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Old 09-19-2019, 09:28 PM   #1
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Temporarily insulating windows for extremely cold weather

There's a chance that we are going to end up in central Alaska in the dead of winter. The average minimum temp that time of year is 40 below zero.

We don't want to do any window deletes. Any tips on insulation that can go over the windows to cover them for winter, but which can be removed in the summer?

We are thinking to pin a bunch of that R-60 pink stuff in between the layers of our curtains and put tape around the edges. (We will have a lot of wood for our stove and the rest of the bus is insulated well. We can also go to Mexico if it gets too cold.)
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:06 PM   #2
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How about 2” rigid insulation applied with Velcro on the top
And bottom.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:55 AM   #3
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How bout start leisurely heading south now?
Winter travel is no picnic, you will be subjecting yourself and bus to weeks of abuse and white knuckles as you try to escape the frozen north.
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:50 AM   #4
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You will also have to prepare your engine for that cold.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:51 AM   #5
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I cut squares of 1" XPS foam board to fit each window, then cut a same-size piece of Reflectix. Attach the reflectic to one side of the XPS and shove it in the window hole, reflectix side against the glass. This has been working great for us for a long time.

We also use thermal curtains to separate the driver area from the house, and a sun shield in the windshield. Still major losses at the entry door and drivers window, and the sun shield only helps a little bit when you're talking about temperature rather than sun.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I cut squares of 1" XPS foam board to fit each window, then cut a same-size piece of Reflectix. Attach the reflectic to one side of the XPS and shove it in the window hole, reflectix side against the glass. This has been working great for us for a long time.

We also use thermal curtains to separate the driver area from the house, and a sun shield in the windshield. Still major losses at the entry door and drivers window, and the sun shield only helps a little bit when you're talking about temperature rather than sun.
I worked with a gent that did pretty much the same thing except he handed them off to his mother an she covered them very nicely with fabric that matched the interior. They looked and worked great.

However..... We were working comfortably in the bus while it was in the teens not -40.

Just thinking about -40 makes me want to head for Mexico. Brrrr!!!
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:34 AM   #7
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Clearly the best solution is to start driving south now.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:05 AM   #8
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Clearly the best solution is to start driving south now.
That is exactly what I bought a bus for.

"I wanna go where the weather suits my clothes"

Cargo shorts and a t-shirt.....

We should drag you and Hillary down to San Carlos Sonora sometime. I think you guys would enjoy it.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I cut squares of 1" XPS foam board to fit each window, then cut a same-size piece of Reflectix. Attach the reflectic to one side of the XPS and shove it in the window hole, reflectix side against the glass. This has been working great for us for a long time.

We also use thermal curtains to separate the driver area from the house, and a sun shield in the windshield. Still major losses at the entry door and drivers window, and the sun shield only helps a little bit when you're talking about temperature rather than sun.
I'm going to build an insulated bulkhead wall a couple of feet behind the driver's seat and use the front for garage/storage space. It seems like it would be impossible to keep a bus warm and dry in northern winters with an uninsulated front end as part of the living space.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by OlgaAK View Post
There's a chance that we are going to end up in central Alaska in the dead of winter. The average minimum temp that time of year is 40 below zero.

We don't want to do any window deletes. Any tips on insulation that can go over the windows to cover them for winter, but which can be removed in the summer?

We are thinking to pin a bunch of that R-60 pink stuff in between the layers of our curtains and put tape around the edges. (We will have a lot of wood for our stove and the rest of the bus is insulated well. We can also go to Mexico if it gets too cold.)
I would start in Mexico and then see how far north I could comfortably get. My guess would be the northern part of Mexico.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I'm going to build an insulated bulkhead wall a couple of feet behind the driver's seat and use the front for garage/storage space. It seems like it would be impossible to keep a bus warm and dry in northern winters with an uninsulated front end as part of the living space.
The front bulkhead is a good idea. I was going to do that when we had a 40 footer. Insulate that bulkhead with roxull and you've got a nice sound proofed fire resistant barrier. And you can lock it so its more secure when you're in the back asleep.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:32 AM   #12
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I would start in Mexico and then see how far north I could comfortably get. My guess would be the northern part of Mexico.
As a Floridian I like the weather down in the bahamas best.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:47 AM   #13
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As a Floridian I like the weather down in the bahamas best.
Too soon, maybe? I don't think hurricane season is over yet.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:48 AM   #14
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Too soon, maybe? I don't think hurricane season is over yet.
Well that part sucks. But the actual temperature and climate are second to none.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:50 AM   #15
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The front bulkhead is a good idea. I was going to do that when we had a 40 footer. Insulate that bulkhead with roxull and you've got a nice sound proofed fire resistant barrier. And you can lock it so its more secure when you're in the back asleep.
I'd be more worried about somebody stealing my bicycles from my "garage" than me getting molested.

Rock wool is really starting to loom as the way to go for me for many reasons.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:27 AM   #16
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The insulated wall is around mid-bus, with the rear half as the living space. During summer we like to use the bed up front to see the views in the morning. But for the cold we are going to make that area as our "garage."

We cannot start the trip in Mexico and then head north due to visas. Mexico would have to be via plane. US immigration laws are not friendly. My friend got interrogated so intensely when she was coming alone via air and said she would be traveling with me in a bus. Six hours later, she finally turned up and looked like she'd been waterboarded. We are trying very hard to minimize any more crossing of the US border.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:45 AM   #17
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Hmmm

Could you elaborate on the extreme cold part?
Exatly how cold? Northern Canada where I am or ll northern Russia?
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:56 AM   #18
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Negative fourty
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:16 AM   #19
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spent two months in a poorly insulated holiday trailer up north - temps hovered around -35c ( -31F ) for the time - you took off your parka, fur hat, fur gloves and -100 sno-pac boots or Stieger Mukluks when you went to bed, but you didn't take off your long underwear, your flannel lined jeans, your Tshirt or quilted top shirt or your heavy socks - we survived quite well and had a successful racing season - if I were younger and fitter, I'd do it again in a heart beat
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:33 AM   #20
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Thank you for the clothing advice! We want to be comfortable leaving the bus also, so clothing is our first line of defense against the snow!
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