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Old 12-19-2021, 11:41 AM   #1
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37MDQS specific model

I'm making this new thread to address anything to do with the Pinnacle 37MDQS.
As always, many issues will cross over to other models; but, since there wasn't a thread specifically for the MDQS, I figured I'd start it.

Feel free to post any issues, repairs, or concerns as well as photos of your rigs.
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Old 12-19-2021, 11:55 AM   #2
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Question:. Does anyone know about their tank heater pads? We just purchased our 2020 MDQS last Tuesday and I've been reading the owners manual, but it's very vague. It says the heater and pipe heaters are controlled by a single switch, which would be located either in the control panel, or in the bathroom.

Well, I've searched everywhere, and I can't find a switch for it anywhere.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2021, 12:37 PM   #3
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Replied to you here

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...-new-post.html
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Old 12-19-2021, 12:59 PM   #4
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Thanks jetlag...
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Old 01-19-2022, 05:52 PM   #5
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Additional insulation needed so pipes don't freeze

Update:. The Pinnacle 37mdqs is not insulated like you think it may be!

If anyone here is thinking of being in serious cold weather; there are several upgrades that should be done to prevent freeze-up and to not using massive amounts of propane...

You'll see the galley grey tank which is located directly under the island sink. There is no insulation around it to protect it from the elements. Additionally, there are holes in the frame that accommodate the hydraulic lines; and those holes are located right next to the galley grey tank, and are above the enclosed bottom. Therefore, the cold air can and will creep right into you underbelly and freeze your tank.

In a pic with the insulation hanging, you'll see the triangle cross-members going vertical. What your seeing is above the underbelly, and is exposed completely into the forward pass-through ..... Right where your water lines are!

The pic of the red and black water lines is off the pipe drain lines. These are to be used when you want to winterize your rig. Unfortunately, if you're full-timers, and always have water hooked up, these are the first to freeze up. They are completely exposed under the pass-through, and as you can see, there's no insulation between the pass-through and the underbelly. You will need to insulate here as well to prevent heat lots and these pipes from freezing.

Finally, I will be posting a video to YouTube of all the R-30 insulating and mods I've done to prevent failure in cold temps.
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Old 01-19-2022, 06:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting. We are looking at a new 5ver, to purchase next year. We will not be able to store it indoors over the winter at our local fairgrounds, so we are discussing making it a 4 season rig. From all the discussions about the poor underbelly insulation, I expect this will be one of the major mods I will be completing.

I am also thinking about making a mod similar to Slowpok, to circulate hot water through the plumbing periodically and dump the water back into the FW tank to keep everything warm.

Please do post more images and a link to your video.

Thanks again
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
Thanks for posting. We are looking at a new 5ver, to purchase next year. We will not be able to store it indoors over the winter at our local fairgrounds, so we are discussing making it a 4 season rig. From all the discussions about the poor underbelly insulation, I expect this will be one of the major mods I will be completing.

I am also thinking about making a mod similar to Slowpok, to circulate hot water through the plumbing periodically and dump the water back into the FW tank to keep everything warm.

Please do post more images and a link to your video.

Thanks again
Jagiven, totally my pleasure... This is my first 5'r and we totally love it. There's just one understanding everyone that has any possibility of being in freezing temps; these rigs are intended to be temporary housing in mild temps, and therefore, their not held to the same standard as a home.

I will post the link to my video here when I'm finished editing it.

One advise about the Slowpok... If the rig is going to be "stored" at the fairgrounds, with no one occupying it, then I would recommend just emptying the water lines, and then filling the lines and all holding tanks with RV antifreeze.

Reason:

All the fittings they use in these rigs are questionable. Their all made of plastic, and not very strong (I know, cause I broke 3 of them by just bumping the water lines)

Additionally, the "flex hose" they use on the backside of the wet-bay is horrible at keeping a seal on the fittings.

Consequences:

Flex hose and fittings may start leaking (without warning). Water will then be left in the line at places, which will have the ability to freeze solid; which will blow the lines within the underbelly and subfloor of the rig.


Solution:

Upgrading all of the flex hose to PEX with either brass crimp fittings, or "quick connect" fittings, will certainly help with the lines not leaking. In the event the pipes would freeze, the PEX piping is capable of expanding 100x it's normal size, without bursting.


Finally, the photos show what I found in the underbelly in the rear of my rig tonight...Make note the R-30 insulation is what I've installed through my entire underbelly. The pic is to show the large gap of nothing to insulate, except dead air space.

Finally, notice the blue water line that runs to the rear of the rig. This water line has no protection from the elements, except the underbelly corrugated plastic.
I've installed rubber/foam pipe insulation around all of the PEX pipes, to include, the one in the rear.

Any further questions, please feel free to ask.

