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Old 09-23-2014, 06:12 PM   #1
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Aluminum Walls

I love the look of the interior being stripped down to the aluminum but am curious about the lack of insulation. How do the walls react with extreme temperatures... does the trailer stay cool when really hot outside... warm when cold outside... does it create condensation inside and become a rainforest?

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Old 09-23-2014, 06:26 PM   #2
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Mine hot when hot, cold when cold. My condensation does not seem to be a big issue. I love the look and reflections.

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Old 09-24-2014, 08:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sbb View Post
Mine hot when hot, cold when cold. My condensation does not seem to be a big issue. I love the look and reflections.
Hi Sbb! Are you saying that your trailer is hot when the weather is hot outside and cold when it's cold outside? Or are you saying it's hot when you're using the heater and cold when you're using the air conditioner?

Are the aluminum interior walls just the back side of the exterior shell/metal or are the Airstream's double-layered aluminum? I'm wondering about insulation.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:31 AM   #4
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The wall of an Airstream is composed of an exterior shell, the ribs that form the "frame" of the shell that keeps it in shape, the interior skins, and the insulation that lives between the interior skin and the exterior shell. The interior skins are made of aluminum, just like the exterior shell.

The new Airstreams often have shiny interior walls, and the look has become so popular that many people with vintage Airstreams either replace their interior skins with new, shiny aluminum panels, or strip off whatever paint, vinyl, or material is on them so that they are shiny. Nobody removes their interior skins permanently so that the inside of the exterior shell is permanently visible. With no insulation in an AS wall, the trailer is not inhabitable--believe me, I used mine as an "aluminum tent" a few times last fall. The walls are only ~1.5" thick, and there is a running debate what insulation is "best," but I can promise you that no insulation at all is not the way anyone would willingly go.

So, with insulation in the walls, and the interior shiny skins in place, you may see slightly more heat transfer than you would with a vinyl layer, or a layer of paint on the inside, but it would probably not be measureable. The biggest problems reported by most people who retro-fit interior shiny aluminum is that it is uncoated, so every finger print becomes a blemish and has to be rubbed out. The factory uses a plasticoated aluminum sheet for their interiors (and it its obscenely expensive)
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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Thank you Belegedhel, that answers many questions!
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:13 AM   #6
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Condensation will build up on the windows (Airstream has a lot of them) in cold weather if you don't ventilate, but that's no different than any camper we've had. Crack roof vents or windows, and use the range fan when cooking.

When it's raining and cool the Maxxim or Fantastic Fan vent covers are the solution for ventilation while keeping the rain outside.

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