Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-17-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 77
How well insulated are Airstreams?

My DW and I are thinking we might want to full-time in newer 30' Classic. We would tow with a newer 3/4 ton diesel truck with a cap on the back.

How hot do airstream trailers get in the summer when sitting in the sun and how cold when a cold spell sinks temps into the mid teens in N. Florida?

tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 06:15 PM   #2
bilby05's Avatar
1962 24' Tradewind
1962 24' Tradewind
Canyon , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 264
Our 1969 Sovereign gets hot fast in the summer and cold fast in the winter. For summer we added reflective film on the windows, and look for shady places to park. In the winter...well in the winter we don't go to cold places, but even in the not so cold wx in the winter it gets pretty chilly in there. I hear that there are some models of AS that are all season so maybe someone else will be able to help on the subject. I am still considering beefing up the insulation somehow, but have gotten side-tracked on our 62 Tradewind. I will be exploring different insulation systems on it, since it is pretty well stripped down and could be insulated better as I go. Good luck.
bill b.

1962 Airstream Tradewind
2001 Ford 7.3 Diesel
bilby05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #3
Rivet Master

1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,787
Blog Entries: 13
I take my 1986 Sovereign to Yellowstone every summer and we see the teens in May and June and the 80's in late July. Between the furnace and a ceramic space heater, it is not hard to keep it warm.

Cooling it in Yellowstone is no problem. But, going and coming we often see 90's and you have to pretty much run the a/c full time starting in the morning to stay ahead of the game.

Rolled into Las Vegas one day and it was 115. You could actually hear the a/c whimper...

n2916s is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
Rivet Master
AIR-Quarius's Avatar
1970 27' Overlander
Espanola , Full Timer
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,752
Images: 39
Send a message via Yahoo to AIR-Quarius Send a message via Skype™ to AIR-Quarius
In direct sun light in the summer you can almost make beef jerky inside...even with the AC going full tilt. A little better in the shade of a tree until the birds start pooping on your roof. Believe me I know...When we got too hot - or knew it was going to happen - we just planned going some where like a pool to pass the afternoon.
In the winter the sun works for you to help keep it warm inside along with a small ceramic heater. But you want to be sure to under pin the AS with a suitable wrap to keep the cold wind from blowing under. When and if you ever get to full time as we do, you will be adjusting all along the way. The built in furnace tends to use a lot of propane. So, to counter that we use a MR. HEATER device attached to a seven gallon propane tank. And this is ONLY used when it is FRIGID COLD. Lot of people are scared of them but we are not, and have used it for several years now with no problems...just make sure there is some air coming in. The little electric heater will dry out the air pretty good - so your not going to like that part. But you can take a garden mister/sprayer and moisten the air to remedie that.
AIR-Quarius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 07:20 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
deauxrite's Avatar
2007 27' Safari FB SE
Full Timers just passing through , Arizona for a couple of weeks and then on to Utah!
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 325
They get hot in the summer. They get cold in the winter. Condensation is a big problem in the winter. Don't let that stop you. We have been full time in ours for several years. You just find ways to work around the issues and get used to it.
Living life on the Road
deauxrite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 09:55 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
elolson's Avatar
2000 34' Excella
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 375
Insulation is mediocre at best. But if you are full timing, head south in the winter and North in the summer is what most of the snow birds out in Yuma do. we camped at 10 degrees and the heat pretty much runs all the time. In hot summer sun in sw, it is pretty much miserable with 1 ac on the big units. A couple guys here in the forums put 2 acs and they say they can hang meat in the summer, so I guess that climate can be fixed. A full hookup and electric heaters will take care of the other one.

At the end of the day, travel trailers are not gonna be even close to a well built house for insulation, so just go with it, it will work out.

elolson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
Rivet Master
mefly2's Avatar
2015 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Western , ** Big Sky Country ** Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,340
..ours does well in below freezing temps in MT ... but watch out for water vapor condensation inside.
mefly2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Alphonse's Avatar

2010 28' Flying Cloud
Lower Alabama , USA
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 652
confirming responses above - not insulated well at all but we are all ok with it.
"If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you never tried before!"

Air #64439
Southeastern Camping Unit WBCCI #5033
2018 Canopenian
Alphonse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 11:51 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
Wild-Air's Avatar
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Minden , Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 55
Blog Entries: 1
Ditto to all entries above.

I'm living in northern NV where the temps are presently 19* and have averaged 21* since January 1st.

Picture living inside a large walk-in freezer that's filled with warm air. The walls are always very cold and using foil-backed bubble wrap to insulate the windows helps. I use the bubble wrap around the head of the bed which helps keep the cold from pouring over my head. If I lived in Vegas it wouldn't be an issue, but my work is here and so is Tahoe and the Sierra... I love northern Nevada.

Airstreams have horrid out-dated insulation which is installed at the factory so they can claim they are insulated. It seems AS is not interested in doing it right or well.

