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Old 07-30-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
Montana_6099
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To skirt or not to skirt?

Hey everyone. We are new here. My wife and I are going to be living in our new 3400RL in Gypsum Colorado for 6-9 months.

My question is to anyone who has fulltimed through a winter where the temps have gotten COLD!

I would imagine we will see a couple of mornings at or just below 0*F this coming winter.

Our 3400RL has the Arctic Insulation Pack.

What I am wondering is this.

Is the 5er, as it is designed, going to keep our pipes from freezing etc. or should I consider installing some kind of skirting around the bottom of the unit while we are in one place?

The Montana is designed with the 2" heater duct in to the crawlspace to keep things warm.

Is this enough to keep us from freezing up?

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Old 07-31-2006, 08:06 AM   #2
Hemlockusa
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Hi Jenny and Kraig - I own a small mobile home park in Kansas where the weather in the winter is unpredictable very windy and cold. I have had two larger 5th wheels staying here over the winter. One didn't skirt to start with and one skirted with in the same week he parked. Both had their furnaces converted to natural gas at the park site. Both were simular in design and insulation. The first Month the one that had not skirted had two freeze ups and a natural gas bill of $150.00 dollars more that the unit that was skirted.

After he skirted the unit with the two inch stryofoam from the Hardware store the heating bill went down to normal and neither had any further freeze ups all winter long.
I hope this helps you.... I think the stryofoam 2" insulation came in 4X8 sheets and one sheet made two maybe three sections. They got the stuff from Lowe's or Home Depote. These folk's where in construction working on I-70 between Kansas City and Topeka.
I hope this information helps you.... There is no fun when the temps are below freezing and your under the unit trying to thaw things out...
Safe Travels John H

2005 Dodge 3500 4x2 Dually Cummins Diesel, Line X /2005 Montana/""MOC TRAVEL ASSISTANCE VOLUNTEER"" ""TOPEKA, KANSAS AREA"" 3650RK
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:50 AM   #3
sreigle
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Welcome aboard, JennyKraig! Nice unit you have there. The 2007 models (and maybe the 2006's) were tested to not freeze the water lines down to zero degrees, per the online brochure available on the Montana website. Our 2003 model was tested to 28 and did freeze at 22 and below until I did a bunch of insulating. Now it will get to zero.

The key is to make sure the furnace runs occasionally. There is a 2 inch furnace duct into the belly that keeps the tanks from freezing. The water lines in the new one are within the floor framing, above the belly, where it is warmer and I understand they are insulated. If you keep the furnace running you should be fine.

We do not have dual pane windows. So for winter we get the 3M (or other brand) outdoor window film and put it over the windows. It makes a huge difference on interior comfort during cold windy days. We dress as we would in our stick home in the winter and have remained very comfortable all three winters we have done this. We've had temperatures to 5 below and 10 days at a stretch with a highest temperature of 14 with most of those days never getting out of single digits. With a little preparation you will be fine.

I had opportunity last winter to open the belly in very cold weather. I, and the rv mobile service guy, were very impressed with the amount of heat in the belly.

We don't skirt ours but may use a heavy clear plastic film we can toss in the trash when we pull out for warmer weather after Christmas. I know Harbor Freight has it at a relatively inexpensive price. The biggest advantage I can see for skirting the new Montanas is to help keep the floor warmer, especially in the overhang area where there is no belly to insulate it.

See another Montana or Mountaineer on the road? Flash lights twice, it might be one of us!
Steve Reigle (pronounced Regal)
Fulltiming since 3/21/03
'03 3295RK
'05 Ford F250 SD Lariat CC SB 6.0L PSD/TS FX4 4x4

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Old 07-31-2006, 06:28 PM   #4
MAMalody
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>>>Our 2003 model was tested to 28 and did freeze at 22 and below until I did a bunch of insulating. Now it will get to zero.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:29 AM   #5
FulltimeFollies
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If it gets "really cold" like Omaha Neb, 20 below, get you some plastic bags, fill with hay, and underpin that thing. You may have to run the a/c in warmer weather, say 15 degrees. Or Fargo, N.D. at 35 below. You can hang a light bulb under it after that and suntan under it.
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:41 AM   #6
Montana Sky
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Just remember if you "skirt" to set mouse traps. Many critters like to also get out of the snow and cold, you may find some unwanted guests trying to get into your coach. Just a thought....


