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Old 11-15-2010, 08:41 PM   #81
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I guess I won't complain when it drops to fifty here in the mornings.
How cold is it there now?

Carol
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:59 PM   #82
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Dan, that propane price is a rip off, but maybe that is the way of RV parks, or some of them. That is $3.39/gal. I paid around $1.90 in September for 200 gal. delivered to my house. Prices go up now that's it's cold, but not that much.

I'm surprised the heat pump is so much more efficient. I wish the thing was quieter.

I hope the pipes are warm.

Reading your struggles reminds me of the 22 years I spent on the Front Range. Almost of them were in the mountains west of Denver where -35˚ was very infrequent, but memorable. I don't remember exactly how cold it got in Denver, but -teens were not terribly uncommon. I believe the long range forecast for this year was for a dry, warmer winter, but that can change fast. I hope this works for you. I have lived in a cabin where on the coldest nights the water might freeze even if I kept it running, the space heater couldn't get the temp over 40˚ and never stopped running for days, and the best thing was to go to a bar, drink a lot, and hope to find a warm body to snuggle up to, preferably with a warmer cabin. That was around 30 years ago. You have to be strong to make it through some Colorado winters and you seem to be determined, so I think you can do it, but I worry about what it takes out of you.

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Old 11-15-2010, 09:51 PM   #83
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That LP gas price is from AAA Propane in Wheat Ridge. It's about 20% cheaper than I was paying before!

I don't think my wife in MN would like the bar/snuggle idea!

Temps here are running 30's-50's in the day, and 20's at night. Not too bad yet.

I really want to get the automated switching between heat pump and furnace working. It will help save some of that expensive LP. For now I do it manually.

My heat tape/pipe insulation works fine, now that the heat tape thermostat is outside of the insulation and away from the RV park pipe heater! A little thermostatic electric heater keeps the underbed compartment at 45 F, so no frozen pipes there. Most of the remaining pipes are in a compartment shared with the water heater, which leaks enough heat to protect them. So far, so good!

I'm not so worried about what wintering in an RV will take out of me, although the overall situation has not been good. I don't get to see my family very often, no social life in a dumpy RV park, and it has been disappointing to discover there is so little demand for extensive career experience and education. Yet I am glad that we are able to pay the bills, at a time when too many cannot.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:07 PM   #84
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DEFINITELY keep water dripping at furthest point ALL night and early morning and day also if still freezing. It will keep things from freezing if the water is moving enough. Also, I camp in my trailer and use a Sun Twin electric heater, WOW, it is great, it kept my whole trailer at 64 degrees the other night, (it got down to about 28) and that was with the door inadvertantly left open. Keep in mind it takes a couple of days to get everything up to warmth. I think it will work better than anything, and of course, i still fire up my propane heater in the morning just to get the chill off quickly.
Let's face it, cold weather stinks and broke pipes stink even more, I dry camp in the winter now because of this, but we also have lived in a poorly insulated trailer at 10 degrees with broken pipes all around us, (even with heat tape) but we left our water running!
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:40 AM   #85
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Hi Dan,
did you leave the water running?
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:56 PM   #86
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Not running the water, heat tape and insulation working well. Low last night was 6 F. Trailer was warm, but the heat bill will be high I suspect!
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:00 AM   #87
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Yikes! 6 degrees! We were down to 17 the other night with wind and that was plenty cold enough... Frozen water line at the inlet to the trailer despite running the water all night, and then the furnace stopped working! We have it all back together now and temps in the mid 40s, so a bit of time to plan for the next freeze. Good luck and keep warm!
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:21 AM   #88
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You folks winter camping in Airstreams in cold climates scare the bejeepers outta me!

What's your fall-back plan if the heating dies??

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Old 11-26-2010, 10:50 AM   #89
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What's your fall-back plan if the heating dies??
A funeral?

This thread has pretty much convinced me that when we move and start looking for a new house, staying in the trailer in the winter is not always a good idea.

I've just started looking for extended stay motel/hotels, but find some make finding out monthly rates just about impossible on their websites. One that had straight forward information was $1,705/month for a studio with full kitchen. Monthly rates at RV parks plus propane and electricity are around $1,000/month. Renting a house might be $2,000/month in Santa Fe. All of it starts to feel like money down the toilet and would make me feel like I have to find a house fast. That leads to bad decisions. Next time we are in Santa Fe we will check out some of these places and get real information on rates. They are still cheaper than renting a house because there are no utility costs.

Finding the right house can take time. I've done pretty well buying good houses at low prices. These are houses that need work, but what we've seen so far are bad houses that need lots of work or houses needing no work. The latter group are houses where the owners have capitulated to market reality or those who haven't—asaking prices vary more than I've ever seen for comparable houses. And my wife does not want a major renovation project since most of our marriage has had construction as part of it. I ask her, "what's wrong with a table saw in the living room?" She doesn't even have to answer; I can see the look.

People live in their trailers during the winter for many reasons. After all, after you've spent so much on this portable house, why rent a hotel suite or a house? Some like dmac have to spend as little as possible and have few options. He sacrifices for his family and is to be admired. It does seem to be cheaper to spend the winter in an Airstream, but the hassles may make it so difficult as to make us crazy. If it were me alone, it would be easier to spend the winter in the trailer, but it's not me alone. The middle approach for us is to spend the warmer months in the trailer and the colder ones in some sort of motel suite or rental house.

I'm wondering what happened to the original poster? Spending the winter in Manitou Springs does not sound like fun to me. It's colder than Colorado Springs or Denver. Morning temps there should be below zero many times during winter. Where are you movin-in?

