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Old 04-27-2016, 10:27 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
Another reason to not like the 2017 new doors . All nicely sealed up with new door . Just like in your home you insulate just to a degree but not overboard because you will deal with radon gas , cooking odors , etc . You need some air ventilation somewhere . Another reason besides looks to love our Classic door . Didn't think of this yet . Pat
Radon gas comes out of the ground, so probably not a problem in a travel trailer.

Cooking odors and chemicals from paint, flooring, etc. for sure, but I'd rather not have a drafty door on purpose. The guy that showed us his 17B complained about it in fact, and he didn't do winter camping at all.

Believe me, if you do winter camping you will have some vents/windows open. There is just no other way to keep moisture down.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:39 PM   #62
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The lowest temperature we have encountered was 24F, but, that was the night time low with the daytime high in the 50's.

Most of the people we talk to at RV parks think we are crazy to be full timing in such a small trailer, but, we find it to work just fine for us. We do spend quite a bit of time outdoors under the awning. The awning adds quite a bit of living space. Since we use our mobility to stay where the climate is agreeable regardless of the time of year, this works out quite well.
We have camped many nights at those temperature (or lower) with our 19, and other than on the window frames saw very little condensation. This is with the thermostat set to 9°C (48°F) or we did start to get light condensation on the walls in places if we kept the temps lower. We usually cracked a window a wee bit, and turned the Maxx Fan on the lowest exhaust setting. We usually see the daytime temps warm up to at 5-10° C (41-50°F), and maybe a bit warmer, with the inside of the trailer usually a few degrees warmer than outside.

I wonder if the fact we had double the foam for insulation, and no Reflectix, which was the method used then.

I am not one to judge whether or not you are crazy, but I fully support your style of camping.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:42 PM   #63
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Didn't Casita use rat fur for quite awhile, and then a few years ago go back to carpet? May just have never updated the website.
No, actually they started with looooong shag carpet in blue or orange , now it's a shorter looped carpet. They've never used marine grade headliner material (Rat Fur). As I mentioned on the Casita Forum, if you contact Casita manufacturing and say you want the Rat Fur replaced they'd think you lost your mind.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:43 PM   #64
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We full time in our Escape 21. Condensation on the walls and in the upper cabinets is the biggest issue in colder weather. Like most full timers we head to warmer climates in the winter, but, you will eventually be places (southern California, for example) where the night time temperatures dip near / below freezing and the humidity is relatively high (like when it is raining). As others previously mentioned, in those conditions we have to have all the cabinet doors open, cushions pulled away from the walls, and crack the vent and a window to keep the condensation under control. We also run a small dehumidifier when we have electricity. Every little bit helps, but, we still end up wiping up condensation in a few places every morning while the cold weather lasts.

We have not modified the trailer to be full timing, but, we did get the extra insulation package, double pane windows, and under body spray insulation. The extra insulation on our year trailer consists of a layer of Reflectix between the foam backed vinyl headliner and the fiberglass shell. If you go to Reflectix manufacturer's website you find that they give the R value for this product without an air gap (as it is in the Escape) of R1.1. That means not very much. Where the Reflectix is used by itself (providing an air gap of sorts), such as under the benches, the insulating value can be higher, although calculating an effective R value is very case specific, so, the manufacturer will not quote one. Be that as it may, any and all insulation is good, just don't expect a cozy warm cabin in very cold weather. This is not a four season trailer. Comfort is entirely dependent on supplied heat. So far, we have found that the propane furnace is quite capable of keeping the Escape comfortable in the climate we have wintered in. The lowest temperature we have encountered was 24F, but, that was the night time low with the daytime high in the 50's. We did discover that when the temperature went below the mid 40's our 1500W electric heater could not keep up and the temperature inside would gradually drop down during the night. For cold nights we have taken to supplementing the electric heater (when we have hookups) with the propane furnace.

At the other end of the spectrum, we move north to avoid the crazy heat of summer. The highest temperatures we have been into are the mid 90's. The air conditioner handles that weather without difficulty. Of course, that requires electrical hookups (I dislike generators). More effective is to stay out of that kind of weather by moving north / up in elevation. Moving to where the weather is agreeable allows spending more time outside. We find that in warm weather the available ventilation with windows and door open to be quite effective in keeping the interior comfortable.

One challenge we have had with the Escape 21 for full timing is overall weight. The GVWR for the trailer is 4600lb. We found ourselves over that so easily because of the amount of storage space available. Especially the huge cave underneath the bed. If you are good at packing stuff in there you can go over the trailer weight rating very quickly. We did (and I always travel with the fresh water tank empty). When you need to pack everything for living year round, it is really easy to have too much stuff. We had to really cut down. Of course, that turned out to be a good thing in the long run. Now the under bed storage area is mostly empty.

