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Old 12-07-2018, 07:23 AM   #15
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Airstreams are, at best, 3-season trailers. With single-pane windows and aluminum walls, camping in cold conditions will inevitably run into problems with condensation on windows and sometimes even on the interior skin.

Best solution is usually to crack some vents to allow more exchange of air. This of course drives up your cost of heating, but the relatively moist air you create by breathing and living in that Airstream has to go somewhere. If you don't crack vents, you'll continue to battle condensation. Cracking vents probably won't cure the issue, but it will reduce the volume.

Another approach is get a genuine compressor-driven dehumidifier. We run it next to the bed or under the dinette, and store it in the shower when not in use. Many dehumidifiers struggle to remove moisture from cool air, however, so be prepared for that little extra disappointment - you'll have to run it constantly to get any results.

Finally, the most effective way to solve this problem is to use a key component of your Airstream's climate control system: the wheels. Head south.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:16 AM   #16
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Thanks all, yes a key element is that we are boondocking. I have 2 dehumidifiers at home that I plug in as soon as we get back. I assume there's no 12V dehumidifiers out there I haven't found.

I've got 2 fantastic fans front and back. I will try occasionally cycling the air and see how we go. In the past whenever a "vent" is left open, you feel it!

I also have a polished aluminum interior when makes it worse. Plus skiers dragging wet clothes and snow inside. I'll also give the damp-rid a try and see if it helps and report back.

Yes, I restored this trailer and insulated it vigorously to keep out critters and cold...wasn't thinking about condensation.

Now, how do I keep my sink drains from freezing?! LOL
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:37 AM   #17
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Thanks all, yes a key element is that we are boondocking. I have 2 dehumidifiers at home that I plug in as soon as we get back. I assume there's no 12V dehumidifiers out there I haven't found.

I've got 2 fantastic fans front and back. I will try occasionally cycling the air and see how we go. In the past whenever a "vent" is left open, you feel it!

I also have a polished aluminum interior when makes it worse. Plus skiers dragging wet clothes and snow inside. I'll also give the damp-rid a try and see if it helps and report back.

Yes, I restored this trailer and insulated it vigorously to keep out critters and cold...wasn't thinking about condensation.

Now, how do I keep my sink drains from freezing?! LOL
RV antifreeze in the Ptraps. Shouldn’t be an issue unless you turn the furnace off. I always keep a gallon around for winter camping.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:09 AM   #18
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I have two 12 volt Caframo Sirocco gimballed fans that I can aim at the windows that have condensation. This helps circulate the warm cabin air. Still air near the windows will cause condensation. Not good for privacy but leaving curtains open at night will stop that cold ‘micro’ climate forming next to the windows.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:34 AM   #19
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we use an electric heater that does not add moisture unlike propane heat
The propane heat built into your late-model Airstream does not add any moisture to the interior. The combustion air intake and exhaust are on the outside of the trailer... the moisture produced by burning propane is expelled outdoors.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:49 AM   #20
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Ah yes, boondocking, missed that. 🤣 Open air vents and hope for the best. If you don’t have more than a couple of standard batteries on the tongue of your trailer, it’s going to be quite difficult to keep the place warm enough to avoid freezing your water lines, so I’d recommend winterizing and using it as a “tin tent”, or leaving it at home and “camping” in the ski lodge.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:44 PM   #21
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My experience is if you want to cut down or virtually eliminate window condensation, put the reflectix on the outside of the windows - not on the inside.

It's currently 19 degrees outside here (no snow at present) and the windows that have reflectix on the outside are crystal clear. Those that have no reflectix (all the others) have a very small amount of condensation along the edges.

Last year, I placed the reflectix on the inside of the windows and there was significantly more condensation on all of the windows.

We had snow last week and I experienced the same conditions on my windows - those with reflectix on the outside showed no condensation and those with no reflectix (I don't use it on the inside of any of my windows any longer) had a small amount of condensation along the bottom edges.

It's not necessarily pretty but it gets the job done for me. (I'm not in an RV park and if you're boondocking reflectix on the outside shouldn't be an issue "with the neighbors".)

I also run a dehumidifier 24 hours.

That's just my experience.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:10 PM   #22
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You have to vent out. Start by opening the vent in the bathroom and shower. If you still have problems, crack the overhead vent.

If you still have problems, external equipment will be required. Lots of folks will chime in on this.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Airstreams are, at best, 3-season trailers. With single-pane windows and aluminum walls, camping in cold conditions will inevitably run into problems with condensation on windows and sometimes even on the interior skin.

Best solution is usually to crack some vents to allow more exchange of air. This of course drives up your cost of heating, but the relatively moist air you create by breathing and living in that Airstream has to go somewhere. If you don't crack vents, you'll continue to battle condensation. Cracking vents probably won't cure the issue, but it will reduce the volume.

Another approach is get a genuine compressor-driven dehumidifier. We run it next to the bed or under the dinette, and store it in the shower when not in use. Many dehumidifiers struggle to remove moisture from cool air, however, so be prepared for that little extra disappointment - you'll have to run it constantly to get any results.

Finally, the most effective way to solve this problem is to use a key component of your Airstream's climate control system: the wheels. Head south.
3 seasons?....guess again maybe 2 seasons......try more than that In Montana..
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:30 PM   #24
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Since our trailer was new, we (two adults and a large dog) have spent Septembers in West Yellowstone, Montana where temperatures at night can easily be in the teens. As pjshier mentions, our main solution is ventilation. We crack a roof vent and one window and run our propane furnace. Since hot air rises, it goes out the roof vent and draws in air through the window. Yes, we surely use more propane that way, but the inside of the trailer stays dry. Occasionally, we add an electric heater to the mix.

As ROBERT CROSS points out, the mouse fur on our trailer's walls helps. I also have made most parts of the windows double pane.

Tim
Tim, how do you do that?!
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:42 PM   #25
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Our 2002 19' has the Hehr windows which only open on the bottom (the rest of the window doesn't move). For the parts that don't move, I made 1 cm wide spacer strips out of 1/8" rigid foam plastic (used for signs) and used them to space 1/8" polycarbonate sheet away from the window. Various applications of Velcro hold the spacers in place and the polycarbonate against the spacers. It does not result in an airtight seal, but the doubled panes have worked for something like 14 years without a problem. Reduces sound and cold/heat transmission.

I also made a double-paned clear glass/plastic door-window with a microblind in the space between the plastic and glass.

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Old 12-12-2018, 10:30 AM   #26
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Andy, how do you stick the reflectix on the outside of the windows?

Quietguy, I thought RV antifreeze was just for filling the lines up for long term winter storage...are you saying just pouring some down the sink occasionally while camping will help? I use an external portable grey tank and I suspect it's freezing up near the connection outside the camper.

Last weekend was much dryer inside, but we also had 3 less people and warmer temps (mid to high 20's vs. low teens). However I cycled the air several times with the fantastic fans and I think that will be key. They cycle the air so fast it doesn't stay cold for too long.
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:48 PM   #27
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Curious to know how you are powering everything that you are powering when boon docking?
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:13 AM   #28
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Curious to know how you are powering everything that you are powering when boon docking?

Hi Kim, I've got 2 100W solar panels mounted on the roof and a 325 Amp hour AGM battery for the 12V...everything else is propane.
--Jason

PS. I've got a generator as a back up, but I avoid using it. I wish my neighbors would avoid using theirs.
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