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Old 11-30-2016, 05:57 PM   #1
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Wink Winter is here...Insulation tips?

Much to my dismay, Winter is here and so are the high heating bills. Any suggestions on the best way to insulate the Cardinal for some reduction in Propane costs??? I know this is general but I noticed that even after sealing the bedroom windows and some of the rest, I am still blowing thru propane heating the place. The windows are double pain and I still want to have some light coming in. What is the best way to insulate the windows?
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:12 PM   #2
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Much to my dismay, Winter is here and so are the high heating bills. Any suggestions on the best way to insulate the Cardinal for some reduction in Propane costs??? I know this is general but I noticed that even after sealing the bedroom windows and some of the rest, I am still blowing thru propane heating the place. The windows are double pain and I still want to have some light coming in. What is the best way to insulate the windows?
How about a little more info? like you live in it or you just have it parked for storage? What temp are you trying to maintain? do you have electric hook to it? Just remember these are 3 seasons units. No matter what anyone will tell you...
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:32 PM   #3
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My wife and I are full timers. We have full hookups and this is our first Winter in this fifth wheel. It is rated, even by Forrest River to be a 4 season trailer due to the R value of the walls; I realize however that this is temp driven. The windows seem to be the only weak area though they are not nearly as bad as the previous Jayco we were in, single pain and drafty.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:09 PM   #4
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Is your rear A/C a heat pump too? Ours is, I guess I'd run that to supplement the propane heat if you can. although, now that I think about it, its all on the same thermostat.
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:00 PM   #5
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Take it to south Florida!
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:06 PM   #6
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My wife and I are full timers. We have full hookups and this is our first Winter in this fifth wheel. It is rated, even by Forrest River to be a 4 season trailer due to the R value of the walls; I realize however that this is temp driven. The windows seem to be the only weak area though they are not nearly as bad as the previous Jayco we were in, single pain and drafty.
I sure would like to know who told you a Cardinal is 4 seasons? I love them Cardinals but there is no way possible the factory told you that, Maybe your salesman but not FR. The only place they can add any extra insulation is in the belly. As far as wintering in it, You can install a skirt around the bottom and get a 100 gal propane tank delivered. I would also look into installing a plug to the pedestal on the 20 amp breaker so so you can run a 1500 watt space heater all the time..Lowes sells a plastic kit that you place over your windows on the outside like a storm window they are clear plastic..
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:10 PM   #7
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Dedicated circuit for heater is what I did......After your post about drafty double pane windows, I guess I'll go to plan B
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:48 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for your suggestions.

We live in Western Washington so it does not get terribly cold here but for the temp being in the mid 40's, the heat sure comes on alot. I can only assum,e that it is leaving through the windows. I will insulate them better and all will be good.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:20 PM   #9
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No way is a Cardinal a true 4 season trailer.
The only true 4 season trailers FR makes, is their Ice Cabins line.
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:48 PM   #10
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The furnace the trailers are not very efficient. I would look to adding a supplemental heat source that is more efficient.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:29 PM   #11
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I have lived in a Montana in Ill. for 2 1/2 years and in a Prime Time in Atlanta 2 years while working in those locations. In Ill, I skirted the RV with plywood and sealed all the seams in the wood to keep wind out. Had a "Pig" delivered by the gas company and they kept it filled. Heat tape and then insulation on the water supply hose. I also insulated the water lines underneath (dropped the belly panels and put pipe insulation on them after the first winter. The wind there will freeze up anything so got to keep it away from the pipes. Everything worked find and it got to 20 or more below there and snowed a lot- up to the door of the RV.
In Atlanta, did not skirt but did run the heat and also had two oil radiator type heaters to assist inside - one in BR and one in LR. No problems. If you are looking to stay at 72 forget it. Wear warm PJs and bedroom shoes. I set my heat on 66 so it did not ever get too cold while I was in it - the oil heaters kept it pretty warm - you can also use a ceramic heater but I did not want to have those on when I was not there. My goal was to use as little propane as possible but did have to fill the tanks 2 times max in Atlanta (Cumming, GA). In Atlanta, if the temp got down below say 25, I ran the RV heat to keep the belly and pipes warm. Only problem was when we had an ice storm and lost power - nothing you can do about that but pray they get it back.

Good luck and I just looked at it like an adventure and a challenge - then thought about all those people from the 1800s who put up with this in drafty log cabins or travelled in wagons across the Rockies in this or worse.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:06 PM   #12
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Don't pay too much attention to the "4 Seasons" claim. There is no industry standard for a 4 seasons unit. On some it's a little extra insulation and a decal. On others it might be more. Every unit is different but in reality there may only be 3 or 4 brands that will work well in zero or below zero temps. Those that are are among the highest priced brands on the market..

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Old 12-01-2016, 09:43 PM   #13
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Winter in an RV usually means wearing good slippers, a sweater, and often a smoking jacket. Don't forget the dehumidifier. The wall will sweat, more so with ceramic heaters. I bought a laser thermometer to find those stay away or repair corners. Additionally, crawl under the RV with expanding foam to ensure their ain't no openings down there too.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:27 PM   #14
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Suggest cutting some Reflectix to fit the windows.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TimnDee View Post
We live in Western Washington so it does not get terribly cold here but for the temp being in the mid 40's, the heat sure comes on alot.
In WW, it rains all winter. ANY breeze will give you huge amounts of evaporative cooling.

Lived there from '74 to '86.....still have moss 'tween the toes...
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