Our Top 5 Ways To Stay Warm This Winter.
Updated: Jul 28, 2018
As anyone who has watched Game of Thrones and can mimic a northern accent will know, ‘Winter is coming’. Now snow and ice can be a lot of fun, but it becomes a bit of a different story when your considering living inside a van, a.k.a, a metal box on wheels.
Here are our top 5 ways to stay warm in your van this winter! Starting from pre build essentials and working through to extras that you should definitely take with you if you’re venturing out in your van over the next few months.
1. Insulate Like There’s No Tomorrow
The path to keeping your van warm should start with insulation, and you need to get it right first time as it’s going to be a pain to start insulating again once you’ve boarded or cladded your walls. There are lots of different methods out there, so here’s a brief overview of our set up to give you a starting point.
Chewbacca sometimes hides in our walls
We went for double sided silver foil bubble wrap on the bare bones of our van, and then moved on to Ekoroll rockwool for the main insulation. You can use Kingspan if you’re short on time or just hate itchy arms, but we went for rockwool as you can really cram it in and make a strong wall out of it. Shop around, but whatever you do don’t skimp out at this stage; you’ll regret it later if you do.
2. Spend Your Life Savings on Blankets
Rose – making blankets look cool since 2017
Forget your old friends, because blankets are your new best friend. You can take them to the movies, take them out for dinner, and then wrap up in them when you’re watching TV. (We don’t get out much).
But on a serious note layering up is a quick way to get warm and stay warm. Make sure you have some good jumpers and a thick duvet in the winter; you can always make a cool cape out of it when summer comes around.
3. Get Yourself a Wood Burning Stove
How much wood could a wood burner burn if a wood burner could burn wood?
Photo by The Indie Projects
If I’ve said it once I’ll say it again; this is the best thing that we’ve put in our van. A few bits of kindling and a couple of pieces of smokeless fuel and you’ve got a steady heat source that will spread warmth throughout your entire van. Winter won’t know what’s hit it when this baby gets going!
Obviously when you put something that creates fire into your van you’ve got to be extremely careful, both when fitting it and using it. We installed a twin insulted flue on our stove, so there’s less heat being transferred to the materials around it as travels up out of the roof, and we’ve gone to town with fire rope and fire sealant to make sure that everything is sealed off safely. We also used fireproof spray on our cladding too (Safety is Seb’s middle name).
Make sure you have at least one carbon monoxide monitor and a smoke alarm if you go down this route. Check out Glowing Embers for more info on twin insulated flues and fire safety accessories.
4. No Propane, No Gain
'Mr Heater' is an example of a portable, indoor radiant heater that many Americans use in sheds, vans and boats. You can pick them up on eBay pretty cheap, and they are small enough to store away in your garage area or under a seat. The only downside to me is that they run on propane, and that’s going to potentially cause a quick carbon monoxide build up.
I’m putting this in the interest of looking at all options, but this isn’t something that I would go for as I’d be scared about keeping it on for long amounts of time. I know where I am with coal fires, but gas is a whole new ball game for me. But if you’re more akin to these things than I am and you know how to use them safely, it could be a great option for flooding your van with short bursts of heat.
5. Spend Winter in Australia
If you can afford to ship your van over to the land down under, then that’s a pretty sure fire way of keeping warm over your usual winter period. It’s a last resort, but you’ve gotta admit it’s a pretty good one! But then again you have the problem of keeping cool in your van… perhaps that could be a new post?
Written by Seb and Rose @vincentvanlife