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Old 11-01-2006, 09:38 AM   #15
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I guess I should add. We all know who will win.
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by NorCal Bambi
boatdock, your discussion is right on. I've owned an airplane, boat, and now an Airstream. And I know you can’t fight Mother Nature. But it's like life itself, we keep trying. The airplane had many large spaces with drain holes. Part of the problem with that system was keeping the Bees from clogging the drain holes. I even had problems with ice closing off the holes. In the boat one just accepts the humidity and installs a bilge pump. In the Airstream we just want everything, insulation, cool design “looks”, and dryness. What is life without fantasy? How about this solution: A hollow belly pan with proper ventilation and equalization while we are moving down the road. Rain separators. Nanobots then could run around and devour moisture as it appears. The belly pan would have individually contoured air bags that would deploy on stopping so we would have good insulation while parked and camping. The bags would then be vacuum retracted on starting the engine of the tow vehicle allowing the air space to be clear again. Finally the belly pan unit would be so constructed so it could be lowered once every six months. During this lowering the owner could crawl into the space and clean and wax all metal surfaces. It would only ad about a ton or two to the weight of the trailer. Our wants have already added a thousand or so to the weight of the trailer since the 1950’s. When I restored my 1963 Bambi I know I made several design idea mistakes. However I was happy while I was doing it. And I am happy with the results. It will probably last longer than I will. I hope you receive this with the humor that is intended. Some of use just keep playing with Mother Nature. I think she likes it that way. I know I do.
Don

P.S. we all know who will win!
Hi Don; Point in my post was simple. "ways to reduce condensation in the belly pan". To my disappointment many have chimed in with dumb jokes which has altered the entire simple aspect of it. I just hope they have enjoyed it.
The definition is simple; when the two opposite temps collide they produce condensation. I wonder if they realize that this is why we have rain.
Remedy is to provide a fast and simple means of equalizing the temps inside your belly pan with outside temps, and you will minimize the condensation.
It is just that simple. Air humidity is a factor in produced volume of condensation, but there is nothing we can do about it. Nonetheless, the only factor that we can easily control, is the spread in temperatures between outside and inside of your belly pan.
This control by venting, is what minimizes condensation and not the funny comment about air conditioning the belly pan, which would create more condensation on hot day. Nasty bilge pump comments etc. I like to know what prompts some people to make nasty jokes especially when they do not understand the principals, or do they believe that someone is stupid enough to accept their comment? What happened to a old rule of wisdom? [quote] "If you cannot make a intelligent response, make sure it stays with you". Once again my point was simple; Venting will equalize temps. Equal temps do not produce condensation, aside of relative humidity. If anyone can dispute that, let's hear from them. My apologies for getting nasty here, but I have failed to see the humor in some responses to my thread. My sincere apologies to rest of the forum menbers. Thanks, your comment is appeciated, NorCalBambi. "Boatdoc"
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:14 AM   #17
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Hey Boatdoc...I am with you on this thread!

A good comparison is the attic space on a home in northern climates...it is important to insulate AND vent...so you can equalize the attic/outside temperatures to avoid both unwanted winter melting/refreeze on the roof...and reduce moisture to some extent. Failure to allow ventilation in the attic cavity will cause significant damage.

I still think you should work with Andy at Inland and get a "kit" together with the vents you described (may need to have a simple fabrication to make work with the AS belly pan). The kit could include instructions, multiple vents and the needed low power vent fan and wiring.

It seems to me that your general concept would be a good addition...particularly when combined with the new bubble insulation...which may not absorb moisture like the old fiberglass "bat" insulation.

What say you boatdoc? Maybe you can get AS to implement in their new build......make sure get a royalty! Thanks...Tom R in Two Harbors, MN
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:08 AM   #18
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A dumb idea

I'm sure this is a dumb idea, but I don't know why. Why not get rid of the bellypan (string me up now) and screw some of that metallic insulation to the bottom of the floor.

Not sure how that stuff would hold up to the elements or what aesthetic problems I'm causing, but just throwing it out there.
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Old 11-03-2006, 02:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dmaiden
I'm sure this is a dumb idea, but I don't know why. Why not get rid of the belly pan (string me up now) and screw some of that metallic insulation to the bottom of the floor.

