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rving mr

How to bring in more light ? Custom ideas.

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Hi all. I don't know if this is the best place for this.

 

I live and travel to cold areas.

I have a 2004 weekend warrior toy-hauler and I want to set up something like french door's. I like being able to have that hole wall see thru. But I also want good insulation. Would a thick piece of Plexiglas and/or multi pane glass be just as good as my walls/insulation ?

How posabile would it be to have a tune of sky lights and/or Plexiglas ceilings LOL

Also how would a person know how big or how many of windows I can have.

So all in all I don't know if pane glass and/or Plexiglas can insulate just as good as my walls/insulation is/can be.

Any thoughts ?

Edited by rving mr

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Windows are always a heat loss area but if the windows are dual pane that will help a great deal. The same is true for skylights. When it comes to adding them, you would need to know how the structural frame members are laid out to be sure where they could be added. 

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Windows rarely are anywhere near as good as minimal wall insulation.  We covered over a living area skylight on the outside and added insulation.  It made an immediate difference.  The 5er was warmer in the cold and cooler in the summer heat.  South facing windows often bring in more heat than they lose but since RV's have little thermal mass these aren't practical.   The best multipane windows are filled with special gas to slow heat transfer but very few  have R values near 7 and aren't practical for RV's. Typical RV windows even double pane are very inefficient. Lots of RV's have R7 or better walls.  I like the light of windows also but the insulation value is a definite minus.  

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Sounds like you want to do a major renovation... French doors, skylights, more windows?  In addition to structural changes you'll not only be loosing heat but loosing cooling capacity in summer along with loosing wall/cabinet space.  Doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

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People who live in cold places who have windows and skylights often stuff them with insulating materials just to make the unit livable. A friend of mine just hung a blanket over his door to reduce heat loss there and she lives in Texas.

Linda Sand

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15 hours ago, rving mr said:

Hi all. I don't know if this is the best place for this.

 

I live and travel to cold areas.

I have a 2004 weekend warrior toy-hauler and I want to set up something like french door's. I like being able to have that hole wall see thru. But I also want good insulation. Would a thick piece of Plexiglas and/or multi pane glass be just as good as my walls/insulation ?

How posabile would it be to have a tune of sky lights and/or Plexiglas ceilings LOL

Also how would a person know how big or how many of windows I can have.

So all in all I don't know if pane glass and/or Plexiglas can insulate just as good as my walls/insulation is/can be.

Any thoughts ?

Are you wanting to take the wall out between the kitchen/bedroom and garage?  If so, I understand what you are saying.

My toyhauler has a plexi glass slider between the two and it works great.  The slider frame doesn't take up the WHOLE wall but is positioned via frame work about 2' from the street side wall and about 1' from the curb side.  The frame work of the trailer itself remains intact.  You loose a bit of height, about 16" from the ceiling and you do have to 'step over' the framework on the floor about an inch which isn't a problem for me since I'm short.  A custom frame might be doable.

I didn't find any pictures in a quick search on-line but if you want to look it's a Forest River Work and Play 30WRS. I have cooling and heating ducts on both sides of the divider and spend lots of time in the garage...but do use an extra heater when it's cold outside.  I also leave the slider open most of the time since the garage is my living room.

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14 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Windows are always a heat loss area but if the windows are dual pane that will help a great deal. The same is true for skylights. When it comes to adding them, you would need to know how the structural frame members are laid out to be sure where they could be added. 

 

11 hours ago, Randyretired said:

Windows rarely are anywhere near as good as minimal wall insulation.  We covered over a living area skylight on the outside and added insulation.  It made an immediate difference.  The 5er was warmer in the cold and cooler in the summer heat.  South facing windows often bring in more heat than they lose but since RV's have little thermal mass these aren't practical.   The best multipane windows are filled with special gas to slow heat transfer but very few  have R values near 7 and aren't practical for RV's. Typical RV windows even double pane are very inefficient. Lots of RV's have R7 or better walls.  I like the light of windows also but the insulation value is a definite minus.  

 

9 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

Sounds like you want to do a major renovation... French doors, skylights, more windows?  In addition to structural changes you'll not only be loosing heat but loosing cooling capacity in summer along with loosing wall/cabinet space.  Doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

 

5 hours ago, sandsys said:

People who live in cold places who have windows and skylights often stuff them with insulating materials just to make the unit livable. A friend of mine just hung a blanket over his door to reduce heat loss there and she lives in Texas.

Linda Sand

 

3 hours ago, dirtyboots said:

Are you wanting to take the wall out between the kitchen/bedroom and garage?  If so, I understand what you are saying.

My toyhauler has a plexi glass slider between the two and it works great.  The slider frame doesn't take up the WHOLE wall but is positioned via frame work about 2' from the street side wall and about 1' from the curb side.  The frame work of the trailer itself remains intact.  You loose a bit of height, about 16" from the ceiling and you do have to 'step over' the framework on the floor about an inch which isn't a problem for me since I'm short.  A custom frame might be doable.

