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Old 08-11-2014, 08:58 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Preparing for the cold

So most of you have seen the videos for the new Climate Shield and see the claims that it will withstand 100deg temps and 0 deg temps... which I do agree with simply because they use the words 'in a controled setting'. Which in all fairnes to JayCo (because I love Jayco) to do an accurate test you need to establish a base line and by having a controled setting it allows the tests to be more accurate in references to the base line.
Now we all know that in the real camping worls there are no 'controlled settings' we do what we can to control them and hope for the best after that right? Well Not me... my military background has taught me to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Good thing I am because this past weekend I created a few more access pannels under my underbelly (enclosed) to see just how well this unit (33.5 RETS w/ enclosed underbelly and climate shield) is ready to handle the colder climats of hunting season in upstate NY from Mid November to Early Dec. I was not suprised to find that It needed some MODS greater than that from the factory... Here is my findings:

- Low point drains for fresh water tanks are exposed outside of the enclosed underbelly because the drains for the fresh tanks are right up against the enclosed couregated pannels. This will cause freezing and the ice will follow right up into the fresh holding tanks causing pre mature freezing.

- Enclosed underbelly means just that... enclosed... there is a tiny and I mean tiny bit of insulation laying freely under the black and grey tank which will does nothing come 30deg days. They might as well have not put any... very honestly.

- The fresh water supply lines... youll love this one.... they are in the enclosed underbelly but are running along the outside and butted right up against the cold steel frame, the cold transfer from the steel to the plastic pex will be fast and cause rapid freeze issues.

-no other underbelly insulation exists :0... not very good considering how cold the floors always get and this will cause a waste of fuel to heat the living space.


My MODS:

1) This weekend I have wrapped all drain and supply lines with closed cell pipe insulation as a first line of deffense and positoned them off of the cold steel frame. I have also been thinking about applying some heat tape in specific areas that I feel are prone to possible freezes so if they do I just need to pulg the outlet of the tape in for a while and let them thaw (note: make sure your heat taps is rated for plastic or metal supply lines... and never use it for drain hoses... only hoses with water in them. Frost King makes heate tape that is rated for metal or plastic SUPPLY Lines and it also is thermostatically controlled.

2) this up comming weekend I will be adding additonal fiberglass insulation to the underbelly to contribute to lower themal heat loss through the floor. I chose to go with fiberglass (even though its itchy) because its effective, flexible and will fit through my access pannels, and can be removed easily for repairs (unlike spray insulation or close form borad insulation.

3) I will also be adding pex shut off valves for my outdoor shower as these showers have a tendency to freeze up and the lines break because no one ever thinking about them in the cold weather. A simple press fit shut off valve onthe hot and cold line supplying them from within the camper a few feet will prevent this (some can be access through cabinets/closets) Mine is accessed throuh the dump station control pannel.

4) A hot air flow access hole. This is peraonal touch I am adding for a RED EMREGENCY situation where something frooze and I dont know where (a Hail Marry precaution if you will)... I am making one access hole where I can attach a 4in dryer hose to with a hose clamp so I can use a portable form of forced air heater to blow continuous heat into the underbelly quickly to instantly raise the underbelly temperature and resolve an immediate problem until I can troubleshoot it.... NOTE: this is not recomeded as a continous solution as continued introduction of hot air into a cold envirenment can cause moisture build up, but in a pinch when all else fails and its a game of a tiny bit of moisture vs a broken pips that you will need to locate to fix... I would go with the moisture all day long becuase its not significant and will be vented out anyway.

5) also with the insulation I am sdding I will be adding a few self tapping screws with fender washers to where the courragated board is attached to my frame to ensure it holds the weight of the insulation... not that its heavy but the screws now have no washers and some are pushed through the plastic board (right from the facotry :0 )


Feel free to ask questions, comment, I invite CONSTRUCTIVE critisism not destructive. We are all a family lets support and help eachother... I can post pictures or email them if you would like. Enjoy and be safe!
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:35 PM   #2
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I would love to see pictures of what you are doing...
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:14 PM   #3
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This is just MHO. I think there is too much worry about how well you can fare in the cold with a RV. I have never owned one with any kind of extra cold weather protection and have never had any problems when out in temps as low as 13. I do have a heated water hose and I used to have a 100 watt bulb in the utility compartment, but that has been replaced by a 200 watt personal desk heater from Wally World. The only other extra precaution I take is not to leave the sewer hose out. We use elec heaters in lieu of the furnace as well.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
This is just MHO. I think there is too much worry about how well you can fare in the cold with a RV. I have never owned one with any kind of extra cold weather protection and have never had any problems when out in temps as low as 13. I do have a heated water hose and I used to have a 100 watt bulb in the utility compartment, but that has been replaced by a 200 watt personal desk heater from Wally World. The only other extra precaution I take is not to leave the sewer hose out. We use elec heaters in lieu of the furnace as well.

Thats good news, respectively...however given out geographical differences and the lake weather we get here in upstate NY, none of my fellow RV's would agree. We hunt late season and dont run many electric heaters. The precautions we take are based on prior experience and prior issues with freezes... the hardware used in many RV's is not build to withstand large climatic changes, if you want to push late into a season there are absolute musts that you must do up here to make that possible. We see -20 windchill and below 0 days for a week or so at a time, never know what mother nature will send and I never want to get caught with my pants down.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by stansclan89 View Post
I would love to see pictures of what you are doing...

I will take some this weekend and post for you to see... its not hard work just tight spaces, a few bumped heads and bumped elbows is well worth the savings in heating fuel, the extended season, and the peace of mind. I am glad they use Pex not instead of the old grey poly buetyl pipes, pex can expand alot more without splitting. Pics to come this this weekend!
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:32 PM   #6
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Just saying wind chill has no effect on water or water lines, 0 degrees now that's another story.

Here is the answer from NOAA:


2. Can wind chill impact my car's radiator or exposed water pipe?

*The only effect wind chill has on inanimate objects, such as car radiators and water pipes, is to shorten the amount of time for the object to cool. The inanimate object will not cool below the actual air temperature. For example, if the temperature outside is -5 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind chill temperature is -31 degrees Fahrenheit, then your car's radiator will not drop lower than -5 degrees Fahrenheit
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:30 PM   #7
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I have to disagree with you Grumpy. Wind chill is a big factor if pipes are close to the windward side. You are correct that temperatures don't change. But wind will drive thru a wall and freeze pipes a lot quicker if wind is involved. I live in an old farm house that has water pipes near a west wall. We have an unobstructed view to the west for very nearly a mile. We never have to worry about frozen pipes no matter what the temperature until the wind blows. We have insulated heavily on the west wall but we still can have a frozen pipe possible when the wind blows 15 to 25 mph. It will force that cold air deep and quick thru a wall.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:04 PM   #8
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shorten the amount of time for the object to cool.
I guess you missed this part that grumpy posted
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:35 PM   #9
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Grumpy is right on this one. I am always amazed that people attach wind chill to non-living things. It is like saying your gas grill will be more uncomfortable in higher humidity.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:22 AM   #10
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Wind chill is the feeling of cold and the actual effect on body temperature when the wind draws heat from the body at the point of exposed skin. True of animals too. Its effect on inanimate objects is to bring the object to ambient more quickly than if there were no wind.
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