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Old 08-10-2010, 01:50 PM   #1
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What was Airstream Thinking?

I have a 1975 Trade Wind that I am rebuilding as my schedule allows. I had just re-installed all 3 tanks back in the camper and while I was laying underneath on a nice comfy piece of cardboard, I had a thought...Why did Airstream go to so much trouble to insulate and heat the grey water tank while ignoring the fresh water tank?

The grey water tank has a metal enclosure that was insulated with foam board and also has a tube running from the furnace ductwork to the enclosure for heat. Looks like a pretty good setup to keep from freezing. But why wasn't the same attention paid to the fresh water tank enclosure? Fresh water tank just sits in the floor with a 3/4" piece of plywood slid under it for support. No insulated enclosure or heat supply tube. Why all the attention to the grey water tank while the fresh water tank was left out?
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:57 PM   #2
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Could be:

1) Dain Bramage in Airstream's QC back in the day.
2) They ran out of parts and still wanted to deliver the trailer in time to the dealer/original owner.
3) Some other owner tore the insulation off long ago for some reason.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by barron64 View Post
I have a 1975 Trade Wind that I am rebuilding as my schedule allows. I had just re-installed all 3 tanks back in the camper and while I was laying underneath on a nice comfy piece of cardboard, I had a thought...Why did Airstream go to so much trouble to insulate and heat the grey water tank while ignoring the fresh water tank?

The grey water tank has a metal enclosure that was insulated with foam board and also has a tube running from the furnace ductwork to the enclosure for heat. Looks like a pretty good setup to keep from freezing. But why wasn't the same attention paid to the fresh water tank enclosure? Fresh water tank just sits in the floor with a 3/4" piece of plywood slid under it for support. No insulated enclosure or heat supply tube. Why all the attention to the grey water tank while the fresh water tank was left out?
The fresh water tank, originally, did have warm air circulating around it, whenever the furnace ran.

Also, that tank was originally insulated.

Lastly, the tank was originally supported with a one inch plywood board.

Looks like a previous owner made some big short cuts.

Andy
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #4
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Really?? my trailer should be very similar to the OP's...and it has no insulation, or ducting to the fresh tank area. I figured it was because its right near the furnace, and there is a rather large hole in the floor, for plumbing access that allows heated cabin air to circulate...sort of. Maybe there is insulation around the sides that I just can't see, but it would have to be extremely thin.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:47 PM   #5
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When I removed the fresh water tank, there was a thin layer of fiberglass bat between the top of the tank and the floor. Yes, there is a large hole in the floor that allows access to the plumbing which may allow some warm air to circulate around that side of the tank. Of course there was insulation, fiberglass batting, to the sides of the tank in the rest of the floor.

How much R value does 3/4" plywood offer? I installed 1/2" foam board, R-3, above the tank but there is no room for any additional insulation between the tank and the plywood support board.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:45 PM   #6
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I've never taken mine apart, but I assumed that there wouldn't be much room for anything in there...all descriptions make it seem like the space is pretty tight. I bet you could wrap the whole thing w/ a layer of the foil-bubble-foil insulation, though. That would probably be a big help.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:45 AM   #7
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I've never taken mine apart, but I assumed that there wouldn't be much room for anything in there...all descriptions make it seem like the space is pretty tight. I bet you could wrap the whole thing w/ a layer of the foil-bubble-foil insulation, though. That would probably be a big help.
Thanks for the thought on this one. I have to pull the plywood support back out to paint it and I just so happen to have some foil/bubble/foil insulation left over after covering my garage doors.
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