Thanks.
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Old 01-20-2022, 11:58 AM   #8
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Thanks NoFly. Currently we only winter store at the fairgrounds, and the tanks are dry and are fully winterized. Currently with our HTT, we camp down to the low 20's each year, and with no enclosed underbelly no heat pads and we have had no issues.

With the new 5ver we are considering, we cannot store it at the fairgrounds over the winter due to facility limitations. So, if it is going to stay at home, we might as well go winter camping with it! At home we would keep it winterized, and winter camping it might stay winterized, or partially winterized, pending on modifications and the weather.

Many of Minnesota state parks plow a number of campsites and are open for business year round on a limited occupancy. We are also looking at retiring in a few years, so we are considering off season travels, which mean we should expect cooler weather during our travels.

My thoughts today, which could easily change by the time we buy it. Pull the underbelly rework the tank heaters, make them accessible for repair. Possibly install pink foam board to box them in. Then apply spray foam to the complete underbelly. I saw a few years back, a company that uses a black exterior grade spray foam on exterior building foundations below grade. I would like to research this product, and see if applying an inch or so would be extremely helpful, or maybe not (fire rating, off gassing, weight, etc). Then fiberglass, and seal up.

I also foresee all the plumbing needs to be addressed. Pending on what I find, I suspected I would want to wrap most of the piping with heat tape, than pipe insulation. As for the wet bay, I figure it will require a complete rebuild, including relocating it (due to accessibility when parked in my driveway), including a full electric heat package. I figure the wet bay might get some heat tape, I would consider a few small heat pad, hopefully no electric space heater. Personally I like the idea of a heat pads, but time will tell.

For the furnace I have also found an electric heating element that can be installed inline with the gas furnace. Pending on space, I would like to consider this feature too, but it is fairly expensive.

As for Slowpok's mod, it is just a recirculation loop commonly found in businesses and homes. Instead of wanting instant hot water at the faucet, I would use it to ensure the water in the main pipe runs do not freeze. In this application, the pump takes cool water from the FW tank, pumps it through the water heater, then through the hot water pipes, then recirculates back through the cold water pipes, than dumps it back into the FW tank. How I foresee plumbing this in. Find the end of the main line. Add a solenoid valve to connect the hot and cold lines together. With a flip of a switch the two pipes are now connected. I would foresee adding a second solenoid valve, with some added piping, so the return loop would dump the warm water back into the FW tank. I could see the solenoid valves being operated either manually, via a thermal switch, or a timer (on for so long, off for so long). Once the dump valve opens, the line pressure drops and the water pump would automatically kick in, and circulate a little hot water. This keeps the pipes and FW tank from freezing. If the new 5ver is plumbed like our HTT, it should be a simple mod.

The big issue, all these mods will require significant electricity, so having access to ample power would be required.

We are both old school backpackers/mountaineers, so roughing it is not an issue for us. DW stated she has no issues using the campground laterite during the day, but no, to night use in the winter! Our local SPs do shutdown the dump stations all winter, so that could be an issue. I have spoken with some NPS and SP managers. They have stated we can dump our waste tanks into the latrines. That is an uphill battle, so I am thinking I might consider a portable macerator, and black hose to transfer to a latrine where allowed. But we might also consider a portable composting toilet for winter use and place it in the shower, if we go dry camping. Time will tell what we will do exactly. I think we are about a year out on purchasing a new camper. First we need a new TV.
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Old 01-20-2022, 04:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
Thanks NoFly. Currently we only winter store at the fairgrounds, and the tanks are dry and are fully winterized. Currently with our HTT, we camp down to the low 20's each year, and with no enclosed underbelly no heat pads and we have had no issues.

With the new 5ver we are considering, we cannot store it at the fairgrounds over the winter due to facility limitations. So, if it is going to stay at home, we might as well go winter camping with it! At home we would keep it winterized, and winter camping it might stay winterized, or partially winterized, pending on modifications and the weather.

Many of Minnesota state parks plow a number of campsites and are open for business year round on a limited occupancy. We are also looking at retiring in a few years, so we are considering off season travels, which mean we should expect cooler weather during our travels.

My thoughts today, which could easily change by the time we buy it. Pull the underbelly rework the tank heaters, make them accessible for repair. Possibly install pink foam board to box them in. Then apply spray foam to the complete underbelly. I saw a few years back, a company that uses a black exterior grade spray foam on exterior building foundations below grade. I would like to research this product, and see if applying an inch or so would be extremely helpful, or maybe not (fire rating, off gassing, weight, etc). Then fiberglass, and seal up.

I also foresee all the plumbing needs to be addressed. Pending on what I find, I suspected I would want to wrap most of the piping with heat tape, than pipe insulation. As for the wet bay, I figure it will require a complete rebuild, including relocating it (due to accessibility when parked in my driveway), including a full electric heat package. I figure the wet bay might get some heat tape, I would consider a few small heat pad, hopefully no electric space heater. Personally I like the idea of a heat pads, but time will tell.

