Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #43
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
I'm sorry but I don't see that the "four seasons" argument is any different, Airstream or any other RV type or brand. They all have the same vulnerability to freezing because they all use water, have the same type holding tanks, etc. I can see where some types of construction might have slightly better insulation qualities, but I fail to see where it would make any significant difference in sub zero weather.

On the 5th wheel vs Airstream debate....get the type of RV that most suits you uses, and be happy.
Research Teton Homes, Artic Fox and a few others. The two I mentioned are true 4 season trailers I consider the Airstream to be a 3.5 at best. I have never owned a Teton but I have been in a few. They are built like a tank and are a true 4 season trailer, they also need a serious truck to haul them. Most of them GVW in the 17,000-22,000 pound range.

Aaron
__________________

__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2012, 03:00 PM   #44
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Houston , Texas
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10
Aaron:

What do you mean by 3.5 season? I'm not looking for -10 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm looking for something that will be OK for around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. (Meaning the plumbing will still work OK, for example.)

There are Arctic Foxes that can be towed by a one ton. However, from what I've been reading here I might get by with a 3/4 ton with a A/S, which would be better for driving around when we're unhooked.)

Thanks.

Harry
__________________

__________________
harrysteven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2012, 03:33 PM   #45
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysteven View Post
Aaron:

What do you mean by 3.5 season? I'm not looking for -10 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm looking for something that will be OK for around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. (Meaning the plumbing will still work OK, for example.)

There are Arctic Foxes that can be towed by a one ton. However, from what I've been reading here I might get by with a 3/4 ton with a A/S, which would be better for driving around when we're unhooked.)

Thanks.

Harry
Harry,

By 3.5 season I mean it can handle some freezing and some very hot weather.

I live in the coastal plain of NC, winters are relatively mild and summers can be hot and humid. I have an old Airstream, above about 90*/90% rh the A/C can't keep up if I am parked in direct sunlight, winters are another story. They don't have much of a thermal break between the ribs and skins (if any) and the insulation is marginal.
I have had mine down in the 20* range, but would not want to spend more than a few days there, I burned through nearly 100# of propane in about 2 weeks and the condensation inside was a huge issue.

I think the Airstream does best between about 30* and 85* or so. There are quite a few things that can be done to improve on that, and I have seen where some people have wintered over in theirs in temps down close to zero, but that is too much work IMHO.

I have also lived in popup in the winter months in Virginia Beach...

Aaron

__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2012, 05:06 PM   #46
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
At 20 degrees day in and day out, the water and sewer will freeze, the furnace is inadequate, and you won't be able to manage the condensation. You may also experience some serious "cabin fever".

The only reasonable solution is to take the Airstream south in winter. We consider that an advantage over any so-called four season RV.

doug k
__________________
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2012, 10:19 PM   #47
Rivet Master
 
Fly at Night's Avatar
 
2010 27' FB Flying Cloud
Fraser Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,693
Images: 10
Nothing is impossible. Just read through the winter-living thread.

The FaN and I have survived many nights like this.

Cabin fever? Go for a walk in the snow. It is good for the body, mind, and soul.

__________________
easily distracted by shiny objects
Fly at Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 12:49 PM   #48
4 Rivet Member
 
Air Apparent's Avatar
 
Northern Illinois , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysteven View Post
My wife and I are planning to full-time when I retire.
We are still trying to decide between a 5th Wheel and a Travel Trailer.
I wanted to ask the owners of the premium travel trailer
about the advantages and disadvantages of towing a travel trailer
as opposed to a 5th Wheel.

(Pro: Don’t need one ton dually, lighter RV, better mpg?
Con: Swaying, wider turns, harder to hook and unhook?)

Thanks.

Harry
Harry;

As stated by post in this thread, Airstreams with the proper tow vehicle and hitch setup tow extremely well.

Since you are planning on using your RV for fulltiming you have other considerations. According to an Escapees study done last year - approximately 45% of fulltimers are in 5th wheels; 45% in Class A motorhomes and the remaining 10% in all else (Class B; travel trailers, etc.). Most fulltimers move fairly frequently inlcuding those in 5th wheels. Those in motorhomes tend to move even more frequently.

