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Old 01-20-2012, 09:09 AM   #21
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Monica,

Your trailer has the automatic switch over propane valve. I have the same trailer.

Did you open BOTH of the tank valves when you filled them? When both of the valves are open, the switch will automatically draw from the full tank when the first tank is empty. At that point, if you look at the device you will see red in the glass window and the switch will be pointing to the empty tank. You can turn the empty tank valve off, flip the switch to the full tank, take the empty tank in and get it filled. Return it to the trailer, connect it and open the valve. Now you are set.

The guys in Spokane are great to work with. If you have done all the proper set up, they most likely will want to check the valve and I don't think you would want to drive over the pass for them to see things. Isn't there a new dealer in Seattle?
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:09 AM   #22
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Maybe now is the time to drain the water and blow the water lines out with compressed air. Use the rv antifreeze in the traps. Or add a small electric heater and set the furnace to its lowest temperature.
Hi Cosmos and thank you. I've got the electric heater going and the furnace is set to 55. This morning when I woke up (and after reading this suggestion here on AIR) I poured that pink antifreeze liquid down the drain (I remembered we had a gallon of it in our garage - useless there!). I feel confident my Airstream survived. But what a lesson it was for me.

Thank you so much for your advice. Honestly, everyone here is so kind!! The blowing of the water lines out with a compressor is something I am going to explore how to do. Thank you!
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:14 AM   #23
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Wow, this is really, really good to know -- but I'm not sure ours has this great feature. When I checked the tank upon my departure -- the full tank was, well completely full. Then yesterday when I discovered what I had done (er--not done) the full tank, was still full -- if it went through any amount of propane, the reading should have gone down even just a little.

But who knows, because if it was running on an empty tank -- why was my water heater on and still heating?

I'm definitely going to call Airstream (of Spokane) and see what the dealio is with my switch.

Thank you soooo much!!
The regulator on a 2006 should be auto-switching, though of course mechanical things fail from time to time.

For the auto-switching to work, the valves on both tanks need to be open. Just maintaining the delta from 30ish to 55 for one night shouldn't use a huge amount of propane, and I don't think tank gauges are very precise, are they?
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:17 AM   #24
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Monica,

Your trailer has the automatic switch over propane valve. I have the same trailer.

Did you open BOTH of the tank valves when you filled them? When both of the valves are open, the switch will automatically draw from the full tank when the first tank is empty. At that point, if you look at the device you will see red in the glass window and the switch will be pointing to the empty tank. You can turn the empty tank valve off, flip the switch to the full tank, take the empty tank in and get it filled. Return it to the trailer, connect it and open the valve. Now you are set.

The guys in Spokane are great to work with. If you have done all the proper set up, they most likely will want to check the valve and I don't think you would want to drive over the pass for them to see things. Isn't there a new dealer in Seattle?
Aftermath -- thank you SOOO much!!! This is great to hear from you since you have the same trailer !! Also great news about the automatic switch. Yes, I opened both valves when the tanks were full. As a matter of fact, I make it a habit to keep both open when we are using the gas.

We are actually heading up north to Canada for some cat skiing here in a few weeks and will be stopping by Airstream of Spokane (they are along the way to our destination) to say hello and get our Airstream a "check up" and hopefully a clean bill of heath prior to our trip. Otherwise we would probably take it to Airstream of Seattle since they are closer.

Thank you sooo much! What a relief about that switch!
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #25
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..... I don't think tank gauges are very precise, are they?
I am beginning to think not because one of my tanks read it was completely empty while the other was completely full. Temps dipped down to 25 and when I checked on her the following day both tanks looked identical in fuel levels as the prior night. Also my hot water heater was on and functioning...

Oiy -- did that make sense? I think I need to go have some coffee now...
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:28 AM   #26
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Gauges of that kind of too imprecise and too subject to failure to count on them too much. That's why fillers are not permitted to rely on them for filling.

