Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-03-2010, 11:43 AM   #1
Rivet Master
webspinner's Avatar
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,269
Images: 15
Do we need a heater?

We just bought a 1971 25' Trade Wind that needs a fair amount of work. The heater is broken and we're considering pulling it out and not replacing it. At this point, we don't think we'll be anywhere that we'd need it, but we have no Airstreaming experience to base that on. What's your experience?

How often do you use your Airstream heater? Under what conditions?

How have your plans for using your trailer changed from what you thought they'd be when you bought it?

webspinner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Melody Ranch's Avatar
1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,971
Images: 78
Send a message via Skype™ to Melody Ranch

I have heaters but don't use them..... instead I use a small electric heater which is more than adequate....and easy to move around.

Melody Ranch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
Rivet Master
mello mike's Avatar
1958 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,742
Images: 53
I assume you're talking about the propane furnace. I no longer have one in my '72 Sovereign either. I live in a pretty warm climate here in Phoenix, but I like to camp in the mountains (7-9000 ft elevation) and it gets pretty cool even in the summer. And if you camp anytime during the winter the nights can drop into the 30s.

What I use to keep warm is a propane catalytic heater. They're small and don't take up much room. Mine is mounted on the side of the kitchen cabinet by the main door. Use can see it in my kitchen photos on my blog.
1958 Overlander
2011 Wolf Creek 850N TC
2011 Ford F-250 Crewcab (6.2L), 3.73RE

WBCCI #5661/AIR #5661/TAC # AZ-6
4CU 1st VP

My '58 Overlander Restoration and Travel Blog:
mello mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
Rivet Master
InsideOut's Avatar

1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,823
Images: 108
It really depends on where you plan on traveling and how you plan to use your trailer.

We use our heater - but don't have an air conditioner. Neither of our trailers had A/C when new and we never added them because we camp mostly at elevations above 7000'. We also boondock quite a bit so an electric heater is not much help. We do have a generator for recharging our batteries when boondocking, but don't run it all night and that's when the temps drop enough to want the heater. We use our original heaters (not furnaces with ducts or blowers) in both our trailers. I like that they are quiet - no thermostat clicking on and off or squeaks or fans from blowers. Just simple heat. Much like the modern catalytic heaters today.

If you plan on camping mostly in campgrounds with hook-ups or during summer months closer to sea level, you may not need a heater. But, keep in mind, if you ever decide to sell your trailer, the next owner may not share your lifestyle and want a complete trailer, including a heater.

Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | WBCCI DenCO Unit | Sisters on the Fly | Tin Can Tourists
BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
Kevin245's Avatar

Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,636
Images: 9
None of the furnaces in our trailers work and we don't usually miss them. We use a Cat Wave 8 and a portable electric heater when heat is needed. I suppose it boils down to personal preference and climate tolerance.



"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 04:45 PM   #6
Rivet Master
RichHog's Avatar
2006 25' Safari FB SE
1972 25' Tradewind
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,143
Images: 7
Some like it hot.

Funny you should mention it as I am in the process of replacing the furnace in my 72 Tradewind. So I can speak within my current analysis. Here in Texas it doesn't get cold often as in the North. But I'm planning on going to Yellowstone this summer and will be in a campground with out electricity. So now having a furnace that works on propane and the 12V system matters to me. If I'm on the road and it's a cold night and I'm in a Walmart parking lot then the furnace matters to me. Not the bad news is that you have the recalled NT22A furnace in your trailer that if not properly serviced it can and will leak carbon monoxide into your trailer. 4 out of 5 people on this forum will tell you to trash the furnace due to these issues and the rust and lack of parts. I've tried to repair mine and taken it out thinking maybe there are cheap or free parts. Maybe if someone gives them to you other wise the costs of parts, say in my case a fan motor or blower is over $100. For $375 + $25 you can have a NEW under warranty NT30SP. I'm ordering mine tomorrow. To me I want my Tradewind complete, so it's worth the money to put a new one in and when I'm on the road and it is cold outside and inside, I know that heat is a thermostat away.
RichHog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Lumatic's Avatar

1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,953
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
The furnace in your Tradewind if OEM is a Suburban NT22a. This furnace was recalled because of a problem with the crossover tube which can cause a serious carbon monoxide problem, like death. It is hard to find parts for or to get someone to work on. Most people replace it usually with a Suburban NT30.

