This winter we are staying in the warmest part of Canada! I’m pretty excited! We aren’t even planning on insulating like we did last winter but we are still getting questions about it. So I thought I would list a few of the things we did to make the bus warm and cozy last winter for any of you who are new to winter bus living.
1. We put down foam rubber flooring over top of our hardwood. We actually used two layers. First we put down those interlocking foam mats (the kind that often come in primary colours for kids playrooms). Next we rolled foam rubber gym flooring over top (I think we bought it at Canadian Tire in the exercise section but I have since found it cheaper and sold by the metre at Princess Auto).
2. We covered all of our side bus windows. We had 1”styrofoam sitting in our storage unit and decided to cut it to fit over our windows all the way down our bus on both sides. Next we bought a few sheets of wood paneling and stuck them over the styrofoam so that our bus looked more like a cozy, wood cabin inside.
3. We bought a Mr. Buddy propane heater. We also bought a 20lb propane tank and all the appropriate hoses and fittings so that we had instant propane available for both our stove and heater at the same time. Oh and we bought a carbon monoxide detector just to be safe.
4. We bought an insulated sun shade for our front windshield. In retrospect we should have bought two and covered our back windows at night too but we had some leftover foam floor mat that we cut to size for our back windows and just covered them at night.
5. We separated the front cab of the bus from the cozy cabin we had created in the back by hanging a sleeping bag across the front grab bars. If you don’t have a spare sleeping bag a wool blanket would work just as well.
6. We stocked up on hot chocolate and warm treats!
7. We also used common sense when choosing our parking spots each night. We parked out of the wind in the most secluded places we could find. Sometimes the best place to park was right up against a giant snow pile that blocked the wind.
We were surprised by how warm we kept even on the coldest of nights. We are lucky to have many friends who were concerned and often offered to let us stay in their driveway and plug in if we needed to. Often we would stay on a weekend so that we could have a nice visit. This past winter we learned that we don’t need to worry about keeping warm. I’m not saying that we want to stay in the cold but we don’t have to go south every winter in order to make bus living work. I hope this helps someone stay warm!