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Old 04-02-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
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advice for a newcomer

I am pushing 60 and entering grad school. I am considering purchasing an Airstream for housing during school. The program is at Smith College in western Massachusettes and internships could be all over the northeast. Would it be possible to have an Airstream at a camping site/area and winterize it enough to be adequate housing in this area? Rather than purchasing a vehicle to tow it, would it be possible to have it towed to the internship placements. The internships will be w/in a 100mi radius. Any info, including who to contact in the northeast would be appreciated. Thanks for your help, Kathy

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Old 04-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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Airstreams make better three season trailers in severe winter will get an idea from this thread.

Winter Living as told by Rubyslipper

Been awhile since I've read through it - but it's still very entertaining and one of my favorite threads of all times!

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!


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Old 04-02-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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Yes to all your questions, and then there is the "but". You have to be prepared in advance for the cold and not wake up one morning and find your water frozen and your LP tanks empty and have to deal with it. In the thread Insideout gave you it talks a lot about skirting and that will help alot to cut down on air circulation and heat loss under the trailer. Minimum what we do anticipating freezing weather is to insulate our water hose. I made up a shorter hose that is just long enough to reach from the water spigot to the trailer and then wrapped it with foam insulation. You could also wrap heat tape on the hose. All that stuff can be easily obtained at any home improvement store. I also made sure the parks water supply to the trailer was well insulated. In really prolonged cold we fill our internal tank which is heated by the heating system in the trailer, disconnect the city water system and use our internal water pump. The cost of heating our trailer in 10 degree weather is has been one 30# tank of propane a week and we get it refilled every week just so we do not run out. Generally the tank will be almost empty or empty and switched over to the other tank which is still quite full. You have to run the forced air in the trailer to keep the water system and the waste tanks heated but you can augument that with the heat strip in the air conditioner if you have one as long as the interior of the trailer is kept warm mainly by the propane heat. Most RV parks are pretty accomodating. We have several campers in ours that have no tow vehicle. Generally if you ask around someone will know someone that can tow your trailer for a reasonable cost. You will have to keep it in good shape for towing however.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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Another "but" would be that, even if you do ALL the prep necessary (and it sounds a lot like Scott getting ready for his Artic Exploration), you are then stuck to the trailer.

In other words, if you go away for the weekend skiing, and the furnace happens to get blown out by a capricious gust of wind during a cold period, you could come home to something resembling Superman's Fortress of Solitude (all ice).

Nobody has mentioned the humidity issue: a human gives off a lot of moisture just breathing and perspiring, and with single-pane windows, you will have frost to an interesting depth on your windows, unless you leave a window cracked open a bit.

To sum up, it IS just possible, but ask yourself if you can imagine yourself dedicated to making it work, because if you aren't, it could become a very unenjoyable experience fast, should something go off the track...
If it's to be, it's up to me.
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