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Old 11-03-2020, 12:53 PM   #1
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INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH , Florida
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Wintering in Denver, CO

Without going into details, there may be a need for us to spend the winter in Denver. Bought the Airstream for summer trips to kids who live here. We live in FL.
1. Can we Airstream in Denver? A week ago Sunday it was 6 degrees, high today 73 (pretty weird to me).
2. If 1 is "Yes," what would we need to do to winter here? I know an heated water hose would be for starters.
THX for observations, experiences, and recommendations.
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Old 11-03-2020, 01:11 PM   #2
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Really not a 4 season trailer, but some of our friends do go out in winter, winterized and using bottled water. You probably could make it with electrical hookups and plenty of propane, but when it gets really cold you’d need to keep heat on to avoid frozen pipes. Hope you got lots of cold weather clothing, and even then you (or I) might not be comfortable. It seems Florida folks feel the cold more than natives ...

If you could find a heated indoor garage, I’d say sure!
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Old 11-03-2020, 01:14 PM   #3
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I live in the mountains just west of the Denver area, and I winterize my Airstream from late fall until spring. Unfortunately, I can't give you a great deal of information on specifics around spending the winter months in your Airstream. What I can do is give you some information on the weather here. In the Denver area, it's not unusual to find weather above 60 degrees and sunny in any winter month. That said, it's also not unusual to find weather below zero degrees with 12+ inches of snow. Fortunately, we have lots of sunshine (300+ days per year) and snow doesn't last very long. It's usually gone in a couple of days. We tend to see extremes in weather and temperatures because of the cold air rolling down from the front range.

I think you need to make the same kind of preparations to spend the winter in Denver as you would in any winter climate. Make sure you've got adequate access to power and to LP gas. On cold nights, you'll go through LP gas quickly. I'd recommend skirts around the trailer. I'd recommend warm clothes and thick blankets. Management of humidity can be a challenge, so you'll need to take measures for that.

It can be done, you'll just need some prep and some diligence with respect to managing your resources.

I'm sure others with winter Airstream experience will provide you with some guidance.
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Old 11-03-2020, 01:20 PM   #4
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For skirting, you may want to look at: airskirts.com

Expensive but it may be worth it.
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Old 11-03-2020, 02:32 PM   #5
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Just a couple of suggestions along the lines of what I would do: Insulation inserts for the roof vents, 2 extra (as large as you can move on your own) Propane tanks, always try to keep 2 of 4 filled at minimum. Pads/insulation on trailer walls around sleeping area and windows. Arctic clothes and ski mittens for emergency - we have been in minus 17 deg F conditions in Montana and were comfortable because we had the right gear on. Finally if you are not covered you can almost count on hail damage at some point, so hopefully you are (covered).
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Old 11-03-2020, 03:03 PM   #6
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Airstreams are poorly insulated and as a result you'll need lots of propane, skirting, and a dehumidifier as well as other things mentioned above. You will have major condensation issues without the latter. An old fashioned light bulb (not LED) underneath can help keep the trailer warm too. They put fiberglass in the walls, but it does not stay in place and if it gets wet (Airstreams do leak), it is useless. Two inches of fiberglass does not give you much R value under the best of circumstances and installing fiberglass batts requires some expertise and I doubt Airstream follows those protocols. The steel ribs that hold the aluminum panels together inside and out transmit heat or cold quite well.

People do winter in Airstreams, but it is not easy. We used to live in Evergreen and the coldest I saw it there was -33˚, but Denver can get down to -20˚. The closer you are to the foothills, the more snow you may get. There are two campgrounds on West Colfax Ave. Others I don't know about. People have had problems locating a decent and reasonably priced CG's in Denver in the winter. And do you have snow tires for your tow vehicle and a snow brush? An easy way to insulate the windows is to Velcro Reflectix to them—you get that at a Lowe's or Home Depot. It is reflective foil on the outside with some insulating part in the middle. Not all that great, but all you have on an Airstream are single pane windows.

You could trade your Airstream for an Arctic Fox since they are well insulated.

Some people winter in Airstreams and some like it and some don't. Most don't seem to do it twice. And remember layers of clothing when in Colorado. One day can be in the 60's in the morning and 0˚ and snowing hard by afternoon. Chinook winds on the west side of town can be rough too (70 mph and up sometimes)—they can raise temps a lot and then the cold comes and slams you.

The Front Range has more hail storms that cause great damage than most anywhere else in the country (Florida is a contender also). You can get thundersnow in the winter, but the hail storms usually come in the spring through fall. Some insurers have high deductibles for hail damage on the Front Range.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:39 PM   #7
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Yes you can.

1. Large propane canisters - many rv parks in similar areas have arrangements with a local propane company that can set you up with tanks.
2. Heated water hose - good idea but I use it only to fill the tanks and then run the pump.
3. Dump hose - only use when tanks fill. Don't leave it hooked up.
4. Reflectex silver stuff - in each window, vent and skylight. Helps hold heat in. Remove on sunny days.
5. Skirting - this will really help. But if this is a one time event might not be what you want to spend. Find a skirting company that uses a channel/bulb system to hold the skirting on the trailer. Looks much better than the snap fasteners or turn/click type. Something like this company in Rapid City. https://www.customskirting.com/?gcli...RoCjTcQAvD_BwE
6. You absolutely need tank heating pads. If you rig doesn't have them I don't think you can install afterwards. You might get away without them but would absolutely need the skirting with a couple of incadescent lightbulbs adding some heat.
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Old 11-04-2020, 11:34 AM   #8
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I don't even know what tank heating pads are. When we lived in AK we had a battery heating pad in the Subaru--I assume something like that.
Any suggestion on vendor and installation?
Staying in the AS is not our choice, just trying to organize my thoughts and options.
THX
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Old 11-04-2020, 12:09 PM   #9
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Tank heater pads are fairly common. Airstream uses them on their Classic coaches. You can find them on Amazon in a variety of sizes.
https://www.amazon.com/Upgrade-Versi.../dp/B077VLB1KK
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:51 PM   #10
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As I understand it you have two types of tank heaters: either the furnace has a register near the tanks and heats them or electric heating pads are installed and require 120 v. You could lower the belly pan and install heating pads, but a skirt and maybe some light bulbs (the old fashioned incandescent type of there are even available) are easier. You need a skirt anyway.

