Other 5th wheel makers?? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-14-2011, 10:27 AM   #15
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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Thermopane windows

Some thoughts on the Contest and Cold Camping.

My experience with thermopane windows in RVs is that the window seals fail, probably due to all the bouncing, and the windows cloud up. A number of ours failed after 75,000 miles. As well usually not all windows are thermopane. (I will say I've only had one rig with them and possibly this has been corrected.)

As to freezing temps, we have camped in ours for five days with no ill effects with coldest nightime temps in the teens F. It is not too difficult if you are at a full hookup site. We have never had the inside temperature drop below the mid to high 30's F, the temperature just before we wake up.

The only really vulnerable component on our rig is the gray tank because it's virtually outside. Keeping it and the black tank empty seems to resolve the issue, we just dump them before evening.

As well we put water in our fresh water tank and use it during the night. If it's below freezing we generally keep the outside water hose off. This saves the hose and keeps the internal water pipes unpressurized, providing expansion margin should they freeze. (In one long term cold weather situation we did put electrical tape and insulation on our hose to keep hooked up and the hose from freezing.)

The hot water tank is relatively safe because it's always hot in our rig since we always electrify our hot water tanks.

For sleeping we use an electric blanket. Occasionally if the temp seems to be dropping rapidly in the trailer I will turn on the electric heater as morning approaches.

We have not camped at temperatures below the teens F.

In the morning, simply making breakfast rapidly warms the trailer.


Norm
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:32 AM   #16
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You say you have fallen in Love with the Scamp, I say go for it! If that is what you love than it will be perfect for you. Enjoy!

Ok, now that I see your thinking of spending winter's in Montana in it. I will change my suggestion. Despite "you" loving Scamp I would say, and since I have lived in Montana I would add that Scamp isn't the product you will need to survive a Montana winter.


And I might add that camping for a few days/weeks in cold weather is Not and I repeat NOT living in Montana winter weather! It's a constant struggle. Day in and Day out of freezing conditions. Below zero weather for weeks on end, below freezing for months and months. People who live in homes in Montana struggle with the weather.....

Can you live in your RV? most likely! Some do! But it will be a constant effort on your part to do so, so that you maintain a comfortable living environment.


Personally I think Bigfoot or an Escape would be your better option. Mostly because they have options that will aide in living in such conditions.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:12 PM   #17
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Robin is absolutely right that there is a big difference between camping and full-timing in an RV during winters in the north. Unless you get a serious 4-season trailer like Bigfoot or Arctic Fox you will risk freeze-up problems. I have seen people in non-4 season rigs that are full-timing in one location put insulated skirting around the bottom of the trailer and heat the space underneath with gas or electric space heaters. This is impractical if you are moving from site-to-site, and also will consume huge amounts of energy.

The Bigfoot 5th wheels went out of production many years ago and good used ones are hard to find. Not only that but a Tacoma is very likely too small for that trailer. A Bigfoot 17.5 (not a 5th-wheel) may be light enough for your towing capacity. They are more spacious than a Scamp because of extra width, so may work for you. The Bigfoot four-season system consists of thermopane windows, well-insulated walls and floor, tanks and plumbing are enclosed and heated by the furnace through a duct system. I have stayed in my Bigfoot at temps below zero without freezing anything. That being said, you have to keep the furnace on even when you are absent to make it all work. Before switching to Bigfoot, I owned a Scamp and then a Casita. I was living in Alaska at the time. I loved them both, but went with Bigfoot for the cold-weather features as well as the extra space.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:39 AM   #18
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The "newest" Bigfoot 5th you are going to find is a 1994. It would not have the "winter package" because they didn't make one back then. I would go with an Escape.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:20 PM   #19
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I've lived in a travel trailer in northern Alberta for a winter and the best thing you can do is find a place that will be your spot for the whole winter as this will allow you to prep it for the winter. The park I lived in shut off the water to the sites but the shower house remained open. My trailer was skirted in with plywood and hard foam insulation, the trailer windows all but one were covered with an insulation that looks like bubble wrap with a foil back that was tuck tapped in place. I also buil a kind of front porch from plywood with a door that kept all the heat from escaping from the trailer when coming or going. Also if your heating with propane get the big 500lb tanks with a heat blanket as propane won't flow much below -32 C. You should be able to rent the tanks from your propane suplier. The 500s have a guage on them and won't need to be filled as often. My trailer also had a wood fired box stove and there were several -40 days I had the doors open cause the wood stove was just too much for that 18' trailer.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:25 PM   #20
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Also too there were several mornings that I had to melt ice to make a coffee because the furnace ran out of propane and woke up to a trailer with no heat. Get a good cold weathe sleeping bag.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:15 AM   #21
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"My trailer also had a wood fired box stove and there were several -40 days I had the doors open cause the wood stove was just too much for that 18' trailer."

Now that is camping......or is it survival.... wow. Isn't that the point where your spoken words freeze until the Spring thaw before you can hear them?
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
"My trailer also had a wood fired box stove and there were several -40 days I had the doors open cause the wood stove was just too much for that 18' trailer."

Now that is camping......or is it survival.... wow. Isn't that the point where your spoken words freeze until the Spring thaw before you can hear them?
I have a gas fireplace, and I used to have a woodburning fireplace, the Gas is much hotter,but for some reason, the notion of a wood burner in my Scamp is Scary!
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008
"My trailer also had a wood fired box stove and there were several -40 days I had the doors open cause the wood stove was just too much for that 18' trailer."

Now that is camping......or is it survival.... wow. Isn't that the point where your spoken words freeze until the Spring thaw before you can hear them?
More survival/nescessity... Either way I don't recomend it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:26 AM   #24
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I saw a Scamp 5th wheel at the Oregon Gathering this summer with a wood burning stove.. similar to a potbelly. Cute and functional. It might not be something most of us would do/want, but the owners of the 5th wheel like it and use it. It seems the strongest opinions always come from those that don't want something, rather from those that do and have. Remember, you can't miss what you've never had.

YMMV
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