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Old 06-14-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
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Airstreams in the heat?

Just wondering what the experience is here with using airstreams in hot climates. I currently live in Texas and my job as a teacher and the fact that I have kids means we mainly have the summers to do vacations and camping. My girls are heavily involved in youth soccer which runs both fall and spring seasons so most of the pleasant fall and spring weekends are tied up in soccer meaning we can't really camp much when the weather is nice but the summers are wide open.

I am currently pulling a Fleetwood Arcadia pop up with my Sienna which does fine around here where it is flat. The Arcadia is about the biggest pop up made so I am pretty maxed out weight wise and a new trailer is also going to mean a new tow vehicle. I love the Arcadia except for one thing. It is DANG hot to use in the Texas summer even with the air running full blast. I mess around with covering the tent portions with reflective material but it is still pretty hot when we are camped at places like South Padre in August. If our camping was mainly in the cool northern woods I would probably be happy with the popup but for week long trips around Texas it just gets brutal.

Looking at an airstream one would assume that the reflective aluminum would be superior to all the generic white boxes I see everywhere but I don't know how they really perform in practice. So. What is the experience here? Are the airstreams the best trailers out there for camping in brutal Texas heat? Why or why not?
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Our 30' Classic has 2 roof airs so heat is not a problem. 2 airs is overkill. Our previous 28' white box trailer had 1 air unit and it was like a refrigerator in there. I think the hard insulated sides vs. tent sides is the key. Our previous SOB trailer had 2 entry doors and a huge slide and was very drafty, but this wasn't an issue trying to cool the trailer in the hot summer months. It was a very big issue trying to heat the trailer in winter. The 2 roof airs in our Airstream are electric heat pumps and put off some nice cozy warm heat. We have never used the propane furnace. The Airstream has one entry door and is not nearly as drafty as the other trailer was.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasdiver

Looking at an airstream one would assume that the reflective aluminum would be superior to all the generic white boxes I see everywhere...(snip)
Hi, Texasdiver - actually, my Airstream came with a white painted roof, I believe to ease the heat absorption of the aluminum in the sun. Bare aluminum gets mighty hot in the sun. My 27' has a single AC unit and has been fine for me in the northeast - but I would imagine I'd want 2 AC units if I were spending more time in hotter climates but that shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:36 AM   #4
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Hi. We live in Texas and camp here and other hot climates a lot. Our 25FB with a single AC does OK in the heat of the day. It is definitely comfortable, but the AC doesn't shut off much if we are in direct sun. The full set of awnings helps (street side and rear in addition to the standard curb side).

If keeping the inside very cool is important, I would imagine a dual AC unit would do that. However, those will require 50amps.

All that said, I'm delighted with our 25FB camping in Texas.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:53 AM   #5
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I’m in West Texas and have a 2012 27 FB Flying Cloud with a single AC unit. In the summer it does fine until late morning and after sunset. By mid afternoon, the inside temperature is survivable but not comfortable. Last summer in 104 deg. outside temps, the inside was in the low 90’s with the AC running from early morning. This year, so far, with the outside in the mid 90’s, the inside is in the low 80’s. Not cool at all. Basically, the temperature drop is around 12-15 deg. when the trailer is sitting in the sun. Having the awning out helps some but when the sides heat up the heat comes in. Before we use it much more in the summer in this area, I’m going to have a second AC put on and put the short awning on the road side for side shade. On the other hand, the interior environment is fine in the fall, winter, and spring. Alternate plan, in the summer, don’t plan on being inside between noon and 9PM.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:24 AM   #6
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Even in upstate NY on an 85* day, on the pad, at home in the direct sun it will get in the high 90's inside. Our single 11000 will bring it down nicely but it does take awhile unless turned on before getting too hot inside.

The shiny reflects light gud...heat not so much.

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Old 06-15-2013, 07:36 AM   #7
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We have a '93 31 foot excella(and now also a '68 globetrotter). I think The roofs/ceilings do get hotter than box campers, but we camp at the beach in full sun here in Florida and I think the carrier roof air is a 13,500 btu and it cools it just fine.
I think it may depend on the year, model layout etc, the best thing would be to have the seller run the air on a hot day, to be sure. You could upgrade to a 15k AC or even the new 16k if you go for an older airstream.
I quit wasting money on new or used box campers/motorhomes, they are mostly junk, every one I had ended up had leaks and rot- no matter what you pay, and they depreciate quickly.
Get a good deal on a super clean newer or older airstream, INSPECT IT WELL, EVERY INCH, and I think you will be very happy. Buy in the summer, test the air, the seller should be willing to do that if you show them you are serious. You could also post a question on here about the specific model and the cooling experiences with it before buying.??
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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white tops on airstream

have been reading about the newer AS having white roofs on them. Was wondering what was used.. I have a rental mobile home we use a product called KoolSeal on.. "Kool Seal Elastomeric Roof Coating" its a rubberzed product in a brilliant white that reflects a lot of heat.. they claim it reduces heat buildup by 35%..

it also does a good job of sealing leaks and such and being a rubber type coating can flex.

just trying to find out....
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:08 AM   #9
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good thread...the wife and I live in Alabama seriously considering buying new this winter and I have alot of questions about what I should include on AS (which AC unit or units, awnings) - never heard of this white roof, that is probably a good idea I would think.

Keep it coming. This info will be useful.

We are considering a 28 or 30 flying cloud
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:10 AM   #10
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with my 2 small children, they need to nap still mid-day ideally...AC would need to work pretty well (say keep inside in the 80's at least)...so will need to think about 1 vs. 2 AC units and which BTU.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:30 AM   #11
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Thanks guys. Good info. When you live in Central TX you basically have more than a 500 mile drive to find anyplace measurably cooler in the summer. The summer of 2011 was especially grim. Even the high mountains of NM were on fire and all the campgrounds were closed. We had some God awful record string of 100+ and 105+ days. Finally took the kids to South Padre for a week to beat the heat where it was 10 degrees cooler and only in the high 90s but still so hot the outdoor pool at the KOA was to uncomfortably warm to swim in. The beach was still great but the pop up was an oven during the day.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
have been reading about the newer AS having white roofs on them. Was wondering what was used..
I was told by the dealer that it's a special white aluminum manufactured by Alcoa.

John
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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34' 1999. White roof, 1 AC.

The temp of 97 here with all awnings deployed we hit 80 inside. No door open, cooking or TV.

We are considering AC #2.

If gone all day, it works great at night.

Instead of a 50 Amp I will install second 20 or 30 service.

If buying new, JUST DO IT! That way you won't over stress single and if one fails you have some cooling. Also, this will automatically get 50 Amp service.

With our 30 Amp we have to be careful running AC, hair dryer, elec water heater and microwave. You have to cycle between them.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:16 AM   #14
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yeah, we will go 2 I think for the new one if we buy this year...gotta keep the wifey happy

Havent seen any pics of these white roofs...need to see that.
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