Space Heater to the Rescue


What does a misfit do when faced with intolerable freezing temperatures in an Airstream trailer? This misfit stood in the middle of the trailer and cried. Then I cried even harder when I realized I could see my breath in the air. My furnace had quit working, the heat pumps weren’t engaging, and the inside temperature read out 32 degrees. This was not the glamping lifestyle I had bargained on. I didn’t know what to do. It was midnight and I was too tired from my work shift to pack up some necessities and find a hotel. I was literally frozen in place with my mind racing for answers. I had to set a plan in motion. Misfits are resilient and I wasn’t going to give up.

     I keep a small space heater handy to warm up the floorboards if the temperatures dip too low. It helps warm up the pipes in the cabinets. I grabbed it and placed it on top of my small butcher block dining table. I took off my gloves to warm up my hands so I could start a google search on my iPhone. I found instructions to reset my thermostat and prayed it would work. It didn’t do a thing. I knew I had to get my thin scrubs off and into something warmer, but everything I touched felt as if there was a layer of ice on it. My sheets, my clothes, my blankets, and more. I started to cry again, but this time from determination. If I could just change clothes and pile up some duvets and blankets with the space heater going on high I might be okay. I picked up my night clothes and held them in front of the heater so there might be some resemblance of warmth when I changed clothes. I was shaking, yet managed to change into a nightshirt, pants, and a robe. I grabbed my extra comforter from my small bunk bed, placed it on top of my other comforter, followed by a thick blanket, and a smaller throw blanket. I must have been exhausted because I slept like a rock. I woke up warm and cozy. I definitely didn’t want to get out from under the covers.

     When I got up, I tried to reset the thermostat again, which didn’t start the furnace, but I was able to get the heat pumps to run for a little while. I made several phone calls to RV repair personnel, who gave me various options to try to get the furnace running. I made sure the propane was full, I reset the thermostat several times more, and I checked the regulator on the propane tank outside. Nothing worked. Next I called a local Airstream dealer and was told I could bring my trailer into them to look at it. I explained that I didn’t have a truck at the time to pull my trailer. I was told they had to get back to me so I sat all bundled up and back to square one. The phone rang and it was Airstream. They were going to send someone out to check the furnace, but not for several days. They recommended I get another space heater until they could visit, which I did after standing in the cold to get dressed. By the time I left the trailer the temperature read 56 degrees.

     Long story short…it’s been three weeks and the part I need to fix the furnace is on back order. I keep the space heaters on high at either end of the trailer and leave for the weekend whenever possible to stay with family and friends. The last few days the heat pump has worked nicely, but tonight it will probably quick working as it gets below freezing. I just have to make it another two days before I can head out for the weekend once again. I have heard people say Spring is coming, but for now I’ll just live the misfit way and do what I can to survive this crazy life in my trailer.