I have attended two Escapees Escapades with about 1,000 RV's at each. Airstreams accounted for about 1.5% (15 units).

Selection of a RV for fulltiming is a very personal choice with many factors to consider. The unit selected must work for you. It will be your home fulltime. Will you still like it after six months; one year; two years? Only you can decide.

I believe that those fulltiming in an Airstream (for the most part) are Airstreamers first and fulltimers second. By that I mean that if we fulltime it will be in an Airstream because we love Airstreams and couldn't see ourselves fulltiming in any other RV in spite of the downsides; less interior space, less storage space; etc.

Continue doing your research as the more knowledge you get the more happy you will be with your decision.

Good lucck.
__________________
Dave

2008 Classic 34
Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab CTD

AIR #7317 WBCCI #1772 TAC-IL 1
Air Apparent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 03:10 PM   #49
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
Well, I checked the marketing for the "4 season" trailers mentioned above, and they state "enclosed and heated tanks". If you'll check, all current production Airstream trailer have enclosed and heated tanks.

I guess the problem is, how much heat and energy does it take to keep everything from freezing?
__________________
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #50
Rivet Master
 
purman's Avatar
 
1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,542
Interesting idea about 4 season trailer. I guess if you live in Hawaii you could call it a four season But if you live in Alaska It might last 2 seasons.

We have friends how own an RV park on the Grand Mesa in Colorado, at 10,000 feet. they close in the winter. But once they had someone who said he had a 4 season MH, and wanted to stay. He lasted 2 weeks before everything froze. Then came back 2 weeks later with another MH. He said it was guaranteed not to freeze. Only lasted a week before it all froze up.
Now, it doesn't get above 20 degrees in the winter and goes down to -20 easy. And these were supposedly $90,000 plus MH. They said the guy had money to burn.

So I don't think there is any true 4 season one out there. How can there be with 2-3 inch thick walls.. but some will hold you out for a few nights..
__________________
Jason

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

2008 5.7 L V8 Sequoia
AIR # 31243
WBCCI # 6987
FOUR CORNERS UNIT
purman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 04:43 PM   #51
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Well, I checked the marketing for the "4 season" trailers mentioned above, and they state "enclosed and heated tanks". If you'll check, all current production Airstream trailer have enclosed and heated tanks.

I guess the problem is, how much heat and energy does it take to keep everything from freezing?
All true, Steve, as far as it goes. How "enclosed" and how "heated" are the questions—just another way of getting to your question about energy usage (or cost). A study of different RV's in the same places showing heating costs (and A/C costs) would be helpful.

Some, at least, 4 season RV's have thermopane windows. Not sure of the type or thickness of the insulation, but it may be a lot more than Airstream. They may have thermal breaks. Houses are now insulated in ways unthought of a generation ago, but Airstream is still using ancient technology.

A lot of the questions debated on the Forum could be informed or even answered by studies no one does and no one wants to pay for. We have advertising claims and anecdotal stories. There are unscientific polls. Everyone has to make their own decisions ands hope for the best.

Harry, 20˚ F at night is doable, but it also depends where you are. Here in the southwest, that probably means 40's during the day, so you pick up a lot of radiant energy and get to thaw out. In places with small temperature swings, the daily highs may be in the mid or upper 20's, day after day, and you'll be spending a lot more to heat it and keep tanks warm enough. Cloudy days have different needs than sunny ones. You'll definitely need a heated fresh water hose and you may have problems with sewer hoses. If you stay for a month at a campground, they will usually charge you for electricity so you don't save anything on using an electric heater and you'll find out RV fridges use 4 or more times electricity than a residential one. My impression is that people who full time in wintry months are doing it because of job there and it seems like a good idea because it is short term or may save money. Most others move with the climate seeking spring and fall weather a lot of the time.

