We do love some cold weather! Many people have asked us, “How do I keep my skoolie warm in cold weather?”
Understanding and being able to keep my skoolie is not nearly as hard as staying cool in a skoolie when you are in hot weather. We wrote a post on How Do I Keep Cool In Hot Weather In My Skoolie.
This is about how to keep my skoolie warm though.
Sometimes we go back and forth on whether we think it is worse to be cold than to be hot. We go back and forth on this topic, depending on the time of the year.
Due to our Nordic DNA, we both prefer colder weather. As much as these two Floridians love the beach and summertime, give us weather 65 degrees or below any day of the year. That is why we choose to follow 70-degree weather. See how we are doing with that so far here.
To each his own though. We are perfectly fine in sub-zero weather, as long as we have a heat source, layers of clothes, and a warm blanket. As long as I can keep my skoolie warm in the winter, I am happy!
Honestly, we worry more about our dogs staying warm than about us.
What Is Your Definition of Warm?
What is warm to you? Or, should we ask, what is too cold before you need heat?
If you are anything like us, it is hard to define too cold. Easy to define as too hot though. Anything above 70 degrees is too hot for our comfort.
Here is a good rule of thumb for staying warm in cold weather.
Why Is It Important To Keep My Skoolie Warm?
It is important to keep your skoolie warm in cold weather for a few good reasons.
- Being able to keep my skoolie warm in cold weather makes me comfortable
Being warm and comfortable is just a quality of life. Who wants to be cold, miserable, and shivering?
- Keeping your skoolie warm in cold weather allows you to stay productive in whatever you are doing. If all of your focus is on staying warm, then you can not focus your energies on more productive matters.
- Being able to keep my skoolie warm in cold weather keeps me and anyone else on your bus safe from hypothermia. Hypothermia can sneak up on you and bite you in the ass before you know it. You will not realize you are getting too cold until it is too late.
Hypothermia is a legit concern when you are spending a considerable amount of time in very cold weather. You may not even realize you or someone with you is beginning to experience hypothermia.
The worst thing to do when feeling cold or tired is to go to sleep. Stay awake at all costs and do whatever you can to keep yourself as warm as possible.
What Are the Signs of Hypothermia
Hypothermia alone is good enough reason to be able to keep my skoolie warm! We should start right off and define or explain what hypothermia is.
Hypothermia is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when your body loses heat faster than your body's natural ability to generate heat.
When your body falls below 95 F or 35 C, then your organs will start to shut down and you will experience hypothermia.
Your body’s normal temperature is between 98.4 F and 98.8 F.
Some early signs of hypothermia are:
- Slurred speech or mumbling
- Weak pulse
- Clumsiness or lack of coordination (more than normal for some)
- Slow shallow breathing
If you or anyone you know experiences 2 or more of these symptoms, immediately check their or your temperature, attempt to slowly raise their body temperature, and call 911.
How To Keep Your Skoolie Warm In Cold Weather
There are lots of ways to keep my skoolie warm in cold weather. In fact, we feel like it is much easier and more efficient to stay warm in cold weather than it is to stay cool in hot weather.
I am sweating as I am sitting here writing this just after a rain shower in Belleview, Florida. Wishing we were about 6,000 feet above sea level and about 30 degrees cooler.
Let’s look at some of the ways we have stayed warm while we were in cold weather and how I keep my skoolie warm when it is too cold outside.
The diesel heater is one of the most popular appliances to keep your skoolie warm in cold weather. You can plumb it directly into your skoolie diesel tank, or use an auxiliary fuel tank that comes with the kit.
Do not be lured in by the cheap prices of Chinese diesel heaters. You may save several hundred dollars upfront, but you will end up paying the price after you have replaced several of them from breaking.
We highly recommend the Webasto Diesel Heater. Reliable, German-made engineering. This little heater will heat your skoolie up even in sub-zero climates. If I want to keep my skoolie warm, this is the ticket to do just that!
Plan on spending upwards of $1,200 for this heater. Trust us on this one though, it is well worth it and more!
