389 days of highs, lows and propane

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The graph above shows the high and low temperatures we experienced in all 389 days we have lived in our Airstream, along with our average daily propane consumption.

Temperatures are plotted against the left hand axis. Propane consumption against the right hand axis.

The lowest temperature we experienced was on February 5th, 2014, in Colorado. The high that day was 0F, the low was -14F.

We experienced four days with lows below 0F, and 45 days with lows of 20F or lower. On 19 days the high did not get above 30F.

At the other extreme, the highest temperature we experienced was 100F, which was reached on three days in August, all in Kansas. On 34 days the temperature reached 90F or higher.

Propane consumption correlates to cold, as you would expect. The daily averages obviously aren’t precise – they are simply the refill amounts divided by the time between last refill.

Our average propane consumption has been 0.47 gallons per day. In the coldest part of the year we consumed about 2.4 gallons per day and in the hottest part about 0.25 gallons a day (cooking). So, when it’s very cold we go through propane ten times as fast as when it’s hot. This is entirely due to running the furnace.

Weather is a big deal in an Airstream. The weather category is the largest on this blog, with 21 entries including this one. This data shows that fairly difficult weather can be survived without damage.

The raw dataset can be found here.

– Anthony, Adel, Iowa

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Maintenance day

Maintenance day, Pomona State Park, Kansas

We’re on a maintenance bonanza this week as we feel the warm weather coming to a close.

Washing, polishing, waxing, caulking, caulking, caulking. I think many of us living in Airstreams have developed a fear of water. Water will ruin Airstreams – shortly after the warranty has expired – due to rotting of the plywood sub-floor.

Every two weeks I check the floor by sticking a moisture meter through the laminate flooring at various intervals around the trailer. I also look for caulking gaps outside around windows and seams, the banana wrap and the roof.

Here’s the best caulking method I’ve found. To remove old caulk, use a plastic caulk removal tool combined with WD-40 combined with paper towels. I found a cheap plastic knife helps too – the kind you find in a big pack at Wal-Mart.

Before applying new caulk tape around the area. Both sides of the joint. This takes forever and is as boring as watching caulk dry. Then apply a bead of caulk – we use Vulkem 116 ordered online from Home Depot. Wear disposable gloves and use your finger to push the caulk into the joint. Just run your finger along it like you would caulking anything else.

Then pull up the tape. Easy. I don’t mind if there is caulk visible around the seams and windows as long as it’s neat. Vulkem 116 color matches quite well too.

We also have a general rule these days to avoid driving in the rain at all costs. Rain is a 70mph all-angle power wash of a thing that is made of wood and caulk with aluminum painted on it.

And yes, our bank did re-issue our credit card due to the Home Depot breach.

– Anthony, Pomona State Park, Kansas