My First Winter In A Tiny House

After getting back from Croatia I’ve been learning a good bit about living in my tiny house in the winter. This December in Charlotte has been breaking records left and right for how cold it has been. Most mornings when I wake up it’s been in the 20’s which is very cold for this time of year.

The real issue for me has been right now I’m running off a generator and propane heater for my heat. Soon my solar panels will be installed and I can shift to my mini split. The generator has been working well, but because of how energy intensive the heater is and how cold it is, a full tank will only last about 3-4 hours. The propane heater works great too, a 1 lb propane tank will last about three hours.

First Winter in a Tiny Home: How to prepare

My strategy has been mainly to heat the house up for about an hour while I get ready for bed and then shut things off. With the propane heater, its a “catalytic” heater that while is technically a flame, it is more efficient and doesn’t use up as much oxygen as a open flame would. I don’t want to leave it running when I sleep because of it being a flame and also the danger of low oxygen. The heater has a low oxygen detector that will shut it off if it comes to that, but I don’t want to chance it regardless. Once I fall asleep, I’m fine until I wake up anyway.

One thing that I’ve learned is that the floor is always cold. Being on a trailer there is obviously an air gap below the trailer. I know a lot of people have used skirts for their house, but I’m not a fan of the look and its not windy in my location, so I’m not sure how effective it would be. It may come to be installing a skirt of a sort, but I think I’d like to start with trying an area rug. I think this might be an easy way because I noticed that when I stepped on a piece of cardboard that I happened to have on the floor, it seemed to do a pretty good job of feeling warm on my bare feet.

So far it’s been a pretty cold winter in my tiny house. That’s about to change.

First Winter in a Tiny Home: Preparations

Very soon a solar panel system is going in that will change my heating situation drastically. I will have a huge battery bank that will let me run my mini split and keep my space heated and on a timer, without the danger of an open flame or running the generator. The timer will be really helpful because I can drop the temperature when I’m asleep nestled under my covers, but then ramp back up right before I wake up and have to get out of bed. I’ll also be able to set it to maintain a minimum temperature, which will be nice because I can keep it a reasonable temperature, but not draw a ton of power.

The other thing I’ve noticed is since its been so cold outside, I’ve been inside my house more and wanting to go outside. Nothing really bad, but I’ve been so used to be going for long walks and just enjoying the weather since its so much warmer in Croatia, right now it’s a little too cold to just spend time outside. I have been spending some time at the gym, at cafes and I also went out and bought an outdoor fire place to have a fire pit at my tiny house. All of these have been great for handling this need to get up and do something. I think this will subside when I get power set up because I can then get Internet hooked up and set up my desk. That will help a lot.

  1. Hi, I have a slightly bigger tiny home (384 Sq ft). Here we call them “Shouses” …on 6 acres.
    I Too have been dealing with cold weather. My propane heat, a Mr Buddy last 3 days hooked to a 20 lb bottle. These are the exchange size at gas station. I finally got a electronic fireplace, and now have woodstove. The cure for me to cold floors was cardboard boxes split and laid flat. Since then, I now have begun tiling the floor….With area rugs over. Much improved. Good luck with your solar panels. I have to clear old, diseased and dying Oaks to make way for solar here.

  2. Oh wow! I am thankful to have a wood burning stove in my tiny house. I live in a 8 1/2′ x 20′ tiny home on wheels.
    Wood burning stoves can be dangerous. I actually have to replace mine because it makes too much creosote. Also clearances around the stove make it hard as well when you have limited space. So far though it works very well. As a matter of fact we are HOT. The loft are is about 90 degrees or hotter. You can wear your underwear and if you had a sun lamp you could slather on the suntan lotion.
    Up here is New York State it gets very cold. Usually sits in the twenties but is in the teans a lot and last winter we had very many below zero days. We were very toasty. The floor is cool though and we have not solved the problem of that yet. A lot of people put straw bales around their perimeters but we have not because of potential mice issues. We do have two very cute mousers that live in our tiny house. They would welcome potential mice. I think I do want to get a propane Dickenson Marine stove eventually because if I want to just turn on that instead of starting a fire that would be easier. Best of luck Ryan and try to stay warm.

