GAP Posted October 23, 2022 Share Posted October 23, 2022 My wife and I purchased our 2020 E2 based, to a certain degree, on our enthusiasm for cold weather adventuring. We took a number of trips over the 21/22 winter season to check out limits and capacities. All were trips between 3 and 7 days, in northern New England with night time temps in the range of roughly 30-0 degrees Fahrenheit. We would note nightly exterior temps, kept the overnight cabin interior set to 60 and rotated 3 digital temp sensors around what we found to be the most vulnerable areas to cold we found (and could get to) between the shells that housed water lines and tanks: 1) under front dinette seat, under street side bed by the exterior shower, 2) the pex lines to exterior shower passing through the faux wall at very rear of basement and 3) the battery box. We could not get to but are curious about the cabinet housing containing the bathroom sink. Playing it safe, we kept the trailer winterized for the entire time relying on containerized water and our composting toilet. All of our sites were boondocky, with no shore power hookups so we relied entirely on the LP furnace and solar/lithiums. We found that the stock trailer could manage to keep all the areas listed from dipping below freezing down to 25 (exterior temp). The lines behind the faux wall and exterior shower would hover in the low 30s at that temp. We realized those pex lines will, realistically speaking, need to be always kept winterized by adding cut offs as heating the basement area would be an inefficient waster of LP. Side note that we asked Jason if that could be done during our build and he informed us that the shop could not find anywhere with enough space to add them. We're open to suggestions. A simple set of tweaks including adding two layers of Reflectix to cover the interior of both the basement and battery compartment doors got us down to 20 with similar results. Next project was more involved. The temperature difference between the areas under and wall along side the curbside bed versus the street side bed was resulting in heavy condensation on the streetside wall and window which would soak that bed. We also found that the battery compartment was dropping down into the 30s at exterior temps in the high teens. While there is a matte heater pad below the batteries, it seemed to us that the compartment was too cold to reflect the lithiums themselves being warm enough to run efficiently and we noticed anecdotally an increased need for more charging assist - be it solar or generator. Could haver been the drain of the heat pad or the lithiums running less efficiently in the cold (as validated by the manufacturer) but which one did not matter. We felt adding heat to the box would be of benefit. Our fix was to re-route some heating vent. We capped the rearward 4" vent and re-ran that line through the gap behind the water tank from the furnace to the street side, past the inverter, under the battery box to a new vent we placed as a mirror image to the existing one below the drawers in the galley. One vent grate is pointed fore and the other aft. Here we used semi rigid vent tube specifically because it sheds so much heat, allowing the areas it runs through to warm. Where the tube ran past electronics, we would shield the hot tube in a layer of reflectix. Measuring with an infrared thermometer, the reflextix surface was cooler than the surface of the OEM flexi vent tubing and quite cool to the touch. The heat exiting the new vent would run about 10 degrees warmer than the one on the other side of the isle even though it is a further distance from the source. We expected an increase in output from the vent in the bathroom but did not notice much of a change. As the bathroom is a bit of a "dead end" with air being forced in but nowhere for it to exit, we added a 4" eyebrow vent at the floor level below the towel rack to allow for circulation and share some heat passively with another problem cold area - under the front dinette seat. While there are no pex lines run there, there are drain pipes and tanks and it would otherwise fall to freezing if outside temps were in the teens. Not very scientific but the furnace did not sound like it was under further strain or seem to run more frequently given similar temps. Our rate of LP consumption is roughly the same now as it was before alterations which, in single degree night time temps, consumes a 30lb tank in just over 2 days. Not very good. To increase efficiency, we cut two layers of "double bubble"reflectix and taped the edges with silver foil vent tape - as suggested in a previous post. They fit tightly inside all windows and are held in place by closing the shade. Bought a camco 14" soft material vent cover which bunjied over the Maxair (when not cooking) and cut a piece of 2" open cell foam to fit the window in the door. Covered it with a layer of reflectix and taped the edges. This is held firmly in place by the screen door. As all including the fan cover have refectix sides facing inward, the add ons look good enough - not jury rigged. Our takeaway is that these tweaks have bought us 20 degrees of leeway so we have squeaked by to zero. The batteries box is running much warmer but the other areas are more iffy. There is less condensation around the streetside bed but the exterior shower, for it's entire run, will need to be somehow shut off and winterizede or will be subject to freezing. Someone had suggested cutting a block of memory foam to put in the box with the exterior shower nozzle and knobs which may work but would not help with the tubing behind the faux wall. As to factory options that would have really helped: The exterior shower really needs cut offs or could have had it's lines run through a heated area of the belly and it would be super helpful to insulate the basement walls, basement door and shower door. The walls of the trailer REALLY transmit a lot of cold into the interior. A layer of spray on insulation foam would have gone a long way to help with that. I am also eyeballing the sealed belly and thinking a layer of sprayed on insulation could really help there as well. Am going to contact an HVAC place to get some feedback on options there. Also looking for doable suggestions. We love our Oliver and appreciate the incredible quality of the build. We also realize that there are very few folks looking to use theirs in frigid conditions. We're hoping that those of you that do, pipe in with further feedback and refinement to increase both capacity and efficiency in these sort of conditions. 12 1 2021 Elite 2, Twin Bed, Lithium & Solar, 3000W Inverter 2022 Ford F150, 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, 4x4 Supercab, Trailer Tow Package Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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