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Old 12-16-2011, 08:21 PM   #21
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The original post reads an enclosed greenhouse, to me. If so it is a death trap.

If the ends are completely open and somehow collapses enclosing the trailer during the night, it is still a death trap.

This is such a risk that it should not be attempted. The concept is so dangerous (snow load, freezing rain, wind, smoke, carbon monoxide, isn't that enough, and the difficulty of escaping when the plastic tent is held down by snow) that no amount of warning devices can make it safe.

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Old 12-16-2011, 08:42 PM   #22
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Doug, I have to agree with your thoughts... just sounds a lot more dangerous than I'd like to try.

I grew up in New Hampshire and there's no way that I'd want to live in my Airstream in the dead of winter up there. Not sure I'd want to live in it in the January of North Texas for that matter.

I hope the OP has good luck and things work out because it appears that this is their ONLY place to live, but all the efforts make it seem like one of those things that if you have to try this hard to make it work then you have to question how good an idea it was in the first place.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:17 AM   #23
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As fulltimers, we (in the winter) stay away from any form of water hook ups. I do not want to have to deal with a busted pipe or even worry about water freezing. We have been using a five gallon bucket with a toilet attachment that you can find at some of those home health supply places (fits right on top and has a lid.
The other water? We have always had five gallon water jugs because the water here in this town is contaminated. For hot water we are always running water through the coffee maker and are able to clean with it. For showers we go to some place else.
I think the biggest worry about the Airstream is the maintenance of water.
When the bucket is about halfway full, we go to a remote RV dumping area. We do not 'stand and pee' into the bucket as this does stir up the oder...and we all know the more you stir ____-the worse it stinks. So we go in a one gallon hand held plastic container (has a handle) -with some deodorizer in the bottom. The five gallon water supply always sits gently on top of the original toilet (lid closed of course)
Thats my story and we're sticken to it.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:46 AM   #24
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Hello everyone! The greenhouse has plenty of windows and doors and a lot a ventilation. We are venting the furnace and such outside. This might not work but we really need it to so we will keep everyone posted as winter unfolds. We have a farm property and our high tunnel style greenhouses hold snow each year and we have to go and use a broom to clear the roof and shovel out the sides where the snow falls off the sides. It has to be done sometimes at night if the storm is big enough or the plastic sheeting will sag or rip.
I am most concerned about pipes freezing and the woodstove venting. It really needs to be right. Although, we have seen others use large cast iron stove in the greenhouse themselves to keep crops warm and safe so that is promising. The greenhouse works as a wind buffer and we are using way less propane because of it. I think the back up plan is to hitch up and head somewhere warm if things don't work out. The problem with that plan is paying a rental fee for a space is beyond our means so we will have to try really hard to make this work.
I'll try and get some pictures up at some point here. Thanks for all the ideas and safety concerns. It is good to know we are not alone as we muddle though.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:00 AM   #25
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I would love to have one of those green house covers...listen. you are not muddleing...you are surviving...thriving. Here's a story.
A scientist was testing bacteria in a culture. He gave it everything it needed and it died off. So he tried again, but this time he deprived it of everything...and it perished!. But on the third try- he gave it a little and took away a little and continued this until the bacteria began to thrive and live. This ebb and flow that we are living in is causing us to do the same. You all will be all the wiser for your doings.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:18 AM   #26
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I'm sure you've already picked up some super down sleeping bags or several wool blankets? I have no technical knowledge to add to this thread, just best wishes for a good season and be sure to journal your adventure here on the Forums!
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:49 AM   #27
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Foxbrook - "muddle through" I think not. You're doing what you can it sounds like to make as good a situation as possible for you and your family. You're living and dreaming and making it happen. Ask away, we will give what information and advice we can to help. A different view may be just what helps the most sometimes. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:00 AM   #28
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Happy New Year Everyone,

Thought I might update people now that the weather has turned colder. It was 5 degrees outside last night. Our woodstive has not come yet but the furnace worksvery well. The airstream was a toasty 70 until bedtime when we turn the furnace fairly low. I sleep better cooler. During the day, it has been mostly overcast, the greenhouse is a solid 10-15 degrees warmer then the outside temperature. Something interesting that I have noticed is that there is condensation on the inside of the greenhouse and none inside the airstream. From what I have read it can be common to have a drippy interior after showers and such. I wonder if the greenhouse is preventing this. Thoughts?

My wife was really happy that the tank has been dumped without incident thanks to all your advice. Pipes are good and warm and well above freezing. Having no wind really helps in this regard. I have placed a thermostat sensor next to the hookups so I can monitor that temperature from inside the airstream.

The holidays have passed and we got some food and other gifts from people to help us be more comfy as winter progresses. We are excited about some tiny throw rugs and an electric blanket. The blanket isn't something we will likely need unless it is brutally cold outside. We worry aboutbthe fire hazard. It seems like we have enough of those already. Lol! The roller shades we installed really keep the chill from the glass to a minimum.

