Prepping for Winter

Exterior receptacle

With another Michigan winter looming, I decided to get out in front of potential cold start issues with the diesel. 

Starting an ice cold 7.3 Power Stroke Diesel is a bear, and it’s hard on the engine, too.  The diesel supplemental owners manual says to plug the engine block heater in when temperatures dip below 40°. 

No problem, I’ve got an exterior outlet.  It’s on the back of the house, and the thought of leaving my 10ga 50′ extension cord lying outside, under the snow, getting stepped on and gouged with snow shovels, doesn’t make me very merry.

After a quick run to the hardware store, I’ve got 

  • 25′ Romex 12/2
  • Exterior metal surface mount J-box
  • Exterior weather tight receptacle cover
  • Masonry mounting screws and mollies
  • Plastic single gang J-box
  • Wire nuts
  • Wire staples
  • Hard wired timer

Permanent timer. They should probably include a magnifying glass with this model.

About an hour later, had the outlet installed and wired on a handy timer.  The engine block heater draws about 1000w, so leaving that plugged in for 10-12hrs is no chump change.  I’ve currently got it set to go on about 4am, giving the engine about 3-4hrs of snugly warmth.

See you down the road 

Winterizing the Airstream, Again

Air compressor hooked up, HWH drain plug open

It’s that time, again.  Put the old girl into storage, and make sure there’s no water to burst any pipes or tanks.  Easy peasey.  I did things a little differently this year. 

Ball valve fresh water to air compressor adapter

  1. Open all faucets and fixtures.
  2. Open fresh water drain valve
  3. Open hot water heater drain plug
  4. Bypass water pump with short connector.  Cycle water pump for 15 seconds to expel any water.
  5. Connect air compressor to fresh water hookup.
  6. Set regulator to 80 psi, and expell.
  7. Repeat until there’s no water coming out of any of the drains or fixtures. Since I’m using a small 4 gallon compressor, I burned a lot of time letting the pressure spool up. Took about 15-20 cycles of ‘off’ and ‘on’ with the ball valve connector. Be sure to open the exterior spigot, and toilet flush.
  8. Drain the holding tanks.
  9. Pour antifreeze down kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower drain, and toilet.

Whole process took about 2 hours.  I imagine it would have been a lot quicker with a larger compressor (capacity).

I’m confident there isn’t a drop of water left in that trailer. 

See you down the road

A family of eight, blogging all things camping from our Airstream