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Old 08-09-2004, 10:06 PM   #1
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Smile Trailer Insulation in Wyoming???

..............Hi friends , I'm new here and just starting my quest and research on an eventual purchase of a trailer. I'm planning on full timing and working for the next 10 years or so in my trailer. I'm also plan on having a permanent home in Wyoming. So, I guess my question would be how does\do the late 80's and early 90's Excella's fare when it comes to dealing with fairly cold weather ? Hopefully someone on here has some prior experience living under these kind of conditions.....thanks for your help , r66
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:18 PM   #2
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This has been discussed a few times, but the definitive thread is likely this one: http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=2738

As winter lasts from mid August to early June there, you would probably want to connect directly to one of those natural gas wells.

Seriously, there are better insulated trailers, but I doubt if any are insulated anywhere near enough for Wyoming winters.

Mark
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:52 PM   #3
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Any trailer or motorhome parked in a heated barn will do just fine. Outside, the trailer will free to death just before you do. But than there are places that the snow will cover your trailer completely offering some insulation from the elements until the spring thaw.
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Old 08-16-2004, 02:44 PM   #4
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If heating it is as hard as cooling it, you are in for a fight!

My 1987 unit has a brand new 15,000 BTU air conditioner --- has a hard time when temp is 95 or more (not too bad 90-95 ---- fine under 90)... Problem is lack of insulation. You can touch the inside walls and feel the heat! I'm sure cold weather would be its equal as far as attemting to retain heat.

My 40' bus conversion has spray-foam insulation. No problem heating/cooling it at all.

There are trailers made with "artic" packages --- windows and insulation --- that are better suited for your needs. Plus more storage for full-timing..

My $.02

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Old 10-14-2004, 10:50 PM   #5
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Hmmm,

This has me kind of worried as I am going to be full timing it this
Winter in my 89 Excella. Keep in mind I'll be doing it 20 degrees
further south latitude in Florida. We still get some freezing termperatures
down here, nothing to really get in a fuss about usually. That comment
about heated barn kind of makes me wonder though...

Should I start to worry about pipes freezing in the 10-20 F range this
Winter? Or does the old Airstream have a little more pink panther in
it than that?

Just wondering,
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Old 10-15-2004, 01:04 AM   #6
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Thumbs up An ole trick..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Excellaphant
Hmmm,
This has me kind of worried as I am going to be full timing it this
Winter in my 89 Excella. Keep in mind I'll be doing it 20 degrees
further south latitude in Florida. We still get some freezing termperatures
down here, nothing to really get in a fuss about usually. That comment
about heated barn kind of makes me wonder though...
Should I start to worry about pipes freezing in the 10-20 F range this
Winter? Or does the old Airstream have a little more pink panther in
it than that?
Just wondering,
Excellaphant,
I would offer this thought.
If you were to keep the city water pipe covered with foam insulation (coming into the trailer) and, the cold water tap dripping slightly during the coldest period. I think you'd be fine.
It wouldn't hurt to run the unit's furnace as well. This allows the passage of hot air under the floor.
Considering that the cold snaps in FL are of the shortest duration, you should be able to survive.
It's the folks in the extreme "Northern tier" that really need to go all out in preparation for the extended deep freeze.
There's been numerous post about personal experiences, "rubyslipper" comes to mind as one.
Bale hay positioned all around the unit for windbreak/blockeage;
Before the last bale of hay is positioned in place, place a light fixture under the trailer to help heat that space. (I personally haven't done this but it might be worth while trying.)
Plastic over the windows inside to aid the insulation factor;
Extended stay propane line with extra large propane tank;
Portable generator to get thru the power outage periods;
I've known people to even "custom cut" Lexan for inserting in the screen door and, on the inside of all windows with a high degree of success.
Remember, you do want some fresh air exchange to allow for moisture to escape. (Mostly from exhaled breathing, showers, and cooking.)
Under the closet floor, in some units, where the water pump is located you could place a 75 to 100 watt light bulb to heat that area.
I'm sure the list can and will be expanded by others.
Good Luck~!
We'll be looking for you to check in next Spring...
ciao
53FC
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Old 10-19-2004, 10:25 PM   #7
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Yikes. The more I hear talk about things like that the more I
think I should invest in some thermal underwear. But...

I just can't see a Florda Winter gettting that bad though. The
camp ground I have the pleasure of inhabiting is right on the
water (bay) and in direct sunlight. It would have to be some
kind of cold snap to freeze a pipe in an inhabited Airstream.

Anyway, this is a concern though. Something tells me a broken
pipe could set you back a few kilo dollars in damage. Just
100 miles north can make a world of difference in temps.

I think I have jinxed myself.
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Old 12-05-2004, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excellaphant
Yikes. The more I hear talk about things like that the more I
think I should invest in some thermal underwear. But...

