Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-16-2007, 09:42 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
shinybean's Avatar
 
1964 22' Safari
1969 25' Tradewind
Greenville , South Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 41
Lightbulb Running water to winterize?

How about one more post on winterizing...

Has anyone ever tried leaving the fixtures dripping on cold nights to winterize instead of blowing the lines and adding antifreeze? I have used this method in the house when the heat was out, and it seemed to work. I live in upstate SC, where winter lows can get into the teens, but mostly stay in the mid 20's to mid 30's. We still use our AS ('64 Safari) in the winter for trips to Florida, and I don't want to have to buy antifreeze every 2-4 weeks . I do use a small ceramic heater inside at night just to keep it from getting too cold inside the trailer, but I am concerned with the plumbing behind the back access panel. Any thoughts on this method?
shinybean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 09:56 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,943
You need to worry most about the water pump and other items in closed areas. The furnace forces air into most of these areas to keep them warm. Using the electric heater does not heat those areas or your tanks. I would run the regular furnace if I were you. Propane is not that expensive and likely not as much as electricity on a BTU basis.
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 10:45 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
str8strm's Avatar
 
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Tujunga , California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,969
Images: 6
We just had our first ever experience with freezing temps this past weekend at the 29 Palms Rally. Most of us had problems the first night with the hoses we left out on the ground freezing. But, because we all ran our furnaces all night, there were no problems with internal plumbing or tanks. Ron
__________________
Ron and Debbie Lawrence
1985 345 Motorhome...... delightfully tacky......yet unrefined
AIR 7992
str8strm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2007, 11:47 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,698
Images: 8
No way to verify the story tonight, but...

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my brother was relating a story about a guy who did that very thing. He left the water dribbling, and left the trailer. The only problem was, the water froze in the drain lines, backing up into the trailer. Lots of ice chipping to do when he returned. Unknown brand of trailer.
Dave
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 12:59 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
juel's Avatar

 
1976 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Chandler , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,770
Images: 24
While using the Argosy at a jobsite we put heat tape with the pipe insulation around it on the inlet hose and left the water dripping also. We have never used our furnace because we don't feel comfortable with the 78 furnace, but we do have the catalytic heater that we used. The temp got pretty low and the snow was 6" deep, but the Argosy came thru it in fine shape. I don't recommend this procedure long term; however, it worked for 6 weeks until the job was finished and we could winterize and bring the trailer home. Haven't had water in the front holding tank or used the pump for a year, so that was not a concern for us this trip.
juel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 04:33 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
ZoominC6's Avatar
 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Colleyville , TX
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,535
This winter I left the water running a bit, first at the outside aux hose bibb. The next morning I had to change hoses as the outside water filter was full of mush. The next night I tried running the water at the outside bibb and the lav faucet in the bathroom. Our fresh water tank was empty and the grey water tank valve was open. This worked out just fine. Outside air temps were in the high twenties and we only ran a couple of little box heaters on the interior. If the temps got much colder I would opt for running the furnace all night long. I believe my water lines are, for the most part, a plastic material offering some flex. I'm not certain what the vintage trailer plumbing is like. This may have been somewhat risky; however, it worked this time.
HAPPY TRAILS
__________________
In dog years, I'm dead!
ZoominC6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 08:43 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
2007 34' Classic
Pecos , New Mexico
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 124
We use our trailer all winter long and have been in temps into the low teens. When the temp falls below 31, or so, we disconnect the outside hose and live off a full tank of water. We always use the furnace to keep the hidden plumbing and tanks from freezing and have never had a problem.
Pecos Pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 09:53 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
2006 30' Classic
Farmington , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 822
Images: 14
The only reason I could think of for not letting water run long term is that this will cut the seats in the faucets or washers and eventually they will not shut off. ---pieman
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 09:14 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
shinybean's Avatar
 
1964 22' Safari
1969 25' Tradewind
Greenville , South Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 41
Thanks for the great feedback so far. How cold do you think it needs to get in order for it to be an issue? I have read some posts where they said they left their trailers alone down to the low 20's without any problems.
shinybean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 04:06 AM   #10
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
where does all this water go? what happens if the tanks over flow or your drain hose freezes solid?

if you add a t valve to the suction side of your water pump winterizing your system is a 5 min. job.

i am one of those folks who don't worry too much about temps into the 20's, run your furnace!

john
__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 08:35 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
2006 30' Classic
Farmington , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 822
Images: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
where does all this water go? what happens if the tanks over flow or your drain hose freezes solid?

if you add a t valve to the suction side of your water pump winterizing your system is a 5 min. job.

i am one of those folks who don't worry too much about temps into the 20's, run your furnace!

john
I agree John--5 minutes and $6-7 is worth it to me. I have a pump kit on mine and do the same. The time to do this is nothing compared to that of fixing a broken pipe. I buy a case of Rv antifeeze off season when its cheaper and winterize our several times if needed. We're in Az now and will be returning home when freezing temps are still possable--I throw a couple gallon in or truck and winterize the last night going home so I don't have it to deal with when we get there.---pieman
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 08:53 AM   #12
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,474
I agree....why not just run the furnace? Far less exp than plumbing repairs....
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 12:10 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
shinybean's Avatar
 
1964 22' Safari
1969 25' Tradewind
Greenville , South Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 41
I was thinking of just opening the gate valve at the back of the trailer and letting it run out like my gray water does, just without a blue boy tank in place-letting it run onto the ground. It sounds like I may just have to suck it up and install a bypass for my water heater, and start winterizing like I'm supposed to though...

