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 > winter mods?

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hoondoog

Washington

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Posted: 09/04/07 09:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After using the camper to chase chukars in single digits last winter, I'm getting ready to do some "winterizing." The good kind of winterizing, making it better for lots of use this fall/winter. My camper's deficiencies from last winter that I want to address are as follows:
1. I woke to frozen condensation on the inside of the windows, even with a vent cracked. It was 0 degrees F.
My solution: I've ordered storm windows and I intend to insulate the vents.
2. The heater couldn't get the interior above 55 F due to the extreme cold and lack of proper insulation.
My solution: I plan on doing the cabover insulation mod that sleepy posted (nice!). I also need to do some major insulating in all accessible areas on the inside of the camper. Here's where I need some help. What is recommended for this. I'm thinking either reflectix or the 1/2" foil backed stuff (r3.6).
3. The floor and box area of the camper are totally uninsulated and a weak link I think. Im considering a complete insulation of the box, to include the floor and wings. I have sufficient clearance from the box to the truck bed to tack on some insulation to the exterior. Has anyone done this?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


2005 Chevy 3500 srw cc lb d/a
2005 Pastime 800

JoeChiOhki

Sauvie Island, OR

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Posted: 09/05/07 02:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Possibly upgrading to a larger furance might also be a good idea. It sounds like you've got only a 12,000 to 15,000 BTU. I think they make some that are over 20,000, but not certain.


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The Mad Norsky

Yankton, South Dakota

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Posted: 09/05/07 04:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wonder if one of those "horse mats", thick rubber mats folks use in the box to carry the camper on, would add any insulation values there?

Not a total solution, of course, but an idea at least. Moving the camper away from cold metal box has to help.

Hawthorne

Oregon

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Posted: 09/05/07 11:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

It was 0 degrees F. The heater couldn't get the interior above 55 F.


You didn't do too bad. We were snowmobiling at Skyline last winter and had an overnight of about 5 degrees. Ice on the windows, dead batteries in the snowmobiles, etc. The poor furnace fan ran all night. Had to jump the genny off the truck in the morning. I figure this is most likely the extreme, and we made it.

Bet you find the storm windows make a large improvement. As Joe suggested, you might need more BTU's. I've seem a couple of campers with expanded poly (Styrofoam) insulation glued to the exterior of the box and floor. After our experience last year, we bought a 2" memory foam mattress topper and slid 1" poly under the mattress. Hopefully that will prevent the "cold waterbed" feeling.

Be careful with poly and foil faced insulation. Vapor barriers all. If you put them on the warm side of the wall, floor, or cabover, be sure you can and do remove them to allow air circulation and drying when not in use. We tilt up our mattress or remove the insulation when at home.

THINK SNOW


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Matthew_B

The boonies near Dallas, Oregon

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Posted: 09/05/07 12:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JoeChiOhki wrote:

Possibly upgrading to a larger furance might also be a good idea. It sounds like you've got only a 12,000 to 15,000 BTU. I think they make some that are over 20,000, but not certain.
[emoticon]

Mine is 32,000 BTU. I think 24,000 through 36,000 is fairly common.





middlecalf

Sweet, ID

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Posted: 09/05/07 02:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Be careful with poly and foil faced insulation. Vapor barriers all. If you put them on the warm side of the wall, floor, or cabover, be sure you can and do remove them to allow air circulation and drying when not in use. We tilt up our mattress or remove the insulation when at home."
Second this caution. I added some insulation (the foil kind) and generated so much condensation that it was puddling in my basement compartment.

JoeChiOhki

Sauvie Island, OR

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Posted: 09/05/07 05:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Actually, mine has an input of 17,000 BTU, does a pretty decent job. The ones advertised with the Pastimes in the past were 15,000 btu and 18,000 btu.

Clattertruck

Centennial Colorado

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Posted: 09/05/07 07:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Truck camper prep for cold camping

Winter packages while good to have are not absolutely necessary. My unit does not have a “winter package”, but it does very well at –20 degrees F with a few simple mods.

Severe conditions where temperatures drop into the far below zero F take some precautions. When camping in remote areas, such as backcountry sites during elk season in Colorado, I take the following steps for my Northstar 10.5 ft hardwall:

1. Electrical: Rig two batteries. Furnaces eat batteries (7 to12 amp draw) and a single will fade before morning. I carry a small generator if I am going to be in the same location for several days (EU2000i Honda). I use a real charger (Progressive Dynamics PD9140) rather than the stock converter. The generator can be used to for the diesel engines block heater. If you camp where there is a hook up, then the battery problem no longer exists.

2. Propane: My camper has two 20 lb. Bottles. Carry an extra if you are going to be in one spot over five days or if you want to keep the camper warm during the day.

3. Water: It takes a heated system using 110AC and / or lots of propane to keep the system viable. I find this too much trouble and risky at best. It is better to carry water in plastic containers with air space for freeze-up.
Winterize the water system. Blow it out with compressed air or use RV antifreeze and forget it. Don't use the gray water tank unless you add RV antifreeze when draining wash water from a bottled source. Put RV antifreeze in the P-traps after use.

4. Toilet: Fill the black water tank with two or three gallons of RV antifreeze in case you can't stand the outside conditions. Use a little of your bottled water for a flush. Do not dilute the anti-freeze very much. An option for solid waste would be to use plastic bags to line the toilet and package the waste (carefully).

5. Insulation: Seal the truck bed so cold air cannot circulate around the camper box. Add insulation between the camper and truck bedsides. I fill every open area with fiberglass insulation in plastic bags. I cover all the windows with two or three layers of Reflectix. I made a Lexan storm widow for the center dinette-widow. Panels of Reflectix can be cut to fit on the inside of all glass. I use two layers. The escape hatch is covered with three layers of Reflectix inside the hatch that lifts, and another layer is put on the opening so it covers the metal frame. I also insulate all the access doors with Reflectix. This material is available at Camping World and most builders supply outlets.


Condensation is near impossible to avoid, but it is minimized with the added window insulation. I find condensation is worse in a high humidity 30-degree situation than in extreme cold.

6. For the cabover air circulation, I use a small 12V fan that is intended for cooling computer power supplies. It doesn’t use much juice. I Velcro it to the ceiling.

7. Some folks use some extra insulation under the bed, but we have not found it necessary.

These measures have worked for me down to minus twenty degrees F. The furnace (16,000 BTU) does not seem to work very hard to keep 55 to 60 Degrees during the night.

In case of total heat system failure, we have a couple of extra sleeping bags to use as extra covers. Wool sleeping caps really help.


Clattertruck
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ORbiker

Springfield, Oregon

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Posted: 09/05/07 09:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The best mod I have done for winter camping is buying the Memory Foam mattress and the 12 Volt HEATED Mattress Pad.
My camper came with the double pane windows, but if it is below 0 F, I will put some foil insulation in the overhead windows. I also cover the fan over the bed with the foil insulation.
I set the furnace to come on if the room temp. gets below 50 F and use the Wave 3 to do most of the heating (quietly, with no power consumption).


I (2-10-05) bought a 2002 F350 CC SWD PSD and a new 2003 Citation 10'8. I have been a tent camper all my life. I wanted more comfort while camping and CraterLake Ski Patrol.
It's time for more space. I purchased a 2016 Grand Design 380TH as of 10-29-2015.

WA1RI

FL

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Posted: 09/05/07 05:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Best way to winterize.
1 - pack food
2-start ignition
3- drive south

easy better leave the sleds home unless they float.


Bill & Jolene / FL
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2006 Yamaha 1100 Classic &
1970 Norton Commando 750 in state of recuperation (Almost road ready!!!)
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