All Season Package on 2019 Kodiak Ultralite 201QB - Dutchmen Owners
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Old 11-14-2023, 12:06 AM   #1
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All Season Package on 2019 Kodiak Ultralite 201QB

I've had my Kodiak 201QB for almost 2 years and used it a handful of times primarily in warmer to moderate weather. Last winter I didn't worry about the water because it really didn't get that cold and I didn't use it anyway. This year I have some hopes of using the TT in weather that could get close to freezing in the lows. I'm the second owner so I don't know how it was configured from the factory/dealer, I just know it has the sticker with a snowflake and blue thermometer on it.


That said, I've been working on removing an unwanted guest and his friends that got into the cabinets. I noticed that the factory didn't seal the area around the black/gray dump pipes nor did they seal a seam under the fresh tank. I sealed those up with a combination of underbelly tape and spray foam. I also found 3 of 4 holes in the front facing beam behind the LP tanks were left open (a 1" and the two 2" round holes). I made a cap with my 3D printer for each so those are good. I also found 2 smaller gaps by the rear beam at the floor level that I sealed with spray foam.


All that to say, the basement is really not close to sealed and it has easy access to the cabinets for air flow from outside especially when at highway speeds. Maybe I should thank Mr. Mouse for opening my eyes to the gaping holes!


With or without those holes, there is really no insulation on the bottom of the black tank which pushes the corrugated plastic down. I'm not sure about the gray tank but assume it's similar. The fresh tank has a small air gap but it's still under the floor. That all says to me that the 4 season capability is a very dubious claim unless the TT is only living in Florida.


Does anyone with a similarly constructed trailer have any real world advise on either how cold it can safely be used and/or recommendations for what to do to improve it's "cold weather" performance to make it more realistic to use outside of summer in the south? I'm not looking for arctic expeditions, just hoping to find out if the recommendation to not use it with water if it's below 32F (what the Kodiak/Dutchman CSR recommended when I called today). I'm from the NW so it doesn't get below 32F often (usually 1-2 weeks a couple times a year). But, if I take it to the other side of the mountains for boondocking I would need water and the pass can easily be in the 20's or colder.
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Old 11-15-2023, 02:40 PM   #2
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I have a 2018 Kodiak Cub. It has the pretty sticker next to the entry door just like yours. It was advertised as "All Season".

Pipes routed through the underbelly froze in less than 4 hours when temperature dropped to 28 degrees F. The furnace was running and set to 65 degrees. Holding tanks did not freeze in four hours.

Apparently the temperature under the bedside table also got below freezing because the water pump located there cracked.

Keystone handles warranty for Kodiak models. They refused my claim. They said always winterize before temperature drops below 32 degrees F. The manual said the same. Freeze damage is specifically excluded in the warranty.

I spent 3 years of part time work and about $3000 making it "All Season".
1) Seal the frame to the floor and the belly cover to the frame.
2) Improve heat from propane furnace to the plumbing space under the floor.
3) Insulate the steel wheel wells near the water pump.
4) Insulate under the belly tanks and around the belly plumbing space.
5) Closing the space between the storage bay and the water heater. There were panels there, but large open spaces existed above panels.
6) Insulating the dump pipes and valves.

I have successfully camped in 15 degree F weather for extended periods. Until you modify it and test it, I recommend you winterize when temp may be below freezing.

Carry RV antifreeze with you when you travel. It takes less than 20 minutes to stop and pump in the antifreeze once you know how.

I carry water in 4 gallon water tanks for drinking, washing, and cooking when I can't be sure the furnace will be running. Yours may freeze even if the furnace is running.

Other people with large Dutchmen TT's and 5th wheeler's have said they get by in 20 degree weather for short periods. Do you feel lucky?

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 11-16-2023, 04:00 PM   #3
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I like the things you did but wonder how some of those would be accomplished.

On my NL TC the waste was designed much better IMO by having a box where the valves where located in which was inside the conditioned space (everything inside the box was conditioned). The valve to the cap was not insulated but was a short ~6" distance and with the cap on technically insulated.

