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Old 09-21-2022, 10:09 AM   #1
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​2020 Atlas​
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 5
2020 Airstream Atlas freshwater tank...

I've looked high and low for a freshwater fill port other than via the city water connection. My desire is to sanitize the freshwater tank and onboard water system, but while I know the proper ratio for the bleach/water mixture, I can find no way of...as the manual advises..."pouring" the mixture into the fresh water tank on the Atlas.



Would it be possible/advisable to use a sump pump via the city water connection to get the mixture into the freshwater tank? Access to my water pump in the atlas is awful and extremely tight. I'd literally have to pull the water pump from it's housing to make connections to it so I'd like to avoid that if possible.



I'm also looking to use RV antifreeze for winterizing so it would be much easier to add the antifreeze to the fresh tank and circulate it that way to provide protection...bypassing the water heater of course.



Any advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:31 AM   #2
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2019 30' International
Pennsylvania , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2016
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I'm not familiar with the Atlas but did just watch an Airstream video on the freshwater tank. Plus, maybe my bumperoo will get some truly knowledgeable folks to respond

It appears the freshwater tank fills automatically from the city water hose/inlet when the tanks falls to 49% full?

If that's the case, then I would think adding the bleach, or bleach mixture, via a funnel to the city water inlet, if possible, would suffice, but the freshwater tank would need to be less than half full for it to fill??

As far as antifreeze, I'd certainly not want antifreeze in my freshwater tank, so there must be some way to shut off the freshwater tank fill???

What's the manual say about it all?
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:32 AM   #3
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​2020 Atlas​
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Apr 2022
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Thank you for your reply. Much appreciated. Yes, there's a shut off to the freshwater tank under the vehicle. The city water seems to be the only access that I can find to add water to the fresh water tank. The city water connection is near the bottom of the vehicle and not nearly as high as on other units. The tank isn't going to fill unless you use the controls in the unit to allow it to fill. Just hooking up the hose to the atlas and turning on the water won't fill the tank. I've removed the screen that covers the city connection to clean it. Don't think any funnel I've seen will fit into that opening.



That leaves me with 2 options that I can see. 1-buy a winterization kit and use the water pump after I remove it from the tiny cubby hole they stuffed it in under the bathroom sink or 2-rig up a sump pump to the city connection and see if I can get it into the freshwater tank that way.



As for RV fluid in the fresh tank, I know it would require a lot of flushing in the spring, but we don't drink that water anyway. It's washing/showering. Only use bottled for coffee and drinking. My big concern is disinfection and winterizing. I know the manual mentions clearing the line with air and says antifreeze is an option but not mandatory so I suppose the air method is good enough. I've had freeze damage before so I'm always leery of not having antifreeze in those lines/tanks over the winter. Since this will be my first winter with the Atlas, I guess I'm being overly cautious. Just seems odd that they'd mention "pouring" when there's no way to do that. Guess it's more a general manual for airstream instead of a specific manual for the Atlas. A lot of the info in that manual does pertain to my rig, but several areas don't match up with my units layout.
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Old 09-22-2022, 10:00 AM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
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Hi

There is a lot of cut and paste involved in all AS manuals. The number of head scratchers this generates is in the "lots" range .

If you *can* get directly at the freshwater tank, you very much do not want to put anti-freeze into it. Flushing the stuff out is a major pain. The fresh water tank gets drained and left "as is" over the winter. The input line to the pump gets drained as part of hooking up the winterization gear to pump anti-freeze into the pipes.

The hot water tank is in the same category as the fresh water tank. You blow it out with your compressor / drain it and then fiddle the valves to isolate it. That's done before any anti-freeze goes into anything.

Most folks blow the water out of the main lines before putting in anti-freeze. It makes putting the stuff in a bit more "positive". Once the lines are full, blowing the anti-freeze out is an option. That way whatever is left ( in various low spots) will not freeze. Come next spring, there is less to wash out / flush out.

You can get a 12V powered bilge pump / sump pump pretty cheap. They typically have a hose fitting on the outlet side. They are not very powerful, but should be good enough for pumping a bucket or two of bleach plus water through your system.

Bob
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Old 09-22-2022, 11:44 AM   #5
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2019 30' International
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I did some reading of the 2020 Atlas manual. It's not clear how to get a bleach solution in to the freshwater tank. It does say that there is a switch that controls when water enters that tank, while hooked up to a city water source, spigot, etc.

So, I still think a funnel in to the inlet and dumping a gallon, or lesser amount, of bleach treated water in there, then hooking up a hose to city water source, then turning switch on to fill freshwater tank....OR, mix a solution of bleach treated water, funnel it in to the HOSE, then hook up the hose, flip the switch to the freshwater tank fill, and turn on the city water.

I have a couple of these, and they'll suffice for the fw tank fill on my travel trailer, not sure why they wouldn't on the Atlas.

https://www.amazon.com/MMIAOO-Transm...56&sr=1-3&th=1

Maybe
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Old 09-24-2022, 09:14 AM   #6
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​2020 Atlas​
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Thanks Bob and Major. I did a trial run with my sump pump and it worked perfectly after I opened the valve to the fresh tank. The air method worked perfectly as well. So disinfecting the fresh tank and lines with the bleach/water solution should be no problem with the pump. The antifreeze is where I'm debating with myself. I can kill 2 birds with one stone if I pump RV antifreeze into the fresh tank and that will take care of water in my fill line plus the line to from the tank to the pump, but as you pointed out, Bob, getting the antifreeze smell will require a lot of flushing come spring. As much as I don't want to do it, I think my best bet long term is to bite the bullet and pull the pump from that tiny cubby hole and install a winterization kit so I can add it thru the pump and bypass the fresh tank. Since the Atlas has been around for a bit, I'm sure someone makes a kit for my 2020 model....or I hope they do. Just a hose and valve fitting so in a pinch, I can hit the hardware store and put one together on the cheap.
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Old 09-24-2022, 09:37 AM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Posts: 14,861
Hi

We got anti freeze into our pipes the first year and did not blow it out. Not the fresh water tank, not the hot water tank, just the pipes. We did a good flush in the spring ( a couple hours ...). Three months later we still could taste the anti-freeze in the water. I have no idea how long ( years? ) it would take to get it out of a fresh water tank.

Since you don't *have* to fill the fresh water tank when you winterize, don't do it. Hook up the compressor and blow out the lines to the tank. Shut the "fill valve" with the controls. Drain the line to the water pump (and drain the fresh water tank).

Next run the anti-freeze in through the city water inlet. Do all the normal stuff with the hot water tank first. Run it here, run it there. Last step run a bit back to the outlet side of the water pump. Job done.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2022, 07:01 PM   #8
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​2020 Atlas​
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Bob,
Thanks for that reply. Your experiences settled the matter for me. No antifreeze in the fresh tank. Really appreciate you taking the time to assist. Again, thank you friend.
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