    • If you don’t mind me asking, where in NY are you? I’ve recently relocated to Rochester and am worried the tiny house I dream of building isn’t feasible with so much cold. I would absolutely love your take on it! Thanks! -Hannah

      • Hanna. Just saw your post. I’m near Cortland.
        I it’s definitely possible in this cold climate. I am toasty warm in my house. Water freezing can be a big issue going into the house. We put a frost proof hydrant in our house so that we can shut it off in below freezing temperatures. It then drains below the frost line and we have water when we want it. We turn it on and our pump pumps it through the house which you wouldn’t need if you had enough water pressure. I live in the sticks. It’s not an easy life. But I don’t mind. It’s not for everyone. I live off the grid too so there might be some days that I have less power than I would like. Mainly due to less sun. For me winter living is the most difficult because of needing to get wood. Otherwise it’s not much harder than a regular home. Home life with my partner can be trying at times because of the space issues but we work around each other. I’m still working on the interior. So you can imagine what it is like sawing wood in the living room in the winter. It’s tough. When I clean up its back to normal though. I also have a tea room space on one lost side to relax and meditate. Then I remember why I live the way I do.

        • Tiny living fascinates me on several levels and you mentioned some of them in your comment. There’s the pragmatic level of the most basic of needs -shelter and temperature control. There’s the need for communion AND personal space (that personal space need not be a physical “space”) in a tiny home. In the ‘little’ things, savoring a cup of tea or the rich silence of the present moment we find our Be-ing. We really are living, as Thoreau wrote, deliberately. More recent, and just as true, is Zappa’s song refrain: “Tiny is as Tiny do”. The song mentions “tiny houses, tiny streets, tiny cookies the peoples eats.”.
          I’ve made a tiny plaque for my tiny house with the words, “Tiny Is as Tiny Do”.
          You have a delightful life.

      • It’s certainly possible to do even in cold areas. I live in the mountains in northern WY and am staying comfortable here, even when it was around -26 last week. πŸ˜‰ But it does take some planning and work to stay warm!

    • Hi Maggie,

      my understanding of woodstoves is that its the wood you burn that creates the creosote not the stove, thats why you should burn birch as little as possible, changing your stove won’t change the issue.

      Also, straw bales have no food value so you’re unlikely to have the mice issue you would expect, if it was hay I would share your concerns but straw is just the waste product so you should be ok.

      • Hi Maggie,

        my understanding of woodstoves is that its the wood you burn that creates the creosote not the stove, thats why you should burn birch as little as possible, changing your stove won’t change the issue.

        Also, straw bales have no food value so you’re unlikely to have the mice issue you would expect, if it was hay I would share your concerns but straw is just the waste product so you should be ok.

        Just checked with my buddy who works at a stove company, the creosote build up is a direct result of the pipe not being kept warm enough to burn off. You do get more creosote from birch than you would a hardwood so my original comment was partly true. However, if you’re running a short pipe that inside the house you shouldn’t have any issues. creosote build up is most common in stoves where there are 90 degree bends and the pipe is outside of the house. But even then it just needs to be cleaned to avoid any issues.

        • re: creosote/wood-burning issue: as a wood-burner for 50+ years IMO the creosote is related most times to burning wood that just isn’t dry enough and/or with the draft restricted so the smoke cools too much & deposits the creosote on the interior of stovepipe. Burn the driest wood you can find-which usually means acquiring it NOW & stacking properly & drying over summer for next heating season.

          For a different wood-heat solution: rocket mass heaters burn finely split very dry wood very quickly & store nearly all the heat produced in the masonry which then radiates gently over a long time into the dwelling.

          • creosote develops as a result of unburned carbon. Water content in wood lowers the burn temperature. So burning very dry wood at a hot as possible temp burns the carbon almost completely.

      • Unprotected hay bales will turn into compost a lot faster than straw bales on account of the food value. I’ve seen a hay bale disappear in a year but it might have been eaten by deer(?).

