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Old 08-19-2014, 12:18 AM   #1
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Is an Underbelly Cover a good thing?

Other than the suspicion that it goes under the belly of the TT, I have no idea what this does.

I was hoping that the cover might dissuade those darned Yosemite ground squirrels that will happily climb into bed with you, but I see where some owners are complaining about mice hiding above the covers, so I don't know.

Is there any reason for our wanting this? We will be doing some (sort of) dry camping at National Parks but we are otherwise rather tame. We will be going to some SoCal parks like Joshua Tree, which can see 120+ days, so we are ordering the 15K BTU AC. Does the cover do anything to keep us cool on these hot days?

Suggestions?
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:51 AM   #2
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The underbelly cover is to help aerodynamics. It reduces wind turbulence under the RV.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:13 AM   #3
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So that is a plus, right? I am all for anything that delivers a better / safer towing experience. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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I'm glad we ordered our camper with the under belly, I never thought we would do much cold weather camping, but we ended up fulltiming in it and have seen as low as 6*. Put a light under there to help keep everything from freezing. Well worth it. Also keeps road grime out.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:45 AM   #5
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I think you also get some more insulation in the roof as well with the thermal package. Sometimes on a warm day its still cool in the camper late morning early afternoon when I go into it at home when its parked in the sun..
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:17 AM   #6
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This all sounds good. What would be the downside to having this installed?

So far, it sounds like we all need it. Makes me wonder why it isn't standard equipment. Does it add much weight?
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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To me the downside is mice will get in and when they do, you cant see what they are chewing to get further into the camper. We did have mice get in ours and destroy the 2 air mattresses we foolishly left in all winter..This fall I will get under and look for loose pieces and access points especially around the slide manual access spots where it was loose from the factory.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33 RLDS View Post
To me the downside is mice will get in and when they do, you cant see what they are chewing to get further into the camper. We did have mice get in ours and destroy the 2 air mattresses we foolishly left in all winter..This fall I will get under and look for loose pieces and access points especially around the slide manual access spots where it was loose from the factory.
Well, that is interesting since I initially thought we would want the underbelly as a way of discouraging some the aggressive ground squirrels at some campgrounds. We will be storing inside a temp controlled industrial unit or hangar. The storage is clean and there are no signs of rodents (so far), so I hope this will not be a big deal. The campground was our first concern, but then the upside mentioned by others has turned us in the underbelly direction.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:06 PM   #9
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Aerodynamics and added insulation is the key things that the underbelly gives you. With any trailer you buy, I would recommend crawling underneath and look for access points for little critters. We do not have an underbelly. I found lots of holes drilled in the floor to run especially grounding wires to the frame, but there where holes for propane lines and other things. There are holes everywhere under the unit. I filled each one with a little steel wool and marine caulk. If I had access from both sides of the unit I filled the hole from the top side too. If I had an underbelly, I would do something similar, it just might be with a foil tape.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:29 PM   #10
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I opted to go without the the enclosed underbelly. Maybe there is some aerodynamic reasons...but I haven't seen that tested or even marketed by a mfg.

In my researching I came across 2 things consistently regarding enclosed underbelly...

1) Owners didn't have easy access to the plumbing, LP gas, holding tanks etc that was preventing (or making more difficult) something they wanted or had to do. For me specifically I have add tank rinsers, fixed a minor leak in FW tank connection, relocated wires and a couple other small projects that each would have been much more difficult had the bottom been enclosed. Often I wonder what that leak would have evolved too had I not been able to catch the dripping instantly when the caulking separated.

2) There are always many comments on cold weather camping and plumbing freezes. For this the enclosed underbelly is very helpful -- but in California I don't camp in the bitter cold. My trailer has successfully managed to overnight lows of ~30* a couple times with no issues what so ever. At this point in our life I don't plan to be out any colder than that.

A couple other comments..

Where is the spare tire with an enclosed underbelly? Mine is mounted underneath in an area that I suspect would be closed off if u had the correlated plastic. I guess they can go on the rear bumper, but that would interfere with bike hauling.

The extra insulation that comes with the thermal package (enclosed underbelly) could be helpful. I live in CA Central Valley, it's hot here - maybe not as hot as where you are -- but we typically head to the coast or mountains to camp. Very rarely have we camped anywhere that experiences the type of heat where we live.

All in all there is nothing wrong with the enclosed underbelly. It's just another decision that you have to make by considering the pros and cons. Depending on how you use the trailer, where you use the trailer, and if you are a tinker on your trailer will all contribute to the decision.
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