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Old 10-16-2009, 10:44 AM   #15
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We have a 61 Tradewind and almost all our camping is boondocking, Have gone as long as 2 months without hookups and with out using the generator on our Alaska trip.

We do carry a vintage 600 watt Honda generator which will see a little use during the winter as we camp in the national forests in Fl. and the combination of short days and trees makes solar marginal.. In full sun it is not needed. In the summer it stays home.
The original trailer furnace back then did not have a blower so that load is gone. We do have a small (500ma) fan mounted above it we can control manually or by thermodisk thermostat. It is backed up by an old Thermix catalytic heater which is the preferred heat source since it is nice even heat.
We also have a gas light,a great power saver and chill chaser.
There are 250 watts worth of Solar Panels on the roof which takes up most of the available real estate. To add more would require sizing panels to act as front and rear window covers but we haven't had the need.
The batteries are 2 sam's club 6 volt golf cart batteries, now well into year seven with no problems.. I am not convinced the fancy batteries are cost effective.
The power useage is monitored by a Bogart TM 2020 meter which provides much useful info.
Have recently replaced the 6 most used lights with LEDS. Can now run all 6 for the same amount of power as one light before. The light is whiter which takeds some getting used to but is plenty bright enough

There is a 1000 watt inverter (modified sine wave) for running a TV (rarely) Charging computers and rare bursts of microwave oven..


I tend to run the XM radio all night which is probably one of the bigger long term drains.

I don't have a fridge cooling fan, however I bought one aftermarket years ago. It used more current for the pilot lite in the switch than for the fan itself.. I would adapt a surplus muffin fan.

I also run Ham radio equipment an hour or 2 a day.

Power consumption is measured in Amp hours thus the things that get you in trouble are the steady loads
an example being our cellphone amp which at .8 amp draw would use 20 amp hour a day. About the same amount of power used by a 600 watt microwave run for 15-20 minutes
Generally a figure of 40amp hours per day with common sense useage is probably a good working number.

Anyway, hope some of this is has some value to some one.
It works well for us.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:51 AM   #16
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Malakoff , Texas
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Matches....Flashlight....Candles....Ice.....Water
-------------------------------------------
Maybe those who whine about the limitations
of an Airstream.......should be the one's who
define BOON-DOCK-ING.

We ALL love our appliances and comforts. Staying in
locations that do not have electricity and running water
and sewer dump stations....are, by thier very nature
for short durations only.
-----------------------------------------
Hey, how far is it to the nearset Wal-Mart?
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:59 AM   #17
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Too each his or her own...

Save it all....sell stream.... Get cardboard box.... Go to bridge of choice.... Imho....lol
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:24 PM   #18
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For the more ambitious: the flexible ducts used by Airstream are inefficient. Since they are not smooth, air moving through them requires a bigger fan and makes more noise. There are places where only a flexible duct will work, but in many places straight ducts could be used. The advantage for Airstream is the flexible ones save labor costs even though the materials cost is higher.

Replacing the ducts would be difficult, but would reduce noise and may make the fan run less as air can be pushed faster and warm up the trailer faster. I'm not sure of the latter—any HVAC experts out there?

Gene
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
For the more ambitious: the flexible ducts used by Airstream are inefficient. Since they are not smooth, air moving through them requires a bigger fan and makes more noise. There are places where only a flexible duct will work, but in many places straight ducts could be used. The advantage for Airstream is the flexible ones save labor costs even though the materials cost is higher.

Replacing the ducts would be difficult, but would reduce noise and may make the fan run less as air can be pushed faster and warm up the trailer faster. I'm not sure of the latter—any HVAC experts out there?

Gene
Gene, what you have said there is spot on, the factory ducting in our trailers is well, garbage to say the least. If you did the work to run metal ducts it would signifigantly reduce noise and the effort required by the fan to push the air through them.

The inside of the corrugated duct is nothing but shear turbulance.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #20
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Hey haven't posted on my rant thread in a while!

Back after a two week trip and I have a few more issue with the Airstream I'd like to rant on. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE our trailer, but Airstream after decades and decades should get on the ball about a few things...

Anyways we had a mouse (actually 4 mice to be exact, problem over 3 nights). So after much frustration I decided to revisit checking for entry points. Found two major areas on our Bambi where the chassis basically said "welcome home rodents!". One was around the exit point from the back of the trailer for the black water drain. LOTS of room around the roughly cut hole in the chasis. The most welcoming spot was under the chasis where a nice ledge exists for the entry point for all the cabling about half way back under the trailer, and on the kitchen side. HUGE entry point! Why are holes cut so roughly? What happened to ISO 9001 standards, CNC equipment or whatever to cut things more precisely? How about not being so cheap on the caulking?

Regardless, we spent an hour or more under the trailer with expansion foam sealing all the holes.

Another few hours later and we were pulling apart draws and opening everything possible to close up large holes everywhere which would allow a rodent free reign of the whole camper. They had started to build a nest down behind the drawers in the closet and had easy access into the bathroom and beyond include a large hole welcoming them into the walls.

Had to go through a whole roll of duct tape!

