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Old 06-14-2018, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default Airstream...heated gray and fresh water tanks....

OK... tell me...do you think this is important ??

It's a feature on the newer Airstream vans ..... I seriously don't think it would be a retrofit option for most of us... sounds really expensive....

BUT, would this be something you would find desirable for your next Class B????

My Roadtrek RS Adventurous is a three season coach... although...it's possible for me to easily use it year round since I live in Southern California..

I don't think I need heated water tanks... except for traveling to really inclement weather...and we try to avoid this.....

What do you think???
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:13 PM   #2
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To really enable cold weather use, black tank and all plumbing routes for F and G water needs to be considered, not just F and G tanks. I've used my B multiple nights in the teens already, and I bet you'd find some frozen lines in the plumbing routes if the rest of the plumbing wasn't in the heated space or suplimented with heat tape. But who knows...
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:35 PM   #3
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Agree. Tank heating pads are the easy part, and not terribly expensive. But there isn't much point unless you also insulate and heat all plumbing--both potable and waste. I converted our rig from 3- to 4-season use by a combination of insulation and extending the glycol lines of our Espar hydronic furnace system to run along all exposed pipes.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:05 AM   #4
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Default Airstream...heated gray and fresh water tanks....

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Originally Posted by Mfturner View Post
To really enable cold weather use, black tank and all plumbing routes for F and G water needs to be considered, not just F and G tanks. I've used my B multiple nights in the teens already, and I bet you'd find some frozen lines in the plumbing routes if the rest of the plumbing wasn't in the heated space or suplimented with heat tape. But who knows...

The Airstream Interstate black tank is above the floor under toilet in a heated space. All the water lines are also inside. Only the sewage drain lines to macerator are exposed. I've camped one night at 10 degF with my Interstate in Taos, NM last winter. I was in a campground with power as the tank heaters require a lot of power. The weak point is the outside shower. Mine was frozen into a block of ice in the morning. I just drove to lower elevation and ice melted with no damage to the shower fittings. I was lucky.

The Interstate is not a 4-season camper but the heaters can help if you get caught in the cold like I did in Taos.


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Old 06-15-2018, 02:16 AM   #5
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My old Interstate was the rear-bath, rear-galley model. Most of the plumbing and the fresh tank were in the very back of the vehicle, which was a semi-heated space. We did a lot of winter camping in it. The fresh pipes would freeze until we started stuffing a little ceramic heater back there. After that, all was well. Of course, we needed shore power.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:30 PM   #6
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But all of these precautions work only if the van is actually in continuous use so that interior space stays warm. For example, it can be in the single digits when we leave the van on the rim of the GC for a week-long hike along the river. During the winter, we take regular weekend hiking trips--draining and filling that often would be a royal pain. For our use, the only practical solution is no plumbing at all.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:53 PM   #7
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.

Tank heaters are also available on the Winnebago Travato. (maybe on other models too, but I haven't checked.)

The heating pad uses less than 10A. There is a thermostat, so it is not a continuous draw. The pads are tested to -11F (-24C).


ps. They are more a "Warming pad" than a "Heating Pad". They are meant to extend the camping season at the beginning and the end; they are not meant as a 4-seasons enabling feature.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
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But all of these precautions work only if the van is actually in continuous use so that interior space stays warm. For example, it can be in the single digits when we leave the van on the rim of the GC for a week-long hike along the river. During the winter, we take regular weekend hiking trips--draining and filling that often would be a royal pain. For our use, the only practical solution is no plumbing at all.
Agreed - for your stated use no plumbing or at least winterized plumbing is the solution. When my Interstate is not in use during winter months it is fully winterized by blowing air through all lines. I only use RV antifreeze in toilet for local short trips.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:49 AM   #9
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I use winterized plumbing if I think it will get below the upper 20's, which means I use jugs for fresh water, and I chase any water or toilet usage with RV antifreeze. I've gone down to 12 deg like this.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:24 PM   #10
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Exclamation heated holding tanks

My van is a 2016 M_B Sprinter 3500 (Winnebago Era). All of the tanks. drains, etc. are outside. I wanted to travel year round so I added heat to all three tanks and pipes but not the valves. I turn off and drain the outside faucet. The system takes a lot of juice. particularly when on 12v DC (it has 120v AC, also, for when on shore power or generator). This past winter I drove from East Tennessee down to the gulf coast and west mostly on I 10. Snow, sleet and temps in the teens thru Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. My water pump froze up once, it is inside but I had failed to open the cabinet door. Fortunately no damage occurred and it thawed out and worked. I think this is a "must have" upgrade for me.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:25 AM   #11
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My first week of travel from Cleveland, OH to Minnesota to Gallup, NM was alway below freezing 24/7 down to a -5F. I boondocked the whole time culminating at 0F in Gallup overnight at a Cracker Barrel before going above freezing in Arizona. It was mostly 20F and below. I had a half tank of fresh water and no winterization. The diesel-fired waste glycol after supplying heat to the water and air exchange was 160F and was grooved into the 40 gallon fresh tank and bundled with outside water lines to heat them. I didn't have heat on the grey and black tanks but added a proportional pink RV antifreeze. The only weakness in the system was the outside shower froze up. I had Advanced RV change the valves to a quarter turn ball valve to fix that problem. I only discovered that because I certainly wasn't going to use it in freezing weather but I had the valve open accidentally and when it defrosted it began spewing water. However, there was no damage. Since my build, ARV has been installing water lines inside the van. They have an option for the black and grey tanks with heating pads. I think maybe anti-freeze might be easier. Before you use the B and G tanks you could add pure anti-freeze to fill the pipes going to the dump valve blades as a precaution. The waste contents will not be frozen with anti-freeze dilution and most likely you wouldn't dump until above freezing weather anyway.
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:48 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Roadtrek Adventuous RS1;74808]OK... tell me...do you think this is important ??

It's a feature on the newer Airstream vans ..... I seriously don't think it would be a retrofit option for most of us... sounds really expensive....

BUT, would this be something you would find desirable for your next Class B????

My Roadtrek RS Adventurous is a three season coach... although...it's possible for me to easily use it year round since I live in Southern California..

I don't think I need heated water tanks... except for traveling to really inclement weather...and we try to avoid this.....

We have a 2015 Winnebago ERA 70A. Outside temps below 45* the heater runs all night. Why.....no insulation anywhere in the chassis walls! What really helped was Reflectix Insulation on the interior of the windows. As long as air temp is above 40* I would feel safe. Traveling below that temp I will risk freezing. At hwy speed the fluids due to wind chill effect below 32* it will freeze fast!
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:19 PM   #13
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I have it. I donít consider it important. It is just a nice to have option.
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