PDA

View Full Version : What is the Arctic insulation package?


stephano
05-11-2010, 11:06 AM
What is the Arctic insulation package, or any marketed insulation package by Keystone. I tried to ask this question from a actual Keystone representative but strangely his answer was kinda vague and basically stated that there really isn't any difference except for the tank heaters. Anyone know for sure?

SLIMSHADIE
05-11-2010, 11:28 AM
Fully enclosed and heated
underbelly with heated tanks and
dump valves will extend your
camping season and give you a
smooth ride when towing.

Copied off the brochure on my glacier package.

stephano
05-11-2010, 11:57 AM
Fully enclosed and heated
underbelly with heated tanks and
dump valves will extend your
camping season and give you a
smooth ride when towing.

Copied off the brochure on my glacier package.

Thank you. The covered underbelly part makes sense but I'm not understanding where the dump valves would have anything to do with this and why the ride would be any smoother? Strange.

Festus2
05-11-2010, 01:10 PM
On our 2008 5th Cougar, the package you refer to is called the "Polar Package". This includes an enclosed underbelly and heated tanks. Not sure about the "heating" of the dump valves - I think they are merely enclosed by the 1/4 in Coroplast plastic covering.
You should note that the heating that takes place only occurs when your propane furnace is running. They are not heated in any other way. Having a portable 110v heater running won't keep your tanks or pipes in the belly from freezing.
In my opinion the amount of heat that reaches the tanks and keeps them "warm" is not great. If you have examined the enclosed underbelly, it is not that airtight as there are large spaces in several locations which would allow cold air to penetrate into the underbelly.
As I have stated before, I believe the Polar aka Glacier Package is more of a marketing gimmick to make it sound like these units will stand up to freezing temperatures. If you were camped out in temperatures well below freezing for any length of time and did not have your furnace running constantly, it wouldn't take too long before both your pipes and tanks would start to freeze. Your dump valves would also freeze up just as quickly.
I am also puzzled as to why anyone would expect a "smoother ride when towing" because of this package. Perhaps another clever marketing strategy by Keystone. Having this feature might extend your camping season slightly but it all depends what weather conditions you are camping in. I wouldn't trust the Polar Package if I were camped out in freezing cold temperatures for any length of time.

stephano
05-11-2010, 02:09 PM
Thanks for the reply and you've kinda reinforced what I was already thinking anyways but didn't have any factual information to go by other than the few trailers I've looked at and a short conversation with a Keystone representative. The only real advantage I can see to the 1/4" plastic underbelly cover is with aerodynamics, and maybe to hold any extra insulation in place which may have been added by the tanks.

Other than that, I was just wondering if there was any other "extra" insulation on the polar package trailers than on a trailer without the package, and the Keystone representative said no to that.

Festus2
05-11-2010, 02:39 PM
As far as the tanks are concerned, I believe that they are not insulated but simply enclosed. On our previous 5th wheel, they were sprayed with insulation and also enclosed - a nice feature. I haven't had occasion to take off the plastic underbelly to examine the tanks to see if they are indeed insulated. Perhaps someone who has had to access the tanks can chime in and clarify whether or not the holding tanks are insulated with styrofoam of some sort - sprayed on most likely.

stephano
05-11-2010, 08:42 PM
So with all this said, someone can easily get the plastic underbelly cover for about $200, the tank heaters (if so desired) for about $120 per tank, throw in some insulation bats for minimal cash, and create their own polar package. I'm not sure I'd even care if my very expensive propane running heater was blowing ANY heat down there and this all only matters when you're parked and plugged in too which means any of us dry campers dont have the luxuries.

Steersall4
05-23-2010, 05:04 AM
festus got it xackly right !! IF the furnace is running other wise all one gains is aerodynamics towing !! BUT thats a plus in itself!! insulation in the space? absolutly NONE! IF it gets cold enough and there is liquid in holding tanks IT freezes. WE HAD 2 nites in the RIO GRAND VALLEY that temp got below freezing just this past winter. IT cracked a place in my grey water tank that leaked when a certian abount of water filled the tank. I had to take down the tront section of underpining and repair the crack so I have see all up inside mine. 04 285 Cougar

fiddlinrver
05-23-2010, 08:50 AM
Not trying to be naughty but as retired folks, we do our best to move on when the weather gets cold. Hubby says when he can't wear shorts, then it is time to travel.

We spend the winters in AZ but have a home. It does get to freezing at night for a short time even in the Phoenix area. We have seen temps at night in the 20s for several days in a row. We store our RV in AZ during winter now so will be sure it is prepped for cold.