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Old 01-20-2012, 11:15 AM   #27
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Do older (mine is a 94) models automatically switch from one tank to the other when the first runs empty? My manual is not with me and I too am in the midst of this PNW less than tropical weather pattern.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:50 AM   #28
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On a recent trip to Denver, we had our fresh water supply line freeze on three different occasions; all without damage. The next day, when the outside temperature rose, they thawed with no leaks.

During the day, we left the propane furnace on, set at the lowest setting, which kept our Bambi at about 50 degrees, inside. In the evenings, we set it at about 65 degrees until bedtime, then lowered the thermostat to about 55.

No problems with drain pipes, or fresh/gray/black water tanks; just the fresh water supply line. It's easy to tell when it freezes, because the pump won't run.

The line didn't freeze during numerous 12-15 degree nights. However, on those three occasions, it got down to about 3 degrees. One of those nights, the wind-chill was minus 15 degrees.

After the first night, we bought some "pink stuff" (RV antifreeze) with active ingredient propylene glycol, which is safe if accidentally ingested. The sales person said to add one or two gallons to the 15 gallons remaining in the fresh water tank, run it through the hot water heater and cold water lines until pink foamy liquid came out of all faucets; and we would be OK. I mentioned that the label said the product protected against freezing down to -50 degrees at full strength, but it didn't say anything about mixing it with fresh water. He said that even a 1/15 mix was better than the 32 degrees of (no) protection we had now; and that we didn't need to protect to -50, only 5-10 degrees, as our water would remain slushy and not freeze hard. We added two gallons to the 15 gallons of fresh water in our tank.

On the two later occasions, the fresh water lines froze, just as before.

I put some of the pink foamy liquid in a used water bottle and put in our freezer. In the morning, it was frozen solid; and the thermometer in the freezer read 15 degrees. So much for mixing RV antifreeze with fresh water...

In any case, our Bambi survived the cold weather vacation with only the slight inconvenience of no running water during the three coldest nights.

By the way, our propane tanks each lasted 6-7 days in weather that averaged about 35-45 degrees during the day and 3-15 at night.

Cold weather tip: Wait until mid-afternoon on a day when the outside temperature is above freezing to dump gray and black water tanks. With luck, the dump valves will thaw by then, if frozen. Otherwise, a gallon or two of hot water in each tank may help thaw the valves.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
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...I put some of the pink foamy liquid in a used water bottle and put in our freezer. In the morning, it was frozen solid; and the thermometer in the freezer read 15 degrees. So much for mixing RV antifreeze with fresh water...
The "pink stuff" will freeze, but that's no great problem because it doesn't expand until it's really, really, really cold, far lower than you're likely to experience.

However, do pay attention to the instructions on those bottles of "pink stuff": They say to use it pure, not mixed with water, which will expand readily when it freezes.


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Old 01-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #30
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No need to worry about the pies. Even when they're frozen you can still eat them if your teeth are in reasonable shape, and even then gumming a piece is usually productive.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:42 PM   #31
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Wish MY pipes would freeze up a little so I could get past 5am.

Seriously though....a lot colder here in WNY and I have winterized as late as November 15th, with overnight lowz in the high 20's, no bursters. 6hrs slightly below freezing should not be a problem.

Have fun on your trip....

Sweet Streams...

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Old 01-20-2012, 03:01 PM   #32
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just a thought on the water heater--mine is duel--electric or propane. You said you were pluged in-- might you be on electric and not propane to heat the water?
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #33
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My philosophy on freezing

Try to avoid having water in the lines when it gets below freezing. Generally, I just drain making sure to open the taps at the sinks and john. If the pump and water heater are drained all that can be damaged is PEX. If I screw up, there is no pay off in getting worried: either there is damage or there is not. If not, great. If yes, fix it. Don't get stressed, don't get mad. Just move on, life is too short to be wound tight.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:48 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroyd
Do older (mine is a 94) models automatically switch from one tank to the other when the first runs empty? My manual is not with me and I too am in the midst of this PNW less than tropical weather pattern.
A typical automatic switchover regulator looks like this. The key is that there will be some sort of visible red/green indicator.

