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Old 12-20-2011, 11:06 AM   #15
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Postscript

Adding this insulation to these two compartments has really paid off for cold weather live-in operation. In the dump bay, I completed installation of a GFCI receptacle, I am getting a Lux Win100 thermostatic outlet for Christmas, and I already have a bulb socket to plug in there. With OATs in the high teens and the propane furnace on, the dump bay is staying above freezing. I'm thinking a small 25W bulb is going to be all I need in there when the temp gets to 10° and down to zero, 40W at the most. The water heater compartment is staying even warmer without any electric heat. I have already tested a non-electric method to add heat there while we are living aboard and the furnace is on (set back to 62° at night). By lifting the front furnace floor vent out, I can lift the coach heater flapper door and put a clothespin on it to prop it open a bit, thus forcing a little warm air into the compartment. If this proves totally successful, I may install a cord or chain to the corner of the flapper that can be pulled from above the floor at the corner of the vent. I'll update when it gets really cold!
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:35 PM   #16
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I have already tested a non-electric method to add heat there while we are living aboard and the furnace is on
Do you mean adding heat in addition to what the basement furnace vents are already providing? ...or are you saying that on your coach the furnace does not put heat into the sealed part of the basement?

We have been in temps at 5 below zero for as long as a week with no problems at all as long as we run the LP furnaces ...and that was before I used an auto trouble light in the water bay and a flood lamp in the water pump compartment as I do now !
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:09 AM   #17
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In our ’04 Suncruiser, the important basement compartments (where tanks and water lines are) get heat from the propane furnace system, though I’ll be darned if I can tell exactly where the hot air is tapped down there. The cold air return to the furnace is unfiltered and located under the dresser in the bedroom; the hot air is distributed to the cabin from floor vents via a duct under the floor from the back to the front. I have used smoke to investigate airflow at vents throughout the cabin (front of TV cabinet behind copilot’s seat, at floor level in hallway below the “One Place” panel, and under the shower); these are all connected in various places to the basement areas and they all gently blow air out into the cabin. Same situation for various drawer openings that are similarly connected. A small positive pressure is being supplied by the furnace to all these basement areas, but apparently not as much as in your rig if you can go to -5°.

Since doing my Water Heater Removal and Coach Heater Repair (see Files area, Heating and Cooling), I discovered how things work at the front end of the furnace duct. Although the WH compartment normally gets a little bit of the furnace air from somewhere (??) underneath the floor, it is not enough when things really get down to the low teens. So, to admit additional furnace air to this compartment, instead of putting in a drop light, I am now going to reach in the front-most furnace floor vent and pull the flapper toward me and prop it open with a clothespin. The smoke test at the TV cabinet vent and the remote temperature sensor in the compartment tell me this is raising the compartment temperature several degrees. This flapper normally only opens when the coach heater (engine running) is applying air pressure to the other side of it.

Hope this clarifies.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:41 AM   #18
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How about just coating the outside of the box with spray foam? It is under the RV, right? It dries hard. A little patience and care and you could cover the box air tight.

My '89 Georgie Boy had spray on foam all over the underside of the rv for insulation. The bottom of the exposed floor (plywood) was coated with it also.

Another option is finding a place that can spray on some foam insulation for you. I had the inside of a fiberglass camper shell lined with about 1" of foam years ago. They spray on the right amount and it expand to the correct thickness.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:56 AM   #19
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One of the best adhesives has got to be closed cell spray foam. It will fill in any indentations and it sticks too everything & everything sticks to it. It took a month to get the stuff off my hands after doing house renos. If you are DIY you can order the two part kits and spray foam it all yourself. I did this in our house-sure got rid of cool air when windy. I used sheet foam in awkward spots & used the spray foam as an adhesive.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #20
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Thanks for the thoughts on spray foam. I've used 1-part foam to fill some spaces, but holding the can upside down while I'm upside down under the coach seems problematic for any kind of a thorough and finished look. The foam board with the foil side out gives you a nice shiny exterior box when done. And with the two part stuff, I'd probably just foam myself into a ball stuck under the chassis!

One comment/correction regarding the Lux Win100 thermostat mentioned above: It is a nice unit, but be aware that it can only be set in the 45° - 90° F range. I was counting on having it turn on my lightbulb or mini-heater at 32° or so, and then shut it off at maybe 35°. It won't do that, because you cannot set temperatures in the low 30s. I didn't find this out until I cut it out of its packaging and actually started programming it. This info is not on the selling website, the package, or even the instructions within!


So for now, I'm controlling my lightbulb manually, but I might try a Thermocube (on at 35° off at 45°). If anyone has a 32° solution out there, I'd love to hear about it.

Dean
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:45 PM   #21
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You might want to reconsider the turn on temperature because of hysteresis. The rate of temperature change and the volume of air and material holding cold, may take longer to bring up to temperature causing the compartment to dip below 32 degrees. 35 degrees should be safe enough.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #22
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Thanks, John. I'm on my way to HD now to pick up the aforementioned Thermo Cube. Forecast for tonight is down to 8° tonight, so I will be watching how things go!
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:28 AM   #23
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Followup

I couldn't be more pleased with the results of insulating both my WH/pump compartment and the dump compartment. I extended my 120V outlet circuit from the dump bay (left rear) forward to the pump bay (right front), so now both compartments have GFCI-protected receptacles. I have a 25W incandescent bulb plugged into a Thermo Cube in each compartment. Living in the MH with propane furnace in regular use (using an extend-a-stay) and PA temperatures ranging down to the high single digits, pump area is staying roasty-toasty without propping the coach heater flapper open or the 25W bulb turning on! Bulb in dump bay has only been on a couple of times! Happy winter camper!
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