Not sure how that stuff would hold up to the elements or what aesthetic problems I'm causing, but just throwing it out there.
Hi dmaiden; It is not dumb idea to get rid of the belly pan. That would eliminate locked in air and condensation. But then, towing in the rain would force water in everywhere as well as the mud. In addition it would expose all pipes and wiring to road elements, road hazard's and create a drag from ground effect. As you can see it would solve condensation but the alternative is unthinkable. Great idea but bad consequences. Thanks, 'Boatdoc"
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:05 PM   #20
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I owned airplanes for about 20 years... and one plane was over 50 years old when I sold it. The key to their longevity is storing them inside a hangar. When stored outside they self-destruct with corrosion, sun damage and hail damage. The same can be said for Airstreams.
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by dmac
I owned airplanes for about 20 years... and one plane was over 50 years old when I sold it. The key to their longevity is storing them inside a hangar. When stored outside they self-destruct with corrosion, sun damage and hail damage. The same can be said for Airstreams.
Hi dmac; Grand idea, How many of us got hangars? How many of us would camp inside hangars? Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:25 AM   #22
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Hi dmac; Grand idea, How many of us got hangars? How many of us would camp inside hangars? Thanks, "Boatdoc"
Well I am working on it (40x60 and growing) However I do see dmac's point. Probably 90%+ of Airstreams are stored outside in less than ideal condtions. My wife's uncle has several antique airplanes and does work on others. He was showing me two of the same aircraft, one had been hanger stored most of its life, flown hard but was still in very good condition, another one that had less than half the hours of the first one was in almost unrestorable conditon due to rust out on the various frame members caused by condensation and leaks from being tied down outside in the deep south. The other had come from Wisconsin.

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Old 11-04-2006, 06:37 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatdoc
Hi dmac; Grand idea, How many of us got hangars? How many of us would camp inside hangars? Thanks, "Boatdoc"
Boatdoc, you know how much a covered slip saves the finish on the bright work on a boat. It is hard for me to do with a 50 foot stick in the air.

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Old 11-04-2006, 07:22 AM   #24
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Also might add, that as the Airstreams age out they seem to get less maintenance, probably due to the age of the owners and their inability to perform the maintenance. And many of the Airstreams we are getting our hands on are rescue units. From general observation there seems to be a pretty typical timeline on Airstreams. They are purchased brand new by someone getting ready to retire, used for 3-7 years, then sold to a second owner, used 3-7 years, then sold to a 3rd owner that uses it at a long term location or on as a seasonal then it sits in the back of a SOB dealer's lot because it looks old and they can't make anything on it, or it sits in open storage somewhere until some aluminut comes along and rescues it. Now there are always exceptions to the rules... I am still impressed that these things hold together as well as they do for 25-40 years even without proper maintenance, and heavy use.

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Old 11-04-2006, 11:43 AM   #25
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How many of us got hangars? How many of us would camp inside hangars?
Me, for one. I built a pole barn from some used telegraph poles, some timber, and a steel flat roof, for about $350, and two days work. We camp under it for months at a time. The sides are open, and the roof extends far enough to the south to keep off all sun. It has endured very high winds over the past 7 years, with no problem. There has been no visible deterioration in the surface finishes on the trailer after 7 Florida years. The suggestion that Airstreams should be kept under cover when stored is a serious point, with which I agree. Replacing the Clearcote would be about$3500, IIRC, ten times the cost of my pole barn.
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:23 PM   #26
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Me, for one. I built a pole barn from some used telegraph poles, some timber, and a steel flat roof, for about $350, and two days work. We camp under it for months at a time. The sides are open, and the roof extends far enough to the south to keep off all sun. It has endured very high winds over the past 7 years, with no problem. There has been no visible deterioration in the surface finishes on the trailer after 7 Florida years. The suggestion that Airstream should be kept under cover when stored is a serious point, with which I agree. Replacing the Clearcote would be about$3500, IIRC, ten times the cost of my pole barn.
Nick.
Hi Nick; I think that I am being misunderstood. It is truly a grand idea and I totally agree that UV's and the elements kill the AS's. Storage barn or hangar will shield it from UV's as well as the severe fast temp changes and all other natural elements, thus at the minimum reducing the condensation if not eliminating it. However most of AS owners do not camp under roof, nor can they store them inside at all times. Some of us are luckier than others and we have to think of them as well. And it is true that AS's last a very long time. That is not my point. Issue was reduce condensation in the belly pan under outdoor conditions for which they were designed for. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:52 AM   #27
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Hi dmac; Grand idea, How many of us got hangars? How many of us would camp inside hangars? Thanks, "Boatdoc"
I do try to store my trailer indoors as much as possible. Now I have it stored in a pole barn for the long Minnesota winter - 5 months for $260 ($52/mo).

BTW: I have never flown an airplane inside a hangar, nor will I be camping inside a pole barn.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:41 AM   #28
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inside storage is a wonderful thing. I have mine under a 50 dollar vinyl shed supported on plastic pipe in cement filled buckets. It has been great to save most of the roof from tree mess and more. Unfortunately it is only a total of 20' in length so i have 4 feet at either end exposed.
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