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Old 09-28-2006, 10:11 AM   #15
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Hey JIM. The point I was trying to make is with the solar collector you would not need to run your furnace much during the day. As Silverbalck stated the propane usage in cold is outa here. It cost me $100 to build the thing. I think in your area you might consider 2 or 1 bigger unit. The big expense was the glass- you might be able to get free glass from one of those places that does the dual pane replacement for homes. You could always sleep with a diver helmet vented outside :+) Tim
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Old 09-28-2006, 10:47 AM   #16
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I used to winter camp with my folks, see Avatar, and on cold windy nights it was not atypical to burn 30lbs of propane in one night.
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Old 09-28-2006, 11:28 PM   #17
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Jim,

Just courious, what makes you want to try to winter in the A/S?

Again best of luck. As a recent transplant to NE, I will be finding out if the winters are any easier here than the last 50 plus in MN.

We did need to let a small amount of fresh air in via a vent. Tried once not to , but it didn't feel right in the wee hours of the morning.

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:06 AM   #18
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No, really!?

Loren -

Your 'location' shows in Nebraska but your post comments a recent relocation the the NE? Nebraska didn't move, did it? Just curious....

All the best!

Axel
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:25 AM   #19
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Winter camping in the rolling hills of Crawford County. I am envious, that is a beautiful area. I was scheduled to be the park host this October at Wyalusing but had to cancel due to health reasons.
I am saying this with some hesitation but it may be impossible to seal up a 1970 trailer so tight that it will suffocate you. I have removed wall panels in both my '82 motor home and '75 trailer and noticed gaps in the insulation from settling. The door will never fit air tight and there will be air leakage through aged seals around the windows. We have done a fair amount of winter camping in Western and Northern WI and have found keeping warm was not the biggest problem but water and waste disposal was. In our MH the water tank is inside and I have heaters on our black and grey tanks. The trailer was a different story all together and very hard to winter camp with. What accomodations are you planning so the systems do not freeze?
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Old 09-29-2006, 07:45 AM   #20
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Most recurrent problems are condensation on all the inside skin and window surfaces from the moisture given off by occupants. The colder it gets the more the interskin cools down and the moisture condenses. You need to get sufficient outside air in to dry it out. When you heat up the cold outside air, it raises its ability to absorb the moisture. Progressively open more area till moisture stops running down the windows. Definitely skirt the trailer and provide some heat under it. You still will need to put heater tape and and insulate the input and output water. Best idea is to drag it to Florida or Arizona.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:37 AM   #21
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Hey, thanks for all the responses everybody! Yes, it is absolutely beautiful here in the Kickapoo Valley which is how I ended up here basically- I'd been living in (mostly big) cities for years and years and just needed to escape the noise and traffic and endless buildings and so on, so found this land to rent for $160/mo- there are horses living more or less wild in the 300-acre pasture, the river runs right out in front of the hills, cranes and other critters are always around (until winter, I guess), and there's nothing except the old barn in my line of sight that wasn't built by mother nature.

I have electricity, a septic tank to drain to, and have been getting water for the fast few months from the well in town (pop. 177... well, make that 178) which I've been assured runs all winter. Tasty water, but if it stops drawing I'll get water from the plant I'm working at, I guess. I had a big propane tank delivered. I've just been taking "jug showers" in the yard with either sun-heated or stove-heated water (which the sheriff, to our mutual surprise, embarassedly stumbled upon while checking in on the old place while on patrol! All I could do was smile and wave.)

So my plan, so far, for winter is to disconnect the waste hose, empty out the tank, and rig up a cold little toilet & outhouse around the septic tank opening. As far as showering, I'm just about to test this out: still using water heated on the stove, I'm going to plug up the bathroom tub, bathe there, and suck the water out of the tub using a little wet/dry vac that I have, then empty it out every few days outside. I have plastic sheeting that I'm going to skirt the bottom of the trailer with, stapled to wooden posts every few feet around. Like I mentioned, I insulated like crazy, adding 40-ft. of fiberglass roll to all the poorly-insulated areas I could find, especially in the back behind the 'Bel-Air Bathroom'. All the windows seal completely as the rubber seal contacts with a thin weatherstrip on the frame side. All the compartment doors (fridge access, etc.) got the same treatment. The inside of the windows all have that plastic on them that you put on with a hairdryer and tape. I put a little square of insulation, covered by that same shrink-wrap plastic, on the roof-vents above the bed, in back, and on the vent with the fan, in front. The long middle roof-vent that has the translucent cover I just covered with a double layer of shrink-wrap, because I figured the sunlight getting in was worth more than blocking it with fiberglass.

