Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-16-2010, 04:21 PM   #1
Pro Lurker
 
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2
Permanent installation

First off I'd like to say how much I've enjoyed lurking here the past few weeks; you all are a great community with so much information to share and I have yet to run out of content to read!

My girlfriend of six years and I live downtown and after several hints (okay, outright requests) I've decided that it's time for us to get a weekend place out in the country. She wants a garden and hobby farm, I want a place to run the dogs, maybe some sheep. I've found the perfect semi-rural 20-acre plot in western Michigan (just on the other side of the lake) and want to get an Airstream trailer to permanently install on the land so we don't have to a) buy/build a house, and b) deal with a permanent second residence if we ever decide to move from our primary home base.

I wanted to get everyone's input on the possibility of using an Airstream as a 4-season weekend home by adding a fully-functional shed adjacent to the AS to house the following elements:
1) Furnace/aircon
2) Hot water heater
3) Emergency generator
4) Fridge/freezer
5) Nonperishable food storage/tools/etc.
6) Fusebox/main circuits

Additionally, the trailer will be added to the grid by running electric from the street, using well water and septic system, plus a permanent 250lb residential LP storage tank. Do you all think this is a worthwhile plan or am I kidding myself into thinking this is plausible? From my searches here, I donít think there will be a ton of modifications necessary save the running of heat ducting from the shed into the trailer (terminating in the bathroom, bedroom, and living area), and completely bypassing the wastewater management systems on-board.
__________________

__________________
nhblock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 04:35 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
VIKING's Avatar
 
1964 22' Safari
Boulder Creek , California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,159
A lot of people think Airstreams are made for travel only, but I like being inside one just because I do, so I can see having one for a weekend getaway. Your plans sound well thought out. The only thing I would add is that your Airstream will stay nice longer and you won't have to worry about water leaks if you build a garage or carport to keep it under. This will also go a long way towards resale value later.

Welcome to the forums!

Rich the Viking
__________________

__________________
VIKING is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 04:54 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
jdalrymple's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Siloam Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,341
I would suggest a workshop large enough to park the AS in and room to work. Heat it, light it and leave it "unfinished" inside. Park your AS inside the shop during winter and enjoy the amenities it offers. When the weather is warm enough, pull it outside to sleep with the windows open and enjoy the fresh air. The shop would also serve as a place to store and secure the tools and toys you leave at the farm.
__________________
Jeff & Cindy
Remi & Hunter
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
jdalrymple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Dave Park's Avatar
 
2005 22' Safari
Hyde Park Place , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 972
If you suggest a proposed budget I could put up some idea drawings for you that might catch your interest. Also, what size of Airstream are you considering?
__________________
TX-16
Dave Park is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 06:10 PM   #5
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,556
Images: 1
Three season, perhaps. Four season, no, not really. An AVION from the 1980's would be a better choice as to insulation and lack of age-related problems, but any travel trailer is compromised by the lack of mass with which nearly any building -- even of the same square footage -- performs better. Look into the idea, around here, of RV "garages" where the trailer is under a common roof with a large screened porch, etc. (Utilities mean everything, house or trailer).
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 15-cpm solo, 25-cpm towing
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 06:44 PM   #6
Don't forget your cat nap
 
Ag&Au's Avatar

 
2010 31' Classic
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,831
Images: 1
When you consider the square footage in a travel trailer, and the cost of all the upgrades you are considering, it may cost as much as a cabin of comparable size.

With a cabin, 4 seasons could be very realistic. If you leave a trailer out all winter, you will either have to winterize it (drain all plumbing etc) or keep it heated all winter. Even a well insulated TT will not compare to a small cabin for heating costs. The Airstream is definitely not a well insulated trailer. It would be feasible to leave the heat on at a very low temperature in a cabin all winter.

So, make sure you check the cost of a small cabin before you make a decision on what to do.

Regards,

Ken
__________________
Ag&Au is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 06:44 PM   #7
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 6,762
Images: 40
It can be done, but as pointed out Airstreams are marginal in the winter, again it could be done. I like jdalrymple's suggest of a shop with the AS inside. I have a 1981 that will never see the road again. But it is slated for guest cottage duty on our acreage in NC. We don't have the cold weather that MI has, but we do need AC in the summers. I have a small split unit heat pump that I plan to install when we set it up permanently.

FWIW I too believe that Airstreams are meant to be kept on the move, but if you have a longer unit and it is getting on in years there is nothing wrong with a permanent set up. At least it is still being used and cared for.

Aaron
__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 07:26 PM   #8
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,022
When you buy an Airstream you pay extra for features that make it better on the road, worse on the camp site.

For example the streamline shape makes it easy to pull but reduces interior room especially cupboard space. The special axles cost extra but make it hold the road better and ride better etc, etc.