I didn't find any pictures in a quick search on-line but if you want to look it's a Forest River Work and Play 30WRS. I have cooling and heating ducts on both sides of the divider and spend lots of time in the garage...but do use an extra heater when it's cold outside.  I also leave the slider open most of the time since the garage is my living room.

TY ALL for you'r responses.

Ok so I'm skipping the sky light idea.

My toy-hauler dos't have a divider in between kitchen and garage. I use the garage as a man-cave/office. 

This is similar too what I'm wanting. IMG-4726.jpg Its definitely going to be a DIY(home made). Should I go with supper thick plexi glass wall or the thickest multi pane glass on a frinch door set up to suport/prevent glass from braking ? A sliding glass door could work. I would just have to make small ramps for the inch lift from the sliding tray framework.

Wen I save up more money I might look in too upgrading my windows pane. But my ceilings are pretty high. One of the things I love about it due to me being to tall. So I might just set up solar power and use heaters.

 

TY all for your time an interest

Edited by rving mr

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Air leaks are a major culprit in trying to heat a RV.  Many feel air infiltration control is more important than insulation.  Air leaks also make a room uncomfortable in cold or hot temps. The best part for RV's is sealing air leaks doesn't add a lot of weight. For the divider my choice would consider what will best seal, is light weight and inexpensive. Single pane glass or plexiglass will likely have an R value of 1.  Simple multipane units might have a R value of 2. I think you can gain more by by covering a well sealed partition with a blanket or insulated curtains during cold times like at night.  The same thing for the windows and door.

Powering electric heat with solar is a formidable and very expensive task.  Most likely requiring the roof of an RV to be completely covered with solar panels and a large battery setup.  Heat pumps are more efficient but still will need a very large solar array and battery  bank.

 

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If you are living in an RV during really cold weather condensation is most likely a major problem. This is especially true with single pane windows.  The mold and building material rot will quickly destroy an RV.

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To add to what Randy has stated, windows are also very heavy and dual pane or high quality single pane windows will increase the weight and could create balance issues if only added on one side. Be very careful in your construction. 

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On 11/18/2019 at 9:05 PM, Randyretired said:

Air leaks are a major culprit in trying to heat a RV.  Many feel air infiltration control is more important than insulation.  Air leaks also make a room uncomfortable in cold or hot temps. The best part for RV's is sealing air leaks doesn't add a lot of weight. For the divider my choice would consider what will best seal, is light weight and inexpensive. Single pane glass or plexiglass will likely have an R value of 1.  Simple multipane units might have a R value of 2. I think you can gain more by by covering a well sealed partition with a blanket or insulated curtains during cold times like at night.  The same thing for the windows and door.

Powering electric heat with solar is a formidable and very expensive task.  Most likely requiring the roof of an RV to be completely covered with solar panels and a large battery setup.  Heat pumps are more efficient but still will need a very large solar array and battery  bank.

 

ty . I'l try insulated curtains. the heat pump is cool. I'l be setting up a micro wind turbine and collapsible A frame roof/solar panels. I have a lot of electronics.

On 11/18/2019 at 9:55 PM, Randyretired said:

If you are living in an RV during really cold weather condensation is most likely a major problem. This is especially true with single pane windows.  The mold and building material rot will quickly destroy an RV.

yes last season I had to constantly towel down every thing around windows. This time I have a bunch of that silicon tubs. I don't want to go with a dehumidifier if I don't have too.

On 11/19/2019 at 5:32 AM, Kirk W said:

To add to what Randy has stated, windows are also very heavy and dual pane or high quality single pane windows will increase the weight and could create balance issues if only added on one side. Be very careful in your construction. 

True. I might go with a small/lighter trailer. Or ill have to figure out how drop some weight. I have no experience in hauling trailers.

Edited by rving mr

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7 hours ago, rving mr said:

I have no experience in hauling trailers.

To determine the most weight for the trailer, first look at the weight ratings for your tow truck. It will have a gross weight rating (GVWR) and a maximum towing weight. You need to know that actual weight of your truck as it will be when traveling and deduct that weight (from a truck scale) from the GVWR to determine the maximum hitch weight that can be added. If you deduct actual truck weight from the maximum towing weight that will give you the most your travel trailer can safely weigh when loaded for travel. Most of us on these forums agree that towing anything over 80% of the truck's maximum rated weight for long distances is very tiring and unpleasant. Truck tow weight and GVWR are not intended to be done constantly but are rather a safety rating. 

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If a person had a 16-18 ft 5th wheel toy hauler (i cant find any) does the 5th will make that much of a difference on smaller trailers ? I would like to tow with a 1/2 tun truck. I could always mod the truck to handle more load. I like small truck's.

Edited by rving mr

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A bumper pull small trailer is often lighter than a 5er.  For a small trailer I would think with the right hitch setup it would pull just fine.  A 16-18' light weight trailer behind a heavy duty 1/2 ton truck should be a good setup.  All 1/2 ton trucks are not equal.  Be sure to follow the manufacturers towing guidelines.   Most feel that it is important to stay well under the maximum for a comfortable setup.

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So now you're thinking of going from a toy hauler to a 16-18 foot trailer?  That's quite a change.  Or would this be your traveling trailer and still keep the toy hauler stationary?  You'll have small windows with a small trailer.

