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Old 01-26-2021, 08:23 AM   #1
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Spray Foam or No spray Foam

Going back and forth on the need of spray foam under the floor. Seems it could be a pain in the ass for maintenance

What are your thoughts?
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:39 AM   #2
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I looked at the pros and cons before ordering the spray foam insulation. The likelihood of needing to access anything under the trailer that the spray foam covers is fairly low - a few people have had plumbing problems but most have not. In the event a repair is needed the spray foam can be cut away where needed and reapplied.

There has been plenty of discussion on the forum about how effective the spray foam is or isn't in terms of insulation. People who don't have it tend to feel they don't need it, and those who have it feel like it keeps things a little warmer in cold weather - very few people have had trailers both with and without it so it's hard to make comparisons. In addition to the extra insulating value, the spray foam provides a degree of protection from road hazards bouncing up and hitting things under the trailer. Here are photos of the fresh water tank with and without the spray foam.
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
I looked at the pros and cons before ordering the spray foam insulation. The likelihood of needing to access anything under the trailer that the spray foam covers is fairly low - a few people have had plumbing problems but most have not. In the event a repair is needed the spray foam can be cut away where needed and reapplied.

There has been plenty of discussion on the forum about how effective the spray foam is or isn't in terms of insulation. People who don't have it tend to feel they don't need it, and those who have it feel like it keeps things a little warmer in cold weather - very few people have had trailers both with and without it so it's hard to make comparisons. In addition to the extra insulating value, the spray foam provides a degree of protection from road hazards bouncing up and hitting things under the trailer. Here are photos of the fresh water tank with and without the spray foam.
Did Escape quit installing the Horst probes on the grey / black tanks? The reason I ask is that I have removed the probes on both my black and grey tanks to clean them from time to time. Cleaning the tank probes seems to make them a lot more reliable. They are easy to remove / replace - but not the grey if the tank is foamed. The black tank is inside so no issue.

But you're right that most of the other stuff under the trailer doesn't need maintenance unless it fails. That shouldn't happen too often that cutting the foam out would be that much of a bother. Troubleshooting a perceived problem can be an issue, however, as access to stuff is severely restricted.

So for me, the foam adds how much in R factor? Not enough that a rug on the floor wouldn't compensate for and the foam really is ugly.
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:16 AM   #4
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double duty use?

Could use the spare turkey knife!
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:30 AM   #5
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Could use the spare turkey knife!

No! You may not use the electric turkey knife.

That is only for cutting down the corner of your mattress!

Geez!

Get the spray foam if you live in cold climate, it will keep your butt warm. not to mention your feet.
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by churly01 View Post
Going back and forth on the need of spray foam under the floor. Seems it could be a pain in the ass for maintenance

What are your thoughts?
We ordered it and appreciate having the insulation. In light of of future maintenance/inspection/repair complications, if I had it to do over again I would have omitted this option and installed rigid foam board myself.
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:06 PM   #7
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...
Get the spray foam if you live in cold climate, it will keep your butt warm. not to mention your feet.
Get the spray foam if you camp in hot climates...
Get the spray foam if you camp in noisy areas (campgrounds)...

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Old 01-26-2021, 02:34 PM   #8
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Didn't get foam and it's a personal decision whether you want it or not. I've never really noticed anything temp wise that it would have made much of a difference on. Ron's system of using aftermarket 2" foam insulating board makes much more sense if I wanted foam.
The dual pane windows/extra insulation are a much better investment for cold and noise, which was an option back when I purchased.
Now at 5.5 years on my trailer and all the wiring, repairs, mods and issues that start to crop up as a trailer ages, I'm extremely glad I don't have the foam. It's not fun to work with if you have to cut it away to find issues or run wiring, plumbing, etc.
I have 20+ years experience troubleshooting and maintenance on my hottub with foam on everything under the hatch and hate when I have to work on the foamed areas.
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:21 PM   #9
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So for me, the foam adds how much in R factor? Not enough that a rug on the floor wouldn't compensate for and the foam really is ugly.
The foam will have a much higher R factor than a rug, because it is both much thicker and more effective per unit thickness. I agree about the appearance.
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:59 PM   #10
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I ordered my 21C without the foam, however with the heat pad wiring and switches installed. My trailer was shipped to me last week. Also on the transport truck was a 21C with foam. Way too ugly for me! When I did a quick inspection of the underside of my 21C I found some "quality" issues that I want to correct. The foam would have covered the issues up. As previously mentioned, if repairs are needed they will be easy without the foam. I researched how Jon and Ron added insulation after they received their trailers. Made more sense to me. I don't plan on extreme weather camping so I may not need insulation at all.
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Old 01-26-2021, 07:37 PM   #11
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David is right in that I cannot comment on not having the foam as we do have it on our trailer; what I can say is that last year after camping for a couple weeks in central Texas and going through a long cold spell where temperatures were below the freezing mark every night the floor was noticeable warm all night long and all we had running was a small electric heater. I also noticed that the area under the bed (in the 5.0TA this would be the front storage locker) which does not have insulation was very cold to the touch; so much so that I installed that foam with the shiny wrap to keep it warmer.

