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Author Topic: Winter in a 4106  (Read 2675 times)
Tevo
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« on: September 14, 2011, 08:27:20 AM »

I spent last winter in South Dakota in a cheap S&S travel trailer and lived to tell the tale, but it appears this winter I'll be in Flagstaff in the new to me 4106. I'm already making obvious preps such as tank heaters, throwing some insulation in the bays, and will probably drop a heat lamp in the bays and heat tape and insulate the water hoses when the time comes, not to mention put down some lumber under all the wheels for the spring thaw. Apart from that, anything else I should be thinking about when it comes to the bus that I might not be thinking about? I'm considering a block heater but I don't expect to actually move much once winter sets in so it's not a top priority right now. Any other thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 08:33:43 AM »

If I was going to seriously winter in my bus, I would think about getting that clear film window lining stuff that you stick on all around a window and shrink with a hair dryer.  That would add a lot of insulation value to windows that you still want to be able to look out of.  I would put rugs on the  floor, I would make caps for the roof vents, I would block and insulate the roof AC's somehow.  That sort of stuff.

Brian
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 08:38:14 AM »

Man of all places in AZ to spend a winter Flagstaff 50 miles south on I 17 enjoy 70+ in the winter lol

good luck
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 08:40:34 AM »

If I was going to seriously winter in my bus, I would think about getting that clear film window lining stuff that you stick on all around a window and shrink with a hair dryer.  That would add a lot of insulation value to windows that you still want to be able to look out of.  I would put rugs on the  floor, I would make caps for the roof vents, I would block and insulate the roof AC's somehow.  That sort of stuff.

Brian

Thanks! I did the window film in the trailer and it worked ok, but I'm really hoping to source some dual panes before then. I found that even running a big dehumidifier in the trailer, I was still getting ice on the window film.

Man, just thinking of that gets me hating winter again!
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 08:41:23 AM »

Man of all places in AZ to spend a winter Flagstaff 50 miles south on I 17 enjoy 70+ in the winter lol

good luck

Unfortunately, my wife has to be in Flag for her work, but otherwise we'd be out of here!
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 08:47:17 AM »

At least you can drive to Camp Verde and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather if you get cold free parking at the casino there Flag can get cold at 8000 ft lol snow will be falling there before long ,In case you don't know the GM and Eagles get together for a rally in Quartzsite in Jan lot of good looking GM's there

good luck

 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 11:58:40 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 11:43:56 AM »

Time for a new wife Grin
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 12:01:12 PM »

I ran one duct from the furnace into the water bay and have kept water down to -5* F. All tanks and lines are in one bay. We added a second furnace up front and I ran a second duct into the bay. I've kept water @ -16* F. There isn't ANY insulation in the bay either. The bus, '67 5A. just has "stock" insulation and BIG single pane Penninsula windows. As such the furnace "cycles" on every 15 minutes. If one's bus was well insulated this method wouldn't work so well. Or if the bay was well insulated you could heat it with a couple of light bulbs. make SURE your Antifreeze is good to AT LEAST -25* F. (Don't forget water cooled Gennie's too). Make sure you have no water in your air lines, Don't start the bus unless you are going somewhere. Make sure your fuel is well protected from freezing, as well. You never know when you have to drive it. A fresh oil change just before parking it is good P.M also.

Don & Sheila
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 12:27:11 PM »

Dang!  Based on these comments I looked up the climate in Flagstaff.  That is one cold town!  they have had below freezing every month of the year! 

I'd commute from somewhere lower...  Drive 45 minutes each way but save the gas money on heating bills!  You'd only have to actually drive one way - you could coast home with the engine off!

Brian
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 12:36:17 PM »

Brian, the brass statues in that town freeze their @$# off and when you get the wind they leave,Prescott has mild winters but do get a little cold weather no way would I spend all winter there not even at a Holiday Inn 


good luck
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 12:41:56 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 12:38:15 PM »

In the seventies, I lived all over the country in a 30 foot travel trailer.  A typical job was 4-6 weeks.  In the winter, if I found myself in cold country, I would call the local propane company and have 2- hundred pound tanks installed.Of course, propane was pretty cheap back then and there was no extra cost for the installation.

I don't know how that would work today.  I do know that a couple of 30# tanks are not worth the trouble when it is cold out there.  They ALWAYS run out at 2:00 a.m.
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 12:49:59 PM »

Thanks! I did the window film in the trailer and it worked ok, but I'm really hoping to source some dual panes before then. I found that even running a big dehumidifier in the trailer, I was still getting ice on the window film.

