Incubation Question - How do you Keep Your Eggs Warm? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-19-2009, 12:28 AM   #15
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We, too, have a furnace with a 12v fan in our trailer. It does draw a bit of power, which caught us off-guard one cold night in Yellowstone last year. The punch-line of that story is we thought we had a backup heater for emergencies like that, a Portable Buddy heater that uses disposable 1lb propane cylinders. The sad truth with our Portable Buddy and it's ilk (like the Coleman BlackCat) is theu have oxygen sensors that don't work well at altitude, and at 7500 feet our heater would get all toasty warm, then go out. Not good when it's in the 'teens outside.

Yup, the windows and vents are the major heat loss culprits in our Scamp, and the floor gets pretty cold, too. My plans are to put two layers of clear bubble wrap in the vent domes (that'll allow some light in while providing insulation) and make insulating covers for the windows. Insulating the floor with foam panels from Home Depot would be good, too.

Our Surfside project trailer will largely get the same kind of treatment, but when we re-do the window frames I'll build a track for a transparent acrylic panel insert so I can "double pane" the jalousie windows to make them both more insulating and less leak-prone.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:34 AM   #16
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here's a possible solution, that not only heats but is an air conditioner too. This unit is really getting a lot of raves:

http://www.teardropshop.net/air-conditioner-heater

"At 2500 BTU, this heating and air conditioning unit will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer."

Specifications:

2500 BTU
Dimensions: 16.3"" X 14.5"" X 18.5""
Weight: 40-50 lbs
Voltage: 115
Phase: 1
Hertz: 60
Efficiency (Watts): 380 for Air Conditioner / 600 for Heater
Coolant: R134a Refrigerant
Amperes: 3.4 for AC / 5.5 for Heat
Features:

Built-In Return Air System
Adjustable Temperature Range (63-90 Degrees F)
Removable and Washable Air Filter
Energy Efficient
Indoor / Outdoor
Portable / Adaptable
Universal Adapter Kit
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
here's a possible solution, that not only heats but is an air conditioner too. This unit is really getting a lot of raves:

http://www.teardropshop.net/air-conditioner-heater

"At 2500 BTU, this heating and air conditioning unit will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer."
I bought one of those in our teardrop days. It was/is actually a dog house air conditioner. I don't think it would be sufficient for even a 13' egg. I built something similar using a 5,000 BTU window air conditioner for our Scamp, using four-inch hoses to connect from the unit on the ground. I would consider that the minimum useable (for cooling). When most furnaces are rated for at least 12,000 BTU, it just doesn't have enough ooomph for something like a 16' Scamp. Worked great with the teardrop, though!

Parker
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:25 AM   #18
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I just returned from a week of camping in the mountains of the National Forest in my older Scamp 19. The night time temps. were around freezing. The buddy heater caused extreme condensation in the camper so I immediately switched to my electric ceramic heater. With the ceramic cube heater on the low setting which was powered by a Honda 2K on econ setting I was able to get 6-7 hours run time on a tank of fuel. The dry heat from the ceramic heater also eliminated almost all traces of condensation.
I did a lot of research on furnaces upon returning. Next year I plan to install an Atwood 8012 furnace. This is a 12K BTU furnace which only draws 1.8 amps. It looks like most suppliers just raised their prices to around $ 425.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:49 AM   #19
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I'd love to see more pics of your surfside project. I have lots more to do on mine and I know everything you've done to your other egg has been brilliant!
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
...
1) I was thinking of taking the family on a Thanksgiving trip from Denver to the Utah or Arizona national parks, but a look at the nighttime lows out there was discouraging.
...
2) So I spent a cold night at home in my 16-foot Scamp, testing my few cheap options. Boiling a pot of water on the cooktop didn't nudge my thermometer even one degree.
...
3) What's your favorite way to heat an egg, and why?
1) I am not surprised. We tent camped in 1996 at Bryce Canyon in the middle of July and the overnight temperature got down to 25! That is all high country out there and high country is cold country.

2) I am glad you are still with us. Running any flame source in a closed space is a recipe for disaster. Luckily you had a CO detector or you might be reading this through the strings on your harp! And CO is not the only problem, but any gas appliance will burn oxygen and can remove the oxygen you need to live in a small space like an egg! There are so called vent free heaters, but I would be very wary using one:

http://www.heatershop.com/propane_space_heaters.html

3) We use an electric space heater just to avoid the CO/O2 problem. We do have a propane cooktop, but only use it with at least one window and the roof vent open. Here is the heater we use:

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.j...oductId=1383741

Then we only use it while awake. When we go to sleep, we turn it off. Have camped in the Trillium 13' at Waterloo, OR last April when it got into the low 30's (I think). All I know is it was very cold outside but the little heater kept us toasty in the egg. Of course this would preclude having any kind of water in the tanks...