Last year we were puzzled since we had lost the pull down rod for the awning. It disappear mysterious for no reason. On a few occasions we found that some items that were stored in the back compartment integrated into the back fender would be found hanging out the backside. I wasn't too impressed. Anyways on the way home all of a sudden I heard a loud bang from the back of the trailer and looked back in the mirror to see a rod I had in the back flying down the road. It had fallen half out and got stuck between the fender compartment and the asphalt. Luckily there was no damage to the trailer. How could Airstream design this compartment with a huge hole in it? Looking inside, I can't see that it is possible that its just my compartment, its the way they designed it in the first place. tsk! Luckily the rod didn't cause an accident... that might have caused Airstream some issues!

Guess I need to buy another roll of duct tape to seal up the back compartment!

Has anyone else hosted a family of mice so easily, or had tools and such falling out the back of their trailer? Better check yours! I'll take a photo of how stuff falls out the back on our next trip so others can fix their's before something serious happens.

Otherwise we are happy campers... just need to vent sometimes. After more than 75 years in the trailer business, you'd think these issue would have been solved when my great grandfather was alive...

Next I have to add some insulation or something around the water pipes are something since they rattle about quite loud when the pump is on... brother...

For anyone concerned about power while boondocking, forget the whole entertainment system in your Airstream. Buy an Apple iPad like us, load it up with dozens of DVDs, and voila! Hang it on your wall and watch movies all night if you wish. This is one of the best devices for campers in a long time, for many reasons. Runs at least 10 hours on its piddly thin battery. On a 64GB versions you can get at least 15 movies loaded on it, more if they aren't in high def. When we camp we spend it outside, but do like to watch a 1/2 hours or so to fall asleep (I usually last 10 minutes or less myself).

Cheers!
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:39 PM   #21
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Four 80 Watt panels, MMPT device, 4 220amp 6 volt batteries. Ran the fridge on DC last weekend during the day with both fantastics and still had 100% charge when we hooked up to leave. I don't even bother to plug in the AC shore line anymore, even at home, except to top off before a trip. Something the panels do better with good sun anyway.
Put the panel on the trailer and get another for the other side.Park in the sun. Get enough Battery to suck up the juice when it's available.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:03 PM   #22
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Hi, I just read the first and last rant about your wonderful Airstream; I don't want to be rude, but it sounds to me like you need to sell that piece of aluminum junk to some-one who would appreciate it. Then buy yourself a tent, a solar/wind-up flashlight, and two good books. [problem solved] You are obviously not enjoying this trailer if you have turn everything off or not use anything that your trailer was built with.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campadk View Post
1 - Paralax(ive) 7300
1 - 'Propane'... NOT heater
11 - halogen lights (I'll keep 10 for posterity )
1 - Sony LCD TV
1 - Sony AMP/DVD player
1 - obsolete multi disk CD changer
1 - huge ball of wire found behind the AMP/DVD player
1 - noisy power hog of a fridge fan
2 - poor Interstate batteries that couldn't keep up with it all
1 - battery box that is WAY to small

At least the solar panel won't go curb side... will likely get some good coin for it...
Dave,

Did you throw out all that stuff? Sell the solar system? How are you dealing with electricity?

I have 2 tents I'll trade with you for your Airstream.

Gene
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:41 PM   #24
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some times ranting is a good thing

or healthy catharsis.

besides EVERY issue mentioned above has entire threads (or volumes of threads) dedicated to each item.

and 4 the record, dave loves his stream AND has done the tent thing...

he still does a tear drop thing too, as i recall.
____________

the notion of using expanding FOAM to fill these gaps is troubling...

aluminum TAPE or foil, or metal wool or spun fiber pads (s-brite)...

or even riveted scraps of aLUMinUM, seem like better materials to use.

cheers
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:54 PM   #25
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Hey Robert,

Na... you missed my point, we love our Dave Winick Bambi! Just ranting about some basic structure and designs issues that Airstream continues to have overlooked for 3/4 of a century. We are so enjoying our trailer, but it does kind of tick you off when for the price they skimp on a few cents of caulking, cut out rough holes, use inefficient// antiquated appliances and can't make a container that can contain stuff

I'm fixing all their mistakes as we go.. no biggie. Next item to fix will likely be replacing the battery box so there is a little bit of room for my little battery shunt for the Link 10 monitor and address the loud hamming of the unprotected water lines

So I'll definately be keeping my Airstream, but I might rant on once in a while because these are very simple items that should have been addressed a long long time ago by Airstream.

PS. You got it 2air... we tented for years, still have the Teardrop for short trips. Have spend 7 weeks in the Bambi so far this year.

Only used the expansion foam in 3 places under the chassis to ensure mice can't get in. The roll of duct tape that I had covered all the other rough holes inside. Not pretty.. but its what I had. Not a great picture looking inside things and seeing that so many holes had to be covered up with ugly tape...
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:37 PM   #26
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Any comment 2air on the back compartment having a large gab that allows things to fall out on the highway?
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:53 PM   #27
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Quote:
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some times ranting is a good thing
or healthy catharsis.
cheers
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:55 PM   #28
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I guess you won't be trading your Airstream for our tents. Didn't think you would either.

Yes, rants are good things sometimes, and I surely have done my share, often about the poor QC and design issues of Airstreams.

Gene
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