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With a half ton truck you will be pretty size/weight limited. The Scamp is one of the few fifth wheel trailers of that size but Escape 5.0 TA is another one but at 21' in length and with a gross weight just over 4,000#.

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Is the length bumper to the over hing(over truck bed) ?

6 hours ago, Randyretired said:

A bumper pull small trailer is often lighter than a 5er.  For a small trailer I would think with the right hitch setup it would pull just fine.  A 16-18' light weight trailer behind a heavy duty 1/2 ton truck should be a good setup.  All 1/2 ton trucks are not equal.  Be sure to follow the manufacturers towing guidelines.   Most feel that it is important to stay well under the maximum for a comfortable setup.

I'm trying to go small. I like 1/4 ton truck's so I'm thinking I can get a 5th wheel set up and have beader chance of using a 1/2 ton mod'd truck. I'm seeing I might have to make my own toy hauler frame to get one light, small tall and with a 5th wheel. LOL fire up the tig.

5 hours ago, sandsys said:

I'm thinking 5 feet less. It just needs to haul a snowmobile.

4 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

So now you're thinking of going from a toy hauler to a 16-18 foot trailer?  That's quite a change.  Or would this be your traveling trailer and still keep the toy hauler stationary?  You'll have small windows with a small trailer.

ops.. I forgot to post that I want it to be a toy hauler.

4 hours ago, Kirk W said:

With a half ton truck you will be pretty size/weight limited. The Scamp is one of the few fifth wheel trailers of that size but Escape 5.0 TA is another one but at 21' in length and with a gross weight just over 4,000#.

I might have to go with a bigger truck.

Edited by rving mr

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2 hours ago, rving mr said:

I'm thinking 5 feet less. It just needs to haul a snowmobile.

 

That's an entirely different scenario. Most of us think camper when talking 5th wheel. There is no such thing as a 16' toy hauler that is also a camper. Why would it need to be a 5th wheel to haul a snowmobile? Most people use bumper pulls for those.

Linda Sand

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Have you looked at RVs at all? It doesn't seem that you have any concept of what is available to buy. I suggest that before you do more planning you spend some time visiting as many RV dealers as you have nearby. 

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11 hours ago, sandsys said:
 

That's an entirely different scenario. Most of us think camper when talking 5th wheel. There is no such thing as a 16' toy hauler that is also a camper. Why would it need to be a 5th wheel to haul a snowmobile? Most people use bumper pulls for those.

Linda Sand

There is a few small one but not with a 5th wheel. :(  The smallest bumper hauling I have seen is 18 feet. I don't know whats standard for measuring 5th wheel hitch that's why I was unclear on my lengths. 

5 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Have you looked at RVs at all? It doesn't seem that you have any concept of what is available to buy. I suggest that before you do more planning you spend some time visiting as many RV dealers as you have nearby. 

I live way in the boony's. most civilization is half a day + away.

I saw these . thay r ok but if there wer a 5th the bead could be above the 5th wheel hitch

 

Edited by rving mr

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Could you please go over once again what you're trying to do?  Sorry, I'm just confused at what you're trying to achieve.

You state you already have a toy hauler & you showed a pic of it in your beginning post.  It appears to be a bigger one than what you're now looking at.

You then asked about doing extensive renovations on the walls/windows.

Now you seem to be wanting to get rid of that one & get a small one.  Are you still planning on all the renovations?

What is your purpose for the RV?  Are you living in it?  Letting it set on property & never moved?  The small one you're now looking at has small holding tanks and absolutely no outside storage.  How many people will be living in this?

You mentioned towing a snowmobile trailer.  You can do that with a truck.

Edited by 2gypsies

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22 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

Could you please go over once again what you're trying to do?  Sorry, I'm just confused at what you're trying to achieve.

You state you already have a toy hauler & you showed a pic of it in your beginning post.  It appears to be a bigger one than what you're now looking at.

You then asked about doing extensive renovations on the walls/windows.

Now you seem to be wanting to get rid of that one & get a small one.  Are you still planning on all the renovations?

What is your purpose for the RV?  Are you living in it?  Letting it set on property & never moved?  The small one you're now looking at has small holding tanks and absolutely no outside storage.  How many people will be living in this?

You mentioned towing a snowmobile trailer.  You can do that with a truck.

Correct I have a bigger toy hauler.

I'm no going to do the renovations if I can find a smaller toy hauler with a 5th wheel hitch. I will be putting in the garage door mod.

I plane on traveling/living in it 24/7. Its just me for now. ;) I want to store/haul a snowmobile.

I don't like expensive big trucks.

 

Most likely I will be building a custom frame because my specs are almost impossible to find.

Edited by rving mr

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I looked at the two examples you gave and realized your snowmobile would take at least 1/3 of the trailer's carrying capacity. How do you plan to live full time with so little space and capacity to store anything? How much does your snowmobile suit weigh and how compactly does it compress? Do you plan on eating only freeze-dried food to keep that weight down? I'm curious as to how you plant to live full time in such a unit.

Linda Sand

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