Airstream’s Environmental Efficiency Part 2: Heating and Cooling
Airstream recreational vehicles are trendy, classy and eco-friendly. Full-timers who dwell in an Airstream year-round automatically and seriously reduce their utility budget and their carbon footprint. Whether touring or parked, they are using fewer of the earth’s resources– and their own– as compared to the costs of living in and maintaining a mortgaged home. In many cases, rising and unpredictable utility bills can almost equal the mortgage payments on a regular home, and that’s major stress. Advantages of full-time RVing include having all the comforts of home without the mortgage, endless maintenance and high utility bills. What’s good for the environment is good for people as well.
Some Airstream dwellers follow the seasons as snowbird retirees do, settling half a year in the warm south during the winter months and heading north for some shade and cool breezes in summer. Others follow a whim, as many younger RVers are doing, uncluttering, working from home and taking that home with them, opting out of the grinding and uncertain career path and suburban mainstream to live large by going small. Airstream’s motto is and has always been, “See more. Do more. Live more.”
Icons of classic design and head-turners from the 1930s, Airstream was engineered and wind-shaped to reduce resistance. Engineers chose riveted aluminum for lightness and sturdiness and to reduce towing vehicle fuel expenses along the way. Efficiently adapting to local conditions is everything. One may choose to plug in to full hookups and use town water and grid power, or opt for self-reliance and “land docking”–using a generator or relying on battery power, conserving resources depending on circumstances and conditions. Gages monitor fuel and water usage. The Airstream’s shiny surface reflects the sun and the rounded corners help the airflow inside the rv. Also, Airstream’s placement of windows allows cross-breezes in summer. For many locations and with the shade of the patio awning, the built-in air conditioning system is not always necessary. Roof vents upgraded with rainproof reversible fans exhaust summer heat during the day and draw in cool night air. For the cooler months, a built in furnace or a small ceramic space heater tempers more extreme climate conditions, with insulating drapes and foil-bubble-foil window coverings to make things more snug.
Airstream has the square-footage of a single room in a regular house. Obviously, heating and cooling one room is simpler and cheaper than heating a whole house. Of course, using less fuel means environmental impact is significantly reduced, but a larger result is low maintenance costs and budget relief from having predictable and affordable utility bills, honoring that “See more– Do more– Live more” promise. Going green, with Airstream, is living the dream.