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Old 10-28-2012, 08:53 PM   #1
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Winter living in the Grand Canyon

We are camped in the Grand Canyon for the winter. We will be working in the Association bookstores and are looking forward to the season in the canyon.

I have attached some photos of our set up. The first is just before I started skirting the trailer for the winter. The last three show the trailer with my skirting job and the back side with my winterized hose and such. The vertical post is the water inlet and I winterized it as well..no point taking a chance.

I used 3/4 inch foam board that is foil sided (out to match the Airstream The installation is on a gravel pad, so there was a fair amount of trimming and cutting to get it all to fit properly. The foam board is forced up under the rub rail and then taped. I decided to apply as little tape to the trailer as possible. I am sure that I will have to do some pretty serious cleaning of the rub rail in the spring, but it looked like the safest and easiest solution for our installation.

The weather last night was clear and 17 degrees. I suspect that at 7000 feet plus or minus..we will see some temperatures near zero this winter.

One thing that you cannot see is that I put a trouble light under the trailer that I can turn on when the temps get really cold..I am looking for a thermostat that I can hook up to do it automatically..but if I need to I will just plug it in when needed.

I did look at fabric skirting. It would be pretty simple, but I just could not justify the money for what may turn out to be a single season experiment. I will look at fabric again if we decide to do another winter up here.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:09 PM   #2
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Totally jealous, even if this does mean living through snow and cold winter nights. Your living my dream right now!
10 more years, and I'll be there too!
Is this through Workampers?
Good Luck, Derek
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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Have a great winter!

Good for you. We hope to make it to the North Rim someday. I wish for you good weather and good times!
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:30 PM   #4
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Greetings Deauxrite! having lived in Flagstaff for 19 years perhaps I have some information that may have some value. The wintertime temps often dip below zero in the winter and I have personally lived through 40 days and nights where it never rose above zero with wind chills of -65. Doesnt happen every winter but it is best to keep an ear on the weather channel since several feet of snow in a night isn't unusual either. Your winter should still be doable with adequate insulation and heat. As far as a thermostat for the underbelly heater, these are readily available at any area hardware store. I got one at Homco Ace Hardware in Flagstaff a few years back, very handy but make sure there is a visual indicator in case the thermostat fails so you can manually turn on.
Beautiful place to winter, so jealous
tim
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:54 PM   #5
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Deauxrite, I just ordered this thermostat for a different application, but might work for you. BTW, I am soooo jealous, sounds like a great job and adventure!

Portable Thermostat | Thermostats| Northern Tool + Equipment
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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Excellent skirting job!
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:29 PM   #7
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Keep us informed on how wintering in the Airstream goes
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:38 AM   #8
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How far is your site to the bookstore? Are there other workcampers for the season near you? You look like you have a lot of privacy. Is this your first experience with working on location? How long will you be there and what are your next plans if you have decided as yet? Sounds very exciting. Hope you keep us posted. We were at the other rim one January and had to shovel our way into a site. It was beautiful, albeit, cold and icy. We hope to return in milder time of year to explore.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:40 AM   #9
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I am curious what your interior heating strategy is. Propane?

Thx.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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Glad to see you guys made it ok. And I thought 44 was chilly this morning. Still I would rather be there than here. Have a great winter season and hope to see you next year if you pass thru this way again.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:07 AM   #11
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For those interested...we have been fulltiming for 6 years in our Airstream. These jobs we got wind of from some friends we worked with in Alaska in 2008..and those jobs we did find in Workcamper News. In fact, about half of our seasonal jobs we found using that resource..the rest were word of mouth from people that we have worked with. As for next summer..no plans yet..we usually start thinking about it in January.

Heat is propane..big tank to be delivered this week. Supplemented with electric if necessary. I am currentlt working on window treatments to add some insulation and plastic film as a barrier to those that it makes sense to treat.

Thanks for the heads up on the thermostat. I will make that happen.

We do have other workcampers. Because of the way that the sites are laid out, they are not real close..a block maybe. We are about 2 1/2 miles from our work location...bicycle on a good day..free shuttle bus is a 15 minute walk then a 30 minute ride..or drive..those are the options.

I will post problems and solutions as the winter progresses. We are excited to be here. Being a photography nut and the chance to live in the canyon for 6 months is a dream!
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:43 AM   #12
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Please post pics and descriptions of your window treatments when you are finished. I've been pondering how to do the same in a milder climate. Your solutions in the colder climate might be the ticket for me. Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
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You're in the canyon? I thought the only way down was by mule or walking.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:12 AM   #14
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I would be most interested in how the Airstream handles cold weather. How much propane and electricity you use. I have heard a big problem with ASs given only about 2" of fiberglass insulation is condensation in cold weather. Any experience with wintering in cold weather areas before?

I live in Central NM and have a house in town. I also have some property out of town I am thinking about moving to when I retire in a few years. Thinking about full timing out there. Usually winter temp lows in the mid 20s but last year was particularly brutal with temps well below zero.
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