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Old 11-27-2011, 08:48 PM   #15
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Braver

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We book a ski trip every year. We just booked a trip for our anniversary and New Years in Red River, New Mexico. We kicked the idea around HARD about taking the Airstream along for the ride. But after reviewing some of the past post about cold weather and the Airstream we decided we better not. Lots of people claim that an Airsteam is only a 3 season RV.
We might be brave one day and give it a shot....then again I like being warm.
I originally made this post awhile back. Well Ive gotten brave since making that statement and we are taking our AS with us. I wanna see how it does in cold temps. We have a condo for backup so this seems like the perfect time to see how it does.
To be continued ....
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:24 PM   #16
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Another questions for winter camping ( which I would like to do but have not tried yet):

I read that I was supposed to keep a vent cracked for my propane heater to clear exhaust while sleeping over night. Winter camping would mean that I would have the heater on low all night and a small crack in one vent. Not heat efficient.
I have a 1968 Safari.
Dose keeping a vent cracked sound like the safe order of operations to everyone? Any experience on this?
Thank you
Barry
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:38 PM   #17
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You just go to sleep and don't wake up. Be very wary of carbon monoxide. Seems it's heavier than air, so the vent should be at the floor level, not at ceiling. I remember a sad story about a lady in Kansas, drove in the winter for a few hours to grandma's house or something with her kids sleeping in the back seat. Kids on the floor didn't make it. The ones on the seat sorta survived. Your better senses go to sleep in the cold, when you really need to be a ware of the tricky conditions of CO. Also, don't use a match at night to look in the propane can that seems to be empty, its just that the line has frozen in the adiabatic cooling coming from the cold liquid in the can to gas in the line. Now should you replumb the can to be inside your warm trailer? Probably not, cause the newer cans have a tricky vent.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:53 PM   #18
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Another case: Last winter I was doing some inspection working on the upgrade remodel of the mess hall of a Marine base not too far from Mammoth Mountain ski area. A gorgeous stainless mobile cook trailer was set up outside the mess hall to prepare the food. The propane stoves were heating the trailer while preparing and cooking the mess. They airlifted some of the cooks out with CO poisoning. Normal roof vents, no lower vents to let the CO out. So the high teck govt design didn't have adequate ventilation. Cooks had to work in the cold.(and I think it happened again...)

If you see your padres and mates getting all sweaty and pink when it's not that warm inside, get the h... outside into some oxygen. You don't feel it happening, you just get a littl more rummy and can't concentrate. If you get outside in time, your knees will buckle and you fall down and get sick in the fresh air. Breathing O2 is needed to clear the CO out of your blood, and forever after you notice it much quicker than others, like frostbite on your ears and nose.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:09 AM   #19
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Please post a photo of your heater by the door. It sounds like a catalytic heater. These are unvented, so you need to crack a window to provide some amount of venting if you are going to use it very much. For seriously cold weather, you will need to run the furnace (it is vented). Make sure that it is safe with no holes in the heat exchanger and in good working order. It will probably provide about 3 times the heat of the cat heater, but will run your battery down in short order because of the blower motor.

The first step is to install a co alarm. I bought one at Lowes for less than $20 as I recall. You don't want to sleep in your trailer without one while the furnace is operating. It is also important to have one with a cat heater and operating the stove/oven that are both unvented.

Dan
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:30 AM   #20
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My wife and I camp every year for our anniversary during Christmas break and New Years in Yosemite Valley.

We only have the forced air heater and find it a struggle to keep batteries serviceable with the tow vehicle and solar. We put heat on minimum setting as a reference and find it OK. Use zero degree sleeping bags as a hedge. Generator is a plus but not 100% necessary.

One year we visited a couple who had 2x catalytic heaters and their AS was very toasty; I would think you could keep to at least the minimum with one catalytic heater. Several candles help, as do using the oven (for cooking).

Another thing is that if chains are required, they are also required by law ( and safety concerns) on the trailer as well as the TV. Make sure the TV has heavy duty chains and not cables and you should be able to tow through at least a foot of snow in the campground. Take it slow and careful and you can make it to the campground even in a monster snow storm.

