work at flushing out waste products, the lower the freezing point of the urine, but the better hyrated you are, the higher the freezing point. It's complicated.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:45 AM   #26
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You can always carry a small pancake compressor with you, purchase a rubber 25 ft hose and purchase the fresh water connector to keep your air hose attached and blow out the water lines. Put a few gallons of RV antifreeze down the drains and toilet.

Kelvin
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:55 AM   #27
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Clean fresh water freezes at 32°F. The water in your black tank is not clean fresh water. Urine freezes somewhere between 29°F and 30°F depending on the amount of dissolved salts and sugars in it.* Anyway, the point is, your black tank will freeze last, but it will still freeze.

Important point: If you pour a gallon or so of RV antifreeze into your black tank to keep it from freezing while you're using it, do not add any chemicals or enzymes. Some chemical tank treatments react poorly with RV antifreeze to form a goopy substance best described as "slime."

*Disgusting, I know, by there is a medical test called cryoscopy that measures kidney function by determining the freezing point of a patient's urine— as a diabetic I've had to give urine samples for cryoscopy, so I did a small amount of research on the subject. I did NOT freeze any urine myself! The better your kidneys work at flushing out waste products, the lower the freezing point of the urine, but the better hyrated you are, the higher the freezing point. It's complicated.
Protagonist:

Just to be on the safe side, I'm gonna skip your lemonade popsicles if I ever find myself at another rally with you....

Dana
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:21 AM   #28
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Just to be on the safe side, I'm gonna skip your lemonade popsicles if I ever find myself at another rally with you....
I know I'm the one who brought up the subject, but… Ick!
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