Last night, western Oklahoma received its first frost of the season. At this point, the trees haven't begun to change color. I suppose the early frost will shock them into getting serious about the business of shutting down their green chlorophyll factories for the winter.
I had my furnace repaired. It was in the shop for a month. The young repairman assured me it is "as good as new" and ready for the upcoming winter season. The motorhome is 26 years old; the furnace is original to the unit. It shows signs of a previous repair.
I'm pleased the mechanic's repair estimate did not force me into the decision of whether to replace the old furnace. It was several hundred dollars cheaper to rebuild the old furnace than to buy a new one. The young repairman (I have sons older than him!) seemed itchin' for me to make the decision to replace the unit with something new and shiny, something with modern electronic controls.
I can remember being that kid's age; I would have had the same recommendation. But our thought-process changes as we get older; I certainly hope it's "wisdom" not "senility." In any event, I'm proud of my newly-rebuilt, somewhat rusty, 26-year-old furnace. (I'll be celebrating my 51st birthday the day-after-tomorrow. I'll testify that parts of my own body have been rebuilt a few times, and I'm getting a little rusty myself. Maybe in deciding to give that old furnace a second-life, I'm thinking about my own aging body?)
It was 28 degrees when I awoke this morning, just before sunup. But the old rebuilt furnace had kept the rig toasty, inviting and warm. I remain comfortable in the motorhome, even in sub-zero weather, but only when the wind is calm. In cold windy weather I find it necessary to spread a thick second blanket on the bed, and to have a down-filled throw available in the living room. It's not that the rusty old furnace can't keep the place warm; it's that the cold wind seems to blast right through the single-pane glass windows, making the rig noticeably drafty.
There are things I could do to help insulate against the cold winter wind; I might eventually try some of those solutions. It seems that many of the cold drafts are originating from the cockpit area. Replacing the 26-year-old windshield drapes with heavily-insulated modern drapes should help significantly. I'm not interested in skirting the motorhome; I take it out every few weeks, and the skirting would be a pain to remove then reinstall. I might could prevent some of the cold drafts by taping plastic sheeting to the inside of the windows, or by insulating the three roof-vents.
I've heard first-hand stories of folks who became obsessive toward sealing their RV against all drafts, only to learn they had inadvertently created another problem--in the condensation which formed on the rig's windows and walls. I can brag that I don't have the condensation problem in my motorhome; the drafts seem to eliminate that particular issue!
About a year ago I moved full-time into the old motorhome. At that time, I was worried about whether the rig would be comfortable during the cold winter. The Boogie-dog and I have now lived through an entire year, facing knee-deep snow with negative-6-degree nights, followed by the hottest summer ever recorded in Oklahoma. Through those last four seasons, we have remained reasonably comfortable with no significant complaint. Living full-time in the rig has far exceeded my expectations.
The decision to adopt a full-time RV lifestyle, for me, was essentially a decision to live more simply. To get more in touch with Nature, and with God. To know the Grace found in freeing oneself from the responsibilities of all the "stuff" I had accumulated. To experience life from a completely different perspective.
An occasional cold draft is a small price to pay for what I've gained in the trade.