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Old 08-24-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
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New member getting ready to buy.

I am a new member looking forward to crossing the country in my new or vintage Airstream next summer. I like the layout and specifications of the International 27FB and recently enjoyed taking the factory tour. My only concern is that I have heard that Airstreams can be like ovens in hot sunny climates, including the newer models with EcoBatt insulation. The industry wide solution appears to be to use a lot of air conditioning, four to five times as much as needed to cool an equal size room in a home. I am wondering if anyone has come up with a better "space-age" solution -- besides moving with the weather so its always 72 degrees outside. Input from electrical or mechanical engineers is welcome.

Thanks,
John
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:40 PM   #2
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All RVs are going to be subject to heat buildup if they are left out in a sunny location on a hot day. There is nothing unique to an Airstream that will make it heat up faster than a white box trailer or any motor home. The shiny aluminum skin might give an Airtream a slight advantage over a white RV, and certainly over a darker color.

Get the full awning package, you will be amazed at how much of a difference it can make on a sunny day!

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Old 08-24-2014, 06:22 PM   #3
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One thing that I have noticed about the Airstream is that they have much better cross ventilation than box trailers. Airstreams have more windows that open much wider.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:40 PM   #4
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One of the best defenses an Airstream has are the fantastic fans. The rain sensors will close the lids if necessary, and re-open when the rain stops. The worst heat buildup I've experienced is when traveling with all the vents and fans closed. Even so, I can step in, open one fan and start it and open the other blowing IN and half the air inside is changed out in just moments. When camped I can open one or more windows, set both fans blowing out and match the outside temperature in less than five minutes.

I didn't get a full awning package, but that is also great to help avoid heat buildup when parked.

However the best defense? A shady campsite - which is also the best defense for SOB's (some other brand/square old box).

Paula
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:21 PM   #5
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This is why God made trees. Man built RV pads near the shady spots.

How's that for engineering? =>

When underway we open a vent (roof) which has a MaxAir cover. Temps stay reasonable.

When stopped, yes, Adequate AC is appreciated. So, get plenty before they make it illegal. You won't regret having the extra one should one fail.
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:05 AM   #6
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John

Welcome to the wonderful world of Airstreams.

Rv's are much harder to keep cool than regular homes. There are lots of reasons. Here are just a few.

1. Walls are only about 1.5" think compared to 4.5-6.5" thick. R factor of the insulation is proportionate to the thickness of the insulation. The attic insulation is probably 10" thick, compared to 1.5" in an rv.

2. The outside surface temperature is a lot higher. I suspect it could get to more than 150 degrees compared to only 110 degrees in a well ventilated attic.

3. An rv's windows are not insulated.

4. An rv, especially an Airstream, has lots of window glass compared to the interior volume. Window glass is like a hole in the insulation. Lots of heat gain here.

I see two possibilities in improving the insulation in future rv's. The first is dual pane windows with additional cost and weight. The second is a better insulator than fiberglass or foam.

You have already learned that an Airstream is the best trailer to travel in to see this great country of ours. Here are some of the things that I do to keep cool while camping. I have a vintage camper and mostly camp without A/C.

1. Park in the shade.

2. Park the Airstream with the front pointing North.

3. Don't be in the trailer during the hot daylight hours. Be under the awning with a fan blowing on you, or out hiking, swimming or just whatever you want to do outside!

4. Keep the windows open for ventilation and keep the roof vents open.

5. When you do have the A/C on, make sure the windows and blinds/drapes are closed and the vent/skylight openings are well insulated.

6. Use only LED lights on the interior.

7. Cook outside.

Happy Travels, Dan
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:40 AM   #7
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New member getting ready to buy.

I can assure you that a dark motorhome has huge heat problems in hot weather. My 2010 Tiffin Allegro Bus (43QGP) dual pane windows, required one or two house a/c units running as I drove down the road in order to cool it adequately. (Think about $2-3 per hour just for a/c....)

As pointed out, lots of glass means sun and heat in when hot weather is present. Incidentally, on my 2009 27FB International I tinted the rear panoramic windows to reduce the heat gain in summer.

If you are considering an Airstream, my guess is it may be one of the more well insulate trailers vs. the plastic box units. Also, the new wide bodies have a thicker roof, more insulation than previous models.


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Old 08-28-2014, 01:47 PM   #8
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Staying cool using less electrical energy

Thank you to all who responded to my post concerning heat build up. I plan to install snap/or velcro over window treatments incorporating bunting material (a form of thick felt which is highly insulating) laminated with reflective on the outside and decorative on the inside for extreme temperature conditions. With the trapped air in the window returns, I think this will bring the window openings up to the level of the walls. I do plan to add all of the awnings available.

I just returned from Colonial Airstream and had the opportunity to see many models, and still like the 27FB. I saw that there are eight ducts in the single A/C ceiling and with the room dividers create three rooms. If I design and fabricate sliding dampers, I can divert cool air all into one or two rooms at a time. This will also allow me to have two of the efficient exhaust fans.

I will be up in Hershey, PA in September for the big show and plan to visit with solar specialists to see about maxing solar on the roof. I also hope to learn as much as possible about lithium ion batteries.

Dan, I wholeheartedly agree that we should find a better material to put into the small wall space for the future. It does exist now, but it is expensive and I want my unit for this summer. It would take time to engineer, and then find an up-fitter willing to help fine tune. I hope Airstream is listening because this is a wonderful opportunity for them to show additional technological leadership within the industry overall.

Thanks again for all who expressed interest in this matter. I am still open to suggestions, and yes, parking under trees and moving to better climes is always the best solution when one has the freedom to move around in a great Airstream.

Geo John
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