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Old 10-22-2006, 09:50 AM   #15
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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The premium private campgrounds will put a premium price on heavied-up 120V service whether you use it or not, and will only have a limited number of spaces available for 50A... Also if they see a 50A to 30A conversion patch on your power cables they may have a fit. For the extra $10 or more a night and hassles I would go with propane, no one says you have to have tank valves open except when needed...


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Old 10-22-2006, 10:17 AM   #16
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Good link! The fact is, CO is almost the same weight as air. The most important thing about a CO detectors location is that it will wake you up. I have a combo smoke and CO detector mounted on the wall in the sleeping area of my TT. My wife always complains when I test it (when we setup at a campsite) saying it is way to loud. I always tell her thank you, it's working....



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Old 10-22-2006, 11:04 AM   #17
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1968 30' Sovereign
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I was seriously considering going all electric myself....not from a fear of fire, but more because it is easier to get electric green.

We came upon the same difficulties. There are not appliances out there (at least not at anything approaching a reaonable price) that won't draw tons of amps. Even semi-permanently docked as we shall be, it becomes problematical to hook up to the pole.

Electrical fires scare me alot more than propane fires. Electric fires don't give you any warning. With propane, you get the warning of the god-aweful stench.

The tankless waterheaters are pretty good. They are set up to self-light when they are used, so you don't have to worry about matches and lighters to get hot water.

*shrugs* We're replacing our propane lines with modern stuff. Maybe I'll turn all of that old copper into a sink or something. Still, going almost all propane makes it a bit easier. The propane A/Cs, refridgerators, stoves, heaters, etc., simply work better than electric.

Of course, we found the old gas-lights...and are seriously considering putting them back in. *chuckles*

Doing some internet research, or simply asking about it here, will give a whole bunch of information that is probably more than you need. *grinz* In truth, if you cannot find a new trailer on the dealer's lots with the things you want in it, there is probably a good reason why that is so. 70% of the time, it is because it is just too darn expensive to build them that way. The other 30% of the time, however, it is that to build them that way is bad, bad idea.

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Old 10-24-2006, 09:19 PM   #18
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1974 31' Sovereign
Osceola , Missouri
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K- we've decided to keep the propane for stove, furnace and hot water. However, we are saving it for the future complete rehab.

At this time, because I am parked permanently and need shelter almost immediately, we are doing a quick and dirty repair job instead.

My husband Richard caulked the entire trailer from AC down. He repaired the subflooring where the leaks occurred, then we covered it with 1/4 plywood for added strength. We used screws rather than nails or glue so it can be easily removed later. This will then be covered with tongue and groove floating fake wood floorboards.

Pa has wired the permament hookup with both 30 amp and two 20 amp circuits so I can have other things plugged in without blowing a fuse. We will use the extra circuits for an electric oil heater and something else - not sure what (microwave?). He will run conduit and insulate it properly for cold weather.

Phone and TV lines will run through conduit via the original fridge propane outlet so we don't cut new holes in the outer or inner skin.

I will have a small electric dorm fridge and microwave for snacks.

We are still in the beginning stages of how to handle hot water at this time. For the moment I have cold water (well-insulated). If I DON'T use propane while parked, we're looking for alternatives. However, it may be that I WILL use propane, and then its simply a question of connecting it to the existing hot water tank, if it is viable.

In about a year when home construction is completed,we will take the Airstream down to the chassis and reconstuct her properly.

As I had mentioned before, we bought this vehicle for various uses, but the most demanding one at this time is a home for me to spread out and do my work.

So as it stands, the advice from all of you has helped a great deal in determining what we will be doing for the future.

That said, we LOVE the Airstream and are having fun working on it.

THANKS! ~ Merry
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:34 PM   #19
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CO is lighter than air. 12+16=28
O2 16+16=32
N2 14+14=28
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

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Old 10-24-2006, 10:00 PM   #20
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Missouri gets pretty cold in the winter

Are you planning on living in a trailer for a year in Missouri ?????
There is a link somewhere about winter camping. The weak links are where water goes in and where " fluids " come out. They will freeze unless you do some real fancy engineering.
If I was going to winter camp, I would probably
use electric heat. The furnace will deplete your propane in about ten days
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:47 PM   #21
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1966 26' Overlander
Waskom , Texas
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Hi Merry,
I have a 1969 Overlander that was in terrible shape when I purchased it. My camping is at RV camp resorts or parks, so I use full hook ups or at least water and electric all the time. I installed a 10 gallon sears electric water heater and have had no problems. I am currently using a space heater during the brief winters in Texas; but I plan to upgrade my old Armstrong AC and install a heat strip at that time. I also do a lot of my cooking outside to prevent heat buildup.

I still have 30 amp service and have had no problem with it handling the load. I modified my 120 volt electrical distribution box, but everything else is the same. The power into the distribution box originally connected to a 30 amp breaker and supplied power through the breaker backwards. I connected the main power cord to the main lugs that were there and utilized the 30 amp breaker for the air conditioner ( the PO had wired it through glass plug fuses, which was scary). The power sources I plug into all have a 30 amp breaker, so the one in the trailer was redundant.

