FT through NJ winter in Casita? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-18-2015, 02:09 AM   #1
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Name: William
Trailer: Casita SD17
New Jersey
Posts: 151
FT through NJ winter in Casita?

I'm in my SD17 Casita, and it's 30 degrees outside. Winter is here! OMG! I'm trying to figure out how I can make it through the freezing winter.

I ordered a heated fresh-water hose from Amazon. I also ordered some electrical switches that turn on at 35 degrees, and off at 40 degrees. My plan is to get a "skirt" for the Casita, and put a lamp beneath it. The lamp will be plugged in to the electrical switch that is thermostatically controlled.

Are there custom skirts for SD17 Casita's?

If I can get a heat-proof skirt around it, and a lamp under it, the Casita should stay warm enough that it doesn't freeze the pipes. I don't know about the sewage yet. I'm at a campground with full-hookups.

I tested my furnace for the first time ever, and it promptly set off the fire-alarm. Hope that doesn't continue happening. The electric heat is working fine so far.

The only skirts I saw required putting screws in to the side of the RV. I'm looking for something non-destructive. Maybe velcro something to the sides?
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:41 AM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Hook up and pull that camper south, that's what we do. Light bulb will have to be the old style, they throw some heat. I used a couple for years in a little water pump house to keep pipes from freezing. Left them on all the time. Bales of straw make a good skirt, just keep the light bulb away from it. November Trailer Life magazine has an article about someone spent the winter in a R-Pod camper in the Yukon, plus some other winterizing info
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:19 PM   #3
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Name: Lee
Trailer: Casita
California
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I will be interested in hearing suggestions too. I want to be able to take my casita to southern Oregon in the cascades. It gets cold there! I like the idea of the straw bales, if you are parked in one spot.
We have a clip on light that originally was used for a brooder light for chicks that would be great for the heat source under the trailer, so you might look at a farm supply for a similar unit to provide heat. It would easily clip to the frame of the trailer.
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:45 PM   #4
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
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I am sure this post will elicit some controversy but her goes. i am speaking from seven years of living in a 29 foot Holiday Rambler Savoy 5th wheel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My job required residence in Santa Fe and any other living accommodation was either way over our budget our not up to snuff. We enjoyed living in the fifth wheel and were as comfortable there as we are in our 1500 square foot retirement home. Now to the subject at hand. You have covered the basics but a couple of suggestions. First, skirting the trailer is an absolute essential. I would suggest 2 or 3 inch foam board and a drop light as you suggest with one addition cut a small square hole in the foam ( 3 inch by 3 inch is good ) and cover it with something clear, lexan plexiglas etc., so you can visually ascertain, when it is dark, that the light under the trailer hasn't burned out. The light under the trailer is your first line of defense against freezing and a burned out, unnoticed, bulb could be a catastrophe. Next the unpleasant conversation about human waste. Here is what we did, the rationale to follow. We used a porta potti for solid waste and dumped as needed. Our sewer line was hooked up and used for liquid waste ( no toilet paper ) toilet paper was placed in a lined waste paper trash can to be disposed of. Now the rationale. Your trailer will be parked therefore the motion which normally breaks up solid waste and toilet paper will be missing which can lead to a disaster ( which happened to our neighbors in the campground at Santa Fe ). When you use the toilet in a parked situation the toilet tissue and solid waste tend to pile up right under the point of entry into the holding tank and the liquid either runs out, if drain is open. or spreads away from the pile. The pile dries out and solidifies, and I do mean solidifies and is impenetrable. The RV repairman first suggested dynamite but was able to finally eliminate the pile with the use of a hose and several very expensive billable hours. Our neighbors converted to our method and all went well. Lee
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:47 PM   #5
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Name: Charles
Trailer: Scamp 16
Ohio
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We have pipliners here in Ohio that use this stuff on their campers.

http://www.amazon.com/Reflectix-BP24...0_SR133%2C160_

It is also available from your local HVAC contractor. They fasten it to the camper with the peel and stick aluminium tape and fasten it to the ground using 2x4's and gutter spikes or rebar. It is pretty rigid and blocks out the wind very well.
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:56 PM   #6
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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If you cut the Reflectix in the above post out to fit inside your window frames that will help as well. A number of folks who camp in late fall early winter use it in the windows.
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Old 10-18-2015, 06:15 PM   #7
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Yep they also cover the windows and vents from the inside as well. Thanks Carol
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:53 PM   #8
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There is actually a fairly thick insulation insert designed for ceiling fans you can buy at Camping world...but of course if your using your propane furnace having the whole trailer closed up is never a good idea.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:40 PM   #9
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Name: Bill
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My experience is somewhat limited, but here is what worked well for me:

Buy a long enough length of heat tape to wrap around the whole length of the water hose...including the campground faucet. Then wrap the complete taped hose with some insulation type material. Even strips ofan old blanket and a plastic tarp is better than nothing.

Do not keep the dump valve open on your black water tank! Drain the tank only after you believe it is almost full. That will help keep any tissue, etc from building up in the tank.

I never solved the problem of condensation freezing on the insides of the windows, and ice collecting there. If i opened a vent/window enough to stop the condensation...it got too dang cold inside the RV!

Unless you are unable to do so...going south is a very good suggestion. Even a couple hundred miles can make a great difference in temp.

You might want to also check with the campground manager prior to spending any money on any outside modifications.

Good luck,

Bill
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:21 PM   #10
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Name: William
Trailer: Casita SD17
New Jersey
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Thanks for all the suggestions. My job is NJ, so I will have to stay and tough it out. I ordered some Reflectix for the windows, 24"x25'. Perhaps I will try to make a skirt from that, using the methods described by others above.

I have a little 200w Lasko ceramic heater, maybe I could put that under the Casita?
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:54 PM   #11
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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The guy that wintered in the Yukon in his R-pod used foam board insulation to skirt it. If it snows, shovel some up against the skirting
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:34 PM   #12
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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I think the skirting is absolutely necessary. Sealing it up to keep wind out is also necessary.


When I had a boat and kept it in the water all year, here's what I did to keep things from freezing. I used a 2 stage system of lamps or light bulbs. Some were always on and some backup were on a thermostat (thermocube brand) on at 38 degrees and off at 45 degrees. For heat I used 100 watt 130 volt rough service light bulbs. The rough service is a much tougher bulb and the 130 volt bulbs are much less likely to burn out. The number of light bulbs you will need depends on lots of variables. I also added a digital thermometer to monitor the temp without opening up the enclosed area. You will not find 130 volt rough service lamps (bulbs) at a home center. You can get them at any good electrical supply house.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:40 AM   #13
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I heard of others using hay bales to secure insulating boards around the trailer bottom, then using a heat lamp on a thermostat. You should also cover all your windows with reflectix to help with heat loss and keep a vent open for condensation. Good luck.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:14 AM   #14
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Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 13
None
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No personal experience with trailer winterizing, but the skirting/light option makes all the sense in the world - have used similar methods in pump houses and crawl spaces here in Michigan for many years, quite successfully.

Regarding the reflectix for the windows - certain that would work. Another alternative would be simple bubble wrap, as sold for shipping items. Clean the window well, cut the bubble wrap to fit the window glass. Spray the window with water via a misting spray bottle, then place the bubble wrap against the window. The capillary attraction should hold the bubble wrap in place quite well. Using this, as opposed to the reflectix will allow light into the trailer, and allow you to see, somewhat distorted, out - less confining of feeling. Have used this method in my house prior to replacing the windows with new double pane - worked surprisingly well.
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