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-   -   Staying through the winter in Taos, NM without winterizing (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f462/staying-through-the-winter-in-taos-nm-without-winterizing-161869.html)

YodaBuddha 01-25-2017 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1903863)
If you keep that space open with a fan circulating the air, you should be fine hopefully.

Good point.

I decided to put a small electric space heater in this space, set on the lowest setting. It's a small space and on this setting it has become extremely warm in there - probably over 80 already. I'll stick a thermometer in there to see how warm it is getting.

With it being so warm in there, I can't imagine any of the pipes freezing at the exterior connections

YodaBuddha 01-25-2017 07:37 PM

By the way, I dumped my grey tank late this afternoon when it was 20F out, and it has not been above freezing for a couple of days. The valve opened smoothly and there was no sign of freezing.

I did have one minor mishap. The lock on the fresh water tank compartment had frozen, and I managed to break the key off in the lock applying some force to try and turn it. Those keys actually are very flimsy...

I was able to pull out the broken part of the key from the lock with a set of small pliers.

I then thawed out the lock with a hair dryer, and it opened fine with my spare key.

billdunlap 01-25-2017 08:17 PM

I also live in a ski area (Mammoth Lakes, CA) and use my Airstream for winter camping. You might want to look at my link on using the Airstream in a cold climate.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f459...ons-98695.html

Good luck - Taos is a great but I have only visited in the summer.

Bill Dunlap
Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains

snow 01-25-2017 10:42 PM

OK Following this thread closely - lots of good info. Since I live in Colorado and it's currently 0 F and maybe closer to 10 F in Taos, but I have a nice wood stove going, I'm pretty comfortable. Hope you're doing OK. But, what I'm wondering is how the skiing is. It seems like a conditions are great. We're thinking of going there at the end of February- not in an Airstream. Is the hike to skiing open? Seems like there is great coverage. Love to hear your ski report. You've given me great inspiration to someday go further south than Colorado for the winter.
Cheers,
Dave

YodaBuddha 01-25-2017 11:02 PM

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2029%20PM.jpg

YodaBuddha 01-25-2017 11:42 PM

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2036%20PM.jpg

OTRA15 01-26-2017 12:23 AM

Nice shot of the ice on the inside of your window glass! (if I am seeing this correctly) Condensation on the inside is a major issue in cold weather use of an AS, as you are learning. To some extent there probably will be condensation happening inside the walls, which can then be absorbed by the Fiberglas insulation, and lead to mold problems down the road as I understand it. Cracking open your roof vents can help, but obviously there will be a loss of heat.

In addition to using the furnace religiously, as you have been doing, it would not hurt to have a dehumidifier running most of the time (in the shower maybe so it can drain?), and to use these 120-volt Dampp Chasers tucked away in hidden locations like under the bed etc.:

https://www.amazon.com/Dampp-Chaser-...s=dampp+chaser

We keep a couple plugged in during our winter storage in the driveway out back. They come in lengths 24" to 48" although Amazon may not stock them. Our local hardware store has carried them for decades, and there are other similar brands. Very low wattage and fairly safe.

Good luck!

PS -- Lots of threads here on "interior condensation" FYI --

https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...ior&gsc.page=1

YodaBuddha 01-26-2017 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1904000)
To some extent there probably will be condensation happening inside the walls, which can then be absorbed by the Fiberglas insulation, and lead to mold problems down the road as I understand it.

Thanks for your response and I'm going to read through the threads you linked to. I just wanted to get back to you more quickly to say that based on my observations I would not expect condensation to currently be happening within the walls. This is based on the interior humidity that I am measuring combined with observations I'm making of both frost and water condensation on certain other surfaces (such as the window I showed in my photo).

I really don't want to rip open a wall in order to prove my hypothesis though ;)

YodaBuddha 01-26-2017 02:50 AM

Interior humidity levels are low and there is minimal visible condensation - only some condensation on window surfaces and a few random other places, like the metal frame around the door, towards the bottom.

I'm measuring 26% relative humidity at 70.3F right now. Pretty low.

tevake 01-26-2017 07:46 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for that comprehensive list Bill, well done, helpful.

I really like that weather station, Yodabuddha.
Does it have an outside sensor it communicates with?

The night temps have gone from high 20s down to mid teens over the last few nights here in Chino Valley. I'm starting to use the furnace to supplement the electric heaters.

I like the way that the ducted heating seems to be working to keep your floor warm. You would not be barefooted in one of these older motorhomes.
There really are considerable differences in different airstream models.

I've been noticing great icicles forming under Windows from the snow melting there.

Bare in mind that I am Hawaii guy, so this winter stuff is new to me, and kind of fun and very pretty in ways. I feel like a kid wondering around taking pictures.
Just limiting as to what can be done outside, my 911 engine is sitting there in the Nomad Garage, done and ready to go back into the car. Not sure when it'll warm up enough for me to work outside.

Toasterlife 01-26-2017 09:02 AM

Could you please clarify that you have access to shore power?

OTRA15 01-26-2017 12:21 PM

With the use of electric heaters and hair dryers, and no discussion of a generator, it seems highly likely that shore power is being used IMO.

YodaBuddha 01-26-2017 01:03 PM

We made it through the night with no problems at all. The low temperature was 1F, and it was in the single digits for about nine or ten hours, maybe a little longer.

Yes, we are connected to 50A shore power.

I've attached photos of how I'm using a small space heater to heat the area where both the city water intake pipe and external shower pipes poke through the exterior wall of the airstream. All of these pipes are in the same general, connected space - and it is a relatively small space - so this small heater keeps it very warm in there running on it's lowest setting. I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to run it on a higher setting in such a small space.

