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Old 10-03-2013, 05:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
I have a '90 25' Excella and I'm unclear as to what is heated and what isn't when Nellie is inhabited and heated. What areas in the belly, if any, are heated when the furnace is on in my trailer? And what areas are at risk of freezing at temperatures in the teens?
Typically an Airstream will have an enclosed belly pan with a nominal amount of insulation (1/2" or so) between the tanks and the bottom of the pan. Typically there are 1 or 2 small furnace ducts that blow air down into the belly pan area, usually somewhere in the vicinity of the freshwater outlet on the freshwater tank, and the dump valves on the grey/black tanks. The furnace duct does a little, with most of the heat being conducted through the trailer floor.

In general the water lines stay above the floor and inside the walls except for crossover pipes which are present in most designs where there are fixtures on both street and curb sides. Usually the crossover is routed above the tanks where it is relatively well protected.

The best think you can do is look around and verify that your rig's construction more or less matches that and check for any places where the pipes go through unheated compartments. In particularly cold weather it may be helpful to leave cabinet doors open if there are pipes behind.

Running the furnace consistently and leaving the thermostat at room temperature all the time -- 65, 70 degrees, whatever is comfortable -- is the best protection against freezing pipes.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:13 PM   #16
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It's not sounding like anyone is actually doing this.

That doesn't mean we might not give it a try, though.

I'm a loooong way from the trailer, so there won't be any inspection trips before December. It's in Fort Collins. I'm on Providenciales.

BUT I've been under it enough already to know that the tanks and all the plumbing underneath are completely hidden by pans. I had to replace one of the drains last year, so got a pretty good look at it.

Anyone ever install a bunch of snaps around the edges and have some canvas curtains made to enclose the underneath?
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:21 PM   #17
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Oh, one added note. If you're camping in the deep cold, do not rely on portable electric heaters. They'll do a fine job heating the cabin, but they provide no heat whatsoever to tanks and plumbing downstairs. Even running them will heat the cabin up, causing your propane-furnace thermostat to believe that it's peachy-warm and, therefore, not to turn on.


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Old 10-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #18
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Huh?

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Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
It's not sounding like anyone is actually doing this.
I missed something. I posted in this thread about our below-freezing Airstream experience.

Exactly what experience are you hoping to find people doing?

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Old 10-03-2013, 05:29 PM   #19
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I 'spect he's talking about camping in deep-freeze conditions. About the only ones I've seen do it much are the avid skiers.

Lynn

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I missed something. I posted in this thread about our below-freezing Airstream experience.

Exactly what experience are you hoping to find people doing?

Tom
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:42 PM   #20
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f459...js=1#community
Check out the above by deauxrite. We followed this thread last winter. This fellow also wintered in Alaska.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:42 PM   #21
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Another good thread is from rubyslipper. It's pretty entertaining.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462...ving-2738.html
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:05 PM   #22
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Extra Insulation

I camp during the week of deer season in Wisconsin every year in late-November. There's no electricity and it get's cold, but it's some of the most enjoyable camping of the year. There's something magical about sitting in a cozy trailer and watching the snow fall.

Adding extra insulation makes a huge difference. I bought a roll of Reflectix from Home Depot and cut it to fit the windows on my North and West sides and I park so my largest windows soak up the sun.

Covering the roof vents with foam works wonders. Notice there is condensation on the wall next to the window. That's a big problem in the winter needs to be controlled with ventilation. It may sound counterintuitive, but cracking the window over the bed and cracking one of the roof vents helps prevent condensation accumulation at night.

I've camped right down to 5 degrees comfortably, and without frozen pipes.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:47 PM   #23
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I am going to try a short winter trip sometime. However, I think it wil be when the trailer is winterized, so I will not have any running water. As long as you have a plug-in/or stove top kettle for hot water to wash your hands, do the dishes, and take sponge baths (or use the showers at the RV park, if available) it wouldn't be too bad. As far as the loo business goes, you could always plunk a bucket or bowl in the trailer toilet, and make a "dump the bucket" run to the park washroom once or twice a day.

I've already done a version of this on my June trip. I was at a RV park and ran out of propane. I decided to embrace the pioneer spirit, a bit. I had running cold water, so just heated it via an electric kettle for hand/dish/sponge baths. No problem!
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:16 PM   #24
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We camp at the base of our ski resort all the time. We love it, with the trailer covered in snow and the wind howling outside, all snuggled up and warm inside, it's the best.

We use the Dyson Hot Cold fan and run the furnace. The furnace keeps the tanks and water lines from freezing. We fill the fresh tank and run the pump.

Your tanks should be fine, but you need to keep the exposed sewer parts from freezing. With empty grey and black tanks, pour some RV anti-freeze down both. Then, with the sewer cap still on, open the the valves, then close them.

We also run a 45 pint dehumidifier most of the time. Controlling the moisture will keep the trailer much more comfortable and keeps the interior from getting too wet from the condensation. This had made the biggest difference in our winter camping.

Go for it and have fun!
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:48 PM   #25
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When it's really cold, the worst things are the cold coming through the single pane windows, the humidity build up, and the metal interior walls if you have a CCD (you don't want to roll over into one - it'll wake you up in a hurry, plus they sweat). The recommendations for installing insulation in the windows and a small dehumidifier are seconded for cold weather use.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:50 PM   #26
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If you are staying at the KOA, just use their facilities.
We camped in Loveland and Cheyenne in February of this year. Used 2 electric space heaters, one at each end of our 26' Argosy. We stayed warm all nights. The furnace pilot was lit and thermostat set at 65. It rarely came on, then ran for only a few minutes.
It was 7 above zero in the mornings with 4" of snow on the ground.
The dump valves on our coach are in the trunk, which is not heated.
These valves will freeze if not winterized. Adding any water to the waste system, will cause the anti freeze to be diluted and will freeze at higher temperatures.
If you have access to a sewer connection, you could use the grey water system as long as the hose is sloped enough to where water won't accumulate and freeze. Leave the GW dump valve open and the water will run thru the tank and out.
Again, use the facilities at the RV park for anything black water. A port o potty could be kept in the warm space of the coach for night time use..
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:08 AM   #27
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When it's really cold, the worst things are the cold coming through the single pane windows, the humidity build up, and the metal interior walls if you have a CCD (you don't want to roll over into one - it'll wake you up in a hurry, plus they sweat). The recommendations for installing insulation in the windows and a small dehumidifier are seconded for cold weather use.
The morning we woke up to a foot of snow and sub freezing temps in CO, I climbed out of bed in my usual sleeping ensemble ( a wristwatch) and bent over to pick up my overalls from where they had slipped to the floor. One of my transom cheeks happened to press against the inside surface of that aluminum Airstream. It felt like someone had sprayed a two inch spot of my bare slom with liquid nitrogen.

We spent three days and two nights in those conditions.. 17 deg. low, high just at freezing, no power or water at the campgrounds.
The tanks in the AS didn't freeze. We survived.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:01 PM   #28
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Goldberg (Gringo)..,

Just spent the last four hours of my life on your amazing blog. Why in the world is an Island Man like you trying to figure out how to camp in cold weather?

Poppy
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