I lived in a class B last winter up in the upper midwest. It gets cold up here. I've opted for an RV of a different sort this year. One I have a little more control over in the insulating dept. I bought a bus a few weeks ago and will go pick it up this weekend and begin the task of winterizing this new RV they way it should be to survive in the northern climes of the US. I will scrap t he flooring and take it to the metal, clean and paint the metal then insulate the floor with 1.5" of styro. On that will go the flooring. I will fur the walls and add another 1.5" of insulation to that. My water tanks will all be small and above board so I can keep them warm and thawed out. I'll top it off with a furnace large enough to keep the interior warm in sub-zero temps and cozy it up a bit with personal touches here and there; enough to call it home through the winter months.
One thing that gets over looked much of the time, when one wants to live in an RV over the winter months, is the need to separate the cab of a motor home from the rest of the living quarters. The reason is simple. All that glass has a tendency to frost over and melt in cycles that follow the outside temps. This ice tends to create a ecosystem all its own that raises cane with wiring and can cause all manner of electrical problems.
I will build a solid wall with a door into the cabin from the cab of the bus. I will also build a back wall about 4' from the back of the bus; also with a door. This will give me cold storage area in the very back of the bus that will also be used as a cold weather entry to the warm cabin inside
Gus this sounds wondrful. We'll follow along with great interest. What type of bus did you buy? We're old Flx nuts outself... or maybe a Fageol. LOL
the Bus is a 1989 Ford with a 6.6L diesel w/Allison trans. The biggest reason I chose this bus is the economical Brazilian built diesel. I've heard reports of over 12mpg with one of these in a bus.
I like the idea with the flooring, and additional insulation. keep us posted on your progress.
Gus & all -
We don't live in our Class C - but we do winter camp in it. On the other hand, we've got a "deer shack" (two garages knocked together & insulated) with an 86 Terry bunkhouse semi-attached to it, and we are in it all winter long. We insulated both - we tried blow-in in the trailer; we suspended the floor in the shack, insulated below it. as well as doing the walls/ceiling.
The foam in the trailer gets tried out this year; we've got three years in the shack. I am SO glad we suspended the floor - the airspace helps a lot. If you're going own to the bare floor . . . would it make sense to get that air gap between your metal floor and the insulation/flooring?
Good thoughts on the walls at the front and back o your bus. Where in the upper MidWest do you live winter-times?
I thought through the air gap in the floor but, you know how it is, I couldn't quite find the bus I was looking for with the 76" ceiling height. I found one, actually, identical to the one I bought with the high ceiling; but it was a rattle trap. It had spent its life hauling kids to school in a rural Montana school dist. and it was beat hard. Fenders flapping and all!
This bus spent its life hauling kids for the Bismark, ND school district; not nearly as rough a use.
I'm north of Bismark, ND about 100 miles. I work for a phone company here on the edge of the oil field. Rent is 1500.00 per month for a 1 bedroom apt.; if you can find one. I don't get perdium as I'm a full time employee but the company lets me park in the cable yard and plug in there. There are showers in the warehouse so that works out good. I go home to SD every two weeks; we have a little farm there.
The one ton I use as my Avatar is the Class B I've been staying in for two years. It worked real good for what I used it for then. Now I've got this permanent position and would rather have the room than the mobility of the one ton.
Great ideas Gus! You are right on about closing off the cab area - good thinking. We full-timed in a Class A for 2 years and we had that same problem with the moisture and freeze/thaw cycle. We were too new and not smart enough to come up with a good solution. Lots of moisture and mold to deal with in our case. Good luck with your bus.
Thanks for the reply. I just moved into the bus a couple of weeks ago. It is not finished yet but far enough along to live in it and get an idea of how I want to fine tune the interior. I lived in my Avatar van all last winter and it went with nary a hitch. everything in it is pretty basic as I have no tanks assoc. with the van; they were all pulled out before I bought it. That was one of the reasons I bought it.
The cab of the van is partitioned off as are the back doors. I lived in that van at temps. as cold as -28 with only a Big Buddy heater to heat the interior. I rarely used the high setting. The floor was drafty and cold as it wasn't insulated. However, setting in a chair with your feet up on the bed was quite comfortable.
I have many many pictures of the progression of the bus and should really post a blog somewhere with a detailed description of the pictures and progression of things up to this point. I hope all is well with your home now. Spring, and now summer are in the air and life is good. We can live out side and around our rubber tired homes now and feel fortunate we've survived a brutally cold winter.