      • I use the straw in the compost pile after I use it around the house. I’ve been told if you don’t have nice problems before you use it you will after you do because they nest in it.
        The stove does make a big difference. My wood stove does not double burn. It’s a very old stove. The wood stove is part of the problem. The chimney is the other part of it. The chimney is not insulated and doesn’t get hot enough to keep the creasote down. I only use hardwood like oak and cherry. We try really hard to make sure the wood is dry. My chimney is only 4″. It doesn’t draft very well. So I smother the wood to make it last all night which makes the chimney cool and the smoke condenses and leaves creasote in the chimney. That’s it in a nutshell. A new stove double burns so well that only half of the smoke is created. Less smoke less creosote. Also an insulated chimney keeps the chimney warm so it can’t condense in it.

    • O.K. , here’s a thought – closed cell foam pads over the floor (cut to fit with anti skid pads underneath), on the pads – wool rugs or wool blanket as a rug. Perhaps glue Velcro patches/strips to pads and sew other part to rug/blanket. Soft, warm, washable, insulating…

    • Have you considered using spray foam insulation on the under belly of your tiny home?

  3. I have an apartment with a propane heater that is very cold in the winter, at least until snow falls. If you’ve got snow, you could pile it up around your house and insulate the house; it’ll be a lot warmer.

    I sleep in a sleeping bag, zipped up – with another blanket thrown over it if it’s really cold — and sometimes wear soft-soled bootie slippers to bed; they’re really warm, and let me climb out of bed with warm feet protected against the cold floor.

    • That idea of piling up snow sounds like a great way to have some natural insulation !

    • Using snow to insulate, thanks for that tip. Sleeping bag is also great.

  4. I’ll be interested to hear how your mini-split works with your solar panel.

  5. While I’m living in an old apartment at the moment, I do like to “sleep cold” as that’s how it was when I was a child. On Paul Wheaton’s site documenting his experiments with his WOFATI, they brought up an interesting point concerning fridges and freezers – they are designed to work in an ambient temperature of 65 to 85 degrees farenheit. By running them in a colder environment, it takes way more energy to remove each BTU and it prematurely kills your appliance (expect a 10% to 20% decrease in life span). In light of that I had to raise my nighttime temperature from 16 to 18.5 celcius. I don’t care too much about the landlord’s fridge, but I don’t want to kill my freezer!

    • Wow, that’s interesting! My thermostat is set at 60 degrees at night in the winter, and the blasted fridge runs a lot. And I’m on my third fridge in 15 years. Wonder if that could be adjusted so people could run fridges in colder weather. Seems like an unnecessary issue.

      • I also liked my night temperature to be 16C (61F). The only work-around I know about requires a kitchen that can be closed off and keeping the heat in the kitchen above 65F. My kitchen only has an archway, not a door, so I can’t do this. I knew about this quirk with fridges and freezers from when I studied alternative fridges, but it had slipped my mind until I read it on Wheaton’s blog. If someone has a better work-around than close off the kitchen and keep it warmer, I’d love to hear it.

        • If all you have is an archway,try this:
          Get an ajustable spring tension rod (available for$6) and use an insulated drape panel or twill panel. Cold drafty air is at floor level, so it doesn’t matter if there’s a gap at the top of the arch. You might want to tack the curtain to the inside of the arch on either side to make it more secure. Last year I lived at very drafty large old farmhouse (just me and my Westie Molly) and I learned all kinds of tricks of coziness. Mainly I learned how wasteful it is to live in too much space, how it’s even more wasteful to try to heat it, and how much I love Just Enoughness. I have given my furniture and most belongings away. Saving now for the Tiny.I prefer to live like Hobbitses.

          • Ah, Just Enoughness! How good to see that term. I have been campaigning on sustainability forums and elsewhere for a couple years, trying to bring a Just Enough! concept into the general conversation. IMO this is important as we can’t expect a new paradigm of sufficient sustainability if we can’t agree on what is Just (for the whole planetary context) and Enough (sufficient for human security and development).

            Perhaps you/we can keep on pushing the concept in hopes that it goes viral in time to avoid worst-case scenarios.

            BTW in-the-ground Hobbit houses are an a steady ambient 50 degrees F unless heat is added. Hobbitses and turnips like 50 degrees, humans, not so much! Above-ground Hobbit houses lack heat-storage mass and room in cavities for sufficient insulation, so need lots of quick heat in really cold weather.

            My ultimate solution may be what I envision as a Tiny Homestead that parks a Tiny House on wheels (RV) between an outhouse/woodshed with rocket mass-heater and a south-east facing stand-alone lean-to sunken greenhouse. Please stay tuned!

