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Old 10-22-2018, 12:07 AM   #41
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Eagletoo - your set-up sounds like mine (metal flange in the way). I also have a brass pipe/fitting as well in front of the nut that makes it awkward to access. Have attached a photo to show what I mean. I ordered the kit you recommended - it looks like it would make it much easier. Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:45 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by PatLee View Post
Eagletoo - your set-up sounds like mine (metal flange in the way). I also have a brass pipe/fitting as well in front of the nut that makes it awkward to access. Have attached a photo to show what I mean. I ordered the kit you recommended - it looks like it would make it much easier. Thanks!
I believe the recommended kit is for the water pump and not the water 'heater'.
You may have to MacGyver your own drain kit for the WH.👍
Ours just involves replacing the plastic plug.

Bob
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:13 AM   #43
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It is a bit of gymnastics to get to the WH plug. Since it is not a regular occurrence, twice yearly, it is not that troublesome. I too replaced my plug but with a plug fitter with an anode rod. Must be working as Im amazed at the amount of degradation each season.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:58 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
Wow. A freeze prof RV.
Hi

Unfortunately no, not a freeze proof RV, simply pipes you can use in an RV or a house that are freeze proof. There is a lot more than just pipes in a plumbing system in either a house or an RV. You still need to get the water out of those components.

Bob
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:36 PM   #45
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Hi

On a modern trailer (and I assume a modern MH) the plumbing is all plastic. It's not bothered by freezing. I have (due to a problem with a previous house) done it many times with no issues ....

Bob
UNCLE_BOB: Are you saying you don't winterize your trailer when exposed to sub-freezing temps?

If so - this is not advice any owner of an Airstream Interstate should follow. The PEX plastic water lines might survive a freeze, but other plastic plumbing fittings, like the toilet flush valve and strainer on the water pump will crack when frozen and then start leaking in the Spring when the temps warm up.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:09 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
UNCLE_BOB: Are you saying you don't winterize your trailer when exposed to sub-freezing temps?

If so - this is not advice any owner of an Airstream Interstate should follow. The PEX plastic water lines might survive a freeze, but other plastic plumbing fittings, like the toilet flush valve and strainer on the water pump will crack when frozen and then start leaking in the Spring when the temps warm up.
Hi

No, that's not the point at all. The pipes are *not* the only thing that can freeze in a plumbing system. The issue is that getting every last drop of water out of every last piece of *pipe* is not required if it's all PEX. You still very much do need to protect the bits that can be damaged by freezing.

Bob
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:50 AM   #47
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First time this fall

One added idea to the many good points: my shop vac with a length of vinyl hose that will fit in the water heater drain hole pulls the last of the water and I assume any gunk out of the water heater, very well.

We have a stationary RV under a permanent roof out at fish camp that is winterized with RV antifreeze. Seems the hint-o-antifreeze lingers all summer, somehow, so am trying to avoid using it in the AS. Appreciate all the good discussion here to that end.

RE: timing - I have learned the hard way on several occasions that waiting to take care of winter-related things carries the risk that I will be away somewhere when the need to act arises. Think about chipping ice from around the floats of an airplane that should have been OK for another few weeks, because I was out of town for a few days on business.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:00 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

No, that's not the point at all. The pipes are *not* the only thing that can freeze in a plumbing system. The issue is that getting every last drop of water out of every last piece of *pipe* is not required if it's all PEX. You still very much do need to protect the bits that can be damaged by freezing.

Bob
Oh - OK now I understand and agree. A little water in those PEX lines is not a problem. I use compressed air to blow out my water system when winterizing - works great. I'm sure there is still a little water in the lines, but no problems after five years and about 10 winterizing routines. I usually need to re-winterize when I get back from our southern trips in the spring because Maryland can still freeze hard here in March.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:45 PM   #49
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OK, this is the perfect thread to ask this. This will be my AI's 1st winter. We call it winter, but most everyone else north of us will laugh at me. The AI is always inside the garage, especially if foul weather is expected. Garage is insulated with insulated doors, but not heated. But I can fire up portable heaters inside the garage. We have no aspirations to travel to anywhere that will be colder than our LV winter. If we do use the AI during the winter months, it will be to find warmer weather. I do understand there could be exceptions, so MMMV. But under normal years, the chart below shows our average low in Dec & Jan is 37 F. We have been here 20 yrs and no one even turns off their lawn sprinklers (with some exceptions, but those times are very rare, and always with enough warnings). So, would winterizing my unit be necessary? Maybe I still need to drain, but won't need to go the full process with anti-freeze? I usually err on the side of caution but is it overkill to winterize in my area? Thanks!
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Old 10-24-2018, 07:57 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Oh - OK now I understand and agree. A little water in those PEX lines is not a problem. I use compressed air to blow out my water system when winterizing - works great. I'm sure there is still a little water in the lines, but no problems after five years and about 10 winterizing routines. I usually need to re-winterize when I get back from our southern trips in the spring because Maryland can still freeze hard here in March.
Hi

The bigger point was that not *all* trailers have full PEX. As we go along talking about our success with a blow out only / no anti-freeze approach ...many are doing it on full PEX trailers. If you happen to have an earlier model with metal fittings or metal pipes, our experience is likely to not apply.

