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I absolutely LOVE Airstreams-- but they are not great in extreme cold.  Thinner insulation and the interior aluminum skin is attached to the exterior aluminum skin via aluminum ribs, so the rate of thermal transfer is high.  About the coldest temp I ever experienced in my old Airstream, was 25 or so, and you can touch the interior skin and tell exactly where the ribs/studs are, because the area around them is noticeably colder.  Modern Airstreams are better insulated than my vintage was, but the basic geometries are the same and so they suffer the same problems.

As has been mentioned, there are specific models out there that are designed especially for cold weather.  I don't know what they are because I live in Central Texas, but someone local to you might know.

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2 hours ago, horn4life said:

Buy a great used RV from an older responsible person, as a second buyer would be my advice.  The prior owner had every frigging record and receipt, as well as lists for setup and breakdown.  Plus they had already found out what was screwed up, and had it repaired.  I will also say that one thing that was important to us was a quality bed.  Again the prior owners spend like and extra grand for a better bed so it's more like your home bed.  

What I did was some solid research on a couple models that would satisfy my requirements of being able to stay cool in Summer (for you warm in winter).  Then I scoured most of the state on Craigslist, finding the rig in San Antonio.  I was in no hurry and was willing to wait for the right deal.  It took maybe 6 weeks to find exactly what I wanted at a "deal" price.  Sounds like a solid trailer is exactly what you need.  Gonna need to find a way to dump your black water tank into your septic, but other than that it should work for you.

I have a cleanout on the side of the house.  A bucket will be gross, but do-able.

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17 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

I have a cleanout on the side of the house.  A bucket will be gross, but do-able.

No bucket, tank.  Not bad at all.  Not too gross after the initial grossness of it becomes regular. It’s always still a bit gross.   Also, depending on what kind you end up with, you can get ALOT of black tank storage. I mean it’s never enough, but some units have a lot bigger tanks than others, or even 2.  

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22 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

Flat, but probably a couple hundred feet.

OK.  I've seen 50' of stinky slinky but never a couple hundred.

You'll get really familiar with this, your new best friend:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Portable-Accessories-Durable-Odorless-39004/dp/B07K87FR5C/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1RLE83QVJF5BR&keywords=portable+rv+waste+tank&qid=1669832952&sprefix=portable+rv+%2Caps%2C128&sr=8-2&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.f5122f16-c3e8-4386-bf32-63e904010ad0

Camco Rhino 21-Gallon Portable RV Holding Tank for Transporting Waste to  Dump Station - Walmart.com

 

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On 11/30/2022 at 12:32 PM, utee94 said:

That’s the one I got. It’s more expensive than some of the others, but it’s pretty quality throughout.  I can make it thru deer season with one haul out, depending on how many times the girls are down.  

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On 11/30/2022 at 11:52 AM, Chewbacca said:

I have a clean out on the side of the house.  A bucket will be gross, but do-able.

Hell If I was going to undertake a build, I would probably allocate some money to at the minimum tie in an RV drain connection next to your cleanout.  If the land would allow it, I might try to pick a spot for the trailer that specifically would work after the house is done.  For larger groups in the future perhaps. Then perhaps (depending ont he price) run a line DOWNHILL from the RV parking spot and ass an RV sewer drain.  

I had a vision of you attempting the master the dark art with your bucket, and begging you to add least add a RV drain to connect your portable poop tank to.

Or promise to at least show us some photos of how much you regret getting shit on yourself! 😉

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6 minutes ago, horn4life said:

Hell If I was going to undertake a build, I would probably allocate some money to at the minimum tie in an RV drain connection next to your cleanout.  If the land would allow it, I might try to pick a spot for the trailer that specifically would work after the house is done.  For larger groups in the future perhaps. Then perhaps (depending ont he price) run a line DOWNHILL from the RV parking spot and ass an RV sewer drain.  

I had a vision of you attempting the master the dark art with your bucket, and begging you to add least add a RV drain to connect your portable poop tank to.

Or promise to at least show us some photos of how much you regret getting shit on yourself! 😉

If I do buy an RV, it is only for next summer.  I don't want one long term.  I will likely get a sprinter van once the house is done and that will be my mobile fishing HQ to drive all over the western US.

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37 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

If I do buy an RV, it is only for next summer.  I don't want one long term.  I will likely get a sprinter van once the house is done and that will be my mobile fishing HQ to drive all over the western US.

Sportsmobile makes some nice 4x4 ones.  https://sportsmobile.com/mercedes-benz-4x4-sprinter/Still want the shit pics! 

