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Old 03-05-2011, 06:36 PM   #1
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1962 24' Tradewind
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Built for boondocking

We are renovating a '62 Tradewind and need advice --

If you were going to start over, or "do it your way" -- what are the features you would put into an Airstream renovation in order to optimize it for off road use, 3 (or 4) season camping, and boondocking?
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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Add a gray tank or two...definitely.

To get "four seasons" boondocking is going to be a tough one...

Shari
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
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my take

  • Lots and lots of fresh water capacity. Generally best accomplished by putting axillary tanks in the TV, although there is some room in the frame between the A-frame and wheels
  • Large capacity battery bank.
  • LED lighting
  • Portable ice maker. May sound silly, but trust me on this one.
  • Depending on how much use the unit would get, and where, maybe solar. Definitely a generator, think out if a 1000 watt will handle your needs before buying one of the beast.
  • Pergo or other non-carpet floors.
  • XM radio
  • Hughes net internet
  • Catalytic heater
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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As much solar as you can get on the roof, a quality MPPT charge controller like a Morningstar 45 amp unit and a nice, large bank of AGM batteries for power. Maybe a quality inverter like a Magnum Energy ME-1212 for 120VAC power when off-grid. Also, a couple of 40 gallon LP tanks for your water heater and furnace needs, not to mention cooking and maybe an Olympian catalytic heater instead of a standard LP furnace.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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As much solar as you can get on the roof, a quality MPPT charge controller like a Morningstar 45 amp unit and a nice, large bank of AGM batteries for power. Maybe a quality inverter like a Magnum Energy ME-1212 for 120VAC power when off-grid. Also, a couple of 40 gallon LP tanks for your water heater and furnace needs, not to mention cooking and maybe an Olympian catalytic heater instead of a standard LP furnace.
Would you permanently mount the solar on the roof? Or have portable solar that can mount on the roof once you park?
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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  • LED lighting
Our trailer does not have any original 12v wiring in it.

Would you bother to run separate 12v wiring for LEDs or would you just use 110v LEDs and accept the inefficiency of using the inverter?
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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Would you permanently mount the solar on the roof? Or have portable solar that can mount on the roof once you park?
Due to possible (and probable) theft of portable units, I would mount them directly to the roof with 'tilt bars' that allow you to aim the panels at a better angle to the sun's path for improved efficiency.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlsmit1 View Post
Our trailer does not have any original 12v wiring in it.

Would you bother to run separate 12v wiring for LEDs or would you just use 110v LEDs and accept the inefficiency of using the inverter?
There are better electric folks than me to ask. My bias is everything I want to do should run on 12 volt or propane. The ice maker is the only exception on my rig
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlsmit1 View Post
We are renovating a '62 Tradewind and need advice --

If you were going to start over, or "do it your way" -- what are the features you would put into an Airstream renovation in order to optimize it for off road use, 3 (or 4) season camping, and boondocking?
If Wally's caravan made it from Cape Town to Cairo,I would say you're pretty well set.High tech is nice,but don't recall seeing any in the old pictures of the desert trek.I would venture to say the best way to optimize your off road stay is to find a buddy with another Airstream.Carry on.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:39 PM   #10
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Solar bolted to roof. I use 4 x 80 watts w/ MMPT
All 12 volt or get a 1000 w propane genset for 120v. With enough solar amd 400AH battery do dont need 120. Wire for AirC and battery charger and fridge and maybe ice maker.

Cat heater. I have furance and will replace it.

Pay attention tp your lighting choices. Some 12 V lights suck alot of juice. Amps

Recycle gray water to rise toilet.

Make sure your axle is up to the load if you add fresh and used water tanks.

Have fun.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:43 AM   #11
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Hi, We have a 67 24' Tradewind shell, going a simple route too. No plumbing other then the kitchen sink hand pump and water jugs, will drain on the ground when I find a hole 9000 btu vented heater, standing pilot, no fan. Porta Poti. When I do my DC I want to use all LED lighting, simple solar and drycell batteries. I would like to add vented cat heater, $500 bucks. At 9450' in the rockies I like vented heat and no water pipes.

I go for the simple and stupid method.

William
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:10 AM   #12
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I am a little surprised that some of the Colorado people are using portable wind power generators. Solar just isn't there, quite yet.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:16 AM   #13
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Solar ,roof mounted
LED 12 volt lighting
Gas light
XM radio
Catalytic heater
Fantastic Vents
small generator for charging when parked in the woods
small 12 volt TV
Small 5 and 10 gallon blue tanks that can be carried/ dumped in a porta toilet.
Internet via cellphone, mifi etc.. external amp and antenna.
small inverter for those few thing that can not be run on 12 volt
Spare water pump . Use it to pump water from 5 gal containers into trailer so you don't have to hold them up.
Extra 30lb propane tank in truck

Things we no longer use or carry.
Bicycles
satellite TV
Microwave

This works well for us for months at a time. Rarely have any hookups except at rallies
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:50 AM   #14
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I plan to do lots of boondocking going to bluegrass festivals. I have 4 golf cart 6v batteries and a Honda 1000W gen. On my wish list to minimise electrical usage and stay cool is 12v LED lighting, Fantastic fans, the Endless Breeze fan and small 12v personal fans like the Caframo Sirocco that only use .34 amps. I also have a nice Vizio 22" tv that only weighs 8 lbs and runs off 12v- so no invertor losses.

Dan
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