On the Kodiak, the design puts the valves around 10" from the ground a foot or more outside of the unconditioned basement. If I were designing a trailer, I would put the drain pipes higher so they wouldn't potentially get clipped by anything when not on manicured pavement. I also would have put the valves inside the conditioned space. As is, the water in the gray and black tanks is always exposed to outside air between the belly cover and the valves. So, even if I were to keep the area inside the belly cover conditioned/heated/etc, I would still have to come up with a way to prevent the ABS outside from freezing.

I cold add insulation to it, but it would need to be of a type that can deal with 60mph+ winds, rain, rocks, rodents, etc. Other than spray foam (which would look terrible), how do you weatherize such a stupid design?

TBF, I saw that before buying and thought "that's a stupid design but if they say it's all season and they sell this many, it must be ok..." I knew better and still went with it.
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Old 11-16-2023, 04:53 PM   #4
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And yet my modifications have been proven to work in the wilderness.

See this post for more on what I and others have done. Note, I posted early in the thread and later at multiple times. It took be 3 years to complete.

See late in the thread for how I insulated and protected the dump valves.
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Old 11-16-2023, 07:44 PM   #5
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I'd like to see what you did, but I'm not seeing a link. Maybe I'm not looking in the right spot. I'll search for your build thread.


Google found this one.
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Old 11-16-2023, 09:01 PM   #6
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FWIW, I'm coming to this TT from a NL TC which was also considered 4-season. I used it that way and never had any issues. Different beasts and all, but I took that thing through a near blizzard and used it in snow more than once without any issues. This picture is after driving across Montana through that storm. Temperature never got above the 20's for however many hours it took to cross the 500+ miles of the state including overnighting near Glacier. I don't think the bowling balls of ice came off the jacks till I got closer to Iowa!
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Old 11-17-2023, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
And yet my modifications have been proven to work in the wilderness.

See this post for more on what I and others have done. Note, I posted early in the thread and later at multiple times. It took be 3 years to complete.

See late in the thread for how I insulated and protected the dump valves.
I see the thread link did not get posted. Here it is again.
https://www.dutchmenowners.org/forum...ions-7378.html
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Old 11-18-2023, 09:56 PM   #8
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Hello
I no longer have my 201QB but have written a lot about it. You may want to pull the front cover off the heater and look at the hose what is supposed to heat the under belly, pull it off as mine was just there for no reason, the holed was drilled but then the tank was put in right where the hole was and as it is snug with the floor there was no heat getting to the belly, so much for 4 seasons, i had to relocate the hole, hope this helps
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Old 11-20-2023, 02:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AETHERIA View Post
Hello
I no longer have my 201QB but have written a lot about it. You may want to pull the front cover off the heater and look at the hose what is supposed to heat the under belly, pull it off as mine was just there for no reason, the holed was drilled but then the tank was put in right where the hole was and as it is snug with the floor there was no heat getting to the belly, so much for 4 seasons, i had to relocate the hole, hope this helps

That's good to know. Do you have a link to any info you have already posted so I can review?
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Old 11-21-2023, 03:14 AM   #10
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I looked at the furnace again this morning. I could be wrong, but it looks a lot like Kodiak is playing games. The furnace is a Suburban NT-20SEQ which as far as I can tell is not a ducted capable unit. The outer box is not sealed to the wall and the controller unit has several holes next to it to supply access for wiring and propane. The opposite side has a large hole with a duck kinda stuck in it (not taped, just a singly janky clip holding it from falling out). There is a flexy foil duct that loops down to the ground where it's screwed to the floor.

Conveniently, the access to that area is from either forward of the furnace or aft in the bathroom ward by the water heater. There is no real way to reach the duct to remove the screws to see whats down the hole. I have an inspection camera so i may try to carefully feed it through to see if it can blow air.

