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Old 03-17-2014, 01:14 PM   #15
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2012 27' FB Eddie Bauer
colorado springs , Colorado
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 172
It is a trade off with insulation I suspect going with these aluminum twinkies. However as the forums noted, there are many best practices and tips and mods to make it warmer.

We spent the winter here in the Carolinas full-timing in our Airstream 27'. Many days down to the teens with snow. Our propane furnace was fine by itself. Above 40, we use our Dyson Heat Fan or HP and its very warm.

Thicker floor, insulating the storage compartment, fantastic insulation, etc., all help too. I guess what I am getting at, don't let the insulation concerns out weigh the many pros, and Airstream lifestyle.

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Old 03-17-2014, 01:43 PM   #16
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1957 26' Overlander
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Vintage Kin Owner
Rutherford Co. , North Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 904
Apreski - Have you considered a custom Airstream? You can buy a new shell, or a vintage shell for much less - and have it built how you want it, including your own layout, closed cell foam insulation and nicer cabinets.
I agree re: concerns with compressed fiberglass bat. R13, when compressed, only provides like an R6.5 (google 'compressed fiberglass insulation R Value" and one of the manufacturers have a pdf on it). we went with a prodex type insulation that has R 13 down, R 9.5 horizontal and R8 up. In the floor we combined that with a 3/4" polystyrene foam (R 3.5) for a total of R16.

using tiger foam would have been the same cost, as it turned out.
Tiger Foam | Spray Foam Insulation Kits

Ah well, use that on the next trailer.

'57 Overlander | '56 Flying Cloud | '51 Spartanette
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:39 AM   #17
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Steamboat Springs , Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7
Red face

NJtoNC: Thx for the R Value stats and Tiger foam info. Never actually thought about a complete retro fit. Did you do one...yourself or professional shop?

Jasperkins: Your actual living experiences are very helpful. Love the Fl Keys view...could be our boat out there. We lived 12 years in Ft Liquordale, kept our Pursuit boat (essentially a floating Bigfoot) in the middle Keys....raced J-24 sailboats in Biscayne bay but owned a stink pot for scuba diving.

For the Record: We are not the type of people who complain without offering solutions. We live in the real world, attempt to deal with the problem at hand , to the best our limited abilities. The goal is not perfection but rather enjoy the simple moments and keep moving forward with your life. Translation: boon docking in a "streamer" is in our future.

Perfection: let's see....take a 28 floor plan, put the hitch at the other end (rear living area is essential....see jasperkins photo) Classic interior, no pano windows in FB, pull the L shaped couch, one of your custom recliner setups, add an EB back door and Tiger Foam the whole damn fuselage! ( Scratch what I said above about perfection)
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:16 AM   #18
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2015 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Western , ** Big Sky Country ** Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,283
Originally Posted by Apreski View Post
We do not care for the old 25 RB floor plan. We walked one of the new FB models (Portland) and we're shocked at the downgrade of cabinetry. The exterior fiberglass remains excellent and the closed cell foam insulation is the best in the business. We did locate a 2008 FB model with our solid wood cabinets but We were disappointed in the floor plan. No other new trailer options.

We are impressed with the numerous creative AS designs, but remain very concerned about the poor insulation design. Batt insulation compressed lowers the real R rating, metal skin, etc. The numerous threads regarding cold bedrooms confirm our fears. We love late fall camping in the Canadian and US Rockies........coyotes, moose, elk, even a wolf, very few people. However, we awaken to snow and on occasion hail, but always toasty warm in our Bigfoot 21 foot trailer. I would like something larger which requires a minimum 27 foot AS. (A 21 Bigfoot is the equivalent of a 25 AS...refrig, storage, etc.)

What to do, what to do? Head to sea level with a canopied Airstream?

Seriously, we will continue to study the forum threads to address our "how to enhance the insulation" issues.
We spent 55 days last season from Valentine's Day to Thanksgiving in our AS (see avatar) all over the Rocky Mountains and camped "cozily" at mountain pass elevations. Unfortunately, the snow was still 2-3' drifts in our yard at our usual get out the camp trailer / early time this year; so, we didn't get out until three weeks ago this year. We camped on 3-4" of ice last weekend and when we headed for home a new snowstorm was dropping about 6" of new snow!

The biggest issue for heat loss (according to my IR meters) is not from the metal skin, but rather from the single pane glass windows. What insulation is in the sidewalls seems adequate for the majority of users and the furnace ducting near the water/sewer lines gives peace of mind if the temp drops 5-10 degrees below freezing. If you want the open feeling of an AS, there are not a lot of options to reduce heat loss from the side windows.

You could delete the skylight (if ordering ...more $$) or just insulate it as we do during the cold months, but little can easily be done to the side windows if you want easy access to them.

The single biggest "cozy" factor for us was to install removable carpet where we walk the most. YMMV, but this is our rodeo and it's the best for us. We do use considerably more propane in the winter (as would be expected) but are glad for the aluminum interior because it makes wiping down the occasional condensation quite a bit easier. I usually wipe down the moisture on the inside of the windows, however, every morning ...easiest from the outside. There is just no way to vent all of the moisture-laden air accumulated overnight easily before it condenses on the windows during cold weather camping (<30 degrees F).

If you have a spouse or significant other ... get under the comforter and let the dog sleep on top ... just a one dog night, but it keeps us very comfortable.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:11 AM   #19
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2018 30' International
2014 30' Flying Cloud
Los alamos , New Mexico
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 321
I would think you might give the 30ft Flying Cloud with recliners, full awnings, solar, and 16" tires a consideration as a "retirement rig". We looked at many in the years of research and came away with our first Airstream- the 30 ft-- where many migrate to by trading throughout the years. As they say it is nice to trailer a short one, and camp in a large one--once under way it is just a matter perspective.

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