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Old 06-26-2008, 03:46 PM   #1
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First off, I'll explain the situation. The wife and I are moving into a 5'er to take care of my grandparents and save some money at the same time (anyone who knows about MI's economy can relate). Our 5'er will sit stationary for 11 months out of the year (one or two excursions to horse shows or events a year). We will be running an underground water supply and electrical supply to the trailer. The ground nder the whole thing will be de-grassed, plastic covered, then the plastic covered with stone to prevent weeds from growing up underneath it. I have a bunch of questions to ask of you experienced folks to help guide me along the way.

1. I am looking at a 1992 Royals International Courier 40' with three slides. It's long and heavy (not a problem since it will be sitting there 99.9% of the time anyway) somewhere around 16,000 lbs. loaded. Does anyone have any experience with these? It seems to be a good deal at $7,000. Just needs a little bit of minor fix-up. I'm good with everything hands on related so the little things don't bother me.

2. What modifications do I need to survive the cold (0-20 deg.) winters in MI?

3. What is best to use as skirting? I'll be on the farm so I'll have plenty of straw bales.

4. What kind of electrical service will I have to run? 120 - 240? 50 amp. - 30 amp.? 5'er is equipped with dual AC, washer/ dryer, dishwasher, furnace, computers (will double as a mobile business when needed), refrigerator, etc. I am electrically savvy and my father is a journeyman electrician.

5. It has dual 30# ?? LP tanks mounted in it. How long will I be able to run my stove on just those two? Would it be worth it to hook up a 100# for while it's sitting and save the 30#'ers for the occasional use on the road?

6. It has a 3500 watt propane generator. Is that enough to run the whole trailer or just the AC and fridge? How fast will it burn through both tanks?

As far as moving it, I'm not too worried. We'll be hauling it home empty (12,000 lb.) with my friends F-350 but we'll have access to a single axle semi to move it around loaded.

Thanks for reading through my long post. I appreciate everyone's input and look forward to hearing from you all.

John
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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First off, I'll explain the situation. The wife and I are moving into a 5'er to take care of my grandparents and save some money at the same time (anyone who knows about MI's economy can relate). Our 5'er will sit stationary for 11 months out of the year (one or two excursions to horse shows or events a year). We will be running an underground water supply and electrical supply to the trailer. The ground nder the whole thing will be de-grassed, plastic covered, then the plastic covered with stone to prevent weeds from growing up underneath it. I have a bunch of questions to ask of you experienced folks to help guide me along the way.

1. I am looking at a 1992 Royals International Courier 40' with three slides. It's long and heavy (not a problem since it will be sitting there 99.9% of the time anyway) somewhere around 16,000 lbs. loaded. Does anyone have any experience with these? It seems to be a good deal at $7,000. Just needs a little bit of minor fix-up. I'm good with everything hands on related so the little things don't bother me.

2. What modifications do I need to survive the cold (0-20 deg.) winters in MI?

3. What is best to use as skirting? I'll be on the farm so I'll have plenty of straw bales.

4. What kind of electrical service will I have to run? 120 - 240? 50 amp. - 30 amp.? 5'er is equipped with dual AC, washer/ dryer, dishwasher, furnace, computers (will double as a mobile business when needed), refrigerator, etc. I am electrically savvy and my father is a journeyman electrician.

5. It has dual 30# ?? LP tanks mounted in it. How long will I be able to run my stove on just those two? Would it be worth it to hook up a 100# for while it's sitting and save the 30#'ers for the occasional use on the road?

6. It has a 3500 watt propane generator. Is that enough to run the whole trailer or just the AC and fridge? How fast will it burn through both tanks?

As far as moving it, I'm not too worried. We'll be hauling it home empty (12,000 lb.) with my friends F-350 but we'll have access to a single axle semi to move it around loaded.

Thanks for reading through my long post. I appreciate everyone's input and look forward to hearing from you all.

John
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:22 PM   #3
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Also, do i need to put some kind of reinforcements under the slides since they will be out 363 days a year?

Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:46 PM   #4
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Lots of questions - - I will try and answer some of them.
1) Royals is considered an excellent unit.
2) I am not positive of the rating of that unit for cold weather.
3) Nothing wrong with straw bales covered with plastic to keep them dry
4) Look at the plug - - does it have three prongs or 4? If it is 4 prong, you need a 240v service, minimum 50a.
5) I would definitely install a larger propane tank for stationary usage. Get two small ceramic electric heaters to save propane.
6) A 3500 genny will run one AC, converter and some of the other electric. You would have to be careful if trying to run the microwave with the AC. It will run about 7 hours on one tank.

Hope that will help on some of your questions.

