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Old 11-09-2005, 09:59 PM   #1
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We are shopping for a 5th wheel to fulltime in all over the US. Concerning 4 seasons insulation, how cold can you use these without a skirt, and with a skirt - before lines start freezing? What other problems with the RV are we likely to encounter winter camping? Are all the manufacturers "4 season" insulation packages pretty much the same, and what should we make sure it includes (heat blankets on tanks, heat tape on all lines, etc.? Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:59 PM   #2
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We are shopping for a 5th wheel to fulltime in all over the US. Concerning 4 seasons insulation, how cold can you use these without a skirt, and with a skirt - before lines start freezing? What other problems with the RV are we likely to encounter winter camping? Are all the manufacturers "4 season" insulation packages pretty much the same, and what should we make sure it includes (heat blankets on tanks, heat tape on all lines, etc.? Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:38 PM   #3
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My "Automate" has boxed in tanks, but they all differ in some cases from model to model. With an enclosed insulated underbelly I haven't seen most people use skirting. My impression is that elect heating of incoming water lines, and judicious use of waste lines and clearing them after use solves that.

My solution is to go south in the winter, but I've seen Texas awfull cold.
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Old 11-23-2005, 05:32 PM   #4
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My tanks were out in the open. I bought some corrigated plastic 4 X 8 foot sheets with a role of reflectix insulation, and enclosed the whole belly where the tanks and valves are. Used up north where it was a solid 25 degrees for 5 days straight. when I emptied the tanks they came right open with no problems. I also ran some 1 1/2" pvc from the furnace to where I enclosed it at to keep it kind of warm under there. Worked perfect. On the other hand, my bro in-law just bought a four season trailer and was up there with me with his trailer. His problem was that about 3 feet of his grey and black tanks pipes, including the valves, were exposed to the weather and they froze up. We had a heck of a time thawing them out so he could empty them. But, I new exactly what to do because of previous experience with mine before I did mine right.
Sorry this was so long.
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Old 11-24-2005, 04:04 AM   #5
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Sorry, I guess I didn't really answere your question. I do not have a skirt on my trailer but did the stuff I sad in above post. Makes sure you have the heaters and if possible get the 12V/110V heaters.But using 12 V it will drain your battery in a matter of an hour or two if you dont hhave a gen set. I think thats mainley when your'e moving. Also, as mentiond above, Make sure that your tank pipes and valves are also enclosed because even with the heaters, they will freeze if it gets cold enough. Basically I'm thinking they are all about the same. I guess the heaters and the enclosed pipe and vales would be your main concern. I dont know where you plan on being but, here in Michigan and northern Michigan it gets pretty cold out there for days/weeks at a time. And even colder up in the northern mid west, Hope this kind of helps. Good luck. Oh and check the windows too, I know some manufactures use heavier thicker windows.
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Old 11-24-2005, 08:08 AM   #6
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Automate has gone belly UP and the factory has closed- some time ago. Who would want this orphan rv?? Their value is not much now & they are hardly worth mentioning.
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Old 11-24-2005, 10:48 AM   #7
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Link, although Automate may be an orphan, does not rule it out as a good trailer. We own a trailer that is now an orphan, and it is better built than most of the stuff being produced today.

An orphan still uses the same refrigerator, stove, water heater, and most of the same systems as does a new non-orphan. Where you may hit a snag is trying to get any literature on how it was built.

I plan to keep my orphan for a few more years.

Ken
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Old 11-24-2005, 05:03 PM   #8
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There are a GREAT many parts for the semi-custom built Automate that were available only at the factory. They were factory direct so there were NO dealers with special parts on hand.
For this reason alone their value has greatly decreased. They are a true orphan!!
Of course,what you said about the stove, refrig and water heater is true-- But that is only part of the "story".
Most informed buyers would not want to touch this orphan trailer.
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Old 11-26-2005, 09:57 PM   #9
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I'm confused What does the Automate have to do with the question posted by BadBrad? He? was asking about the insulation on an rv.

If you can get the all seasons or artic pack I would suggest you get it. It will help in both cold and hot climates. If in very cold weather I would still use a skirt. I'm sorry but since I travel with the sun I'm not much help however there are some postings about winter camping somewhere on this forum and open roads forums.
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Old 11-30-2005, 05:10 PM   #10
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Excel RVs manufactured by Peterson Ind. did have a guarantee that their RVs would not freeze up down to zero degrees. That is so long as you are using your furnace. There may be others that have such guarantees that I am not familiar with.
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Old 12-01-2005, 05:08 AM   #11
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Our new '06 Wildcat has the enclosed underbelly (corrugated cardboard looking stuff) which is where our tanks are located. The underbelly is heated by the heat ducts that run through this area. We were out this past weekend with lows in the upper teens and no problems with the tanks or plumbing freezing. The only exception was the sewer drains were they were exposed to the outside air. I am going to be adding pipe and elbow heaters from Ultraheat to those lines that are exposed. It was amusing to wake up in the morning and see everyone around us trying to figure out why they had no water when their city water hose froze. We shut of the city water and drained the hose at night and ran off the fresh water tank, then reconnected the city water in the morning when the temps rose above freezing. I am looking at ways to insulate or heat the city water hose and fuacet for freezing weather.
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