I think that this space heater might be overkill and unnecessary since the furnace ducts running through this space also radiate a lot of heat. But, I'm going to continue running it when temperatures go down into the single digits.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2010%20AM.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2045%20AM.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2056%20AM.jpg

YodaBuddha 01-26-2017 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tevake (Post 1904049)
I really like that weather station, Yodabuddha.
Does it have an outside sensor it communicates with?

Thanks! Yes, it has an outdoor sensor that I attached to the propane tank hood with strong velcro tape. They carry these at Target. I'd highly recommend getting one - both for fun and also so that you can make better decisions as to when it is necessary to switch from electric heat to running your furnace, etc.

It also has various temperature alarms that you can set - so that you can get woken up in the middle of the night if your furnace has failed and the interior temperature is dropping, or alerted when the outdoor temperature drops below freezing.

Caffeinated 01-26-2017 01:12 PM

I'm amazed that things have not frozen given the conditions. I'm also pretty impressed.

Mike

OTRA15 01-26-2017 02:30 PM

Thanks for the new photos. The concentration of plumbing in that space under the closet is very helpful to surviving the extreme cold IMO. Could you let us know where the other plumbing is, such as the main galley sink, and the water pump? If easy to do, more photos would help others who attempt to replicate your success in different Airstream models.

It will also be helpful if you could confirm that the black and grey dump valves and the two waste tanks have survived all of this. Having them relatively empty is a big "plus" to not having cracks in the tanks. Do you have electric tank heaters, in addition to the heat ducting running someplace near there?

Not sure if your owner's manual has any schematics of your model's heat ducts and tank heaters here:

https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...ying-Cloud.pdf

On p. 27/112 in the PDF is the 27FB floor plan, which shows your bath and galley sinks across the hall from the plumbing closet/wardrobe, correct? Is the water pump over there someplace also? Does the plumbing run all above the main floor on that side of the trailer, and how does the water get over there from the city water inlet? Is the water heater under the bed maybe?

If any of the plumbing runs under the main floor, to get from side to side perhaps, perhaps there are heat ducts down there as well.

Congratulations for mastering the pipes in time to protect your investment -- and sanity!

Peter

YodaBuddha 01-26-2017 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1904208)
Could you let us know where the other plumbing is, such as the main galley sink, and the water pump?

I've attached photos of the plumbing under the main galley sink. You can see the pipes descending by the exterior wall. I'm not entirely sure where they go from here, but I suspect they go under the floor through the belly area where the tanks are that's heated by the furnace.

I kept the cabinet doors under the sink open last night to keep these pipes warmer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1904208)
It will also be helpful if you could confirm that the black and grey dump valves and the two waste tanks have survived all of this.

I dumped both the black and grey tanks today. The outdoor temperature had gone up to 25F. The valves pulled smoothly and there was no sign of freezing at all. Both tanks were at 50%.

I believe that if the tanks or valves had frozen in the night they would have still been frozen when I dumped - although in theory there might have been some freezing when it was in the single digits that got thawed out by the furnace heat once the temps had gone up into the 20's - but this seems very unlikely to me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1904208)
Do you have electric tank heaters, in addition to the heat ducting running someplace near there?

Nope.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1904208)
On p. 27/112 in the PDF is the 27FB floor plan, which shows your bath and galley sinks across the hall from the plumbing closet/wardrobe, correct? Is the water pump over there someplace also? Does the plumbing run all above the main floor on that side of the trailer, and how does the water get over there from the city water inlet? Is the water heater under the bed maybe?

Yes, they are across the hall. The water pump is bolted to the floor under the closet next to where I put the small space heater.

I believe that the plumbing runs under the floor from the closet over to the bathroom and galley sinks.

The water heater is under the bathroom sink (I attached a photo of it). It keeps things pretty warm under there, so I wasn't worried about freezing pipes there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 1904208)
If any of the plumbing runs under the main floor, to get from side to side perhaps, perhaps there are heat ducts down there as well.

Yes, the main floor stays quite warm (actually warm to the touch) when the furnace is running, even at these extremely low temperatures. Looking underneath the Airstream from outside, the entire underbelly is sealed with metal sheets and there are absolutely no pipes or tanks visible. Based on the fact that the floor stays warm, it seems that this area is quite well heated by the furnace (I believe there must be an actual vent down there), and I've been assuming that Airstream must have run the pipes through this area in order to protect them from freezing.

I'm not going to say anything now that might jinx me, at least not until this cold snap is over ;)

I am starting to get a little worried about condensation in the walls and am using a couple of small dehumidifiers now. I'm not that worried as the climate here in Taos is usually fairly mild (at least at this elevation out on the mesa), with temperatures going up above freezing every day, lots of sun, and very low humidity. So, once this cold snap is over I think the Airstream will dry out quickly. A few days of condensation is probably not enough to cause any serious problems (I hope) - and with the dehumidifiers going the condensation should be greatly reduced.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2035%20PM.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2000%20PM.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2028%20PM.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%2039%20PM.jpg

OTRA15 01-26-2017 04:02 PM

Great photos thanks!

Ah, now we see your secret.

The black cat watching over all . . .

:cat:

Antique Pedaler 01-26-2017 05:36 PM

Here's the couple who have all the experience in wintering in an Airstream in Alaska and the Grand Canyon . Here on airforum look up deauxrite from 2012. Like Dudley do right.

YodaBuddha 01-27-2017 12:59 AM

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/...%20PM.jpg?dl=0


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