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  • Writer's pictureJon Runningbear

Surviving Winter in a Bus Conversion

There is a difference between thriving and surviving, and in a Bus Conversion sometimes it's hard to know the difference. Most buses are not converted to be used in harsh weather, most people seem to chase good weather, but for those of us who want to ski in the winter and do all the lake activities in summer chasing the weather isn't an option, So thats why we build our bus conversion and tiny houses to stand up to anything mother nature throws at us. So the fist thing we need to address is how the hot and cold makes it into your bus. First there is thermal bridging, this is when the metal the bus is made from, transfers the temp to the inside, the way we stop thermal bridging is to get rid of all the school bus windows and replace them with vinyl dual pane thermal rated glass windows ( except for the windshield). second we make certain that the metal is completely covered with spray foam and thirdly the interior walls do not touch the outside metal walls, Our double wall system guarantees that it's a thermal bridge to nowhere. we leave a small gap to allow for wiring to pass down the walls for plugs and switches. this double wall system cuts out all thermal bridging and makes for a quieter environment, it also allows the walls to breath and to lock out moisture.The next place we address this issue is the floor, because I have dogs and cats living with me I choose not to use a heated floor as these are uncomfortable to pets to lay on, so I insulate with 3 inches of foam with a hardwood floor laid over it. this will keep the floor warm and cool respectively.

I use a pellet stove that we build in house that runs on 12 VDC and feeds pellets based on the thermostat calling for heat, this stove also heats bus antifreeze that we circulate through radiators in Zone locations with thermostats. so I can set the different zones to different temps. for instance the bathroom is kept warmer than the kitchen, the bedroom can be cooler for sleeping and the dogs area can be cooler still. So with zone heating I can have the perfect temp for each area of the bus. we also use this hot water ( hydronic heat) for drying our clothes. my dryers are made to run on 12 VDC and use this hot water to dry our clothes, so I can dry eight pairs of blue jeans in under thirty mins on less than 50 watts of power. I also have a heat loop around all my doors, the reason is to keep ice from building up around the door and trapping us inside. We can also divert this hot water to our Diesel engine to preheat it when we are ready to leave. This same system will heat our domestic hot water and if we take a longer shower than normal we will simply have the tankless water heater supplement the hot water should there not be enough.

So with careful and thoughtful engineering we have designed our bus conversions and tiny houses to withstand all mother nature can send our way. We live in comfort year round in a dry and healthy environment. It is very important to keep all of the metal from the bus sealed away from the interior of the living area, to keep moisture under control and to provide clean inside air.

So when you're ready for a bus conversion or tiny house that is miles above the rest, built by Engineers with 42 years of experience and 300 plus builds give us a call. We will be happy to help you with your build. More blogs are coming soon on other products we build in house to make off the grid and comfortable bus life possible.

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