Bob
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I think it was a 4 prong plug. What kind of ceramic heater do you recommend? How much do they run?
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:25 AM   #6
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Cold weather can be really hard in an RV. You will definitely need to protect the water and waste lines from freezing. Protecting the underside somehow, straw bales piled around or some sort of skirting is desirable. Straw burns, so that is not a really good solution. As for propane? I would get a large tank and plumb it in to run things. In really cold weather the furnace will use large amounts of gas so plan accordingly. Electric space heaters are a good idea, but can take up space. Personally I like the oil filled heaters as they continue to supply heat after the element shuts off. Do everything you can to protect the trailer from the wind. Maybe try placing it near some trees or a building to stop the hard blowing winds? Think of it as trying to camp in the winter in a tent. Everything you can think of to keep warm will help. Good luck on your adventure.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:43 AM   #7
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We have lived in our previous 5er in weather down to 17 dF and it was a 4-season coach. It does it, but you will go through propane like mad. In below freezing weather, two 30# bottles will generally not last a week. on just the furnace and some cooking. This includes running a couple of 1500 watt electric heaters.

You do have to run the furnace some to keep the basement from freezing. I certainly would not want to live during the winter in a 5er in your area.

Ken
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:57 PM   #8
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I hope before you go to to much trouble and expense that it is not illegal to park your 5th wheel where you plan to. Better to know now then later.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. I have the zoning thing taken care of, but thanks for making sure I knew with the heads up. Good looking out. After doing some more research online last night I'm thinking about going with a straw bale skirting (wrapped in the same plastic we wrap large round bales in), foam boards insode the straw bales, all sealed together, heat tape on all incoming and exposed water lines (water supply will be buried under frost line then wrap on everything above that with probably 3M's), some kind of heat source to keep the underside above 40-50 degrees (maybe a small hose from the furnace run or something), you all have sold me on the 2 100#'ers. I have a 300 gal. tank at the house I live in now (3 bedroom) and I only go through 300 gal a year here. I should also note, my thermostat never gets set above 65 degrees in the winter or below 75 in the summer. I think that about covers it for now. Any more advice, I'm all ears. Thanks again.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:30 PM   #10
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If your plug has 4 pins, it is probably NOT 240 volts. Most such trailers have a neutral return line so are dual, 120v, 50 amp circuits, 180 degrees out of phase (so current on each leg is subtractive, not additive. Thus the 2 legs can provide as much as 100amps, total, but most trailers won't draw that much. Often, the 'extra' stuff (2nd A/C, washing machine) are on the second leg so the trailer can be used on a single 30 amp circuit when that is all that is available.

Applying 240v (with the neutral line not connected) will likely damage the electrical stuff in your trailer.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:46 PM   #11
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This website will be helpful with the wiring side of your project.
One thing you haven't addressed yet is black tank waste disposal during sub-freezing weather.
Until you state your plans I'll refrain from commenting. You likely have that thought-out already.
I suggest having a 500G LPG tank set near your RV, just in case you get a big snowfall which prevents the re-supply truck from delivering when required.
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:37 AM   #12
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Thanks for the wiring info. As for the black tank disposal, our local waste company has offered to come pump out the tanks for $20 a trip. We will be using the inside "facilities" as much as possible to cut down on that cost. I think the heat from the furnace that gets piped down there should be enough to keep it thawed. How much does it normally cost to dump the black tank? I thought $20 sounded pretty reasonable since they would be coming out to me.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:27 PM   #13
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Yes, $20 does seem pretty cheap for someone to come out to you. Until you add it up. How long between dumps? Even if you can go for a week on one tank, that is still $80 a month. And if your tank fills up and the truck can't get there for a day, you are rather stuck.

A couple of options. If there is any sort of drain access anywhere nearby, you could set up a macerator setup to grind and pump the stuff to that drain site. Some people have even used a macerator to dump into a toilet. If there is no drain access anywhere, how about getting a huge tank and dumping/pumping into that. Then they may be able to come out much less frequently (and thus cheaply). Of course, make sure their price is distance or trip based, not gallon based.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:26 PM   #14
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Well, got my 5'er today. Slight change of plans, ended up going with a 1993 Prowler Regal 33.5'. Doesn't have as many amenities as the Royal but I figure after I'm done living in it, it'll be easier to maneuver and tow the shorter lighter Prowler. I think I got a pretty good deal on it. $5,700, brand new refrigerator, batteries, propane tanks, tires (5), and an immaculately kept interior. I would have rather gotten it for $5,000 but he didn't want to come off of 6 to bad. Either way, I'm pleased. I'll try and post pictures tomorrow or a link to photobucket so I can get some reviews. All of my questions still apply and I thank you all for your input so far.

John
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