Patrick's Cold Weather Pack Review — Benefits & Tip
When we first ordered our camper, we did not purchase the Cold Weather Pack. The camper was prepped with the Velcro in place for the future if we wanted to buy one.
On the “shake down” trip, we discovered that when the sun beats down on the side of the canvas, the heat is transferred inside. When sleeping in cold weather, water condensed on the inside of the canvas and our sleeping bags got wet. In the morning we used a towel to wipe down the inside. Now we sleep with the vents open more and re-scaled the thermostat to have a minimum 40-degree setting to keep the temperature above the dew point inside. The original thermostats have 50 degrees as the lowest temperature you can set it to maintain, but 50 degrees is too hot to sleep with down sleeping bags.
When cooking or boiling water, the fantastic power roof fan does a great job pulling out the extra moisture produced. Opening one or two access panels for the turnbuckles will provide fresh air to replace what is removed by the fan.
We went ahead and bought the Cold Weather Pack. The other option was to find a suitable fabric and make one (we chose the easy route). The Cold Weather Pack is a thin, dense liner that when mounted provides a dead air space to better insulate. It comes in two pieces, right and left and they are labeled. The windows open up from the bottom. If your camper is prepped for the liner you will see a strip of Velcro running down the side length of the camper just below the liner. On the ceiling you will see a piece of liner hanging with a strip of Velcro sewn to it. To install the liner you will start at either the front or back of the camper. Look at the first window and line it up with the camper window. Press the two Velcro parts together. There is some extra that you will push behind the end panels.
We have found that the camper is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The Cold Weather Pack is always on and is a great benefit for all seasons. The daily morning wake-up routine is to wipe the water from under the mattress where the bed overhangs over the truck cab. Also, pull back the Cold Weather Pack in the front (over the bed) and wipe the condensation off the liner. If you have an Cold Weather Pack, feel between the layers on a cool morning and see if it is wet. You should always dry out the camper before storing it with the top down, especially if you live in a climate that has higher humidity. Remember, there could be moisture between the Cold Weather Pack and the liner that could cause mold.
This brings me to the problem I saw right off the bat. Before lowering the camper top, you have to pull back the Cold Weather Pack window to get to the hooks that the bungee attaches to. The bungee helps pull in the canvas liner when you lower the top. After thinking that you would have to do this all the time, and for four windows, I came up with a solution.
I asked my better half if her sewing machine could sew this fabric; sure she said. Then I marked where the metal rings were and gave her the Cold Weather Pack to sew button holes. After she did a great job sewing the button holes, I took a razor knife and made the slits between the stitching. Now you can just stick your finger in the hole and pull out the ring and attach the bungee. She just used a zigzag stitch to sew a rectangle around the slit area, to keep the slit from enlarging. I made a small reference mark with a sharpie on the Cold Weather Pack and ceiling, so if I removed the Cold Weather Pack it will be reinstalled in the same place, allowing the rings to line up with the button holes.