        • My Mom was from England and they made velvet drapes to cover doorways.

  6. We have been running oil filled electric radiators in our rv for the last 2 years. Not very efficient for us because this thing is far from air tight. But, one of these units may be good for you to try because they have multiple settings for how much power they draw, the oil holds the heat so once you turn them off they provide some residual heat, and I know your house is buttoned up nice and tight so it would retain the heat.

    • I have one of those now that I use in conjunction with my generator is works well, but they use 1500 watts, that’s a ton of power. So it works, but it isn’t going to be an option for long term. As a back up or in emergencies, sure, but going with a better system will pay for itself quickly.

  7. I do not believe it would be too complicated to add a radiant heating system to your tiny house. I highly suggest you look into retrofitting it somehow.

    I’ve never seen one done for something so small but it has to be possible.

    • electric blankets and heating pads too

    • I have a friend who live in a tiny house with a radiant floor heating. Her floor has an R-40 insulation and even with that, it doesn’t work well. is the blog

  8. I see people recommending electric heat. Making heat with electric takes a lot of battery power.
    Maybe you have a good solar setup though?

    • Yes, I sized it to my power needs. Your three main options are solar powered electric, propane and firewood. I didn’t want to be chopping wood the rest of my life and propane I wanted to limit my use. Solar was expensive, but worth it in my eyes.

  9. Don’t forget that you need to stir the air up for even heating. I’ve lived in trailers, buses, tents and shacks north of 60(the latitude, not the temperature) and keeping draft free but moving the air is vital. It could be freezing on the floor, just right when sitting and way too hot when you stand up. A properly insulated floor in a draft free house should be comfortable enough that you don’t need to wear your mukluks inside and take off your sweater when you stand up.

    Nothing beats a good wood stove for simple reliability (when you’re home to feed it anyway) but you do need to pay attention to safety. Using dry wood, having an outside combustion air source and keeping a good blaze going are key to controlling creosote. It’s one case where you want to undersize your stove, not oversize it so you won’t need to damp it down too much. It makes a good standby for the lower temperatures even if you use other things when it’s not that bad. A short blaze can get your house comfortable then let the fire go out until you need it again while the other heaters take over. Once that thermometer hits a certain outdoor temperature (you’ll know!)heat sources that were perfectly adequate before just can’t keep up. That temperature varies quite a bit due to your insulation, construction and heat source. You can really reduce the amount of clearance you need with the right stove and enclosure.

    Trailers and buses up north often settled in for the winter with a small, well insulated porch-like shack built on to the side just to hold a wood stove and a comfy place to sit and keep warm, sometimes to sleep in during the coldest weather.

    If you do have a ceiling fan make sure it’s pushing hot air down in the winter, not pulling it up. There should be a switch to change blade direction. There are fans that sit on top of a wood stove and use only the heat of the stove to operate and devices to generate electricity using the heat of the stove. You can use deadfall for fuel or even buy fire logs made of compressed sawdust that store neatly in a box with no lurking creepy crawlies. You can even make your own sawdust briquettes.

    • I just bought a fan and will be installing it during the install for the solar.

      I know people like the idea of a wood stove, I’ve lived in a house for 10 years with a wood stove. Honestly I don’t want to spend the rest of my life stacking, chopping, bringing in, cleaning up, worrying about creosote, having to get up to a cold house.

      I could do a wood stove, but with solar and my mini split, its exactly like I want and in about 5 years I have a ROI. With a minisplit I don’t wake up to a cold house, I don’t have the danger of a flame, I don’t have to deal with wood. Its easy. All programed. I rather not spend the time it takes to use a wood stove.

  10. We too are interested in how the solar and the mini-split hook-up works for you.

    We definitely know what you mean about the colder-than-normal temps in the South; in Georgia the days went from late summer to full-on winter in mid-November, and that’s not our usual at all!

    As for keeping the floors warmer, I know you don’t want to put on skirting (we didn’t either), but the wind during the winter kept the under-house temperature ridiculously low; simply putting a winter-only “screen” made of salvage fabric (on a wire-and-turnbuckle arrangement) around the place made a world of difference. We got lucky and found a woodsy print at the local upholstery store last year, and then when Spring came, the fabric made an excellent fire-starter, lol.
    If you do use cardboard, be sure to tape it in place. That stuff works, but it does shift– even under a rug.

