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Old 01-10-2021, 10:07 PM   #61
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1977 Argosy 24 Rear Door
Chesapeake , Virginia
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I camped the week of New Years in my recently renovated 77 Argosy 24. Temps at night were around 20 degrees with temps in the low to mid 40's during the day. I never used anything except an electric heater set on the floor. It stayed in the mid to upper 60's inside thru the night. I set the furnace on the lowest setting yet it never kicked on a single time. I did have a dehumidifier running to deal with condensation which was not as bad as what I expected it was going to be. It collected about 24 ounces over the week. Now, I will say this, that when I renovated I used commercial grade insulation with attached radiant barrier like is used in warehouse construction. I also routed all the water lines to where they are inside of the furnace return/intake path so the intake air is circulated around them anytime the furnace runs. The only one not is the lines to the shower, however. I installed valves so those lines can be isolated. Since my fresh water tank and black water tank are both above the floor, and my dump valves are located inside the inner bottom, and all my low point drain and fresh water tank drain valves are above the floor, freezing is not an issue. With that said, I would have no issue utilizing the camper in temps well below freezing including single digit temps.
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:57 AM   #62
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Waukesha , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArgosyJeff View Post
I camped the week of New Years in my recently renovated 77 Argosy 24. Temps at night were around 20 degrees with temps in the low to mid 40's during the day. I never used anything except an electric heater set on the floor. It stayed in the mid to upper 60's inside thru the night. I set the furnace on the lowest setting yet it never kicked on a single time. I did have a dehumidifier running to deal with condensation which was not as bad as what I expected it was going to be. It collected about 24 ounces over the week. Now, I will say this, that when I renovated I used commercial grade insulation with attached radiant barrier like is used in warehouse construction. I also routed all the water lines to where they are inside of the furnace return/intake path so the intake air is circulated around them anytime the furnace runs. The only one not is the lines to the shower, however. I installed valves so those lines can be isolated. Since my fresh water tank and black water tank are both above the floor, and my dump valves are located inside the inner bottom, and all my low point drain and fresh water tank drain valves are above the floor, freezing is not an issue. With that said, I would have no issue utilizing the camper in temps well below freezing including single digit temps.

Were your tanks mounted above the floor from the factory or is that a modification you made? The plumbing is my biggest worry in all this, so some more information on your setup would be great. Are you using a pump for the toilet to move the waste into the tank, or is the toilet mounted on a platform of some type?
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:16 AM   #63
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Hartsburg , Missouri
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We boondock with daytime temperatures in the 30's and nightime in the upper teens in late fall early winter with no problems. We use our furnace and keep the thermostat at 60 when we are in the trailer and turn it down to the low 50's when we are not. We have 340 AH Lithium battery and 600 W solar and that can keep up with electric demands as long as there is enough sun, if not every few days we get out the generator. We are lucky in that our model trailer has the black and gray tank valves in the heated enclosure with the tanks so that's not a concern. Howver the low point drains and water tank drain are on the outside of this enclosure behind the wheels, and that has concerned me. I am contemplating a modification to change out the valves and put the valve inside the enclosure with just the the valve stem and handle and a drain tube outside the enclosure. Has anyone tried that--doesn't look like it would be too dificult? --Frank
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:22 AM   #64
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YMMV but camping in snow can be magical. Solutions:

Installed 3 12V heating pads, 2 under fresh tank, 1 under gray tank, none under black on the advice of AS technician who insisted is not needed, those are square and larger pads but similar to the ones in the pic. 2 elbow pads as the one showing here on both black, external pipes leading to the sewer discharge. On my previous RV I just wrapped a 13í heating strip (110V) around the whole discharge system, with thermal insulating tape on top and a third layer yet of duct tape around it all. It did not freeze the sewer assembly, even on single digits. As soon as I know how this Facon 12V system works, I will report on it. Humidity can be controlled (in theory, will test next week) with a drain to the sink, on empty tank it should last long enough.
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:16 PM   #65
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Gilroy , California
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Want a 4 Season Trailer? Buy a Bigfoot

