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Old 08-30-2015, 01:39 PM   #1
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Wintering in Airstream in Grand Canyon

HI -- thought I would once again seek the wisdom of the group. I have a possible seasonal job in the Grand Canyon - south rim for the winter. I would have to pay for utilities - and have not wintered in our 25 Classic.

Can anyone give me an idea of cost for propane ie per month for nighttime temps below freezing?

Also, read a good bit of the wintering posts here as well - some say it's fine to do, others are less optimistic -- how have those who have wintered managed? Keeping lines from freezing, etc.....

I don't want to commit to the job until I have a sense on what my costs would be

thanks in advance for any advice!

Lynn
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:15 PM   #2
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I cant assess to the innards of your 25' AS, but I will say when I was there in late May of this year, LPG was $5.02 per lb. definitely something you need to consider. Thats more expensive than gasoline. Water costs are awfully high too. You'll see lots of pickups hauling around water as thats their cheapest option. While the GC is drop dead gorgeous, you're gonna pay a hefty price to be there. We stayed at Camper Village, which is rhe first CG outside of the NP. We were running our heat at night in May. I couldn't imagine what you are going to be paying in the winter months. I think a propane allowance or H2O allowance would be in the cards for any contract I signed. Everything has to be trucked in to that area. Just like the hawaiian islands. It's expensive. Good luck in your decision.
Gavin
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:38 PM   #3
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There is a long thread about it.

You will have snow, and possibly snowed in. Lots of people have that idea, and ask about it here. I hiked the canyon in 90 degree weather, woke up at the top, covered in 3 inches of snow. This January, roads to the canyon were closed because of 10 inches of snow.

People have tried it….once….Never did hear about anyone doing it twice.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:04 PM   #4
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I don't know if your cabinet configuration has sufficient room to consider adding the "Cheap Heat" electrical add-on to your Atwood Hydroflame furnace but if full-time winter camping is in your future I recommend investigating it. It will pay for itself in a single season if you can do the install yourself.

CheapHeat

Freezing temperatures will dramatically increase your propane use. You can easily burn through a 30lb tank in as little as 2.5-3 days. Some augment their propane use with electric space heaters inside their coaches, but keeping your tanks from freezing requires the forced-air, under coach routing connected to your furnace to be used. Airstreams are just not built for full time cold weather use.

If you are stationary throughout the stay, you should also consider how to reduce the air flow under your unit by skirting it. I've seen hay bales used successfully - clever and cheap. Likewise, you may need an electrified pipe/hose heater to get water from the campsite tap.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:21 PM   #5
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Hi from AZ. . . A forum member did that a couple of years ago, and posted a lot of info/picture on the forum. My search skills are apparently sorely lacking, cause I can't find it. Maybe you can, lots of info., regards, Craig
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:40 PM   #6
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These are the folks,

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f459...yon-98031.html
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lthomasamber View Post
HI -- thought I would once again seek the wisdom of the group. I have a possible seasonal job in the Grand Canyon - south rim for the winter. I would have to pay for utilities - and have not wintered in our 25 Classic.

Can anyone give me an idea of cost for propane ie per month for nighttime temps below freezing?

Also, read a good bit of the wintering posts here as well - some say it's fine to do, others are less optimistic -- how have those who have wintered managed? Keeping lines from freezing, etc.....

I don't want to commit to the job until I have a sense on what my costs would be

thanks in advance for any advice!

Lynn
I don't want to pretend expertise I don't have, however what I know is that my Mom and Dad wintered in northern Illinois, (Rockford) for several years. I was there some of the time when temps were at or below zero (F). This was a (then) new 30', but I don't know which model. All they did was use a larger propane tank, provided by the gas co.) Dad built an insulated box around the water supply, sewer drain etc. and kept a 60 watt bulb going inside that. They experienced no problems at all and reported themselves to be very comfortable. Maybe they really don't build them like they used to; I don't know.��
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:06 PM   #8
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I would have the folks you work for supply a place to live ,like in an apartment or a house
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dwilderman View Post
I don't want to pretend expertise I don't have, however what I know is that my Mom and Dad wintered in northern Illinois, (Rockford) for several years. I was there some of the time when temps were at or below zero (F). This was a (then) new 30', but I don't know which model. All they did was use a larger propane tank, provided by the gas co.) Dad built an insulated box around the water supply, sewer drain etc. and kept a 60 watt bulb going inside that. They experienced no problems at all and reported themselves to be very comfortable. Maybe they really don't build them like they used to; I don't know.��
People or trailers?

Cheers,
John
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:36 PM   #10
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The South Rim area is at about 7000 feet altitude. The North Rim is around 8300 feet and closes up for each winter. Some RV appliances don't work well at these higher altitudes. I have to open my trailer's water heater door when at 7000 feet because the standard vent opening does not admit enough oxygen for the gas flame to stay lit. I don't know if the propane furnace will be able to deliver its full BTU rating at 7000 feet. You should see if you can find out about that. Thin air won't heat as well as denser air. It may turn out to be a cold winter on that mountain top.

If you don't like it as the winter progresses, will you have an escape clause in that contract?
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:49 PM   #11
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We would half to pass. Been there done that. Life is short.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:38 AM   #12
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Back in the late 60's I spent a couple of summers working at the Canyon as a student Naturalist. These days the students are called Interns. Had some great times. It is on my bucket list to return as a work camper. Not sure if I am up to a winter on the North Rim. Cold gets a bit rough on these old bones.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:43 AM   #13
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I wouldn’t be concerned with the appliances not working at 7000’. I have camped at the south rim and north rim several times and have never experienced a problem with the gas appliances not working. I have camped at the south rim in Nov. when the temperatures got down in the teens with no problem. Your biggest problem will accrue in Dec. and Jan. when temperatures can get below 0. I’m not sure your pluming can handle that.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:27 PM   #14
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I wintered one year in the Colorado mountains. It was an older 5th wheel with nothing on the belly. The worst cold spell was a week of -20F at night and 0F in the daytime. Nothing froze. What I did before winter arrived ...
110VAC tank heaters on all tanks.
Belly lined with Reflectix (foil faced bubblewrap)
Heat tape on fresh water in hose then wrapped in Reflectix
Heat tape on exposed dirty water plumbing stopping on the downstream side of the dump valves then wrapped in Reflectix.
A skirt to stop air movement (the PO of our AS made a skirt from the blankets you put on concrete drying in cold weather - very bulky).
Keep the propane tanks filled and the heat on.
I'm sure it could it be done in an AS.
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