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Old 07-16-2016, 05:13 PM   #1
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OSIN's Avatar
2017 30' Classic
Bay Area , West Coast
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 68
Hot and cold weather insulation

I have heard rumors that the Airstream does not really do that well in extreme hot and cold (below 50 or above 80). Does anyone have any experience with this and if so are there any fixes for it.

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Old 07-16-2016, 06:07 PM   #2
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 423
Airstreams are not the most energy efficient trailers due to the way they are constructed. However they do come with wheels so you could tow it to where the outside temperature is comfortable! I live in mine year around and have always wanted to have a barn to park inside of. It is also possible to enclose them with a tent like structure. I try to avoid places where water can freeze without mechanical help and I consider shade to be essential in the summer. I lived at a place where I swear the squirrels were deliberately dropping pine cones onto my roof! Some of the big ones leave dents!

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Old 07-16-2016, 06:58 PM   #3
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2012 20' Flying Cloud
Bishop , California
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 36

Please see my post under the "Full time, winter living" section for modifications for using the Airstream in cold weather. Warm weather above 80+ deg. is a real problem with the metal skin of an Airstream. It takes a long time to cool down an Airstream with the AC after traveling all day in a hot sun (about 3 hours for my 20 ft. model) I carry two Honda generators to run the AC in campsites without hookups. In hot weather try to find a campsite with full shade all day, use your awnings and fantastic fans to cool the unit at night. I hear the newer Airstreams with duct air are better and much quieter. If you want a trailer for 4 season use, you might want to look at the Arctic Fox by Northwood. Good luck

Bill Dunlap
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:10 PM   #4
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,496
The thing about Airstreams, they are not all the same. Some models are better suited for extreme conditions than others, though they all come from the factory with fiberglass insulation as far as I know.

For one example the sewer dump valves on my Safari are on the exterior of the belly pan, not heated by the furnace. On my Excella the sewer valves are enclosed in the heated tank surround. Same with the fresh water connection.

Some models have unpainted roofs and absorb more heat than those that are white.

Some models have two AC units and a 50 amp power supply.

I've camped comfortably in both of my trailers in below freezing temperatures and above 105 F. The key is know your specific trailer's capabilities, then take the necessary action to maximize comfort as well as prevent damage to the trailer.
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:22 PM   #5
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1958 22' Caravanner
not shared , Nebraska
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 166
ijustlee: I bored countless 3" holes in my inner skin of my gutted 1958 Caravanner and filled the cavity with slower curing closed cell foam. Trimmed holes level to get rid of excess outflow. Then added 2 more inches to come out past the many 2" spacers glued to the aluminum. Trimmed excess cured foam from spacer to spacer with circular surface fat trimming knife often used in many meat packing plants. Then troweled on 1/16" thinset. Then brushed on tinted Elastomeric. Lost some interior volume but the R-24 should handle 40 below zero. Not cheap at about $ 3.00 per finished surface square foot. Labor intensive. Also should handle extreme high temps anywhere in the Mojave.. So far no cracking. Perhaps the foam has a stabilizing effect. Wish I had starting weight, but I think I added about 400 pounds ( circa 166 cu ft foam + new surface)
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:19 PM   #6
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2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
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Originally Posted by OSIN View Post
the Airstream does not really do that well in extreme hot and cold (below 50 or above 80)
I think your temperature range may be a bit small. If evenings cool to the mid-70s, something like a Fantastic fan can quickly change out mid-day warm air for cooler evening air. The AC works, too!

We have had our Airstream in locations where the night-time temperature is well below freezing. The furnace handles that well, but does consume propane. Electric space heaters are also effective. If daytime temperatures stay below freezing, we move to warmer areas.

Our trailer has graywater and blackwater drains outside of the heated belly. For below freezing temperatures, we have installed Ultraheat ( heating pads to the exposed pipes and valves

For hot and cold weather, being connected to shore power is a very good idea.

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Old 07-20-2016, 01:30 PM   #7
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2015 30' Classic
Green Cove Springs , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Being full time we do get stuck in all types of weather when we are workamping. In 100+ the 2 a/c units and the awnings work good. Added extra shade drops off of awning to shade more and helps to. Now when it is cold yes the furnace does heat the trailer but even with a dehumidifier and damp rid the inside sweats bad. Never got it dry and was worrying about between walls and floor all the time. This is our last cold job. Trailer drafty and walls always cold and wet. Will say a good 3 season trailer

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