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Old 01-03-2006, 07:49 PM   #29
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There are a number of members who happily use winterized trailers, using none of the onboard water amenities.

Winter traveling with water could be playing with fire in all except the most extreme southern border areas -- you will get bit eventually. Be vigilant about forecasts and conditions.

For plumbers or millionaires only: With your furnace feeding hot air to the ducts, you have some chance of routing warm air to tanks, etc. Keep cabinet doors and tambour open so the heat has a chance of circulating around the floor where the water pipes are located.

Space heaters of all types do not take advantage of this installed ducting. If you use them for personal comfort in freezing weather, do so only if you're travelling with a winterized trailer -- no water in the pipes or tanks. The obvious exception is if it is truly actually above freezing and likely to remain so.


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Old 01-04-2006, 10:48 AM   #30
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"Winter traveling with water could be playing with fire in all except the most extreme southern border areas -- you will get bit eventually. Be vigilant about forecasts and conditions."

How very true this is. I thought we were seasoned winter travelers and veterans of many freezing nights thus would not experience a pipe freeze. Wrong. My son and I were out for five days and the temps dropped down to the single digits. We would have been OK but I had forgotten to drain the hose for the sink sprayer and it cracked. Such a silly thing and we did not even need it I could have dis-connected it when I winterized in the fall but I forgot. This caused a leak which flooded the floor and froze around the furnace being the only place for the water to exit. We continued our trip without water and used an electric space heater until we got things thawed out. I fixed the hose and learned my lesson. In the winter there is no forgiveness.

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Old 02-27-2006, 01:29 PM   #31
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We lived an entire year in our 1973 31 foot International. Talk about cold! We had come from Seattle, where things rarely freeze, to the Colorado mountains, Woodland Park, to be exact. Water pipes constantly freezing, sewer out drain constantly freezing, and outgoing water freezing. The park where we were stuck at had no facilities, either, so we just had to wait for things to thaw, or my poor hubbie had to try to snake everything and clear the blockage. I tried putting pieces of insulation board around the bottom, piling snow, but nothing kept it warm enough not to freeze. We did wrap our water hose from the outside spigot with heat tape, so that never froze. Thank God we are no longer living in that trailer!
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:43 PM   #32
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don't know where woodland park is. Pagosa is in the four corners region. I think they have had a very mild winter. Too mild in fact. Not enough snow. The coldest weather was definately before we left in dec. Next summer we have a house to live in but we are taking the trailer to use as guest quarters. My hubby wants to head back right now , i think i want to wait til middle of may. Colorado is beautiful and I really love those cool to cold summer nights. Frost on the windshields on July 4th is amazing. Personally I would prefer to just stay in the airstream. But it looks like the house will be it. Maybe we can flip it.

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Old 02-27-2006, 09:16 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by jordandvm
When you're traveling down the highway and it's freezing or you keep your propane heater going inside the AS to prevent the water/grey/black tanks from freezing?

I find the real problem is the fridge. If the trailer is cold, everything in the fridge freezes. The water system is no problem--I blow the pipes out with a small air compressor (you really have to be careful with the toilet valve, since there is water trapped above it in the distribution tubes up to the rim) and just use bottled water. But the fridge is a continuing problem. You can be driving along in 40 degree temps and climb a pass and you're in the teens for a few hours. In an emergency like that I turn on the oven to 250 degrees and it keeps the inside in the high 40s. I realize it's not designed for this and SAFETY issues raise their heads, but I think the oven is about the safest of all the heat producing devices in the trailer, especially when I'm not in it (CO) and when it's set at a low temperature. Not that I have a bushel of data, but it has worked as intended for 3 bad days in the mountains. OK, not bad, just cold. No problem once you're back in the trailer cooking, living, sleeping.

If the black/gray tanks are only partially full, the sloshing action will create ice that tends to be brittle/foamy and won't push out the tanks. Pain in the butt to melt until you're into areas where the temps are above freezing all night, but usually won't break the tanks. I worry more about the traps--they will definitely break if you don't pour a little anti-freeze down the drains.
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:13 AM   #34
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Okay, this is my first post so I hope it is going to the right place. I have logged in to this site because I am looking into buying my first airstream. The one I have located is a 1975 sovereign and seems to be in good condition. I have always wanted a trailer like this one but no little about them. Because it is such a big purchase I was hoping to be able to get a little advice from those of you who already own them.

Some questions I have are:

How do I know if I'm getting a good deal?

How do airstreams fair in cold weather?

What should I check to make sure things are in good shape?

