Tag Archives: cold weather


Not Chasing 75 degrees


It’s 40 below, raining, and we’re thriving. Not 40 below zero, 40 degrees below our vaunted (and often achievable) outdoor temperature target of 75 degrees. We’re glad to see the rain, have opportunities for walking and other exercise on our land, and consider improvements we might do someday.

Our Airstream is keeping us warm and dry, as always. The furnace was running upon our return from a nice 45-minute walk in the rain. That’s unusual. We normally turn the furnace down to 45, the minimum, after we warm the trailer’s interior in the morning. Then we’ll use the catalytic heater and the portable Pelonis electric heater to maintain 66-68 degrees inside. For our walk we left only the catalytic on. The interior temp fell below 64 and we’d forgotten to turn the furnace down so it was trying to keep up

Our central heat, if we ever build a house, will be very quiet. We’re weary of noisy heat, even if grateful for warmth. The Pelonis ceramic heater is the quietest of our mechanical heaters, followed by the gas furnace, followed by the electric strip heat in the roof a/c unit.

Our Olympian Wave6 catalytic heater is silent, radiates great warmth, and we can focus it in the direction we wish. Nearly ideal, except it adds moisture to our space (a bad/good thing.) The moisture wants to condense on cold surfaces and our many single thickness windows are happy cold sinks. The mechanical heat sources help dry the air more. But they’re so darned noisy. We prefer the silent radiant heat when we’re awake and indoors (we NEVER leave the catalytic heater operating when we’re napping or sleeping.)

And we love the coziness of our 25′ Airstream trailer in the rain. Even freezing rain.

See You Down The Road

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamrs, still chasing 75 degrees
See our website too

Chasing 45 Degrees

These are two of my best friends, these last few days. Warmest things I have

Know where we are? Know just how cold it is here? If you follow us then you may know we claim to “chase 75 degrees” and you might have clicked on our location icon (links to findu.com or aprs.fi to show Google map of N5RTG location).

Well heck, I was talking yesterday to Wag W9WAG, a friend who wishes he had already left Kenosha WI. His current outdoor temp was 8, well colder than our much more comfortable 28 and low of 18. Brr.

What are Debbie and Jim doing in these cold, for them, places? Why haven’t they already fled to warmer climes? We mentioned the wooded acreage we purchased earlier this year. If it was in a much warmer place, then we wouldn’t be running both the furnace and the catalytic just to keep the trailer interior at barely warm enough.

Ashe County is very heavily populated with Christmas trees, and not so much with people. The population swells in the summer, and so might be heading for a sudden drop after the past week’s chilling weather. We stayed through the recent snow. Made nice pictures, a snow person, but didn’t really get very cold.

Our friend Carolyn recommended we spend as much time as we can watching the seasonal changes on our land before we commit to building anything. I hope she remembers to tell us when we can leave. My pile-lined slippers and toque are warm but tend to fall off in bed.

If We’d Known It Would Be This Cold . . .

An oft touted benefit of full time RVing (or, full timing) is the freedom to go where you want, when you want, for as long as you want. We asked some friends in Minnesota why they stay there in the winter. “Winter sports!” Well, sure.

We haven’t carefully investigated how we fell into “Chasing 75 Degrees”. We could burn 7 gallons of propane daily and still stay in cold weather cheaper than paying $25/night or more for a sunny, warm, inviting, recreational campground. The sunny, warm, inviting venues in southern and southwestern USA are beckoning nonetheless.


We’ve been enjoying staying as often and as many days as we can on our small acreage in Ashe County. We’re at 3,500 feet. Views to the west and north open with leaf fall. This very quiet section has long been held within one family, and remains largely owned by that family’s members. The weather and atmosphere has been perfectly enjoyable for the past month.


Enjoyment turned to a little something else — perhaps chill — with the sudden onset of wintry weather two days ago. We received over 4″ snowfall, considerably less than the 24″ measured in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains. Startling how rapidly the air can cool and, without sunshine, stay cold. Last night the outside temperature dropped to 25 degrees. The furnace seemed to run constantly to keep the inside above 44 degrees.


Our hillside was pretty with snow on the sides of the driveway and the forest floor carpeted in white. Snow on the driveway melted away early, but with only slight sunshine peaking through it didn’t have as great an impact upon solar charging our batteries. And who knew you can’t fully charge batteries under 41 degrees Farenheit?

