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Old 06-16-2015, 01:55 PM   #1
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Can Thermal kit be retrofitted?

Hi All,

I bought my 19RD off the lot not knowing 100% of the details.

This afternoon I was digging on Jayco's web site and discovered that the 'Thermal Kit' which will allow use of the trailer in sub-freezing temperatures is "only" about $500.00.

Does anyone know if the kit can be ordered? What the dealer might charge for installation? Can someone who is very handy DIY it?

I have always wanted to be able to not have to winterize before first frost. It would be nice to keep the TT usable well into November.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:27 PM   #2
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The thermal kit is nothing more than some foil lining at the underside of the floor and regular fiberglass insulation. That being said it would be a pretty large undertaking to install while working on a creeper. Also I have my doubts about how well Jayco's thermal package actually works. I was looking at my 2016 23MBH last night and there are TONS of voids in the insulation. And behind the black tank there isn't any insulation at all.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:53 PM   #3
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Let's discuss the possibility of DIY'ing this from scratch....


Glue heating pads (have to decide on 12VDC or 110VAC) to the bottoms of the FW, GW and BW tanks. All wastewater lines get pipe heaters. Have to include the wastewater lines up to and including the dump valves.


Fill the entire bottom with rigid foam insulation and fill any voids with fiberglass.


Then cover the entire underside of the exposed frame with foil (my preference would be sheet metal)


THAT would keep the water under the trailer safe to well below freezing (depending on wind).


Keeping the interior well above freezing? Propane furnace backed up with portable electric heaters (or the other way around).


Tell me that doesn't sound doable.


My barn/shop has a concrete floor, so using a creeper is easy after sweeping.


I could improve access by dropping the hitch to give maximum access to the back and use the tongue jack + cribbing to get the bumper all the way down to give good access to the front.


A side benefit will be closing off every single possible point of entry for mice, ants, etc.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:55 PM   #4
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Important!


Find the never-to-be-sufficiently-damned overflow tube and connect it to the vent next to the gravity fill.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:02 PM   #5
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Don't know if it's important or even helps, they do have a heater vent routed to the belly in the official upgrade.

My biggest concern would be the water lines while towing for extended periods.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthy-Beast View Post
...snip...My biggest concern would be the water lines while towing for extended periods.
There's my 12V vs. 120V choice.

At this point I'm considering this only for extending the time the TT sits 'hot' and usable outside my barn/shop. In other words, "How far into Autumn can I push off winterizing and how early in the spring can I summerize?"

There is no place I currently plan on dragging it to while we are expecting below freezing temps. So, 120VAC heaters will fit my present plans.

However, if I add a high-current line off the tow vehicle's alternator and when parked use a separate converter. 12VDC heaters become interesting.


-----
"they do have a heater vent routed to the belly in the official upgrade"

OH! I just got it

They use the cabin heat to keep the space between the floor and the foil warmish.

Gotta think this through more. If heated air is being pushed down there, it has to be able to warm the tanks and then the cooled air has to go [to atmosphere or into the cabin]. Packing the frame with insulation totally ruins that.
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:40 PM   #7
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For what it's worth my 1986 Fleetwood Taurus had an enclosed and heated but not insulated underbelly. I never once had freezing issues and camped into the teens many times. I think I got ripped off buying the thermal package. I could have done much better myself and for less money.
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Old 06-17-2015, 06:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blderman View Post
For what it's worth my 1986 Fleetwood Taurus had an enclosed and heated but not insulated underbelly. I never once had freezing issues and camped into the teens many times. I think I got ripped off buying the thermal package. I could have done much better myself and for less money.
It was worth a lot. Thanks.

I will be doing it myself. Just have to figure which way I want to go:
A) Super insulate the underbelly and use electric heaters to prevent freezing.
or
B) Put a layer of simple insulation under the frame and circulate cabin air to keep the air around the tanks warm.

Process A will protect the tanks clear through an Orange County, NY winter. Allowing me to never have to winterize, just spend money on electricity and propane to the whole thing warm.

Process B will give me those extra worry-free weeks to bring the TT up for the season early and winterize on my own schedule.

Skirting the trailer while immobile for the winter will help too.

Decisions, decisions...
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:42 PM   #9
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What about spray foam insulation? I have considered this to keep the trailer warmer during the shoulder season.

Heat trace or heat pads on everything and then cover it all up with spray foam. Only drawback that I see is the access issues if you need to get at something to fix it. Maybe cost too as I haven't looked into that yet.

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Old 06-17-2015, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subaru297 View Post
What about spray foam insulation?
...snip..
access issues if you need to get at something to fix it.
Isn't that reason enough?

I like being able to fix my things when they break. Spray foam would have to be cut out and then replaced after any repair. The fact that it expands during installation has many benefits in filling gaps and voids. Then has to be cut (waste) to fit within the covered space.

Rigid foam boards slip in and out. But will never provide perfect edge-to-edge coverage.

The killer for me, right now is what fastening system will:
A) Be simple and straight forward to install
B) Keep the sheet metal on while heading down the road
C) Be easy to undo to access the underbelly
D) Not corrode to the point where removal breaks the fasteners.
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