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Old 09-20-2015, 07:41 PM   #15
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Searching for the right FGRV
Maryland
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Thanks to all for the great responses

.We are in Maryland, just North of Baltimore. We are not in a hurry to purchase as my retirement is still 4+ years away, however, if a unit becomes available that suits our needs we will purchase it for weekend use until the big retirement day arrives and we hit the road. I currently have an F150 Ford pickup which I plan to replace with something similar prior to retirement and that will be our tow vehicle. We are both very handy with doing repairs and building but would rather buy a trailer that has been well maintained and does not need to major restoration. We plan to use it for quite a few years.
We like the idea of a trailer that can be used in colder climates simply because it gives us more flexibility in when and where travel.
Bob
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:15 PM   #16
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Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
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We just came home from a three week trip VT -> ID -> CO -> VT. Many miles and varied weather, from overnight temps of about 75 down to three mornings well below freezing. That is typical for our shoulder season travels. Our 5th wheel Deluxe Scamp fares well under those conditions.

Here are some of my improvements related to cold weather survival: I added removable closed cell foam fillers to all roof vents, about 1 inch thick, have inside covers for windows which attach with sown-on Velcro strips to the rat fur. They are made of aluminized glass reinforced material from some packaging I scavenged. In order to distribute the warmer air from the downstairs to the loft I have two 12V computer power supply fans that turn on by a temperature switch (kick space heater) that makes on hot and is attached to the furnace vent. They are mounted above the bathroom door and push the air through the upper storage cubbyhole. You say you are handy, so you should be able to do at least three season camping without springing for the "four season" or factory winterized, expensive camper.

On our outbound leg of the above mentioned trip we spent one night at the Des Moines West KOA and happened to get a tour of an Oliver Legacy Elite II. That is a real four season rig, double windows and all the rest. Most of what is steel on others is aluminum on this one, so even salty roads should be less of a problem. But, you get what you pay for...
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyH View Post
.We are in Maryland, just North of Baltimore. We are not in a hurry to purchase as my retirement is still 4+ years away, however, if a unit becomes available that suits our needs we will purchase it for weekend use until the big retirement day arrives and we hit the road. I currently have an F150 Ford pickup which I plan to replace with something similar prior to retirement and that will be our tow vehicle. We are both very handy with doing repairs and building but would rather buy a trailer that has been well maintained and does not need to major restoration. We plan to use it for quite a few years.
We like the idea of a trailer that can be used in colder climates simply because it gives us more flexibility in when and where travel.
Bob
I don't know how cold or for how long you might want, but many of use boondock at temps well below freezing and get by just fine with the Atwood Everest Star Furnace and maybe an extra LP tank and a second battery.
Everest Star 7900 II Series Heating System - Atwood Mobile
A lot less expensive than the 4 seasons insulation package equipped trailers.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:21 AM   #18
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Searching for the right FGRV
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That's all good info. Thank you. Have you ever stayed in areas where daytime temperatures remain below freezing? If so have you made modifications to protect the tanks and plumbing beneath the trailer from freezing? One of our goals is to spend a few months in Alaska. I anticipate we will run into some cold weather there even though our visit will be during the warmer seasons.


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Old 09-21-2015, 06:58 AM   #19
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From June to September one would have to do some serious looking to find 24 hr sub freezing weather in Alaska. With 20+ hours of sunlight it's a lot warmer than many think it might be.


When in he Navy, I was in both Anchorage and Adak Alaska several times in the summer months and it was short sleeve shirt weather, heck, even the Air Force guys could survive outside.... LOL


There are lots of websites on travel to Alaska at different times of the year, check those out before limiting yourself to only looking at a 4 seasons FGRV. They not only cost more to buy, they will, due to additional weight, cost more to tow, and that can make a substantial difference on those really long trips.
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:58 AM   #20
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Florida
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Most people travel to Alaska in the summer, you'll be fine, Bob's right, it seems to be bright all the time, you need to force yourself to go to bed.

As to tanks, the most critical tank is the water tank and even on the rare occasion where we've camped where it did not get above freezing for a day we've never had a freezing situation, except possibly milk and eggs in the fridge. I just checked my fridge and it was down to 36 even though the night time temp only got down to 47 F.