What are some things that you wish you would have known?

If this reaches anyone who can help me please email me at

thank you for your help

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Old 03-23-2006, 06:32 AM   #35
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We went winter camping for the first time this year but didn't use the water system as we didn't want to deal with the freeze factor. We were parked at a campground with full hook-ups but we only used the electrical hook-up. Our campsite was located right next to the heated bathroom so not having use of the A/S bathroom wasn't an issue. For food, I planned ahead and pre-made everything at home and stored it in plastic ware so we didn't have to deal with washing dishes.

What amazed me during this camping trip was all the spots in my Airstream that leaked cold air -- cabinets, refrigerator, bathroom, etc.! I tried to plug as many spots as I could with towels and blankets, but the cold air still seeped in. Needless to say, the furnace ran almost non-stop the entire weekend just to keep the inside of the trailer at 60 degrees.

One other problem we experienced was with condensation -- most likely from two people and one dog breathing inside the trailer. Even with a window cracked slightly, the water was running down the inside of the windows. I realize this is a side-effect of single pane windows but wish I knew of some tips to reduce it from happening. Any ideas?
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:47 AM   #36
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Thumbs up Damp Rid

Hello... Go to Walmart and look for Damp rid... it works great for condensation... can be hung in the closets or put in a container in a tablet form and works great by the front windows.. had issues with the Argosy and it sure helped with the condensation... Will not leave the trailer without one in it.. Annie
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:54 AM   #37
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as a fulltimer, here's a couple winter tips.

1. Mattress heating pad. This is like an electric blanket that fits on top of the mattress and under the linen. Turn it on an hour before bed, set the temperature to high, and crawl into a toasty bed, then reset the temp to what you like for sleeping. Also insulate the bottom of the mattress with Mylar-bubble wrap insulation, this can be found at Home Depot, and insulates the mattress from the cold truck, and be sure to run a layer along the side bordering the wall. Alternatives for under the mattress include foam wall insulation, or closed cell sleeping bag pads (this will take 2 probably) Cover the entire surface, mattress goes on top.

2. Don't over do it trying to seal the windows, but I do use the heat-shrink thermal weather proofing on all but three windows, particularly the back window near the bed.

3. For the overhead vent in the bedroom. I made a "plug" of three layers of insulation that looks like bubble wrap covered with Mylar. I bought it at Home Depot. I use it only in the bedroom overhead vent. But I use it on the forward skylight in the summer to knock down the amount of sunlight, so I can see the TV

4. Check the weatherproofing foam seal of the door.

5. Oil heater is great in the bedroom, where a regular auxiliary electric heater would be dangerous if the blankets slip off the bed and get too close to the heater.

6. Vent your trailer everyday when showering, and Damprid is great, I use 3 in the closet, and under the shower area. And one under the sink (the microwave vents back there !) I put them in before winter and change them out midwinter.

7. Heat tape, and foam pipe insulation on the outside water line will save you from a freeze-up. But remove the small panel (on you trailer) where your city water connects to the faucet. My Airstream did not have any insulation there. I added the foam pipe insulation and a bunch of fiberglass batt, then closed the panel back up. All the outside opening panels got some as well, and the trunk. ALOT in the trunk!. There's plenty of places on the inside to add it as well. Inside the dinette seats near the wall. Secure with a little duct tape.

8. I run one small (1500 watt) electric heater in the front. I run a HEAVY DUTY (2000 watt) extension cord from the 110 volt plug on the outside utility post. (not running thru the on-board electrical system, if I run 2 electric heaters, my circuit breaker trips) Find an extension cord with the highest rating you can find (seriously!!! this causes more RV fires than anything!) A rating at least as high as the heater, preferably higher.

9. If you full time, (or just have a propensity to get cold) indulge in a auxiliary catalytic propane heater. Mine had a "The Cat" installed when I bought it. It's safe and provides incredible radiant heat. I have a back injury and I frequently sit in front of "The Cat" with my back toward it. IT'S WONDERFUL !

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Old 03-23-2006, 10:02 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by infinite LUX
as a fulltimer, here's a couple winter tips.

...Also insulate the bottom of the mattress with Mylar-bubble wrap insulation, this can be found at Home Depot, and insulates the mattress from the cold truck, and be sure to run a layer along the side bordering the wall. ...
So, I guess the saying is, "If this trailer is a poppin, don't come knocking?!"

Sorry...I just couldn't resist! I crack myself up at times!
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:16 AM   #39
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You just cracked me up!!! What a great way to start the day...

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