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Old 10-06-2015, 02:36 PM   #29
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We like to boondock a lot. Found that the limitation was the freshwater tank.
We can go about a week on black tank being careful and can usually dump the gray water tank most places (use garden hose).
But we were always cutting short our stay to get fresh water tank filled. Filling a 35 galleon tank using a 5 galleon jug isn't fun. So, I bought a aluminum gas tank from Northern, put it in the back of my truck - now we can last a week being careful with the water use.
Bought one that is only 9" high so doesn't take up much room, in fact is the same height as my Aux. fuel tank in the back so makes for easy storage in the bed (have camper shell).
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:57 AM   #30
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Just thought of something, a urinal or funnel that carries #1 outside the Airstream. So while we've been boondocking for the past 14 days, I usually go out behind a bush. But it's starting to get cold, and I just had the thought that it would be nice if I could do so from within side the Airstream. Maybe an external hose that could feed away from the Airstream.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:10 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
Just thought of something, a urinal or funnel that carries #1 outside the Airstream. So while we've been boondocking for the past 14 days, I usually go out behind a bush. But it's starting to get cold, and I just had the thought that it would be nice if I could do so from within side the Airstream. Maybe an external hose that could feed away from the Airstream.
Standard equipment on military fighter/attack aircraft. Could be stinky outside the camper after a while if staying in the same spot long.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:15 PM   #32
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Bold I think those are the good ideas we think about but not write about.

;o) ;o)
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:20 PM   #33
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Meh. A transmission funnel from the auto parts store, vinyl flex tubing, and a strategic hole in the floor somewhere. Cue the theme from 'Top Gun' .....

Whatever works.. Beats going outside in cold weather. 😄


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Old 10-08-2015, 09:46 AM   #34
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If you have a composting toilet, you still gotta go outside and dump that urine.

Speaking of a composting toilet. There is an idea. Maybe under the guise of the "green" movement, you could convince Airstream to do a "boondocking" Airstream.

Ok, this example is based on my 27 footer.

Self Sufficiency with a real solar setup, not that joke they install. 4x 100 watt panels. No, A/C provided. But 3 roof fans. 4x 6V batteries not on the tongue, with 400amphr. 1000 watt hybrid inverter.

Environmentally friendly waste management; offer a composting toilet, no black tank. In its place larger fresh water with a larger gray water tank.

Improve R value of the trailer, use a recycled based insulation.

Throw in some of the other things mentioned here, low flow/water saving faucets. Preferably ones with the option to disable the low flow. So you can switch back and forth.

Lift kit, 16 inch wheels come standard with 1 inch additional ground clearance. (not sure it's huge, I still manage, but there have been a few spots where I winched as I drove over a rock or dip)

I'm not sure about tongue weight, since it varies unit to unit. But could we consider returning to aluminum propane tanks, and larger tanks on smaller units. Like two 40lb aluminum tanks on my 27. Might work if the batteries aren't there, perhaps relocate spare tire.

Just random thinking today.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:46 AM   #35
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Thanks for getting back on track to the subject of the thread, what Airstream could do to make a better boondocking trailer.

While I would agree that a better thermal package (insulation) would be nice, there is not much that can really be done in the 2" space available. I don't think it is reasonable to expect Airstream would re build the shell with more space for insulation considering the market. Even a composting toilet would be quite a stretch for them, and most users. (me included). Things like larger aluminum tanks are very much in the realm of possibility, along with more and larger battery bank. Of course the solar system Airstream provides needs vast improvements, which are easily done, if only they would do it.

I can even imagine deeper and stronger frames as a possibility. I love the 5" deep frame on my current FC 20'. They could also hold larger water and holding tanks.

So, again, the purpose of the thread is to propose ideas which are things which Airstream could do fairly easily to make a "Boondock package", not blue sky things which would fill the needs of a very limited number of buyers, or would require major re design of the basic trailer unit.

Thanks for all the input.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:00 AM   #36
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I will repeat my support for idroba's (the OP) request that we stick to things which have a higher chance of getting implemented by Airstream. In my opinion the key factors in this are modest amounts of engineering and tooling, and enough market to make it worth their investments.

Having said that, while I get that more/better insulation is a tough solution to see, the general problem of low energy efficiency remains a big problem: a large amount of electricity and propane are used just trying to stay warmish.

I do not know the answer to this question: how much would double-pane windows add to cost, and how much would they help?
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:55 PM   #37
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I do not know the answer to this question: how much would double-pane windows add to cost, and how much would they help?
Airstream has, in the past, equipped trailers with double (thermopane???) windows on special order; I have seen one. The window mechanism is substantially beefed up to handle the heavier windows.
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:08 PM   #38
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:57 PM   #39
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While I would agree that a better thermal package (insulation) would be nice, there is not much that can really be done in the 2" space available. I don't think it is reasonable to expect Airstream would re build the shell with more space for insulation considering the market.
Actually the could do better with the 2 inches. What they use now is an utter joke. And I don't say that lightly. Here is a photo of the BS in my Airstream:


Not only is this hole absurd and clearly cut by someone who is incompetent the material is falling off the wall. It's not thick and it's not stuffed. You'd be lucky if your insulation is still attached to your walls.

We have a friend who was redoing a 2000 Safari and he removed the interior walls, lined them with reflectix and then (I want to say R20 but I'm probably wrong) thicker insulation material.

So I disagree, Airstream could do a better job here. A way better job. They're being cheap on purpose. Becuase you can't see it.


Quote:
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So, again, the purpose of the thread is to propose ideas which are things which Airstream could do fairly easily to make a "Boondock package", not blue sky things which would fill the needs of a very limited number of buyers, or would require major re design of the basic trailer unit.

Thanks for all the input.
Airstream pretty much wouldn't address any of these, so you might as well entertain blue sky stuff.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:35 PM   #40
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Even with better insulation, it seems that exterior aluminum to aluminum ribs to aluminum walls is not the most energy efficient construction technique. Insofar as I know, there is no thermal break installed. Perhaps a rubber insulator between the ribs and inner walls would also help?
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:45 PM   #41
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My company does energy models of houses and multifamily apartments, we have all the software. One day I am going to do an energy model of my Airstream and compare it to an identical trailer but with a wood frame and spray foam insulation. I can probably also do an infiltration test.

It will be interesting, but I think it will confirm you have to be out of your mind to winter in it.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:01 PM   #42
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One day I am going to do an energy model of my Airstream and compare it to an identical trailer but with a wood frame and spray foam insulation. I can probably also do an infiltration test.

It will be interesting, but I think it will confirm you have to be out of your mind to winter in it.
I would love to see the results from this test.
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