I just can't see a Florda Winter gettting that bad though. The
camp ground I have the pleasure of inhabiting is right on the
water (bay) and in direct sunlight. It would have to be some
kind of cold snap to freeze a pipe in an inhabited Airstream.

Anyway, this is a concern though. Something tells me a broken
pipe could set you back a few kilo dollars in damage. Just
100 miles north can make a world of difference in temps.

I think I have jinxed myself.
My Excella 34 ft. is an 84 model and I've lived in it full time for the last nine yrs. I am in the Four Corners of New Mexico and the temp this morning was 10 with wind chill down to 0. What I do is heat tape the water hookup, the water hose and the water inlet coming into the unit and then cover all with foam and fiberglass insulation. The only time I let the water drip is if the temp is predicted to be below 0 for an extended period of time. The risk you run to water dripping is freezing the sewer drop and while we have holding tanks it may create problems for others upstream from you hooked to the same sewer line. This has happened in this park in the past and the owner gets real upset if you are the one who froze up the sewer line. Using the heat tape and insulation, keeping the heater running when it is needed and adding a small electric heater to the bathroom is all I've ever done and never had a frozen or busted pipe todate"knock on wood." Just do it right the first time and enjoy your unit. Best wishes Ross
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Old 12-05-2004, 01:11 PM   #9
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Airstream Kozy

Thanks for all the extreme cold temperature advice. But the kind
of cold we have in FL is just uncomfortable and not really dangerous.
A pipe freezing cold spell only happens once every few years. But
even moderate cold weather makes us southern people extremely
uncomfortable because we can't drink iced tea.

Update:

November is here in NW Florida and we have had a few nights where
the temperature has reached in the high 30s. I have no experience
with even moderately cold weather so this is cold for me. The Airstream's
insulation is basically non existant even for these temperatures. I have to
run nearly 6000 BTUs of electric heat to keep the internal temp near 50.
I sleep in thermals and plenty of blankets and I'm OK.

But here's an idea that me and few friends have been tossing around, it
seems that the major problem here is the metal skin. It acts a massive
heat sink in the winter in my theory. I think the airstream has just as much
insulation as any other RV, but the skin is thick unpainted Aluminum and
that's the problem since ~500 lbs of aluminum can disipate quite a bit of
heat with a 10 mph 40 degree wind.

So the proposed solution is to make an "Airstream Kozy" out of large silver
tarps and synthetic blanklets. This would cut down on the loss of heat
due to wind and I think would make the Airstream much more able to handle
extreme cold. You could cut holes for the door and windows and I still think
it would be 4-7 times more energy efficient. The average blanket is around
R-1 but if you shopped around you might finds some industrial solutions that
would maybe be R-5 or more. But I think anything that would block the wind
would be the real advantage.

Now the big question. Has anyone tried this?
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Old 12-05-2004, 01:26 PM   #10
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why??

excellaphant,

why are you not running your furnace??? your furnace must be in the 30k btu range, 6k btu of electric heat will not cut it.

electric is for lights, propane is for heat!

john
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Old 12-05-2004, 03:14 PM   #11
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3 main reasons, remember I am new at this.

1. 30K BTU ? I had no idea about that. I assumed it was much less. I'll
go home and RTFM on that heater.

2. The previous owner installed a "catalytic" heater by the front door
that had a 6100 BTU rating and I assumed that was an increase
from the furnace. This installation included reallocating the gas
line from the furnace to this new heater. I can fix that.

3. I only have one propane tank, the other has the old valve, so it
makes running out of propane a real problem.

Thanks for the wake up call on that BTU rating and I am getting that
second tank fitted with a new valve this week.
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Old 12-05-2004, 03:39 PM   #12
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Having grown up in Pensacola, I can assure you that exposed pipes there CAN freeze. We had a rental property that was built up off grade on pilings and replaced below the floor plumbing more than once. One of our neighbors had plumbing in the attic that froze and burst, with quite a bit of damage.

With an Airstream that has plumbing between the floor and belly pan, I'd definitely run the furnace, which has ducts leading below the floor to heat the tanks and plumbing down there (if the previous owner didn't remove these).

The ground doesn't freeze there, so buried pipes and hose shouldn't freeze, but above ground spigots and hose can.
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Old 12-05-2004, 05:23 PM   #13
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yep

Quote:
30K BTU ?
yes it is hard to belive.

was just helping a buddy try to size a new furnace for his excella, after talking to tech support at suburban the reccomendation was 1k btu per foot of trailer!

heed moe's advice about running the furnace! those water lines down in the tank box are the ones you need to worry about the most.

i have used my trailer wet in temps down to the low teens with no problems.

if you find it difficult getting your other propane tank revalved, don't worry. they are cheap at the major home centers. i think the last one i bought was around 55 bucks. that way, i always have 2 in the trailer and a spare in the back of the truck.

john
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