2004 Chevy Silverado LT 2500HD CrewCab Duramax
2004 Montana 3400RL
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
phystie
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Does the outdoor 3m film leave a residue on the outside of the trailer when you remove it in the Spring?

Rick and Phyllis Trent, Gig Harbor, Washington
2004 Chev 2500HD, Duramax, Monty 3280RL, slide toppers, fantastic fan. Gizmo the Dog and Sabrina the Cat.

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Old 08-01-2006, 04:18 PM   #8
vickir
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Rick and Phyllis ... yes, the double-sided tape used to attach the film does need to be pulled off when you remove the film. Goo-Gone will take off any remaining residue.

If you don't remove it right away, the tape will bake on in the sun. I know this because last winter's tape is still on our window frames. We kinda sorta forgot about it and the South Texas sun really baked it on



Vicki Reigle ...
On the Road with Steve

A problem shared is half the problem;
A joy shared is twice the joy.

TIME FLIES ... USE IT WELL!

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Old 08-01-2006, 05:28 PM   #9
Montana_6099
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Thanks everyone for the input!

I never would have thought to put mouse traps under the unit....until it would be too late.

I appreciate all of your input and advice. I am so happy to be able to ask questions of people who are speaking from first hand experience instead of taking the word of a salesman. (Not that salesmen are bad.....)




New owners of 2007 3400RL. 2005 Dodge 2500 Cummins HO, 38RE, BW Companion 5er hitch.
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:26 PM   #10
sreigle
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[quote]quote:Originally posted by MAMalody

>>>Our 2003 model was tested to 28 and did freeze at 22 and below until I did a bunch of insulating. Now it will get to zero.
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:30 AM   #11
WACOT
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My wife and I will be wintering over at Lake Navarro Mills near Corsicana Tx. and I have began to get the rig ready for mild freezing and I have insulated the low point drains by using those foam float thing that kids use in pools, the ones that are round with center holes of about 1 in. I cut a piece about two inches longer than the drain hose, split it down one side to the middle, place it over the drain and hold it in place with plastic ties. I plan on using a simular technique for the water supply hose, using the same foam floats around the hose and the entire thing inside PVC pipe, as we will be there in the summer as well, the bitter ends I'll use expanding foam in a gallon jug or something, and place plastic over the faucet before pushing the jug over the faucet before the expanding foam sets. I have thought about skirting, but will wait and see because we should not have any suatained time of freezing cold in that area, if it becomes a problem I can skirt anytime. The fiver does have the Artic package, but I'm not sure just how effective that claim will prove to be, but we have been out in freezing temps without the trailer lines freezing even though the supply fauct did freeze.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:14 AM   #12
bsmeaton
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JennyKraig,
Congratulations on your new Montana - and on your choice for beautiful Colorado to set your new habitat!

I just checked the season averages for Eagle County http://www.wunderground.com/NORMS/Di...=none&IATA=EGE

Looks like 0 is the average, meaning it is not unusual to see a couple of weeks in January or February down below -15F. (Record low of -40). I just checked my weather thimajig in the hall, and last winter our low in Denver was -21. You might consider some electric heat backup inside and under the skirt and for sure some heat tape on your water supply. Ground frost is about 18" which may impact your water distribution if not buried deep enough.

Brad & Dory



[img]http://banners.wunderground.com/weathersticker/miniWeather2_cond/language/www/US/CO/Littleton.gif" border=0
alt="Click for Littleton, Colorado Forecast" height=50 width=150[/img]


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Old 08-30-2006, 11:17 AM   #13
bsmeaton
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Hahaha - I just noticed your from Rifle! So you already know that!
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:05 PM   #14
decarteaux
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Any chance ya'll have a specific version of the 3M window covering? Interwebs are showing quite a few options and would prefer to get it right the first time based on your real-life experiences. Thanks!
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2008 Montana 3400RL, 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 HD Laramie w/Cummins 5.9L 24 valve TurboDiesel. Andersen Ultimate hitch
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