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Old 04-07-2007, 06:00 AM   #15
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St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by thecatsandi
IF it does not get below freezing for too long you will be ok.
Still chuckling at this one Michelle -- good advice for Santa Fe, ya think? And yes, I've always heard that about Arctic Fox. We have friends who trout fish in Yellowstone every September. They get snow most every time and have been blasted out on a few trips. Places like Yellowstone and Bryce are high altitude and their winter is 2-3 months longer than for us Minnesotans. Just because it's an Airstream doesn't mean Robert F. Scott would have survived Antarctica with one.

We had a member from Montana posting about whether to do this about a year ago -- don't recall that they've been back here to report. The previous post by janars in this thread starts to give some of the details necessary. You'll need to be close by and able to winterize on the spot if you have any problems. You'd definitely need an electric hookup and a larger LP tank would be convenient. Your furnace will do much more than a space heater to keep your pipes unthawed (I know, not a word... but a Minnesota-ism that I enjoy). I don't know what sort of water source you'd be using -- ground frost goes down 3+ feet here. Keeping the outside water and sewer flowing is an issue unrelated to Airstreaming.

This question has been asked many times and discussed in much greater details. I'd recommend searching the forums on the word 'wintering'. A few threads by member rubyslipper started out the discussion in the beginning, though it's been discussed many other places. The nature of threads is that you'll read a lot of posts between picking up jewels. Also, look through the Winter Living subforum.


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Old 04-07-2007, 06:07 AM   #16
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Old thread, however......

Your Airstream, in all honesty, was not built to be a permanently fixed unit, but a travel trailer. Several of these posts have come close to the answer. Why would anyone want to swap hoses on a daily basis, or worry about exposed plumbing?
Hook up an empty water supply hose to fill the on-board fresh water tank. When filled, drain the hose, and if you don't want to mess with putting it up, after draining it, coil it up, putting the ends together to keep the inside clean. When the fresh water tank is empty, refill it.
Draining the black water tank should be done on an as-needed basis, and they will not freeze during the 45 seconds it takes to drain them. The hose can be left connected, as it empties out, and then only the valve should be closed.
Wash water-same as black described above.
Use the LP furnace to heat WHEN THE TEMP IS BELOW 32, and that will prevent on-board tanks from freezing.
It is a good idea to put a high watt light bulb close to the LP tanks when temps fall below 35 or so. I won't explain all that here. There are threads already for that knowledge.

That's all it takes to safely stay in your Airstream all winter.

Although I like the thought of Arizona, as 'FOILED AGAIN' brought out.
Why wouldn't you?

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Have no intention of arriving at the grave safely, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand,throttle in the other, totally worn out and screaming
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Old 04-07-2007, 07:52 AM   #17
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I appreciate the kind advice on winterizing my AS. I simply wanted advice on how to and what to do. Not to stay in one place as a fixed home,but simply how to handle the cold in my AS. The why would I is simply because. Yellowstone in the winter is absolutely wonderful. I wanted to know if it could be done in an AS. Enjoy life,enjoy family, enjoy your AS.
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Old 04-07-2007, 08:10 AM   #18
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In reading your viewer profile, I see where your family is supportive of your desire to live and work full time on the road. I think that's great!! Many of us have the same desire, but lack the courage to "turn loose of the tether". You are getting some very good advice on winter living in your AS. I try to camp at least once a month year round in addition to summer trips. My coldest, so far, has been -5 degrees and I got along just fine. Best of luck.
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:12 AM   #19
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When we do hit the road full time I will let you know. It will be very soon and are looking forward to trying it out. My youngest kid is now old enough and that has been the hold-up. So, see you in the parks and on the road. Thanks for all of the good advice. Gary
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:12 AM   #20
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Gyandell, I have the same questions. I have not talked to anyone who has tried to live in real winter weather in an Airstream or for that matter camped in winter weather to any extent. By winter weather I mean Montana or HERE in Washington it can get below zero here too. Do the tanks and lines keep from freezing in zero weather with the furnace on???...someone???...The only exsperience I have seen in zero weather is with a Lance camper. It did fine at 15 below zero on a hunting trip to Alberta. Matter of fact...the Lance camper was toasty at below zero and no frozen lines or tanks...can an Airstream do that????.....HELP....I want to know too???
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:38 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by DFord79
HELP....I want to know too???
start by reading here....




davidh wintered in montana 05/06...

but hasn't been heard from...

since spring of '06...

after a dinner visit by the donner family....

