Well we have been going to start this for a while now but am just getting around to it! We moved into Sylvia in September and are loving it! She is a 1983 34ft Limited. She is mostly original and quite a site.
I have rented out my house so no chance of going back to it for a while! haha So we are spending the winter and maybe a year or so living in Sylvia while we work and play in the Colorado winter.
We are quite used to the weather as we are both avid winter sports people. We play on snowmobiles (you Ak people call them snow machines for some reason ), ski, board, and everything fun in the snow!
We have a blog on wordpress called American Stream if you would like to follow it. I will do my best to make sure all of the information from there makes it onto here including pictures!
1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Join Date: Oct 2005
Once you gain a little cold weather experience, we would all appreciate a thread titled something like "surviving a cold winter," or something like that. It would be interesting to see your discoveries and techniques.
It's easy to head out for a week or two using jugs of water, but full-timing in below-freezing weather is a horse of a different color. As someone said in another thread "full-timing, not in camp," Airstreams are really 3-season RVs.
Well we spent most of the day yesterday working on Sylvia! It was a beautiful 75 degree day and we enjoyed the work.
I was hoping our new rubber seals would be in but they didn’t make it. Hopefully we will get them on Monday! Instead there was another project that had been looming over our heads. Vulkem! We have one window that leaks in big rain storms and by the looks of the Vulkem on most of the windows I am surprised we don’t have more that leak. I had ordered 6 tubes a few weeks ago but the weather and time haven’t allowed us to work on it. Finally the stars aligned this weekend and we were able to get some done! It took a large part of the day but we managed to strip the front curbside window, door, and one dinette window and re-sealed them. Going to be a few more work days to get them all done on a trailer with this many windows but it was a good start.
We settled on a dremel with a soft wire wheel. We had a few ideas about using a drill with a wire wheel, or other implements but I just thought the soft wheel of the dremel with its small size would get in there and get the old stuff out best. Here is what it looked like before!
It was pretty bad! Well the wire wheel followed by some citristrip to clean up the gunk and then mineral spirits to clean everything off. Worked like a charm! Took some time but it cleaned up nicely. Also used a air hose to blow out the last of the gunk and any moisture that was left in the cracks.
We felt it turned out pretty darn good for our first experience with Vulkem. It is an interesting product and much different to work with than most of those types of products we have used in the past!
We also went and picked up some screen material yesterday for two of our windows. One was missing the screen and the other was messed up by the PO dog or something. We will get those in today. I also learned how to adjust the window closers. I had been wondering but hadn’t taken the time to figure it out. Now when we replace the rubber seals we will be able to adjust them all so they close nice and tight!
Well more projects today!
Ok so took the day off from new Vulkem on windows. It was quite a project yesterday. Today was a little more relaxed. First thing this morning we tackled a few screen issues we have been having. The bedroom screen was torn from the PO so we replaced it. The kitchen did not have one and we needed to replace the screen door. Here are some photos of the process. Super easy considering what someone would charge you to do this!
Later we filled the water tank and did the bleach solution. We let that sit for 4 hours then ran the solution through all the sinks and shower until the tank was empty. As some of you know that does not mean it is empty. I crawled under the house and took out the plug on the bottom of the water tank. Not the most fun thing I have done since it basically drains into your face when doing this on a triple axel trailer. You can not reach it between the wheels. After it was empty a little tape and plug went back in with no leaks. Filled up the tank and flushed some water through the lines. The water tastes better than it ever has! Success!!
Looks like good sealing! It's harder than it looks not to have it look like a goopy mess! We've got some of that to do, too. Our traylah is in excellent shape, but I noticed some dried out, cracked vulkem that needs attention.
It pays off. Our other trailer had almost none. Hubby spent days putting vulkem on every seam, window, etc., he could find. She has NO leaks. There's a few places we didn't do the neatest job, and I hope we do better now that we have a little experience, but the object was to stop any leaking and we accomplished that nicely.
I've noticed the worst thing about sleeping in an Airstream when it's cold outside is being next to the wall. A rolled up blanket against it, even over the mouse fur, has solved the problem for me so far. But the worst we've had so far was only down to the 30s in Glacier NP and up around Yellowstone. I know you face a lot worse this winter in Colorado!
Thanks LawChick! It was labor intensive for sure! Looking forward to the rest of it when weather permits. Getting close to not being able to do much more. We got the most important parts done so far.
Yeah we have already faced below 30s, and regular 30-40s at night. Highs on Thursday and Friday are mid 30's! Might get some snow to!
Need to realign the door. Noticed the other day it is not shutting right. Can't remember where I saw the process to do that. Anyone remember?