To us new Airstream gypsies on our pilgrimage to here, this kind of weather forecast strikes a certain amount of anxiety in us. We hadn’t yet experienced snow anywhere in our first year of travel (below freezing temps a couple of times, yes) but no snow. We had kept to lower elevations and to the far south as we crossed Texas on our way west to Arizona but we had run out of Texas and had to get up north and west to El Paso.
Heading out of Big Bend National Park, our destination was the high plains country of Fort Davis, Texas south of I-10 and the campground at Davis Mountains State Park. The park is gorgeous – high, rimmed by the mountains and full of great hiking trails – and we were so happy to learn they had availability.
The day we arrived, the weather was clear and cool and we had a great hike. On day two, a cold front dropped further south than first forecast and at 5,100’ in elevation, it produced a wet snow and daytime temperatures right just short of 30.
Thankful for the advice of experienced Airstreamers like Rich Luhr, we were paying attention to the challenge of cold weather camping. Since we had turned on the gas furnace, when we started dinner, we made sure that the ceiling fan was on to help with the possible problem of condensation. We opened the small window in the bedroom and with the little ceramic heater that we had purchased, we were comfortable.
After reading so many of the forum posts, and knowing that we want our T2 to stay “healthy” for many years, we are really pumped up about reducing the potential for condensation and moisture. That night, we set the automatic fan and temperature control at 60, we opened the cupboards in the kitchen and bathroom to help keep the pipes warmer, and were careful to pull down the shades and keep the curtains closed as soon as the sun went down.
The bottom line was we did fine. No frozen pipes and in the morning, the little bit of condensation on the windows under the curtains and shades dried up when we opened the second ceiling fan.
The roads were pretty clear by the time we were hooked up and ready to go, so all went well.
If there were a Scout badge for “Your First Snowfall”, we’d be in the line, thankful to Mother Nature for this beginner’s experience with snow in the high country. Whew…
Liz and Peter continue their travels across the U.S. grateful for the shared wisdom of fellow Airstreamers who have mastered cold weather camping.