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Winterizing My Off Grid Living Camper

Winter is coming fast and if I want to use this camper for off grid living during the cold months, then I need to get it ready soon. I plan to stay out in the camper during the winter and see if I can manage without any power or water hookups from the utility companies. I will need to provide heat, light, water and waste treatment on my own.


So I started to winterize the camper. I started by sealing off any access doors I was not going to use with aluminum duct work tape on the outside. It sticks very well and is designed to stop air leaks. Then I got some styrofoam insulation to seal up the access panels inside the camper. I got a 6 pack of 14 x 48 inch by 3.4 inch thick foam to seal off the access panels and unwanted vents. It was only $6 for the pack.


This is one of the access panels I wanted to insulate (below). It was missing a door on the outside of the camper and the previous owners just left it open to the outside. So I first sealed it up with a board, some silicon and some of my aluminum tape on the outside. This panel was located underneath one of the beds, so it had to be sealed up well to keep out the cold during the winter.




Here is the storage area underneath the bed. You can lift up the mattress and the board that is underneath it to have full access to the storage compartment. The hot water heater is also located here. It is missing the thermostat and was not working, so I will probably hook it up to a solar heating system. It is a 2,000 watt electric heater anyway and way too power hungry to use on my solar power system. The access panel I am sealing is on the left side of the compartment.


So I measured the access panel and cut some foam insulation to fit tightly into the panel slot. I cut it very close so it will fit snugly and make a good winter seal. I used an old shirt under the foam while cutting so I would not ruin the table under it.


I had to press and force the foam carefully into the access panel frame. It was a nice tight fit. Exactly what I wanted. And I used my favorite aluminum tape to seal it all off. Now this panel will not have any water or air leaks for the winter. You can hear the sound proofing now that the foam is in place here. It really made a difference.


I am sealing off all of the outside access panels for the winter. The ones I want to keep usable I am just going to stuff the foam into the frame behind the panel but not tape it off. This will help winterize my camper without permanently blocking off any access panels. If I ever want to use one, I simply need to push the foam out of the way.


I am also using household window sealant kits to seal off all the windows, except for two of them to allow for fresh air on warmer days and to allow moisture to escape. I am also going to remove all the window trim and use brown colored caulk to seal off the window frames to the wall. This will stop drafts from coming in underneath the frame and past the window seals. I will probably seal off the windows on the outside as well to stop air from coming into the walls. The camper windows do not seal well and they allow a lot of air past them when closed.


I will also close off two of the three roof vents for the winter with my foam insulation.


Well, this was the first step in getting ready for off the grid winter camping.

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Troy Reid


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