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Old 10-24-2005, 07:47 PM   #1
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Thermopayne windows ??

.........Just curious , has anyone had thermopayne windows added to a used trailer ?? If yes , what size trailer and how did it cost per window , thanks , r66
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Old 10-24-2005, 08:40 PM   #2
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Hello Route -- and a fellow Texan is welcomed with gusto to the forums!

I do not believe better windows will improve comfort or heater efficiency by much -- moreso if factoring in all the effort, expense, and potential weight penalty. I could suggest searches on keywords 'wintering' or 'condensation.' Let's just say that the cubic space in a trailer will get overwhelmed quickly with breathing & cooking humidity if you don't vent to the outside somehow. These are tough enclosures to live inside for prolonged periods at seriously low temperatures.

The structural frame under the skins is aluminum and quite conductive. Recent camping with 40 degree nights drove home that fact. The interior skin on my trailer attracted a quite a film of condensation in all but the mid-panel areas if I forgot to turn on the stove hood fan while cooking. But yes, the single pane windows had the most condensation, especially after a night sleeping inside. I can stand leaving a roof vent open an inch or two, especially if it is at the opposite end of the trailer from the thermostat (latter in bedroom area).

Airstream made double paned front windows for a while. The seals always failed and numerous threads speak to moss gardens and slow condensation accumulation filling the space between with water. Towing vibrations will doom most any double pane scheme in the end. Such extensive modifications would probably cut the sometimes modest value of more ordinary condition units.
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:41 PM   #3
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...............This is interesting to me as there are numerous mfgers who incorporate thermopayne windows into their trailers without having them become dislodged due to normal movement . So , I guess my question would be why would Airstream be UNable to install thermo's in their trailers . Just curious . thanks , r66
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Old 10-24-2005, 10:00 PM   #4
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Maybe the quick answer (which really is a guess) is that the average lifespan of many other brands is measured in a few years.

As you know many A/Ss are on the road for 20 to 60 years with much more likely to shake rattle and roll in that time.

I'm sure someone has a much better technical answer than this!!
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Old 10-24-2005, 10:11 PM   #5
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..................I was hoping someone who had actually had these type of windows installed in thier trailer would respond so I guess we'll just have to wait . I'm wondering what the "warn" is below my post count . I guess big brother is watching ! Anyway I do appreciate youre reply . Thank you , r66
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Old 10-25-2005, 05:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by route66
..................I was hoping someone who had actually had these type of windows installed in thier trailer would respond so I guess we'll just have to wait . I'm wondering what the "warn" is below my post count . I guess big brother is watching ! Anyway I do appreciate youre reply . Thank you , r66
route 66,
Couple of things...I doubt anybody has ever added thermopane windows to an older trailer...no source for them. Airstream quit making them a while back. Also remember the AS windows are curved not flat which brings in a whole different set of stress issues compared to the flat windows in an SOB.

Also as far as the little warn meter..
NO! You haven't done anything wrong - relax.

What you have described is what everyone is seeing... if there has been an infraction - (say for instance - dissing MY trailer) the 0% would change to 1 or for a really egregious infraction (can't imagine what could be worse though...) it might say 4.

This new piece of software is not currently being used - no one has any score showing. The colors on the bar graph are preset - we didn't pick 'em.

No one else can view your meter and you can't see anyone else's. There is a lenghty discussion in this thread

Aaron
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:16 AM   #7
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Airstream made double paned front windows for a while. The seals always failed and numerous threads speak to moss gardens and slow condensation accumulation filling the space between with water.
I've got this problem in my '73. The seal failed at some point in the past and there's a green slime science experiment going on in between the panes. Gonna a pain to clean up.

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Old 10-25-2005, 08:16 PM   #8
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route66 -- On new trailers the closest to all-flat windows that Airstream offers being on the lowest Safari line, you've gotta realize it makes no sense for Airstream to offer double pane windows there and not be able to offer it on higher models. The rounded shapes and curved glass is one part but not the only issue. I've certainly said the built-up (commercial type with spacer) glass has had a problem with significant failure on rolling stock. There is a term here, SOB, that refers to some-other-brand or some-other-box, that suggests how very flat sided that 98% of the RVs on the road have become (that's their loss). Those manufacturers are deceiving you if they've convinced you that better glass alone is going to spell much difference. LP isn't cheap but a 30# LP tank lasts a significant part of the season in our parts and I'm glad to say it is not the breaking point on any decision I will make. The thing you see in your home with thermopane and welded glass is that it is all flat glass with welded square corners -- you'd also be unwise to not have good window coverings inside that you don't close every night! Just try to find flat, square cornered glass on Airstreams. This is too difficult to contemplate.

I think of the Northwest's 'Arctic Fox' RVs and a few other Canadian models as being better insulated than most. Either way we are talking 2" of insulation tops. How good is that going to get on energy efficiency? Not much I'd say. If given 50% more weight allowance I could come up with an excellent insulation package. In that case we'd all better have 3/4-ton tow vehicles. Placing such high standards on the lossiest part of any structure, i.e. the windows, is just not realistic.

