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Old 12-18-2005, 08:48 AM   #21
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The drip-drip approach has to be used with caution! Just take a drive up in these parts in the winter and note all of those frozen-solid mountain streams that were moving fairly briskly before they froze.


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Old 12-18-2005, 09:53 AM   #22
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Growing up in east Texas (Bryan-College Station -- 100 miles north of Houston) I recall a cold snap with one night in the upper teens. Outside dripping faucets developed a stalagmite that grew up and froze the faucets tight. A neighbor's house had a pipe in the ceiling break and flood the room below (houses built on slabs without frost footings and pipes are often overhead -- it's great drinking hot water in the summer!). You pays your money, you takes your chances. The ducted heat will protect only for pretty minimal freeze-ups. You can't beat a fully winterized trailer. Note that Chaplain Kent is using a motorhome...

You must pay attention to how darned aggressive salt is for aluminum. I think dmac once complained about the great issues he had over pitting on aluminum wheels for his newer trailer (I can't say salt was that issue, but you know what I mean). And we know not to trust clearcoat too far. There is very little you can do about such corrosion except follow the Harley rule -- wait until after the first heavy spring rain.

I want to see some replies on what the best antisway for ice and snow might be. Please write that rationalization down so you'll have the explanation at hand if you want to sound coherent to your insurance company .....

If you do snowbird, tow a winterized trailer under VFR rules only; ie, only when you can see the sun across dry roads. ... and hit a truck carwash as soon as you are at your destination.
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Old 12-18-2005, 11:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank
The drip-drip approach has to be used with caution! Just take a drive up in these parts in the winter and note all of those frozen-solid mountain streams that were moving fairly briskly before they froze.
Lynn
The water drip method is used while the coach is occupied, so as to keep the city inlet water line from freezing. If you have to worry about water freezing INSIDE the coach, you have other issues. - Roy
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfield54
The water drip method is used while the coach is occupied, so as to keep the city inlet water line from freezing. If you have to worry about water freezing INSIDE the coach, you have other issues. - Roy
Yep, I know it! Alas, when it gets really cold, even the slowly moving water in the inlet water line is going to freeze solid. Of course, that's Angel Fire cold, not warm-country cold ...

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Old 12-27-2005, 07:19 PM   #25
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don, of donmar (airstream dealer in sc) advises okay to travel without heat to outside temps of 20 degrees (movement of trailer/water, keeps water from freezing. anything below calls for heat.
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Old 01-03-2006, 07:49 AM   #26
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brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr streaming

hello all,

Is there any efficient ways to keep the water lines from freezing, special wrapping or new fangled products. I mean while you are actually hooked up to CITY WATER.

Surrounding the base of the RV is not an Option as the problem is when we go south for XMAS, Nebraska to LA

thanks harold
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:51 AM   #27
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Winterized camping....

Hi all -

Just got back from New Years in Carlsbad NM. The Caverns are super COOL but the best side trip, by far!, was to Sitting Bull Falls. Had a 5 mile hike to the spring that is the origin (in the MIDDLE of the DESERT!) that feeds the 150ft high water fall. Then spent an hour climbing all over the spillway at the bottom of the falls - WAY AWESOME!

Anyway, we pulled the winteized trailer down and had a simply terrific visit. Used the 5 gallon jugs of water for fresh water in the trailer - including cooking. Used the bathrooms, showers and dish washing facilities at Carlsbad RV Park and Campground. Worked great.

Also used 'oil filled' electric heaters - one front and one rear. Worked great. Terrific soft, warm, consistant heat. There were 2 units, SOB's, that had water lines freeze up. One had a interior line split in his commode. Saw another water fall there - right out the door of the RV. NICE one too - "SeeYa GOLD" according to the numerous signage all over the unit. BIG class A with a seriously pissed owner.

I know that they had heat on in the unit since the owner was running around loudly claiming that his heat should have prevented what happened. Poor guy.

To me the added problem of worrying about the pipes, tanks and etc... outweigh the minor inconvenience of getting out of the trailer to the potty, or with dishes. Not to mention that the propane those furnaces use is not insubstantial, they are usually noisy, not terribly effective, and blow hot/cold, the electric heaters simply use the electric you are already pluged into - hey its paid for!

If there is even the least chance that there is a possibility of a freeze, I will be using the winterized trailer. There was NO downside to the way we used it and several upsides. Peace of mind, and NO waterfalls.

I am sure that a waterfall coming out of an AirStream anywhere would be noteworthy in the SOB sonversations!!! Not my trailer.

