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Old 10-24-2013, 04:38 AM   #1
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Simple Question

A simple Question

I've Removed the interior Skins 62 Safari 22' and smelly old insulation. Removing floor.

I wish to replace and generally insulate better. It gets down to minus 10 here.

How?

Option 1. refit insulation 40mm direct to outer skin and fit inside tyvek etc vapour barrier. refit interior skin.

Option 2.fit silver foil on exterior Skin, insulation then refit interior skin.

Or other ideas? especially floor section too with barrier or not? etc.



cheers

UP
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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It's been covered many times in many threads here, just type in insulation in the search box.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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I would use two layers of 1/2" foil coated RMAX and then some radiation barrier on top of that. Seal all seams with silver duct tape but leave a path for water to drain down the walls.

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Old 10-24-2013, 08:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Uppla View Post
It gets down to minus 10 here.
Celcius or Farreheit?

Ideally for maximum insulation I would use sprayed in or rigid foam and Reflectix inuslation. Use aerosol foam to seal the rigid foam in. The problem with the sprayed in foam is sealing in wiring and plumbing so it is inaccessable.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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Not a simple question--there has been lots of debate on this subject here on the forums. Do a search for the following: "foam insulation" "prodex," "reflectex," "bubble wrap," and "ceramic sphere" and you will see a lot of opinions.

My attitude having read a lot of debates is:
The reflective bubble wrap stuff is over-rated and mis-applied in the wall of an Airstream as you have to have several inches of air-gap for it to work, per the manufacturer's installation instructions.

A vapor barrier should be unnecessary, as if you have sealed your outer shell, then it is the vapor barrier.

A two in thick wall, with an aluminum sheet on either side, and an aluminum rib connecting the two is intrinsically a heat conductor. These trailers simply are not designed to be inhabited in the bitter heart of winter. The best way to keep them hot/cold is brute force. Take the money you would have spent on ceramic micro-spheres and reflective radiant barriers and buy a bigger furnace.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:15 AM   #6
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A two in thick wall, with an aluminum sheet on either side, and an aluminum rib connecting the two is intrinsically a heat conductor. These trailers simply are not designed to be inhabited in the bitter heart of winter. The best way to keep them hot/cold is brute force. Take the money you would have spent on ceramic micro-spheres and reflective radiant barriers and buy a bigger furnace.
Even more than heat loss through the walls, you have to deal with heat loss through the windows. Especially if you've got single-pane windows. But even with double-pane, your gap is a whole lot less than the 2 inches you have in the walls, and the window frames aren't insulated at all.

Low-emissivity (low-e) films can help block heat transfer through the windows. You would have to place it on the inside surface of the glass, to block heat transfer from the inside out, and you would have to remove the film before next summer.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:15 AM   #7
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Airstreams are three season travel/touring trailers. If you want to live in something in the cold climates you need something capable of being properly insulated and with double pane storm windows. Anything less will have condensation problems.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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Thanks Guys...Yes minus 10-15c. Ok. The house method of insulation is to leave open the (cold side) and install the air tight vapour barrier from inside..Just wondered really whats tried and tested on the older units...esp with more modern materials such as Tyvek DuPont etc etc...

I unterstand the original design was not for such applications..but everyone here has the same aluminuimitis..haha thats why we are on here..asking about such stuff..40mm of insulation is nver gonna be toasty...just wanted to avoid any pitfalls in the layering etc. especially moisture. saw the holes i the channel seems to be agood Option to allow any water to drain-escape..
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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Thanks Guys...Yes minus 10-15c. Ok The house method of insulation is to leave open the (cold side) and install the air tight vapour barrier from inside..Just wondered really whats tried and tested on the older units...esp with more modern materials such as Tyvek DuPont etc etc...
Stick-and-brick homes use an impermeable vapor barrier because they're constructed of gypsum board and wood that aren't impermeable. An aluminum Airstream is already impermeable, so adding another vapor barrier inside the walls doesn't help.

