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Old 06-16-2020, 07:25 AM   #1
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Spray Foam Insulation

How important is spray foam insulation for us in the northern states (we live in NYS)? From all the posts I've seen about septic tank outlets failing, I'm concerned that maybe this $800 expenditure is not a good idea.

What's everyone's take on this? Thanks.

Frank
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:45 AM   #2
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I had to replace the black tank valve a couple years ago. Removing the foam was not a big deal, may have taken 30 minutes. Spraying on new foam was the hassle, took 2-3 hours.


Can't tell you how important it is though, I've never not had it so I can't compare. I imagine it helps in heating and air conditioning. I still need carpet on the floor at the table cause the floor is cold come cool/cold weather. It may have prevented damage when I ran over a retread one time and a hunk of 2x another time, both on the highway. Tore up the foam a bit but no damage to the gray tank that it would have hit.


I bought it for it's insulation value but I don't think not having it would have stopped me from going anywhere I've gone.
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:48 AM   #3
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Our trailer has the underfloor insulation and tank heating pads
While this option does help in keeping the floor slightly warmer , cut down on noise and help extend our camping season , I am not sure the gain is worth the additional cost
If I was ordering a new trailer I would probably skip the insulation and heating pads .
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:51 AM   #4
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I had to replace the black tank valve a couple years ago. Removing the foam was not a big deal, may have taken 30 minutes. Spraying on new foam was the hassle, took 2-3 hours.
Thanks! My related question is what can a guy do to stabilize these outlets so they don't break? Of course, that would be easy to do right off the bat without insulation. I still have it on the Escape detailed estimate I sent in this morning. Maybe the foam helps stabilize these outlets?

Hmm...
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:58 AM   #5
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Frank,
If you want to use your camper with heat, the foam option keeps your floors warmer. It also protects the tanks and wiring from road debris. Definitely if you are getting the thermal package, otherwise it will feel like you have a window open when it is cold outside. The heat pads are worthless unless you are hooked up to electric and if then you can use an electric heater. But the foam keeps it cooler in summer by not allowing the road heat outside to get inside and warmer in winter by keeping the cold outside.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:43 AM   #6
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I went back and forth on this on my build sheet. I am still not sure i made the correct choice. The main reason I got is so I can camp below freezing nights . I very often see nights 18-30 degrees and with out it the water line from the water tank would freeze .

I thought of doing it myself and then you could put heat tape where the stuff will actually freeze. The heat pads escape install on the tanks do nothing to protect the areas under that would freeze first. water lines traps and black tank and grey piping. I believe these would be the first items to freeze. The foam will help in these areas. one thing about the foam is it reduces you ground clearance by 1 1/2" . I got the high life option to solve that problem.
If you do a search there is several treads on the foam. I have read every one of them . What i found is the people that have it says it works great and the others say its not needed. I can only think of two disadvantages .Any repairs under there will be a PITA. also on weight escape tells me it adds 100lbs to the weight of my 19'. I cant believe it weighs that much but they insist it does.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:47 AM   #7
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We have it.
It protects the bottom of the trailer.
We drive on a lot of gravel roads- the idea of trying to fix gravel/rock dings in the under-side of the trailer gelcoat- not something I want to do.
Plus it adds insulation. Helps keep our feet warm. (or not as cold!)
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:22 AM   #8
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My 2009 19 with many kilometres on it in the 6 years I had it, including driving lots of gravel roads had pretty much nothing caused below the trailer due to road rash. Only the wheel wells showed a wee bit of burnishing.

The insulation does control heat, whether keeping it in during cold weather, or out during hot weather. I have slept comfortably at -19°C (-2°F) without the floor insulation, and though the bare floor was colder, the air inside was fine, and floor mats were nice.

I have camped in very hot weather down south and never once felt additional heat from below. The ground is a good distance away and cools quickly once you are parked on top.

This said, I would not get the insulation myself, but do plan to put some 2" rigid between the frame where I can to add to comfort. It will also look a lot nicer than the spray on stuff, though tanks will not be insulated, but even at temps with liquids in them a little ways below freezing I have never had an issue. I just need some time to do this, along with a bunch of other ones I need to do. Anyone else have troubles with how busy they are?
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:43 AM   #9
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I just need some time to do this, along with a bunch of other ones I need to do. Anyone else have troubles with how busy they are?
YES! But sometimes I wonder what am I so busy at. It seems in my younger days I could get more done on a weekend than I can do in a week now. Of course we didn't have the internet then.
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:58 AM   #10
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Tell me about it, 22,000 posts is ridiculous.....
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
Thanks! My related question is what can a guy do to stabilize these outlets so they don't break? Of course, that would be easy to do right off the bat without insulation. I still have it on the Escape detailed estimate I sent in this morning. Maybe the foam helps stabilize these outlets?

Hmm...

In my case the only things I can think of is getting the high lift axle, and avoiding freezing temps. On mine, I either whacked the outlet on a high rock, or it froze and split, both were possible that trip.
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:52 PM   #12
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For that tank to freeze the contents to cause expansion damage, it would take several days of below freezing and the tank would have to be full. I would think the foam encasement would help add some measure of reinforcement of any joint encased in 100 lbs of foam as well as from road debris.
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:12 PM   #13
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If you're talking about my case, it broke right at the gate. If the outlet had froze pressure on the gate could have broken it. 2 of the bolt tabs broke where the gate housing is bolted to the outlet pipe on the tank side.
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