Warm in the Winter

Another two feet of snow fell here at the bus; so much for planting my peas and spinach on March 1. Still, the snow is good for something more than cross country skiing out our backdoor: it helps keep us warm.

When Steve drove the bus over Steven’s Pass from Bellingham last December, he had to wear two down jackets to keep from freezing because the bus itself has no heater. Fortunately, it does have a wood stove, a wood stove large enough to turn the bus into a sauna (specifically a Sauna Troll, but that’s another story.)

We are learning to maintain a small but steady blaze that keeps the bus warm at night without cooking us out, but we still resort to opening windows on occasion. Clearly, heating the bus up is not a problem, although retaining the heat can be. Here’s how we manage:

First, there is insulation between our interior walls and floor and the outer bus shell. Second, we put insulated panels, with decorative slip covers, up in the windows. Third, during the day, we leave a small space heater running. Finally, the snow creates a skirting around the bus and keeps the wind from rushing underneath, minimizing our convectional heat loss.

If February rains hadn’t washed away most of our initial snow, we would be shovelling just to keep our windows clear. As efficient as that would have in insulative terms, I’m happy to know that my peas don’t have too much longer to wait.

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