I have a 70 Overlander International, which has a small fan/vent in the bathroom and a fan/vent over the stovetop- these I left open for pulling out condensation and to let in oxygen for myself. I'm wondering if that will be enough, which was my main question in my first post. I had a little mouse problem, so I went underneath the trailer and noticed some of the aluminum sheets were loose and there were gaps where critters could wander in, so I went bananas with the rivet and caulk guns and it's now completely tight down there.

So as far as staying warm, it's up to the furnace and the electric blanket this winter. Can someone tell me where the air comes in for the furnace? Loren, you mentioned the duct under the bathroom- where does it open to the outside- is that the reason for the rectangular openings on both sides of the storage/waste drain compartment? I'm also wondering if the fact that the furnace draws air from outside itself would help with getting enough oxygen inside when everything's pretty sealed up?

Ok, sorry for such a long post... just trying to explain my set-up up front, so anyone graciously offering assistance knows what I've got already. This is home sweet silver home for the time being- my girlfriend (who lives 2-hrs. away- dang!) and I plan to move to Florida ...next...(dang!) year, so all I'm trying to do is make it through the winter and enjoy this little slice of paradise while I've got it. I may end up fleeing to Florida early if things just aren't working out, but it would mean eating a big deposit on the place, and not seeing my sweetheart for a while (she's a teacher under contract for the year). Whew! Well there it is! Thanks again for reading all this, and any more advice about the fresh air & furnace questions are greatly appreciated- Jim
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:44 AM   #22
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DoorGunner, I would like to hear the basics of the solar collector- thanks! If you have a chance, what materials I 'd need, etc. Or where I can find a dive helmet in this area. Jim
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:58 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crockerjl
Can someone tell me where the air comes in for the furnace? Loren, you mentioned the duct under the bathroom- where does it open to the outside- is that the reason for the rectangular openings on both sides of the storage/waste drain compartment? I'm also wondering if the fact that the furnace draws air from outside itself would help with getting enough oxygen inside when everything's pretty sealed up?
The heater air comes in and out of these two holes on the side of the trailer. It is a sealed unit and no air from that part of the heater should enter the trailer living area. The heater is a heat exchanger, it heats fins in the heater then a fan moves the air inside the trailer over the fins to heat the trailer inside. Please note that a heater of that age (or any age) may leak and air from the combustion chamber could make it's way inside. This could result in Carbon Monoxide posioning and death. A CO detector is a must have item if you are going to use the heater.
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:16 AM   #24
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Jim,

The duct to the bath area doesn't open to the outside. There should be a heat supply vent in the floor or under a cabinet that the heated air comes out from. As for the furnace combustion air, looking at the outside of the trailer, there a rectangular with two approximately 1 -1/2 " holes . This is the point for the exhaust from the furnace to exit and for the air for combustion to enter. Each is "piped " separetely of the other. The combustion chamber is "sealed" from the inside of the coach so it should not take air from the inside or vent CO inside. This is taking into consideration all seals for the furnace are in good order and the furnace is clean and in good working order.

Hope that gives you a better idea of how it works.

Loren
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
Most recurrent problems are condensation on all the inside skin and window surfaces from the moisture given off by occupants. The colder it gets the more the interskin cools down and the moisture condenses. You need to get sufficient outside air in to dry it out. When you heat up the cold outside air, it raises its ability to absorb the moisture. Progressively open more area till moisture stops running down the windows. .
I guess you could run a small dehumidifier. Has anyone tried this to combat cold weather condensation?

Jack
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:44 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I guess you could run a small dehumidifier. Has anyone tried this to combat cold weather condensation?

Jack
I moved to Phoenix, problem solved.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:18 PM   #27
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Question

Loren, I guess what I'm looking at-the opening under the furnace- is just a cutout for the various lines to run under the floor- where I was getting confused is that there is what appears to be an oval opening at the bottom of this recess going toward the back, but it looks like that may only be the outside contour of the water tank against the subfloor. The actual heatduct is right there on top of the floor and runs under the bed, to the bathroom, and comes to the register mounted on the side of the tub. So thanks to you guys I've got it figured out- 2 holes in the furnace vent-one in, one out. So I guess I may as well block off those rectangular openings in the storage/waste drain compartment? (the picture shows the larger one on the right as you face the back- there's a screen temporarily over it) It seems like if they have no function, that would keep quite a bit of cold air from getting under the floor.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:58 PM   #28
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O.K. Jim I'm gonna give this a shot, if no pics show up here then go to my member photos. Measurement of main glass is 27"X61" the lip is 12". Builditsolar.com is where I got most of the info= I modified the design to fit the window. The foam is easy to cut, foil tape the seams, use sealer --no leaks in the rain! This is my prototype kinda iffy looking but it works. So trying the pics. What the $**&Y is the url of the image just go to my photo page. Tim why not visit your girl friend every so often?
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