Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-19-2013, 09:44 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Posts: 115
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B-800
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: 55
Strategies for northeastern winters

Hi all, we have a 36 foot school bus conversion (not very well insulated and lots of windows) and I am seriously contemplating being stationary in Upstate NY (Ithaca) for the winter, where it can easily get -15F below.... and I'm looking for strategies to make things more comfortable.

Right now from experience in South Jersey (where it gets to maybe 10F once in a while, more mild), the bus warms up quickly with direct sunlight, maybe to 55F by 10am when it is 35F outside.... but lack of sunlight and night time,not gets cold quickly. We have a substantial woodstove and access to firewood, but no other heat and won't use propane. Various Strategies would be helpful, insulating from the outside, inside, above, below, and any sort of passive heating, ways to insulate windows, the door area, maybe a way to trap heat via some sort of greenhouse layer design or super insulating the north wall with strawbales and letting the sun in on the south.

This is a small space, 30 ft x 8 ft, so not much mass to absorb heat. My water is also stored purely in a 50 gallon tank inside, about 5 feet from the woodstove. I have three kids, 9, 11, 13 years old, as a single parent, so these have to be solid proven strategies. We are fairly used to roughing it in Jersey with layered clothing (in a house though) where heat only came on at 45 F (oil burner with thermostat). proven strategies welcome!

Likely we will often be in an indoor public place (library, YMCA, friend's house, etc), or outside with thick winter clothing and getting some exercise in the snow... But for nighttime and perhaps half the day, I'm hoping to make our motorhome comfortable.

Please, no discouragement. I know this can be done. People have been living comfortably in cold climates for a long time, and I'm sure there are natural approaches and scientific improvements that make it possible.
tomas_maly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
Site Team
 
bansil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,047
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

Will the stove not heat it?

I realize it has "no mass" to heat and hold it

you could always hang thick blankets (away from the stove) to keep the heat loss from the windshield area at a minimum, since the floor will be cold, make sure your above the floor (so your bodies don't get the heat pulled from them

good luck with this.....moving would be easier
__________________
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton
bansil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 10:31 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,402
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison 545
Rated Cap: 2
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

cool and good luck!

i'd start with some heat loss calculations from a site like this:http://www.builditsolar.com/Referenc...s/HeatLoss.htm

this is how i am sizing the furnace for my bus. conservation can only do so much. you are gonna have to generate a lot of heat. fill that chart out good, expected temps, r values, square ft....
that will give you a number to shoot for in sizing your needs.

i put a too small of a heater in a garage once.... it was quite aggravating to go and turn it on and freeze when huddled around it.

good luck!
__________________
.
Turfmobile Build Thread
turf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
wmkbailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Frederick Maryland
Posts: 831
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

Thick blankets are an easy way to insulate. I have seem people here use magnets to hold them where they are needed.

I have seen people insulate the floor from underneath the bus. That will help and not take up any space inside.
__________________
William

visvi Cherokee for Journey, Sounds Like Oeesha

http://thejourneyvisvi.com/

My Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=464989
wmkbailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
JakeC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MN
Posts: 732
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

I would say insulated skirting (possibly in the form of bales) will be an absolute necessity. Combine that with with blankets over the windows, and you are off to a good start. One thing that will really help is the fact that you are using wood heat. It will drastically reduce condensation.
__________________
The journey is the destination...

Brutus
JakeC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 337
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

I think Duckfoot mentioned I here somewhere that he created a wiremesh box around his woodstove to fill with stones. These stones became a heat holding mass. Try looking at his build, I think he was working through some of these same issues.
Malkieri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 01:13 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
wmkbailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Frederick Maryland
Posts: 831
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomas_maly
Please, no discouragement. I know this can be done. People have been living comfortably in cold climates for a long time, and I'm sure there are natural approaches and scientific improvements that make it possible.
You wont get any discouagement until we get to know you, then your in trouble.
__________________
William

visvi Cherokee for Journey, Sounds Like Oeesha

http://thejourneyvisvi.com/

My Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=464989
wmkbailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Das Mel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Landlocked... for now.
Posts: 285
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomas_maly
Please, no discouragement. I know this can be done. People have been living comfortably in cold climates for a long time, and I'm sure there are natural approaches and scientific improvements that make it possible.
You wont get any discouagement until we get to know you, then your in trouble.
Lies. All lies. We harass everybody.

We wouldn't do it if we didn't love ya.

So.

Very.

MUCH. [Insert Overly Attached Girlfriend HERE]
__________________
'Tace

Dog is my copilot. As I have no dog, I have no flight plan.

"If all porkchops were perfect, we wouldn't have hotdogs!" -Steven Universe
Das Mel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 07:32 AM   #9
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Posts: 115
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B-800
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: 55
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

The woodstove is pretty big - 24 x 24 x 24.... and is lined with 2 inch firebrick, for radiant heat. My main concern was minimizing heat loss. Would thick blankets on the roof help from above? I think floor insulation from below makes sense. Maybe interior thick carpet as well? Away from the stove I mean.

I was thinking of also getting 1 inch thick rigid foam boards which usually have R-6 put on plywood facing and tacked on outside over the windows and walls, like how storm windows get attached with hooks etc.

Thick blankets would also go inside. I already reinsulated the walls below the windows.

Straw bale skirting makes good sense.

I was also thinking it would make sense to create some greenhouse with clear plastic and temporary 2x3 framing? As a room on the south side, maybe trap heat inward onto the bus wall?
It would also be nice to have some extra space foe transitioning inside to outside.
I don't know if it would make sense to just have the north side be bales all the way up from the ground to the roof?

I know winters can be tough so I figured I could at least test it all out in the fall and try to avoid using the woodstove as long as possible, see how comfortable passive heating and heat retention can keep it.

Not sure what else there is to do. People on some RV forums have been discouraging, but our former house was an uninsulated 1750 square foot Victorian with 5 ft tall windows in every room and an oil furnace that still didn't help. We got used to wearing layered clothing 24x7, using hot water bottles in bed, several thick blankets (we also have sleeping bags now) and keeping the heat quite low.
tomas_maly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 07:57 AM   #10
Site Team
 
bansil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MNT CITY TN
Posts: 5,047
Re: Strategies for northeastern winters

plywood out side with insulation will not last long unless it is sealed very good, thick carpet or material on inside might work better and you could take it down during the day to let sun soak inside?

Thick rugs etc on floor will really help
__________________
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton
bansil is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
North East Winters jrberry Conversion General Discussions 6 12-15-2014 12:05 AM
Better heat circulation for winters? tomas_maly Heating, Cooling and Appliances 7 01-24-2014 07:36 PM
Spent REAL winters in your bus? (well below freezing) nearhomeless Heating, Cooling and Appliances 9 07-29-2009 08:31 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.