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Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
Airstream is not a 4 season trailer..hot in the summer cold and froze in the winter....4 season. Look at artic fox. Be better for winter
The closest thing to an Airstream that is not an Airstream is a Bigfoot. Bigfoots are true 4 season trailers. They have a fiberglass shell and are built like boat hulls. The only downside is that the largest trailer they make is 25 feet (27' with the optional front storage box.)
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:21 PM   #66
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We have a 2015 Airstream IS 27', and we deliberately travel "around the edges" of cold weather, which means overnight temps in the teens with daytime temps from just at freezing to the 40s. Our later-model Airstream is designed so that the LP heat ducts are positioned to warm the pipes and tanks. We keep the LP on while we tow, and use heated hose for fresh water hookup. Our experience has been the LP is more than adequate to keep the pipes OK both during travel and while hooked up at a campground. We don't boondock. When its cold, we also wait to drain gray and black tanks until just before we leave a campground. We haven't had a problem with drain valves freezing, probly because the water int he tanks is warmer, and we don't keep the drain hoses hooked up. And, since we don't boondock, we use the fresh water tank and onboard pump to winterize, along with draining the pipes. Not hard to do and undo. There are folks who believe gassing up the tow vehicle with the LP furnace "on" is dangerous. I don't and I'm careful. lt is also true the AS inner walls are pretty cold. I would not choose to travel and camp in areas/at times when temps are significantly below freezing for a straight 24 hours or more. But with the steps noted here, the AS will stay "warm enough". As an example, our next trip is ten days in mid-Feb from DC to the Outer Banks. All of the above steps will be involved.

All of which is to say, I believe the 2015-and-later AS's with AC/heat pump overhead ductwork and floorboard LP heat, are probably notably more winter-friendly as they come from the factory than earlier models -- IMHO based on our 2015. Note, our 27 has one roof-mounted AC/heat pump. You can now get 2 units on 25' and longer, and I would do that if I were buying again. I find keeping them cool in the heat more of a challenge than keeping them warm in the moderate cold. Hope this helps. 66 coupe
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Old 01-11-2021, 11:59 PM   #67
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2005 22' International CCD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hans627 View Post
wow! Camping in with an switzerland. Sounds like winter camping to me. Awesome!

Would you happen to have any pictures to share?

Thanks!
This is from another AS owner here in Switzerland. Note it is one of the three models built for Europe.

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Old 01-12-2021, 06:24 AM   #68
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Waukesha , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david.steed View Post
This is from another AS owner here in Switzerland. Note it is one of the three models built for Europe.

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David - Curious if there are any differences in the European models in regard to winter use?
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:09 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Bueno View Post
The closest thing to an Airstream that is not an Airstream is a Bigfoot. Bigfoots are true 4 season trailers. They have a fiberglass shell and are built like boat hulls. The only downside is that the largest trailer they make is 25 feet (27' with the optional front storage box.)
No Bueno! Not an AS...
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:48 AM   #70
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Silver City , New Mexico
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If you think you really need a 4-season TT, you can find them at these letters of the alphabet - 1st letter/6th letter. Surprisingly, a Class B recognized by the industry to be one of Canada's best, does not have such things as dual-pane windows, etc., rendering it fairly useless in a cold-climate environment.


Airstream has them all pretty much beat in other characteristics but, YMMV. Read all the fine print and pay most attention to functions that are NOT stated.


Good luck ahead...
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:54 AM   #71
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Oliver or Arctic Fox.
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:20 AM   #72
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Not as far as I know. The differences are width, electric connections, axles. Otherwise they are the same.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:48 PM   #73
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Airstream did try thermal pane windows long ago. I believe they did not hold the vacuum that makes them work better. No air in between the pane means less chance of transmitting heat or cold. The seals on any thermal pane window are critical to it working correctly. Sometimes when they are transported across mountain highways, the changes in air pressure can blow seals. Nevertheless, you can make such windows with better seals and maintain the vacuum. I can't remember whether Airstream gave up (perhaps it was in the 1970's?), but they never looked at the idea again.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:00 PM   #74
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Four Season Airstream?

Dual pane thermal windows nowadays have argon gas fill and special low emission coatings on the inside. Older ones used only nitrogen. I donít think they ever pulled a strong vacuum on them. That would crush the panes together, I suspect.

Airstream probably doesnít use them because itís hard to build them curved, and they cost a lot more than plain flat single layer glass.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:20 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhphhoward View Post
Oliver or Arctic Fox.
Olivers do well in cold weather. Plumbing is all between the two fiberglass hulls, double pane windows. Very different than an Airstream in interior style and amenities. You either like them or donít! We like ours. Mike
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:37 PM   #76
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Our 2002 has Hehr windows (not standard Airstream windows). After a couple of trips with very cold nights, I made most of the window surfaces into double pane. The inside pane is polycarbonate and the "seal" to the window glass is a combination of foam PVC board and adhesive backed Velcro. The space between the glass and polycarbonate panes is about 1/4 inch. The internal space is simply air and air can filter through the Velcro. Despite that, the double panes retain heat much better than the original single panes did and (an unexpected bonus) sound deadening is much better.

