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What's the coldest you have experienced living in van without insulation or heater?
#1
The coldest for me is only 28 degrees.  However, will be traveling to east coast in single digits or below.

For sleeping - long Johns, Merino wool balaclava, 3 sleeping bags - (2) 4LB Coleman sleeping bags (1) 5LB.  I was gonna double up 4LB and 5LB and lay another 4LB on top.  

Will I still freeze?  or should I pay for a hotel room . . . .  

Currently I don't have funds for big ticket items like $1k down sleeping bags or mountaineering jackets, so I'm trying to get by as economical as possible.
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rvpopeye (01-03-2018)
#2
I went camping the other day in the 20s and slept in my car. I was plenty warm with a standard thick cotton comforter, fleece blanket, wool underwear, and 40lb dog. Was plenty warm but I'm pretty sure it's because the dog generated a lot of nice snuggly heat. ^_^ I've also backpacked in the mountains at about 15F with a $500 down bag (not sure if this is in your budget) and have been snug as a bug in a rug.

A couple of tricks that I've found make a world of difference
1) Sleep with a hat on
2) Do jumping jacks right before hopping into bed to generate body heat
3) Boil some water and put it in a hot water bottle- stick it in your sleeping bag 5-10min before bed
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#3
I've done below zero, but in a well insulated space.

You won't freeze, but do invest in good clothing and bedclothes.

A campstove and hot water bottles help.

The smallest Buddy run first thing gets things toasty.

Don't run any propane without cracking a window, and never while sleeping, best to also get a CO alarm.
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#4
I am from alaska, and have done camping at -40F... I have yet to purchase a van, but I would imagine I would get those temps
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#5
My experiences have been in a tent rather than a van. Without insulation or external heat, I'm pretty sure the experience would be the same. With proper insulation for your own body heat and filled with plenty of calories, there's nothing to be worried about.

My lowest record so far is -9°C (15.8°F) and my -12°C (10.4°F) down sleeping bag kept me nice and cozy. The only thing I've never been able to keep warm is my nose.

Mine is not an inexpensive bag. However, there are synthetic ones that are larger and heavier that cost less. Wool blankets and feather ticks are a good alternative that are very warm. In a van the size and weight would be much less an issue than when camping.
What doesn't kill me makes me smarter
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#6
(01-01-2018, 08:13 PM)LMTLMT Wrote: The coldest for me is only 28 degrees.  However, will be traveling to east coast in single digits or below.

For sleeping - long Johns, Merino wool balaclava, 3 sleeping bags - (2) 4LB Coleman sleeping bags (1) 5LB.  I was gonna double up 4LB and 5LB and lay another 4LB on top.  

Will I still freeze?  or should I pay for a hotel room . . . .  

Currently I don't have funds for big ticket items like $1k down sleeping bags or mountaineering jackets, so I'm trying to get by as economical as possible.

I've recently had some overnight sessions that were in the 28-degree zone. I wore a sweatshirt over another shirt and used a 30-degree sleeping bag topped with a thick comforter, plus a cap. It felt fine (didn't even need socks) but the cap kept sliding off, so I'll need to replace it with a balaclava or some such thing.

Colder than that, and I'd probably just rent a room or alter my route.
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#7
hey, Canuck how did you get the little degree o thingy next to your numbers. highdesertranger
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#8
(01-01-2018, 08:56 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: hey,  Canuck how did you get the little degree o thingy next to your numbers.  highdesertranger

Hold "ALT" while typing "248" on the number pad.  There are lots of extended characters you can get this way.  I'm sure there's a reference online somewhere, but this one I've just memorized.
What doesn't kill me makes me smarter
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The following 7 users say Thank You to WanderingCanuck for this post:
bethiebugs (01-05-2018), Wanderer (01-03-2018), slow2day (01-02-2018), rm.w/aview (01-02-2018), highdesertranger (01-02-2018), Netter (01-02-2018), gsfish (01-01-2018)
#9
When the wife and I boon docked a few years back in the smoky mountains we went through a winter there.  Got down to 10F, maybe colder, on occasion.  I picked up a couple used sleeping bags and we had no problems after.  You sound like you have enough stuff to keep warm, But i don't know what 4lb and 5lb sleeping bags mean.  Different materials have different weight and insulation to them.  But one bag inside another with the Balaclava to keep your heat from seeping out of your scalp, and depending on the type of long johns - really you should be okay unless the weather gets crazy and goes way WAY sub zero.  Even then I think you would only be chilly.  And Adriana had some good tips.  If worst comes to worst you hop in the drivers seat, start up your vehicle and warm things up inside the vehicle.  Your not gonna freeze though.

“Lo, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the peace of the wilderness."
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#10
We were in 30 degrees at Crater Lake last year...in a teeny teardrop without a heater. We were warm in our inexpensive sleeping bags, but dang...getting up and out in the morning was not so much fun. We also experienced a lot of condensation (who wants to open the windows?).

We have since changed rigs and have a heater with a thermostat -- and use a good-sized container of silica gel desiccant. So far, low 30s have been no problem (same sleeping bags) and no issues with condensation. We vent!
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