Most of the people we talk to at RV parks think we are crazy to be full timing in such a small trailer, but, we find it to work just fine for us. We do spend quite a bit of time outdoors under the awning. The awning adds quite a bit of living space. Since we use our mobility to stay where the climate is agreeable regardless of the time of year, this works out quite well.
Very good write up . I know what I want to say but sometimes doesn't come out right . I built a Art studio for us in 2007 ,and in the ceiling used the reflex . I left a 3/4,in air space stapling reflex between the rafters and if I remember that was the recomendation for installation . What are we going do ,at least we purchased pretty much everything we could in our build . I envy you and the freedom you are living . Pat
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:57 PM   #65
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Radon gas comes out of the ground, so probably not a problem in a travel trailer.

Cooking odors and chemicals from paint, flooring, etc. for sure, but I'd rather not have a drafty door on purpose. The guy that showed us his 17B complained about it in fact, and he didn't do winter camping at all.

Believe me, if you do winter camping you will have some vents/windows open. There is just no other way to keep moisture down.
We solved that a long time ago with a lined curtain that leaves a huge air space away from the door curtain is hung on a spring curtain rod . Use my snap ties to keep out of the way when not needed .The trailer stays very warm with no drafts at door . Still love our classic door and wouldn't change . There are many ways to solve problems . Pat
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:16 PM   #66
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Didn't Casita use rat fur for quite awhile, and then a few years ago go back to carpet? May just have never updated the website.
Don't know, but my Mom had an old Casita 13 at her campground and I used to sleep in it when I visited. It dated back to the 90's, and it had carpet. Only one I know of that used the so-called 'rat fur' was the Scamp.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:38 AM   #67
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Hi Bill & Giselle- am admiring your full-time status; a month straight is all we've managed so far. Question- given the above experience would you say the extra $$ is worth it for the Thermal Package?

How is the 4Runner working for you? If you had a 1/2 ton would you still need to pack like an astronaut?
In my opinion any and all insulation is worth it. The fiberglass shell is an insulator, the vinyl headliner is an insulator. Neither one is very good compared to regular building construction due to being so thin, so, adding another thin insulator (Reflectix), I suspect, is a significant improvement.

The 4Runner works fine for us. The weight issue is not due to the tow vehicle. I could be using a semi-tractor and still need the same care with the trailer. I can only load the trailer to a total weight of 4600 lbs (2090kg, slightly rounded) without exceeding the trailer's maximum load rating assigned by ETI. Indeed part of the solution was to move "stuff" from the trailer into the 4Runner where we have excess GVWR available. It is, after all, a lightweight trailer. Being minimalists at heart (as I suspect most fiberglass trailer owners are) makes it easier to just slim down.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:47 AM   #68
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Right- 4600 lbs. max- and you've exceeded that? The most reported here previously is around 4300 with most at 4200 or less.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:51 AM   #69
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A straight door can be sealed and so can a round. There are far more drafty straight doors in existence than round. An unsealed door is an unsealed door. (Profound, huh? ) Love our airplane door.
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:29 AM   #70
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Right- 4600 lbs. max- and you've exceeded that? The most reported here previously is around 4300 with most at 4200 or less.
That is precisely why I brought it up. Loading for a couple of weeks at the lake and loading for indefinite year round living can be quite different.

Unfortunately, I have not had an opportunity to weigh our trailer empty. One can calculate the empty weight from the ETI rating label. They give the rated GVWR (2090kg for the 21') and a cargo capacity for that specific trailer accounting for installed options. From the ETI label on our trailer, the cargo capacity is 331kg with fresh tank and hot water heater full. Adding the 136kg for the fresh water tank to the cargo capacity gives an "empty" weight of 1623kg, or, 3570lbs for our trailer "as built" with all installed options. This is not the dry weight as the full water heater is included. That gives us just a shade over 1000lbs for all our stuff and some residual trailer weight in propane, waste tanks (rarely totally empty), and a little water in the fresh tank (I like to put in about 3 gallons for use on the road). I thought 1000lbs would be plenty for all that. I expected to weigh in at 4300lbs, or thereabouts. Wrong. The first weighing was 4650lbs. I did it twice just to be sure. I was very surprised. Our last weighing after shifting load and reducing "stuff" was 4500lbs. We have more work to do in this area. The bottom line is that if you are going to live in the trailer full time, you need to be knowledgeable about what you choose to carry in the trailer.
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