Cold weather performance - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-01-2015, 04:55 PM   #1
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Name: Kenneth
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Cold weather performance

I'm interested in a 17' Casita possibly as something I could spend a Colorado winter in. It doesn't get that cold here, maybe a week or 2 where it doesn't get above freezing, but most winter days see at least couple of hours above freezing. The though of condensate moisture forming on the inside is not a plesant one...

Does anyone have any cold weather experience in glass eggs?
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:06 PM   #2
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Not Casita, but Scamp. I spent about a week in 5F weather in my Scamp a few years back. It wasn't a problem. However I don't believe Casita has as much insulation as Scamp. Scamp made in MN and Casita made in TX.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:30 PM   #3
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We spent last winter, December through all of February in our Casita 17, but we were in southern Georgia. Temps ranged from high 30's to low 70's. Heated it with an electric heater and at times had minor condensation. This winter we are going to try a product called Damp Rid. It was a cooler than normal winter so the heater ran every day
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:53 PM   #4
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I wouldn't spend a Colorado winter in anything but a 4-season trailer like a Bigfoot (made in Canada.) I had a custom built camper with all tanks in a cavity that recirculated heated air from the interior of the trailer to keep them from freezing so I could ski the Rockies (loved the 6 or 7 places in Colorado, particularly Steamboat.) We had a Casita and those tanks will freeze - also the shower drain.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:11 PM   #5
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Depends on what you're willing to put up with for "conditions." I hate windows that have condensation and feel I need to constantly wipe them down to keep water from running into the bedding, etc. Unless you want the interior of your trailer to be the same temperature as outside... get a trailer with dual-pane windows. YMMV
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:17 PM   #6
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Depends on what you're willing to put up with for "conditions." I hate windows that have condensation and feel I need to constantly wipe them down to keep water from running into the bedding, etc. Unless you want the interior of your trailer to be the same temperature as outside... get a trailer with dual-pane windows. YMMV
I agree, but when those tanks freeze you'll be moving the trailer to warmer weather real soon!
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by joe6pack View Post
I'm interested in a 17' Casita possibly as something I could spend a Colorado winter in. It doesn't get that cold here, maybe a week or 2 where it doesn't get above freezing, but most winter days see at least couple of hours above freezing. The though of condensate moisture forming on the inside is not a pleasant one...

Does anyone have any cold weather experience in glass eggs?
Joe, can I assume that you will have the trailer winterized with the full knowledge that you will have no water service in the camper, no bathroom / shower, and you will need to use other sources of water and also use campground facilities (if they are even available)?

If that is the case, then is your question ONLY about condensation?
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Depends on what you're willing to put up with for "conditions." I hate windows that have condensation and feel I need to constantly wipe them down to keep water from running into the bedding, etc. Unless you want the interior of your trailer to be the same temperature as outside... get a trailer with dual-pane windows. YMMV

Also a lot depends on your need to attempt to close such a small volume of air inside one of these small trailers. The key to keeping condensation down to something manageable or very little is to keep air moving through. Air moving out the ceiling vent takes warm moist air with it. Yes it takes a bit more propane to keep the trailer warm. We also keep the furnace set at about 50F at night and between 65 and 68F during the day when it's really cold out side. A week of 5 to low teens with very little condensation. The ceiling vent was open a small amount as was the small window over the sink.

These little trailers can be sealed up pretty tight. It's always a good idea to allow some ventilation, it helps the breathing too with fresh oxygen coming in.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:23 PM   #9
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Actually you get most condensation in weather above freezing. Below freezing moisture is frozen out of air. Living in great Pacific North Wet where we get fourty degree rain condensation would be high, with careful ventilation even then it be avoided.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:02 PM   #10
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There is no substitute for good insulation, tanks within the heated envelope and thermal windows. I like winter camping a lot and always found most small trailers short on winter comfort due to minimal insulation and exposed plumbing and tanks subject to freezing. Even in my Scamp 13 that is supposed to have decent insulation I could tell the furnace would run more than it should have. Condensation was also an issue and and every rivet dripped due to it being exposed to the cold outdoors. We kept small window cracked to vent moisture.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:59 PM   #11
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Sorry all, I guess I wasn't clear as to my intentions. Whatever RV I end up with will have to be capable of sustaining me comfortably in an RV park where the common bathhouse is closed for the winter, but water and sewer hookups remain. This means the potty and shower must be functional in sub-freezing and occasionally sub-zero conditions. I'm not married to any one configuration yet, and am addressing this winter's needs with a change in latitude. If there is an ideal rig for such a mission now's the time I need to become aware of it. Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by joe6pack View Post
Sorry all, I guess I wasn't clear as to my intentions. Whatever RV I end up with will have to be capable of sustaining me comfortably in an RV park where the common bathhouse is closed for the winter, but water and sewer hookups remain. This means the potty and shower must be functional in sub-freezing and occasionally sub-zero conditions. I'm not married to any one configuration yet, and am addressing this winter's needs with a change in latitude. If there is an ideal rig for such a mission now's the time I need to become aware of it. Thanks for all the responses.
Those are tough specs to meet in most any RV. Folks who do this end up with Reflectix on all the windows, lots of heat tape, lightbulbs in various places to warm plumbing and hay bales, etc. surrounding the lower perimeter of their rig. I doubt any fgrv would do well in extended subzero living. The fracking folks in the Dakotas have been doing this, but I wouldn't want to visit/smell any of their rigs after the first Winter.

Lance is one brand, known for their 4 season ability, but their rigs have lots of aluminum thermal bridges and poorly sealed hatches, etc.

I would suggest a heavy duty dehumidifier whatever rig you choose.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:46 PM   #13
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:24 PM   #14
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I think Lance trailers have aluminum "stud" that cause thermal bridging. I would look at the Big Foot line of trailers as they made for 4 seasons, double wall with insulation between the fiberglass walls. This construction adds more weight though. All the windows are thermal and from what I understand they are well suited to the Canadian cold.

Another double wall well insulated trailer is the Oliver but they are pricey and not as many used ones available as the Big Foot brand.
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