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Preparing for the cold winter "brrrrrr's"

Linda Butler

My husband Martin and I met up with Ray Harris the winter before last at Waihi Gorge. Our first night in the bus in winter.


Darn, we could only get the new heater up to 10ºC on that night, and woke to a -3ºC frost. We opened the oven door, lit the gas and waited for sunshine. I'm proud of my hubby, he did agree to stay another night, but we enjoyed the warmth of Ray's 30º heater that evening, while playing cards until bedtime. This was from our newly installed diesel heater. Oh boy, we soon wondered if there was actually nothing wrong with the old gas one after all. The installers spent a lot of hours trying to work out the problem. Even with lagged pipes the heater wouldn't get warmer than 18º.


Finally we were told the poor insulation and many windows in the bus were the problem.

So over the last few months we came up with a plan.


  1. Purchased woollen carpet; it won’t need underlay, we were told. Tick

  2. With the curtains closed around our beds we still had a draft coming from the windows. We have a silver rail in front of the window. No probs. Op shop curtains purchased and now we sit draft-free with a feeling of sitting in a yurt in the back of the bus. Tick

  3. The carpet did need underlay as we still felt it cold. Fixed. Tick

  4. Hubby couldn't stand the cold on his body from the bus wall lining under the window by the bed. He needs a bit more fat on him! So we bought yoga mats. Nice and thin. Can lay under the mattress when not in use. Perfect. Tick

  5. Stumbled on a net curtain to cover the door for insects and thought, why not also get a long curtain to cover the door for cold? Found one that fits a treat and hangs around my passenger-side headrest when not in use. Another draft fixed. Tick

  6. The venetian blinds in the kitchen: we found just enough curtain to cover over them as well.We are going to be so snug! Tick

  7. The bathroom felt like a bucket of ice. We hung a curtain cord and threaded a towel by its own hem. That kept the cold off our arm. Easy to wash. Tick

  8. Might try leaving the door open in the evening to let the heat from the cabin flow in.

  9. That only left the driver's window area. We heard about insulation paper that builders use. We bought about 10 meters, cut it down to each individual window size, then used a heat gun and sealed the edges. This hopefully will help with the frost also! We hope...


Since doing all this, we have been unable to get out to try it, other than 2 nights at Lake Camp before winter really hit, after the carpet was put in and we had our curtains over the back windows. That little made a big difference.


We are looking forward to next year when we hit the road. Late August after we return from Europe. We will be snug as a bug in a rug. We hope!


Don't give up. Get ready for those winter blues… brrrrr…


Photos ©2022 Linda Butler


Now’s the time to plan or prepare your caravan, bus or motorhome for next winter. I asked Linda to tell us about her journey to warm up their bus. Editor

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