In four weeks we’ve loaded our portable 1kw generator more than in the previous seven years. It’s worked well with a two-three hour run on some cloudy days. I started the generator this morning and the batteries were registering only 1 to 2 amps of charge, instead of the normal 20 amps initial charging rate. Gradually the batteries warmed from the slow charging and started taking more. By noon the sun broke through, the temperature is up to 40, and the solar panels have taken over to a rate of over 11 amps charging.


The snowy and cold weather didn’t keep us inside. We walked to the bottom of the hill and up again several times throughout the day. Sneakers sufficed since the driveway’s snow had already melted. The cold air still braced us and, you can see, caused at least one of us to bundle up well.


If we’d known it would be this cold, we might have built a house instead of a road!

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™
visit our website
©2007-2014 Dreamstreamr

Holiday Surprises and Delights

This is the season for surprises and delights. Hopefully, the holiday is filled with delight and joy for all of us. We’re glad to be in North Carolina amongst our family during this season.

Monday we spent the day running errands in Charlotte. We had our semi-annual teeth cleaning and check-up, visited our financial advisor, picked up some needed items from a few local stores, and had a great lunch visit to Mr. K’s Soft Ice Cream and Drive-In. We didn’t get the ice cream — we always have a Mr. K burger with chili, slaw, and mustard, with some fries. Yum!

Tuesday we made a couple of holiday visits and spent a half-hour at our little storage unit. We dropped off a few things, like our backpacking gear and goose-down sleeping bags we won’t need in south Florida. We exchanged a few clothes (to freshen up our wardrobe), and picked up some things we’d been missing awhile like a few of our music CDs.

Our biggest surprise was to find things in our storage unit we didn’t remember storing. How did these things end up here? We spent a little longer than we expected as we peered into a couple of the boxes. Sometime in the next year or two we’re going to need an entire day to go through everything and thin it out.

Christmas visit with Chas

Christmas visit with Chas

Wednesday we had a short day trip to Asheville, NC, to visit Charles, Jim’s son. Asheville is 140 miles west of Kannapolis. Each mile westward we saw a little more snow and a little cooler temperatures so, by the time we arrived in Asheville, we found snow everywhere. Charles had a little time before going to work so we had a nice brunch and opened presents with him. It was great to see him again.

Snowy Western NC

Snowy Western NC

Western North Carolina received 12 – 18 inches of snow last Friday and we saw plenty of evidence of it during our drive. We thought you who may be in non-snowing climates might enjoy a couple of pictures. The pictures are probably a lot easier to manage than the roads, driveways, trees, gutters and other things subject to damage from snow and ice. Enjoy!

Christmas iHouse

Christmas iHouse

How can this keep happening? First we saw an iHouse in Everett, Washington. A few months later we were surprised and delighted to find an open model on display in Mesa, Arizona. We saw the iHouse on display in Austin, Texas, on our way across the states last week. And today we stumbled upon our fourth iHouse by Clayton Homes, on I-40 in Statesville, on our way home from Asheville to Kannapolis. This model unit hasn’t been announced or officially opened, but the nice folks at Clayton Homes in Statesville, NC, allowed us a long visit.

This visit we noticed one big difference — the North Carolina version of the iHouse has twelve inch, instead of no, roof overhangs on the long sides. Each time we visit one we figure out another thing about the house, and we find ourselves liking it even more. We could live in one of these. But we still know neither where we would want to put it, nor when.

The weather outside is frightful

The weather outside is frightful

The weather in Kannapolis is still cold. We are so ready to be in warm weather again. We miss playing tennis. We miss being warm (whoops, did we already say that?). But there’s a time and place for everything. There are things we need to do in this home territory, like our dental visit, a little truck service, banking, and the storage unit. And we’re glad we’re with family for Christmas.

We’ll see lots more family Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day, between Debbie’s family in Kannapolis and Jim’s family in Charlotte. We’re excited to see them all, it’s been many months since our last visit with many of them. The biggest surprises and delights are yet to come for us and for you. Be careful, be good, and be joyous. We’ll write again after Christmas, perhaps from sunny (and warm) south Florida.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you from both of us.

Jim and Debbie
visit our website
locate us here

©2009 Dreamstreamr

Still Chasing 75 Degrees?

You might think we’re avoiding 75 degrees, instead of chasing it. We seem to repeatedly stop in chilly places. In fact we would not have guessed we would stay so often in places cooler than 70 or 75F degrees. We really aren’t trying to find cool weather but our travels sometimes lead us to great places temporarily cold.

