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Old 11-25-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
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North East Winters

Hi all,

I am new to this site and I'm in the planning stages of converting a bus. I live in Western NY. We typically see winter temps from 20-0 degrees (sometimes colder). If anyone is living in their bus in the North, I would love to get ideas on how to deal with the constant struggle to heat the thing. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:23 AM   #2
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Re: North East Winters

WELCOME

A big wood stove would help
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:16 PM   #3
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Re: North East Winters

In Central NM. Does not get that cold here but plenty cold. Have two sources of heat (AC & LP) in case the power goes out. Being from NC/TN mountains, I am accustomed to ice storms that knock out the power anywhere from a few hours to a week.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:16 PM   #4
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Re: North East Winters

Send a Private Message ("PM") to Skoolie member tomas_maly. He spent last winter in the snow near Ithaca. You may have to write 5 pre-approved posts before you have the ability to send a PM. Tomas was advertising his bus for sale at the end of the school year, so he may not be dropping in and see your request.

Another member who sent pictures of living in a snow-covered bus further south was Griff. He hasn't made a post in 3-1/2 years, but might still get a PM.

Or, you could follow these links to their profiles, and search through their posts for what might have worked, and what might not have.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:23 PM   #5
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Re: North East Winters

p.s.
I don't have a bus yet, but most folks say the top 5 things you need to be comfortable in the winter are:
1. Insulation
2. Heat source
3. Insulation
4. Alternate heat source
5. Insulation

That's not counting configuring any on-board water system so it does not freeze.
And the insulation will also keep you from turning to toast in the summer sun. Even if you have air conditioning, you may not be able to keep cool in a tin can without extra insulation.
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:23 AM   #6
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Re: North East Winters

Thanks everyone. Much appreciated! Also taking suggestions on preventing grey water tank from freezing.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:05 AM   #7
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Re: North East Winters

Install as much insulation as you can and learn about thermal breaks. Condensation can be a big problem for full timers so think about sealing your insulation so moisture can't get behind it and cause mold. Spray-in insulation avoids this problem but is expensive. Skoolie windows leak air and transmit heat/cold very well so remove the ones you don't need and cover the rest with bubble wrap to let in light and keep out some of the cold. Put your clean water tank inside so it doesn't freeze (batteries like to be warm too). If you can find a parking place with sewer hookups you won't need to worry about the grey water tank, if not, some have wrapped their tanks with heat tape then insulated to keep the tank above freezing. Heat tape and pipe insulation is also handy for keeping your drinking water hose from freezing. Park with most of your windows facing south to get as much solar heat gain as you can during the day. Put hay bales around the bus to keep the floor warmer. Use thick curtains to sub divide your space and only heat what you're using at the time. If you're using a wood stove put in an outside air duct so you're not sucking cold air into the bus for combustion air. If insulating the floor will cost you too much head room you can insulate the floor from underneath. Camp at Yellowstone and park near a hot water geyser for free heat.

Check out "Big Bertha" in the Skoolie conversions section. They are going to be full timers and have done a great job of insulating.
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