Bob
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:53 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
OK, this is the perfect thread to ask this. This will be my AI's 1st winter. We call it winter, but most everyone else north of us will laugh at me. The AI is always inside the garage, especially if foul weather is expected. Garage is insulated with insulated doors, but not heated. But I can fire up portable heaters inside the garage. We have no aspirations to travel to anywhere that will be colder than our LV winter. If we do use the AI during the winter months, it will be to find warmer weather. I do understand there could be exceptions, so MMMV. But under normal years, the chart below shows our average low in Dec & Jan is 37 F. We have been here 20 yrs and no one even turns off their lawn sprinklers (with some exceptions, but those times are very rare, and always with enough warnings). So, would winterizing my unit be necessary? Maybe I still need to drain, but won't need to go the full process with anti-freeze? I usually err on the side of caution but is it overkill to winterize in my area? Thanks!
Hi

"Average low" can be a very misleading number. It could mean that half the time the low is below this number. It also could mean that we added up every low for every day in that month the last 150 years and found the average.

A more interesting number is a chart of record low's by day for a given month. That gives you a better snapshot of what is likely to happen. Around here, there is a definite "cold week" in each month and the rest of them are noticeably warmer.

In an insulated garage, the concern is not normally about it going to 31 degrees for 15 minutes at 5 AM. Even parked out in the street, you aren't going to freeze something that quickly. Indoors, you probably are still at a much warmer temperature.

The big concern (indoors or out) is when it goes below 32 and stays there for a couple of days. With no solar gain on the building, it will indeed get below freezing inside. Once everything equalizes, 30 degrees is just as dangerous as -30 degrees.

If there is power in the garage, electric heaters with a thermostat might be a useful thing. Propane or kerosene fired heaters will require ventilation. They also are a bit harder to get with good thermostats on them.

Bottom line - either winterize the beast or plan on watching the weather forecast on a daily basis (and be ready to react).

Bob
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Old 10-24-2018, 11:52 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Bottom line - either winterize the beast or plan on watching the weather forecast on a daily basis (and be ready to react).

Bob
UNCLE BOB - Thank you for your detailed response and insight. Part of our winter routine is to be on top of weather forecasts on a daily basis. The irony is we do this more in the LV area than we ever did living in Chicago. The reason for this is our house in Chicago was constructed with severe winters in mind, so all pipes are installed to take the annual sub-zero temps in mind. That is not the same in LV. It is not uncommon for LV water & irrigation lines & vacuum breaker valves to be exposed and non-insulated. Outdoor swiming pools are also common here. So I have done my own insulating of these pipes and even gone as far as having a huge 400,000btu heater for our pool with preset minimum temps. Same with insulating the garage and it's doors. I dont have the huge gas heaters but have 2 electric 240v 17,000btu heaters that I can fire up if needed. So I feel good I got the 2nd part of your "bottom line" covered.

We rarely have extended freezes here, the most is overnight freeze. BUT being my AI's 1st winter, I would also take the precaution of the 1st part of your "bottom line" and also "winterize the beast". Realistically, I probably do not need to do part 1 given how we execute part 2. But it would be excellent practice for me to do so this 1st year. I ought to know it by heart.
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:42 PM   #53
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We're getting set up to live in FL for the winter, where folks tell us it's not necessary to winterize, but after 20+ years in WA we're probably gonna do it anyway...just to be safe. With lower stakes (warmer here), maybe this will be the year when we finally try to do it ourselves with that Camco siphon thingie and a blow-out plug.


In colder climes, bear in mind that even with shore power, propane-fired heat is the only way to help keep your rig and water lines safe in sub-freezing weather. Heat pumps stop working at 40F.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:54 PM   #54
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Wanted to post this THANK YOU to everyone who posted steps, recommendations, & best practices on this thread . You made my VERY 1st rv winterizing a success. It took about 2.5hrs. but not because of the procedures. The procedures seemed intimidating to a 1st timer, but once I finished it, I am confident I can do the 2nd one in 30min. What took a long time was getting the van setup with all my parts and tools ready, removing drawer & contents, removing cabinet door under couch (for easy access to on-demand heater from galley), and going slow/easy to follow each step. The other time consuming step was opening the low drain valves, on-demand valves, and water pump quick connect inlet/outlet connections. They were all very tight, hard to turn, and hard to remove because it's all brand new. I was close to giving up on a couple of them.

