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Old 10-21-2019, 08:58 PM   #1
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Making a 4 seasons trailer

Has anyone turned their normal trailer into a 4 seasons, or something close to it? I bought a 22' forest river DBK179 and honestly didnt know anything about RVs... I was thinking about getting a heating mat to connect to the holding tank to keep the water above freezing, and will look into adding something under the trailer to protect the underside from the elements.

If anyone has done this and could tell me what all you did, I would really appreciate it. Thanks again!
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:22 PM   #2
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Has anyone turned their normal trailer into a 4 seasons, or something close to it? I bought a 22' forest river DBK179 and honestly didnt know anything about RVs... I was thinking about getting a heating mat to connect to the holding tank to keep the water above freezing, and will look into adding something under the trailer to protect the underside from the elements.

If anyone has done this and could tell me what all you did, I would really appreciate it. Thanks again!
What FR division made your DBK179?
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:58 PM   #3
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You can't turn a 2 or 3 season RV into a TRUE 4-season RV.
It has to be constructed from the beginning for that purpose.
Will you be traveling with it or will it be in a permanent spot?
You can add tank heating pads but it won't help with insulating the walls, roof and flooring.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:38 AM   #4
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I'm not sure of the division. where would I find that info? Yes I will be using traveling and understand I would not be able to increase the insulation on walls or roof.

Just seeing if anyone did anything to allow them to use their water in temps above 15 degrees. I thought about the pads on water tank, and finding a way to seal the bottom of the trailer. But that is as far as I can think.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:50 AM   #5
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tank heaters and enclosing the underbelly would only help. If on a permanent site could also do skirting. All comes down to how cold and for how long of periods. For true winter camping in Michigan I keep my rig winterized and use shower facilities at campground (only about 2 or 3 in whole state open year round)
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:53 AM   #6
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If you're only worried about temps of 15 degrees and above, just adding heat pads to the tanks would go a long way toward fulfilling that need.

If I were to tackle this project I'd not only add the heating pads, I'd also add a heat trace cable to the water pump suction line which often runs through an unheated, cold, area. Same company that sells the pads sells a water line heat trace wire that also runs on 12V.

I'd also add insulation to every part of the underside of the trailer not already enclosed by "Coroplast". Find a company that sprays foam insulation and have them cover all the areas outside of the covered area, including dump lines out to the dump valves.

The rest of the task would include making window covers out of either Reflectix or foam insulation board. Cover all the windows you don't usually look out of regularly and have covers for the rest to put up at night.

Beware: you really don't want to seal an RV tight while sleeping in it. You do need SOME fresh air to breath.

FWIW, I lived through a winter in a 1995 Terry which only had a heater on the black tank. I was in a park and left the Gray tank valve wide open. City water hose was heated and as a backup I kept my Fresh Water tank full, It was under a jackknife couch above the trailer's floor so it was at no risk of freezing.

The underside of the trailer was merly covered with what I call "Landscaper anti-weed cloth" which was supposed to be rodent proof.

One morning the temp was down to -15 degrees and no water froze.

I did burn a lot of propane. The local propane destributor set a large horizontal tank at my pad and I hooked to it. They kept it full and were delivering propane every three weeks or so, Furnace ran all the time and my TT looked like a big Ice Cube with all the melt from the roof that re-froze on the sides. At the time propane was about a buck a gallon with the "keep full" program. I spent around $50 per month during the coldest months. Today it would be about three times as expensive.

The key is to add insulation where it's weakest, underneath and at windows.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:06 PM   #7
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I'm not sure of the division. where would I find that info?
It's literally the name on the side (or front) or your trailer.

A quick google search shows that it's either a Salem or a Wildwood.
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:31 PM   #8
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I used about 100 feet of self regulated heat tape 110 volt . Did all the tanks and plumbing in one circuit taped to tanks with aluminum foil tape then added extra insulation, some fibreglass and some bubble wrap and then put the plastic belly back in place it worked good
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:09 PM   #9
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'Traveling' at 15 degrees will freeze some of your water lines if you are not careful. No one wants frozen and then leaking lines at those temps.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:24 PM   #10
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Thank you!

I really appreciate all the help. I definitely have enough work to do know. I have a Salem, I didnt know that was referred to as the distributor. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:27 AM   #11
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I really appreciate all the help. I definitely have enough work to do know. I have a Salem, I didnt know that was referred to as the distributor. Thanks again everyone.
FYI...

Salem is a brand of Forest River Inc. Like Chevrolet is a brand of General Motors.

However, the RV industry is not like the automobile industry. The RV dealers are all independent, not franchisees. They are authorized to sell products from multiple manufacturers and they are not obligated to service units they didn't sell just because they carry that brand.
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:18 PM   #12
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I really appreciate all the help. I definitely have enough work to do know. I have a Salem, I didnt know that was referred to as the distributor. Thanks again everyone.
Not sure where you got "distributor". As far as your trailer, "division" was the only term used.
TitanMike mentioned his local propane distributor, which has nothing to do with your trailer's brand name.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:43 PM   #13
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I used about 100 feet of self regulated heat tape 110 volt . Did all the tanks and plumbing in one circuit taped to tanks with aluminum foil tape then added extra insulation, some fibreglass and some bubble wrap and then put the plastic belly back in place it worked good
I'm about 3/4 done with this project too. I'm attaching with eternabond tape. I'm doing 3 separate tapes. Will cover all tanks and all plumbing. 30', 25', and 12'. With 2x as much eternabond as I need, it was $150. Not counting many-a-zip-tie.... Thermostats for tapes are outside. Will use a separate extension cord when needed either to pedestal or to outside outlet on camper. I think it's 3w/ft, so hopefully enough.
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