The heater works properly but sucks LP, the tanks are not frozen, but the drain valves are frozen. Condensation freezes on the inside of the windows and walls when the heater is at 55* and it's single digits outside. I use a small ceramic heater to augment the furnace back in the bedroom.

Hope that helps!
Wild-Air is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2013, 07:08 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
Columbus , Ohio
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 77
Are any AS models insulated better than others - like, is an Eddie Baur edition better insulated than say a Bambi. Or is a Classic insulated better than an International?

Or are they all the same as far as insulating value. My DW hates to be cold.

I do plan to chase the sun but even then there will be that times we get caught in 10 to 15 degree weather.
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2013, 07:53 AM   #11
Rivet Master
A W Warn's Avatar
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,860
We part time for 3 to 4 months in mid FL each winter. We had three 30' trailers before we got the 25' trailer we have now. We have been been able to stay comfortable most of the time.

It was 44 here this morning and I have been comfortable setting here wearing my jamies. The furnace and electic heater are both cycling on and off. The lowest temp we have had is mid 20's while we have been here. The outer perimeter along the trailer walls and the floor are pretty chilly when it is that cold outside, but the furnace makes it mostly comfortable inside. Our bed in the 25' trailer is against the outer wall on two sides so that gets cool. The 30' trailer with the queen bed was more comfortable. In either trailer we supplement with a small electric heater when it's below 50+/-. Doing this, we usually burn one 30# tank of propane per month trying to maintain 70 degrees inside the trailer, also heating water and cooking. We could heat totally with the ceramic electric heater but the furnace provides more even heat throughout, which is more comfortable. We have no problem with condensation since we open windows in the afternoon when it warms up and we hang towels outside after bathing. We use the roof vent when we shower regardless of outside temperature until the shower is dry.

We have also been here when it's hot in the summer. The AC will cool the trailer ok if it is working properly. It's just louder than I would like.
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2013, 08:03 AM   #12
4 Rivet Member
2012 30' Classic
Homosassa , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 485
We had a 25' FC with one ac and it got hot not warm in Daytona during July. Camped in north Carolina in Jan and no complaints about heating. Just traded for a 30' classic with two acs so hopefully they will hang meat this July in Daytona. Window sweating is something to stay on top of so it doesn't run down and stain the walls.
Tater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2013, 08:17 AM   #13
Rivet Master
Silver Otter's Avatar

2011 31' Classic
Nellysford , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,035
Images: 8
Blog Entries: 1
Go for it, tuffr2, and have a great time! As many have said, bubble-type window inserts for the hottest summer, deploy your awnings to reduce sun penetration. A small portable heater (we use electric oil-filled radiator) keeps the chill off at night without running the furnace. When it gets down to 20 or less, run the furnace to keep the pipes open. Operate on internal water when cold, fill up when warmer. Try Topsail Hill Preserve State Park near Santa Rosa Beach, FL, for a wonderful Panhandle experience. Visit Highland Haven in Virginia for summer relief. Go see what's happening in Texas. This is the life. It has wheels, so roll it.
Linda Heuer. President Shen. Valley Unit
Greg Heuer, 2nd VP Shen. Valley Unit
2011 31' Classic Ltd. - The Silver Otter III
2013 GMC Denali 2500HD 6.6 DuraMax - Sierra Blanca
TAC VA-18 | WBAC 1927 - Shen. Valley Unit 149 | AIR 53869
with Corey, the Norwegian Forest Cat
Silver Otter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2013, 11:07 AM   #14
bilby05's Avatar
1962 24' Tradewind
1962 24' Tradewind
Canyon , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 264
Since this is covering a lot of ground on insulation I have a couple of additional questions. I have a 62 Tradewind that I have mostly gutted. Fixing floors, patching holes. And fixing leaks. Before I put it all back together I want to upgrade the insulation. I plan to use a layer of the silver bubble stuff, a layer of the pink or blue sheets of foam and inter spacing of air spaces. What would be the best order of layering? I plan to put up some furring strips (to make a layer if air space )apply the bubble wrap silver and the sheet foam all on top of the original inner wall surface and probably a layer of luan plywood to protect the surface. I know it will take up a couple of inches in width and length. But that would be ok to get a more even temperature range. Of course a different approach will be needed for the upper walls and ceiling. Any ideas about what should be next to the wall and what should be the top layer.thanks, bill b.

1962 Airstream Tradewind
2001 Ford 7.3 Diesel
bilby05 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Commercial Airstreams? Roadrunner Airstream "In the News" 1 12-20-2011 07:26 AM
Where have all the Airstreams Gone? joe hall On The Road... 79 12-11-2011 06:10 PM
Question regarding cold/waste water tanks on Argosy's and similar vintage Airstreams. Rick F General Motorhome Topics 5 09-13-2011 06:37 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.