People keep asking what I’m gonna do in my van when it’s forty below. The truth is, I’m a plan-as-I-go sort of person.
In other words: I dunno.
This is what I do know: I’ve been in the van down to twenty below before, but just for a couple weeks, and been fine. Also, when I was sixteen I lived in the cab of my little Dodge 50 all winter with no insulation or special things and I came out fine. I’ve definitely got more now than I did then (I mean, just in terms of being able to take care of myself and stuff), so I think I’ll be fine.
If not, I’ll wimp out and drive south.
Here are some of my possible strategies:
My bed is very close to the ceiling. There’s velcro all around it, and last winter I made curtains with space blankets inside and hung them all around the bed, making a little heat reflective cocoon. When the defroster’s on, it blows heat right into my little tunnel, and when I go to bed I put up the curtain at the foot of the bed and it holds it all in. Problems are that Bro inevitably gets up and down and the foot curtain comes off. Also, if I roll over and bump the curtain it billows out from the bed and cold air comes up. I think I may use reflectix this winter, as it’s a lot stiffer and I could velcro it to the side of the bed, maybe.
There’s a very smart guy named Laren who’s wintered in cold places in his van. He uses water for heat storage, by running his heating vent through an insulated crate filled with bottles of water. When the water’s hot and he goes to bed, he just takes the top off the crate, which is under his bed. He says it stays warm for eight hours, but I think his van is better insulated than mine and he might not be in places that are as cold. I was really thinking about this tho.
It’s always best to just be warm yourself. Nothing warms you up like a morning jog and some ginger tea. I have been wearing long underwear, sweatpants, a long sleeved shirt, and a sweater to bed, and I’ve been toasty warm. I am, however, too cold and lazy to take the warm clothes off and change in the morning. I think I will wear skirts over my sweatpants and change my top layers all winter. I’ll try not to stink. 😆
But. If my van is going to start in the morning, it’s gonna hafta be plugged in at night. If it’s gonna be plugged in, I might as well just plug in a little electric heater too, which makes everything else rather unnecessary.
But. For plug in’s I’m gonna have to stay in cities. Hotels and employee parking lots and friends’ driveways. And that will suck, so maybe I should just drive south. Except that I have a reason to be here through the end of November, and if I’m gonna stay that long I might as well stay another month and do holidays with the family. I can always go south after that. After all, that’s when the money goes to hell here and picks up in Florida. Except that once your through December March is just around the corner, and I love that part of winter where it warms up to ten below and everyone’s running around in shorts.
So, that is the current state of things, as close to a plan as I get.