The lever points towards your primary tank and green means it is drawing gas from that tank, red means it has switched to the secondary tank. Switching the lever makes the other tank primary and the indicator will return to green.

These things can go bad. A simple test is to start with adequate gas in both tanks and both valves open. Turn on the furnace or the water heater, then while observing the regulator, close the valve on the primary tank. If it is switching over, the indicator will change and the appliance will continue to operate uninterrupted.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:55 AM   #35
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I had frozen pipes in my first AS, the seller told me he winterized the unit. I believed him. The spring came and I connected to a water supply for the first time. I was floating on air-- I owned an Airstream !
That is until I saw water pouring out on the ground. I had to replace almost all the fixtures and lines. I even had to replace the toilet valves. It took awhile but I got the repairs made and learned a valuable lesson-- Don't believe the seller--in my case-- his winterizing was taking the beer out of the fridge.
As others have said--if it happens, it happens. No biggy-- just a few dollars to repair and pictures to share.

My point is-- water freezes, if it freezes, damage could happen. If there is damage, no big deal, repair it. You get to look at areas in your AS you probley wouldn't normally see.
You learned a valuable lesson. Always keep the propane tanks full. Drain the water and be sure you anti-freeze the traps, etc.
If you are in an area that can experiance prolonged freezing weather, DO NOT leave water in your trailer.
I hope you enjoy your AS and keep us posted. (we all love pictures)
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:40 PM   #36
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No need to worry about the pies. Even when they're frozen you can still eat them if your teeth are in reasonable shape, and even then gumming a piece is usually productive.
Funny! Sounds delicious gumming away at a piece of frozen pie -- really! lol
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:42 PM   #37
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Funny! Sounds delicious gumming away at a piece of frozen pie -- really! lol
Great for teething babies!
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:43 PM   #38
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just a thought on the water heater--mine is duel--electric or propane. You said you were pluged in-- might you be on electric and not propane to heat the water?
Again, something else I have/had no clue on -- another thing to explore and learn about -- thank you so much!!
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:44 PM   #39
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Try to avoid having water in the lines when it gets below freezing. Generally, I just drain making sure to open the taps at the sinks and john. If the pump and water heater are drained all that can be damaged is PEX. If I screw up, there is no pay off in getting worried: either there is damage or there is not. If not, great. If yes, fix it. Don't get stressed, don't get mad. Just move on, life is too short to be wound tight.
This is such a great outlook on life in general -- "dont get stressed, don't get mad -- just move on, life is too short to be wound tight." It just may be my new quote to live by! Boy, I sure was wound tight that night!
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:55 PM   #40
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Been there, done that....

To answer your question--How to know if you have cracked pipes....I have on my desk a 5" piece of tubing and filter that was in the auto-fill line from my Airstream. The filter had water in it and froze (long, dumb, sad story) and we discovered that we had a leak (somewhere!) while at an overnight stop on the way to Picacho Peak, AZ for this year's 4CU New Years rally.

We were stopped at an RV park in Deming, NM, and I turned on the water pump (it was freezing out, didn't want to set up the hose, had water in the tank). First indication of a problem was no water pressure at either sink. Just a dribble. I went out and found water leaking out at the low point drains. AAARRRGGGHHH. I knew we had a cracked pipe somewhere. But we cow-girled up, bought a 6 gallon container at Walmart, and went on to the rally. Heated water on the stove, or poured water out of the containers, still used the sinks/drains/potty. Had a great time.

I was sick about the cracked pipe, so I "get" your worry. But we camped-on, and when we returned, the fine folks at Holiday (ABQ's AS dealer) found our leak and had it fixed in no time. The attitude of "just get it fixed" is right. I keep this small bit of plumbing on my desk to remind me to take care of business, and don't sweat the small stuff.
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