We Wear Grass Skirts in Winter

or, I’ll Huff, and I’ll Puff, and I’ll Blow Your House Down

Winter is here, and frankly, we were late in being ready for it.

However, now we’re in good shape. Better than good. The plumbing and pipes have been returned to their previous non-frozen, liquid-delivering state. We are fully insulated (to say the least), the pipes are safe, we’re warm and cozy, and we have a new resident trapped under the RV. I’ve nicknamed him The 50-Below Heater. He’s a heater inside the underbelly and behind the wall of insulation, in case there is ever like, some freaky 50-below situation. And we brought home a new emergency heater. (No doubt, none of these things will ever be used, now that we’ve gone to the trouble.)

But what I really came to tell you about is our insulation adventure. And if I do say so myself, it is both functional and stylish. Big bales of straw, friends. Two feet deep and three feet long. Last year we used one-inch thick foam insulation board. Did the trick and we never froze, but I hate working with the stuff. This year we used straw bales. I don’t know exactly what the r-value of a two-foot thick straw bale is, but I’ll guarantee you it’s a hell of a lot higher than one inch of styrofoam.

Thart’s a larta straw bales!

You think it looks like an RV Tiki Bar?
I was going for a sort of manger/Christmas feel.
Or maybe it’s Cleopatra’s White Trash Barge.

Baby is decked out for Winter!

After packing in the straw bales very tightly and stuffing every single little crack, la Caravane de la Paille gets a layer of packed snow at the bottom to seal the deal.

This makes us completely okey-dokey down to however-much-below zero. It’s far more that we did previously, and we were fine down to 30-below last year. (In fact, when a few around-the-corner neighbors had frozen pipes, ours were fine.) Anyhow. This is far more than we very likely need to do. But an extra measure of security is nice to have, and truth be told, it was kind of fun. And besides, it’s unique and it looks super weird. After all, we have rep to protect!

“What are those lunatics in the RV doing now?!”

 

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7 Comments

Filed under adirondacks

7 responses to “We Wear Grass Skirts in Winter

  1. Kate

    Is there a fire danger?

  2. Nope. The furnace exhaust is not near the straw, but we used a panel instead of straw on that side anyway, gave it a douse for good measure, and it’ll be covered with snow and ice by tomorrow. There no mechanics underneath the RV where the the straw really is (everything is on the interior of this particular unit), and the belly heater is a pad – very mild, no coils or flames, and it’ll likely not get turned on anyway.

  3. I like it! We use hay bales around our bees to block the west wind. And a neighbor down the road uses them around her trailer. I’ve also seen people use black plastic trash bags filled with leaves. In Spring the leaves go on the gardens for instant mulch.

    I bet your RV stays nice and warm now. It’s looking to be a serious winter so far, so more prep is better than less.

  4. hideawayhill

    Yep, we always did that when we were in the cabin with no basement. It works incredibly well. The mice will like the new bedding too. 🙂

  5. Kate

    Whew! It was 85 in LA today, BTW. And boy, do we pay for the weather …

  6. Herbs

    Phill that is awesome looking! I love using straw as an insulator. You guys should be snug and cozy this winter. One word of caution, however. Keep a check that the mice that bed up in the straw (and they will, ya know) don’t chew through any foam, rubber, or plastic (and they will, ya know) under the trailer. Would hate for you to lose your home because some nasty little varmint thought your wiring cover looked like a nice midnight snack (and they will, ya know). And don’t ask how I know this can happen.

  7. Herbs – We did indeed learn that last year. We made sure to stuff steel wool in all the holes. All the pipes and plumbing are inside, except the waste tank, so that makes it a little easier. Might be a good idea to put one of those aural mice repellent sound things under there!

    Kate – Don’t think we haven’t thought of Austin or vicinity for our old age!

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