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2 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

If I do buy an RV, it is only for next summer.  I don't want one long term.  I will likely get a sprinter van once the house is done and that will be my mobile fishing HQ to drive all over the western US.

Still, all of horn4life's advice would apply.  It would probably be beneficial to have an RV pad for your sprinter van, to use as a guest house in times of need.

(or, to use as a mancave when you want to get away from wife/kids assuming you have those) :)

You could fulfil that Airstream fantasy with one of these...

Atlas-BugEye-MY2020

Airstream-Atlas-Lifestyle-Exterior-Curb-Side-on-the-Beach-Luxury-Class-B-Motorhome

MY2020-Airstream-Atlas-Interior-Modern-Greige-Recliner-Up-TV-Up

MY2020-Airstream-Atlas-Interior-Modern-Greige-Bed-Down

2020 Atlas Formal Black Interior

 

 

 

 

 

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You know though, if it was just somewhat downhill or could be laid out/propped up with any kind of downhill slope and not in the way of the contractors - a 100 or 150 feet of 4 inch sewer pipe across the top of the ground for a season wouldn't be that big of a deal during construction. Would be better than having to use a honey pot at all.

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14 hours ago, horn4life said:

I don't know if I would go for the snorkel but hell if it's for fishing, let's go where others can't! And maybe a deeper water crossing would be advantageous.   That Airstream version is nice, but I would have to change my clothes outside after a day of fishing.  

 

If you own an Airstream, you just throw those clothes in the trash and put on brand new ones every time you enter the vehicle.

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On 12/7/2022 at 1:23 PM, Chewbacca said:

I'm doing a 3rd car garage stall with a 9' door for the sprinter van.  Not going to have an RV pad.  

It would be wiser to plan on having a 10' door.  4wd and a fan (not ac) will put you over 9', and many put a roof rack and/or solar  up there too.

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1 hour ago, otisdog said:

It would be wiser to plan on having a 10' door.  4wd and a fan (not ac) will put you over 9', and many put a roof rack and/or solar  up there too.

Yeah, I need to look into that.  Haven't finished CDs with the architect yet.  I probably need to get out there this weekend and look at some vehicles.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Anyone have experience with a Sprinter van conversion?  Was always planning on getting one in a few years when kids are out of the house, but now I'm wondering if I should do it sooner than later.  Looks like it would be a great way to have a mobile fishing HQ.  What should I look for?  Basic layout I think I want is something like this, but I don't want to spend $100k+ so it would be something used.

 

https://thevancamper.com/post/5545/new-2021-mercedes-sprinter-170-campervan-conversion-for-sale

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oops thought I did an edit:

I would make sure that if you buy a sprinter spring for the extra to make it 4x4.  Simply to reach more remote fishing, and for safety in snowy/icy conditions.  The size might be an issue, but the flexibility to use it some nearby while doing the build might make me pull the trigger.  I would insure the shit out of it, especially in a remote location, with construction folks around.

Build a gravel pad with electrical for the rig to stay warm and build an outhouse.  Or maybe your wife is different from mine, and this may be an option for you instead of the outhouse.

spacer.png

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12 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Talked to a builder today and Sprinters are 4 season campers. This would solve my remodel problem, too.

It will probably cost me 120k, though.

Lots of people start from a base model or rebuild a used, older SMB, exponentially cheaper than buying a new one from SMB or another builder.

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums/f24/

Mine was a base E350 with a UJOR 4x4 install when I started building it out 2 years ago. Still a work in progress.

 

 

 

van xcalak.jpg

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2 minutes ago, rage-a-holic said:

Lots of people start from a base model or rebuild a used, older SMB, exponentially cheaper than buying a new one from SMB or another builder.

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums/f24/

Mine was a base E350 with a UJOR 4x4 install when I started building it out 2 years ago. Still a work in progress.

 

 

 

van xcalak.jpg

Awesome build and great forum link rage-a-holic!!!

 

I clicked your link and went down a guys from scratch build rabbit hole Ford Transit 2020 350 AWD "sportsmobile" build   The detail that poster used on his build is simply fantastic.  He's got skills, for sure, but his documentation of the build out is inspiring, along with your 4x4 build.  

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I love reading through those RV build and resto/reno threads.  

There are tons of them on the Airstream forums, many of which inspired me when I was doing my own restoration.  I read through dozens of them, spent countless hours studying them.

 

 

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We are selling the Airstream to offset the cost of a house build at the ranch. We wont need it anymore since it is too small for my clan to all sleep in.

