Sunday 30 November 2014

Holy Crap, Something Worked as Advertised!

Mark the day on your calendar, a product actually lived up to its promises. I was snug and warm last night and even after less than a minute of getting into my new sleeping bag, I was warm. 

Sure, Wanda was hovering around 5C, but me, in that sleeping bag, I was toasty warm. I sat there and listened to the radio and enjoyed the evening. It was nice.

I even went so far as to turn the furnace off as I settled down into the sleeping bag and went to sleep. I left the electric heater going and it was able to keep Wanda at -5C all night not bad, considering it was somewhere south of -20C outside. Again, I was toasty warm all night, all because of this.

It is one of those ‘mummy’ sleeping bags rated to -40C. It wasn’t as strange as you might think to be bundled up in this thing with only a hole for your face to poke out of. While I haven’t put it to the test yet as hovering around zero is hardly -40, but as with insulation, pick the thickest and warmest. I wasn’t silly as I still slept in my 3 thermal undies, as in the middle of the night to pee I don’t want to freeze.

I do see a problem that is when I am awake and in Wanda, and it is near or below -20C, the furnace just doesn’t cut it. As with the rest of Wanda, she was designed for a chilly fall night near (but above) zero not the dead of a Canadian prairie winter (despite what that sticker says).

(To you silly American designers, the Arctic is way further north of Calgary, and much colder. Well, that and penguins are at the south pole . . . the "anti-arctic?")

I will admit that the insulation in Wanda is fine and good, but the windows are single pane (are you kidding me). Then there is the complete failure of the system that is supposed to protect the plumbing system. Let’s not forget that the furnace is not up to the task of heating this trailer in winter. 

The insulation, for the most part, is good, I will give them that. (I really need to design and build these RV’s myself). When the weather is warm, Wanda works well and is well designed, that I will also say with certainty.

To help make Wanda more liveable, I will get a portable Propane Heater and only use it: 1) when I am home 2) when I am awake 3) with vents cracked open. That way I can augment the heat within Wanda and not always run for a coffee shop when I wake up (as I do now). Either that or I have to run Wanda’s furnace almost constantly just to get the temperature up to 5. 

I know that running any sort of combustible appliance indoors is risky and dangerous, especially so with propane, that is why ventilation is key. I am confident that that is the last piece of the puzzle (who am I kidding), to make it work and live in Wanda in or below -20C. 

The other thing that has been interesting is that everything freezes, as in everything, my blue jug of water is now a blue jug of ice. My milk is now ice in the fridge and the two litre of cola is now a cola slushie, (that is kinda cool). 

It is for this reason that I will still fill my two 2 litre bottles of water each day, but only use them over the evening and morning. That way they have less chance to freeze. I still don’t know what to do about the frozen bucket of graywater.  

Another thing is that when it is below or near zero the phone doesn’t want to charge. I get a little message on the phone that says that the battery is too cold to charge. So I end up precariously balancing it a few feet above the electric heater to keep the phone warm enough to charge while we are all plugged in. 

I did get a chapter and a half done yesterday, and the story is shaping up quite well. I know that this story still has some time to go and that I can’t rush it, not the crafting of the story. Already I am and have been mildly dissecting the story and rearranging and putting in a new scene here and there. 

The pace and timing of this end of the story is important but mostly I am having fun not only writing the important pieces of the story but also putting in the interesting titbits of information of Tanea, just because I can. 

I never did like the authors who clearly don’t know the world they are showing you around. You know, the ones who never show you anything but the plot, because they haven’t a clue how their worlds actually work. I on the other hand can easily get lost in this world and stray too far off of the path that is the plot. 

It may get very cold, but these very cold patches shouldn’t last too long in a stretch, so I am not too concerned.  Yet at the same time, I need to be prepared to live in them, just in case -25C stays for a few months. I will be okay, of that I know, I have already been through a few nights near -30C in Wanda, I can handle more (not that I want to). 

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