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Old 09-16-2020, 06:20 PM   #1
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Winterizing

Due to Covid, we are delaying our trek from MI back to FL, possibly until mid-Nov. so weíve never winterized our Sprinter Airstream EXT before.

While still in MI we park it next to our house. We can plug in and run a ceramic heater on nights when it might freeze, if necessary. Is that enough? When is it necessary? If only 30-32 for a few hours?

Then when driving from MI to FL, do vehicle, water and tanks stay warm enough to avoid winterizing then? We may stay in it one night while headed south, most likely near Lexington KY.

How hard is it to winterize?
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:44 AM   #2
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Please post what year and model Interstate you have. This will allow better instructions.

For my 2016 GT Ext, I would drain the water system while parked. It is fairly easy. Unscrew the hot water drain plug and plug on bottom of water tank (both outside). Go inside open sink faucet, twist a couple drain valves and the system empties. Your system will still have some water in the water lines and pump so make sure you monitor temperatures.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:52 AM   #3
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Can you have it professionally winterized? If not, do you have an air compressor you could use to blow water out of the lines? Given you're in Michigan, don't mess around. Also, don't forget the shower fixture on the outside.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:23 AM   #4
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Only you know the expected temperature lows in November where you are living.

If you are likely to experience hard freezes, the safest thing to do would be to winterize rather than rely on a space heater.

When I head south in January, I remain winterized until I am south, like the first 2-3 days.

Itís not hard to winterize, and I do it, but if youíre not ready for it you could probably find an RV dealer to do it for a nominal fee.

Your owners manual will walk you thru it.

Good luck,

Maggie
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heckler56 View Post
Please post what year and model Interstate you have. This will allow better instructions.

For my 2016 GT Ext, I would drain the water system while parked. It is fairly easy. Unscrew the hot water drain plug and plug on bottom of water tank (both outside). Go inside open sink faucet, twist a couple drain valves and the system empties. Your system will still have some water in the water lines and pump so make sure you monitor temperatures.
2015 EXtended. Thx for your response.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:14 PM   #6
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Only you know the expected temperature lows in November where you are living.

If you are likely to experience hard freezes, the safest thing to do would be to winterize rather than rely on a space heater.

When I head south in January, I remain winterized until I am south, like the first 2-3 days.

Itís not hard to winterize, and I do it, but if youíre not ready for it you could probably find an RV dealer to do it for a nominal fee.

Your owners manual will walk you thru it.

Good luck,

Maggie
So once winterized, can you stay in it while moving south? Just no use of water or toilet?
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Can you have it professionally winterized? If not, do you have an air compressor you could use to blow water out of the lines? Given you're in Michigan, don't mess around. Also, don't forget the shower fixture on the outside.
Thx for the outside shower hint. Gray and black water tanks empty too, and no use of water or toilet while traveling south?
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:54 PM   #8
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I carry a few jugs of water for those first few days, and flush the toilet with the winterizing fluid.

Your system being winterized doesn’t affect anything but the plumbing, so no problem traveling with it winterized.

Then drain it all out once farther south, sanitize the system and you’re ready to go.

Maggie
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:21 PM   #9
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We winterized for the first time last year in Iowa. I need to refresh my notes and memory as to how to do it, but itís not especially difficult. I feel like I tried to understand the instructions indoors when I should have just printed them off or taken the video out to the Interstate and found the drain points and valves that are included in the instructions. I bought a Camco RV antifreeze pump and after blowing out the lines as instructed, you basically pump the RV antifreeze through the lines. Pretty easy, and takes about 20 minutes once you get the hang of it. I would suggest doing it, or even pretending you are doing it now just to get the hang of it. Would be so much safer to travel with antifreeze in your lines to prevent any damage. We winterize in October here, so November would be a bit sketchy north of here in my opinion. Just good to know at any rate how to do it so you can when you need to. Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:38 PM   #10
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Airstream winterizing how to video

https://www.airstream.com/blog/preparing-airstream-interstate-winter/
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Old 09-18-2020, 06:57 AM   #11
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How hard is it to winterize?[/QUOTE]

************************************************** *********

These guidelines will work on your 15 as well!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Winterization Cheat Sheet.pdf (45.2 KB, 7 views)
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Old 09-18-2020, 07:29 AM   #12
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Question I have is as to the tankless water heater in my 2020 unit. I had a 2016 prior to then and there was a bypass valve and a drain valve. How do you winterize the tankless heaters. I donít blow the lines out but drain all the water and then run antifreeze until it comes out of faucets etc
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:33 AM   #13
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Hey, I just found this "Interstate How To" video posted by Airstream corporate, which I found very helpful as I begin to explore the plumbing of our new-to-us 2016 Interstate. I had no idea where any of the usual valves, drains, etc. were located, and this video provided the key things I needed to know. The video below applies to conventional water heaters, but it's still useful.

(edit: this looks to be the same video to which SWH posted a link above. You beat me to it! )

Regarding tankless heaters, in our Airstream trailer I treated our Truma pretty much like a regular water heater. I set the bypass valve to prevent water flowing into the unit, pulled the drain lever and removed the debris filter, allowing the unit to drain completely while checking and cleaning the filter as needed, put the filter back in, closed the lever, and went on about draining the other lines. This may or may not be the absolutely correct method, so check me on that, but it's not a bad start.

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Old 09-22-2020, 05:58 PM   #14
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Thanks for your help and the video. I previously also had a 2016 unit. Maybe because I am totally mechanically uninclined; I pumped the pink stuff through the unit. I drained the hot water heater and also bypassed it. The main reason for bypassing it was to avoid putting 6 gallons of pink stuff in the hot water tank. I wonder with the tankless unit I can just use the pink stuff through the unit like I do the cold water pipes.
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by camlivy View Post
2015 EXtended. Thx for your response.
As Maggie suggested, do you have your owner’s manual there? It should cover this fairly well IMO.

Good luck,
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:16 PM   #16
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I am pretty sure it is a Very Bad Idea to put antifreeze through your tankless water heater, please do read up on that in your manual or online before attempting.
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:58 PM   #17
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My 2020 is my third Interstate. With every unit I always read cover to cover the manual. Frankly, the manual provides very little insight or help. In my 2020 I was trying to find the spare tire. I looked where the manual said it was. Only after I called Airstream did I find out it had no spare tires. Similar with fuses, the diagrams of individual fuses are wrong. If there are booklets of individual components I will look at them.

Thatís what I did with the water heater. The Airstream manual only showed where the shutoff and drain valves are. In fact the water heater manufacturers manual said you need not winterize it since it will turn on when under 40 degrees. I assume they donít realize you need to keep power on to light the propane. If I did what they said then I would have a dead unit with a frozen water heater. Nothing says that there wonít remain residual water if simply use the drain valve.

Everybody uses their unit differently. I never use my water for drinking. Thus when I do winterize my unit with the pink antifreeze I am not bothered if there is a residual taste. My thought was to simply pump some pink stuff into the heater thus protecting it.
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Old 09-25-2020, 03:01 PM   #18
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Be sure that you drain your hot water heater before adding antifreeze, the water heater having to be drained separately from the low point drains.

I drain my water heater, and then bypass it for winterization.

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Old 09-25-2020, 08:49 PM   #19
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Thanks Maggie

Mine is a tankless heater. I think I will open the drain then after what is in the lines drain close it then I will pump the pink stuff through system until it comes out of a faucet.
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Old 09-26-2020, 05:05 AM   #20
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Faucet(s), toilet, and hand held shower if you have one.

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