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Old 11-21-2022, 11:43 AM   #1
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Arctic Package - Gas and DP

I'm in the market for a Class A motorhome. I would like to use the RV in colder temps (20+) but not necessarily in the snow (dusting would be fine). I would think this would make the Forest River Arctic Package a priority. With that said, I'm looking for input from individuals who have used or are using features of the arctic package.

Is the arctic package features the same for gas and diesel (minus the block heaters for diesel engine and generator)?

Is the diesel option with the arctic package better suited for my desire to cold temp RV (in terms of RVing in colder temps, not referring to driving/etc).

Are all arctic packages the same or are there different "levels" of arctic packages?

Are the floors always enclosed in the belly in arctic packages?

For those who commonly RV in colder temps, what should I consider besides the arctic package?

TIA for your comments.
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Old 11-21-2022, 05:02 PM   #2
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What the "Arctic Package" is NOT on our 2020 Forest River Georgetown GT5 34H5 motorhome:

- Better windows

- Better insulation in the walls and ceiling and floor

- Full insulation for the wet bay, the basement compartment where the water filter and other water lines are located.

- Heated floors. Seriously, those floors can get really cold and rugs or carpet runners help a lot, especially on the dinette floor.

What the "Arctic Package" IS (HINT: a marketing term):

- Thermostatically-controlled tank heating pads on the bottom of the tanks. When "Tank Heater" is turned on, those pads get power. They begin to warm when the temp as sensed by the pad drops to about 45 degrees F and they turn off when the temp raises into the mid-60's F.

- Non-thermostatically controlled heating "sleeves" on the gray tank dump and the black tank dump piping at the dump valves. They help keep the fluid sitting at the dump valves from freezing. Ours are about 7 watts and also turned on by "Tank Heater".

- Foil insulation inside some water-containing basement compartments, such as the one where the fresh tank and water pump are located.

- Plastic panels immediately behind the compartment doors that contain water, with marine plates that can be unscrewed to reach into those compartments. The compartment with the water pump and fresh tank have this as does the compartment where the water heater winterization valves are located.

- Heat from the propane furnace supposedly is somehow dumped into the water-containing basement compartments according to the FR salesperson but I don't think ours has this. Note that this part requires that you use the propane furnace. Heat from the fireplace or space heaters cannot get into the water-containing basement compartments.

We've stayed in ours in the low 20's F and been very cozy with no drafts. But the bed pillows against the outside wall can get cold. So can the walls on either side of the bed.

We do have the optional dual pane windows, though. The only condensation we've ever had is on the inside of the windshield.

We also put a small, 250-watt electric heater in the wet bay, powered by a Thermo Cube. The Thermo Cube turns that heater on when the temperature in the wet bay drops to 35 degrees F and turns the heater off when the temperature rises to 45 degrees F.

All Georgetowns come with the "Arctic Pak" so it's not an option. But the dual pane windows are.

HTH,

Ray
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Old 11-22-2022, 08:28 AM   #3
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Hey Ray - I want to thank you for such an informative reply. You exemplify the benefits of a forum and how to contribute in a meaningful way. The insight you provide is very useful to me when considering coaches and possible options. I searched the various forums for "arctic package" and was surprised to see a previous post/discussion never occurred previous to my post. Hopefully others will find this useful in the future.
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Old 11-22-2022, 07:24 PM   #4
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Glad you found it useful. The obvious takeaway is that, once again, "It depends" is the correct answer. What "Arctic Pac" means depends on the make and model and model year. If we could afford it, a diesel pusher (DP) with heated floors and 150 gallons of fuel would already be owned. But our little gasser is good enough for us.

It's good you're asking before buying however I'd suspect that almost any motorhome would be OK into the 20's. We're rarely in cold weather, maybe a few weeks a year as we relocate, and this thing is more than good enough for us.

One thing we find very useful (even though I thought it was useless in the beginning) is the electric fireplace. That thing is actually a 1,500 watt electric heater. When our propane furnace failed due to construction debris left inside, on our first cold trip, the fireplace kept us from having to cancel the trip and leave early. So now we also carry a space heater underneath and a few more heavy blankets.

It's been down to the high teens here at night and the fireplace, the extra space heater, the propane furnace, and the dual pane windows have worked well. But propane furnaces are real propane hogs so we run it sparingly.

Good luck,

Ray
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Old 11-22-2022, 11:32 PM   #5
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Can't speak to the Forest River Arctic Package but my Triple E DP has the equivalent, and it does have extra insulation in the ceiling and walls (the roof is about 6" of insulation) and full insulation in the basement. It also has dual pane windows everywhere but the windshield, two furnaces, and an electric "heat strip" alternative. The biggest difference is how quiet it is in a campground. All that insulation makes it very quiet inside compared to our previous coach. What it doesn't do is keep it particularly warm. Way too many ways for the heat to leak out to be truly "warm" when it is cold outside. Better than the previous coach, and I don't worry about frozen pipes if the furnace is on, but it sucks propane and battery to keep the furnace running all night when not connected to shore power. It would absolutely use more propane without all that insulation, and I would be worried about frozen pipes in the basement, but it is not really warm. Connected to shore power we use a 1,500W radiant space heater rather than propane or the heat strips because it makes no fan noise and is enough to keep the part of the coach we are in comfortable. We also keep the furnace running at a very low level in the other part of the coach so that there is some heat going to the basement to keep pipes unfrozen. We have only had it a year so still working out the details!
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Old 11-23-2022, 12:20 AM   #6
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Being that most RVs resemble Swiss cheese on wheels, be prepared the first time to empty a few cans of great stuff on your first trip in the cold. Try heating it up on a cold windy day and then feel around all the floors and inside cabinets to find all the leaks. There will be bunches of the them.
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