We have been full-time in our 2000 Sunline T-2363 for over six months now. We are spending most of the winter in the mid-west (IL & IN) and thought someone might be interested in some of things we have done to stay warm.
It has hit six below zero and we can easily keep the trailer at 80 degrees plus. Our thin blood from spending 28 years in Africa means we like things warm.
I collected hints from wherever and from my own experiences so here is a list. I will be happy to provide more details if anyone is interested. The basic trailer is very good. (We all know that already, donít we!) So here are some of things we did.
1. Added better batteries (two Samís club golf car batteries). This enables us to run our furnace for several days, if necessary, without being plugged in. We added an 80-amp converter to keep them charged when we have power and it provides the 12-volt power for external holding tank and sewage pipe heaters. We also installed welding cable wiring to the truck and inside to an AC inverter and the DC converter to make the charging effective and 12 volt electrical system works well while traveling.
2. We bought the insulating vent cushions for the overhead vents. They work well.
3. We insulated all windows with the shrink plastic storm window stuff found at W-Mart.
4. We closed off our back door permanently for the winter and insulated it by using black plastic and aluminum foil type insulation. The front door we just used the clear stuff to cover the door window in the outside door, just like we did for all the other windows.
5. We made ďdoor blanketsĒ from a bargain quilted bedspread that was on sale. We use Velcro to hang them over the doors. The back door we leave the door blanket up all the time. The front door we just hang it at night if it is getting real cold.
6. We disconnected the small fresh water drain to the outside and used a hose clamp to seal off the small hose leading to the outside valve and left the hose inside the trailer where it is warm and wonít freeze.
7. We put a piece of aluminum insulation behind the water heater door and taped off the inside electrical switch so it wonít be used on propane by accident. The water heater will hold its heat for many hours without being plugged in, even in the coldest temperatures. Very handy when traveling.
8. I used multiple pieces of aluminum insulation and duct tape to make removable ďinsulated plugsĒ to place inside the water inlet door, AC power cable door. They work great. On the outside of the trailer I used the pink insulation behind the stove vent cover and the outside shower. Inside the trailer I disconnect the hoses to the outside shower and sealed them off.
9. I emptied the two outside storage compartments of ďour stuffĒ and used insulation behind the outside storage doors. Thus, storage compartments not usable in the winter.
10. We took time insulate the trailer as best we could. The biggest surprise I had was that Sunline did not insulate inside the trailer by the two plastic wheel well liners. We insulated both of them inside the trailer and the one by the bathroom was tough to do.
11. I installed five trouble lights by the fresh waterlines inside the trailer. Used 60-watt bulbs. (Before I installed these the lines would freeze if it went below zero because they are practically against the wheel well liner. No damage occurred when they froze, however.)
12. We installed Ultra-heat holding tank heaters on the gray water and black water tanks and all external pipes. They seem to work well except they do not keep the two waste drain valves from freezing shut. I developed a work around for thatÖ
13. I removed the inside cover from the A/C unit and stuffed pink insulation into the openings of the air conditioner. Then I covered the whole unit with the clear plastic we used on the windows and replaced the cover.
14. Inside the trailer, I installed a piece of aluminum insulation above the filter in the stove hood. I had already stuffed pink stuff from the outside
15. We dropped the inside plastic sky light cover in the shower and stuffed pink insulation between the outer plastic dome and the inside cover. Then we replaced the plastic dome liner.
16. We took off all the light fixtures and stuffed pink insulation above them.
17. We placed a de-humidifier in the trailer under the table. We let it run as much as we can.
18. I ran an extra 120-volt cable into the trailer so I could use more power without overloading the trailerís electrical system. I use it to feed only one power strip in the trailer. I use it to run one electric heater and two of the trouble lights only.
19. We did nothing to the frig compartment nor did we modify the propane furnace in any way. In our trailer the fresh water tank is under the bed and all the fresh water lines are inside the trailer. I just fill it with an outside water hose. We do not leave a hose connected to the trailer. I empty the gray and black water tanks as needed but do not leave the sewer hose connected to the trailer.
20. I bought an inside & outside thermometer. The one I have has a remote sending unit that sends a signal to the master unit via radio waves. It was cheap, under $30. Both units run on AA batteries. I used Velcro to attach the outside unit to the underside of the front window plastic awning. When we are staying in the trailer it gives me good info on outside temps and when to switch on tank heaters and the like. When we travel I move it inside the trailer and the master unit to the truck. I can then remotely monitor the inside trailer temp. When it hits about 45 degrees in the trailer, I pull over for lunch or a coffee break and run the propane furnace to reheat the trailer. I seldom have to stop more than ever two or three hours to keep the trailer temps in a very safe range. It is no hassle.
21. We have two small electric heaters. The twenty-dollar kind. And the de-humidifier gives off heat. We seldom run the propane heat when we have electrical connection. If it is sub-zero we try to run propane a couple of time a night for ten minutes to put some extra heat by the inside fresh water pipes as the ducts run right by them. Even in sub zero weather the two electric heater canít be run at full on or it just gets too hot! We usually run them at half heat.
22. I thought we would need to put down carpeting over the linoleum flooring but we found we donít need it. The floor stays plenty warm right without any changes.
We are using our Sunny to travel all over to do public speaking about mission work in Africa. We have towed it about 25,000 miles in six months. We have done some other modifications and I will be happy to share about them, too. But I thought someone might be interested in using their trailer in the cold winter and is very easy to do with some basic, common sense changes and the T-2363 is easily up to the job of keeping you toasty warm and fully operational. It is a dream of a trailer. Tows perfect. Very comfortable for full time living.
All the best,