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Old 10-13-2019, 09:57 AM   #1
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City water connection and piping freeze protection

As you Classic owners probably know, the city water and black tank flush are in a cabinet that is not heated. Also, the piping from these connections runs horizontal about 6í before turning up to go into interior of trailer. That piping run is in an unheated section. Anyone got a good solution youíve used to freeze protect the connection and piping. I know I can come off city water and use the pump/fresh tank, but would rather not do that if possible. Also, a heated water hose is too bulky/rigid to connect properly in the cabinet, even with a 90 elbow. Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:36 PM   #2
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Hi

Indeed, the practical answer is to use the fresh water tank.

To do the job on the city water - get some heater tape and wrap the lines with it. Wrap the drain pipes as well. Then wrap over that with insulating foam. Power up the heater tape off of whatever it is designed to use ( like 120V shore power).

You can drop the heater tape from that, and just use black foam. It will help a little. You likely will need to have tape on your city water hose / faucet / pipe anyway. Your hose will likely freeze and crack before any of the rest if it's just out there .....

If you disconnect a hose when it is getting cold, be sure to drain it. Water lying in a kinked up hose can crack it just like water in an operating hose.

Bob
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:10 PM   #3
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Thanks. The major problem is access to the pipe in the unheated underbelly. No access. I can reach the back side of the inlet connections but the 6í of pipe running horizon canít be reached. Really disappointed that Airstream didnít design some type of water cabinet that was heated.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:04 PM   #4
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Thanks. The major problem is access to the pipe in the unheated underbelly. No access. I can reach the back side of the inlet connections but the 6í of pipe running horizon canít be reached. Really disappointed that Airstream didnít design some type of water cabinet that was heated.
Hi

The bottom side of the trailer generally is sitting over warm ground. That gives it. buffer temperature wise. People report running these trailers into the teens with no issues of the pipes freezing.

Bob
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:09 AM   #5
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Hi

The bottom side of the trailer generally is sitting over warm ground. That gives it. buffer temperature wise. People report running these trailers into the teens with no issues of the pipes freezing.

Bob
The newer AS's are much more prone to the water inlet freezing than the older ones and more difficult to protect. The suggestion of using the water tank and pump is a good idea but not sure if long term is a solution. I used heat tape then wrapped split foam and duck tape. Then also heat taped the valves black and grey. I left the grey open until single digits, then closed because the grey would start to freeze in the hose. I also used a 100 watt regular light bulb in a drop light next to the valves with a long piece of plywood to keep the wind chill being a factor. Regardless, if you don't heat tape and foam wrap from the city outlet all along the hose to your inlet, you're wasting your time. Always have a good hair dryer and extension cord ready just in case. Been there, done that a few times. Good luck.
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Old 10-14-2019, 01:12 PM   #6
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I made a diy heated hose, left about 2'of cable, filled the connection box and wrapped it around the brass elbow from the hose. My two frozen mornings in the teens were fixed quickly with hot water on that brass elbow (before I made the heated hose). Also filled the space behind the water inlet with pink insulation.
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Old 10-14-2019, 01:18 PM   #7
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My issue isnít hose. Itís the water lines in the underbelly where it isnít heated.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:02 AM   #8
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The newer AS's are much more prone to the water inlet freezing than the older ones and more difficult to protect. The suggestion of using the water tank and pump is a good idea but not sure if long term is a solution. I used heat tape then wrapped split foam and duck tape. Then also heat taped the valves black and grey. I left the grey open until single digits, then closed because the grey would start to freeze in the hose. I also used a 100 watt regular light bulb in a drop light next to the valves with a long piece of plywood to keep the wind chill being a factor. Regardless, if you don't heat tape and foam wrap from the city outlet all along the hose to your inlet, you're wasting your time. Always have a good hair dryer and extension cord ready just in case. Been there, done that a few times. Good luck.
Hi

Oddly enough you still see a lot of people out and about in with "newer" stock Airstreams ( = at least as new as mine) in the teens without getting into trouble.

Bob
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:09 AM   #9
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My issue isnít hose. Itís the water lines in the underbelly where it isnít heated.
Wonder if it's possible to cut a small door and hinge to allow a drop light.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:35 AM   #10
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Hi

After a bit of poking around - the area does get some heat. The storage compartment above the city water input is heated by the Alde. That was very apparent when I popped it open in cold weather ....

Bob
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:13 PM   #11
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Luke, I believe your setup is like my older classic. If you close the outside water shut off inside the trailer and open the outside spigot, most all the water will drain from the lines in the outside compartment.

Click image for larger version

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In my case the valve is under the bathe sink, by the water heater. The one way foot valve allows for the tank and pump to service the trailer without re-filling the outside compartment lines.

Click image for larger version

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Leave the spigot open throughout your cold weather journey and the inside valve closed. If you really worry about any residual water in the outside sections of line, blow out the lines with the spigot open and the pump on and the inside valve closed. Use air pressure at a lower psi than the pump pressure...like 35psi air pressure.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:18 PM   #12
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Hi

If the modern Classics have an "outside water shutoff valve" it's very well hidden. There is indeed a low point drain that will dump the water by the city water input.

Bob
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:20 PM   #13
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Hi

If the modern Classics have an "outside water shutoff valve" it's very well hidden. There is indeed a low point drain that will dump the water by the city water input.

Bob
I wasn't clear. See pic one. The valve is inside, but it is an outside water spigot shutoff valve. Does that make sense? It isolates the lines from the city water inlet to the shutoff valve as well as isolates the lines to and including the spigot.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:49 PM   #14
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Hi

If the modern Classics have an "outside water shutoff valve" it's very well hidden. There is indeed a low point drain that will dump the water by the city water input.

Bob
OK, I found a pic of an '18 Classic on another thread. The outside spigot has been "upgraded????" to a drain valve. But I would still bet....a lot...that there is an inside plumbing layout performing the same function as my pic #1 above. Can one of you newer Classic owners look inside an interior space close to the area of the water compartment and post a pic?
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:42 AM   #15
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Hi

Mine just went into storage. The only space you might be able to get to that I haven't been in recently is under the bin in the bathroom. Other than that, no odd valves sitting here or there.

Looking at the parts book and the plumbing diagrams in it, the city and "local" water appear to join up by the bathroom sink. If there's a valve that's where it probably would have to be. I sure don't remember there being one ....

Bob
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