    Happy Winter!

    • The fabric is a really good idea. I have some too. I’ll try it πŸ™‚

    • And if you have enough snow, you can pile it up and create a winter skirting. Seems to be working on my house so far.

  11. Reflectix claims R16 or R21 for their product installed in a crawl space between floor joists, see DIY info at I covered the outside of an uninsulated door between my house and garage and noticed immediate benefit. You can also use it to make your own tote for frozen food or hot pizza.

    • reflective insulation rocks! as a builder I have used it for entire house insulation wrap to good effect.
      in our own home which started as an uninsulated humble summer cottage, we overcame the extremely cold floors (mostly just plywood sub-flooring & also a room with uninsulated slab-on-grade floor) by installing 5/8 inch reflective foam & then wood-flooring directly on top. Worked a charm!

      I have recently sourced a new type of panel that has approx R50 per inch!! Really expensive but, hey, if you are doing a TH (which has relatively little surface area by definition) & want it really well insulated, the cost may be worth it.

  12. This is all a very interesting read. Heat is a basic human need and one of those things that really makes a house a home. I’ve definitely had cold ( and damp ) experiences that really make you feel that something has to change if this is going to work as a home. Will be great to see how your solutions work.

  13. I used to use bales of hay around my old farm house foundation, it really helped too! I need to do that again with my shed studio. we insulated under the 3/4″ plywood floor and have a wool rug, but it’s still colder than it should be…brrrrr…

    • “banking” is a very old form of home winterization. I’ve used sawdust, bagged leaves, spruce boughs and straw-bales. The advantage of leaves are they are free for the hauling and like the straw & sawdust can make great compost the over the next season-essential for growing one’s own food.

      banking greatly reduces low-level cold air infiltration (drafts) while adding to the perimeter of a dwelling’s insulation. The ambient temp under a well-banked dwelling is 50 degrees F…just like an in-the-ground Hobbit house. This means only 15 degrees needs to be added to get to a comfortable room temperature.

  14. I am interested in the mini-split powered by solar too. You said you would have a large battery bank, so how many amp hours? What size solar panel will you use to charge said battery bank?

  15. We couldn’t insulate the floor in our house which is on piers & had only a 3/4 inch plywood subfloor. I put down 5/8 inch reflextic type insulation & then 3/4 inch pine on top & screwed through pine to the subfloor. This makes a really warm to the bare feet floor even when fire has been out several hours in winter. This is all about conduction-an insulated pine floor doesn’t draw heat away from your feet quickly so it feels warm. A carpet/rug on top makes it really nice.

    Tiny houses lack mass to store heat & moderate temperature swings. This can be off-set by lining cupboards & cabinets with litre milk jugs filled with water. Books make decent mass as do small hot-water tanks. Straw bales around outside are sometimes expensive but do the insulation job & in spring can be planted on top to grow food & flowers-replace in fall. Recycled carpet makes great skirt material. External Solar panel with air plumbed into bottom of window should work well on sunny days.

    I like the “winter shed” attachment a lot & am planning a 3 unit Tiny Homestead with a woodshed containing a humanure toilet & rocket mass heater on one side and a sunken greenhouse on the other side of a Tiny House on wheels. Lots more room & opportunity to gain serious sufficiency of heat, food, water by closing several loops of energy within a small footprint.

