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Old 02-25-2009, 09:32 AM   #1
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Winterization

It's almost time! Fred and I will unwinterize for our trip to Wrestling Nationals in St. Louis in March. What we would like to do before then (if the weather permits) is to winterize the underside of the camper. Last year it was a bit nippy and we plan to do more extended season camping in general. Even in the summer it will help to keep us cooler in Va Beach, plus may-be, may-be keep some insects out.
We were thinking about using some fiberglass insulation, then the very thin fiberboard and attach it all using either duct tape, glue and ties. Not real sure, but thought I'd throw out the question and see what the group may have to say. Thanks!!!
P.S. Fred just told me he has talked with our mechanic about using their huge bay to work on the camper, so weather has been taken out as a factor!
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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Fiberboard is probably not a very good choice. No matter how well you paint it, it will still absorb water and fall apart very quickly. Just pull the trailer down the road once in a gentle rain, and the fiberboard will begin to disentegrate.

A much better choice is corrugated plastic panels. They look like 1/4" thick cardboard, but are made out of a rugged plastic and will last for years. If I am not mistaken, it is even used by some RV manufacturers to enclose the underbellies of trailers for their four season packages. I've seen it in black and white, but don't know about other colors.

Now, where to get it? I know that sign shops use a lot of that material now. It has pretty much completely replaced cardboard as the material of choice for political yard signs and many more applications.

The manufacturers use screws into the trailer to hold the sheets in place.

I'd check with a sign shop first, and see if they can get if for you in 4'x8' sheets at a reasonable price.

Fiberglass insulation absorbs moisture, even when not exposed direct water sources. When it is wet, it loses all of its insulating properties and becomes a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and rust on your trailer frame. Since it will be enclosed, it won't dry out.

A better choice is the rigid blue foam insulating material available at your local home improvement center. It won't absorb moisture. It comes in varying thicknesses, and can be cut very easily with a small hand saw. It is usually sold in 8' lengths. If you bought a sheet of 1.5" thick material, you could easily double or triple thickness it in some places under your rig, and in others (like the bottom side of a holding tank), use a single thickness.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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janetpowell
insulation

Thanks for the reply! We'll call it plan B and ditch plan A. The main reason I posted in the forum was I knew people would have experience. Thanks again!
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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We had a tear in our black fabric underbelly stuff. The duct tape came of between Reading and Lancaster
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
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Interesting posting

Interesting posting, I hadn't thought about our underbelly before.

The underbelly of our 1982 Sunline is Aluminum from edge to edge except for the gray tank. I had not given it a thought until I crawled under a new rig recently that had something that look liked corrugated cardboard but was somekind of corragated plastic, plastic but rather flimsy.

We have attached blue foam to the front of our gray tank to protect it from stones on the Labrador Highway. It doesn't seem to absorb water but has taken a lot of hits from stones in it's role of protector. I used one of the construction mastics to attach our foam and it seems it will be there forever.

As to increasing the ability to withstand cold weather I would bet most heat goes out thru the windows, and by a wide margin. Thermopane windows do make a difference in our motorhome compared to the trailer.

I would equally assume that the vents are another major heat loss item.

In our cold weather travels in the trailer we have never had the gray tank freeze, at least not so we'd notice it. We never have the heat on at night except the electric blanket, even when it's below freezing outside. Though it would be very easy to insulate our gray tank it hasn't seemed necessary. AS well the water tank and the black tanks are internal to the rig and I can't imagine them freezing.

As to bugs, we are now in Florida, the very first day we had these micro ants walking allover the counters. I bought some general bug spray and sprayed the wheels, hoses and cable and nary a bug since then.

WHile on the topic of freezing, we've never had a battery freeze. When we leave a rig home for the winter we always keep them plugged in allowing the converter to keep them charged. As far as I know they've never freezed.

Good Travels to all,

Norm and Ginny Milliard
1982 Sunline 15.5 SB
2004 Honda CRV

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