Under Belly winter set up - Dutchmen Owners
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Old 09-17-2021, 03:05 AM   #1
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Under Belly winter set up

I bought this 2015 Dutchmen Kodiak Express Ultra lite 223rbsl in July this year.
The owners were the original owners and told me it had winter heater in the under belly, I Can not find any on/off switch, nor can I find any thermostat, Fuse or anything that would tell me it has this under belly winter heater.
Has any body hear of such heater for winter between the floor and the Cardboard like membrane that is Bolted to the frame?
Would any body know What would be in the under belly that would keep Plumbing from freezing in winter. I know about draining water and putting antifreeze, I'm referring to what might be between the floor and outer frame Membrane, as the former owners talked about.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:28 AM   #2
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Ok, I not familiar with your particular model… but l’m sorry to say that I think you got suckered.

To begin with, the very name of you rig… Ultra Lite… suggests it’s it has the bare amount of material throughout to save weight. So I’m not optimistic about you having anything above the bare minimum of insulation beneath your flooring. And as for heaters… unless the previous owner installed one himself, I can pretty much guarantee the rig didn’t come with one.

What I’m guessing he may have meant is that you might have so-called “tank heaters”… which is a thin electric pad that may attached to your grey & black tanks which, in theory, keep them from freezing in temps just below freezing. But even if you do have them, they aren’t meant for use in “deep freeze” conditions… but merely if you happen to get caught in a location where the temps dip below 32 degrees for a night or two.

Bottom line… these rigs aren’t meant to be used in winter conditions. There’s a reason those RV commercials don’t show people camping in them at ski resorts… and considering what it costs to stay a few nights at one, if RVs were a viable option, you can bet your ass they’d be marketing that.

If you want to ensure your plumbing won’t freeze in winter, you’re going to have to put in a lot of work insulating all of those pipes yourself.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:53 AM   #3
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Lies, all lies

After I could not fine a switch , thermostat or fuse I thought I got lied, all lies, nothing worse than a liar.
I'll just winterize the same old fashion way, I did the boat.
Thanks for the the reply.
I do wonder why would Dutchman go threw all the time and material to enclose the under belly for no benefit?
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trucking View Post
After I could not fine a switch , thermostat or fuse I thought I got lied, all lies, nothing worse than a liar.
I'll just winterize the same old fashion way, I did the boat.
Thanks for the the reply.
I do wonder why would Dutchman go threw all the time and material to enclose the under belly for no benefit?
To keep things they failed to install properly from falling out.

When your heater is on, it “warms” the space in the underbelly. Make sure you drain the hot water heater to winterize and blow out the lines and make sure if you have a spray port you connect up to it and drain that too.

Be aware that there is NOTHING under there to keep things from freezing
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Old 09-17-2021, 12:36 PM   #5
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The original owner could only have been parroting what the salesperson told them.


Even old, burned out RVers can be less judgmental when they think before they flap.
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:05 PM   #6
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My unit has the "heated underbelly" and when I had to replace the coroplast liner I confirmed that the furnace is indeed ducted into the underbelly. By ducted, I mean there is a quarter-sized hole between a heating duct and the underbelly. Heated air blows through this hole into the underbelly, providing some heat to the underbelly area.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:53 PM   #7
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I have a Dutchmen Kodiak Cub. Its bottom looked just like yours. It froze up in my driveway in less than 4 hours at 29 degrees.

Frame is not sealed to floor. Plastic cover is not sealed to frame. 2 inch heat duct from furnace blows a trace of air.

Manual says winterize when temperature drops below 32 degrees. But, sales promotions says "All Season". Warranty says freeze damage is not covered.

It cost abut $3000 and 3 years of part time work to make the plumbing usable in freezing weather. I now have tank heaters or propane heat to the belly. Everything is sealed and insulated. Tested down to 15 degrees last winter.
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Old 09-19-2021, 12:40 PM   #8
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We survived -2 degrees in the North Carolina mountains. We used heated hoses, heaters for the RV parkís pipes, heat lamps, and insulation made for hot water heaters to survive. The dump hose froze-forgot to close the valves for the gray tank-

Donít be afraid to use the 20 amp plugs in the parkís pedestal for extension cords for heaters.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:48 PM   #9
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"heated underbelly"

Yes - everyone here is correct. Several Dutchmens and other brands come with a duct from the heater to the underbelly. Without any insulation beneath the coach, who knows how effective it is, but it would only be when the heater is on and active.
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Old 09-22-2021, 09:18 PM   #10
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I live in California, so not much need for underside heating. Personally, all I’ve ever heard of is the manufacture putting insulation between the floor and plastic under side. I have seen heated tanks for clean, gray and black but they usually have a switch to turn on.
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Old 09-22-2021, 09:33 PM   #11
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Yes, there may be some insulation between the subfloor and underbelly space, but I have rarely seen insulation between the underbelly material and the outside. Maybe on more expensive true all-season rigs. My current TT has sub-floor insulation, heated tanks, and a duct from the furance, but that is all and is only effective if you have enough power and are running the heater enough.
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:28 PM   #12
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Heat

I got caught in North Carolina for 2 nights one night of 22 and one of 19. Nothing froze but I had a electric heater in under storage area, and nothing froze, but the furnace ran about every 5 to 8 minutes. It was terrible and the 1st night wasn't windy but 2nd night was. Under my trailer is all covered too, so that helps some. But the moral of the story is,,,, that it is not meant for cold temperatures
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:45 PM   #13
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Find your heater. Look for 2 heater hoses going down into underbelly. That will help but not completely protect the water lines. Putting electric heaters in spaces like inside cabinets, storage, etc., Will help as well.
Heat the water lines coming into trailer if you are connected.
I don't hesitate to camp out in winter and have gone down to freezing.

For storage, blow out lines, water heater.... Drain tanks. Antifreeze in lines and tanks. Make sure you run through water pump to protect all lines!!! Then shut down and don't worry.
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Old 09-23-2021, 01:55 AM   #14
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From having to tear out part of the garage floor due to water intrusion I can guarantee there is nothing more than some sort of light cloth between the bottom of the floor and the under belly covering. In the rest of the unit there may be the silver plastic 'insulation' that is used in the ceiling.


The only glass insulation I've encountered is in the front nose but at 1 inch thick it might as well not be there. It is thrown in there, not fitted but looks like whatever fits, fits.


Insulation is just a word in the brochure like high end, quality and well made.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:38 PM   #15
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I have a 2013 Rubicon R2100 TH. A previous owner installed 120v heat pads on the bottom of the tanks and a heat tape is wrapped around the waste dump tube( it's obviously not enclosed). Those run off shore power out generator and are aftermarket. The stick propane heater has a full on heater duct run to the under belly. I had to remove a panel next to the heater to visually inspect the heat ducting and was pleasantly surprised. So you'll need to inspect for yourself to no the truth. The
Plastic ore enclosing the bottom just protects from damage and traps three heat in that is supplied by the furnace.
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