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Old 07-20-2017, 07:58 AM   #1
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Danville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 47
Wintertzing Question In Summer: Bypass Valve Access

I have a 2013 FC 25 FB with single beds. This will be the first year I have to worry about winterizing the unit, which means I need to access the water heater bypass valve. The owner's manual says the valve is located "through the curbside front exterior access door." It isn't. Access is through a small cutout in the curbside bed deck under the mattress. With a flashlight I can see the (yellow) valve, but there's simply no way I can fit my hand through the access cutout and between the plumbing to reach it. Even my thin-handed daughter has trouble reaching the valve, although she can't get enough purchase to turn it.

What am I missing? There's got to be a way of accessing the bypass valve short of removing the bed deck. Any help is appreciated.
Don
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:08 AM   #2
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2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
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I have the double bed so things may be different but under the curbside wardrobe is a very shallow locker. The back panel in that locker is removable, with some effort, and behind it is the bypass valve.

Larry
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:42 AM   #3
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Danville , Indiana
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Thanks Larry. Our bedroom arrangement must be different. There is no curbside wardrobe in my unit as the bed butts up against the bathroom wall. Appreciate the help though.
Don
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Old 07-21-2017, 07:28 AM   #4
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That is a puzzle because I looked at the floorplans on the AS website and they still show a hanging wardrobe there. I wonder if they customized your trailer( are you the first owner?). If so, they must have thought that the cutout was good enough. Sadly, they are pretty inept at access issues. I had to get access to the back of my water heater to replace the element and relay for AC power.
They told first to access it from the outside locker, then from below the wardrobe. Neither were possible. I had to partially remove the water heater and stick my torso in through the outside locker. It took two days for me to do this. Not the only access issue I have encountered.
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:57 AM   #5
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
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Mine is also twin bed model. The only way to (practically) access the bypass valve is to remove the plywood decking under the bed that's above the water heater. I couldn't reach it through the cut-out hole and it's for sure not accessible through the curbside locker. This is a lousy design.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:09 PM   #6
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
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WH drain

This doesn't directly answer the question and there are folks out there with a lot more experience than I......

But the bypass valve on my AI Lounge EXT is QUITE hard to get to.
For two winters I have just used compressed air and a garden hose fitting to evacuate all of the water in the supply lines. I made sure I used a logical sequence and used the low point drains and the WH drain.
Then, there is no need for anti-freeze except in the waste lines.
It's worked great through zero degree weather and is easy as heck to "de-winterize.
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:01 PM   #7
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Sheridan , Wyoming
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Welcome to Airstream Winterizing, I was indoctrinated last winter with our new 2017 Flying Cloud 25' FB Twin and I also thought the water heater bypass valve access was through the exterior curbside storage. The only valve in that location was the water heater low point drain. Then I went inside and discovered the yellow bypass valve as you did. Remove 4 screws in the plywood under the bed to access. It's been a challenge but it's been fun and hope it will be for you too.
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:14 PM   #8
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Longmont , Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donreitz View Post
I have a 2013 FC 25 FB with single beds. This will be the first year I have to worry about winterizing the unit, which means I need to access the water heater bypass valve. The owner's manual says the valve is located "through the curbside front exterior access door." It isn't. Access is through a small cutout in the curbside bed deck under the mattress. With a flashlight I can see the (yellow) valve, but there's simply no way I can fit my hand through the access cutout and between the plumbing to reach it. Even my thin-handed daughter has trouble reaching the valve, although she can't get enough purchase to turn it.

What am I missing? There's got to be a way of accessing the bypass valve short of removing the bed deck. Any help is appreciated.
Don
I have the same trailer, the same yellow valve, and I think the same cutout. The cutout is a circle about four or five inches in diameter.

I have no trouble reaching my hand through the hole and touching the yellow handle. It's pretty much right under the cutout. But there is some plumbing that prevents me from getting a grip I can turn it with. The valve is pretty stiff.

What I do is use a tool to turn it. At first I used an open end wrench--just open the jaws and drop it over the handle, then turn the wrench. I wrote a note to myself to remember the wrench in the future. But next time, it didn't work out for me. Instead I used a conventional slip-joint pliers. My handle has a few scratches in the pretty yellow paint now....ask me if I care.

Another note: it may be possible to shift the blocking plumbing out of the way a bit. Also, One of the blocking plumbing pieces is a coiled flexible hose with screw-on ends. I have considered buying a longer replacement so that it can be moved out of the way.

I'm attaching a picture of what I see when I look through that hole. By the way, my 120V electrical system has been modified in the area, so the picture shows some non-standard parts.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:59 AM   #9
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Danville , Indiana
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Thanks one and all for your help. I tried SSquared's plier trick and, after some finagling, it worked. Let's hope I can repeat the trick come October! I appreciate the assistance folks.
Don
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:32 PM   #10
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South of the river , Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAtom View Post
For two winters I have just used compressed air and a garden hose fitting to evacuate all of the water in the supply lines. I made sure I used a logical sequence and used the low point drains and the WH drain.
Then, there is no need for anti-freeze except in the waste lines.
It's worked great through zero degree weather and is easy as heck to "de-winterize.
Using compressed air, only, is hit or miss. I've had to replace parts on two occasions after using this approach. Some valves and some piping runs are very difficult to dry out.
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