Our Minnesota visit was lovely (hmm, less warm now) and our Tim Horton’s Trans-Canada Tour was mostly very comfortable, temperature-wise. Vancouver, B.C. was right at 75F degrees most of the time we visited. Everett, Washington was nice and warm in early October with highs in the 70s when we left for Idaho.

Our first night in Idaho, just north of Boise, was snowy and we didn’t see another warm day until we arrived a few weeks later in Mesa, Az. Six weeks of great Arizona weather spoiled us — bright warm sunny days, nice cool nights, a little rain every week or two. Our traveling weather from Mesa to Kannapolis was fine, too, but not warm.

We arrived in Kannapolis just ahead of a great winter storm. We had briefly a nice snowfall yesterday, followed by sleet and freezing rain. The high temperature yesterday and today is 39 degrees, and we saw freezing last night. Boy are we glad we skipped driving on Friday — we wouldn’t have wanted to drive in the winter conditions.

We stayed in Idaho to see friends, to explore a little longer, and to see the Sun Valley Jazz Festival. Snow, ice, and very cold temperatures made it all the more interesting. We were, on our way to Mesa from Ketchum, Idaho, going to linger in the Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon areas. But the weather and temperatures were just TOO interesting, and we didn’t want to winterize our home while living in it.

We’re not trying to find cool or cold weather, it just happens this way. Our next travels, we think, will again take us to warm weather. Until then, we aren’t here for the climate anyway. We’re here to celebrate the season with family and friends, no matter the weather.

We’re still chasing 75 degrees, when more important matters allow.

Jim and Debbie
visit our website
locate us here

©2009 Dreamstreamr

Sitting in 75, At Last

We finally found the right latitude

We finally found the right latitude

We found this excellent temperature when we parked in Cottonwood, AZ, this afternoon. We have ARRIVED, finally.

Hated to skip through so much beautiful country between Salt Lake City, UT and Cottonwood, AZ. But we had finally reached our limit. We left Vancouver, B.C. and really nice weather approx Sep 12. We enjoyed a week of excellent weather in Washington state. Then we hit Idaho. The temperatures just kept getting colder and colder, day and night.

We had committed to working at the Sun Valley Jazz Festival. We would have fled south earlier, upon encountering unrelenting chilly weather. Instead we stayed in Ketchum for ten days. The place is gorgeous and nice and interesting. We’re glad we stayed despite snow showers, rain, and chilly weather. The music alone was worthwhile, and we enjoyed the music and much more.

A couple of days later we pulled into North Salt Lake City. We found a really excellent RV park, Pony Express, just off I-215. Very well run and nicely designed, this park is a great one and was reasonably priced (for the proximity to SLC) at $28.50. Nice showers, clubhouse, laundry, management, appearance, and location.

SLC was interesting to visit. We spent all our day in the Temple Square, listening to an organ recital on the world’s fifth (?) largest organ in the Tabernacle, touring one of Brigham Young’s houses, the Beehive House, peering up at the Temple, and visiting the Joseph Smith Memorial Center (apparently a very grand hotel from 1910 until 1970). We spent almost three hours on the LDS Church’s computers peering into our past. Very interesting, the information they have collected on us all.

But still it was darned cold. So south we headed. Don’t get me wrong, we understand many of you love your home location whether it becomes cold or not. We both grew up in western North Carolina and experienced a wide range of temperatures. But our present home has wheels. We choose warm weather.

So we thought, anyway. We haven’t done a superb job of attaining 75 degrees. Then again, we would limit our venue terribly if we first sought 75 degrees. Our goal of helping at the Jazz Festival interfered with getting south in time to avoid freezing weather. And the Jazz Festival is totally worth it.

This morning, with the windows frosty on the inside, we decided 24 degrees is just a little cooler than we have to tolerate. So southward we headed, and not by any small measure. The first hour of our drive the outside thermometer varied between 24 and 25 F degrees. We quickly decided to drive until we were in a warmer clime. We found it — Cottonwood, AZ.

We could have felt disappointed to have skipped so much great territory as Zion Canyon, Glen Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Canyon. Instead, we are expecting to haunt these same areas thoroughly next April and May with the WBCCI Southwest Caravan, led by Jay and Elna Thompson and Winston and Carol Montague. The excitement of seeing all these wonders is still in store for us. And tonight we can sleep at 3,500 feet above sea level instead of 7,000 feet. It will be warmer, thank you.

We’re wearing shorts again for the first time in almost a month. 75 degrees feels good!

Jim and Debbie
visit our website
locate us here

©2009 Dreamstreamr