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Old 10-13-2014, 12:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: North Texas
Posts: 999
Tank heaters, underbelly insulation, and Arctic, etc., Packages (My RV is cold!)

As an introduction, here are several posts concerning the Keystone Arctic/Polar/Glacier Package (or what label is being applied to this underbelly insulation package at this time):

As I continued my below discussed modifications, I posted second observations on the "Package", this time concerning the area near the fresh water tank and further back from the storage basement:

The "heated basement" of my Alpine was, ah, interesting:

My own investigation of the underbelly started with I was attempting to fix a fresh water fill problem. My first insulation modifications started with adding pink R-5 foam insulation board (two layers) to the ceiling of the storage area (press fit between the aluminum rafters and glued in place). I added a press fit layer of R-5 pink insulation board behind the wall that separated the storage basement from the utilities.

Early on, I noticed that it appears that Keystone uses "packaged length" flexible heating duct, and if the duct is too long for the application, it is just coiled to "make fit":
(The latter post is repeated from above as it discusses these long, coiled duct runs.)

The rear heating ducts, besides being entangled, were placed against the fresh water tank in such a way that the ducts were crushed between the tank and the coroplast. Once these ducts were repositioned, it was amazing the increased warm air flow to the rear of the Alpine. Additionally, this post discusses some of the insulation installation within the underbelly:

In addition to adding tank heaters and insulation to the underbelly (discussed below), I also added a "warmed air circulation" system which would assure warmed air moving over the water pipes to prevent them from freezing:

Installing tank heaters AND insulation in the underbelly of an RV is not for the "faint of heart"! Thus, a multi-weekend project commenced with the ordering of UltraHeat Tank Heaters and days within the "belly of the beast":
Note that within these posts is a discussion on how to prevent the toothed rails and hydraulic rams from being damaged by the installed insulation.

Of course, the tank heaters must have a control panel for operation, and this proved to be a whole project in itself!

And finally, I discovered that the access port for electrical beneath the bed for the bedroom slide was directly open into the front storage/generator compartment – with no insulation in the floor! And into an uninsulated compartment which had direct access to beneath the RV! No wonder under the bed was so cold in the winter! I cut pink R-5 insulation board to fit, a lower board that fit directly across the roof of the front storage compartment, and a second board that had open area running center down it for the hydraulics and electrical cables. Each of these insulation panels were about 2' wide, and emplaced with special non-burning glue on the upper side reinforced with brackets on the bottom side attached to the compartment walls. I used non-expanding foam to seal the cord run area of the upper cut panel. Once these foam panels were installed, the whole of the Alpine underbelly had been modified and insulated.

One of the unexpected benefits of insulating the underbelly was the decrease of humidity in the Alpine! I have an Eva-Dry 2200 electronic dehumidifier which would usually pull a reservoir full of water from the inside of the Alpine in less than a week. Once the insulation was installed, the Eva-Dry pulled very little water out of the inside air in a week. However, by doing additional non-Keystone RV research, I learned that to use Fiberglass or rock wool insulation in the underbelly, it is not wise to fill the void with this insulation.

Another member, mguay, did a very similar insulation project on his Laredo. However, mguay is a professional spray foam insulation installer. This meant that he had the materials and knowledge to use spray foam to "winterize" his Laredo. IMHO, mguay did an excellent job!

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time and patience to complete the job!

2011 Alpine 3640RL (Beauty)
(Gone! Now replaced by Beauty3)
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:57 PM   #2
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New Underbelly Sticky

The above thread by geo is now a sticky. Comments may be made but will be removed after a reasonable length of time. Any changes or additions to this sticky will be made by geo, its author. Thank you.
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