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Old 10-06-2020, 07:04 AM   #1
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Newbie question about cold-weather Airstreaming

We'll be camping at Dead Horse Point State Park (near Moab, Utah, but at higher elevation) from 10/20-10/25. The average temperature charts I've seen suggest that it could drop below freezing at night. We'll be connected to shore power and presumably using the heater to maintain the interior temp at @60-64. Do we have to worry about pipes freezing or anything like that?
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:07 AM   #2
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As long as your furnace is on, no.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:20 AM   #3
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unhook your water supply and drain it to keep from freezing the water in the hose
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:27 AM   #4
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rbs View Post
unhook your water supply and drain it to keep from freezing the water in the hose
We won't have full hookups at this campsite—only electrical. So it sounds like as long as I have the furnace on, there's no concern?
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:51 AM   #6
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We've camped out in temperatures as low as 17F (-8C) with no problem - with the furnace running which it will do often. We also had our trailer parked in front of our house for a few days when even the daily high was below freezing (with the furnace on). In the latter case, the trailer was empty so I went out periodically to turn the hot water heater on but that shouldn't be problem when living in the trailer.

We also left open some cabinets where plumbing was hidden and little heat circulated - the bathroom specifically.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:15 AM   #7
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All the above is good info - two things to know

1. Airstreams are 3 season trailers not winter happy.
2. Condensation can be a problem especially on the windows
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:20 AM   #8
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You can also turn on the heaters in your black and gray water tanks to keep them warm.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:30 AM   #9
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You can also turn on the heaters in your black and gray water tanks to keep them warm.
I didn't know about these, but Googled it. Does this article accurately describe how to turn them on?
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:45 AM   #10
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Hi

The full answer to this is "that depends".

If you have a strong wind, open site, and wind from the wrong direction .... things can go sideways. There are pipes hanging out from under the trailer that have water in them. With no wind / shielded site, they cool down *very* slowly. Toss in a stiff breeze and they can indeed cool down in the middle of the night .....

Pipe damage occurs when a metal (or stiff plastic, not PEX) pipe is full of water and that water freezes solid. The force of the water freezing cracks the pipe (or pipe fitting, or faucet , or anti-backup valve, or ....). Fill an ice cube tray with water and put it in your freezer. It does not freeze instantly. You likely can come back in an hour or three and still find partial water in the tray. Pipes are no different, it takes time to freeze.

(Most modern AS trailers are piped with PEX, except for a few fittings / faucets, that makes them reasonably freeze resistant in the piping. You still have tanks and other stuff ....)

Next up - how are you measuring the temperature? Temp at the closest weather station may
be off from your location by 5 or 10 degrees in terms of a minimum overnight. That forest you are camped in / valley / big lake right there all have an impact to keep things warmer. Without a recording thermometer "right there" it's tough to know just how cold it really got and for how long.

Lots of variables ....

Bob
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:48 AM   #11
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Living through winter

Having lived through three winters in the mild temperature western Washington when there will perhaps be temperatures in the F. 20s for three weeks. I have shore power so rely on two small space heaters (living room and toilet) but turn the furnace on for 5-10 minutes in the morning. When away, I keep two warming pads on as well as the toilet space heater. One pad 'protects' the gray and black water outlets, the other is near the water heater (that is not activated). Of course, when away, cabinet lids open. I worry most that the gray and black water outlets might freeze. I keep several windows 'cracked' for ventilation, so no condensation. Good wishes.
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MaineStreamer View Post
You can also turn on the heaters in your black and gray water tanks to keep them warm.
Not all Airstream models have electric grey and black tank tank heaters. Many use a dedicated duct from the furnace to warm the tank areas including grey, black and fresh water tanks. This is why it’s so important to use your furnace in below freezing temperatures and not depend upon some other kind of space heater, even if/when you’re on shore power.
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbrick View Post
All the above is good info - two things to know

1. Airstreams are 3 season trailers not winter happy.
2. Condensation can be a problem especially on the windows
There are folks who don’t listen to the normal stories and just go do what they want, like Airstreaming with 3 or 4 people in Canadian winters. Namely, Jihong Larson- she has written articles about this topic in the Blue Beret. Some, like her are fearless and inspirational. I am half-timing in Switzerland at the moment and I am impressed how quickly iI can heat to comfortable temperatures, when it is just above freezing, and how enjoyable it can be! Half timing for me is living completely there, for 3 to 5 nights a week
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:14 AM   #14
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I have been living in my 31classic for 15 years in in Pocono Mountains, Pa...which has weather in winter to -30 sometimes with wind chill...i have only frozen once....I used to use heat tape on hoses which worked fine..i switched to these midwestern heat taped hoses they use for their animals. Anyway... I have a heat pad on black and grey tanks to keep those from freezing.. I also put a cup of rv antifreeze in toilet and down drains in sink bathroom and shower weekly....
If ure not using water.....like i do with my bambi.....I drain water and use antifreeze as above...and nothing else and have been fine for 3 years.
Safe journeys
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:16 AM   #15
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I've camped in Moab in October before. It's beautiful that time of year - warm during the day and cold at night. You'll definitely be running your furnace at night. It's good that you have electrical hookups too. You'll likely run A/C during the day and furnace at night.

I believe that Moab must mean "dirt" in some ancient language. Visits to Moab will result in fine dirt ending up in every imaginable crack, crevice, or compartment.
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:35 AM   #16
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I also keep the water heater on at night just to help warm up the area plumbing area when freezing
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Old 10-06-2020, 01:59 PM   #17
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Furnace may run a lot and not shut off for significant periods of time, You will use a lot of propane. Start with full tanks.

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Old 10-06-2020, 04:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by switters View Post
I didn't know about these, but Googled it. Does this article accurately describe how to turn them on?
That depends on what AS you have. As far as I know only some newer AS trailers have tank heaters(maybe under 5 years old). More motor homes might have them I don't really know.
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Old 10-06-2020, 05:06 PM   #19
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That depends on what AS you have. As far as I know only some newer AS trailers have tank heaters(maybe under 5 years old). More motor homes might have them I don't really know.
We have a 2018 Flying Cloud 23FB.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:29 PM   #20
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We will be down there in Moab the week before. But we have camped in colder temps/snow and as long as you keep the heat on or use tank heater, you’ll be fine.
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