We lived 3 winters in the Phoenix area with our Hitchhiker as home. That was during some very cold nights and had no problems. I do think it was a higher insulated RV and we used electric heat with propane furnace kicking in only when it got below 65 inside. We never had any freeze problems.

Dianne

BScott
02-01-2011, 02:29 PM
So, What is the best camper to use in cold weather?

jje1960
02-01-2011, 03:02 PM
Actually, I've wondered about the heating of the underbelly without the furnace running. If using an electric heater inside the cabin and the temp is like 65, then the cold/fresh air intake inside the cabin is going to be pulling that 65 deg temp through the ducting, past the tanks, like designed for furnace use. Obviously one would have to keep the furnace fan on even if the gas is shut off. Not sure, but I believe that's the thought of the engineers when they designed it, the ducting is what is suposed to keep the tanks from freezing. Just a thought, cause our current SRX with the polar package is the first cougar we have owned, have not camped in severe temps yet.

geo
02-01-2011, 03:55 PM
From all my investigation - which includes pulling panels, camera shoved into access holes, investigating the upper basement and lower basement after removing all basement panels, lifting duct work to reveal what's behind - it appears that the "heating" for the gray and black tanks consists of heating ducts that terminate at the valves. In other words, all heating is applied to the valves for the waste tanks. Valves are located next to uninsulated steel undercarriage beams, so the heat is basically focused on cold beams and valves. Little heat would go to the tank itself. I can see a duct heading down the "tunnel" to the fresh water tank, but what it's focused on heating back there, no idea. Perhaps mikell can provide that if he puts a webcam on a pole back there. Melinda might have some insight from their plant visit. I don't know. But I have an idea I just finished and am currently preparing for the Modifications thread.

So much for Artic Insulation.

Ron

mikell
02-03-2011, 03:25 PM
Well I have the camera mounted and a way to make the files smaller but snow removal has taken most of my time. I have a 100 site campground to plow but only 6 campers this winter. Probably this weekend after I shovel to the propane tanks to check them. They say nearly 50 in a couple of weeks snow to mud here we come

mobile42
02-05-2011, 08:28 PM
So, What is the best camper to use in cold weather?
We (and the DW) just picked up our new 327RES this past Tuesday (2/1/11) from Fun Country RV in Anthony Texas. We had to stay overnight at a RV park in Las Cruces New Mexico due to the extreme winter conditions shutting down the interstate to Albuquerque. We were excited about staying overnight in it immediately so I filled my water tank up and disconnected the garden hose and everything seemed okay until the next morning, I guess my fresh water tank and water line froze overnight. Heater ran all night too! Good thing we had fresh bottled water for drinking, cooking, handwashing and restroom use. We had to shower at this RV facility. Finally made it home on Thursday and still trying figure what type of tank and hose heater I may need to install to keep this from happening again. It don't matter if you have the a RV Arctic insulation or a 4 Season Package, Mother Nature is brutal when the temperatures are minus degrees outside.

Harried Harry
02-05-2011, 08:56 PM
Although you were in your trailer, regular homes had frozen pipes. I live north of Las Cruces and the temperature was -8 for two days. None of my pipes froze, but I just finished replacing a pipe that burst two months ago, which means I insulated the h:mad: pipes and attic (R45).
My Cougar has heat tape on the tanks to keep them from freezing. These seem to work even when I am on battery. My suggestion is to heat tape all the tanks and outlets, then wrap everything with insulating bats for HVAC systems. It will help a lot.
My truck camper has polystyrene block insulation underneath, so you might consider adding that to your trailer.
Talk with the people at Fun Country; they might be able to assist you in your repairs; who knows -the repairs might be covered by the warranty.


________________
2008 Dodge QuadCab LB with 6.7L Cummins
2003 Keystone Cougar 276 5er
2004 Apache 8.5 Truck Camper

mobile42
02-06-2011, 10:32 PM
Although you were in your trailer, regular homes had frozen pipes. I live north of Las Cruces and the temperature was -8 for two days. None of my pipes froze, but I just finished replacing a pipe that burst two months ago, which means I insulated the h:mad: pipes and attic (R45).
My Cougar has heat tape on the tanks to keep them from freezing. These seem to work even when I am on battery. My suggestion is to heat tape all the tanks and outlets, then wrap everything with insulating bats for HVAC systems. It will help a lot.
My truck camper has polystyrene block insulation underneath, so you might consider adding that to your trailer.
Talk with the people at Fun Country; they might be able to assist you in your repairs; who knows -the repairs might be covered by the warranty.