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Old 11-26-2010, 07:43 PM   #90
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Thumbs up go D !

i'll be joining you on my first winter full time. I have it abit easier in louisville ( lowest temp. yet 28) but teens are frequent and single digits occasional. Wind and humidity are my enemies as i'm in a large river valley. I've got some good insights and it would be great to share stories !
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:50 PM   #91
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I travel for work, so I have electric heaters as backup if the furnace dies when I'm away.

I insulated and heat taped the RV park spigot, water hose, trailer inlet, and drain pipes. So far so good.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:28 AM   #92
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working

hey,
I haven't had a chance to read ALL the threads on this, but what do you typically do with your heat during the day? I'm guessing it's typically been warm enough that the heat pump stays on? Have you thought too much about leaving the furnace on or possibly setting it low to conserve gas? Do other people have suggestions from previous experience? Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:47 PM   #93
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We just stayed in SE Kansas this extended weekend (Pittsburg) and the coldest that it got as far as I could tell was 24 at night (although they were forecasting 17) and the high turkey day was 36. We have 2 dogs that stayed in the trailer so we bumped the furnace down to 60 during the day when we weren't there so they would be comfortable, and kicked to down to 53-54 at night when we were sleeping. Nothing froze so long as we used onboard water, and we emptied the blue boy every evening and didn't have any issues.
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:31 PM   #94
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I realize the right circumstances may not apply to all who want to live full-time in their AS, but after reading some of this thread, I wondered if those who had space/$$ could build a garage large enough to pull the AS into during the winter months and heat this with a wood stove. And, if having that stove inside is not a good thing (combustibles), how about having one of the newer wood burning furnaces which sit outside the building and the heat is piped in?

I am assuming those who want to live fulltime in their AS either don't want the cost of a home with associated costs of property taxes, insurance, etc. as they probably travel a lot during the Spring/Summer/Fall and only need something to get through the Winter months, or, they don't want the responsibility of a home and being tied down to one.

What brought this to mind is ten years or so ago I recall seeing along a road locally a garage which had been built and a full-sized trailer had been pulled inside (or perhaps the garage had been built around it), but they had allowed the front of the trailer to stick out, I suppose so the sunlight could come through the windows.

Does something like this sound doable?

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Old 11-27-2010, 07:09 PM   #95
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Wintertime sure will make one want to 'run for tha hills huh? The persimmon seeds this year said we would have lot's of snow (fork) in this area. The wind is the culprit everytime, and you have to do whatever is needed to keep that booger from going under the trailer. Right now - due to an emergency move we are right now tucked into a concrete corner by a building with the front of the airstream facing north.
If we could find a shop some where, we would get inside it. And time will tell. Meanwhile we have our reserve tank inside with the Mr. Heater screwed on top. It is there to knock back the cold in extreme cold. And using a small ceramic heater which makes it bearable. We only use botttled water for drinking and cleaning dishes which we heat in a coffee maker. Bathing happens at friends houses or anywhere it comes available, shaving at truckstops etc. Fulltime living brings on these adventures and keeps you alert. And it will wear you out sometimes. But we make it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:51 AM   #96
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I turn the heat down when I'm away and at night. The auto switching between furnace and heat pump does not work, so I do it manually. The heat pump is sufficient most of the time (>30+ F). So far the trailer has remained comfortable, and no problems with water line freeze.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:13 PM   #97
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Quote:
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You folks winter camping in Airstreams in cold climates scare the bejeepers outta me!

What's your fall-back plan if the heating dies??

"SHIVERING!!!!!!"

As far as building a structure around the trailer goes, that works well. I have done it in the past. Put trailer in, use facilities, but build living area out side trailer and heat whole she-bang with wood stove. A couple of big slider doors are a nice touch to allow a ton of light as well as air on warmer days.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:07 PM   #98
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What's your fall-back plan if the heating dies??
I am concerned about this. The trailer has a heat pump and lp furnace, so there is some redundancy. And if the electric goes out the furnace will run for a day using the battery. I have a Honda generator if the electric goes out for a longer time. If the furnace dies while it's too cold for the heat pump I have two electric resistance heaters. Finally, I'm about a mile from a Camping World store and hope they can fix the furnace if it dies!

I'm really hoping to get a job back home in MN so I can get into my house instead of living in the trailer! But two years of job hunting have not gone well.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:43 PM   #99
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Hello Dan, I hope you are still alive and breathing. My name is Patty and I am a new member to the Airstream Forum; your forum on Winter Living in an Airstream has peaked my interest because I may be in the Colorado area around February - March time frame and found many of your questions/answers to be informative and helpful.

The one Q. that has me still searching for an answer is: CONDENSATION. Did you ever get any answers to this issue?

BTW: One thing I do which helps keep me warm before turning in for the night. Heat up some water, make some tea, pour the rest into a water bladder (the old fashion type - usually pink in color) and toss under my blankets. When I'm ready to hit the sack the bed is nice and warm no matter how cold my trailer gets.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:42 AM   #100
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Do not see how you folks do it full time in AS further north than I am. I'm North Alabama mountain area. 26 degrees, floor is ice cold. Going to try to skirt unit better with plastice all around & maybe put head bulb inside. Replacing original furnace soon, mine 1993 orioginal model, Hope new one works better, ???? no idea if it will improve heat. 30,000 btu unit.

Like AS but this will be a challenge for me. Good luck to the rest of us AS liveaboards.

Lived on a sailboat in north west Florida for years, water was much warmer I guess to keep hull/floor warmer than this.

Cold in Alabamy.
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