WTH TEXAS... It's Spring
There is always this discussion on twin beds vs queen, when it comes to an Airstream.
My vote — a QUEEN!!!
Last night, a blizzard hit Amarillo, Texas. Snow and 30 mph winds wreaked havoc all night long. I woke up around 4:00 am from the howling of the wind outside. I got up to use the restroom and found out our power went out sometime before then. Luckily, (I seem to be using that word a lot lately) we upgraded our batteries last year to AGM Lifelines and Tony added a Victron battery monitor so he could monitor our batteries with his phone. And, luckily (there is that word again), we have a queen bed so we could SNUGGLE!!!
Our furnace was running constantly at this point, we had it set to 61 when we went to bed, to keep us, and Betty Jo warm. But since the power was out and the furnace was running on battery power, we decided to turn it down and monitor the usage. At 4:00 am our battery power was at 95%, we turned down the furnace to 58 and I set our alarm to wake us up about every 45 minutes so we could check the batteries, and to make sure we had not frozen to death. By 5:00 am we were down to 91%. Then at 9:10 am were down to 87%.
Our fridge was drawing about 14 watts, luckily (again) it switched to propane. So the only items running on batteries were our fridge and the furnace.
By morning, the sun started peeking through the clouds and added a little juice to our batteries through the solar panels.
Thanks to our queen size bed and layers of blankets (and long sleeve shirts and socks) we snuggled together and stayed pretty toasty. Even, with the furnace set to 55, Betty Jo stayed fairly warm as well.
Dang... That's Cold
We were supposed to be Snowbirds this winter. Snowbirds actually head south to warmer climates, but like I said in my WTH was I thinking article... we are backwards snowbirds.
We experienced our first Ice Storm (winter storm Jasper) in our Airstream. She did beautifully, but it was a bit of a rough night listening to tiny ice pellets pelting away at her - all night long. I had dreams of ice building on her rooftop and scrunching it under the weight. My husband assured me she was fine, but I am a bit of a nervous Nellie when it comes to Betty Jo (the Airstream), my protective instincts go into hyperdrive.
We unhooked from city water before the temperatures dropped. We learned that lesson early on. When we bought Betty Jo in February of 2021. Our first weekend with her in an RV park we got hit by a snowstorm in Anacortes, WA. We received over a foot of snow in just under 24 hours. A friend told us to make sure we unhook from city water. A valuable piece of advice. This was a rare occurrence. Just one of many we were going to experience, including a heat dome in the Pacific Northwest.
That weekend was a test for us newbies and a test of our decision to start this lifestyle.
The February Snow Storm of 2021
We kept the heat up during the ice store, around 64 degrees during the night. Our trailer is ducted, much like a home, and our tanks and pipes are enclosed underneath. The ducting runs through that area so when the furnace runs it warms up her underbelly - keeping everything toasty.
We woke up to her creaking and crackling as the weather started to warm up. Chunks of ice melting from her skin. I went out to check on her to find most of her was unharmed and only small chunks of ice gathered on her passenger side. Our truck, however, was caked in a thick layer of ice. And, so was Pink (the flamingo.)
The weather is warming up now and most of the ice has thawed and dripped from the surfaces of all involved. The gulls are out enjoying the lull in weather and flying over head. Waves from the Atlantic Ocean are gently rolling to shore. Life is returning to a warmer normal.
Betty Jo (the Airstream) weathered the storm beautifully and is as resilient as her namesake.
The weather this year has not been NORMAL! You can not always PLAN for it. This was a rare occurrence, normally it is in the mid-50s and upper 30s at night in this area. Many tell us, well you can just go south again, but the reality is you cannot always just pack up and MOVE. There are many factors at play. Sure, we have the ability to move, but sometimes it is safer and better to ride out a storm then to try to outrun it.
As we roam the roads and highways, looking for that next fantastic stop, keep track of our travels in our Airstream - Betty Jo