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Old 09-24-2022, 09:20 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2016 16' Sport
2022 Interstate 19
Gloucester , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 20
Newbie Questions

Massachusetts (where fun goes to die) does not allow temporary plates (the only US state that doesn't, as far as I know). So, it will take about 3 weeks for Colonial airstream to get the plates and have my AI19 ready for me to pick up.

Some questions:

-- is there a way that anyone knows of to speed that up? Can they send me the paperwork and I can pick up the plates myself and bring them with me? I'd love to be able to do a fall foliage trip to Vermont as the maiden voyage, but timing might not work given the time to get the plates.

-- if I cannot get the camper until late October, if you were me, would you have Colonial winterize it for me? I don't have an air compressor, also do not want to screw anything up being new to it... how hard is winterizing when you're a newbie without a lot of mechanical tools and know how?

-- Can the camper still be used after it is winterized? how does this work? Do you carry water with you to pour into the toilet such to be able to flush? Obviously there's some antifreeze in there... Do you then dump the black tank and if so does that need to be flushed through with water and winterized again?

-- small question: looking to go to the Bills Jets game in NJ on November 6. Car parking is $40, RV parking is $120. What am I driving, a car or an RV?

-- dog questions: when I leave the house she sleeps for hours. Do dogs consider the camper like home and just chill out and sleep while you're out? -- obviously would not consider leaving her if the climate conditions were not ideal. And I have heard of waggle - how do people like that? Do you dog owners also employ a camera? if so, any particular brand? any dog related advice is greatly appreciated.

-- is the mattress comfy enough without a topper? hoping to travel light since any upcoming trips would just be weekends for a night or two.

-- is there anyway to seal up holes underneath to prevent mice coming in? what are people's mice prevention strategies? how do you think they get in? was thinking when it's parked (it will unfortunately have to be parked outdoors as my garage door isn't tall enough to allow garage parking), I could place some mouse traps around the perimeter of it, try to get them before they get in... and maybe some irish spring inside? (which has worked to keep mice out of my gas grill at home).

Thank you and apologies if these are basic questions.
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Old 09-24-2022, 10:20 AM   #2
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2020 23' International
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 2,349
Congrats on your new Interstate!

Personally, I’d have Colonial winterize the camper. This will give you time to learn the systems and you won’t be stressed about whether you winterized it properly or not. Some people use compressed air to blow the water out of the lines, some people pump RV antifreeze into the lines, and some people do both. Make sure to ask Colonial which method they used. I’ve had my Airstream winterized by a dealer twice (once when we bought it and once my first winter) and each dealer used the RV antifreeze method.

You can use the camper when it is winterized, but you obviously won’t have running water. It seems that most people bring bottled water along and don’t use the toilet. Some people pour water or RV antifreeze in the toilet to flush, and then dump the tanks at the end of the trip. You’ll need to be mindful of humidity and condensation inside the trailer when winter camping. This can be handled with ventilation and/or a dehumidifier.

Our dog considers the camper home when she comes along, but we haven’t left her alone in the camper. I’ve been in campgrounds before where dogs were left behind while their owners were away from the camper and the dogs barked incessantly. It was really annoying and I felt bad for the dogs. I don’t want to be that guy.

The Airstream mattresses aren’t bad, but ours is more comfortable with a topper. Overall it’s quite comfortable.

Mouse control is important and there are several steps that you can take. Many people fill any gaps under the trailer with steel wool, expanding foam, or both. I had the underside of my trailer coated with something called Mouse Free. My dealer applied it. I use Fresh Cab around the trailer when it’s in storage.

Good luck and let us know how the football game goes. I’m a Denver Broncos season ticket holder and I’ve never taken the Airstream to a game. Mile High Stadium only has about 80 RV parking spots and they’re ridiculously expensive. Additionally, the RV has to be out of the parking lot by the 4th quarter, which makes no sense to me.