Another PRO for the foam that no one has mentioned; I have noticed that even though I have only about 10,000 miles on the trailer so far, there are a lot of nicks and little chunks taken out of the foam where numerous rocks and stuff have hit the trailer while driving; we have driven quite a bit of secondary roads but not a ton. Therefore, it seems to me that the foam provides a nice protective layer for impacts. May not look great but I haven't seen that many people crawl underneath the trailer to see how it looks from that angle; I get nothing but very positive comments whenever people see our trailer!

All that said I can see how if I ever have issues with it it could be a pain to have to access the problem.
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Old 01-26-2021, 07:53 PM   #12
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We purchased our trailer used and the original owner ordered the underbody spray foam. If we had ordered a new one instead, I would have passed on it. Frankly I just don't like the idea of having all the mechanicals hidden, mainly because I do 95% of the mods, upkeep and repairs myself. If chipping underneath the trailer and/or around the wheels becomes a problem, I would probably apply some Line-X or Rhino shield.
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:26 PM   #13
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On my build this was the hardest decision I made. I went back and forth on it. In the end i got the foam. I am happy with it. I could change my mind if i have to get into it for a repair. I did not get the heat pads but wish i did. I figured i never need them . One nice things about the heat pads is if you freeze up the tanks you at least have a way to get heat to them either with shore power or generator. You can not add the heat pads after the foam . If I do it again I would do it afterwards . This way i could add heat tape to the valves and traps along with tank heaters. Then have it sprayed. I will say that foam has let me camp in some snowy nights . nothing froze and in the morning my 5 gallon water jugs where 1/2 froze. One thing i wish i did is had some kind of temp sensor installed between the foam and tanks.
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:33 AM   #14
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I'm another one who has the foam but would choose otherwise if I had a do over. I've had to do some work under the trailer, and the foam made it very painful, more so from the difficulty of locating/diagnosing the problem than from doing the actual repair.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:17 AM   #15
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I do use the trailer in canadian cold month. It does make thing easier o heat. Since I fish and hunt with the trailer and travel during winter month to go to Florida, i've wanted to protect the undercarriage of the trailer. So, i've had all the frame and the foam insulation LineX.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:46 AM   #16
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The foam also serves as insulation from sound. It helps at night in armadillo country when these creatures are digging for insects and bumping into the underside of the trailer. And it also keeps rodents (tree rats and mice) from chewing on wiring. Ask ETI to take a photo of the underside of the trailer before spraying the foam on if you choose this option. It helps to locate things if necessary. I failed to do this but another forum member who purchased a 5.0TA around the same time did, and he provided me with the photos. They come in handy, and I cannot thank him enough.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:22 AM   #17
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Like Ron, I added 2" Styrofoam to most of the bottom of my 21C. It started as a simple cover for the water lines that cross under the trailer from the water heater to the kitchen, but I got carried away. I still have a small front section to do. After experimenting with a number of adhesives, I settled on Locktight PI Premium Fast grab. So far only a couple of hundred miles & 8 months but all is well.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:00 AM   #18
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I didn't know you could access and remove the black and grey tank sensors to clean them. Was wondering why my tank light capacity lights still showed 5 dots after I emptied them. Will have to get out there and find those sensors -are they underneath the trailer? Is there a risk I might break them? (It's currently 12 degrees F. outside)
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:14 AM   #19
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Can someone provide a link to the board insulation install thread. I can't seam to find it.

Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:31 PM   #20
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Like Ron, I added 2" Styrofoam to most of the bottom of my 21C. It started as a simple cover for the water lines that cross under the trailer from the water heater to the kitchen, but I got carried away. I still have a small front section to do. After experimenting with a number of adhesives, I settled on Locktight PI Premium Fast grab. So far only a couple of hundred miles & 8 months but all is well.
Jon,
Did you put straps across the foam panels like Ronís or just go with the adhesive?
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