You could also replace it with a propane catalytic heater which is covered in other threads.

If you go the small electric heater route if you don't have an electric hook up you could power it with a electric generator. Generators are also extensively covered in other threads.

Some people also like the extra under counter space they get without a furnace.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 10:28 AM   #8
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,042
You will need some kind of heat anywhere in the US, at some time of year, even if just to keep off a slight chill or dampness.

Electricity is not always available and catalytic heaters give off carbon monoxide. If you use any type of fuel burning heater with no chimney or vent, be sure to leave a couple of windows open. Death by suffocation, in a camper, is too common.

I would not be without a proper furnace myself.
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
Wise Elder
Jammer's Avatar
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,129
In my climate I would not be without one because as late as mid-May and as early as mid-September it is possible to get cold, wet days. October and November have good chances of freezing temps depending where we go. Up to a point heavy clothes, sleeping bags, and a campfire will help but not our preference.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #10
Rivet Master
RichHog's Avatar
2006 25' Safari FB SE
1972 25' Tradewind
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,143
Images: 7
Furnace Replacement

Also the furnace routes over the water tanks, lines and can keep them from freezing.
RichHog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 11:28 AM   #11
Rivet Master
68 TWind's Avatar
1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,450
Don't take chance with the NT-22. The one in my TW ran OK but after a thorough check we found the head exchanger had a hole in it. It was internal and very hard to find. Could have been a disaster.
68 TWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 08:09 PM   #12
Rivet Master
webspinner's Avatar
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,269
Images: 15
This is all very helpful. I see a few common threads in the comments:

It will make the trailer complete to have a furnace -
We plan to keep this trailer for a long time so if the new owner wants one they can install the latest and greatest since it sounds like salvaging the OEM one isn't an option anyway.

Warmth is good -
Something worth considering. Mostly, we're summer campers and look at the trailer as a more convenient tent. But if we're parked in the NW for a long, rainy stretch, something warmer than a pot of tea might be nice.

Other heater options -
Bart has commented on the catalytic heaters. We could do something small that would still let us use that under sink space for storage. More storage is good.

Furnace protects pipes and tanks from freezing -
A point I hadn't considered. I think for us it falls into the "we don't plan to camp in snow" category.

So I think we'll leave the furnace out and consider adding a different heater later. As the second part of my OP noted, we may change our minds about how we use this silver beastie. Already, our plans have expanded from just parking it for a summer while we work on an unimproved bit of land in the NW. Now I'm bookmarking camping sites and saying "We could go here, and here and here!"

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had an Airstream change their plans.
webspinner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 09:31 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
Safari64's Avatar
1964 22' Safari
Eagle River , Alaska
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 251
No Heater ?!?

No heater...Good one! Made me laugh.
I have 4.
Suburban furnace
Catalytic LPG wall heater
Heat strip on A/C
Portable ceramic electric

At least one is running out there now.

If I had to pick one, I'd keep the catalytic.

Even in Nevada, Arizona and California I find we use catalytic heater to cut evening chill.

No heater in a big aluminum can...good one.
Safari64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 07:58 AM   #14
Rivet Master
RichHog's Avatar
2006 25' Safari FB SE
1972 25' Tradewind
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,143
Images: 7
Heater in Tradewind

Let me know if you need any info on removal etc. as I am taking out (again) the NT22A from my trailer and replacing with the NT30SP next week. Your Tradewind should have the same systems that I have.

RichHog is offline   Reply With Quote

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mr. heater help jpalm1048 Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 4 01-05-2010 11:04 AM
Bowen water heater door with newer suburban water heater durans54 Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 37 11-19-2008 07:17 AM
heater help trea LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 7 10-21-2006 02:24 AM
Water heater prob, pilot won't stay lit & heater won't fire. johnboy Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 1 06-20-2006 04:24 PM
water heater and heater cabbage76 Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 7 11-12-2003 08:06 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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