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Old 06-07-2018, 08:59 AM   #1
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Transit Models in Sub Freezing weather

Hola,


In Pre-Purchase mode here and would like to hear experiences in freezing temps. Considering a Forester TS 2371D and am a bit skeptical on its cold weather hardiness. Will be in the North Central Cascades/Canadian Rockies for 2-7 days trips.



The exposed waste tanks under the carriage are one concern. Also the FR specs leave a lot to be desired as far as construction.


So my questions would be:


What is the wall thickness on a Sunseeker/Forester ?
Do they or do they not use Azdel ?

How is the insulation performance in the cold ?
Are the slides insulated ?
Is the water tank inside the carriage ?
Do they run any plumbing outside the coach ?



During multiple days below freezing what froze and what didn't ?
Has anyone done any successful mods to improve the comfort/performance ?

How cold did it get when the stock furnace did not keep up ?


Sorry for the barrage of questions but after days of research they are mostly unanswered.


Right now my shortlist on rigs:


Bigfoot - Ugly dated and a bit pricey. Cold weather performance great/MPG not so much.


HOST - Same as above. Oh and did I mention HEAVY as HECK !



Phoenix Cruiser - Been told that down to -18 nothing froze. Quality build with exceptional appointments. Used models can be found easily. MPG poor. Diesels are rare with most being the dreaded 03/05 Powerstroke.


Forester TS/Winnabagel Fuse/Coachman TS - Build quality issues (via reviews all). Not really designed for extended cold weather use. Small fuel capacity.

Good MPG even after 4WD conversion. Lightweight so much better snow driving abilities. Will likely supplement heat with a Blue Flame and additional propane tank.



Feel free to chime in and correct me if I am wrong. If you have any other suggestions on possible rigs I'm all ears.
Would like to stick to this decade and the lighter the better.




TIA,
Paul
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:25 AM   #2
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If you are planning for "Below Freezing"trips where you use Everything like on a "Above Freezing" trips you are in for Disappointment! You can Modify things or NOT use Water,this will reduce Most "Issues"! Youroo!!
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:47 AM   #3
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Your best bet is to not use water. Use public / campground bathrooms and showers.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:22 AM   #4
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So that's 2 votes for buying a Cruiser/BF/HOST where I can use the water (at least down to -18 !).
I will be having access to ski lodges and plan to take most meals/potty breaks anyway. I used my Thetford Cassette toilet once and prefer a trucker bomb and McDonalds any day of the week. In an emergency you can do a #1 or #2 but never at the same time and never without a struggle haha !
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:25 AM   #5
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Still would love details on the construction. Hoping for owners of Transit models to chime in. I enjoy doing mods to the cabins but if its going to be a long term struggle I will just pay the extra in fuel.


My buddy has a 24' Bigfoot Diesel 4x4 that he might sell me for 55k. Not in love with the floor plan but its a proven Winter Beast.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by skpiste View Post
Still would love details on the construction. Hoping for owners of Transit models to chime in. I enjoy doing mods to the cabins but if its going to be a long term struggle I will just pay the extra in fuel.


My buddy has a 24' Bigfoot Diesel 4x4 that he might sell me for 55k. Not in love with the floor plan but its a proven Winter Beast.
Yetti makes a winter Trailer also! Youroo!!
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:47 AM   #7
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Yetti makes a winter Trailer also! Youroo!!

I could bolt one down to a Flatbed Isuzu Diesel 4x4
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:55 AM   #8
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I have a 2017 Sunseeker on a Ford E450 so I'm not sure how that translates to the Transit series...but, My FW tank is above the floor and under the bed. The Gray and Black holding tanks are below the floor and mine has the tank heater package. There is no plumbing except the low point drains that are below the coach floor. The water pump is not in the coach per se but it is behind a cabinet and next to the water heater. Easy for me to open some cabinet doors and drawers and keep heat into those areas.

My MH does have Azdel walls. As far as insulation from the cold I probably can't help much! I'm done with cold and live where it is warm! The coldest we had this winter was upper 20's F and I never winterize but run a small electric heater in the coach and open the drawers and doors mentioned above during our coldest snaps.

When we camped this spring in Oregon we ran the furnace at 62 F overnight and during 40 degree nights it cycled a few times towards morning.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:58 PM   #9
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Azdel

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Originally Posted by KenandCarol View Post
My MH does have Azdel walls. As far as insulation from the cold I probably can't help much! I'm done with cold and live where it is warm! The coldest we had this winter was upper 20's F

Just wish the factory specs covered such things ! Just like the forums there are no specifics for the Transit Models (unless you include what they don't have). I know the Coachman units have Azdel but have yet to witness it on a Forester.


Do want everyone to keep in mind that since I will be powder hunting the temps I experience will seldom drop below 0. Snow only really flies at temps of 12-28˚. Colder or warmer means little accumulation and I would stay home.


Wish FR would make some sweet videos like Earl does. The more I watch the more I lean Phoenix:





Everything is built into the coach and built well. If I buy used all the issues should have been worked out by the OP.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:29 PM   #10
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Regarding the TS 2371D under consideration:

If the unit you buy has these options included, you can camp in below freezing weather. If these options are not included, you still can camp in below freezing weather but must have no water in the tanks or plumbing system.

Heated, enclosed holding tanks and valves (N/A 2251SLE) (N/A Mercedes-Benz® and Transit Series)

Optional Arctic Package (12V tank heaters) (Standard on Mercedes-Benz® Series Only)
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:00 PM   #11
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Just bought a 2370 FTD Sunseeker which is basically the same unit. Walls are 1.5" thick and do not have Asdel, they have lauan. I wan't overly thrilled with that but this one had the exact floor plan that we wanted included a low mount microwave/convection oven. Don't want to have a high mount where you could spill scalding food on yourself. Don't plan on any cold weather camping so hope the thinner walls aren't an issue. Tank heater are an option.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:52 PM   #12
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My Sunseeker does OK in the 20's but I kept cabinet doors open and antifreeze added to the waste tanks. I opted out of the Phoenix Cruiser because storage is so limited. They look classy but had too many drawbacks for me.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by McCormickJim View Post

If the unit you buy has these options included, you can camp in below freezing weather. If these options are not included, you still can camp in below freezing weather but must have no water in the tanks or plumbing system.

Heated, enclosed holding tanks and valves (N/A 2251SLE) (N/A Mercedes-Benz® and Transit Series)

Its always that NA in the only unit I would want that get me in their specs. Of course I would be installing Compost toilet and draining to waste mostly (Castile Soap Only).

I think its the shower trap and possible water lines outside that would get me.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:39 PM   #14
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Just bought a 2370 FTD Sunseeker which is basically the same unit. Walls are 1.5" thick and do not have Asdel,

Would like 2" walls myself and Thermo windows. Will have a thermal curtain across the cab entry as well.
Leaning way back toward spending the extra money on fuel. Like the floor plan and weight but a Cruiser is only 2k heavier and is much tighter build.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Maggiewaggie View Post
I opted out of the Phoenix Cruiser because storage is so limited. They look classy but had too many drawbacks for me.

Funny thing as I will be tearing out a lot of storage in any rig and putting in bunks. I will probably remove the fridge so I can have 72"+ beds and put a smaller fridge under the galley.
Molded fiberglass is stronger and should help hold in the heat/Out the cold.


Less rolling home, more frat house for 50 yr olds
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