2014 Airstream 23FB if anyone is interested. It is in excellent condition and for the last 5 years it has been sitting under cover at the ranch. It has been inspected yearly to keep the warranty active with the dealership. New tires bought in October 2022 and I have new batteries sitting at my house ready to install.

I am dropping it off to the dealership for them to run through and do an inspection as well as replace a few items. Then it is going up for sale.

Not mine but it looks like this: Airstream-flying-cloud-18-2400x1600.jpg

Floorplan view:

2021-flying-cloud-floor-plan-23FB-caroli

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5 hours ago, utee94 said:

I don't know anything about B-vans but I think they're cool.  I look forward to seeing yours, especially if you have it custom-built! :)

 

 

Well, it's happening now.  Just bought a 2023 Sprinter.  Now I need to nail down a builder.  We want to be using it by summer.

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17 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Well, it's happening now.  Just bought a 2023 Sprinter.  Now I need to nail down a builder.  We want to be using it by summer.

What did you get? Diesel, gas, 144 or 170, regular or high roof, AWD?  I've had mine (144 High roof 4x4) for 54 weeks and haven't got as much done to it as I want (doing it myself) but I'm moving in the right direction. there are a massive amount of decisions to be made such as battery capacity, cooking and cooling options, etc.

Sprinter-Source is the go-to forum to begin your immersion. Up here in the PNW builders are still booked at least 6 months out, I''d be wary of using someone who  has immediate openings. Also, all things $printer related are stupidly expensive. 

Congrats!

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1 hour ago, blacklab said:

anyone got opinions on off road rv trailers?

Opus/Taxa/Black Series?

Very interested in this topic. Rented from this guy about a year ago to try out an off-road trailer  


https://adventureatxrentals.com/so-trailer-gallery/

Overall pretty good, and towable with 4Runner, but would prefer something that can sleep more than two inside. Hoping to rent an Opus 4 this spring. Black series 15 looks like the best answer, but pricey and couldn’t tow with my 4Runner. 

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2 hours ago, otisdog said:

What did you get? Diesel, gas, 144 or 170, regular or high roof, AWD?  I've had mine (144 High roof 4x4) for 54 weeks and haven't got as much done to it as I want (doing it myself) but I'm moving in the right direction. there are a massive amount of decisions to be made such as battery capacity, cooking and cooling options, etc.

Sprinter-Source is the go-to forum to begin your immersion. Up here in the PNW builders are still booked at least 6 months out, I''d be wary of using someone who  has immediate openings. Also, all things $printer related are stupidly expensive. 

Congrats!

Diesel 170 high roof AWD.  Needed the extra space so we can sleep (and seat) 4.  Now need to find the builder and figure out configuration.  Thanks for the rec on Sprinter-Source.  I'll head over there.  

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2 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Diesel 170 high roof AWD.  Needed the extra space so we can sleep (and seat) 4.  Now need to find the builder and figure out configuration.  Thanks for the rec on Sprinter-Source.  I'll head over there.  

Ahh....this is a rare bird.  Mercedes changed from 4WD to AWD because the AWD is the in-house 4matic, and the reason they did was so that they wouldn't be reliant on an outside vendor. But you could on order a '23 AWD for about 6 weeks before they closed the order books on the AWD until fall. meaning the very few AWD's that have been produced are it for the year.  The new 2 liter 4 cylinder High Output engine that replaced the 3 liter 6 cylinder has been reported to get great mileage for a large brick.

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1 minute ago, otisdog said:

Ahh....this is a rare bird.  Mercedes changed from 4WD to AWD because the AWD is the in-house 4matic, and the reason they did was so that they wouldn't be reliant on an outside vendor. But you could on order a '23 AWD for about 6 weeks before they closed the order books on the AWD until fall. meaning the very few AWD's that have been produced are it for the year.  The new 2 liter 4 cylinder High Output engine that replaced the 3 liter 6 cylinder has been reported to get great mileage for a large brick.

Yeah, that's why I bought it, even though I'm not a fan of white on these things.  I haven't driven one of the 3.0 diesels, but I was surprised when I found out it was only a 4 cyl.  Has good power.  Not great, but good.  Being in CO is good in this way.  MB dealer has probably 20-30 on the lot, but 90% are 144s.

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40 minutes ago, otisdog said:

Looks great! You're going to appreciate the extra 26".

Which dealer?

MB Littleton.  They say they sell more of these than anyone in the region, but I'm sure all the dealers say that.

I already love the space in this thing.  I'm 6'2" and can stand fully upright in this.  Once the floor and ceiling go on, I may need to bend a tiny bit, but it's got great headroom.

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