As with any type of insulation, including skirts, sealing every possible hole that will let air flow through is essential. A lot of the R value of insulation is lost through small holes and air channels that let cold air in and hot air out. A skirt that is held up with some fasteners every few feet will let in plenty of air between the fasteners unless you tape it.

The nicest campground on the west side is Dakota Ridge, but it charges for that. The closer to the foothills, the more wind you will get in chinook weather.
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:10 PM   #11
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Well yeah you could, might not be your best time ever....
We've lived here 40 years and weather could be (and will be) anything and everything. Good part is that majority of days will have sun and be above 40 for a high temp, opportunity to air and dry it out. Probably 2 or 3 stretches of several days of very cold weather. There is a section here in the forums about winter living. There are several rv parks in the metro area that are open year round, Flying Saucer in Englewood, one out by Barr lake in Adams Cty, one in Longmont, always trailers, rarely Airstreams.
2020... Lived in our just completed '68 Overlander the first 2 weeks of June while between houses, 1st week 90's highs, 50's lows, never closed the windows or door, 2nd week - hurricane winds, hail, rain, sleet, 3 inches snow one night, 3 nights in the 20's, like I said could be anything.

Best of luck, Mark D
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Old 11-09-2020, 12:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
As I understand it you have two types of tank heaters: either the furnace has a register near the tanks and heats them or electric heating pads are installed and require 120 v. You could lower the belly pan and install heating pads, but a skirt and maybe some light bulbs (the old fashioned incandescent type of there are even available) are easier. You need a skirt anyway.

The tank heater pads on my '18 Classic are 12V according to the owners manual. Although there are 120V pads available.
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Old 11-09-2020, 09:16 AM   #13
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70 degrees yesterday, snowing today.

That's Colorado weather.
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbburke View Post
The tank heater pads on my '18 Classic are 12V according to the owners manual. Although there are 120V pads available.
Thanks for the correction. I assume the batteries won't last long heating the tanks.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:27 AM   #15
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Since it sounds like this is something you just need to do for your life right now, look at it as another adventure!! Sounds like you have family in Denver so you have some resource if things go crazy with the AS. I think you will be fine with a little extra attention to keeping your plumbing warm and airing things out well when you can. We live in Fort Collins and have pretty much the same weather as Denver. We frequently winter camp and have our AS out in cold weather. We set our thermostat at 46 for the night and are not cold with one comforter and a down sleeping bag along the outside wall. You can do this. What’s the worst that can happen? Something breaks and you stay in a motel while it gets fixed.
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:11 PM   #16
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Spent two winters in Dakota RV park. It is nice yet quite severe in paying upfront, no flexibility for changes, an RV skirt can’t be one you make up with panels from Home Depot as they want to avoid the ‘ghetto’ look of the RV park across the street from them (yes, it is quite sad looking place, a true trailer park). Dakota won’t let you have additional propane tanks on the ground. The electricity bill was very high and they had a computer reservation system older than computers themselves: takes forever to go through the process. Wind there can be very strong. You have a biker’s pub across the street, it can get interesting. Other than that, all is good. Doable. I placed two heating lamps and a space heater feed through a plug with a built-in thermostat, so it kicked in when near freezing. The mechanical dial space heater, so it keeps the settings when powered off. Then there is the issue with the AS door: as the coach cools/warms it contracts/expands at different rates, so you may not be able to close the door. Not unusual with AS, happened with two models I owned and own, had to resort to a bungee cord tied to the door and the dinette leg. Wish you better luck.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC Conner View Post
Without going into details, there may be a need for us to spend the winter in Denver. Bought the Airstream for summer trips to kids who live here. We live in FL.
1. Can we Airstream in Denver? A week ago Sunday it was 6 degrees, high today 73 (pretty weird to me).
2. If 1 is "Yes," what would we need to do to winter here? I know an heated water hose would be for starters.
THX for observations, experiences, and recommendations.
pc
What? In Denver..and all that snow..lots of propane. The as is not good in cold climates..or hot ones..moisture problems..gets into the insulation...
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:14 PM   #18
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Wall paper the whole trailer inside with reflectix insulation. Works for hot weather too.
Use some electric heaters to reduce the propane use, plan on a generator running if you don't have shore power. (Why does it seem the Airstreams still have propane heat when there's electric generators every where, and filling propane tanks gets to be a chore?)
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Old 11-18-2020, 06:25 PM   #19
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Look at my posts from 10-11 years ago. I stayed a winter at Prospect RV park in Denver. It was not fun. High cost of propane, occasional frozen pipes. condensation problems, and the RV park attracts an "interesting" clientele... I survived, but not worth it. Rent a place instead.
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:44 AM   #20
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Winterize the RV and rent a small apartment. Just getting the car going in the morning will occupy most of your time in the winter!
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