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Old 06-12-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
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Full time in one location.

I've read through this post and wanted to get some first hand info on using an airstream as a home. I'm a single guy an this day and age it's hard to own a home or rent when it's just you(unless you make 60k or more a year) . I've always wanted an AS camper cause I think they are cool. I have a plot of land w/water electric and a garage. What are some of the bigger cons to living in an AS full time? The pros look good to me so lets hearths downfalls.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
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Don't know for sure because I've never done it, but I would think in Indiana you would have a problem in the winter keeping it from freezing. You would use LOTS of propane. Airstreams are insulated, but not anywhere near as well as a house.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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I did think about that. But I think I could overcome that hurdle.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
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Why not get you a real house trailer? I agree with Steve the propane would run you broke unless you have the trailer hooked to a large tank. Airstreams are ment to be on the road and that is what they do best. If you park them long the Monster 5th wheels start looking real good.

Perry
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
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Was planning on experimenting on electric heat. I'm not set up to do this yet, I'm just getting the facts. My main thing is being ready to take it If decide to try and live somewhere else and have the ability to take on a real house in the future without having to worry about selling a mobile home.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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Well electric heat is not real efficient compared to propane. That is assuming you get a big propane tank not the grill bottles. Also the furnace in an Airstream blows hot air under the floor to protect the holding tanks. I am not sure how long an RV furnace would last being used all the time though. I lived in a 27 ft 5th wheel going to college in FL and I did not need much heat.

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Old 06-12-2012, 03:31 PM   #7
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Moisture

You don't have to full time in an airstream to know that trailers have their own weather system inside. They are almost water tight. A human breathes and or sweats out, a gallon of water a night.
And when temps are different inside than they are outside , it can rain in a trailer.

Also the four seasons winter issue is about water coming in , and waste going out freezing. thin insulation also makes heat retention an issue. People have done it but it took a lot of engineering .
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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You may not need to run the furnace that much. Lets say you were hooked up to city water and had that line wrapped with heat tape, so the water tank would be empty and safe from freezing.

If you had a sewer connection, the gray water dump valve would be left open so no water in that to freeze either.

This leaves the black tank for the toilet, which you need to let fill up in order to dump properly. Electric heating pads are available for holding tanks.

You might also take the time to box in around the bottom, like skirting on a mobile home, but done with some thick rigid insulation, and have a couple of 60 watt light bulbs under there to keep the chill off your floor, and if one bulb were under the black tank that would probably suffice for a heating pad.

The heat source then, I suggest would be a rooftop heat pump, which your trailer might already be equipped with. Some will repeatedly defrost in really cold weather, while others will automatically shut down the compressor and kick on an electric heating element. You won't have to deal with refilling propane tanks all the time, but you will be facing a high electric bill.

Christopher
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
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Lowfly-definitely skirt the trailer from wind and outside temps. We do not use the furnace, but use a Mr. Heater with some ventilation atop a third propane tank, which sits inside the door when being used. You can also store your water in five gallon bottles and use that instead of running a hose and compromising the pipes in the hidden places. You can heat wash water in a coffee maker, take stand up baths, clean dishes, heat soup even. There are all kinds of campers ways to make ends meet. I included this video of our place about two years ago - when a huge icestorm was forming...I had to house my cats to keep their ears from freezing off. We blacked out with no power for seven days straight and was able to do everything - even cook some with the Mr. Heater and one A.M. radio.
1970 Airstream in Winter storm 580-301-7099 - YouTube
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:36 PM   #10
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If that garage is big enough to fit the Airstream in you could heat the garage to 50-55 then use electric to heat the trailer the rest of the way.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:02 PM   #11
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I think you're on to something. Buy the Airstream. Live in it on the property as you build a home. A simple, energy efficient structure. Maybe a structure that you can add to in the future. There are plenty of great small, inexpensive home ideas out there. Maybe plans or a kit. I'm finishing up my AS project to the point of being able to use it when I build a house on a property I'm in the process of purchasing. I'm building something like this. Then go to Florida in the winter!
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:02 PM   #12
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in the Airstream of course!
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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Right on. Remember, just kicking this around.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:14 PM   #14
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Just do three seasons in the north and travel south for the winter:-)!
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