We had a toaster oven burn the counter top in a corner of our kitchen and so have learned to be wary of all appliances.

BTW If you do get a propane furnace, have a certified technician install it for you. Propane is a strange beast and requires special expertise to deal with. Not a DIY job.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
What's your favorite way to heat an egg, and why?
I prefer to use a small electric "ceramic" heater if we have shore power. If not we have a "furnace" as part of the Duette Range Combo. The blower motor tends to run constantly though. While I have run the furnace through the night, I find a Down Comforter encased in a Silk Duvet keeps us warm while under it. (This works better if 2 of you are under there.) 600 thread count sheets help, too. Wearing socks in bed to keep your feet warm really help the rest of you feel warm. That way we turn off the furnace/heater while sleeping, and turn it on when we wake up.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:29 PM   #22
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We have the Wave 3, and use it in our 13', I have found it to be adequate, but would think that any larger of a space, and it would not be very effective. There is a larger unit called the Wave 6 that might take care of your needs, and it isn't much more expensive than the other ones. You can google it, to find a good price,this was the lowest I could find with out spending much time digging.

http://www.amazon.com/57341-Olympian-Wave-...r/dp/B000BV01CK


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Best of luck to ya, keep us updated!
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:12 AM   #23
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When we used to have a Scamp 16, we used a Coleman Black Cat, which worked nicely at Toulemne Meadows high up in the Sierras at Yosemite. We used it to take the chill off, and never ran it overnight while sleeping for safety reasons. Sleeping bags kept us warm. It got down to 25 degrees outside, but we were cozy inside.

Now we have a Compact II with a smaller Coleman Sport Cat. Don't plan to do snow/winter camping though.

Donna is right on about window insulation; I'm going to try her 'foam behind the gravel guard' idea. Plus as I rebuild the C II, a lot of insulation is being installed.

For cold weather use, a carpet runner fastened down with double-sided tape might provide simple, temporary floor insulation.

Fran
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:36 AM   #24
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The biggest heat loss and points of condensation in a lot of these trailers is from the single-pane windows. Since the Scamp has a plexiglass front window without a metal frame, the moisture from the inside of the window can be problematic. One solution is to use backpacker foam, cut to the gravel guard shape and either glued or just placed behind the guard and "locked" into place at night. The rest of the windows can be covered with insulation (Reflex?). Be sure to keep the vent open and air moving. Otherwise the trailer turns into a cold sauna.

If you plan to do much cold weather camping, you can insulate the floor by gluing blue styrofoam sheeting to the underside of the floor. Blue styrofoam is lightweight and doesn't hold moisture.
Donna: I am interested in learning a bit more about both of these insulation options, as I am unfamiliar with some of the products folks use on their eggs.

Can you give me a bit more description (or a link) to the backpacker foam you mentioned? That looks like a great idea!

For the windows, I see something at Home Depot called Reflectix --it's sold in a 4' x 25' roll. Is that the stuff? Any idea how to apply it to the windows? I would think it should be easily removed and reapplied, so it could be used just at night, for example. Or would you leave it on all the time in the colder months?

What about the blue styrofoam? Any specs or sources for that? Also, are there threads that discuss how to apply it to the underside of the floor?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:16 AM   #25
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I did buy an inexpensive Pelonis ceramic heater, for use when shore power was available. But I depend more on my very good down sleeping bag if it gets very cold. And, since most of the heat loss in our bodies is lost through the head, wear a warm knit hat to bed. The first item of clothing a knowledgeable backpacker sheds to regulate his temperature when beginning to overheat is the hat, and the first clothing item he (or she) dons at the onset of cold, is that very same hat. The same principle works at night, too. If it is really cold, the hat upon the head, while the head is stuffed deep inside the warmth of a good, down mummy bag. With the Casita now, If it becomes that cold, I'll likely head either lower or further south as soon as the morning sun is up above the horizon.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:39 AM   #26
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Donna: I am interested in learning a bit more about both of these insulation options, as I am unfamiliar with some of the products folks use on their eggs.