Hoping everyone is having a great start to the New Year!
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:58 AM   #29
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Nice to get your good report. While I had/have no information of use to you, I have followed your thread and have thought about you as the temperatures have dropped -- hoping that you were fairing well.Thanks for keeping us all posted.

Debbie
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:54 PM   #30
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The advent of the "fly" over the top of the modern camping tent virtually eliminates the condensation problems that the outdated canvas tents were famous for. I think the green house serves the same function.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:25 PM   #31
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TG Twinkie,

Excellent point. I hadn't really thought about it that way. What an unexpected bonus for our full-time situation. It was unintentional but my wife and I are relieved for it to be working out.

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #32
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I am going to attempt a pic post.
These are the ends of the greenhouse. Now the plastic is properly secured. This was the day we we built it. I should take some new ones of it completed.



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Old 01-05-2012, 08:36 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbrook
Lol! The roller shades we installed really keep the chill from the glass to a minimum.

Hoping everyone is having a great start to the New Year!
Do you have a link to those roller shades? Are they some kind of special insulated type?
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #34
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Foxbrook, the more pics the better. Rarely do any of these winter threads have much visual information. Not trying to invade your privacy, but it's of real interest to those of us who have this potentially in mind. Thanks for the consideration of it.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:29 PM   #35
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There are major concerns here, carbon monoxide, a low level of oxygen, sewer gases, and who knows what else.

How are you getting the exhaust of the furnace to the outside of the greenhouse?

How do you ventilate the stovetop and oven gases outside the greenhouse?

How do you ventilate the sewer outside the greenhouse?

How do you know you're getting enough fresh air to run the furnace, range, and breathe?

What would happen if there was a propane leak outside the trailer?

Do you have large openings on both ends of the greenhouse to ensure a crossflow of fresh air, and they cannot blow shut, collapse, or become covered with snow?

doug k
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:01 PM   #36
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Hello all,
I'll look into more pics. The roller shades are not specially insulated and were ordered online in custom lengths and widths from blindster.com. The dead space between the window and shade although not insulated or perfectly sealed really helps and also gives privacy.

The doors and windows open and the carbon monoxide and propane monitors all register zero. The greenhouse is not even close to being airtight. The windows and doors all have air leaks. When the wind blows outside around each end there are gaps and the air turn over doesn't appear to be an issue. Especially since my wife is constantly leaving the doors and windows open.

Venting... Everything is or will be vented outside the greenhouse. Currently the furnace is completed with intake and exhaust outside the greenhouse. The airstream is set closer to one side of the greenhouse for this purpose. The sewer gas is a flex hose that runs out although I'd like to set that up differently in the future. When the wood stove gets here the stack will also go outside of the greenhouse. The cooktop has not been vented yet. I am not sure how I am going to handle that yet. The carbon monoxide detector did register when the oven was baking at 400 although never any other times with lower oven temps to heat something. The stove top never register anything on the detectors. Maybe a convection oven on the countertop would work instead. I am not sure how I plan to proceed.

The windows and doors are framed just like a house. They can be latched open. There is certainly risk involved in this but I am hoping we can make it work. Thanks guys!
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:09 PM   #37
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Foxbrook

Sounds like your Airstream/greenhouse is operating as planned. I view the co detector registering only when the oven is at 400 degrees is a good sign. I would not worry about operating the stove for cooking dutys only. Keep us posted as it gets colder and you get more experience.

Dan
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #38
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Please Be Safe

Sounds like you're pretty well covered but have adequate ventilation. I'm glad to hear that the greenhouse breaks the howling winds but has plenty of leaks for circulation and refreshing the air.

It's critical that you monitor and watch your Carbon Monoxide monitors - make sure they are new and in good operating order.

Carbon DIoxide can only kill you if you exhaust all of the oxygen in the ambient air.

Carbon MONoxide binds with the red blood cells and builds up. You can have 1% concentration and after weeks or months of exposure be in very grave condition. It takes months to recover from carbon monoxide poisoning (if you do!). Even multiple transfusions may not help greatly because bone marrow may be compromised as well as red blood cells.

Keep on keepin on, and be safe.

Paula
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #39
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Hello Everyone,

After some very cold weather, I am happy to report that the greenhouse and airstream are working out really well. Our pipes and tank are not frozen and we are warm and dry. At -2 degrees, the greenhouse remained above freezing during the day and dropped below only late at night. The furnace worked a bit harder and we are looking forward to having a wood alternative in the near future.
The snow slides off the dome mostly on its own and with a little help the greenhouse stays snow load free. The greenhouse also provides a place to shed boots and coats. We don't leave them out there because of the condensation but it helps us not lose heat, wipe feet and dry off the dog. As we get some nice weather, we have begun to paint the sticky interior walls white. Seems to be helping and really brightening up the place! Well, that's our news. I'll keep you posted. We are really hoping the stove gets here soon!
Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:23 PM   #40
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We all wish you great success in this - stay dry and warm but most of all stay safe.

Keep up the reports.
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