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Old 01-03-2006, 12:06 PM   #28
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Just wondering what brand / type of electric heaters you were using. Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2006, 07:49 PM   #29
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There are a number of members who happily use winterized trailers, using none of the onboard water amenities.

Winter traveling with water could be playing with fire in all except the most extreme southern border areas -- you will get bit eventually. Be vigilant about forecasts and conditions.

For plumbers or millionaires only: With your furnace feeding hot air to the ducts, you have some chance of routing warm air to tanks, etc. Keep cabinet doors and tambour open so the heat has a chance of circulating around the floor where the water pipes are located.

Space heaters of all types do not take advantage of this installed ducting. If you use them for personal comfort in freezing weather, do so only if you're travelling with a winterized trailer -- no water in the pipes or tanks. The obvious exception is if it is truly actually above freezing and likely to remain so.
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:48 AM   #30
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"Winter traveling with water could be playing with fire in all except the most extreme southern border areas -- you will get bit eventually. Be vigilant about forecasts and conditions."

How very true this is. I thought we were seasoned winter travelers and veterans of many freezing nights thus would not experience a pipe freeze. Wrong. My son and I were out for five days and the temps dropped down to the single digits. We would have been OK but I had forgotten to drain the hose for the sink sprayer and it cracked. Such a silly thing and we did not even need it I could have dis-connected it when I winterized in the fall but I forgot. This caused a leak which flooded the floor and froze around the furnace being the only place for the water to exit. We continued our trip without water and used an electric space heater until we got things thawed out. I fixed the hose and learned my lesson. In the winter there is no forgiveness.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:29 PM   #31
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We lived an entire year in our 1973 31 foot International. Talk about cold! We had come from Seattle, where things rarely freeze, to the Colorado mountains, Woodland Park, to be exact. Water pipes constantly freezing, sewer out drain constantly freezing, and outgoing water freezing. The park where we were stuck at had no facilities, either, so we just had to wait for things to thaw, or my poor hubbie had to try to snake everything and clear the blockage. I tried putting pieces of insulation board around the bottom, piling snow, but nothing kept it warm enough not to freeze. We did wrap our water hose from the outside spigot with heat tape, so that never froze. Thank God we are no longer living in that trailer!
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:43 PM   #32
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don't know where woodland park is. Pagosa is in the four corners region. I think they have had a very mild winter. Too mild in fact. Not enough snow. The coldest weather was definately before we left in dec. Next summer we have a house to live in but we are taking the trailer to use as guest quarters. My hubby wants to head back right now , i think i want to wait til middle of may. Colorado is beautiful and I really love those cool to cold summer nights. Frost on the windshields on July 4th is amazing. Personally I would prefer to just stay in the airstream. But it looks like the house will be it. Maybe we can flip it.

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Old 02-27-2006, 09:16 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandvm
When you're traveling down the highway and it's freezing or below......do you keep your propane heater going inside the AS to prevent the water/grey/black tanks from freezing?

Thanks
I find the real problem is the fridge. If the trailer is cold, everything in the fridge freezes. The water system is no problem--I blow the pipes out with a small air compressor (you really have to be careful with the toilet valve, since there is water trapped above it in the distribution tubes up to the rim) and just use bottled water. But the fridge is a continuing problem. You can be driving along in 40 degree temps and climb a pass and you're in the teens for a few hours. In an emergency like that I turn on the oven to 250 degrees and it keeps the inside in the high 40s. I realize it's not designed for this and SAFETY issues raise their heads, but I think the oven is about the safest of all the heat producing devices in the trailer, especially when I'm not in it (CO) and when it's set at a low temperature. Not that I have a bushel of data, but it has worked as intended for 3 bad days in the mountains. OK, not bad, just cold. No problem once you're back in the trailer cooking, living, sleeping.

If the black/gray tanks are only partially full, the sloshing action will create ice that tends to be brittle/foamy and won't push out the tanks. Pain in the butt to melt until you're into areas where the temps are above freezing all night, but usually won't break the tanks. I worry more about the traps--they will definitely break if you don't pour a little anti-freeze down the drains.
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:13 AM   #34
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Help?!
Okay, this is my first post so I hope it is going to the right place. I have logged in to this site because I am looking into buying my first airstream. The one I have located is a 1975 sovereign and seems to be in good condition. I have always wanted a trailer like this one but no little about them. Because it is such a big purchase I was hoping to be able to get a little advice from those of you who already own them.

Some questions I have are:

How do I know if I'm getting a good deal?

How do airstreams fair in cold weather?

What should I check to make sure things are in good shape?

