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Author Topic: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle  (Read 687 times)

Dave in Cape Breton

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"4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« on: January 27, 2018, 03:20:01 PM »
Hi there. I'm doing a little winter living in a Jayco Pinnacle while my home is undergoing a major renovation. Event though it has the "Polar Barrier" for "Four-season camping with Jayco," it's been less than impressive. I've put insulation underneath (came out of the house from the renovation, and skirted the entire camper. I even put a space heater blowing into the utility area from the belly storage area next to it. The pipes still froze up at about -5 celcius the first time we had a prolonged cold snap. Since then, we've kept the furnace set a little bit warmer and we've had less freeze-ups of the plumbing. Now the furnace has a fan wheel that is dying (lots of vibration and very noisy). The local tech at the RV shop said the plastic wheel is not meant for prolonged running and can warp very easily. So now that I'm trying not to run the furnace, the pipes have frozen even though the camper is nice and warm by using electric heaters and the electric fireplace.
While getting the model number off the the furnace in the belly, I saw there was no insulation whatsoever on the sides where the pipes were. Basically, plastic pipes right up against the shell of the camper. As a Canadian who knows winter, all I can say is "really?!!"
I think "Polar Barrier" for Jayco just means an enclosed belly. The sad thing is, it wouldn't have cost them very much to add insulation on the utility area walls and put pipe insulation on the pipes.
My rant is complete. Any recommendations for better "Four-season" RVs for those thinking about getting one? For me, after this renovation, my winter camping will consist of trips down south to 5-star resorts.
Dave

docj

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2018, 03:28:47 PM »
I can't speak to what is common in trailers, but the hydronic heating system in our MH has a zone for the basement area that kicks in when temps in that area go below ~4 C.  Having an actively heated lower area is the only way I can see to ensure that stuff in the "belly" doesn't freeze.  We've only had to take ours down to -4 C this winter but we had no problems doing that.
Sandie & Joel

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newfurrows

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 04:13:18 PM »
My class C has the tanks/waterlines area enclosed with plywood/insulation with heat from the furnace ducted into the enclosed area.  Don't know if this can be had on newer models but it is something I would look for in a replacement.  Furnace (surburban NT 30) has run for entire winters (6 months plus) with temps down to -30 deg C with no freezing of waterlines, tanks or drains. Somebody has to keep the propane suppliers alive.   
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Frank B

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 05:16:37 PM »
There are NO 4 season RV's - unless you live S of the snow belt.


Our Artic Fox 30U is touted as being a four-season coach. It froze up at -13 C With the furnace on and the tank heaters running.


I winter proofed our previous Westwind 23' 5th by ducting heat across the bottom of the exposed fresh water tank and up into the storage cavity where the plumbing goes. I then had the bottom of the unit spray foamed with urethane insulation. That trailer was good to -29C.

On this arctic fox I was able to run two flexible dryer hose type pipes from the furnace behind the kitchen cabinets to the living room, and the other one under the shower and into the bedroom. This has kept the water pipes from freezing, but the fresh water tank still freezes even with the tank heaters turned on. I should have the bottom of this one spray foamed as well, but it is just easier to go south for the winter.

Basically, if you want a trailer that won't freeze up in a typical Canadian winter, then you have to determine where the weak spots are, and fix it yourself.


Frank.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 05:21:19 PM by Frank B »
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Memtb

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 01:54:00 AM »
   Frank,   There are/we’re a few true “4 season” units. Your experience with Artic Fox was about what I’ve heard. It’s is what I’d call a “moderate”  4 season unit. I guess it’s what one designates as “4” season. An Excel was guaranteed to a -30 F and the “old” Tetons a -40 F (with the Artic Pkg.). We spent the winters of 1998 and 1999 in our 1990 Teton ( no skirting the first winter), seeing numerous -30’s and maybe a bit cooler. It didn’t have tank heat pads or heat traced lines. We never froze a water line, and used “only” the forced air furnace. We stayed very comfortable, though we did get a little frost at the windows and a few spots on the slide-out gaskets. The windows were the old “crank-out style with inside storm window attachments. I blame the window frost on the old technology. With our 2004 Teton, we wouldn’t hesitate to use it at -20 F or colder. Yes....we’ll use a lot of propane and run the generator quite a bit (probably 3 to 5 hours daily), as the heater pulls hard on the batteries. And, the heater “will” run a lot.
     True “4 season” unit’s are available....just a little rare!

  We have a Bigfoot class c, which the previous owners (avid cross country skiers) used, down to -17 F. This was our first winter owning it,and haven’t tested it’s abilities yet. We’ve been out for 3 short trips, but it seems that every time we plan a trip....it warms up. We only tried it to single digits (F) for one night.  But, we hope to do some ice fishing soon....maybe then!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 02:03:27 AM by Memtb »
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Oldgator73

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2018, 08:18:20 AM »
Somebody on the forum mentioned Outdoors RV in a different topic. I looked them up and was impressed with the videos I watched. Of course I would have to see these units in person and more testimonials.

https://youtu.be/EK2FbXZIKMk
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2018, 09:42:22 AM »
Anytime you see an optional "4-season" or "Arctic" or similar package, you can be sure the base unit is barely insulated at all. The option is offered as a way to keep the base price down for advertising purposes, but the option is rarely as effective as building it in would have been. The base construction doesn't change when the option is added, as you found with your pipes.
Gary
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Oldgator73

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2018, 10:26:56 AM »
I don't know about other RV manufacturers but Outdoors uses 2" insulation. "They" say others use 1".
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Memtb

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 10:51:26 AM »
Anytime you see an optional "4-season" or "Arctic" or similar package, you can be sure the base unit is barely insulated at all. The option is offered as a way to keep the base price down for advertising purposes, but the option is rarely as effective as building it in would have been. The base construction doesn't change when the option is added, as you found with your pipes.