Occasionally there is a bit of condensation between the glass and the polycarbonate, but the easy circulation of air through the Velcro allows quick drying.

In the highly unlikely event of getting a new Airstream, I would, once again, go to the effort of making my version of double-paned windows.

Tim
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:24 AM   #77
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Thermal pane windows were first patented in 1865 and it took a long time before they were sold commercially—1940's. They may have a vacuum or a gas like argon in them. The Wikipedia article says they fail after a couple of decades because seals fail. That is not encouraging. I think there are ones made so you can restore the vacuum, but I've never seen them. Here's the Wikipedia article, more than you ever wanted to know: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulated_glazing

The commercial version was called Thermapane and that led to all sorts of variations in what it is called—really thermal pane or insulated glass (except you don't see the "insulation").

At one time Airstream followed what Wally said—improve constantly. Installing insulated glass and foam insulation was like that, but neither one worked and the company gave up, never trying it again. By the time of the failures, Wally was long gone and the company had changed a lot. They did go to LED lighting and PEX pipes. Those work. Ducted A/C is much quieter and distributes air more evenly, but they were late to the change and bought registers that fall out. I read that is still happening several years after the change.
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:24 PM   #78
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My 25' Landyacht is 4 season. It's as insulated as an Airstream can be. All of the windows are factory original double pane, and during my frame-off restoration the original wall insulation was replaced with polyisocyanurate panels. The official R rating for PIC is 2"=R13; about the same as fiberglass bat, but PIC doesn't settle/flatten over time, shed, or hold moisture. It is also not attractive to vermin (as anyone who has torn apart a vintage Airstream knows: mice love to nest in fiberglass bat!). All of the PIC I installed is sealed at the seams and edges with foil tape. I also installed a thermal barrier between the ribs and inner skin. This year, I replaced the freshwater tank in the belly with a 40 gallon tank under the dinette inside the cabin. This allowed me to load up the entire belly with 4 inches of polyiso with air gaps. I did leave my gray tank in the rear belly, so that section is the only area in the belly that doesn't have R26 (or better) coverage. The gray tank has a 12v heating pad that can be switched on and off. All of the plumbing is centrally located in a compartment that can remain heated by a tiny electric space heater while not having to heat the rest of the trailer (so the trailer can remain "alive and ready" throughout the winter.

So while Airstream does not make a four season trailer at the factory, it can definitely be done.
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:36 PM   #79
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Quote:
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The Wikipedia article says they fail after a couple of decades because seals fail. That is not encouraging...
The vacuum definitely fails over time and more quickly in a vehicle application (as opposed to a home). However, double pane with a failed vacuum is still considerably better than single pain (air is actually a decent insulator). This is the reason people use storm windows (as well as that that awful plastic covering) in their homes. I have actually added custom made storm windows to the interior of some Airstreams... you can seasonally swap the original screens with storm windows I crafted from additional interior window trim.

The biggest bummer of failed double panes is moisture inside the panes blocking your view and causing streaks and spots. I actually have original double pane windows in my 1955 house. The windows are permanently "dirty," because the spots and streaks are inside the windows and can't be cleaned. I am really looking forward to getting them replaced with new vacuum sealed, UV barrier windows.
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Old 01-17-2021, 05:31 PM   #80
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Surely "vacuum" is being used incorrectly when applied to these windows. Even a partial vacuum of say 2psi would suck both panes in until they touched each other, and/or the glass would break.
A window say 3' x 4' is about 2000 square inches @2psi is 4000 pounds on each pane

In fact the gas inside might be inert or maybe dry air but not any sort of a vacuum.
Another type of double pane windows are shaped polycarbonate panes bonded all around the edges, but the ones I have in my Adria in Germany have a small hole drilled in the inside skin to equalise pressures.

Quote:
The Wikipedia article says they fail after a couple of decades because seals fail. That is not encouraging.
How many RVs have a maintenance-free design life of 20 years?
Probably not many considering how many have failed before they get out of the factory
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