We have never had the black tank or grey tank freeze, at least that we've known. Generally we attempt to keep them relatively empty on freezing days.

We rarely are away from our trailer on really cold days for more than 8 hours and the thermal inertia of the trailer is generally enough to keep the insides above freezing. The coldest day time temps we've experienced was in the teens.

Even when we're away from the trailer, since in cold weather we tend to stay plugged in, the hot water heater is on and represents 6 gallons of hot water and a 600 watt electric heater. We have never had a water line freeze in the any of our trailers.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:28 AM   #21
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Searching for the right FGRV
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Thanks to all once again. I really appreciate the input from everyone. We are just beginning our research into the rv traveling world and I'm sure we will rethink many of our first impressions as time goes on. Certainly if we can get by without a 4 season rig we won't want the additional expense and weight. According to the Scamp website their trailers are currently manufactured with R15 insulation and the construction technique they use should eliminate sweating of the interior walls and ceiling, I believe.
By the way, we are attending the Lancaster, PA rally on October 5th. Hope to meet some of you there.
Best Regards,
Bob
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:36 AM   #22
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....According to the Scamp website their trailers are currently manufactured with R15 insulation and the construction technique they use should eliminate sweating of the interior walls and ceiling, I believe.
B...
See:
foil faced bubble wrap insulation lies

I'm sure the Scamp interior linings are good, but not R15 (esp with all the windows!) and condensation will always be an issue in trailers used in winter.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:45 AM   #23
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Last spring we had to overnight at temperature down to ~26F and it was windy (Pennsylvania). The tanks were far from freezing, but the gate valves were stuck, so dumping was done at a station somewhere along the way, when the daytime temperatures were well in the 40's.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:54 AM   #24
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We have never seen sweating on the interior walls or exterior walls in the Scamp. We see sweating on the windows, particularly around the dinette where we sleep. We carry a shammy and simply wipe them off in the morning.

We've had an 1997 RV with thermopane windows. Eventually the thermopane windows began to fail and had condensation between the panes. The solution was expensive.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:00 AM   #25
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Scamp should say: "We use Reflectix insulation which is capable of providing R15 value."

The walls are fine as far as condensation goes, but the single pane windows and their aluminum frames sweat a lot, especially in the humid parts of the US. Even more when you boil pasta without blowing out the steam!
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:14 AM   #26
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In such a small enclosed space excess moisture has to be a constant issue.


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Old 09-21-2015, 10:12 AM   #27
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Hi Bob. Welcome to the FGRV forum! We have an older 17' Bigfoot (a 1987) and camp quite a bit in the shoulder seasons (the best time to go IMO!). We've never had any issues with anything freezing in our trailer. I don't know the specifics of how the plumbing is set up in other FG trailers, but in our Bigfoot none of it is exposed to the exterior, everything is totally enclosed between the FG shell and the interior floor of the trailer so you do get some protection from the freezing temps. Because Bigfoots have a kind of laminated construction you also have the insulating qualities of the styrofoam-like layer to provide some protection too.

We often camp where we will have electric hook-ups if we know it's going to get down to near or below freezing. That way we can keep a small electric heater going in the trailer. We found a small oil-filled radiator type that we like because it's totally quiet but we also carry a small cube heater with a fan for more instant heat. If we are boondocking we use our furnace. We have a 100 watt solar panel for recharging our battery.

A bigger issue for us in cold weather camping is condensation in the trailer. The single pane windows can get pretty drippy, especially here in the moist Pacific Northwest. A good reason to head to the Southwest for the winter where the more arid conditions can really help alleviate that problem.

Oh, and on a side note, if you have a water hook-up at a campground it's important to disconnect your water hose before you go to bed or you'll wake up to a frozen hose!

Good luck in your search. If you find something, grab it. Good used FG trailers go fast and if you snooze, you loose!
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:24 AM   #28
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None of these trailers is hermetically sealed, like some modern homes which require electric power to avoid suffocation, although that Oliver I mentioned above seemed to be quite tight.
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