doing what your doing but using 'live' USB thumb drives (also XubuntuLTS)
Manjaro has a 'pre 0.09 version out usin most 4.12, the 0.08 series uses 4.11 with bit & pieces of(from) 4.12 anyways
On LMint and 'Buntus & friends can also activate a dev ppa (maintianed from Xubunto/launchpad?) to try
P.S. the panel 'smart hide' is great (used in Manjaro .08 already) and the 'smart window placement' xfwindow4 is also awsome!
Thunar improvements are needed/great also