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Old 12-24-2018, 10:02 PM   #1
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Weekends at Whistler: Final Update

Just in time for Christmas, Whistler finally is choking with snow and our Escape has been transformed into a winter ski cabin.

In my last post, I reported that we had experienced condensation problems.
Here's what worked for us:

1. We leave the window blinds up all day and all night (we have a site that shields us from all eyes, fortunately). No condensation has collected anywhere on any window. (We did this in two previous trailers, and should have remembered it)

2. The front door is insulated, as Jim thought, and remains warm to the touch 24/7.

3. We sprayed extra foam down the back corners under the bed and sealed all the tiny gaps where the insulation installed by Escape was butted up to itself. We had considered installing rigid foam insulation, but what we did instead was...

4. ... put a small Vornado circulating heater in the open area between the bench seats on which the bed inserts rest, facing backwards toward the vents we had installed last summer. We keep it on Low (375 Watts) at all times. No condensation has formed in the enclosed areas under the bed. And as we have installed Hypervent along the sides and under the bottom of the bed cushions, we have no condensation there, either.

5. We put a somewhat larger Vornado circulating heater under the dining table, facing aft. We have never used the 1500 Watt setting, but alternate between 1125 Watts and 750 Watts, depending on what other draws we have on the electrical service.

6. We keep the two roof vents open at all times, even when we're not there. Our humidity monitor shows a "lifetime" low of 19% and a high of 54% (probably when I was braising vegetables).

7. When we cook, we start up the fans in both vents, pulling the warm, wet air out of the trailer. If condensation forms on the kitchen window, we crack it slightly until we've finished cooking, then wipe it down.

8. We cook with a microwave and an 17" electric skillet. While we also have a single-burner electric cooktop and a wide-mouth, plastic teakettle, we haven't used them so far. We make coffee in a 12-cup Braun automatic drip coffee maker.

9. We've skirted the trailer with a 4' high, inexpensive version of Reflectix. We started at one side of the front door, and just kept wrapping it around the trailer until we got to the other side. We cut out the areas that had vents, but covered up the back tire, and the area under the front step. The "reflectix" is taped on with heavy duty duct tape, from the "pro" area of Home Depot. (Getting the residue off in the spring will be a bit tedious, I think.)

10. For simplicity, we bypassed the hot water heater, and heat water in the microwave when we need some. But the water that comes from the kitchen tap is almost hot (!) when we first turn it on in the morning, because the water lines run under the raised floor at the back of the trailer and store the heat that is generated by the under-the-bed Vornado. On the other hand, the water in the bathroom, which spends almost no time in the trailer, is cold.

This past weekend was the first that we spent using the trailer instead of getting it ready to use. We'll be up for two weeks at the beginning of January
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20181203Skirted Escape.jpg (218.3 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg 20181203 Sewage Hose in PVC Pipe and Heated Water Hose.jpg (290.6 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg 20181221 Snowa.jpg (399.5 KB, 64 views)
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egraham View Post
9. We've skirted the trailer with a 4' high, inexpensive version of Reflectix.
...
The "reflectix" is taped on with heavy duty duct tape, from the "pro" area of Home Depot. (Getting the residue off in the spring will be a bit tedious, I think.)
You could peel off that tape before the adhesive residue is too bad, and replace it with no-residue repair/duct tape or gaffer's tape. On the other hand, when I did this with a trailer I had more trouble getting the tape to stick than removing the residue... likely a different tape.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:52 PM   #3
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Yes, we were warned about the problem of getting any tape to stick under the conditions that we will be encountering during the winter at Whistler: snow, sleet, rain, and temperatures frrequently going from 38 degrees F. to -20 degrees F. during the course of a week.

We did some research online and found no useful recommendations, so I went with the advice of a pro at Home Depot, who steered me away from the Do It Yourself tape aisle into the Professional tape aisle.

But he also showed me the product that we should use to remove the residue so I'm reasonably confident that we'll get it off without too much trouble.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:41 AM   #4
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What a great ski getaway. Enjoy.

Can you share a picture of the underbed heater set up you refer to in #4?
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:07 PM   #5
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I will post a photo of the under-bed heater when we get back up to Whistler on the weekend. And probably of the one at the front, under the dinette.

The introduction of the under-bed heater complicated our cat situation. We have two cats, and in the summer, we keep two litter boxes side by side under the bed (the bed is set up like a U-shaped dining area during the daytime). But in winter, that location blocks the vents, and getting at the boxes would involve pulling out the heater first --- so we downgraded their toileting to a single litter box, and considered a LOT of other locations: beside the front door (No: that's where the snow boots go); under the dinette (No: that's where the other heater is); in the bathroom (No: that's where their water and food is (one of our cats drinks by putting her paw in the water and sucking; the other is a slurper). We finally learned to live with the litter box under the propane furnace, beside the bathroom door. There is an advantage to this prominent location: their litter gets cleaned only minutes after it is used, if we are home!
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Old 12-25-2018, 06:38 PM   #6
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"Final Update"
That sounded a little ominous.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:29 PM   #7
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I meant that I won't continue to burble on about how we prepped the trailer to spend four months weekending in it at Whistler.

