Fulltiming in Alaska Winter - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-06-2017, 10:30 AM   #29
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Name: Walter
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Thanks for that input David. It seems to be valid only for the 2500 series trailers, post 2005, and not to the earlier 1500 series. While I do have a wonderful ducted heating system, all my tanks are exterior and not heated.

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Old 01-07-2017, 09:20 PM   #30
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Name: Jann
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Originally Posted by hoopcat View Post
Wife and I are looking to make the transition into full time living in a fiberglass RV. We are planning to buy a RV and move up to Anchorage this summer. We are tentatively planning to head to Juneau for the harsh winter but know that even that will be very cold for a fiberglass RV. For reference the lows in January are in the low teens to single digits.

Basically we are looking for advice on what RV to get and how we should go about outfitting it to survive that cold weather. Seeing as we will be living in it full time we have been looking at something like the 17' Escape because it has a full bathroom and tanks etc. We have also been looking at used Scamps and Burros and thinking of potentially doing a renovation of sorts with that. Insulation and heat being the main concerns. We are looking at all options for heat even potentially installing a wood stove. Our budget is around $20k. My top choice at the moment appears to be a 17' BigFoot due to its all weather design.

Sorry about the rant but we appreciate any feedback and any advice you can offer. Every piece of information helps. Thanks!
I would go with the Bigfoot. Our Casita gets cold at 30 degrees and the heater runs almost all the time. The windows fog up and freeze easy in real cold weather. I don't think you could insulate enough to keep one warm. They are fair weather trailers not for the cold. Been to Juneau and it's beautiful but I'd not want to do it in a fiberglass unless it was a Bigfoot or Lance. Check out Lance for trailers. They are rated for the cold also. You will have to make reservations to transport the trailer to Juneau way ahead of your schedule because the ferry's don't run year around from most places. We tried to go on a ferry and couldn't get one for at least a month in the summer. Everything in Alaska costs a lot more especially in areas where it has to be shipped in by boat. Milk can be $7 a gallon and apples were over $3 a pound. 2 apples were almost $7. Skirting the trailer would be essential and I'd try to take the skirting if possible or check for lumber or metal before you leave for availability. It's a whole different world up there but I love it.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:44 PM   #31
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...As for Escape and Oliver being "just as good" as a Bigfoot in the winter, there are some major differences. Bigfoot is the only one that is a true 4-season trailer. The tanks and plumbing systems are fully enclosed and heated by the furnace with ducts...
Sorry, but this information is incorrect. Oliver's tanks are also fully enclosed and also heated by the ducted furnace as well as the water heater. In addition, the Oliver has dual pane windows throughout, is double hulled and insulated on the backside of each shell with an accompanying air space. Bigfoot is a fine trailer but it's not "the only one that is a true 4-season trailer."
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:48 AM   #32
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Name: David
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Steve- thanks for the update on Oliver technology. I visited with the owners of Oliver back during their first model year. I was totally impressed with the quality. I am glad to hear that they are now offering true four-season features. I do like to tout the advantages of Bigfoot having owned three of them in the past ten years. But I would be the first to admit that nothing beats the extreme overall quality of the Olivers, at least in molded fiberglass. They are the elite. When Bigfoot went out of business for a couple years, I fully expected that I would someday replace my trailer with an Oliver or an Escape, both top-of-the-line quality companies in my opinion. Not sure if Escape is now offering heated tanks as an option, but were not the last time I checked.

To the original poster: the biggest challenge to winter camping is keeping all systems functioning. You just about have to be plugged into a power source so that the 12 volt charger can keep up with the demands of your furnace. I think Juneau has one year around RV park that allows long term campers. I lived in Anchorage for many years and remember that Anchorage had at least one year around RV park, too. If that is where you plan to live eventually, a well-insulated trailer could spend the winter there, too. I have been to Juneau many times and love the area. But if I had to spend the winter in Southeast Alaska, I would prefer Haines. It is road accessible year around and has a beautiful all year RV park that overlooks the ocean. You can hop the ferry from there to visit the other Southeast towns, without having to ferry your trailer.
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:52 PM   #33
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Name: Tracie
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We live in Anchorage and there are certainly people who full time in RVs up here year round. The RV parks in Anchorage probably leave a lot to be desired however--and I'm not as familiar with what is available in Juneau. It might be a bit challenging finding something there since people don't really go to Juneau by way of RV (you can only get there via air or the ferry and ferry gets more expensive the longer your vehicle length).
If you intend to stay in Juneau for the entire winter, you might look into finding someone who will let you camp on their land (rather than at an RV park- if there is one). It's a small town and a few posts on bulletin boards and inquiries at local coffee shops like the Rookery will probably help you get set up with someone.
You'll be damp in Juneau, but you should be fine in a well insulated trailer. Many people (including our legislators and city officials) full time on boats in Juneau, Sitka, etc for years so you'll be in good company.
I'd echo Haines as a place to consider for winter --since you are connected to the road and can drive up to Whitehorse quite easily. Also I think their local beer is better (no offense Alaskan Brewing) and they have a distillery. In case that matters to you.
If you decide on Anchorage rather than Juneau, think about the Mat-Su valley (especially Palmer area) or Kenai Peninsula for home base instead of Anchorage. Homer (on the Kenai) is lovely and tends to have a milder winter climate than Anchorage, again, you could probably find someone willing to let you stay on their land.
But yes..make those ferry reservations early. I think ferry does run year round, but the schedule gets quite limited (and the ferries fill up with school sports teams going to tournaments)
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