Previous: Airstream International Serenity 23 FB
Current: Newmar Ventana 3715
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Old 09-24-2022, 11:56 AM   #3
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2016 Interstate Lounge Ext
Green Cove Springs , Florida
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I would also suggest you have them winterize the camper, but before they do that, have them exercise the water systems. Fill the fresh tank, see whether the tank meter is right. Use the onboard water pump and the water heater. Run water through all the fixtures, including the toilet. Fill the grey and the black tank to see whether the meters work. Then, dump both the grey and black tanks, exercising all the components in that process as well. If anything doesn't work right, they need to fix it immediately. If all is well, have them winterize the unit.
Rocinante Piccolo is our new-to-us 2016 Interstate Lounge 3500 EXT
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 09-24-2022, 12:32 PM   #4
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2008 22' Sport
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Take temporary tags from your home state and go pick up your camper.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:26 PM   #5
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2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
Take temporary tags from your home state and go pick up your camper.
Indoorsy said his home state, Massachusetts does not provide temporary tags.

I use my Interstate van year-round in Maryland as my second vehicle. When it’s winterized, I use RV antifreeze to flush urine in the toilet. Just keep a jug of the antifreeze next to the toilet.

Also, if you are driving an AI-19, a short Sprinter you can probably get by with car parking. I'd sure give it a try.
- - Mike
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:48 PM   #6
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2021 Interstate 24GT
buford , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 4
Need to verify all systems function

If at all possible, my suggestion would be to pickup your new RV and at least confirm all plumbing systems function before winterizing.

Of course any issues would be covered under warranty next spring, however I would want to ensure my new Interstate was 100% before the winterization!
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:48 AM   #7
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Here and There , Pacific Northwest
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 259
Originally Posted by MnRocketman View Post
If at all possible, my suggestion would be to pickup your new RV and at least confirm all plumbing systems function before winterizing.

Of course any issues would be covered under warranty next spring, however I would want to ensure my new Interstate was 100% before the winterization!
Suggestions/thoughts/opinion: Can you keep it plugged into shore power? A 15 or 20 amp circuit is sufficient, the van comes with the correct adaptor. Likely no consistency with the van being considered an RV or just a van. PNW examples > WA State Ferry system considers length and it's just a van, Cannon Beach OR says it's an RV when parking. The mouse in the house worry may not be any more concern than with any other vehicle. Maybe have the first winterize done at the dealer and have the service person show you what and how they do it. Obviously put no antifreeze in the fresh water tank (water heater - which is also the house heater). Very low or extended below freeze temperature use anti freeze in the black tank and a jug for flush. Dump & rinse ASAP, then add some more antifreeze. Don't need antifreeze in drains. And along with confirming plumbing system function have them check the drains. Open and close the side windows and check for leaks. Have them hard schedule your van for service for early spring for the just in case. Sales and service may not communicate efficiently so double check that they did actually schedule. You can easily cancel if not needed. Mercedes Distronic can be fussy in the beginning. The sliding door can be fussy. Do you have a Mercedes Sprinter service location picked out? Getting the VIN and checking for recalls and updates before you go in may be worth the time. Dog may like a familiar blanket and some time with you in the van in the very beginning. Everything inside is new and off gassing that new smell. Ventilation in the early days is good. Like most things you will learn as you go. Asking early about details is good thinking! Congratulations, it will be fun!
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:57 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
2016 16' Sport
2022 Interstate 19
Gloucester , Massachusetts
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 20
Thank you!! So grateful!!

I appreciate so much all the advice! I wouldn't have had a clue to ask for the systems check ahead of the winterization, but that (as a result of the help here) is exactly what I have done. Colonial will accommodate this and it is good to have a plan in place. Given the plates having to come by mail, it will be 3-4 weeks before I can get the camper. Oh well! I think Burlington VT will be the maiden voyage (other than driving back from NJ)... will miss leaf peeping but that's okay!

Thank you again. :-)
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