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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > best insulated class A for winter living?

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Gresham, OR, USA

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Posted: 07/23/09 03:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd second the comment about double paned windows. If the coach doesn't have them, don't even consider it in the cold.

As far as Alaska goes, here in central Alaska, NO ONE stays in an RV during the winter unless they don't mind being cold the entire time, from October to May. Very dangerous to try to keep it heated with Big Buddy heaters too. Just not done very often. Down in Anchorage along side the coast they might try it more often.

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Currently in Glacier on our way to Canada

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Posted: 07/23/09 03:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Newmar has some fairly good winter construction. I've used mine in the winter at 19 degress F with a 30 knot wind and had no issues with the cold. Here's their construction on a 2009 Dutch Star:


BriteTEKā„¢ Roof with 9mm Decking
Gelcoated Fiberglass Exterior Sides
Gelcoated Fiberglass Front and Rear Caps
Aluminum-Frame Sidewalls and Roof Construction, 16" on Center
5/8" Foam Insulation Laminated in Sidewalls and Ceiling
Roof R-Value Rating: 16
Sidewall R-Value Rating: 11
Floor R-Value Rating: 16
Basement R-Value Rating: 4 (Included in Floor R-Value)

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Henderson, NV

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Posted: 07/23/09 03:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should take a look at Newmar. They list the R values for the roof, sides and floor. They are a well built coach too.

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Usually Travelin' the USA

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Posted: 07/23/09 03:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I will either second or third NEWMAR for cold weather or hot weather use. Their insulation and wall thickness are great.We have been in weather down into the teens and not had a bit of a problem. Make sure and get dual pane windows. They make a big difference.

2003 Newmar DSDP 4005 dual slide king bed Spartan 350 Cummins 2004 Jeep Liberty 4X4 tow, SeaEagle boat in basement


Dillon, CO USA

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Posted: 07/23/09 04:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fordsooperdootydieselsmoker wrote:

Just as an example, the Jayco Insignia Class A has a R-14 insulated and heated underbelly, R-19 roof, R-10 walls and dual pane insulated windows. Something equipped like this can be considered an "Artic" of "Polar" package good for below freezing conditions.

Contrary to the popular belief that the Canadian built Triple E Class A RV (and Triple A RV's) are "extreme weather" units with extra insulation, Tripe E does not list the R-Value Insulation info...however to quote from Triple E's Class A Brochures, they use 1 inch and 1 1/2 inch styrofoam in the sides and floor, which would give it a R-Value of 7. The roof is R-10. They also list a "thermal break material is used" in the walls, which could be foil. But again no insulation value is listed! The Jayco would have 2 to 3 times more than the Triple E top of the line Empress model Class A! Some folks brag about the (gone but not forgotten) Big Foot RV's "winter capability" as well, which just had R-8 injected polystyrene insulation.

So look for the polystyrene or styrofoam insulation, dual pane windows, fully enclosed and heated underbelly. Some Super C rv's are extreme weather equipped as well, Gulf Stream Class C's for example! Good luck!

I have not looked at a Jayco Insignia but I have looked at several Jayco Seneca motorhomes. While the Senecas are enclosed and heated the dump valve area is not insulated. Under the dump valves is a moulded pan that is not insulated. It is only about 1/4" thick and is either plastic or fiberglass. but it is not insulated.

The descriptions about polystyrene or "styrofoam" insulation are not correct. Bigfoots used injected urethane insulation. It has a R-6.5 per inch rating.

There are two types of polystyrene insulation. Expanded polystyrene bead insulation (bead board)is the common type that you see in RVs. It is R-4 per inch. Many people incorrectly call this styrofoam.

Extruded polystyrene insulation is R-5 per inch. If it is the Styrofoam brand it is the extruded polystyrene produced by the Dow Chemical Company. Their marketing color for Styrofoam is blue. Owens Corning also produces extruded polystyrene under their Foamular brand. There are a couple of other manufacturers. One uses a green color and the other white.

Few manufacturers use Styrofoam, extruded polystyrene. Most use bead board because it is cheaper but also has a lower R-value per inch. Bigfoot is the only manufacture that I know about that used injected urethane foam.

Baby A Was Me

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Posted: 07/23/09 04:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Avoid any coach with "sunrooms" or other expansive areas of glass. Even if it's double-pane (which, of course, if preferable to single-pane), glass contributes to amazing heat loss.

Not much any of us can do about heat loss through huge windshields when we're camping(except draw the windshield drapes after first propping up a windshield foil-faced "sun shade").

The fewer and smaller the windows throughout the coach, the warmer you'll be in winter, the cooler you'll be in summer.

And definitely steer clear of windows in the vicinity of a bed headboard, or you'll be in the market for a cozy woolen cap. Brrrrrr!



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Posted: 07/23/09 05:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can't tell you what to buy, but I CAN tell you that our H.R. Scepter is one of the worst for keeping the heat out or the cold in. I would give it a poor rating in this regard. Besides poor insulation, we have the huge curb side windows which contribute to the problem

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Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 07/23/09 05:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd add AquaHot to your list for cold weather operation.

This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

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Norm Payne

Livingston, TX

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Posted: 07/23/09 05:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Newmar Dutch Star has the extra insulation package for the roof. I have spent two winters in Indiana with temperatures down to -8 degrees and I kept very comfortable. The motorhome survived the winters without any problems.

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Posted: 07/23/09 06:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Without hesitation, I can recommend Triple E motorhomes for cold weather use. Made in Canada, where we know what cold is all about! Well insulated, insulated and enclosed tanks, double pane windows, etc.. Build quality is superb. These should be good value as well, as the US dollar is stronger than the $CDN.

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