On vents, I keep two cracked to minimize CO but also to keep H2O condensation to a minimum.

It's a 4 season vehicle, if you take care. Enjoy!

Chris
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:57 PM   #21
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catalytic concerns... don't want to die yet!

Hi Dan,
Here is the photo and yes, the label states catalytic heater (6,000 BTU).

When I get the furnace installed, can the battery stay moderately up with a solar panel charger while the furnace blower is operating? Just curious.

Thanks for your feedback,
TJ

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TJ

Please post a photo of your heater by the door. It sounds like a catalytic heater. These are unvented, so you need to crack a window to provide some amount of venting if you are going to use it very much. For seriously cold weather, you will need to run the furnace (it is vented). Make sure that it is safe with no holes in the heat exchanger and in good working order. It will probably provide about 3 times the heat of the cat heater, but will run your battery down in short order because of the blower motor.

The first step is to install a co alarm. I bought one at Lowes for less than $20 as I recall. You don't want to sleep in your trailer without one while the furnace is operating. It is also important to have one with a cat heater and operating the stove/oven that are both unvented.

Dan
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:06 PM   #22
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Dan - the current draw is due to the motor of the furnace. On a full battery charge we find that we are nearly depleted by morning after use that starts once the sun goes down. I have two 85 A-Hr size 24 batteries plus 2x120W solar panels. My panels were sized in order to recharge the batteries on a sunny summer day. Winter days are of course much shorter and we do not usually get enough sun to recharge.

So my recommendation is that you'll still need a genset or AC to recharge the batteries if you wish to run the furnace.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:43 AM   #23
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TJ

Nice stock installation of the cat heater.

I would not plan on camping with the furnace running without AC or a small gen available- unless you want to be cold and have no battery power for lights, etc. I bought a Honda 1,000 watt about 10 years ago, but if I bought one today, I would go for the 2,000 watt size.

Dan
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:13 AM   #24
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Winter tires. Snow towing. In sierras

I have a ML 350 I tow a 2007 safari 23 LE and am trying to decide how best to trailer in heavy snow.

Studs/no stud

Chains. All four
All four and trailer

Also am thinking of tandem trailering with snow machines on rear.

Any experiences out there ?
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:04 PM   #25
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There is an RV park just a few miles from the lifts at Sun Valley that stays open all year. Quite a few people over-winter there. The name of the place is The Meadows.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:51 PM   #26
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No experience trailering in heavy snow, but I have lived in snow country most of my life. I would have studded snow tires on all wheels (if legal and available) or chains depending on how far you are driving in the snowy conditions. Let us know what you decide and how well it works.

Dan
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msundheim
I have a ML 350 I tow a 2007 safari 23 LE and am trying to decide how best to trailer in heavy snow.

Studs/no stud

Chains. All four
All four and trailer

Also am thinking of tandem trailering with snow machines on rear.

Any experiences out there ?
While studded tires are legal, they are not a substitute when chain requirements are set, at least here in CA. When towing a trailer, you need chains on all drive wheels on the drive axle, which means 4 chains for a dually from what I gather on the Catrans site (chains, not cables as they can and do snap under load in heavy snow). In addition you need chains on both wheels on one axle on the trailer; cables or chains are OK. Remember 25 mph is your max speed.

I have pulled over the west entrance to Yosemite in a blinding blizzard, middle of night no worries with chains. As for the tandem rig, I would caution against on two fronts:

1) Not sure the Airstream rear end is strong enough. There are threads which advise against adding a hitch receiver to the rear of the trailer.
2) it would seem that by adding a couple thousand pounds of snow toys you might exceed the Gross Combination Weight Rating which is a bad no-no, made worse on snow.

Best of luck!
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:23 PM   #28
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One more point to add; from signs posted on the snow bare Sierra Nevada mountains, big rig tandem trailer combinations seem to be prohibited in chain control area.

Chris
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