I would run the furnace, but I just aquired this trailer, and I haven't been able to get the furnace to start. When I lit the pilot (by hand-no automatic pilot), turned the knob from "pilot" to "on", and turned the thermostat up to get the furnace to turn on, the blower would not come on, I just heard a buzzing sound like it was trying to start. Then the pilot would go out. On another occasion, I did get the blower to start and run, but without the pilot lit. I'm still working on this issue . Any tips on this would be much appreciated as well.
shinybean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 03:37 PM   #14
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
furnace?

remove, clean, repair if possible, then replace.

easy as 1 2 3!

john
__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 07:49 PM   #15
2 Rivet Member
 
Thealt's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 49
Not a big fan of running the water for many reasons. I can understand in the house as the water is under constant possible need and you cannot easily flush out the house system, but not really practical for an RV / TT.
1) There is of course the environmental impact and why waste the water. After the reports of drought, etc. and we have the trailers to visit nature, I think we should be doing our part to protect what we have.
2) Flushing / blowing out the system is not that big of a deal. (did mine in just a few mins the other night when the temp was at 32 degrees)
3) There is no guarantee it will work. How much do you let it drip vs how fast it will freeze. I looked at my gutter downspout this morning and it was a solid 2 ft icicle. That water was running all night and still managed to freeze. Don't have much faith in a tin can filled with water in the frigid cold.
On a side note, not a big fan of antifreeze either though. No, I'm not Ule Gibbons, but just the idea of adding a foreign substance to a porous plastic system and then later going to put drink from it. If it puts hair on your chest... better check the bottom of your feet too.
Sorry for the sudden soapbox, but man do I feel clean.

Alt
Thealt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2007, 03:00 PM   #16
3 Rivet Member
 
crowbar68's Avatar
 
1975 27' Overlander
fort wayne , Indiana
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 184
Rivet winter and water

i have done several things for using water in cold months. airstream recomends that the water tank be used instead of city hook up. i do use my furnace as well. i bought a space heater that blows heat thru the duct work so the furnace doesn't have to kick on as much. heat tape is also good on the pipes in back end as the heat from the furnace doesn't get their as well. a second blower type heater may also be used. always keep an eye on things, daily. my 75 furnace works well but sucks down the propane in hte colder weather. no problems so far going on 4 months to present in west virginia. a mild winter.

crowbar
__________________
" If everything is working, something is wrong ! "
crowbar68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2007, 08:04 AM   #17
Rivet Master
 
Phil and/or Sue's Avatar

 
1997 34' Limited
Young Harris , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 946
Images: 40
Ule Gibbons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thealt
...
2) Flushing / blowing out the system is not that big of a deal. (did mine in just a few mins the other night when the temp was at 32 degrees)
...
On a side note, not a big fan of antifreeze either though. No, I'm not Ule Gibbons, ...
Alt
Ule Gibbons? Didn't he eat Grape Nuts and pine cones? Wait a minute, I'm showing my age.

Blowing out the pipes seems reasonable, but what about the fresh water tank? In my old trailer, there was none (so I did not have to think/worry about it), but my "new" '73, there is a plastic tank midsection in the trailer. I suppose there is a drain somewhere, but the tank is pretty low in the belly. I need to sanitize it anyway as part of my rebuilding, since the filler tube is off, and the tank neck (in the belly) has been open for quite a while.
__________________
Phil and/or Sue w/ Cheryl & Penny and Roger
(Buffett RIP 9/15/08, Gus RIP 12/22/2015)
1997 34' Excella WBCCI 5936
'09 Dodge Cummins Ram 3500 Crew 4x4 auto
AIR 1753
Phil and/or Sue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2007, 08:56 AM   #18
Rivet Master
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil and/or Sue
Blowing out the pipes seems reasonable, but what about the fresh water tank?
Get under the trailer and look for a draincock low on the tank -- roadside or curbside.

The tanks are plenty sturdy to allow freezing of a small amount of residual liquid, though I will put a couple extra leveling blocks under the opposite wheels to help it drain the best. Just be sure not to introduce RV antifreeze into the freshwater tank. It'll take forever to get it flushed out! Take out any inline carbon water filters before you pump antifreeze through the system or else you'll be searching for that costly little item in the spring. There are a couple of 'sticky' how-to threads at the top of the winterizing section of forums.
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
need plumbing map for water pump silverbullet Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 1 09-22-2002 09:13 PM
Water leaks Craig Fresh Water Systems 3 08-08-2002 01:44 PM
city water inlet valve failure? JohnGalt48 Fresh Water Systems 2 08-01-2002 04:43 PM
Water Drip uwe Fresh Water Systems 6 07-11-2002 08:39 AM
Replace copper water lines in '61 Bambi 61BambiCanada Fresh Water Systems 1 05-22-2002 06:04 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.