Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My plans for living with the cold weather

This past weekend's cold front reminded me that I do not have a central heating system and rely entirely on a few blankets. I actually received a few offers from friends to stay in their houses till the cold front passed but I turned them down. I needed to experience the cold. It was the only way that I could come up with a workable solution.

Friday night I tried using just the window insulating covers but when I woke up on Saturday the van was almost as cold as the outside. The covers reduced/slowed the heat loss but it was clear that the amount that is lost was significantly higher then my body heat output. Therefore the solution to this problem is to either increase the heat output via propane heater or reduce the heat loss area. I have decided to try reducing the heat loss area. My current idea is to use a black blanket tucked into the upper bed area which can be draped down across the width of the van and cover the foot of the bed. This will reduce the heating area to just the bed space and some air space above the table. I believe this is enough of a reduction to avoid needing an artificial heat source. The secondary benefit to using the blanket method is that I will no longer need to hang random shirts and pants from the roof rack bar to create a "light block" from the front windows and will not need to use the curtains. This will somewhat reduce the suspicious look of the van from the outside in the event that a very nosy person tries to look in through the tinted windows.

In the image below I have marked the bed in green and the blanket idea in red.

The second thing I noticed was that residual heat from the motor slowly creeps through the insulation and mattress and if I keep the comforter over the bed it will be just warm enough to be comfortable despite the ambient air temperature.


  1. Have no fear, average temperature range for the month of November is 75F day and 54F night and December gets down to 45F. Inconvenient but not life threatening.

    Last thursday a cold front brought it down to 39F with daytime being in the low 60s. I spotted many people the next day wearing long coats, gloves and sweaters despite it being nice enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt.