This week Nik is working full time at the pub to cover a holiday. so I’m going to take the opportunity to explain what we have done to prepare for winter. We are trying not to have to stay on sites with electric hook-up. This is proving to be quite difficult when we’re out adventuring. At this time of year, there are less sites to choose from and most come with electric. The joys of being full time campers.
First, we ordered two new leisure batteries and another solar panel. Which Nik installed on the roof. We now have one 50-watt panel charging the battery that runs our lights and toilet flush. Two 100-watt semi-flexible solar panels charging the two 125-ah batteries to charge laptops, phones, hair dryers etc.The batteries are connected together to drain and charge at the same time. This is a more efficient method. The hope is that between the three solar panels and batteries we won’t find ourselves so low on power. We run the fridge on gas so this isn’t an issue.
Next, we changed the lighting from standard 12-watt bulbs to LED lights thus using less power for lighting. Once installed it was too bright in the lounge. So Nik used the light cover from the old fittings as a shade. This has proven to be very effective. We also bought 6, battery run LED lights for those areas that could do with a little extra help.
The next step was to try and keep the cold out and the heat in. Lidl was selling rolls of silver backed polystyrene at £4.49 each so we got ourselves a bundle of them. Having shaped and cut them to fit the windows we couldn’t decide which way to face the silver reflective side. Therefore we doubled them up, silver side facing out. The hardest part about this was sticking them together, some glues will melt the styrene so Nik opted for PVA. We have decided that I will stitch them together because the glue is failing.
We also went around and covered all vents that had no good reason to be there. For instance, in the bathroom and behind cupboards. We plan to buy a vent cover, as the fridge vent must be left alone. This will hopefully slow down the little breeze that comes in that way.
The immediate effect was rather amazing. We’re on top of a very windy hill this week, so it’s a good place to test it. The temperature raised almost immediately. Where we were starting to put a few extra layers on in the evening, we are now lovely and toasty.
Nik noticed that his toes were still cold when we’d finished all of this. We don’t have a carpet on the floor, which is perfect for two dogs and their wet and muddy paws. With this in mind we needed to warm the floor without removing the easy clean aspect. This is where my wonderful husband had his best inspiration. Searching on ebay he came across EVA interlocking soft foam mats shaped like puzzle pieces. These are perfect for us, as they are colourful, warm and easy to clean. I have to say that since Nik fitted them to the floor I haven’t had to put slippers on. Not even first thing in the morning.
With all of this done we can definitely feel the difference in temperature. Now it’s just a case of waiting to see if it gets cold enough to need our electric heater in January. I hope not as this will mean the need for electric.
To see more about our experiences as full timing campers, click HERE