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Old 10-11-2003, 11:00 PM   #1
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Winter camping - low temps etc.

Hi all,

Am looking at a used airstream trailer around 1980 vintage. Is in very good condition,

Have some questions about winter and low temp camping in an Airstream. I used to have the usual "stick and staple" construction type trailers and found them not too bad in the winter. Have used one in -28 degree temps and the furnace was adequate. However, had to keep both propane bottle open to gether, in use, as there was not enough gas boil off to fuel the furnace.

How are the airstreams in these temps and how effective is the insulation (for summer and winter) compared to the other more traditional trailers.

My experience would say that the airstream is superior in all respects, but I don't yet own one. What are they like for winter rving?

Thx for any answers.


1987 Avion 34V travel trailer (the other cigar tube).
2002 Dodge CTD 3500 Dually, Auto, 4x4
1986 F250 T/C 6.9 Diesel, LB,S/C,4x4,Auto
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Old 10-12-2003, 09:10 AM   #2
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i have used my '92 dry (no water) down to the mid teens.

very comfortable. be prepared to use alot of propane, as you well know living in the great white north!

condensation is a problem, ice can and will form on the windows. you can leave a vent cracked open during the warmest part of the day. this helps vent the moisture. then you can close up again at night.

if you do plan on having water onboard, make sure you have all the needed things to winterize in a matter of an hour or so. just in case your furnace quits or you run out of propane.

propane, carbon monoxide, and a smoke detector are absolute necessitys for safety's sake!


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Old 12-12-2003, 09:41 AM   #3
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Is there anything that can be done for the purpose of winter camping (heat tape for pipes or additional insulation) that doesn't require elaborate reconstruction?
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Old 12-12-2003, 11:51 AM   #4
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I was also looking at the heat tapes and insulation at the hardware store the other day. I don't see why that couldn't be done, it's just a pain to get to all the pipes inside the cupboards - I was particularly worried about the ones that route under the shower pan.

But it would only work while plugged into shore power, isn't that right? 110v doesn't run off battery, at least it doesn't seem to in my trailer.

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Old 12-12-2003, 03:24 PM   #5
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You can't run 120 off of your battery without an inverter. Heat tape is going to consume battery life fairly quickly. How quickly will depend entirely on outside temperatures.

I think you will find that an Airstream is insulated at about the average of most RVs - 2" of fiberglass. Most Airsteams do have insulation in the enclosed belly pan, which many RVs do not.

Possibly the most improvement for the $$ and time spent is to stretch plastic over the inside of the windows and roof vents. It gives you sort of a double pane window, and they are the source of your greatest heat loss.

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Old 12-12-2003, 08:45 PM   #6
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Take a look at these for the general issues you're facing:


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