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Old 06-29-2013, 07:40 AM   #1
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Western heatwave precautions

We are leaving for an 18 day trip to Utah and Arizona. With temperatures reportedly up to 126 degrees, what precautions should we take with our Airstream to prevent equipment failure and to help our one A.C. unit to perform at its maximum capacity?
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
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Um.....wait a few months? (just kidding)
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:05 AM   #3
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For hydration, we carry a 5-gallon water bottle rack and keep at least two 5-gal water bottles full while we're traveling through the hot SW USA.

When applicable (wind conditions, etc.) - we keep the awning out and window shades (with block-out material) closed during the day when camped.

AC Unit - be sure to keep the filters clean if so equipped. I've installed a surge protector in my rig to save the AC unit should there be faulty power during periods of high demand (ie, hot conditions) when connected to shore power.

Suggest getting a weather app for your smart phone unless you've already got one. Mine came in real handy during our trip to Oklahoma in May during tornado season. It can alert you about weather conditions within a 50 radius of your location - we dodged several WX systems using the app. It may also work for "high heat" conditions as well.

Otherwise, the rest is normal operations.

Travel safe, have fun, and keep 'Stream'n the Dream"!
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:12 AM   #4
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1.) Stop by Home Depot or Lowes, get a roll of reflectix insulation, and cut piece for every window and skylight. When the mercury is consistently over 100, having a 'view' is secondary to comfort. Blocking as much solar heat from entering as possible is a only a start. Your A/C unit will thank you.

2.) As soon as you stop for the day, deploy all awnings if possible. If it is windy, the big patio awning may not be usable, but the smaller window awnings, if you have them, should hold up ok.

3.) Consider driving only in the early morning, especially if still using ST tires. Road temps will eat trailer tires for lunch and dinner, so avoid hot roads if possible.

4.) Make sure your Fresh Water tank is topped off before you pull away form a camp ground. Conversely, dump your black tank and flush if possible; because warm weather ferments what's in there a lot faster. I can go three to four weeks (one person) in the cooler months, between black tank dump/flushes, but in the summer, no amount of tank additives (I don't use formaldehyde) keeps the odors down.

5.) If traveling with a pet-friend which will 'stay' in the coach while you are out wandering, please reconsider. If a power failure occurs at a CG (not unheard of, ha-ha), Inside temps will soar fairly quickly. Your friend will suffer terribly. Please leave him/her home.

Ok, I listed a bit more than you requested; sometimes I can go overboard. Have fun, but use common sense.

Philip
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipKS View Post
1.) Stop by Home Depot or Lowes, get a roll of reflectix insulation, and cut piece for every window and skylight. When the mercury is consistently over 100, having a 'view' is secondary to comfort. Blocking as much solar heat from entering as possible is a only a start. Your A/C unit will thank you.

2.) As soon as you stop for the day, deploy all awnings if possible. If it is windy, the big patio awning may not be usable, but the smaller window awnings, if you have them, should hold up ok.

3.) Consider driving only in the early morning, especially if still using ST tires. Road temps will eat trailer tires for lunch and dinner, so avoid hot roads if possible.

4.) Make sure your Fresh Water tank is topped off before you pull away form a camp ground. Conversely, dump your black tank and flush if possible; because warm weather ferments what's in there a lot faster. I can go three to four weeks (one person) in the cooler months, between black tank dump/flushes, but in the summer, no amount of tank additives (I don't use formaldehyde) keeps the odors down.

5.) If traveling with a pet-friend which will 'stay' in the coach while you are out wandering, please reconsider. If a power failure occurs at a CG (not unheard of, ha-ha), Inside temps will soar fairly quickly. Your friend will suffer terribly. Please leave him/her home.

Ok, I listed a bit more than you requested; sometimes I can go overboard. Have fun, but use common sense.

Philip
Will do. Thanks Phillip! No pets on this trip. Our Corgis are staying home with a house sitter!
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxAB View Post
For hydration, we carry a 5-gallon water bottle rack and keep at least two 5-gal water bottles full while we're traveling through the hot SW USA.

When applicable (wind conditions, etc.) - we keep the awning out and window shades (with block-out material) closed during the day when camped.

AC Unit - be sure to keep the filters clean if so equipped. I've installed a surge protector in my rig to save the AC unit should there be faulty power during periods of high demand (ie, hot conditions) when connected to shore power.

Suggest getting a weather app for your smart phone unless you've already got one. Mine came in real handy during our trip to Oklahoma in May during tornado season. It can alert you about weather conditions within a 50 radius of your location - we dodged several WX systems using the app. It may also work for "high heat" conditions as well.

Otherwise, the rest is normal operations.

Travel safe, have fun, and keep 'Stream'n the Dream"!
We are committed to making this trip with our two 15 year old daughters memorable to reasons other than record temperatures. I am really excited to stream for this amount of time. Thanks for your guidance!
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:59 AM   #7
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We just towed through UT and ID and experienced 110 during the days. We had no equipment issues. Tires and batteries would be the major items of concern. If you have the original GYM's, I would check inflation and take it slow. They are only rated to 65 mph and slower results in less heat buildup. We did that for the two previous summers without problem before changing to Michelins. If you have wet cell batteries, be sure to check electrolyte levels. We tow with the roof vents partially open and help the fridge by re-freezing a few gel ice packs overnight and moving them to the lower compartment for the day. We don't bother with covering windows and vents with insulation, the curtains and blinds work ok for us. The trailer cools down in an hour if you arrive towards sunset and start the A/C.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:13 PM   #8
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We made it to Moab. It is relatively cool, it will be hotter each of the 5 nights we are here. Will put up the reflectix in the morning!
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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What everyone say's. We live here and camp year around. We tend to go to the higher elevations in the summer. No problems thus far.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #10
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Our air conditioner keep freezing up and then not working properly. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:27 PM   #11
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The usual problem with freezing up is low air flow across the evaporator. Do you clean the filter regularly and check to see if the coil is clean? Don't run the fan on low speed as it is more likely to freeze due to low air flow.

A simple check to see if the unit is cooling OK is to start the unit and run it on high fro about 10 minutes. Check the temperature of the air entering the unit and then the air leaving a duct near the unit. The leaving air should be about 15 lower than the entering air. If it is more, you may have reduced air flow or possible low on refrigerant.

But when it gets above 90 there really isn't much you can do except find a shady spot to camp.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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Everything is clean. I think our a/c unit just isn't up to the task. We have reflectix in the windows and sky light and are parked under shade. It is 100 degrees now but the a/c has frozen up even at night when it gets down to the 80's.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:49 PM   #13
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Might be a good time to visit Telluride, Ouray, Aspen or anywhere above 9000'.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:24 PM   #14
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I agree>>> Head to telluride (check their website for any festivals) then park in Town Park. First come first served , though.
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