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:17 PM   #22
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I've spent a few winters in mine (my primary home), but so far they've been in the relatively mild Southern Appalachains. Coldest temperature I recall was +8F, and that split my water inlet pipe (even when you're on the onboard tank, that bit is still wet). That was dumb negligence on my part, and I've since put a shutoff valve inside the bath closet to let that vulnerable area drain. I don't always have 110v power, so a heat tape is not a cure-all. Another dumb negligence pipe busting occurred when my furnace crapped out and I decided to drink wine and toast by the catalytic heater instead of fixing the problem right away. That furnace fan is the lifeline of the plumbing when it's cold, and it's lifeline is electricity -- whether from shore, generator, batteries, or the sun. So it's pretty dang important to be ready to drain the whole thing dry on a moment's notice, and not just have another sip of the vine by the space heater.

Plastic or somesuch on the windows helps a lot to keep comfort levels decent and to cut down on condensation in steamy climes. Take the time to seal around those little camlocks at the bottom of operable windows. Bubble-foil insulation (Reflectix and the like) on the walls behind the cabinets, bed, shower -- pretty much anywhere you can stick it, is a good thing. I've made flaps out of it to hang behind all the exterior access panels.

If all goes as planned, I'll be pulling the trailer home to Central Colorado later this year, and parking for good. Temperatures there often hit 30 below, and 70 below is not unthinkable at my place at 12,000' -- and then there's the 150 MPH wind chill. Luckily, by the time really cold weather hits, we usually have a nice 20-foot blanket of white insulation. I'll probably have to bury the thing in hay bales for the first winter or three until I can get around to building a stone shelter around it, and weld a sewer pipe escape hatch to the roof where the AC now languishes. Of course, in such circumstances, indoor plumbing is just out of the question. I'm trying to figure out an efficient way to get solar panel peak overflow to melt snow and also cook the tanks.

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:57 PM   #23
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If you are considering wintering in the AS consider putting in an Olympic heater. That is a radiant type heater and it is nearly 100% efficient. Radiant heat directly on you in the livingroom will allow you to feel warm at a much lower inside temperature.

We stayed in our 34 in NJ for Nov. and Dec. while home modification were being done and only heated the trailer from 5pm till 11pm while we were up. Even at that we used a 30 lbs. bottle every 2 or 3 days. Be prepared to buy lots of gas.

AS are thermal sieves. The aluminum outer skin is connected to the inner aluminum skin with aluminum frames. From a thermal standpoint you could not design a poorer system.
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Old 06-10-2007, 02:10 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by HowieE
The aluminum outer skin is connected to the inner aluminum skin with aluminum frames. From a thermal standpoint you could not design a poorer system.
hi howieE

generally i agree with this observation....

however, on the newer units a butyl/rubber layer is added between ribs and skin...

which is supposed to reduce thermal conduction...

or is it convection?
or refraction or reflection?

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:00 PM   #25
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We lived in our AS for the latter part of the winter here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (over 300 inches of snow annually!) and had a great time w/out any issues. Even survived a few nights with temperatures below zero. Definitely an experience to try!

Good luck to you foureagles - very ambition at 12,000'!
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:16 PM   #26
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We also wintered in our AS and did the same things as Janars . We also found that the connections for plumbing at the airstream could freeze if the weather gets below 20 degrees sometimes we would fill the fresh water tank and only hook-up for dumping . We also got foam and wrapped the other hoses. We stayed very warm...have fun...
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:16 PM   #27
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Steamboat Air,
where did you have your AS parked last winter, and did you like where you were? We are considering it for next season, and camped a bit last fall at the Campground that used to be a KOA right on 40.

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