But I will possibly talk about --- and post photos of --- our cats! Here is Alex in his lair above the bed, and Sonja on her cushion.
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File Type: jpg Alex.jpg (111.3 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg Sonja.jpg (138.2 KB, 39 views)
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:58 PM   #8
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So your earlier description and that second picture with the cat has me curious. You have two dinettes (front and rear) and make the rear up into a bed?
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:18 PM   #9
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We don't actually have two dining areas; the forward area is for dining and is the area that has a table. The rear U-shaped area is our sitting and lounging area, and has no table (we didn't have ETI install the bases). Instead, we have two bench seats, joined along the back by a 35" deep insert, on which the 35" x 30" bed cushion sits. At night, we put a second insert between the bench seats, and place the second cushion on it. Our cat, Sonja, is sitting on a blanket placed on that second cushion.

(Note: I wish I had made the second insert cushion in two pieces. As one can see from the photograph, it is large (30" x 25") and is a nuisance because it is too big to lean against the window as a adjunct to our lounging cushions. I have custom fabric left, and intend to have it cut into two.)

In the daytime, our duvet and bedsheet get rolled up tightly along the back of the sitting area. I'm reasonably neat, so it looks rather like a long, long, cushion. We didn't get any backrests (either for the dining area or the sitting area). Instead, we use big square pillows which are large and firm enough that we can lean against them without hitting our heads on the windows (or, worse, on those little knobs that keep the blind cords in place).

This is probably way too much information, but I am having rather a good time writing about our new trailer!
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:37 PM   #10
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Any concerns about snow loading on the roof of your trailer ? I have added additional insulation to areas in the trailer as you have for some ski getaways but plan to stay in lower elevations & drive up to the mountain. Heavy wet snow dumps have me thinking about what kind of weight the roof can take though.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:52 PM   #11
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Chilliwack has had snow. Eighty centimetres is 31.5 inches.

https://globalnews.ca/news/3228892/c...f-snow-photos/
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:44 AM   #12
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We're certain that the Escape roof is at least as strong as the Casita 17' which we used as a ski cabin over six winters during which it snowed heavily and often.

It would be good to know about the experience of those who have left their Escape trailers outside during heavy snowfalls. I hope others chime in on this.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:37 AM   #13
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Here are a couple of pictures of our Escape with snow, the first is Blackjack with maybe 24" and the second is Prairie Schooner where I'm removing the snow....
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File Type: jpg DSCN2339.jpg (240.4 KB, 20 views)
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:44 AM   #14
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Weekends at Whistler: Final Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by egraham View Post



It would be good to know about the experience of those who have left their Escape trailers outside during heavy snowfalls. I hope others chime in on this.

We have had 30+” of snow on our previous 19 with no problems when we lived in northern B.C.
DSC00001_6.jpg
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:48 AM   #15
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In every situation, everything works... until it doesn't. I'd never trust the roof of my trailer based on what worked for someone else.

IF you can't monitor snow load, the best advice I've read is to lower the tongue as far as possible and keep the roof highly waxed. Hopefully that would allow snow to slide a bit. Of course, you can't keep the refrigerator running at that angle. But who would anyway if the trailer isn't heated....
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Old 12-26-2018, 09:02 AM   #16
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We have had 30+” of snow on our previous 19 with no problems when we lived in northern B.C.
Attachment 35956
Doug,
You need to get out there before the snow gets over the chute discharge....
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:06 AM   #17
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Jim, I think I'm still on topic when I ask for your input on our roof-mounted, ETI-installed solar panel.

We are not concerned about snow falling onto it suddenly from an over-hanging tree or roof. Although trees surround our site, we are far enough away from them that even a high wind would not shift the snow from tree branches to the roof. But we do wonder whether we need to protect the solar panel from gradual snow accumulation during the five days that we are not at the trailer.

We are reluctant to risk damage by using a broom (certainly not a shovel) to clear snow from the solar panel --- but it is the only place that snow actually accumulates, because it is not in direct contact with the roof through which heat escapes.

Thoughts?

Also, now that we are on the topic of the railer roof and its weight-bearing capacity, should we open a new winter thread?
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:29 AM   #18
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I'd never risk a snow shovel, a broom or what I use on the solar panel was a snow brom seen here https://www.amazon.com/SnoBrum-Push-...rds=snow+brrom
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:30 AM   #19
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That panel is fairly strong, but if you need solar it needs to be cleared of snow.
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:42 AM   #20
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Thank you! I'll order a Sno Brom.

We don't need solar in the winter, as we are hooked up to electricity full time. Actually, we got solar largely to keep the battery charged when the trailer is in its storage location. As we live in an apartment, we have no storage for it at home and don't want to remove the battery and take it home after every trip.

We had hoped to keep the battery charged without using our generator during weeklong summer trips but many of the sites here in the Pacific Northwest are so heavily shaded that the solar couldn't keep up!
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