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Old 10-29-2016, 04:01 PM   #1
hdxbonez
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Adding rigid insulation to the underbelly

Another modification that I've been working on to prepare for full time use in the upcoming New Hampshire winter, is to add rigid insulation to the underbelly. I had previously found that Cougar's Polar Package consists of little more than a couple ducts from the furnace that dump into the enclosed underbelly. I've also added a couple of holding tank heaters and a warm air circulator that I discussed in a previous post. But there isnt any insulation to help retain that heat. I wont be towing my unit this winter, but I might have to move it on my property in order to accomodate some upcoming logging work. This ruled out building a skirt around the unit, so I decided to add insulation to the bottom of the unit. A $250 trip to Lowes provided some angle brackets, 'S' hooks, 1/4" line, and R10 2" rigid foam shiplap insulation sheets. I intalled the angle and hook assemblies down each side of the camper, using the bolts that fasten the skirting to the frame. Next I threaded the 1/4" line down the length on the camper just like a shoelace. I cut the sheets to fit across the frame, interlocking them with the shiplap, and snugging the line as I worked my way back. The insulation is now held tight against the coroplast, covering the underbelly completely across the frame rails, adding R10 where there was none before. I'll fill any remaining voids with loose fiberglass insulation and call it good. I wouldnt try to tow with this setup, but at least I can move it around my lot, and I think it will eliminate as much heat loss as a full skirt to ground would.







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Old 10-29-2016, 05:59 PM   #2
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Re: Adding rigid insulation to the underbelly

Great temporary modification to keep everything from freezing. Very creative.
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Old 10-30-2016, 03:22 PM   #3
WaltBennett
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Re: Adding rigid insulation to the underbelly

That is a VERY good mod! I believe that insulation your using is closed cell, but can't be certain from the pics - if it is, you could make the mounting more permanent and keep it on year round and going down the road. I'd think a stainless cable and something that wouldn't corrode for the ring part would do it. Might want to spray a sealer on the panels if it isn't closed cell, but that's all.
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Old 10-30-2016, 04:59 PM   #4
hdxbonez
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Re: Adding rigid insulation to the underbelly

It is a closed cell board which repels moisture, and the install is becoming more secure than I had initially thought. I've been considering how to make it more permanent so that I could tow without removing it, and a cable system is one of the things that I've thought of as well. I would have to upgrade the angles and hooks for that though. I may also add two rows of lengthwise furring strips, sandwiched between the 1/4" line and the insulation, to add additional support.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:24 PM   #5
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Ever consider putting the extra insulation between the coroplast and the flooring? Maybe adding insulation to the piping too?


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Old 12-08-2016, 09:48 PM   #6
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It'll do more good if you have it in between the coroplast and the floor as the way that you have it isn't going to work to well. You still have a huge cavity of cold dead air there and you need to get the insulation right close to the floor.
Also your pipes need to be insulated as they freeze up pretty fast.
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:11 PM   #7
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The DW made some insulation panels from that silver wrap stuff for the big winders, helped a bunch.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:33 AM   #8
hdxbonez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbos View Post
Ever consider putting the extra insulation between the coroplast and the flooring? Maybe adding insulation to the piping too?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
It'll do more good if you have it in between the coroplast and the floor as the way that you have it isn't going to work to well. You still have a huge cavity of cold dead air there and you need to get the insulation right close to the floor.
Also your pipes need to be insulated as they freeze up pretty fast.
The cavity between the coroplast and the flooring is heated, both from the furnace, and the warm air circulator that I added. The insulation boards are an effort to help retain that heat. I would love to have the insulation above the coroplast, but the holding tanks, plumbing, wiring, and gas lines prevent that. I added these in lieu of a skirt around the camper so that I would have the ability to move the unit if required. Its 19*F as I type this, so far, so good.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:38 AM   #9
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Thats what I did while wintering in Parachute, CO. But I put bat (roll) insulation around the black water holding tank. While I was in there I also ran a heat tape up to the dump valve to keep it from freezing closed. The valve has frozen before and I ruined the dump seal pulling it open.
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:33 PM   #10
hdxbonez
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Thats what I did while wintering in Parachute, CO. But I put bat (roll) insulation around the black water holding tank. While I was in there I also ran a heat tape up to the dump valve to keep it from freezing closed. The valve has frozen before and I ruined the dump seal pulling it open.
I installed tank heaters on the forward black and grey tanks, and also added a warm air circulator that directs warm air directly on the dump valve, to avoid those issues. I just returned to the camper after being away for 3 days, with low temps around 5*F for 2 nights, and all was fine with the thermostat set at 53* while I was away.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:13 AM   #11
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Be thinking about what insulation you are going to stuff in the voids. Fiberglass will hold water, especially if paper faced. Maybe some foam shipping "popcorn" pellets?
My chloroplast was sagging and I worried about it coming loose. I got some light gauge angle "iron" that has slots and holes in it, like uni-strut does. I screwed that to the frame, side to side. Helped a lot. Used stainless steel self drilling self tapping screws from Fastenal. Not sure how far below the frame your new insulation is. Might have to use longer screws.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:45 PM   #12
hdxbonez
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Originally Posted by gearhead View Post
Be thinking about what insulation you are going to stuff in the voids. Fiberglass will hold water, especially if paper faced. Maybe some foam shipping "popcorn" pellets?
My chloroplast was sagging and I worried about it coming loose. I got some light gauge angle "iron" that has slots and holes in it, like uni-strut does. I screwed that to the frame, side to side. Helped a lot. Used stainless steel self drilling self tapping screws from Fastenal. Not sure how far below the frame your new insulation is. Might have to use longer screws.
I just stuffed some unfaced, loose fiberglass insulation in the voids for now. Seems to be holding up, no signs of moisture. Its well behind the drip line, so it shouldnt get wet. Your angle installation is a good idea, that would help make this a much more permanent solution.
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