For the furnace I have also found an electric heating element that can be installed inline with the gas furnace. Pending on space, I would like to consider this feature too, but it is fairly expensive.

As for Slowpok's mod, it is just a recirculation loop commonly found in businesses and homes. Instead of wanting instant hot water at the faucet, I would use it to ensure the water in the main pipe runs do not freeze. In this application, the pump takes cool water from the FW tank, pumps it through the water heater, then through the hot water pipes, then recirculates back through the cold water pipes, than dumps it back into the FW tank. How I foresee plumbing this in. Find the end of the main line. Add a solenoid valve to connect the hot and cold lines together. With a flip of a switch the two pipes are now connected. I would foresee adding a second solenoid valve, with some added piping, so the return loop would dump the warm water back into the FW tank. I could see the solenoid valves being operated either manually, via a thermal switch, or a timer (on for so long, off for so long). Once the dump valve opens, the line pressure drops and the water pump would automatically kick in, and circulate a little hot water. This keeps the pipes and FW tank from freezing. If the new 5ver is plumbed like our HTT, it should be a simple mod.

The big issue, all these mods will require significant electricity, so having access to ample power would be required.

We are both old school backpackers/mountaineers, so roughing it is not an issue for us. DW stated she has no issues using the campground laterite during the day, but no, to night use in the winter! Our local SPs do shutdown the dump stations all winter, so that could be an issue. I have spoken with some NPS and SP managers. They have stated we can dump our waste tanks into the latrines. That is an uphill battle, so I am thinking I might consider a portable macerator, and black hose to transfer to a latrine where allowed. But we might also consider a portable composting toilet for winter use and place it in the shower, if we go dry camping. Time will tell what we will do exactly. I think we are about a year out on purchasing a new camper. First we need a new TV.
Jagiven,

First it's like to wave at you neighbor... We're in Wisconsin b so yeah, the temps definitely get low like you all do... Apples to apples when comparing climate....

The ideas you have to insulate are definitely going to set it up to handle extreme temps. The expanding foam is definitely helpful in the holes in the underbelly where the various items protrude through, as well as the holes in the frame.

As for setting up the heat pads to be accessed, it really depends on what rig your planning on going with. There are newer versions of of underbelly that come in removable panels, instead of a complete sheet of underbelly that spans the entire coach. This is course, would make accessing the tanks much easier.

As for the heat tape, or any other electrical modification done to the system; my recommendation would be to stick with 12 volt primarily, as this can be utilized through the onboard battery bank, versus needing to be connected to shore-power.
Anything that will allow your rig to be self contained, and operate while not on the grid, will allow you more freedom during your travels.

As your both old-school mountaineers, I'm sure you can appreciate the idea of relying on what you have with you for survival, without needing to be connected to the grid for power. Additionally, a large solar package, large inverter and (heated) lithium batteries would truly allow you both to stay disconnected indefinitely.

As for the macerator pump, it would work great, as the one on our pinnacle has the ability to pump uphill 150' (after attaching an additional garden hose). Our rig came with it installed already, although the instructions indicate to protect it from freezing as all times. So, at the rubber boot where it connects to the PVC pipe, I installed a drain valve into the boot to drain any excess water after pumping. Additionally I added the Facon 3"x13" 12 volt elbow heat pad to the pump motor housing to keep it from freezing internally.

As for dumping, although kinda a pain, some of the Loves, Flying J, TA and Pilot truck stops have dump stations available year round. Although there is a few for this, it does provide the option of dumping after a period of time.

Finally, as for any of the upgrades I've considered doing; I always keep the acronym K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) in mind.... The amount of abuse traveling does to every system in the entire rig, is just staggering... I'm always wanting to make sure anything I do, will hold up to the abuse traveling does...
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Old 01-22-2022, 09:52 AM   #10
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I don't know if he's on here or not, but there is a YouTuber that has a channel dedicated to his 2020 37MDQS. He's got a lot of great information, and goes into detail about changes he's made, and questions that others might have.

He does a really great job of showing and explaining things...

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Old 01-22-2022, 10:12 AM   #11
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I don't know if he's on here or not, but there is a YouTuber that has a channel dedicated to his 2020 37MDQS. He's got a lot of great information, and goes into detail about changes he's made, and questions that others might have.

He does a really great job of showing and explaining things...

AdventureRocks
Morning Cadman, yeah, that's Jay; and I've had extensive chats with him on what he's all done....

I'd agree, he really does do a good job showing what he's done. I'm working on making my video in the same capacity as his, although I don't have a good camera to work with.

We'll see how they turn out in the future...

Thanks for posting Adventure Rocks here...
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Old 01-22-2022, 12:00 PM   #12
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.... I'm working on making my video in the same capacity as his, although I don't have a good camera to work with.

We'll see how they turn out in the future....
Looking forward to your videos as well!!

Please post a link when you're done. I'm sure that they will be great!!!
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