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Old 11-01-2017, 04:05 PM   #1
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Default Cold Weather Questions

Lots of cold weather questions for you veteran FF owners out there. How much propane does the heater burn? Is it necessary to crack a window when using heater like with a Mr Buddy type heater? What do you do the negate cold air infiltration at the windows (no leaks, just the windows getting cold and radiating the cold into the trailer. Have any of you insulated under the trailer? I've seen quite a few cargo conversions where they used foam board insulation. They say it helps a lot and holds up well. Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:46 PM   #2
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I've got questions too so will add to this thread. Maybe it will help both of us.

When camping in freezing weather, do you leave your hose connected to the campground faucet, or just fill up your fresh water tank and use it?
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:46 PM   #3
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With regard to using the propane furnace, there is no need to open a window or vent. It is a forced air furnace much like the one in your home. It uses a heat exchange.

As for water, be careful that your fresh, gray and black water tanks do not freeze. If they do, they may rupture. If your fresh water tank is located above the floor, your more protected from freezing than one below the floor.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:54 AM   #4
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The propane furnace doesn't require you to vent the interior as twinster2 said. It will use a lot of propane though. You can run through an entire tank in a couple of days. I've never used a Mr. Buddy so I don't really know about them. If you have shore power you might consider getting a portable electric ceramic heater.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:24 AM   #5
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The Mr. Buddy models do require some ventilation -- but you need ventilation no matter what. In a sealed box, you would have too much carbon dioxide due to breathing.

I would not leave the hose attached. The hose itself can freeze and burst. We usually turn off the tap and drain the hose completely.

I developed a sort of mickey-mouse way of keeping the fresh water tank from freezing -- this has worked for us as low as ten degrees above zero. (See link below. Our water tank hangs down below the frame. I have wrapped it in reflectix, which provides a little insulation. But here is my trick for running hot water into the tank to raise the temp of the tank. It is a little clunky, but it really, really works:

The LMIC (Look Mom I'm Camping): Manual fresh water tank heater: just a hose from the hot water faucet to the tank, but it keeps the pipes from freezing
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:29 AM   #6
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I should add that we also cut foam pads that go inside the windows at night. The foam is the stuff they sell at Costco and Harbor Freight for garage flooring - about a half inch thick. We glued magnets on the foam pads to hold them to the window frames (and added steel straps on the window frames so the magnets would stick). Other folks have used Velcro.

Also, the propane usage in general is amazingly low. The furnace burns a lot of propane, but we do not use it much, except at shower time. Otherwise, we dress warmly. At night, we use a down comforter. It is great, even when the temp inside gets down into the low 30s. We sleep better in the cold dark silent trailer than we ever do at home.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input. I've been using the trailer heater in the am when I shower and a couple of nights after work when it was in the 30s. After it warmed up, I used a 1500 watt electric heater. I had to turn it down a couple of times. I like the foam pad idea for the windows. I was thinking about using Reflectix. Any thoughts on the idea of insulating under the trailer?
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:42 AM   #8
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Jwh, what year is your trailer? In about 2010, Cruiser upgraded the underside insulation. On my trailer, there is a thick layer of pink fiberglass batting, with a heavy layer of vinyl fabric under it to keep it dry. It works fairly well.

If I had no insulation, I would get sheets of thick styrofoam (at Home Depot or Lowes), cut it to fit into the areas between the frame members, and then glue it to the underside with industrial spray adhesive from 3M -- I think it is called "91." (Strange name.)

Then I would cover the entire thing with sheets of coroplast, using pan head screws with fender washers and screwed into the frame members, to protect the styrofoam. Not an easy project, but not impossible, either. Lots of time spent under the trailer, reaching up overhead. Great exercise.
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:35 PM   #9
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P139 - My trailer is an '06. No insulation underneath. I was thinking about using the foam board like you described. The coroplast is a good idea. When I get off the road, I'll get after it.
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:13 PM   #10
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Our 2003 T 139 had no insulation underneath, either. Just a sheet of chipboard and then linoleum flooring. On really cold nights, it was not fun to get out of bed and walk across that icy floor to the bathroom.

I should add that some folks use spray foam. But it has a tendency to come apart due to the vibration when used on the underside.
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