With several inches of snow, and temps hovering in the 20’s and 30’s, winter has definitely arrived in Bellingham. I installed the wood stove, and got some fires roaring in it, but when the temperature dropped that low I discovered that the bus doesn’t hold in the heat in at all. Stove sure looks nice, though, doesn’t it?!
My friend Bruce had the tools and experience to help me cut a hole through the roof and insert the appropriate stove pipe and cap. After much effort to try to find used, cheaper parts, I spent nearly $300 to buy what I needed. It was cool to see that the roof is actually quite well insulated. ….okay, 2 inches insulated.
The exterior walls are insulated with ultratouch radiant barrier. It comes in rolls, ordered through Home Depot, and is made of recycled denim. I glued it up, and then screwed in wood strips to attach the wood paneling to. The living room paneling is a nice warm oak, which I found at the ReStore, but I’ll probably eventually paint it, as to my sensibilities it clashes with the bamboo floor.
I love my bedroom and super cozy bed. A friend gave me some lovely maple that looks nice in there as wall paneling, but unfortunately I’m several pieces short, and haven’t found that same kind anywhere yet.
So, I’m feeling discouraged at this point in the process, and reluctantly back into survival mode, as I map out where I’ll be through the winter months. My biggest challenge is not lack of funds, It’s uncertainty. I have a broad vision of how I want the bus to look and feel, but the process is organic, as I want my materials to be re-purposed rather than bought new, and the finished result to reflect natural harmony.
I still need interior walls and trim, and am uncertain about materials and techniques. I still need to select fabrics for the livingroom upholstery and curtains. Clearly I need to insulate the windows, back and front of the bus. There’s plenty I can still do, but I don’t feel confident that I can make it comfortable to live through a Northwest winter in. Which brings up questions on how I want to arrange my life, moving forward. Do I WANT to try to live off the grid through a NW winter on this bus, alone? Probably not. Could I drive it south for the winter? Probably not. Maybe I’ll find a comfortable rhythm of winter travels to get me through to spring, but I’ll need to create the financial feasibility
Being in an intentional community would help to resolve my issues, and there’s movement in that direction, but that process takes time.