Man, just thinking of that gets me hating winter again!


That is NOT necessary.  You to mount the film differently.  If the film is stretched across any metal surface that is part of the window frame you will get heavy condensation on the parts in contact.  I put that tine half circle self adhesive insulation foam tape on all the metal edges that will contact the film.  Stuck the film to areas that were wood paneling and wouldn't conduct heat.  My walls used to have water running down them till I did that.  All is dry now.  That film stuff is the best stuff ever.  I even put it on my windshield interior and drove with it for 6 months....crystal clear.  I cleaned it many times with Windex and a soft cotton cloth and it was still unscratched and clear when I took it off.  Magic stuff.

I never capped my waste tank vents.  The AC can be insulated from the inside by just dropping the shroud/deflector and stuffing a piece of foam up in there.

John
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 01:28:45 PM »

I ran one duct from the furnace into the water bay and have kept water down to -5* F. All tanks and lines are in one bay. We added a second furnace up front and I ran a second duct into the bay. I've kept water @ -16* F. There isn't ANY insulation in the bay either. The bus, '67 5A. just has "stock" insulation and BIG single pane Penninsula windows. As such the furnace "cycles" on every 15 minutes. If one's bus was well insulated this method wouldn't work so well. Or if the bay was well insulated you could heat it with a couple of light bulbs. make SURE your Antifreeze is good to AT LEAST -25* F. (Don't forget water cooled Gennie's too). Make sure you have no water in your air lines, Don't start the bus unless you are going somewhere. Make sure your fuel is well protected from freezing, as well. You never know when you have to drive it. A fresh oil change just before parking it is good P.M also.

Don & Sheila

Unfortunately, all I have heat wise right now are a couple heat strips in the ac units. I'm about to run a propane line and put in a catalytic heater in, but it won't be ducting. It sounds like a great idea for those with furnaces though. Thanks for all the tips!
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 01:32:29 PM »

Dang!  Based on these comments I looked up the climate in Flagstaff.  That is one cold town!  they have had below freezing every month of the year! 

I'd commute from somewhere lower...  Drive 45 minutes each way but save the gas money on heating bills!  You'd only have to actually drive one way - you could coast home with the engine off!

Brian

My wife takes call and has to be within 10 minutes of the hospital so commuting is out. Not sure about freezing every month though. We've been here since July and haven't seen anything near freezing...August was downright hot at times! It's currently been perfect weather this month--60s-70s daytime and mid 40s at night. Either way, we came here because we absolutely love Flagstaff...so many outdoor opportunities, small college town vibe, it's our sort of place.  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 01:34:24 PM »

In the seventies, I lived all over the country in a 30 foot travel trailer.  A typical job was 4-6 weeks.  In the winter, if I found myself in cold country, I would call the local propane company and have 2- hundred pound tanks installed.Of course, propane was pretty cheap back then and there was no extra cost for the installation.

I don't know how that would work today.  I do know that a couple of 30# tanks are not worth the trouble when it is cold out there.  They ALWAYS run out at 2:00 a.m.

I've been told the local propane company will let you rent a tank over the winter. That's what we did in SD last winter--rented a huge propane tank and ended up using maybe 30% of it. It was our first winter and we were a little paranoid being Floridians unaccustomed to "real" cold!
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2011, 01:35:14 PM »

Thanks! I did the window film in the trailer and it worked ok, but I'm really hoping to source some dual panes before then. I found that even running a big dehumidifier in the trailer, I was still getting ice on the window film.

Man, just thinking of that gets me hating winter again!


That is NOT necessary.  You to mount the film differently.  If the film is stretched across any metal surface that is part of the window frame you will get heavy condensation on the parts in contact.  I put that tine half circle self adhesive insulation foam tape on all the metal edges that will contact the film.  Stuck the film to areas that were wood paneling and wouldn't conduct heat.  My walls used to have water running down them till I did that.  All is dry now.  That film stuff is the best stuff ever.  I even put it on my windshield interior and drove with it for 6 months....crystal clear.  I cleaned it many times with Windex and a soft cotton cloth and it was still unscratched and clear when I took it off.  Magic stuff.

I never capped my waste tank vents.  The AC can be insulated from the inside by just dropping the shroud/deflector and stuffing a piece of foam up in there.

John

Hmm, makes sense. If I don't get the windows done in time I'll give that a try. Thanks for the tip!
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2011, 01:38:48 PM »

I looked up the record low temps - june, july and august - 29 - 32 degrees!  chilly!  Average night time lows in the 50's all summer.  Colder than Cape Breton!