While I don't think I really needed to winterize yet (based on temp forecast and rig being inside an enclosed garage, I used the forecasted cold morning tomorrow to justify/force myself to do this while there is no full-court pressure from a long hard freeze forecast. So glad I did. Got my practice in without major incident (i.e. I dI'd not break anything ). And now that all valves, plugs have been released a few times, they are much easier to turn. I would probably exercise them once a season to keep them loose.

My rig has E&P Hydraulic Levelers, so setting it at perfect level is just a switch throw. The low point drains and on-demand drain had no issues draining with rv leveled. Not much was left during the air blowout. Majority of water during blowout was from outdoor shower and was purged within seconds. So when entire winterizing was done, I retracted the E&P Hydraulic levelers, which put the rv leaning a few degrees to it's left. I was surprised at how much water drained from fresh water tank, about 2 gallons and a little bit as I drove around the block. Either the tank is tilted a bit right when rig is level or it's natural interior slope does not slope down towards drain plug. In any event, it's no big deal. Just glad my street-to-driveway-approach is naturally sloped down on it's left to discover it. If it was perfectly level, I would not have known, until I see water streaming down under as I drive off
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:21 AM   #55
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Thanks for the update. Time well spent IMO, and a good investment. As you said the next time will be faster, and something you could do on the road if urgent to do so. I just did our trailer, and over time those feisty low-point drains have indeed loosened up a bit!

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Old 11-13-2018, 11:51 AM   #56
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Just a follow up that may only apply to 2018 Interstate. I read and re-read every procedure posted here and especially the AS AI User Manual. I found some issues with the User Manual:

1. The water pump is a Flojet 03526500 - it is nothing like what is pictured in manual. And specifically, the strainer does not look anything like pictured in manual. And procedures for checking & removing is also wrong in manual. Coupled with tight & dark space, it was hard to find the black strainer (when one has no idea what to look for and part is halfway behind/under flooring. Until I put very bright light in there and saw the teeny-weenie letters that spelled 'strainer' . Pic below. Hope it helps.

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2. Manual also mentions to stick a hose in input port to add anti-freeze. Problem is they do not tell you the best way to do it is to get the Flojet adapters which makes it a lot easier. RIGRAT post#9 includes an Airstream part# 602177-03 in his Winterization Cheat Sheet.pdf . He also mentions this makes it Plug&Play. This is a must have. Thanks RIGRAT. The part# is for a straight 3/4" barb connector. It works. But if you want one for 1/2" hose 90 elbow, there is no Airstream part#. You would need to get the actual Flojet fittings, just search in Amazon for your preference. They come in many different combinations of 1/2, 3/4, straight, elbow, barb, threaded. I plan on getting the 1/2" barb 90 elbow strictly for convenience. This way, hose comes straight out the cabinet without bending. Plus I already have a long run of 1/2" hose so I don't have to bring the antifreeze inside tight aisle.


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3. User manual states no more than 30psi for blowout pressure. Not sure why, considering the internal pressure regulator is set to 50psi. Nevertheless, I took the precaution to not go to 50psi. I started with 30 and max'ed out at 40. Nothing more came out at 40, so I guess 30 is more than adequate for Interstates.

4. On-demand water heater by-pass valve is accessed by removing the wood cabinet access panel under couch, near the small floor flip down door. The drain valve knob is accessed by removing the metal access panel that is part of water heater enclosure. Manual states to turn drain valve knob counterclockwise. However, they did not mention how many turns. I kept turning until it came off. However, 2 full turns is more than enough. I heard it draining after 2 turns.
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Old 11-13-2018, 12:50 PM   #57
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I only had the cheapo $2 plastic blowout plug. Due to time constraints, did not want to wait for my Amazon order. I believe someone has posted this on a different thread but wanted to include in this thread. I ordered this for future blowouts.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...BF7U85GT&psc=1
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:04 PM   #58
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Alex AVI - I'm not sure if your post is meant as humor due to the completely over-engineered nature of the product pictured. It might be better titled "The PT Barnum Big Blow Adapter."
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:51 PM   #59
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Alex AVI - I'm not sure if your post is meant as humor due to the completely over-engineered nature of the product pictured. It might be better titled "The PT Barnum Big Blow Adapter."
SEEMORE- Haha, yeah, that a better name, The Big Blow .. Actually, if strictly for AI blowout, yeah I meant it as humor, but actually bought it to do double duty for my swimming pool equipment & landscape irrigation that are positioned in tight awkward spots that make it a PITA to get my standard fittings in there for purging lines. So the flex hose makes life easy. Irony is if it weren't for searching rv tools (which I only started 7mos ago vs. buying pool & irrigation stuff for 25yrs), I would not have found it in existing pool & irrigation sites. This thing would've saved me lots time for many years. Who would've thunk
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Old 11-13-2018, 04:41 PM   #60
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Air adapter

That one from Amazon is excellent. It is flexible, has its own valve to stop flow and is high quality. Yes it can be done more cheaply, but for many of us who already bought a trailer/rv from Airstream knows - its isn't only about price.
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