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Old 01-02-2017, 08:10 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Ebro , Fla Panhandle
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,211
A Miniskirt for winter comfort

Going into my third partial winter of living aboard my 345, has me motivated to make things more comfortable during the colder times.

Here in central Az it can get pretty cool for streaming thru the winter. A few nights with temps in the teens is all it takes to realize that these really are three season rigs.

I've taken a few steps that have made a big difference in comfort.
First was putting plastic film over the inside of some of the Windows.
I got a kit for this job, it came with sheets of clear plastic film and a roll of double sided tape.
This can be done to a rig that is being moved about, and be left in place till the spring comes.
I'm not sure about the Windows used in modern rigs. But the single pane and slide open windows in my 345 really let a lot of cold thru to the interior.
Installing these plastic films have gone a long way to seal out the cold.

Another issue in winter is freezing plumbing and waste valves that are on the outside of the classic motorhomes. These valves are vulnerable even in trailers with belly pans.
I had been toying with the idea of a skirt around the coach to help keep it warmer inside, and to keep the plumbing flowing. But don't want to get stuck in place for the whole winter with an elaborate skirt all around the coach.

So it dawned on me that all of the critical exposed plumbing is at the back of the rig. Behind the rear axel for the most part.
So the idea of a miniskirt came to me.

Using less than two 4 x 8' sheets of foam board insulating material and a couple of rolls of aluminum duct tape. I was able to seal off the critical area and with a drop light in there keep the freezing temps at bay.

While it did take a while to cut and fit the pieces the first time.
To remove them and reinstall won't be all that big of a deal to do once the pieces are fitted to the spaces.
It did take some finagling to keep access to the valves, nothing a little trap door couldn't deal with.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:23 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Ebro , Fla Panhandle
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,211
I used inch thick foam board that is quite structural in its self.
I also taped the cut edges to seal them and keep the foam contained.
On the 345 the length of the sides needed small additional pieces to reach from the back bumper up to the rear of the tag axel.
A forth piece of the foam is slid thru the wheel well to tie it all together.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:28 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
mayco's Avatar
 
1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,891
Those dump valves can be a real pain if they freeze up or the liquid in the fittings gets frozen. We got caught in that situation last year or the year before and it took about an hour with a blow dryer to get things flowing. Since then Ive been starting out the empty tank with a gallon or two, depending on how cold it's going to be, of RV antifreeze. After I put the antifreeze in both tanks, make sure to put the cap on the outlet, and open each valve for a second to fill the fitting on both sides of the valve. Its worked out very well so far. Haven't had a freeze up since doing that. Hope the miniskirt works out well Richard! It may even help to keep the cold floors a little more tolerable on the feets, GOOD SLIPPERS ARE A MUST!


Happy new year to ya!

Mike
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:34 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Ebro , Fla Panhandle
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,211
It hasn't really had a good test yet. Was only partly done for our Christmas snowy morning.
But with the Nomad Garage set up right next coach and dumping it's snow between them and blocking the sun, I do think this should help.

Cheers Richard
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:18 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Ebro , Fla Panhandle
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,211
Mike, I was thinking of you and Lynn waiting out the cold early in your trip to Colo a few weeks ago.
That was when I did the first couple of Windows in the bedroom with the film.
Wow, what a difference that made. I have covered the big fixed windows around the back since then, makes it so much more snug. And these can be left in place while traveling.

Congrats on your New Years grand baby!

Cheers Richard
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:43 PM   #6
Olroy
 
1976 29' Ambassador
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Barbourville , Kentucky
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 14
Mini Skirt.

Isn't there insulation in 3' rolls with plastic backing like what you put on pipes or your hot water heater? I would think some snaps about every 3-4 feet, and maybe a few fishing sinkers along bottom. Would be an easy fix and a quick assembly and disisembly. Maybe we should patent something like that would work I believe.
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