All this is wasted when the trailer is not moving.

For your use you will get far more for your money in a standard box type trailer. In fact for the price of a new Airstream you can buy a new mobile home that will be about 10 times better for your use. For the price of a medium size, 20 year old Airstream you can buy a brand new box style trailer.
__________________
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 07:58 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,391
Blog Entries: 20
I'd buy a used park model. Those are designed to sit on a lot. They'll have a bigger water heater, a small house type furnace, no tanks to screw with, and more cubic feet. Airstream trailers are travel trailers, not park models. The trade-offs required to make an Airstream are those that make it light and self sufficient. Neither of those are required for a park model.

Airstreams are expensive, the parts are expensive, and some parts like a door entry lock are hard to get.

Gary
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2010, 07:58 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
1977 31' Excella 500
plano , Texas
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 128
I use my trailer how you describe you would like to, but I have the distinct advantage that I am faaaarrrrr South as compared to you and we don't get hard freezes here. All I had to do was build a cover that gave me shade so the A/C could keep up. Now the shade also works as a water collection so I don't have to haul water every time. (we have electricity, but not running water).

Thomas
__________________
tschat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 09:01 AM   #11
Pro Lurker
 
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2
Thank you to everyone for your input thus far; looks like there are a number of schools of thought on the viability and morality of keeping an AS parked! I just love the aesthetics, history, and American exploration spirit of the Airstream trailers, so that's why I am exploring this possibility rather than a box trailer. Definitely considering a minimum 24' all the way to 34' as having a proper TV is not an issue, and would prefer to go vintage.

I've done my fair share of winter survivalist (no tent) camping, so I'm less concerned about the "livability score" of an AS in the winter, except maybe the cost to run the furnace at a minimum temp during the times we're not there. I was thinking that we could construct a wood frame, angled-roof lean-to over the AS with sides we could add or remove as the seasons and prevailing winds changed, which would also provide full-coverage shelter for the trailer while we're not there on winter weekdays.

I was thinking the cabin route, but unless I buy one pre-fab I think we'd be roughing it a bit too hard for the first 6 months while we build it. Plus it wouldn't look nearly as cool!
__________________
nhblock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 09:21 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Melody Ranch's Avatar

 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
1956 16' Bubble
1947 22' Liner
Valley View , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,494
Images: 72
Send a message via Skype™ to Melody Ranch
You need this....or something similar. Get the Airstream for the Wanderlust fulfillment.
For Sale - New
__________________
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
Melody Ranch is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 09:38 AM   #13
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
bad idea,

common idea but bad nonetheless.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...eam-21411.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...use-19328.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f314...and-36068.html

especially so in the weather harsh upper middle america.

need a winter story of joy n woe...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462...ving-2738.html
_______

go out to the driveway and chalk out a 7.5 feet by 25 feet oval

now draw in the basic interior furnishings

to get the USEFUL open floor space...about 3 ft x 15-18 ft.

imagine living in this tiny isle, imagine several people and pets.

now imagine plastic roof vents that leak heat, cold, water when NOT broken...

and windows that are tiny, wet, iced over on the INSIDE

and an entry door that is little more than a shower curtain.

now add in modern conveniences like a tiny fridge

or noisy furnace that SUCKS lpg just to keep above 60...

don't forget plastic drain pipes,

odor leaking tanks that must be drained daily and questionably wired 12v lights.

take a drive through a full timers RV park

and look at the many creative uses for duct take, corrugated sheeting and sheds.

at least RV parks are set up to handle water/sewage issues and maybe electricity.
_________

travel trailers are expensive and poorly suited for 'parking'...

streams are especially poor for this use in harsh climates.

get a park model or prefab/kit loggish cabin or a quonset hut.

forget about the 'cool factor' the exterior might have....

because that very same cool looking exterior

means the PARKED stream may grow legs and disappear...

not many thieves tow away a real park model or quonset hut.

No. 1278: Quonset Huts

Steel Quonset Huts, Quonset Buildings | SteelMaster Buildings

or buy an old double wide or a fema trailer, then wrap it in tin foil...

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 09:49 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 666
I agree, get a park model to live in ( there are some very nice ones) and a small Airstream (older) for travel'
__________________

__________________
craftsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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
Help! Where and How to lift to block for permanent netlace 1977 Excella 500 17 10-14-2007 08:24 PM
Permanent Cabana for Trailer sorock Full-Timing 7 04-30-2007 04:32 PM
Permanent Set-up GeraldVG Full-Timing 8 04-18-2007 09:48 AM
Permanent trailer license? Rog0525 Title, VIN & Registration 21 10-07-2003 11:17 AM
Permanent home? DGR160 Our Community 12 04-23-2003 11:49 AM





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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