I have some of the original wall lights, but have installed three mini 12 volt dc flourescent lights( Thin Light brand) in the ceiling. I have small hallogen lights over the sink. I run a few accessaries but no microwave. The 30 amp service is sufficient for this. My trailer is wired with solid copper wiring, including the 12 volt circuits which have # 12 awg wire. I suspect the newer trailers were not wired with this heavy of wire, so that may be something to consider. The electric instant heat devices do not work well in hard water situations. That would be something to consider with them.

God luck with your project and your home!
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:18 AM   #22
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1974 31' Sovereign
Osceola , Missouri
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Yes, I am planning to live through a winter in Missouri in the Airstream. Pa has taken that into consideration and has insulated accordingly. We will be using someone else's idea on skirting the trailer with foam insulation (I forget what its called). Also, I believe Pa is wrapping significant places with heat tape. There is talk between him and my husband about a possible light bulb installed and placed to keep certain intake valves warm.

I will be using electric heat for the winter due to the fact that it is readily available. I am not signed up for propane service out here yet as the house is not complete. I know I could lug propane bottles in to be filled, but nearest town is 18 miles away and I'd rather not if its not necessary.

Yesterday got to about 50 degrees in our area. We used on 1500 watt space heater to keep the Airstream warm while we were working. The temp raised to 70 degrees within about 20 minutes. We had to take off the sweatshirts and work in our T-shirts. Pa adjusted the space heater's thermostat and it kicked off on and on periodically to keep the 'Stream at an even 70 degrees all day. From the time we started temps ranged from 23 degrees up to about 50 degrees all day.

The 'Stream is also parked to catch southeast sunlight. The bedroom especially got warm very quick, despite sporadic clouds.

Progress is being made on making the inside liveable (in other words, as attractive and homey as I can make it!).

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Old 10-25-2006, 06:29 AM   #23
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1974 31' Sovereign
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I didn't understand half of what you are saying, but Pa speaks fluent electric-talk and I will show him your post.

Richard (my husband) came in and was reading over my shoulder and really likes the idea of an electric water heater - he seems to understand electric-talk too, and was quite excited by the post, so it seems that something you've said has given him ideas that will directly benefit me. <grin>

He says our distribution box has been modified too.

All my lights work great, but in the living room at my work table I will have a clamp on OTT light for quilting - quilters like to see true colors.

I think they plan some other lighting modifications, but I am not sure.

I have learned way more about carpentry, electricity and plumbing than I ever planned to learn...its interesting to some extent but when learning all at once, it gets mind-boggling.

Thanks for whatever it was that my husband understood and is planning to implement.

~ Merry
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Old 10-25-2006, 07:20 AM   #24
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Replace Gas water heater with gas/electric

For $200-$350 you could purchase a water heater that is both gas and electric.

IMHO, new gas appliances properly installed, accompanied with CO2 detector, should provide plenty of peace of mind.

I would not use 30 year old original furnace, regardless of bench test. (Suburban manufacturing would be the first to recommend this, even if they weren't selling you a new one.)

The original above counter oven (vent free) in our '72 Overlander always worked well and was in good condition. The one in our Sovereign was trashed immediately and I have a new Suburban with cooktop ready to install when I have the kitchen cabinet ready.

A new Dometic 2-way fridge is your biggest investment ($1000-$1200) but gives you versatility down the road. It may not be worth the investment right now as a 110v fridge at Lowe's can probably be had for $300-$400 (haven't priced them so I'm not sure)

Having replaced all major appliances in the Overlander (except oven), I can say it was worth it for the peace of mind as well as operation. (I never missed the rusty gaskets, etc. in the orig fridge and the light in the new one makes me feel like I'm at home.)
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:25 PM   #25
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1974 31' Sovereign
Osceola , Missouri
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I am not sure the furnace is that old. It IS a Suburban, but other electrical things have been replaced - the power box? The water pump and some kind of fan thing - all are fairly new, two even still have price tags on 'em.

However, I will not use until it passes Pa's inspection. Pa has lots of experience and certificates with most working engines - gas and electric and will determine if all is well.

Pa spent nearly a week just making the permanent RV parking area permanent. All lines are underground (and in conduit if necessary). All that needs insulation has it. He told or showed my husband how to fix what needed doing as far as work that didn't need knowledge, but good skills ( in other words, the drudge work! LOL).

The floor is now repaired, painted with Kilzand 1/4 plywood has been placed on top of it for added strength. The walls were painted with Kilz, then painted again with the color of my choice, a pale sand that nearly matches the original vinyl-clad aluminum. The NEW toilet is now functioning and I have water at the bathroom sink. Kitchen was gutted, so no water there for now.

Next up - installing the tongue and groove wood flooring - an experiment to see how well it holds up for the next year with 2 dogs and me walking across it daily - if it fares well, we will put it in the new house being built.

Phone, internet and TV lines and cables go in tomorrow. We are routing them through the former gas fridge propane line as it has an already drilled hole to the outside skin.

I'll keep posting as we go...

~ Merry
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:22 PM   #26
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I have gone all electric in what may be the really cheap way. I got the new LP/Electric water heater, little apartment frig. (still have the original one that works on both LP/electric quite well), microwave and electric space heaters. We have electric hook-up down on the lake; however, I still can boondock if necessary, and my Argosy would have better resale because of the LP capabilities. It has worked out very well for us.

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