Brian
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2011, 01:48:26 PM »

I looked up the record low temps - june, july and august - 29 - 32 degrees!  chilly!  Average night time lows in the 50's all summer.  Colder than Cape Breton!

Brian

Oh, record lows...I thought you meant they've had freezing temps this year. Generally the weather in the summer here has been amazing.Almost everyone here RV wise are fulltimers from Phoenix who spend the summers here then head back down. But the park management did say we'll have about 24 people staying over this winter. It should be pretty similar to how SD was, only with more entertainment options.  Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2011, 02:15:59 PM »

Those heat strips in the AC proved near usless for me.  At best, they are what they are advertised to be....A CHILL BREAKER.  They are not part of your heating system.  They are intended to be turned on when you get home and the RV is "cold soaked".  With the furnace on full the Strips are turned on to stir the air and add a "little" heat.  For the amps they draw you would think they would do more.

You need a propane furnace.  They don't add moisture t the air.  The Catalytic Converters dump tons of water into the air.  If you don't have a propane furnace you NEED one so you might as well get it installed.  If you can't get the ducting done then just let it dump into the interior.

You must have a small fan running 24/7.  it sits on the floor and blows straight up.  This de-stratifies the air and makes the place comfy.  No cold feet.  Just a small desk fan is sufficient in some remote corner.  Throw away every year rather than clean unless you are cheap like me.

HTH,


John
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2011, 02:23:15 PM »



You need a propane furnace.  They don't add moisture t the air.  The Catalytic Converters dump tons of water into the air.  If you don't have a propane furnace you NEED one so you might as well get it installed.  If you can't get the ducting done then just let it dump into the interior.


That hasn't been my experience. Propane furnaces in the two travel trailers I had dumped tons of moisture, which is why I took to using a dehumidifier (though it could have just been the cheap design of the systems). The neighbor beside me in SD actually quit running his furnace and used a cat heater instead and had better results, which is partially why I chose the cat over a furnace. For that matter, I'd say of the 15 people in the park up in SD I was at, probably 10 had went to cat heaters rather than use their furnaces, though most just liked them better since they were more efficient and less because of the moisture. Either way, the dehumidifier seems to do the trick for me.
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2011, 02:40:21 PM »

A cat is in a different "world" than a furnace in regard to efficiency.  Hands down.

Here is the bottom line:  When combustion happens you get three things....Heat....carbon dioxide/monoxide....AND water.  Many don't understand that the air coming out of a furnace exhaust is "wet" but just go and put your hand in the air stream.   Sure it is hot but it should feel "wet" as well.  Regardless of what you might feel it is certainly water vapor laden.  This isn't a point tha can be argued....it is a fact of physics and chemistry.  There are tables that list the weight of the carbon you add to the exhaust for every pound/gallon of propane you combust.  There is also a table that lists the gallons or pounds of water you create by combusting a pound or gallon of propane.  Gasoline and D...the same applies.  So the long and short of it is: with a furnace you dump that water vapor outside but with a cat you dump it inside.  Only way for a furnace to add to the interior humidity is to have the exhaust leak into the interior but water will shortly fall way down on your list of concerns if that happens.  I have been there.  Whats that smell?HuhHuh??  Oh, crap!  sort of thing.

cats are great but all that use them also leave a window open to dump the water vapor and the CO2.  Have a CO detector on at all times.  make sure the cat has an auto shutoff if it sees a build-up of co2 or depleted O.

John
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2011, 02:52:01 PM »

Only way for a furnace to add to the interior humidity is to have the exhaust leak into the interior but water will shortly fall way down on your list of concerns if that happens.  I have been there.  Whats that smell?HuhHuh??  Oh, crap!  sort of thing.


John

I'm certainly not an expert in furnaces and am not sure how the furnace introduced moisture in. It wasn't leaking since we never smelled anything and neither our propane leak monitor nor our CO detector never went off. But the moisture difference was very clear. We have a weather station that gives us indoor/outdoor humidity levels and we could sit and watch it climb when the furnace had been on. Any idea what could have caused it? I don't have the first clue.

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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2011, 03:43:03 PM »

It won't freeze or snow in Flagstaff until at least Oct!! 7000'+ elevation does that!!

The only thing I ever had freeze in my 4104 was the toilet valve and spray heads for the toilet and galley sink. Those things really are easy to crack. All I used was two electric heaters, one in the water tank comp and one in the bathroom. However, winters in Ark are nothing like Flagstaff.
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2011, 07:34:48 PM »

I'll second the vote that heat strips in AC units are useless in sub-freezing winter conditions.

