Sunday, November 25, 2007


It's cold here in Idaho. It's been going into the teens every night. It's too cold for a full time Airstreamer who could be anywhere. I have no regrets that I am here with my sister and her family. If anything the time is too short, but the cold (he whined).

Wherever I've gone this year, if my Airstream is with me I stay in it. It's my home. Everything I need is there and it's great to have your own space. Because it is so cold I've had to fully engage my vintage 1973 furnace. It runs on propane and does a good job of keeping the trailer warm. At least when it works.

A few nights ago at about midnight the heat really started to bother me. Twenty-two degrees outside and over 80 in the Airstream. We were getting roasted. Jake was on the floor and I was miserably hot. Something was wrong. I'd been messing with increasing frequency with the thermostat--even turning it off. To no avail. The furnace just kept running. It was late. I was tired. I didn't know what to do.

I cut the gas to the furnace and did the unthinkable . . . I went inside my sister's house and slept in her guest bedroom.

The next day after posting on the Airstream Forum and getting some tips ( I took the cover off the thermostat and poked around. I don't know that I actually did anything but the device started to control the furnace again and has been acting fine ever since.

That night I woke up and I was freezing. I am fairly sure that I just ran out of propane in the tank I was using. I went outside, switched tanks (I am sure this should or could happen automatically, but . . . ). I came back in, shivering, and re-lit the pilot light and fired up the old beast again. I curled up in bed with Jake at my feet and reached over to see if hot air was coming out now. It was. I fell back to sleep.

I did a lot of work today in the trailer and used the furnace all day. At some point in the early evening, with the winds howling and the Airstream plenty warm, I decided to cry uncle. For the next few nights I am saving propane and sleeping in the guest bedroom inside. Everything is working in the Airstream, but I am burning through propane fast and there is a free warm room available.

I will still work out of the trailer as needed during the day.

What kind of full-timer am I?