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Old 06-07-2004, 05:18 PM   #1
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Smile The Eco-friendly Airstream in Natural Home Mag

Hey, everyone!!!! I asked Natural Home Magazine if they would do an eco-friendly RV make-over last Feb!!! Guess What!!! They chose a 20' 1976 airstream!!!! It's in the July/August edition.
Check it out- lots of interesting stuff and internet sites !!!!
Ahh- 15 seconds of fame!!! silver suz
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:07 PM   #2
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Do they have a website? I've never heard of this magazine.
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:19 PM   #3
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http://www.naturalhomemag.com/curren...4/HomeRoad.htm

Woo hoo!!! Nice work, Suz!!
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:39 PM   #4
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As usual, I put it down somewhere, and now can't find it. older mag= www.NaturalHomeMagazine.com I found the first one several years ago at a natural food store and now have a subscription. It's funny, Debra Dadd is a regular columnist. Years ago, I counciled her on the multiple chemical illness- what to do, how to cope, what to eat and she's gone on to be relatively famous!! That's one second of vicarious fame, I think.
I already have "complaints" about stuff in the article. (Meaning I could have written a better article). Bamboo flooring isn't as cool as people think. As the poor countries who make them use all sorts of chemicals to bind them and mash the fibers together. there is a truly "GREEN" bamboo flooring coming out of WA state I think.
However, one great idea came out of it. My older son and I are talking about a diesel generator for our airstream that runs on used cooking oil. I can handle smelling like french fries!! And that could top off my batteries or run everything- still in the blue sky stage. Where does everyone store their generators on the old airstreams? Mark suggested the front tongue where the old propane tanks were. I think it would be too heavy. Any "barn storming" ideas??? silver suz
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:54 PM   #5
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suz

do a web search using the word "greasel".

you should find lots of links, you will need a diesel generator to start with, unfortunately most of the smaller ones come from china. they have lighter emission standards than us.

my eco terrorist nieghbors (air quality guys for the wisconsin DNR) are not fond of diesels of any kind, bio or not because of the particulates. and the nitrogen oxides they emit.

food for thought, even if it smells like french fries.

a propane fuel generator would be better for emissions in my opinion. and smell better!

john
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:55 PM   #6
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Pooh on the complainers - sure there will continue to be drawbacks, since there's no way to be completely "green" if you want to retain any choices in style, for example. But for the time it took me to read the article, I'm thrilled that these two have redone their Airstream in this way. It's exactly the same things I was thinking, (I just hadn't spent any time actually researching it!)

I went to the couple's site, and while there's hardly anything there yet, it'll be really cool to learn more details of how they've done this conversion - both the trailer and their deisel Ford that now runs on used veggie oil.

Thanks again, Suz for pointing it out - I'm gettin' excited to follow in their footsteps, particularly the peel and stick solar panels that will be almost invisible as they hug the curve of the roof.
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Old 06-07-2004, 09:01 PM   #7
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I would think twice about the peel and stick solar panels. Unless you do something to mitigate the heat factor like the aluminum bubble foil. Anyway too much heat really fries solar stuff. I'm sure if you went straight to the manufacturer, they would get you the proper answer. Maybe it's something as simple as painting the roof white.
I was very disappointed that they didnt cover good insulation to add to the fiberglass insulation. We have the denny foil with kraft paper backing and tiny holes to relieve the moisture problem. It takes practically no space. They also should have mentioned some of the no voc paints (like AFM) that will seal the stinky vinyl/ aluminum stuff.
Hey you came up with the framed prints after I bought my airstream gothic!!

Also .check out the site on the self-contained camper truck and the toilet it has. I'm excited about it and wonder what others think about it. Now is the time to make the change in our retrofitting. silver suz
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Old 06-07-2004, 09:41 PM   #8
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I've read up on composting toilets, and decided I wasn't going anywhere near that. Get me to a dump station!

The solar panels sound interesting though. I'd like to see more about that.

Cool article, Airstreams really are everywhere!
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Old 06-07-2004, 10:04 PM   #9
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It's the Thetford Cassette toilet (C2 self contained water supply # 53. Let me know what you think of it stephanie. Silver suz
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Old 06-07-2004, 10:23 PM   #10
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Sounds just like a regular toilet to me, except you pull out the tiny little black tank to empty it. Why would that be better than using a regular toilet?

The composting toilets I read about in the past involved getting just the right mix of materials to get proper decomposition, and then you had to empty the compost out from time to time. They also seemed to only work if the RV was constantly in use, else the compost would not have enough waste to keep the cycle going. It sounds like it needs a fair amount of attention to use successfully, but when works right it can work very well and odor-free. I think this is what they mean in the article by a 'sawdust bucket composting toilet'.
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Old 06-07-2004, 10:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver suz
I would think twice about the peel and stick solar panels. Unless you do something to mitigate the heat factor like the aluminum bubble foil. Anyway too much heat really fries solar stuff. I'm sure if you went straight to the manufacturer, they would get you the proper answer. Maybe it's something as simple as painting the roof white.
I definitely don't want to apply anything directly to the roof - I think you're right, we'd step in there after a day on the highway and feel like a couple of foil-wrapped baked potatos.

However, if it's peel and stick, that means it's thin and flexible. And if it's both of those, there's no reason why I can't come up with a set of well-designed short feet, perhaps 3 or 4 inches tall. Those would be riveted to the roof, and provide shade and room to breathe between the panels and the roof itself. Problem solved!
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Old 06-08-2004, 06:55 AM   #12
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Brad- why dont you check out this with the manufacturers? After all they were originally designed with marine applications in mind. It sure would make it a lot easier. On lifting the panels above the roof- ours will only be 1 and 1/2 inches off the roof on top. with aluminum brackets designed for the wind to go thru while traveling. On the sides there would have to be higher rises. We're doing this to go with the 184 watt panels. Why cant the factory cover the entire roof with the curved solar cells with a little foam (GASP!) padding underneath.??? silver suz
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:32 AM   #13
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Good call, Suz. By looking at various websites I've been tapping into all sorts of neat product lines from the marine industry, whereas nothing has really peaked my interest as far as RV products, which tend to be much more plasticky. We're starting with a clean slate, so I'd much rather approach the reinterpretation with a fine 1940's yacht's cabin mindset, down to the appliances (i.e. 2-burner cooktop with little metal railing around it to keep things from sliding off).

Be sure to post pictures when you've got your panels installed - those tapered brackets to cheat the wind sound perfect!!

I think one of the coolest things I could learn in the next year or two as we restore our GT would be the art of casting metal. I'd like to be able to bring my artistic ideas to reality by actaully casting custom door handles, drawer knobs, etc. out of aluminum to make it a real one of a kind trailer. Haven't looked into the process yet, but nothing could be THAT tough, especially little things 3, 4 and 5 inches square.
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:45 AM   #14
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Don't hold your breath on the panels. I can still see ground in the back 1/3. However Real Goods already has rails for solar panels that are really cheap. I don't know yet how much we will have to adjust for the curve. Also For those interested, The campmore catalogue has very large solar showers and even one so large you'd have to put it on top of your van. Plus an outside shower enclosure for those who like that!
Brad, the casting sound really neat! Camping world here recently had a sale on little pewter weights to clip on tablecloths to keep from blowing away. I got a bunch of the sea shell ones as that is my decor motif. With a little soldering from my son- voila- cabinet knobs, curtain holdbacks etc!! Of course the cabinets havent been made yet- details. suz
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