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 > How to make a 5th wheel four seasons?

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ColoradoMike

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Posted: 01/21/11 12:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello, We have a KZ New Vision 37' fifth wheel that did not come from the factory with the four season package.

While we seldom camp in winter we live in Colorado and some of our early and late season trips have found us in pretty cold temps. In one case our pipes did freeze and the heater couldn't keep up. We did get the insulated windows when we ordered it.

My questions is what would I need to do to make this a 'four season' rig? Presume we'd need to insulate and close in the underbelly plus maybe add heaters to the tanks. Is there something else we should consider? Also, where do I get these parts and is there some instructions on how to do it?

Called my dealer but they said it would cost several thousand dollars to do this so I'd like to at least look at doing it myself. Any help or direction would be appreciated!

ColoradoMike


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wandering1

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Posted: 01/21/11 01:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So what did the dealer say that they would do to make it four seasons for several thousand dollars... thats your answer.


HR


Dandy Dan

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Posted: 01/21/11 02:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike, I have already an enclosed heated underbelly but no actual tank heaters. I had also checked into having the windows taken out and have thermo-pane put in but at the time it was cost prohibitive. I think it would have been around $2500 just for the windows and who knows how much for the labor. I think your best bet would be to check on having the underbelly insulated more, heaters on the tanks and/or valves and have heat being ducted through the underbelly. It may be a bigger job than you might want to tackle but Good Luck with whatever you decide.......Sorry, I didn't see you had dual pane windows.....


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SteveRankin

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Posted: 01/21/11 03:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A true 4-season RV is designed to be exactly that from the gitgo. Of course, there will still be optional items such as double-pane windows and tank & plumbing heaters for those that are even more serious about it.

What I read in your OP was that the heater could not keep up with the cold and one result was that some plumbing lines froze. I'm not surprised. Your 37' KZ with 3 slides has a smaller furnace than our 24' 1-slide Arctic Fox. We have a 35KBTU furnace to heat 230 sq feet (152 BTU/sq ft) while you only have 30KBTU for 400 sq ft (75 BTU/sq ft). That's a huge deficit to overcome, especially without even talking about the differences in design.

While, I doubt that you can completely solve your problem there are things you can to that might help:

1. Replace the furnace with a 42KBTU model.
2. Install electric tank heaters and all holding tanks and FW tank.
3. Install electric water line heaters and/or insulation of plumbing in the basement.
4. Add insulation to the basement.
5. Bring the slides in at night.
6. Shut the furnace vents in the garage area and run a 120VAC space heater in the garage area instead. That will increase the furnace flow to the basement.


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Rescuebub

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Posted: 01/21/11 03:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Please keep us posted on what you come up with. I am considering doing the same, or atleast the tank heaters and heat tracing. I know someone on the TT forum posted about a type of spray foam insulation to coat the underbelly instead of complete enclosement, but, if I remember correctly, it was kinda expensive also. Good luck and happy camping!


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NMace

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Posted: 01/21/11 03:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I, too, hope we get some serious answers.

To complicate the matter I have an outside shower and kitchen.

I think I just need a cut-off for them, and perhaps the tank heaters.

Just don't know.

I really don't need four season, just protection when it gets below freezing overnight,

Neil


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Posted: 01/21/11 08:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No reason why you can't go out and camp in the winter with some preparation. Here's my collection of links on preparing to camp in winter.

Drafty Slidesn winter RV'ing.

Winter Camping

Winter Camping in Denver

Lots of information that I've been gathering on the subject.


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ColoradoMike

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Posted: 01/21/11 04:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Found some tank heaters online and called another dealer to see if I can get more info. Will let you know what I find out!

Thanks for the responses.

ColoradoMike

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Posted: 01/21/11 04:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Steve and CJ,

Just saw your response, great info and it makes sense why the heater works so hard and it is still cold.

jetboat

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Posted: 01/21/11 09:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have a 2009 sandpiper 345ret. with alot of windows,and the underbelly is heated.However,it still did not cool off as we thought it should ,and the heater ran more than we also thought.Solution,bought some 4x8 1" thick ridged insulation form lowes.lined the storage compartments,and fitted some windows with the insulation.This past summer,with 3 super slides,the air units worked less,and lasts years winter camping,only ran the elect. fire place,no heater.
The insulation really helped and is around $13.00 a sheet.

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