Even if i confirm it has an unblocked path, i see no way that the furnace would push air that way though. If it did, the kitchen cabinets would get cooked because there are 3 or 4 larger holes with no tube. I'll fire it up tonight to see if the temp in the basement changes. Maybe i can use a shop vac to see if it's open too.
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Old 11-21-2023, 05:25 AM   #11
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It certainly looks like the basement duct does nothing as expected. I'll have to see if it's open or if it's just not effective because the furnace isn't designed to have a duct.

I had some connected thermometers so I checked the temperature in the house, cabinets next to the furnace, and basement in the hole under shower. It's pretty obvious when I turned on the furnace and the basement clearly doesn't respond.
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Old 11-21-2023, 06:51 AM   #12
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I wasn't able to get either a flexible wire or my inspection camera all the way down the flex duct. While trying, I realized that I could actually reach the side of the furnace where the duct attached and that it was installed after the furnace was put in place. So, I was able to remove the duct. I still couldn't get the inspection camera down the tube, but it didn't matter because with access to the end of the tube, I was able to use my shop vac to blow air down the duct and feel air moving out from under the dinette meaning air went across the basement, up through the shower opening, through the wall to the dinette, and out. So the good news is there is definitely a hole in the floor and no blockage underneath. The bad news is that the furnace is not designed to push air out the side like the mfg assumed (I'm giving them credit for not simply trying to lie and just not understand how air flows).


That said, I think there is a fairly easy solution if I can get the right parts. If I get a 12vdc inline booster fan with a speed controller and a thermostat I can blow air into the basement as needed. I could probably use a thermostat set to ~37F to turn on automatically or have it wired into the relay for the furnace blower. I don't know if there's a proper source but a quick search on Amazon showed units with similar specs start around $30. I don't know if those are designed for RV scenarios though.
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Old 11-21-2023, 06:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AETHERIA View Post
Hello
I no longer have my 201QB but have written a lot about it. You may want to pull the front cover off the heater and look at the hose what is supposed to heat the under belly, pull it off as mine was just there for no reason, the holed was drilled but then the tank was put in right where the hole was and as it is snug with the floor there was no heat getting to the belly, so much for 4 seasons, i had to relocate the hole, hope this helps

Also, was your furnace a Suburban NT-20SEQ? The hole is open to the basement but the furnace does not seem designed to push any out the side. I'm curious if you found that you got air into the basement without having to add a fan to drive flow?
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Old 11-21-2023, 01:53 PM   #14
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Suburban NT-20SEQ Furnace

The Suburban NT-20SEQ is typical for many low end Keystone, Dutchmen, and Kodiak product lines. Air is exhausted out the front and return air is drawn in from vents on the sides and top near the back. Return air is also passes through front vent around the exhaust grill to get from front to back return air vents.

Installation manual does not explain installation of 2 inch duct to floor. However, my older model does not blow much through the duct. I modified the air flow using a small piece sheet metal inside the opening for the 2 inch duct to divert more air into the duct.

I further increased the flow by installing a 4 inch duct to the floor. Your model does not appear to have a 4 inch duct knock out. With the 4 inch duct and a diverter inside the opening to the duct, I get more than 40 degree air coming out of the belly when wall thermostat is set to 65 degrees.

Installation manual
https://techsupport.pdxrvwholesale.c...Q-NT-20SEQ.pdf

Operators manual
https://suburbanrv.com/files/product...e%20122721.pdf
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Old 11-21-2023, 01:58 PM   #15
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I also use the very vigorous return air flow to draw air through cabinet dead spaces. My floor plan has cabinets in a "U" shape all the way around from the furnace to the hole in the floor for plumbing. So it sucks air out of the belly as well as blowing air in.
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Old 11-21-2023, 04:13 PM   #16
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Hello
I looked for pics but didn't find them, they may be on the Dutchmen site. Yes, mine did push some air out when I relocated the hole to the belly. I think the panel just to the rear of the heater pushes out and will expose the 2" hose but be careful you do not damage any trim.
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