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Old 12-14-2011, 01:53 PM   #15
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Here is a picture from the Navigator website of a stove "supposedly" in a renovated Airstream.


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Old 12-14-2011, 07:36 PM   #16
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Cool pic - that really takes a lot less real estate than what I envisioned.

One thought, though. If/when you install the vent pipe you will need to install it in such a way as you will have access to it - for cleaning purposes (brush out the creosote).
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:26 PM   #17
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Here's a very handy tool to have.Search - flush king - Camping World I definitely can recommend it. I understand that due to the very low temps there for days at a time it can be a real problem to dump your black tank and might be an issue using the Flush King with hard freezing temps, but it does work. The other ideas are great too: Using Rid-X or similar product, No bleach or tank additive that would kill the bacteria, using lots of water and just before dumping, pour some hot water down the toilet.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:53 PM   #18
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The idea of putting the Airstream inside a hoop greenhouse scares the he-- out of me.

Wood heat, cold, storm with high wind, heavy snow, freezing rain are some of the threats to this shelter that could result in dangerous conditions inside. Is there enough oxygen available? Could carbon monoxide be trapped inside during the night? Could it collapse becoming a trap?

There isn't a building inspector in the country that would allow this, for many reasons. It is a dangerous contraption.

I think you should get rid of the greenhouse. If the Airstream is then not livable, you should find a safer place to live.

Am I the only one sensing the danger of this?

doug k
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:31 AM   #19
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Assuming that the heating appliances are vented outside the greenhouse, I would ask what the history is of greenhouses, of the type being used, of collapsing. This is definately a different way of making an Airstream a 4 season trailer, but I would not kill the idea unless I could think of a known safety hazard based on experiance. Now that I have made that statement one of my favorite sayings is "new solutions have new problems". Now is there a new problem that makes this solution a no go situation?

In an earlier post I recommended wrapping the airstream in a blanket of fiberglass insulation. I recently just used some insulation that I bought at Lowes (R13- 3.5" thick). In the past this insulation had Kraft paper on one side and it was unfaced on the other side. The insulation I bought recently was completely encapsolated in a plastic sleeve. This would make it better for "wrapping" the Airstream as the insulation would not get wet as easily as before.

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:17 PM   #20
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Is the hooped greenhouse open on the ends. Relatively speaking this type of building is stronger than one might think when it comes to snow load. Unlike stick built structures, especially those with lower pitched roofs 6/12 or less the hoop building will tend to shed the snow. As it builds up along the sides, the snow actually reinforces the structure. Now this is based on the hooped building being of the quonset hut style.
You see structures of all types in the southern states erected to protect the trailer from the elements and most are inhabited. As long as you have good ventilation around the trailer, I say "Go for it".
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:21 PM   #21
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The original post reads an enclosed greenhouse, to me. If so it is a death trap.

If the ends are completely open and somehow collapses enclosing the trailer during the night, it is still a death trap.

This is such a risk that it should not be attempted. The concept is so dangerous (snow load, freezing rain, wind, smoke, carbon monoxide, isn't that enough, and the difficulty of escaping when the plastic tent is held down by snow) that no amount of warning devices can make it safe.

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Old 12-16-2011, 09:42 PM   #22
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Doug, I have to agree with your thoughts... just sounds a lot more dangerous than I'd like to try.

I grew up in New Hampshire and there's no way that I'd want to live in my Airstream in the dead of winter up there. Not sure I'd want to live in it in the January of North Texas for that matter.

I hope the OP has good luck and things work out because it appears that this is their ONLY place to live, but all the efforts make it seem like one of those things that if you have to try this hard to make it work then you have to question how good an idea it was in the first place.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:17 AM   #23
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As fulltimers, we (in the winter) stay away from any form of water hook ups. I do not want to have to deal with a busted pipe or even worry about water freezing. We have been using a five gallon bucket with a toilet attachment that you can find at some of those home health supply places (fits right on top and has a lid.
The other water? We have always had five gallon water jugs because the water here in this town is contaminated. For hot water we are always running water through the coffee maker and are able to clean with it. For showers we go to some place else.
I think the biggest worry about the Airstream is the maintenance of water.
When the bucket is about halfway full, we go to a remote RV dumping area. We do not 'stand and pee' into the bucket as this does stir up the oder...and we all know the more you stir ____-the worse it stinks. So we go in a one gallon hand held plastic container (has a handle) -with some deodorizer in the bottom. The five gallon water supply always sits gently on top of the original toilet (lid closed of course)
Thats my story and we're sticken to it.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:46 AM   #24
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Hello everyone! The greenhouse has plenty of windows and doors and a lot a ventilation. We are venting the furnace and such outside. This might not work but we really need it to so we will keep everyone posted as winter unfolds. We have a farm property and our high tunnel style greenhouses hold snow each year and we have to go and use a broom to clear the roof and shovel out the sides where the snow falls off the sides. It has to be done sometimes at night if the storm is big enough or the plastic sheeting will sag or rip.
I am most concerned about pipes freezing and the woodstove venting. It really needs to be right. Although, we have seen others use large cast iron stove in the greenhouse themselves to keep crops warm and safe so that is promising. The greenhouse works as a wind buffer and we are using way less propane because of it. I think the back up plan is to hitch up and head somewhere warm if things don't work out. The problem with that plan is paying a rental fee for a space is beyond our means so we will have to try really hard to make this work.
I'll try and get some pictures up at some point here. Thanks for all the ideas and safety concerns. It is good to know we are not alone as we muddle though.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:00 AM   #25
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I would love to have one of those green house covers...listen. you are not muddleing...you are surviving...thriving. Here's a story.
A scientist was testing bacteria in a culture. He gave it everything it needed and it died off. So he tried again, but this time he deprived it of everything...and it perished!. But on the third try- he gave it a little and took away a little and continued this until the bacteria began to thrive and live. This ebb and flow that we are living in is causing us to do the same. You all will be all the wiser for your doings.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:18 AM   #26
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I'm sure you've already picked up some super down sleeping bags or several wool blankets? I have no technical knowledge to add to this thread, just best wishes for a good season and be sure to journal your adventure here on the Forums!
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:49 AM   #27
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Foxbrook - "muddle through" I think not. You're doing what you can it sounds like to make as good a situation as possible for you and your family. You're living and dreaming and making it happen. Ask away, we will give what information and advice we can to help. A different view may be just what helps the most sometimes. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:00 PM   #28
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Happy New Year Everyone,

Thought I might update people now that the weather has turned colder. It was 5 degrees outside last night. Our woodstive has not come yet but the furnace worksvery well. The airstream was a toasty 70 until bedtime when we turn the furnace fairly low. I sleep better cooler. During the day, it has been mostly overcast, the greenhouse is a solid 10-15 degrees warmer then the outside temperature. Something interesting that I have noticed is that there is condensation on the inside of the greenhouse and none inside the airstream. From what I have read it can be common to have a drippy interior after showers and such. I wonder if the greenhouse is preventing this. Thoughts?

My wife was really happy that the tank has been dumped without incident thanks to all your advice. Pipes are good and warm and well above freezing. Having no wind really helps in this regard. I have placed a thermostat sensor next to the hookups so I can monitor that temperature from inside the airstream.

The holidays have passed and we got some food and other gifts from people to help us be more comfy as winter progresses. We are excited about some tiny throw rugs and an electric blanket. The blanket isn't something we will likely need unless it is brutally cold outside. We worry aboutbthe fire hazard. It seems like we have enough of those already. Lol! The roller shades we installed really keep the chill from the glass to a minimum.

Hoping everyone is having a great start to the New Year!
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