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Old 02-26-2024, 08:25 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: Milwaukee-ish
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Year: 2002
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Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Skoolie Door Conversions: Which is best for winter climates?



What's everyone's opinion of skoolie door conversions in regards to winter climates? Has anyone increased the ground clearance of their door by removing or raising the lower step?

Right now I have the existing double swing door, with a crappy brass 3 prong lock thing holding them together; but nothing holds the door 'tight' to the bus, other than a small slide lock at the bottom.

I am located at almost 8k' in the Rockies, and I feel like a lot of heat loss is coming from the door, so I'm looking at a lot of installs, but most of them are either reusing the double doors, or using a solid wood door that is cut to fit.

Another issue I am having, is that as the snow builds up around the bus, it becomes ice near the door, which tends to get higher and higher and higher. I often have to chip away at the ice in order to keep the doors opening.

When driving my bus on my property, I also bashed the leading edge of the door box pretty hard. I'm thinking about replacing the door AND trying to modify this part of the bus, as it's just too low. It's great for handicapped people stepping from a curb, it sucks offroad and it sucks in winter.

Has anyone seen a build that tackles more extreme climates? Interested in tips and tricks for high altitude winter conditions.

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Old 02-27-2024, 04:20 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Location: South Carolina
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The most I've seen people use is 4 inches for a R20 value on the floor, 3.5 inch on the roof, and walls.

If you had no heat being generated no matter how much insulation you have the inside temp would eventually match the outside temp. Insulation is the concept of slowing the transfer of heat or cold between materials to allow a small heat source to overpower the outside.

The better the insulation, the smaller the heat source in the core could heat up a space. because it's slowing it's loss through the walls. If you live out there you may need something that is removable for the door as well. You are correct that even leaving a space uncovered can be a major leak like a balloon with a hole in it.
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Old 02-27-2024, 05:37 PM   #3
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If your gonna be parking in the snow alot, you might benefit from creating some skirting around the bus to help out with the cold air attacking the floor area.
Once the skirting is up and snow is all around the skirting, it's kinda like a ghetto Igloo under the bus.

also, on the inside for drafts, maybe a shower curtain or thick plastic lining held up against/covering the door opening with magnets.... like 1 foot long tool holder magnets that they sell at harbor freight?

BTW, GREAT BEER FRIDGE !!!
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Old 02-27-2024, 06:06 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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This is what I'm going to do with my door..https://www.ordertrailerparts.com/pr...11153530355756
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Old 02-27-2024, 09:12 PM   #5
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Sealing off the cab with an insulated curtain

I live in Canada, and my skoolie has the two stock front doors. I'm also concerned about heat loss there. My solution for now was to sew an insulated curtain to block off the cab from the living area. You can see it in this video:
https://youtu.be/mA2xbktxRhM?si=uUZOvXeaZ-gcgMOf

This also helps prevent heat loss from the windshield. I've been pleased with the results. With a single heater I can get the bus 18 degrees Celsius above the outside temperature.
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Old 02-27-2024, 11:38 PM   #6
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Consistent Shovel Work

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADDvanced View Post


(.....)

Another issue I am having, is that as the snow builds up around the bus, it becomes ice near the door, which tends to get higher and higher and higher. I often have to chip away at the ice in order to keep the doors opening.

When driving my bus on my property, I also bashed the leading edge of the door box pretty hard.(.....)

Has anyone seen a build that tackles more extreme climates? Interested in tips and tricks for high altitude winter conditions.
--------------
Ewo1 mentioned skirting.👍 You might also protect the entry from snow drifts using pallets &/or snowfence..



Or you could build an RV mudroom. A hinged 'drawbridge' awning might meet up with your roof-deck for mobility.



Dub it as a chicken coop or shed. Built on skids to move it in the spring, when the ground is slippery.



It's your land it can look all janky & yet be heated. Temporary.



Also, it's your land. Fix the bus crushing driveway (when the ground clears up).


my driveway, the kids & me


Meanwhile, please check out the article:
Meet The Men Who Study Man Camps
By Emily Guerin
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Old 02-28-2024, 11:40 AM   #7
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I like the idea of a what I like to call a "Shed Port".

A little shed you can drive up to and park automatically expanding your living space which is designed to nearly form fit your bus, but not so attached that you couldn't drive away at a moments notice.
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Old 02-28-2024, 01:23 PM   #8
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A few years ago a Hippie Kid friend of mine lived in a 1969 Ford F600 School Bus.
In the winter he worked at a ski area, first as a lift operator and then Ski Patrol and instructor. He would park his bus behind the ski area lift shop and surround it with straw bales the ski area used for erosion control. He used a 5x8 cargo trailer to store all of his skis, bikes, boots etc and it was sort of beside the bus with a bunch of pallets made into a front porch. The bus had no plumbing so no worries about freezing. Heat was from a small electric heater plugged in to the lift shop. There was so much ski area lift parts and debris in the area the bus fit right in. Some years it just looked like a stack of straw bales.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:47 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I do have skirting, it's just buried under the snow. I also have a thermal curtain which cuts off the cab; it helps tremendously. The door is still **** tho! I think I'm goign to try cutting off the bottom for more ground clearance, too. Seeming more and more like a spring project now.
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Old 03-02-2024, 09:09 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I walled off the front and rear of the bus and installed cut down, insulated residential doors for access. Installed 2" insulation in the aforementioned walls and floor, spray foamed the rest and a diesel heater will sweat me out of the place at -48c. PM me if you need more information.
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Old 03-03-2024, 12:33 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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We have the same bus. My stairwell is pretty rotten and the bottom of the doors are rusted out. I plan on rebuilding the stairwell 4" higher and making new doors the same just 4" shorter. I plan on taking off the rubber folds on both doors and bringing the steel frame full size. I will attach a piece of flat bar and weatherstripping to cover the crack between the doors. With that being all steel I should be able to make a regular deadbolt work. That should pull the doors together tight and somewhat draft proof. I have also been thinking about a 2-3" lift on the suspension for more ground clearance and taller more aggressive tires. That low hanging step has always bothered me.

Good luck and stay warm.
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