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Old 05-15-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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New Member from AK

Hello,

I just found your forum and since have decided to make the move from a stick and staple special to an Airstream in the next year or so, have joined the forum. We just finished a 13000 mile trip to the states with the box trailer and have decided we don't want to make that kind of a trip again with a trailer that is so much work to pull on steep grades and high winds. TV is a 3500 Dodge with Cummins so that isn't the problem. Also I'am tired of quality issues with the current trailer.

Of course I had heard of Airstreams since my grandparents brought their old Beeline trailer 50 years ago, but we looked at Airstreams at a couple dealers while we were outside and were hooked.

I do have one question re: the cold weather use of the trailers. I did some searching on the website and saw some somewhat negative comments on Airstreams in cold weather. I am a little concerned since some of the comments seemed to be from folks that think anything around freezing is cold weather. When we left Fairbanks this spring it was -23F so that is what I am talking about. We found that the Keystone would heat it up ok in this temp but sure you go thru a lot of propane and battery if your not plugged in. We didn't have any fresh water in the unit until we got into better conditions and used some RV anti-freeze in the holding tanks.

This isn't a make or break issue as normally we will only be in these temps for a few days, but really has anyone used one in subzero temps and what did you find? Can you get the unit up to something reasonable, say 60 or so and did you have frost problems with the aluminum interior?

Thanks,

Rick
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Rick. About your question of cold weather operation, I believe you will find an Airstream about the same as the "stick and stable" trailers in that regard. Water freezes in them just like it will in any other trailer. When you are actually staying in them, the furnace will keep everything from freezing, even the tanks, in moderately cold weather, but I doubt it would handle Fairbanks -40 type weather.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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Have not tried the airstream in anthing much below freezing. Only been to Alaska in the summer. Airstreams do not have a lot of insulation and are 2 layers of aluminum. Airstreams leak some air around the compartment doors and other places. The floor has some batt fiberglass in it. I expect the furnace is gonna run most of the time. The windows and doors seal fairly well. Newer ones may have double pane glass??
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:34 PM   #4
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Hi Crisen - can't help you with your problem but it did bring back memories of winters in a trailer I lived in in the early 70's a mile up McGrath Road! But at least I know what you mean! Best in your quest!
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:45 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum and good luck in your search.

I woke up this morning in my Airstream in Eastern Nevada. The outside air temp. was 27F. We had a little portable ceramic heater running all night and the inside temp was probably in the low 40s until I turned on the furnace then it warmed up nicely. It was very windy and the cold coming through the windows was very noticeable. I shudder to think what -27F would have felt like.

By the way my trailer is under a year old and very, very tight but there's still cold air leaking from each single paned window.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses on the cold weather use. I suspected they weren't much better or worse than most trailers so shouldn't be a problem since we know how to deal with the few days use it takes us to reach some reasonable weather.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #7
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We camped in Denver for several weeks in January of this year. Our 19-foot Bambi was OK down to around +12 to +15 degrees F, and was comfortable inside. We kept the temperature at 60-65 in the evening, and turned it down to 50 overnight. Thermostat was set to 50 during the day when we were out and about.

When the overnight temperatures went below +12, the water lines froze. Fresh, gray and black water tanks were OK at least down to +5 degrees; that's the coldest overnight low we experienced. Daytime highs were above freezing (+35 to +45 degrees F). No damage to water lines when they thawed out, but used one 30 pound tank of propane every 3-4 days. (They always emptied out at 2:00 AM -- Dang!)

While we will probably camp in similar weather in the future, I have serious doubts as to how an Airstream would do at sub-zero temperatures. I suspect that lower temperatures, or sustained lows that would allow the fresh water and holding tanks to freeze solid would be really bad.

By the way, we added RV antifreeze to the fresh water, and I estimate that we were running about 25-50% antifreeze. Autoparts store told us that the diluted antifreeze/water mixture would freeze in the lines, but they would not burst, because the mix doesn't expand. It appears to be true, but we may have just been lucky. In any case, we didn't have any permanent damage to the water lines.

As an aside, running the hot water heater overnight did nothing toward preventing the water lines from freezing. The hot water lines froze, too.

Was amused about another post regarding pink foamy soda water coming out of the tap. We had lots of that. It's safe to drink, but not very appetizing. We drank bottled water instead and only used the pink foamy liquid for hand washing.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
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Welcome, Rick and lots of luck on your search. Great questions!! I learn so ,much with these threads.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:39 AM   #9
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Phoenix - Thanks for sharing your experience. At 0 to -20 we went thru 30# in about 30 hrs keeping the trailer at similiar temps to what you did. Our current trailer has more volume to heat but it kind of seems in line with your experience.

I store the pink stuff in a unheated barn and by -25 it is slushy and by -35 about solid but never seems to get hard, but it doesn't seem to expand as it is has never burst a full bottle as cold as -50.

When traveling in subzero we left the fresh water system empty and carried a couple 5 gal. cubes of water. There was enough heat in the trailer to keep them from freezing during the day. A little inconvienent but gets you by until it warms up to around freezing.

Rick
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