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Old 12-13-2017, 05:16 AM   #1
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Sabre Insulation Quality

There are 2 new 2018 Sabre 36BHQ fifth wheels at the dealer I bought my last trailer from, they're reasonable at $39,995. Reasonable compared to the other mid bunks I've looked into anyway. Floorplan pretty much suits us.The price really suits me.

Wfe, 100 pound lab, and I will eventually be living in whatever I buy full time. Right now I'm living in my windjammer full time while working at the refinery and going home on weekends.

I'm trying to research this unit as deeply as I can as it's a big purchase. Sabre website says nothing about insulation values on any of their units. I found a good pic on their facebook page and was happy to see they use nail plates on the trusses, but that's all I found out. I want to know if I can heat and cool it.
Mainly heat it. I sometimes work at the refinery part time like now and it goes into some real cold weather before we pack up and go to Florida. I'll probably continue to do this work for another 3-4 years. When the temps got down in the teens the other day my 2012 windjammer would only get up to 69 degrees. I'd like to do better.

She really likes the Jayco North Point 377rlbh, but it's in the 60,000 range and I'd have to trade for a dually.
The other units I'm looking into are the Cougar 368MBI (mid 40's in price) and the Jayco Eagle 355MBQS (low to mid 50's in price). Those manufacturers don't seem ashamed of their cold weather capability since they advertise it on their website.


Any info anyone could give me is appreciated.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:10 AM   #2
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I have a 2013 Sabre, but I don't know how it compares. I know the construction changed from aluminum framed to wood framed since then. So I'm not sure if any of the wall details changed also.

I can say- the insulation isn't great. You can definitely feel heat radiating through the walls when in full sun. The bunkhouse suffers the most being the furthest away from the HVAC systems).

With 2 air conditioners, it keeps the master bedroom and living room fairly cool (though, I did spend $135 on electricity last December in a month in Florida). The bunkroom is bearable with fans running. Heating wise- we run the propane furnace and try to augment with electric space heaters (again, the bunkroom really needs one back there or it gets chilly).

Outside of that- our biggest heat transfer is the windows. I have Reflectix up in all of the windows in both bedrooms. For the living room, I have them cut but generally try to avoid using them as I like being able to see outside. In the summer, we try to suppert + stake out the awning (OldCoot's awning poles) - it really helps knock down the amount of direct sunlight on that side of the camper.

BUT- I have only camped in moderately cool weather. It's a rare event that I see freezing or below and that's typically overnight. During the days, we don't usually see less than 50.

Your bigger issue will be the amount of propane used. Without heavily augmenting with space heaters- I'll burn through a 30lb propane tank in 2-4 days of 30s at night and low 50s during the day. With space heaters, I was able to go for 7-8 days on one. But, I don't pay for electricity as we only stay 1-3 weeks at most places.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:25 PM   #3
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New Sabres are stick and tin construction.
None of those type have good insulation ratings.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:36 PM   #4
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I don't think you can expect much insulation in a trailer at this price point. An issue that is closely related to poor insulation is condensation in colder weather which can result in mold growth.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:10 AM   #5
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I don't think you can expect much insulation in a trailer at this price point. An issue that is closely related to poor insulation is condensation in colder weather which can result in mold growth.
Am I wrong in thinking the sides and floor are aluminum framed and only the roof is wood frame?
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:29 AM   #6
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Am I wrong in thinking the sides and floor are aluminum framed and only the roof is wood frame?


No you are correct

Sabre used to promote their “six sided Sabre Cage” construction but have since changed

Front, rear, roof, floor, and both side walls (6 sided) were the same previously but they have cut corners to save money most likely — if roof is still aluminum framed they may have changed the rear wall to wood framing instead
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:37 AM   #7
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There was a picture by a RV dealer on Instagram. Walls and roof are now all wood:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcpxASMAzS8/
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
There was a picture by a RV dealer on Instagram. Walls and roof are now all wood:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcpxASMAzS8/
That is very interesting, the industry shifted toward aluminum to save weight and maybe cost and now this. To my knowledge only Travelaire and Excel were the last ones that used wood in their frame construction.

Looking at the website, I must say I'm impressed. This is not the Sabre that I've seen at a trade show several years ago.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
There was a picture by a RV dealer on Instagram. Walls and roof are now all wood:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcpxASMAzS8/
Cool picture, I toured the factory in Goshen a year ago when buying mine but they wouldn't let me take any pics lol. I noticed then and remember commenting about it that the roof was wood but didn't realize the walls were too, I know my 2015 33RKTS is still the all 'aluminum cage' including roof.

As far as the insulation factor goes my old 1992 'King of the road' was much better and with real fiberglass insulation, This one is styrofoam the same thickness as the walls. I will say they must CNC cut the stuff as it's a very nicely tight fit between the wall framework, I didn't get to see how they insulate the roof but I'll bet it's just styrofoam too. But that's the most important area for heat loss.....

To the OP, I see you're only about 400 miles from the factory in Goshen, If you can find the time I recommend (to everyone) taking a factory tour. It's free and really cool
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:27 AM   #10
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Cool picture, I toured the factory in Goshen a year ago when buying mine but they wouldn't let me take any pics lol. I noticed then and remember commenting about it that the roof was wood but didn't realize the walls were too, I know my 2015 33RKTS is still the all 'aluminum cage' including roof.

As far as the insulation factor goes my old 1992 'King of the road' was much better and with real fiberglass insulation, This one is styrofoam the same thickness as the walls. I will say they must CNC cut the stuff as it's a very nicely tight fit between the wall framework, I didn't get to see how they insulate the roof but I'll bet it's just styrofoam too. But that's the most important area for heat loss.....

To the OP, I see you're only about 400 miles from the factory in Goshen, If you can find the time I recommend (to everyone) taking a factory tour. It's free and really cool
Years ago, I got to go on a 1-on-1 factory tour with the warranty manager. He let me take any photos I wanted and even took me up on some of the elevated areas where they work on the roofs and top-down for electrical.

Sad to say, these photos aren't relevant any longer. But then again- 5 years is a loooong time in the RV world.

Palomino Sabre Factory Tour Photos | Learn To RV
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