________________
2008 Dodge QuadCab LB with 6.7L Cummins
2003 Keystone Cougar 276 5er
2004 Apache 8.5 Truck Camper
I apologize for not correcting my trailer description on my signature. Once we arrived in Albuquerque, I crawled under this new trailer where the fresh water tank is located (at that rear) and attempted to remove the screws that hold that underbelly material to attempt to place heat tape at or close to the tank and water lines and I couldn't see the tank. There was another material insulating the tank (i guess). Keystone did a decent job but not enough to handle those minus degrees. I wasn't going to try to remove any material because it was all nicely pack and tucked like shipping a care package overseas if you know what I mean. The only expose pipe in this trailer is the one coming from the black water tank (and of course that won't be an issue). Both grey and black tanks and valves are not exposed at all to the elements. The only items expose are the drain pipe from the fresh water tank that does hang out 3 inches and the low drain outlets but that's it.

JMG1040
03-08-2011, 07:57 AM
Thank you. The covered underbelly part makes sense but I'm not understanding where the dump valves would have anything to do with this and why the ride would be any smoother? Strange.

The enclosed underbelly is a feature that allows air to pass under your trailer with less turbulence therefore a smother ride.

Having your dump valve located up in the covered underbelly will keep the fluid in the waste tanks from freeze around the valves.

michael
02-25-2012, 09:53 PM
i just bought a 2011 TT Sprinter 297RET i asked the salesman the same ? how cold can i safely go he told me 20 degrees, I was at the Milwaukee RV show today and another companys sales man said 0 degrees on a 5th wheel cougar, So i asked him how much propaine would i go thru at 0 degrees ? He then replied it depends, and he couldnt give me thoes answers because it depends then on wind speed and trees and many other factors lol back to square 1. But i feel the dealer i purchased from gave me the real world answer.
Let it Happen Campin.

Festus2
02-25-2012, 10:08 PM
Michael:
Your pipes would most likely freeze very quickly if you were camped out in 0 degree weather for even a short period of time. At temperatures like this, I would not count on the "Arctic Package" ( or whatever name Keystone has called it) to keep your water lines and tanks from freezing.
Even at 20 degrees, your plumbing system will be at risk of freezing.
You are right, it does depend upon a number of factors - the length of time that your RV will be exposed to these low temps and the wind are probably the most important ones to consider - other than the actual outside temperature.
You have to remember that the Coroplast has all sorts of small openings which will allow cold air to quickly penetrate into that area and the insulation around those pipes and tanks in your Sprinter is probably non-existent. In addition, the amount of warm air provided by your furnace that actually reaches your exposed plumbing certainly isn't enough to offer much protection against below-freezing temperatures.
I certainly would not rely on what Keystone has described as the Arctic Package. Instead, I would carry out my own upgrades and modifications to ensure that I am better protected in freezing temperatures.

michael
02-26-2012, 06:57 AM
Unless i take the effort to seal the under bellie of my trailer, insulate all lines and give the under bellie its own heating source i will winterize mine,

When i winterize i run Rv antifreeze thru my lines then open valves in the Rv and put air thru the lines and the water heater when i do this im carefull not to use to much air pressure To remove even the Rv antifreeze,

Ive noticed that in below zero temps even the Rv anifreeze Gels up.

Let IT Happen Campin.

2011 Sprinter 297RET

2008 Ford 250 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab V10 Engine

jje1960
02-26-2012, 10:44 AM
Unless i take the effort to seal the under bellie of my trailer, insulate all lines and give the under bellie its own heating source i will winterize mine,

When i winterize i run Rv antifreeze thru my lines then open valves in the Rv and put air thru the lines and the water heater when i do this im carefull not to use to much air pressure To remove even the Rv antifreeze,

Ive noticed that in below zero temps even the Rv anifreeze Gels up.

Let IT Happen Campin.

2011 Sprinter 297RET

2008 Ford 250 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab V10 Engine
I guess I'm missing something here.... If your using antifreeze, why are you pushing air through the lines? I've always thought it's 'either or'...

SteveC7010
02-26-2012, 01:11 PM
I guess I'm missing something here.... If your using antifreeze, why are you pushing air through the lines? I've always thought it's 'either or'...

Me too.

RV antifreeze can gel or partially solidify at extremely cold temps, but it is formulated specifically not to expand. Expansion of water when it freezes is what kills water lines, toilet valves, pumps, etc.