December 5, 2017 (by Angela)
We’re at the beginning of month 3 of sitting still, so we’ve been doing a few projects around here, mostly to help us stay warm this month and next.
First, I ordered some Reflectix. Though more commonly used to keep heat out, it can also be used to keep heat in. If the results of this first project are as hoped, it will keep us warmer this winter and cooler in the warmer months. I pulled everything out of our closet (which is above the 5th wheel king pin box), wiped down the walls, and hung Reflectix to the outside walls using velcro tabs instead of staples. I didn’t want to put even staple holes into the walls of the closet, and I also wanted to be able to remove it easily if needed. I also added another layer of insulation to the floor of the closet, which is technically an outside “wall” by putting down a nice, warm, rug on top of the carpet.
Once I finished the closet, I was pleased with the Reflectix, so a day or two later I did the same thing for the big cabinet in the bedroom, which is also set in the area above the king pin. So far, I’m pleased with the results. In a few days, the temperatures here are going to drop and stay cold, so it’ll get a good testing then.
The next project was adding bubble wrap (large bubbles) to the windows without screens. I’ve read for years how this helps insulate while also allowing light and heat from the sun inside. It is supposed to double the R value (the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow) of the windows. I finally decided to give it a try. Believe it or not, I love it so far. There are several benefits to using the bubble wrap. For example, it is easy to put up, take down, and put up again, if desired. It offers privacy. Where we are now does not allow much privacy with shades up and curtains open. The bubble wrap acts as a privacy screen while still filling the camper with sunshine and warmth. Finally, if it does actually double the R value, we will be warmer.
The day I put these up, it was dark, gloomy, and rainy outside. The view through the bubble wrap is not so gray when the sun is shining. I chose not to take screens off to cover the panes behind them just in case we have days where it is warm enough for fresh air, and we’ve had several days like that before today’s rain.
Our last project was to have an extra outlet installed on the left side of the bed. Jim and I enjoy using our electric blanket during cold weather. By necessity, it has dual controls. He would burn me up, and I’d freeze him. Our internal thermostats are not set the same. Unfortunately, the only outlet reachable without extension cord was on Jim’s side of the bed. I now have one on my side. My brother and his electrician friend Brian installed this for us this past weekend, just in the nick of time.
I still need to get the bubble wrap on one large window and get the last strip on the other large window. I hope to do that today. Temperatures are projected to get into the mid to low 20s with potential of snow for the end of the week, so I hope these projects pay off in warmth.