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Old 08-14-2016, 12:20 PM   #11
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Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
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Not actually sure myself, but I see you're in Colorado.

I figure I'm taking a chance (because I'm still demo'ing) and have to be in bus by September 1st... 20 is pretty extreme lows for my area, I can adapt and have a plan B for the colder than normal temps (staying in the T-Shirt shop I work at) Also, for immediate use I'll insulate and close off the bedroom and hibernate in there mostly, for short term.

I was in a 10x20 insulated (ceiling and walls only) storage building last winter... I survived most times with 1 Quartz heater


On the coldest nights, I kicked on my little milk house heater


One of the things that helped the most was a 10" oscillating fan to circulate the warm air from the ceiling.

I'm probably not much help, just letting you know what worked for me.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:53 AM   #12
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Join Date: May 2016
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Thank you my friend! I wont Always be plugged into electric and these wonderful little heaters might zap my solar and battery power don't-cha think? :/ I decided Ill have to surrender to using propane when I'm not plugged in somewhere so ill get a propane heater. I just see many buses where the ceiling panels were apparently left intact. I'm hoping I can do the same.....
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:31 PM   #13
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Thank you my friend! I wont Always be plugged into electric and these wonderful little heaters might zap my solar and battery power don't-cha think? :/ I decided Ill have to surrender to using propane when I'm not plugged in somewhere so ill get a propane heater. I just see many buses where the ceiling panels were apparently left intact. I'm hoping I can do the same.....
Hi there. I spent a winter in Alaska in my bus (unfinished) and I moved to Hawaii the next year. Not kidding. It was miserable. (I was also living in one of the rainiest of towns, but at least the temps were 20F to 0F, not colder). The darkness was the hardest part, not so much the cold, although the cold was yuck below about 15F. Don't bother with a diesel heater (I wanted to be non-electric). The Dickinson I invested in was a nightmare to keep clean and was extremely fussy. When I finally got the learning curve figured, the little orifices would be clogged again and the settings would be off, basically all or none on the heat and my white fiberglass bus was always covered in soot. I'm going with a Cubic mini wood stove from Canada for the upcoming summer. I'm cutting up oak palettes for wood. Insulate as much as possible! I do not recommend leaving the ceiling bare. I have 3/4" grey foam (like sleeping pads for camping) glued on the entire inside. Now I'm finishing that with glue-on faux tin ceiling tiles to get the ceiling light-colored again. As I build walls, I'm insulating as much as possible. The other problem is my bus is a tour bus, thus mostly windows, but eventually when it's finished, I'll be able to install thick curtains or honeycomb pull-up blinds. Good luck, stay warm! -Catherine
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:54 PM   #14
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A lot of people build buses without removing the interior panels and insulation. Those people do not intend to live in those buses during the winter. The expected use is camping and weekend trips. Basically that's a metal tent. It will work well to keep them dry, but when the weather turns cold all that metal inside conducts the temperatures from outside and it's very difficult to stay warm.

I've also spent a winter in this bus before the interior was removed. I stripped the interior and got insulation last summer. MY heating costs are 25-30% compared to the previous year and the comfort level is dramatically different. Worth it.

If it's a live-in, lay a good foundation by starting with good insulation. There are less expensive ways to accomplish the same thing without using spray foam. It's just that spray foam has coverage similar to paint. It seals the interior and prevents warm air from contacting cold steel surfaces eliminating that pesky tendency for condensation on the inside of your bus.

Propane heat makes a bus rain inside because of the moisture from the propane condensating on any cold metal or glass surfaces. It's a personal choice, but those of us that use our buses during the winter are paid back in reduced heating costs. Foam insulation should pay for itself within two or three years easily. You're only talking about $600 or $800 cost for the kits. Stripping out the bus interior is the worst part for most of us. Removing all those rivets and getting the sheet metal out without damaging anything.

Worth it, again and again. I'm sure I saved at least $300 on heating costs this first year. The comfort level is more like a house now.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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