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Old 09-20-2019, 11:55 AM   #21
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I spent much of the 70s in the Yukon. Perhaps global warming has made a difference, but in those days there were 4 to 6 weeks every winter when the daily high never got up to -40 F. As far as lows go, there was a time every winter when the low temp was somewhere between -60 F and -70 F for up to a week or two at a time. And there was one time it went down to -73 F.

Obviously these temps are rough on vehicles. Especially without electricity like I was. I started my old Ford pickup by warming it up with a Coleman naptha gas powered camp stove, upon which I placed an oil can with both the top and bottom cut out to better direct the heat where I wanted it. And, yes, I managed to start that old 223 that time it went down to -73. But I always had 2 fully charged batteries kept warm in the cabin. That time it got so cold I was on the second battery when that old 6 banger finally started. After that I had to sit there for quite sometime, holding the clutch in until the oil in the transmission warmed up enough that it turned back into a liquid. If I had released the clutch before the oil in the trans liquified, the clutch would have burnt up in a few seconds

Back in those days I only ever drove a diesel vehicle when I was working, and I usually only worked in the summer, but I don't know how you'll get a diesel started in extreme cold without plugging it in. Very carefully would be my suggestion.

Fortunately, it's much easier to keep a person warm. Sleddgracer's advice above is quite good, as far as he takes it, but he does not explicitly state what I consider to be the most important principle for dressing for cold weather, which is that multiple layers of thin clothing will keep you much warmer than 1 or 2 thick layers. And with thinner layers it's easier to adjust for differing levels of exertion.

Good luck, I think you may need a bit to pull this off. But I do think you can do it with planning and preparation.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Clearly the best solution is to start driving south now.
Skoolie meet up?

Totonaka RV Park

https://forum.sancarlosmexico.com/
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:45 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by OlgaAK View Post

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.

You do not say where you are now, USA or Canada and maybe you love really cold weather and have experience with it but it is easier to have a true and proper prepared story ready for immigration then to recover your vehicle out of -40. With that number celcius or fahrenheit does not make much difference. That kind of winter gear i snot cheap either, not to mention the heating cost..To be comfortable in winter you do not need to go in Mexico , Arizona is pretty relaxed and in January you could check out skoolie palooza if it is playing this year.



Either way, Good luck,


Johan
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:12 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
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
Which would you say is more comfortable at -30 RV or wall tent?
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:42 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
... -40. With that number celcius or fahrenheit does not make much difference.



As in absolutely NO difference ... -40 C = -40 F !!!
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:50 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by OlgaAK View Post
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.
I think what you are saying is if things get too miserable you would leave the bus in AK and fly to MX ?
Makes sense to me.

Would you have to take your bus to the airport? Are you boon docking? Does your stove have an outside air source?

For those of us familiar with cold weather your original post raised a lot of red flags. GS1949 and Sledracer provided some great info but of course there is more to consider.

We don't know what your experience level is or if you have a savvy local contact up there that you can lean on a bit.
I think if we had a bit more info we could provide more relevant advice.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:38 PM   #27
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If youve not from Alaska or the NW Territories you need to head south now. -40 ambient is no joke. If your staying best you buy a Quonset hut tent and park the bod inside. Winterizing the bus with 4 in of foam with as few air leaks as possible would be needed or one heck of a heater. Plus anything related to water needs heat traced and insulated.
Ive lived in the arctic and Alaska for 50 yrs. Go south. I am.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:54 PM   #28
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:04 PM   #29
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Have camped overnight in my bus at 0F, and there were 20 of us breathing and we did OK. Kept the engine running and the 4 heater core fans running. So if you can make your woodburner heat water and you can bypass the engine as a heat source then you can keep warm quite nicely. Same bus at 40 below can be made warm with all 4 heaters going driving down the road so it is possible. All we had was curtains over the windows so if you insulate with solid styrofoam you should be good to go. The Floor is your enemy so hopefully you have either undercarriage insulated or a built up floor, good luck man
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:34 PM   #30
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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.
School buses built for winter have enough challenges for this kind of environment already, I somehow doubt a skoolie without those design considerations at the forefront will overcome them with some makeshift solution.

We live in NH, built our bus with winter in mind (2" insulation on the floor, deleted all side windows, new insulation everywhere, ripped out the metal ceiling and went 1" + reflectix up top, sistering the ribs with 2x2s for the shiplap ceiling to avoid thermal bridging, etc), and I guarantee I'm going to find insulation problems with my thermal optic once the snow hits.

Whatever it is you are planning, have a plan B.
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:08 AM   #31
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I used those crazy strong magnets with double sided tape and the foil bubble wrap foil so I could roll them up for storage. Kept g them right against the WIndow is Important. Colder weather Id go with celotex board Cheers
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Old 09-27-2019, 04:57 PM   #32
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It is not just the windows to worry about. You want to make sure there are no drafts either, and that there are no thermal bridges, if possible. Thermal bridging is when there is a conduit from the outside to the inside along a material that conducts heat, such as a fastener connected to the skin or ribs, that penetrates past your insulation. You can also build a skirt if you are planning on being stationary for a bit. The skirt would be something to block the wind from blowing under the bus. The wind can draw heat from the floor, which is usually the worst insulated part.
If you use some form of wood-stove, you may want to give it an exterior vent so that instead of drawing air from inside the bus for combustion, you are drawing it from outside. Drawing it from the inside will make any drafts you have worse: the woodstove will draw air from the interior, which in turn will cause air to move from outside the bus to the inside. It is better to draw the air from the outside, while the stove does nothing more to the interior air than heat it.
Another step you can take is to curtain off sections of the bus with good, thick curtains. This means that you need to heat smaller spaces, and can leave spaces you dont use alone.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:03 AM   #33
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Quote:
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.)
We covered 90 percent of our Windows with 2" pink foam. We just used strips of plywood to screw down full sheets. Gorilla tape on the seams. We then covered the pink with contact paper.
Easily reconfigured. Keeps us pretty comfy in the summer and snug in the winter. We're not in Alaska but it can get in the minus 20s in the desert.
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