The condensation in an Airstream comes from water vapor in the interior air, but that water vapor isn't coming through the walls from outside. It's coming from your mouth when you exhale, from the door every time you open and close it, from whatever windows you leave open, steam from cooking and bathing and washing dishes, etc. Warmer air can hold more moisture than colder air, and so when warm air meets cold surface, you get condensation. The only way to stop the condensation from happening in your poorly-insulated Airstream is to dehumidify the interior air. So in addition to running your furnace, run a dehumidifier as well. Get the air as dry as you can stand without causing yourself sinus problems. Cook in covered pots and pans only, and no hot showers for you!

AND, keep the heat as low inside as you can stand while still keeping the pipes from freezing; the less difference between inside and outside temperatures, the less the walls will sweat. Chilly enough to need to wear a sweater indoors should be just about doable, though cold enough to refrigerate (but not freeze) meat would be even better, if you can stand to impersonate an Eskimo.

It has been a long time, but back when I was a kid, we lived through four winters in northern Maine in a trailer, back when nobody insulated trailers. Not an experience I'd care to repeat. Talk about impersonating an Eskimo!
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:59 AM   #10
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Thanks Beleg and Protag

Thank you for helping the thread poster, and ME. It's hard to sift through all the opinions, and making sense of it all. I would have suggested that the Uppla look into the Prodex, but make sure to leave air space. I am now back to my original perception that no travel trailer is really a four season domicile.
Trailers are designed to be light, and to travel. I believe that a conventional shed is cheaper and easier to insulate, heat, and live in.

I am wondering why more people don't suggest to wintering Airstreamers to use a heated garage for their trailer, coupled with an alternative to using the onboard propane systems. They could pull the trailer out in nice weather. As always, money is a big decision maker.

I don't think that telling someone, to look it up themselves, is as helpful as a dialogue, even, and especially, if our opinions vary from time to time. The forum is in part a social network, where we can share, and even make friends. But if a question annoys you, you can ignore it or simply not respond
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:29 AM   #11
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Actually, opening the door in the winter reduces the relative humidity inside the trailer. Air is capable of holding twice as much water for every 15 degrees F temperature rise. Even if the relative humidity is 70% at 30f degrees it will only be 17% when it is warmed up to 60F. As long as you can keep the interior walls and windows surfaces at a temperature above the dew point of the air inside, you will not have condensation problems. That gets pretty hard to do when you have two humans in the trailer and the temperature gets lower than 15F.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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Actually, opening the door in the winter reduces the relative humidity inside the trailer. Air is capable of holding twice as much water for every 15 degrees F temperature rise. Even if the relative humidity is 70% at 30f degrees it will only be 17% when it is warmed up to 60F. As long as you can keep the interior walls and windows surfaces at a temperature above the dew point of the air inside, you will not have condensation problems. That gets pretty hard to do when you have two humans in the trailer and the temperature gets lower than 15F.
70% humidity @ 30F = 17% humidity @ 60F holds true only as long as you are only heating ambient air and not adding moisture to the heated air by living in it and generating new water vapor that raises the interior humidity.

But your point about the dew point is well taken. IF you can heat the surfaces so that you can keep them about 5F above the dew point of the interior air, you'll prevent condensation. But an Airstream isn't a Thermos bottle; the heat loss through the walls and windows will make it very hard to keep the temperature of the surface above the dew point of the air, unless you dehumidify the air first.

The reason I recommended keeping the interior temp as low as possible is because 50% relative humidity of 40F air is drier than 50% relative humidity of 55F air which is drier than 50% relative humidity of 70F air.

Plus the rate of heat loss is driven partly by the difference between inside and outside temperatures. If your outside temp is 15F and your inside temp is 55F, you'll lose less heat than if your inside temp is 70F. So it will be easier to maintain walls and windows at the lower temp.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #13
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It is certainly a challenge, to REALLY 'winterize' an Airstream.

Lots of great ideas in this thread, from people that have actually done it.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462...ess-97054.html

Hay bales to enclose it, 'mud' room entrances to avoid letting all the heat out when you open the door, and so on.

Actually, skirting with bales of hay or straw, or even building skirts out of simple framed plywood is a cheap and easy way to protect the belly from heat loss...

And don't forget: -40C and -40F are the same temperature: CCCCOLD!
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