Savannah Steve pointed out that anything other than what Airstream offers will not be worth squat in 10 years. How many Gemini, Apollo (or even shuttles my-gawd!) will retain stability that the design allows after 10 years? You are either a convert or you don't want to be -- you'd be entirely welcome to come aboard. We're a great group following a very good trailer. The final tally is that I ask you to come up with any RV that commands more respect at the 5 year, the 10 year and the 15 year post-purchase point.
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Old 10-25-2005, 08:59 PM   #9
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route66 -- We're a great group following a very good trailer. The final tally is that I ask you to come up with any RV that commands more respect at the 5 year, the 10 year and the 15 year post-purchase point.
Indeed. A couple of the guys at work that own new S.O.B.'s like to check on my progress on the "rebuild" of the "old trailer". I have to remind them about once a month that my "old trailer" is approaching 35 years "old" and still goes down the road. And that when I'm finsihed should last another 20 or 30. The "old trailer" jokes pretty much tail off at that point. Now, back to green slime experiment......

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Old 10-25-2005, 09:19 PM   #10
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.................Actually , I've been an AS person\believer since I was introduced by my uncle to these trailers way back in the mid fifties . I love the look , shape , etc. but I guess I've set my expectations alittle too high on their ability to isolate the person from the outside environment . All that exterior metal has a certain affinity to attact both hot and cold temp's and transfer some of that energy into the inside of the unit . This is mitigated in direct proportion to the amount of insulation that has been incorporated into the design of the trailer . It , just seems to me that , given the prices of new AS's , they could\should be putting alot more emphasis on the insulation that is incorporated into these trailers . The thermo payne windows are only a part of the whole approach to a Better insulated trailer . And , again , the prices that they are asking would lead one to think that they are a 4 season trailer , but they are not although they should be .
...................I don't want to belabor the point . I will probably endup with an AS because , as you so accurately pointed out , they are still around 30 years post sale date and that is testament to their inherant durability and acceptability of design by the folks who own one whether I agree with the level of insulation ...or Not . So , I'm just basically trying to educate myself at this point about all the different levels of options and what comes with what . Then , I'll know what year range of AS that I want to spend my money ON ! Thanks for your reply and patience , and I'm sure I'll have many more questions before I'm ready to purchase . , r66
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:14 PM   #11
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Airstreams are 3 season trailers. It seems that the cold comes through conduction (aluminum exterior skin, thru aluminum ribs, to aluminum inner skin). I suspect the CCD models are the worst with their bare interior aluminum. The single pane windows have condensation problems... but probably do not have enough area to be the major contributor to heat loss. Towing any trailer in the winter with icy, snowy, roads seems unwise anyway. Even if you don't lose control, the salted roads will damage the trailer.
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:50 PM   #12
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Pseudo-Thermopane

The advantages of thermopane windows are not just saving on propane. Mostly it is a comfort/convenience factor. Even with a well-heated and well-ventilated Airstream, wiping condensation off the windows in cold, rainy weather gets old. For those who do not know, most European trailers come with thermopane windows which are not glass, but (mostly) acrylic (plexiglass).

We have produced what could be called pseudo-thermopane for the non-opening parts of the Hehr windows in our 2002 19' Bambi. The second pane is on the inside and is 1/8 inch polycarbonate (which does not scratch easily). Spacing and fastening is with a combination of black self-adhesive velcro and black 1/8 closed-cell rigid vinyl foam which are in 1/2 inch strips around the edges. The existing metal frame of the window is the fastening surface. The result is about 3/8 inch of dead air between the outer glass pane and the inner polycarbonate pane. That space is not air tight; air filters through the velcro.

The result? Most pleasant. Sit next to the front window in cold weather and your shoulder stays warm. The plastic conducts much less heat (cold) than glass and the air-space seems to help, too. Condensation is greatly reduced in cold rain and snow and is essentially absent with low outside humidity. Of course, it is necessary to make sure that the inside of the trailer is well-ventilated. An unexpected benefit has been the reduced volume of outside noise.

Drawbacks? Some fogging within the closed airspace in really cold weather, surely because the space is not air tight. With warmer temperatures and/or sun, the bit of fogging disappears.

Also, two sheets of polycarbonate with a microblind between have turned our door window from obscure and cold to clear and warm.
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:31 PM   #13
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route66 There is a window shop in Vancouver,WA. that make window for your Trailer. I check it out for My Motor Home. To much for My income. I didn't keep the paper work on it "Sorry"
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Old 10-31-2005, 10:50 PM   #14
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Has anyone seen that video with the old Airstream propaganda promo, where they take this girl in an itsy bitsy teenie weenie bikini and put her in an Airstream, then take the Airstream and stick it in a chamber that is -20* and they set the furnace to 72*. This poor guy is in his thermal outfit outside the trailer pouring himself a glass of water, which promptly freezes, while the bikini girl is sipping her water comfortably.....what gives? Is it a gimick, or can the AS really survive sub-zero temps?

Frederic
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