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Old 03-02-2016, 08:39 AM   #1
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Renovate With Winter Package...!

Hello All!
After about 6 months of research, I'm ready to purchase and renovate my future vintage 28-30ft. Airstream. I found a business close by that renovates these beautiful silver bullets and hopefully be in use by September/October.
I'm going to use it in Colorado for a whole year, while renovating a home. I'm going to first build a trailer pad with hookups and water.
My question is... When dealing with cold temps. (10-40 degrees avg.) in winter, are there materials that need to be installed that will help my Airstream become better insulated? For example,... specific winter insulation or more of it, insulating all the pipes and water supplies or buy a heater for them, better insulated windows, heavy duty heaters, installing heated floors on common walking path, outdoor skirt for trailer, lined curtains.
These are the things that I've come up with to ask the renovating team and if there is a winter package that's common with renovations.
Thank you.

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Old 03-02-2016, 08:53 AM   #2
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You have all of the right questions. But your answers regarding renovations will depend upon your future use of the trailer once the house is done. Do you plan to keep it as a travel trailer or keep it onsite as a guest room? This use might dictate the modifications needed to make it a 4 season trailer.

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Old 03-02-2016, 09:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for reply!
I'm actually going to use it for both, at least that's the plan. I plan to build a 1200sq ft. guest house with the trailer pad right next to it. Guest house will have bedroom, full bath, and kitchen with a nice view to outdoors in living area.
We will take it out 1-3 times a year for adventures.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:04 AM   #4
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You have researched for six months.

So I wouldn't want to second guess you, or tell you stuff you already know.

I am wondering if you just researched for one plan of action. There are others.

You didn't go into how extensive the house renovations are. Did you consider, side stepping Winter a bit, and/or making a temporary kitchen/ bathroom, and living in a few rooms, during renovation ?

If you go ahead as planned with the winter living in a trailer, I would suggest a dehumidifier. No matter how dry the winter can be, it wil get very damp in the trailer
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:08 AM   #5
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Build a heated pole barn first. Keeping your trailer "wet" in 10 degrees is not going to be fun.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:26 PM   #6
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DanB has it. Build a pole barn to accommodate the Airstream with room to spare. Skip the concrete pad for now to offset the barn cost if needed. Use a single overhead door entry and a standard side door while using typical code required ventilation for the pole barn. The insulation of the barn along with normal use of the Airstream furnace ought to heat the barn area sufficiently in winter to avoid a lot of the moisture issues associated with extreme outside temps. If you have natural gas onsite or can get it would be much more efficient to heat the pole barn in its entirety with a Ngas furnace and use the Airstream furnace as need for interior comfort on the coldest of days.
On the other hand, many have wintered in Airstreams without much modifications and have done so successfully, albeit with some discomfort in on or more areas. Good luck and Rivet on!
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:03 PM   #7
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Good point about humidifier. I've thought about living in renovated home some how, but it still finds its way to sleeping areas. My son has bad allergies too.
"Pole Barn"... I'm going to research that right now. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:05 PM   #8
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I'm going to research the heated pole barn. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:17 PM   #9
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Renovate With Winter Package!

Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:04 PM   #10
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Winter living in 25 ft Airstream

I have been living in 25 ft airstream all winter since december in northeast Ohio. Its been down to -7 and usually in the mid twenties at night. Your airstream will serve you well. I did prepare for cold weather although. I researched and found a book on amazon about cold weather RVing, it has been done even up into Canada and Maine.
I do have a skirt, it is vital, I also made a box under the trailer out of the insulated foam sheets and placed heat lights under the trailer with a thermocube. I have a good heated water hose and put pipe insulation around that. I did build a box with a lightbulb in it at the water tap to keep it from freezing at the tap. I placed the quarter inch insulation from the building supply that is foam and foil on the other side over the windows in the bedroom and living area. I used the screens as a template and then put the insulation behind the screen and replaced the screen to hold it on. I left a couple of the porthole windows with the shrink wrap window kits to let light in and the sky lights. I keep a oil filled electric heater for nights and it has really cut down on propane use. A must is a dehumidifier, I ordered this off of amazon also and it works well. Always use the fans in the shower and when cooking to keep moisture down. I have never frozen up and it has been a great experience this winter! Its all about preparation.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:53 PM   #11
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Having lived in my Airstream through cold winters, I would highly recommend a heated barn as the first step! Wood stoves are great for this! Moving to where water doesn't freeze without help from machinery is even better.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:15 PM   #12
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Hi, there are experts who have already weighed in but I shall offer my two cents since we are in our third wintering over. Two winters in Alabama where we had to run water all night many times and only had to go outside in the cold and dark to use the hairdryer to thaw the pipes once. Then we have spent this winter in Myrtle Beach and have only had to trickle water only a few times. Re: allergies. The place where I breathe the best is in Myrtle Beach. Salt air gets it. Ok, here are some inside things we did to keep warm. We put in new curtains and I lined them with thermal curtains. Then you can buy rolls of insulation at the big Box stores which I cut oversize to fit in front of the most of our windows. We installed grommets in the corners and hung these in front of the windows. During the day when it is sunny I take them down. We also put two and three rugs on the floor throughout. We also have a custom cabinet with a built in electric fireplace. It is pretty and when we need it because it very cold, it helps warm us up quickly. In the bedroom we put big pieces of that same insulation between the mattress and the outer wall. That also keeps us warm at night. We also purchased a real down comforter and duvet which has kept us warm at night without any other blankets. In the past, we have used flannel sheets. That also helps. I also cut pieces of insulation and hung them with Velcro tabs over the Fantastic fans. This slows heat loss. And I like this better than the two inch foam you can buy for this purpose. When I want light, I just pull down two corners. We also have a piece of the insulation we use in the door in front of the upper screen. It slows heat loss in the winter and gives privacy AND when the sun is streaming in, it permits ventilation as well as keeps heat out. The insulation (which looks like the car windshield panels) but comes in 2', 3' and 4' rolls is very useful stuff. Oh, I almost forgot: we painted our roof white because we are at the beach. You might want to paint it black to absorb heat. Just a thought. People have been using light or dark roofs on houses forever. And you might consider solar panels. We have one which keeps our batteries charged which runs our installed lights. And park in the sun not in a shady spot in winter. Ok, enough already. I love camping in winter. We are "older" and we have done it successfully. And we just got a dehumidifier. Recommend that.

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