    • David, I’m interested in your ideas on Creating Space, the shift in thinking that has to occur for people to “get it” (more and more people are indeed “getting it”) and all the levels of The Conversation– not just sustainability for us and ours, but globally. Concepts of noble employment, Just Enough-ness, the gift economy, social entrepreneurs, creating communal and private spaces that feed us, restore us, foster a different paradigm. Forums such as this bring like minds to the world’s table to share, innovate, examine and explore. We must engage in The Conversation; and as we dialogue about the world as we know it can be, the old ways fall away. Einstein said it– you can’t solve a problem on the same level on which it was created– rather, the solution requires an evolutionary leap of consciousness. The Tiny Movement is a phenomena born of a greater awareness. It’s made up of people who see the waste, excesses and un-examined Belief Systems (B.S.)they, themselves, may have subscribed to– and are opting out and into… As we perfect living small, solving the problems of temperature control, growing food, using our own energy– we provide a model for the world’s people; think of the transformation on our nation’s tribal lands, for example)
      Do you have a website or do you know of one where more of this conversation is taking place? I recently started a blog to get the word out ( Wordcrafting for the Greater Good).
      Incidentally, the sides of the below-ground greenhouse should be angled to accommodate the altitude of the sun throughout the growing seasons, depending on the orientation.I lived in Ireland a while and many of the cottages had windows where the (very thick) walls were angled at 45 degrees on the sides so that more sunlight could enter. Tricksy Hobbitses would know such things.

      • Caron, my own websites are about our ecovillage past experiences and my current art venture. There is a terrific amount of The Conversation happening on Permaculture sites.

        Generally speaking, leaving aside the oligarchy and capitalist hegemony, we have socialization and ignorance to conquer in getting to equitable and sustainable living situations. Meaningful education, re-skilling, re-localization of food, clothing, shelter, and energy production, combined with healthy mental/physical/spiritual life-styles can get us where we need to be.

        A knowledge of physics is a wonderful thing esp when combined with familiarity with materials and climate.

        In this article the author/builder mentions having gone to the trouble expense of beefing up the trailer to hold the 6,000 lb radiant-heat flooring system. She doesn’t go into the reasoning behind this but when one reads about other tiny houses where the floor remains cold, one can draw some conclusions. Comfort requires either mass or constant inputs-we don’t call them the Laws of Physics for nothing!

  16. I looked at a radiant heater. Red pex under 3/4 plywood, 3/4 inch mylar covered foam, with R40 insulation under the foam. Uses 3 4×8 homemade heat exchangers storing the heat in a 50 gal water heater. Two separate loops, glycol in the exchanger. The house is solar powered, 10Kw 48volt system with a battery backup. Works thru the 10 to 20 degree nites. You might add 3/4 to 1 inch foil side up foam under the floor. I live in a travel trailer and will install 3/4 foil side up foam under the trailer.

  17. Hey Ryan,
    Makes sense to go with the hay bales. For a modest cost you get am amazing R value that should look fine in your beautiful rustic setting. Only concern would be that you may create an environment that critters also love 😊.

  18. ps. You can recycle the straw into mulch. If you do try this see if you can get straw rather than hay. Cheers,

  19. In northern California where I am the winter has also been colder than normal. When it is that cold it sucks the heat out of a living space much faster. It has become clearer to me reading some of these posts that heating is going to be an issue with a tiny house just as it is with a regular house. Al

  20. I’m using bagged up dry fall leaves. I’m living in a tiny RV while I build a house. I have stuffed bags of a friend’s leaves(she had nowhere to dump) under it. They fit underneath better & conform into places hay bales don’t. Come spring I open & toss in the woods. My cost, nothing!

  21. I haven’t done this kind of building before so I could be totally wrong, but it seems to me that you could use the spray insulation in the trailer. the depth of the of the insulation would be the same thickness as the metal bracing in the trailer. then after the subfloor to use the reflective foil and then top that with those new radient heat tiles. They wouldn’t have the mass that you use with a concrete radient floor system and with the reflective foil it should push all of the heat into the living area.

    Has anybody tried using an attached greenhouse to bump up solar gain for a tiny house? There are some extremely affordable models that you can pick up from Lowes and other home improvement stores…. six by eight foot or eight by ten. Or even attaching a soda can passive heater to a south facing exterior wall.