Little Buddy Heater
The Little Buddy brand heaters are a great and somewhat efficient propane heating source that is good for emergencies in our opinion.
We have one and have used it. It does a decent job. It will keep my skoolie warm. At least the area it is sitting in. You can move it around your skoolie to heat up the different areas.
The things we do not like about the Little Buddy heaters are that they run off of propane which can be expensive and they create lots of condensation in your bus.
We think they are good for a backup or emergency heating source to keep your skoolie warm in cold weather, but not a primary heat source.
Plan on spending $75 to $200 depending on what size you buy.
Mini-Split Heat Pump
If you already have a mini-split air conditioner installed in your skoolie, or you are planning on putting one in yours, then you may consider purchasing one with a dual heat pump.
The heat pump in our Pioneer 12,000 BTU mini-split was a good secondary source of heat, but it was not enough to keep our skoolie warm in cold weather all by itself. It would not keep my skoolie warm by itself, but it was a good heat supplement.
Having a 12-volt electric blanket on hand is a nice addition to any skoolie. With multiple settings, it can be used to just take the chill off of you, or set on high to really keep you warm and snuggly.
A blanket like this will help keep your skoolie in cold weather. It is best used as an additional warming tool with a down or sub-zero sleeping bag. It may not keep my skoolie warm, but it will keep me warm!
Down Comforter or Sleeping Bag
A good high-fill-count down comforter or a down sleeping bag is probably the best thing you can have to wrap yourself up in to stay warm.
We have spent nights in single digits temperatures in our skoolie and van with nothing more than our down comforters.
You will be very cold once you get out from underneath your comforter, but you will be as snug as a bug in a rug while you are under it. Again, this will not keep my skoolie warm, but it will keep me and anyone else under it as warm as a bug in a rug.
Sleep Naked with Your Spouse or Partner
This next solution for keeping warm in your skoolie in cold weather may have long-term consequences. ♪ ♫ ♬ Brown chicken brown cow ♪ ♫ ♬ We do not accept any liability or blame for subsequent pregnancies.
If you are very cold, sleeping, lying, snuggling, or any other activity that causes contact with you and your spouse or partner, naked together under covers will raise the temperature.
We aren’t just being cute here, but having at least two naked bodies lying next to one another, preferably embraced, can maintain and even raise your body temperature.
Let us know if you have tried any of these methods by leaving us a comment below.
Having good quality insulated window coverings is not only a suggested way of keeping your skoolie warm in cold weather, but it should also not be mandatory.
80% of heat and cool air is lost through your skoolie windows. Creating an insulated barrier between them and the inside air of your skoolie will make a significant difference in heat loss.
Also, using thermal curtains in addition to insulated window inserts will only improve your heat savings efficiency. Bottom line, if I want to keep my skoolie warm, then having some well insulated window covers is a great start.
A Good 2-3 inches of quality Insulation
It goes without saying that having good insulation installed in your skoolie can make all of the difference in the world when trying to keep your skoolie warm in cold weather.
It isn’t so much the type of insulation you use as much as the thickness of insulation. A minimum of 2-3 inches on the ceiling and the walls and a minimum of 1 inch on the floor.
If you have the ceiling height and can afford to go 2-3 inches on the floor, then definitely do so. This is the best way I keep my skoolie warm. Insulation is always the first step to a warm bus!
Learn more about Skoolie Insulation Here.
Wrap-Up To 8 Epic Ways To Keep My Skoolie Warm?
Keeping my skoolie warm is the difference between your skoolie being your home and a weekend camper.
Staying warm during cold weather, especially when you have a warm, yummy beverage or some warm soup to sip on is living the high life!
As we have talked about already, it’s not just a comfort thing. It’s a health and safety issue.
Think of the state of Florida. The Sunshine State. It is a zoning and state requirement for every residential dwelling to have a built-in heat source, but not a requirement for air conditioning.
That goes to show how serious keeping warm over keeping cool is.
This is how I keep my skoolie warm. How do you keep your skoolie warm in cold weather? Leave us a comment, We’d love to connect with you.