What are some things that you wish you would have known?

If this reaches anyone who can help me please email me at

autumnstar8@yahoo.com

thank you for your help

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Old 03-23-2006, 06:32 AM   #35
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We went winter camping for the first time this year but didn't use the water system as we didn't want to deal with the freeze factor. We were parked at a campground with full hook-ups but we only used the electrical hook-up. Our campsite was located right next to the heated bathroom so not having use of the A/S bathroom wasn't an issue. For food, I planned ahead and pre-made everything at home and stored it in plastic ware so we didn't have to deal with washing dishes.

What amazed me during this camping trip was all the spots in my Airstream that leaked cold air -- cabinets, refrigerator, bathroom, etc.! I tried to plug as many spots as I could with towels and blankets, but the cold air still seeped in. Needless to say, the furnace ran almost non-stop the entire weekend just to keep the inside of the trailer at 60 degrees.

One other problem we experienced was with condensation -- most likely from two people and one dog breathing inside the trailer. Even with a window cracked slightly, the water was running down the inside of the windows. I realize this is a side-effect of single pane windows but wish I knew of some tips to reduce it from happening. Any ideas?
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:47 AM   #36
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Thumbs up Damp Rid

Hello... Go to Walmart and look for Damp rid... it works great for condensation... can be hung in the closets or put in a container in a tablet form and works great by the front windows.. had issues with the Argosy and it sure helped with the condensation... Will not leave the trailer without one in it.. Annie
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:54 AM   #37
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as a fulltimer, here's a couple winter tips.

1. Mattress heating pad. This is like an electric blanket that fits on top of the mattress and under the linen. Turn it on an hour before bed, set the temperature to high, and crawl into a toasty bed, then reset the temp to what you like for sleeping. Also insulate the bottom of the mattress with Mylar-bubble wrap insulation, this can be found at Home Depot, and insulates the mattress from the cold truck, and be sure to run a layer along the side bordering the wall. Alternatives for under the mattress include foam wall insulation, or closed cell sleeping bag pads (this will take 2 probably) Cover the entire surface, mattress goes on top.

2. Don't over do it trying to seal the windows, but I do use the heat-shrink thermal weather proofing on all but three windows, particularly the back window near the bed.

3. For the overhead vent in the bedroom. I made a "plug" of three layers of insulation that looks like bubble wrap covered with Mylar. I bought it at Home Depot. I use it only in the bedroom overhead vent. But I use it on the forward skylight in the summer to knock down the amount of sunlight, so I can see the TV

4. Check the weatherproofing foam seal of the door.

5. Oil heater is great in the bedroom, where a regular auxiliary electric heater would be dangerous if the blankets slip off the bed and get too close to the heater.

6. Vent your trailer everyday when showering, and Damprid is great, I use 3 in the closet, and under the shower area. And one under the sink (the microwave vents back there !) I put them in before winter and change them out midwinter.

7. Heat tape, and foam pipe insulation on the outside water line will save you from a freeze-up. But remove the small panel (on you trailer) where your city water connects to the faucet. My Airstream did not have any insulation there. I added the foam pipe insulation and a bunch of fiberglass batt, then closed the panel back up. All the outside opening panels got some as well, and the trunk. ALOT in the trunk!. There's plenty of places on the inside to add it as well. Inside the dinette seats near the wall. Secure with a little duct tape.

8. I run one small (1500 watt) electric heater in the front. I run a HEAVY DUTY (2000 watt) extension cord from the 110 volt plug on the outside utility post. (not running thru the on-board electrical system, if I run 2 electric heaters, my circuit breaker trips) Find an extension cord with the highest rating you can find (seriously!!! this causes more RV fires than anything!) A rating at least as high as the heater, preferably higher.

9. If you full time, (or just have a propensity to get cold) indulge in a auxiliary catalytic propane heater. Mine had a "The Cat" installed when I bought it. It's safe and provides incredible radiant heat. I have a back injury and I frequently sit in front of "The Cat" with my back toward it. IT'S WONDERFUL !

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Old 03-23-2006, 10:02 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infinite LUX
as a fulltimer, here's a couple winter tips.

...Also insulate the bottom of the mattress with Mylar-bubble wrap insulation, this can be found at Home Depot, and insulates the mattress from the cold truck, and be sure to run a layer along the side bordering the wall. ...
So, I guess the saying is, "If this trailer is a poppin, don't come knocking?!"

Sorry...I just couldn't resist! I crack myself up at times!
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:16 AM   #39
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yukionna,
You just cracked me up!!! What a great way to start the day...
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