There are others! Lots of others!
It seems I’m not the only crazy one out there. I have discovered a large cadre of people who have taken to the road in their vans, minivans and other assorted vehicles—from double decker buses to bus-sized recreational vehicles—and are posting YouTube videos at an alarming rate!
The U.S. is well represented in these hearty travelers but, some of the more intense aficionados are those in Europe and Australia, where the major European focus is on keeping warm. I don’t take too kindly to cold weather either and I am heading north just as winter approaches.
I am wondering if I should also focus my attention on some kind of heating system—in addition to my multiple blankets and the frigid weather sleeping bag I already have.
From what I have learned so far, it seems that I have, practically speaking, only two options: the Mr. Heater “Little Buddy,” a propane canister-powered ceramic heater resembling what you “house people” would call a space heater.
Or, there’s the Brunton “HeatSync Zone Mat,” a USB-powered heating mat, which I would liken to the heating pad I used to have under my waterbed mattress.
The former is lauded as the “best” thing to have on a frosty night in a van by many YouTubers—although it does require ventilation of some kind (a cracked window might do) with the latter requiring a fairly enormous amount of power from a battery backup system in order to last the night. They are both roughly the same cost (about $80) but, I would think well worth it versus freezing!
Out of power vs. asphyxiation
What a choice! These “boondockers” (off the grid “van dwellers” that do not connect to power sources), who are many times more experienced than I—even though I have been an avid camper—have outfitted their vehicles with considerably more advanced power systems than mine, installed built-in exhaust ports or have made extensive modifications to their van’s insulation in a valiant effort to resolve this chilly little problem.
I can do none of these things in my time frame.
I will have to decide quickly if I am going to avoid express shipping costs. At this moment, I’m thinking Brunton mat is going to be the way for me to go. I’ll know by Monday, which will be T-Minus one week.
That’s cutting it close!
At least I know I’m not alone in the effort to avoid freezing to death!
Drive safe and take care!