    Gary, That “accurately” discribes most....not all!
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Frank B

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 11:12:59 AM »
Memtb:


Quote
There are/we’re a few true “4 season” units. Your experience with Artic Fox was about what I’ve heard. It’s is what I’d call a “moderate”  4 season unit. I guess it’s what one designates as “4” season. An Excel was guaranteed to a -30 F and the “old” Tetons a -40 F (with the Artic Pkg.).


Wish I'd known that before we bought this last time.  Is that brand still around and still carrying the same guarantee?


Not that it matters, I guess.  We are pleased overall with our AF30U.  It is built like a 'brick outhouse' (and almost as heavy) with 2" foam block walls (except the slides, which are 1"), and we like it better than anything else we have seen before or since. 


However, the devil is in the details as the expression goes.  Though well built, it suffers from 'fit and finish' issues -- like all RV's do.  Running plumbing through the uninsulated power cable cavity right beside the thin plastic outside access door?  Really?  Just dumb.  You KNOW where it froze up at -13C.  I had to disconnect the outside shower (never use it anyway) and re-route the toilet fresh water feed INSIDE the trailer along the floor between the cabinets and the back of the toilet to keep that from freezing.  I also pulled some of the styrofoam insulation off the hot water tank to keep that area below the bathroom sink warmer.


Like Gary says, it has to be 'built-in', and the AF does have a lot of good cold weather stuff built into it.  However, there was little follow-through.  That is why I still suggest that ANY so-called 4 season unit is going to take some retrofitting to make it good enough for REAL winters.


I spent some time going through some of the high-end units in Quartzsite last week, and they are all made in the same way out of the same stuff.  Grand Design had spray painted (as in fake wood stain) wood cupboards, the same as ours does. But Grand Design assembles them with staples.  Even our old 2000 Travelaire 'cheapie' used screws!  Yeah, I'm afraid that I've gotten pretty cynical about claims of quality craftsmanship in ANY RV.


In any case, we are past that point in our life now.  We used to do January trips into the Rockies just W of Calgary, but we're getting too old for that now.  It is no longer fun as our daughter is grown up, and we don't ski anymore.  Now we're snowbirds, spending as much of the Winter as we can in Arizona and SoCal, which is where we are now.  If it is THAT cold when we leave, then I'll leave 'dry', and fill with water in Las Vegas.


Frank.
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Redrockerstl55

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    • Adventuring Today
Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2018, 03:53:07 AM »
I own a 2017 Mesa Ridge/ Open Rage 328 BHS TT with their 4 seasons package.  In December we camped in my parents driveway on a 15 amp hookup a saw temps as low as 5 degrees F with wind chills often at -20 F.

Here is a short video showing how well this 4 seasons package performs. 

Sorry for the sound in a couple places.  I didn’t have my best camera with me. 

The results speak for themselves. 

https://youtu.be/wquXDPL0-1o
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RV: 2017 Mesa Ridge 328 BHS TT
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Memtb

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2018, 08:33:38 AM »
     Frank, After posting (after the horse was out of the barn), I looked up some old Teton brochures....I remembered wrong, they were -30 rated not -40. Sorry about the misinformation!
     The Excels went out of production about 2 or 3 years ago....Teton about 2007.
      My wife was looking at RVT and RV Trader....she found 19 Tetons listed. Most were the lower end units, but still same insulation, just less “fluff”. Most were priced quite reasonably. Though we have no idea of the condition.
https://i.imgur.com/ZK3pFho_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium

   Back in ‘91, they were still using the “old” crank out louver type windows. With today’s improved (dual pane) windows, slide seals/gaskets.....I would think that they’re “at least” equally good.  We’ve only tested/used our ‘04 to a little below zero. But, “I ain’t scared”!  🙀
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 09:11:35 AM by Memtb »
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Memtb

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2018, 08:51:29 AM »
I own a 2017 Mesa Ridge/ Open Rage 328 BHS TT with their 4 seasons package.  In December we camped in my parents driveway on a 15 amp hookup a saw temps as low as 5 degrees F with wind chills often at -20 F.

  Not trying to be “petty”, but 5 F really isn’t very cold. The -20 wind chill, while painful to us is still only 5F to the camper. However....the wind   “will” bring the camper temperature down to 5 degrees....faster.
   That behind us....how well did the water lines, tanks, and dump valves do in the cold weather? That will be a indication of it’s wintering capabilities. I’ve heard good things about the Open Range. I hope that it’s as good as it appears to be, and you get many happy years of service!
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2018, 12:20:31 PM »
The "four seasons" in question are probably in the Carolinas or coastal Oregon rather than Montana or the Michigan UP.  ;)

As I stated earlier, the term has no particular significance and any such option means only that some improvements have been added to the base configuration.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

KandT

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2018, 12:32:58 PM »
I think 4 seasons means you can tow it to were the weather is nice! :-[  I know I run through propane like Hussein Bolt when it dips below 30 degrees or so.
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Larry N.

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2018, 03:50:27 PM »
What is a "Hussein Bolt"? Is here a type of nut to go with it?
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Frank B

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2018, 04:38:34 PM »



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usain_Bolt

And the 'nut that goes with it' is anyone that tries to do Canadian winters in a non-modified 'arctic package' RV.  :) :D ;D ;D ;)
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Larry N.

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Re: "4 Season" RV - definitely not the Jayco Pinnacle
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2018, 06:33:03 AM »
Thanks, Frank.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
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