I've always wondered about the heat loss out through the unit while it blows air up into that cavity pretty much canceling any positive effect. Stuff it full of insulation and call it done?

If using those amps, I prefer to use them down on the floor using cube heaters.

The moderating effect of open windows on humidity cannot be discounted.

Just breathing, we put some serious moisture into the small space that is a coach.

Closed up with the furnace, or opened up with a cat, the two are hard to compare.

My encouragement would be a number of smaller heat sources that ganged together will carry you through the coldest, and then may be selected individually for efficiency and redundancy.

Consider the loss of external power and how you will continue boondocking.

Rare to meet someone who complained they had too much heat in the winter, but met lots of folks who wished they had more!

happy coaching!
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2011, 07:41:28 PM »

To clarify, I have no intention of relying on heat strips. I'll be using a catalytic heater (Olympian Wave 8    ) supplemented with a small electric.
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« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2011, 03:19:11 AM »

What a bunch of pussies.... I go out in my shorts and bare feet at 32degrees.
My  vote is a couple of electric heaters up top and at 32 outside there really shouldn't be a problem with tanks freezing.as long as you are in a rv park the power should be free but if not it is a he'll of slot cheaper and safer than propane. I would also use reflectex  on the windows at night.
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« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2011, 04:01:33 AM »

What a bunch of pussies.... I go out in my shorts and bare feet at 32degrees.
My  vote is a couple of electric heaters up top and at 32 outside there really shouldn't be a problem with tanks freezing.as long as you are in a rv park the power should be free but if not it is a he'll of slot cheaper and safer than propane. I would also use reflectex  on the windows at night.

Unfortunately, it gets much, much colder than 32 here.  Sad Average low through winter is in the teens and it often dips into single digits and the negatives.
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« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2011, 07:13:48 AM »

We spent the last two winters in Colorado in our  4107. With our hydro heat system and a small oil filled space heater we stayed 77 degrees inside with temps as low as -15, once going for a week and a half without getting above 0. Our equipment bay is heated and the temp monitor down below never went below 40 degrees as far as I know. Once temps go below freezing the energy curve begins to take on some exponential characteristics even with good insulation. You will be able to easily discover all of the places you still need to insulate. Hint- The drivers area, dash, steps, and entry can be challenging.
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« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2011, 07:35:23 AM »

 i still think electric heaters would be the cheapest. put one down in the water bay also. still cheaper than propane at $3.30 a gallon.
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« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2011, 09:32:09 AM »

I have spent the past few winters skiing near Bozeman Montana.  Last year I used my Liberty Conversion Prevost.  It is pretty well insulated with foam, and all bays are heated and insulated.  The best change I made was to have my sister make me some shades with warm windows fabric.  It did an excellent job of keeping out the cold.  (to be accurate, not losing heat).  You won't make it with a 8,000 btu cat heater not enough btus, and moisture will be a concern, keep a vent open.  I put insulation on all but the bathroom vent.  I use foil bubble insulation on the front windows.  Heater outlets become cold outlets, letting in the cold from the cold antifreeze, need to cover them after traveling.  Air condition evaporator outlets are very cold as well.  Your door will be an excellent place to lose heat.  I had a 40k diesel fueled espar air heater, and built in electric heaters to keep nice and toasty down to -13F and lots and lots of wind.

Good luck and remember to snuggle.

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« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2011, 01:53:14 PM »

I envy you, I love winter... :-) They are making heated water hoses now for freshwater...not the kind with an external cable, but a newer style that has the heater wires embedded in the hose lining. Good stuff...but pricey, $100 for a 50 footer.  I also vote yes on the Reflectix. We've lined our entire coach with it...behind the walls, ceiling, etc. We run a single 13,500 BTU a/c and it keeps things cool even at 95 degrees. Our first winter in the coach won't be this year..we'll be in Florida, but can't wait to try out our insulation in colder temps. Anyway, enjoy the snow...I always love a good blizzard...always Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2011, 06:44:35 AM »

One way to deal with the leaky front end of the coach is to make up a heavy curtain to draw closed or hang for the purpose somewhere back of where the holes through the floor and the dash are.

Perhaps run from behind the driver's chair to the vertical beside the driver's door takes care of all those places that may be leaking heat.

Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, cut to fit snug around whatever is in the way. You are trying to prevent air circulation, so if it is tight at the bottom, the little bit of gaps at the top won't be able to free flow. Or vise versa.

happy coaching!
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