Can you give me a bit more description (or a link) to the backpacker foam you mentioned? That looks like a great idea!

For the windows, I see something at Home Depot called Reflectix --it's sold in a 4' x 25' roll. Is that the stuff? Any idea how to apply it to the windows? I would think it should be easily removed and reapplied, so it could be used just at night, for example. Or would you leave it on all the time in the colder months?

What about the blue styrofoam? Any specs or sources for that? Also, are there threads that discuss how to apply it to the underside of the floor?

Thanks,
Tom
Tom, I bought a roll of backpacker foam at Target.. in the sporting goods section. It's available just about anywhere backpackers buy equipment. I used a couple of pieces of newspaper taped together to create a template of the window and cut the foam with a pair of really good scissors. When the foam isn't in use it hides under the front bunk cushion (stays flat that way too).

Yes, that's the Reflectix I was speaking about. You can get smaller rolls than 25'... or do as I did and buy car windshield screens for a buck at the Dollar Store. Make a pattern just like for the backpacker foam and cut to shape for each window. It's been suggested to use magnetic tape to anchor to the window frames. A piece on the frame and a piece on the reflectix. I bought a roll of magnetic tape that's 1/2" wide at a fabric store. It's sticky back. That will work on the reflectix, but needs something stronger to glue it to the window frame as that frame gets hot in the sun and I don't think the glue will hold for long. I'm going to use Windshield Gasket Caulk... it's designed for heat. Can get it at any auto parts store. I haven't done this yet. But know it's going to work as planned.

The blue styrofoam is available at big box stores like Lowe's or Home Depot. Check with them about the proper glue... you don't want it to melt. You'll need to put it in like a puzzle around the plumbing, etc. So they can also tell you how to cut it... some recommend a hot knife, but I've had good luck with a D-shaped saw and a thin blade. And the floor will need to be really really clean... as it probably has road rash, etc. and the glue needs to stick... don't want to leave styrofoam on the highway!

Good luck, I'm sure others will chime in with other info too!

On edit: I just read a post on a different forum where someone made a skirt of oiled canvas that they placed around the entire bottom of the their trailer (think 5th wheel nose curtain). That would work too and someone else stacks bales of hay around the bottom of their trailer to keep the cold and wind from blowing under. Just some other ideas.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:28 PM   #27
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On edit: I just read a post on a different forum where someone made a skirt of oiled canvas that they placed around the entire bottom of the their trailer (think 5th wheel nose curtain). That would work too and someone else stacks bales of hay around the bottom of their trailer to keep the cold and wind from blowing under. Just some other ideas.
I would vote strongly for the skirt option over the foam-glued-to-underside option for a couple of reasons:

1) From research and experience on houses with crawl spaces in Northern Minnesota, it works better to skirt around the outside and keep that warm, wind-free space underneath working for you (vs. insulating right under the floor and letting the cold whistle through underneath).

2) Although the foam (if it's the proper type) won't absorb moisture, it very easily could trap moisture between itself and your floor, which could cause rot. Yes, if there were a perfect bond on 100% of the foam and floor, and that were never compromised, it wouldn't; but how likely is that on an existing trailer, and after more road use?

First though, I'd do the obvious stuff on the walls/roof, and try a throw rug. If that wasn't enough, then I'd make some kind of skirting (but, the hassle factor is huge and may not justify it).

Another note from living in frigid, windy Northern Minnesota: Although cold just seeping through underinsulated walls is definitely an issue, a teeny-tiny draft will make you ten times colder. So stalk until you find any and all drafts and eliminate them.

Raya
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #28
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John Mc,

You said dry camping with children in the winter. I wouldn't use any of the portable propane heaters with children around in a small trailer.

With children and most likely wanting to keep the trailer quite warm I'd suggest purchasing a generator so you can run an electric heater as much as you want. You'd still have to be careful with children and a heater that is loose on the floor or elsewhere. Most of the little cube heaters are cool to touch and do have tip over shut offs.

I'd also install a furnace. Now I have the furnace and what you need to know is that it takes lots of juice for the fan and will run the battery down. So using it can be limiting, such as not all night if you want the trailer quite warm. I've run mine all night but it only kicks on occasionally as I just wanted the chill taken off not a warm trailer.

Anymore, I snuggle under layers of down without the furnace on and just prior to getting up in the morning I reach over and turn the furnace on. BUT, that's just me...I have no children with me and know that if I did things would be much different.
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