  22. Ryan, good to see you back in North America. I have done my share of yapping over the years but a life design I wrote about a year or so ago about van living and working transient appealed to me so much, I gave it a shot. Heat is of course is an issue. Doing this in Canada, presently Northern Alberta I have played with -35 and colder is yet to come – Celsius… Now, if my sanity has ever been questioned, this endeavor should remove all doubt. Smooth as exlax this endeavor started with a truck and pop up camper. Thankfull the work I found included a motel end of last winter but that I chocked up to failure so, litterly gave the truck away, stoled a high top camper van (present domicile). -35c cold floors,big fluffy cartoon slippers alternately placed on my ailing propane furnace. (Will replace that with 20,000 BTUs) are oh so welcome. I am presently cheating because the fences I watch at night have electric plugs and my employers don’t argue about me plugging in so on this job, I have been saved. I use two oil filled radiant heaters which take up very little space. I also have a Mr. Heater little buddy which heats this place up in a hurry when power fails or fuses blow (which has been a minor problem – all is good) but… my vision of luving off the grid is solar, so I stumbled across a small 54 watt system that is great for charging phone, battery booster unit, razor etc. ect. I lucked out as all drunks and fools do (don’t drink anymore but still thick as a hammer) A friend had just purchased two handicap scooter batteries 12 volt and gave them to me. (scooter got wrecked, batterys survived) they are amazing. This little system is, even on the darkest night, full use, charging at 12.5 to 13.5 volts. How, I have no idea but am very grateful so, I bought a bathroom heat light bulb. Bingo, eliminated one heater. (going to try one more) Yep, it’s a little bright in here but there tinted so a rather nice ambiance. (I do need something bright because I remain a little dim) anyway, these are only being bata tested at present so we’ll see. Sleeping bags,perspire too much so use fleeced blankets, one as a ground sheet then rack em and stack em and cap em with a quilt. Of course a warm and tender body next to mine would be nice but finding an old gal small and thin to fit the area I don’t take up and dumb as a post to do this is hard to find. First I only meet ladies with brains so the pickings thin. Anyway, being a hygiene clean freek has posed winter ptoblems but being a senior and a vet I get great breaks at community swimming pools for showing. Here I double bill with the old guy status & vet at the air base for $13.00 a month but again, that’s cheating. I have gone through a ton of baby wipes. Well my friend Happy New Year. I wanted to do a blog but can’t figure that out yet, may start a separate FB page for inputs from those wiser than I. That is if anyone is interested. I probably bore the hell out of my friends on my page now but they all claim to love me and probably humor me so I won’t drop by there place. By the way, this isn’t a cheap lifestyle yet. The van runs good, its old, a mint 1984 and pretty but always requires the norm, tires, brakes, u joints and other surprises. Even with fuel down in the low to us 80 cent per ltr range, propane is $1,02, down 20 cents but what the hell is that all about when propane is more than gas? You all take care, any advice is welcome.

  23. Don’t forget to add humidity. Humidity will keep your home warmer for longer. You need a humidity level of at least 55% to give you that lingering warmth. Us a plug in version, or a kettle of water on your stove.

  24. With the Mr. Heater you can use a 100 pound tank with a GrillPro 11051 Universal Fit Propane Tank Adaptor $17.00 and a Mr. Heater Hose with Regulator and Quick Disconnect for Big Buddy Heater #F271803 $42.00 from We have had -30 degree weather and the Mr. Heater kept my garage warm enough to allow for me to work. In my 500 square feet house I have a wood cylinder stove that kept the house quite warm I have a M1101 Military Trailer that I made into a tiny house and the Mr. Heater at the lowest setting kept the house warm enough in zero degree weather. Let it shine, Tom

  25. Anyone tried I cared heaters? They ar supposed to be efficient.

  26. It’s always interesting to read about others dealing with heating and power while trying to keep a tiny space warm through the winter. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Hi I’ve lived off grid for the last 15 years now, the first 10 in a truck and the last five in a yurt in the UK. I would suggest fixing as much insulation to the underside of your floor… insulation is the key. And there are many wood burner of varying sizes to sufficiently heat your home.
    And investing in the best deep cycle battery system will keep your generator running cost and wear and tear down to a minimum. I’ve had 500w of solar panels and find during the summer I don’t need the genny as back up.
    And lastly appliance energy awareness helps… LED lighting has come on massively; I use 4.5w LED bulbs which give out 30w of aquivilent light, lovely bright clean light.

  28. I noticed where you said that you were hoping that the insulation would keep the floor warm. Insulation is not a source of heat. The locations of a house that are going to be the coldest are places that are the nearest to the outside. That would be floors and walls. You could put some kind of heating system in the floor to warm it. Insulation only slows down the flow of heat and by doing that reduces heat loss, but the heat loss does not equal zero.

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