A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

On Keeping Warm at Night


Saturday night it went below the freezing point, down to 29 (-1.7c) degrees.

Here is how we combat the cold.

All the windows are covered with a panel of Reflectix.

Imagine bubble wrap with shiny Mylar on each side.  That is Reflectix.

The screen door has some in place.  The bottom portion is a recent addition this year.

Adding the carpet this year (much to Beans’ delight) over the removable floor panel that covers the batteries helped.  I could feel cold coming in from below.  There already was a rubber mat there but this added carpet panel helped even more.

This heavy double sided fabric curtain that separates the forward cab from the living space came with the RV.  It does work in keeping the cold from up front coming into the back.

There isn’t much I can do about the front windshield.  
I have a sun shade for for it but that doesn’t seal off temperature transfer.

One of the first things I made when I bought this RV were cardboard panels for the door windows.  I glued on window sunshade material to the part that faces out.  This was to reflect hot sun.  Just this year in a rare moment of brilliance, I glued Reflectix to the inside of the cardboard panels.

The main idea here as with the other Reflectix windows panels is to retain the warmth generated by an old man and his fat cat while asleep inside the living area just as much insulating it from the cold outside.
All of this does work.

As soon as the sun comes up and there is no cloud cover, the entire front area (and cat) is quickly warmed up.  I can then remove the curtain.  I always park facing east for that reason and for the sun to hit on the door side of the camper during the day.  Same in the summer, keeping the hot sun off the side with the refrigerator.

Taking all these precautions maintains a seven to eight degree difference between the inside temperature from outside.  Here you can see the slide-out extended about four inches.  It will go as for as eighteen inches.  I never put it out that far.  I don’t need the space.  Like this here I can sit at the table and still reach across to the drawers, countertop and the stove controls.

If I shut the slide-out it seals off that gap enough that there will now be a ten degree difference between the inside and outside.  There is a rubber seal all around yet shutting it tightly makes a lot of difference.  So that Saturday morning it was 29 outside, 39 inside.  That is the difference between life and death for me.  Also, if I remember to do so, in a hard driving rain I will shut the slide-out.  I have experienced wet carpet where the slide travels inside if I do not shut it.

There is this sticker on the outside - Oregon Recreational Vehicle Compliance.  I looked it up one time and happily discovered that it meant the RV was constructed with thicker insulation to meet this requirement.  Winnebagos are made in Indiana.  Why would only Oregon have such a requirement?  I would much rather have a Minnesota Recreational Vehicle insulation compliance...if there was such a thing.  Now that sucker would really be insulated.  Anyway, I’m not complaining.  I was happy to discover this RV had a few millimeters extra thick insulation over the factory standard.

I almost forgot these.  There are two ceiling vents.  These are inserts you can buy to block them off.  They have soft sheepskin like material on the interior side and Reflectix on the outer side.  Can you believe I found two, brand new, still in their wrapping in a dumpster here several years ago?  Someone bought them, must have ordered the wrong size and simply through them away!  
Unbelievable the things people throw away.


Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks for the tour of your very inspired insulating tricks! They are definitely worth learning about for others who travel and park in the cold. Of course you're not supposed to be cold in AZ. We had a light snow after much rain last night, but it will get over freezing and be sunny this afternoon. Not going anywhere, so I'm happy till everything melts.

Vicki said...

29° in Arizona? Isn't that a bit colder than usual? I'm in Florida, it's 63°, and I'm freezing. And I'm from Ohio where winters can be very cold with lots of snow.

John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

Its been known to happen once or twice every winter since I have been coming here. Hopefully this is the once or twice and it will not happen again this season.

CS said...

In the winter, you can flip that vent "pillow" so that the Reflectix faces down and reflects the heat back at you. I only just learned that this year, and I've had mine for a few years.
(sorry if this posts twice, I hit "publish" and it disappeared)