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Old 12-15-2010, 08:13 AM   #1
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Red face Living in 34' AS Fulltime - Living My Parent's Dream....

My name is Jan - my husband is Ken. We just started living fulltime in our Airstream. We are both longtime RVers......I have been indoctrinated since the early 60s (my parents started in an 18' Caravel and eventually graduated to a 31'); my parents inheritance to us was their last 31'; that was totaled by a drunk driver - now we have the 34' Excella that we are living in.

I've always wanted to live in the Airstream - and, economy being as it is, finally convinced my husband that one location and upkeep was more than enough (we own a business in Springfield, MO.) - so - we are shedding the 'stick and brick' house and are living in the AS at our business.

It's been six interesting weeks. We've had some really interesting weather (cold) and have been making various adjustments - but they're all good. Our family includes a variety of four footed 'kiddzz' too - and they're quite happy. We have done a lot of cold weather camping - but fulltiming is different. The weather has given us a run for our money -

- Our electric at our new location is woefully inadequate.......next on the agenda is running full service (30 amp) to our site - for two RVs - and that's not an inexpensive proposition. At present we are making do for a week or two until that endeavor is complete. We heat with propane and supplement with electric oil heat. We're using a lot of propane right now - but - because the water heater element stresses the inadequate grid - almost everything is propane. Today comes the 100# bottle; and four 40s; we try to stay on top of the propane situation. I meter the electric - oil heaters are used on low.

- I'm doing some creative insulating - from the inside. Our coach has the rear twins. I removed the spline from the windows and put in foam insulation.......remarkable difference. Next, I'm removing the beds and platforms and insulating underneath from the top. I'm running pressed foam insulation up the walls to underneath the windows and covering it with a yet to be discovered material.....and new seal on the door - and replacing the screen on the screen door with plexiglass.

- The cabinet under the fridge =) - super wine cellar this time of year!!

- As for the pups - Each has his/her own crate. I lowered the dinette, covered it, and installed their crates in that area. They now have a clear observation point, love their crates, and are manageable in close quarters. What they do most is run, sleep, and eat. They now have a HUGE yard to run, can truly be watchdogs, and prefer sleeping in their own 'beds' so that problem is solved.

So far, it's been quite interesting - but I was prepared for that. I like my husband not having to drive to work (just walks across the fenced parking lot). I like my new surroundings - and I LOVE less housework. He likes the reduction in bills. Feels like home to me.

Oh yes, Mom and Dad's first AS was when I was around 8 - so I kind of grew up with these things. We traveled all over the country together - so did my kids. My husband is a 'motorhome convert'.......we can't all start out the right way.......

Jan Karnis
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:21 AM   #2
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Congratulations Jan. It sounds like you have it under control. Let us know how you make out with moisture too. We live in our 27 Safari and have discovered that keeping condensation under control is our biggest challenge. A small dehumidifier and an open vent seems to work best for us.

Keep posting and keep us up to date
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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Jan and Ken, welcome to the forums. We love to follow threads posted by full-timers. I think a lot of us have a desire to give it a try some day and we live vicariously through those who are already doing it.

Oh yeah, we love pictures too. Keep us posted.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:25 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Forums Jan and Ken! I'm with TinLoaf: l love to live vicariously too. Someday . . . someday. There is a thread about where your pets sleep. We'd all love to see pics of their set-up too. I hope warmer weather is coming your way.

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Old 12-15-2010, 09:52 AM   #5
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Geez Jan, you make it sound so inviting! I'd love to give up the house and move into the moho but we simply cannot at this point. We do, however, plan on taking a lot of trips this coming year and hopefully the following years as well....

Do make sure to post some pics as we all love to see someone doing what we wish we could be... as TinLoaf said we're living vicariously through your writings!
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:11 AM   #6
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How many amp service does the building have?

It MAY be that your extention cords are too thin of a gauge.
I don't know how far of a run you have but 8 gauge will work
without too much of a voltage drop, if you are only going a hundred feet or so. I used the grey under ground cable, that I got from Home Depot.
I guess you have code issues , but it might work to get you through the winter. I buried mine underground thru heavy PVC, but you could fly it to a pole next to your trailer. Yeah...I paid about $200 for 125 feet of
8 gauge.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:17 PM   #7
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Hi Jan. I just joined up here too. My wife and our "kiidz" are going to be full-timers soon. Good luck! 8)
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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I'm not sure about having it under control - but we're moving forward and enjoying it. No matter where you live, there are 'things' to work through.......and, fulltiming is different than even extended trips. We're all smiling our way through this transition.

Jan
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:26 PM   #9
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How many will make this move? We have 7 schnauzers - from a Giant to a tiny toy - and they're loving it - but they've been RVing since they were babies - so this is nothing new to them - and now they have a HUGE yard to run in - much bigger than our old house.

jan
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:33 PM   #10
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I wonder.....
Our coach is set up at our shop - an older building with two large parking lots.....the AS is in the larger of the two. The electric comes in the main shop at the street - the RV is at the far corner of the parking lot - maybe 100+' from the electric box. I am thinking of running 6 gauge wire - with two RV hookups. I was told that the wire prices have gone up so much because of the cost of copper........but everything has gone up. We put in a box with a new 30amp breaker - but the line is too long. I was told to get a heavier gauge wire and run it to two individual boxes (We also have a 1978 Holiday Rambler 22' that we're going to use as a guest house and we also use it for quick trips). I want to be able to run both A/Cs, etc., ......heck, right now I'd be happy if I could just use my heat strip in this A/C to supplement with the heat.......

jan
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:53 AM   #11
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If you're going to leave your AS permanently set up there, and not tow it here and there, might look at something like a small wood stove for supplemental heat. They put out an amazing amount of heat and you have lots of good, inexpensive wood down there.

Good luck.


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Old 12-20-2010, 03:04 PM   #12
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We're getting it 'more in control' day by day. As soon as the Holidays are celebrated we're getting our electric service beefed-up -

Furnace is working like a champ now - I think the problem was gunk in the propane sooting up the ignitor and burner - so replaced the regulator and emptied both 40# bottles completely - got them re-certified - now everything is working great. If I'm really careful I can use the electric side of the waterheater at night - so I'm not using quite as much propane. Water lines are heated, insulated, and wrapped. Hopefully the new electric service will be installed before we have any more single digits. After that we will be adding an underground phone line so my Airport Extreme will work in the RV - (it does now but not as good as I'd like) - so, as you can see, things are 'happening'....
jan
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:07 PM   #13
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It won't be sitting all the time - but it will stay here when we make short/fast trips. The Holiday is more 'expendable' - hate pulling this 'big guy' to St. Louis or KC (too big a target). The Holiday is good for quick weekend getaways. Once the new electric service gets put in, heat won't be a problem......
jan
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:11 PM   #14
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1990 34' Excella
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I think we're going with 6 gauge - it has to go from the street, through the shop (strung through the attic) - through another building (with conduit for both) - then there will be two park boxes (we have the 34' and a 22' Holiday Rambler) - and want them both to be able to use A/Cs, etc. I have a big huge 30 extension that runs from the trailer plug to the outlet - but it's cool as a cucumber.
jan
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