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Old 12-14-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Bethy Ann's Avatar
1972 31' Sovereign
Marietta , Ohio
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Question Help a newbie out....trying to winterize

Hello, I am new to the winterizing process......I am looking for the fresh water shut off valve for my 72 Airstream...no luck. I don't have a book and I need help! Can I add antifreeze to the fresh water tank and pump it through until it comes out the faucets and hot water heater drain. There are 3 valves closed by the pump before the inlet but I can find no direct shut off from the fresh water. I have no idea what those 3 valves are for. I looked for info on the forums but most of the info was for newer models. Please help!!!!!!
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:57 PM   #2
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Common Sense , Texas
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If you are looking for a "fresh water shut off valve" for the water inlet from city water, I don't believe there is one.

You should have three drain valves, one on the hot water, one on the cold water, and one on the fresh water tank. You may also have three valves for a water heater bypass. The water heater bypass allows you to bypass the water heater when winterizing thereby saving antifreeze.

After all of the systems are drained with the faucets open, you should be able to close the drain valves, put the antifreeze in the fresh water tank, and then use the pump to circulate the antifreeze thruout the water system.

Since it never gets that cold where I am, I've actually never done the typical "winterizing". I just use air pressure to blow all the water lines, and then pour some antifreeze down the drains to prevent the "P" traps from freezing.
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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You have an automatic anti-backflow valve in the line that the city water comes into, so no shut-off for incoming.
I think you could find someone who has a owners manual for your year and model if you asked around, or do a google search for one. If your rig has not been modified much it would be a very handy thing to have. I remember seeing a checklist for winterizing in a post in the forums, but I can't find it right now.
Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:52 PM   #4
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You should try and blow out the water lines before you add antifreeze. The reason I say this is because the line comeing from the city connection will have water in it if you JUST DRAIN the system. There is no other way to remove this water.

Once you have blown out the system remove the input line to the pump, if you have a filter before the pump remove the line before the filter, and with a small length of hose pump the antifreeze into the trailer till antifreeze comes out each faucet.

If you do not have a bypass on the hot water heater you want to drain the tank and reseal it before adding antifreeze and you will need at least 6 gallons. If you have a bypass drain, the tank reseal it, and close the bypass and you will need 1 or 2 gallon. You can do it with one gallon but as a first shot get the second gallon so you have enough for the traps.

Make sure you put antifreeze in the toilet and each of the drain traps. About 12 oz. in each trap should displace the water already there and some will overflow into the waste tanks also.

Considering the temperatures we have had already I have to ask you to make sure the trailer may not have already frozen before you start. The quickest way to do this is with some water in the freshwater tank turn the pump on and see if it will pressurize the system and hold. Drain the freshwater tan when you have finished this test.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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And always remember that antifreeze is tasty- and TOXIC to animals that are out doors so don't forget that!!!
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by redhawkerII View Post
And always remember that antifreeze is tasty- and TOXIC to animals that are out doors so don't forget that!!!

Most automotive antifreezes are made from ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic. RV antifreezes are made from propylene glycol which is considered GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) by the U.S. Government. Propylene glycol is used in many consumable products such as ice cream, candy and even cosmetics. Therefore, Camco’s propylene glycol based antifreezes are the products of choice when winterizing potable water systems.

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Old 12-14-2009, 08:26 PM   #7
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Fort Hood , Texas
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Lightbulb Manuals...

Hey Bethy Ann,

I'm new to Airstreams as well, but if you go to store.airstream.com, you'll be able to order whatever manuals you need. Here's an example clip from my online receipt:

1 x Airstream Owners Manuals
- Choose One: 1972 Travel Trailers $30.00
1 x Airstream Service Manuals
- Choose One: 1972 $60.00
1 x RV Safety & Training Manual $15.00

Best Wishes!!!
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
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1972 31' Sovereign
Marietta , Ohio
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Thank you all so much! You were very helpful! I will let you know how it goes ... I will be ordering the manuals too thanks for the info.

Ps. I am using the RV antifreeze . I am still very careful with it. I would never want to harm any of the animals in my neighborhood.
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