We have camped with temps in the lower to mid 20's every night for a week and it became a pain. Unhook hoses during the night, hook them up when it gets warm. They are stiff and difficult to use below 35˚ or so. Watch propane disappear or use an electric ceramic heater, but switch to propane during the night to keep the tanks warm. Condensation builds up, so keep one or two vents open (which draws off heat too; seems like the best vent would be down low to exhaust cooler air). There's no question it can be done, but it does get old after a while. People have very different experiences ranging from "no problem" to horrible.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 05:04 PM   #52
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,400
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
Airstream is a 4-season trailer

Winter in Texas
Spring in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc.
Summer in the mountains
Fall in New England

Someday.
__________________
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 08:25 PM   #53
4 Rivet Member
 
phbarnhart's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 411
Images: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Winter in Texas
Spring in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc.
Summer in the mountains
Fall in New England

Someday.
That sounds like a very civilized way to live. I approve!
__________________
phbarnhart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 09:07 PM   #54
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Houston , Texas
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10
Dave: I’m aware that the overwhelming majority of full-timers use 5th Wheels or Class A’s. That could mean either that those are the best options or that they are simply following conventional wisdom and don’t know about Airstreams.

I have list of what I’m look for in an RV and two of the most important are reliability and durability. From what I’m learning from this forum Airstream is the number one for durability. (Reliability, too?)

The other RV we’re considering is the Arctic Fox but Northwood has only been around since 1993. Will they stand up over time?

The truth is, I don’t know how long I’ll be using it. I have a plan, but until the plan has been fully executed, I won’t know if I actually followed it. The plan is to travel about 20k miles the first year, somewhat less the two or three years following that first year, and then shuttling between two to three places each year. At some point, we may have to find a permanent or semi-permanent location to settle down. Perhaps I’m asking too much from a single RV and from ourselves. I honestly don’t know. However, we have done some things that have defied conventional wisdom before, so who knows?

I agree that the best plan is to follow the weather, and that is our intention. However, we have an extra wrinkle. Our four kids have said they want to live near each other eventually, and that will probably be somewhere in the northeast. The oldest lives in Providence, and she just started a practice, so I guess they’ll wind up in the Boston area, or somewhere close to that. Plus, three of them are married, and one them is talking about starting a family. (She’s currently in Chicago.) So, we may wind up spending some time in that northeast quadrant. (My choice would be to move around between Texas, the southwest, and the Pacific Northwest, in addition to occasional trips everywhere else.) So, I want to get an idea how cold a climate I can stay in. It will be ok if we wind up a couple of hours south of Providence, let’s say.

You folks are really great. You’ve been very helpful and have shown me there is another option I should consider. I’ve learned a bunch of things from this thread:

Towing an Airstream may as good as or better than towing a fiver.

It’s aerodynamic, has a low profile, and probably will get me better fuel mileage.

I won’t need a one ton dually, which will make my getting around vehicle more pleasant.

If I want durability, look for Airstream.

I should find out exactly what four season means. It may not mean what I think it does. I also have an idea under what conditions I can comfortably use an Airstream.

I’m going to post one or two more questions here. I also have to go see the inside of some. (I have to say, I’m always impressed when I see one on the road. They are beautiful.)

There was a thread in the full-time section about the disappearance of the wannabe full-timers. I want you guys to know that your comments have been really helpful to me and are greatly appreciated. I hope my question and the answers it generated helps some other person who’s also trying to figure out the right course to take.

Again, thanks.

Harry
__________________
harrysteven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #55
Rivet Master
 
Denis4x4's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Currently Looking...
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,111
I noticed a lot of "opinions" on fifth wheel trailers are from 'streamers that ave never pulled one, let alone owned one. I had a Featherlite gooseneck 4 horse stock trailer that pulled like a dream. Also had a Featherlite gooseneck car hauler with living quarters. Quite frankly, the Featherlite quality surpases AS! When you use a gooseneck hitch, there's plenty of room in the bed of a truck. My wife didn't like the living arrangements, so I sold it to a motocross racing team and it's been on the road cris-crossing the country 10 months a year and still looks good after 12 years on the road.

After owning an Airstream and a Featherlite gooseneck, I'm here to tell you that the AS comes in second when it comes to build quality. And did I mention that the Featherlite is aluminum?
__________________
Denis4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 10:39 PM   #56
Rivet Master
 
dkottum's Avatar
 
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
Isn't the Featherlite for horses, cars, utility rather than travel trailer?

As for initial build quality, many RVs can be brought up. Our two new Airstreams were near perfect. But isn't repairability over the long term, and having something of value when it's done is unique to Airstream?

doug k
__________________

__________________
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.