Best option for upgrading winter sleeping arrangements?

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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Lancashire
That I have no idea because I wasn't there when it was done. However the converter seems to have a good reputation and a long history in the business, from the 1970s I believe.

On top of that his business is a coachbuilder specialising in industrial conversions, ambulance conversions (as in new vans to hew ambulances) and other conversion businesses. He's doing well because he keeps getting million pound, repeat business converting specialist vehicles for nationwide fleet businesses. I think if I've asked for and paid for insulation and lining out I have to trust that they did that.

Besides the inner face over the metal does not feel cold at all. I think it's got heat and sound insulation. Road noise isn't bad with it, better than as the panel van tbh. It's cold I think because of the pop top part. It's a lot colder up there. When I'm sleeping downstairs it's noticeably a bit warmer.

However vans without heating turned on will get cold. Our heater has timer controls but not sure about that. No guarantee we'll need it when set for or earlier. Better to manually turn it on then back into a nice, warm sleeping bag until it's got the van warm again.

We're learning about van life so we don't know what suits us. The new sleeping arrangement is only a reaction to our second camping night in it leaving us feeling a bit too cold. It woke us up a bit early. With the whole idea of a van being to extend the season we realised warmer sleeping arrangements are needed.
 
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Van-Wild

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Feb 17, 2018
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That I have no idea because I wasn't there when it was done. However the converter seems to have a good reputation and a long history in the business, from the 1970s I believe.

On top of that his business is a coachbuilder specialising in industrial conversions, ambulance conversions (as in new vans to hew ambulances) and other conversion businesses. He's doing well because he keeps getting million pound, repeat business converting specialist vehicles for nationwide fleet businesses. I think if I've asked for and paid for insulation and lining out I have to trust that they did that.

Besides the inner face over the metal does not feel cold at all. I think it's got heat and sound insulation. Road noise isn't bad with it, better than as the panel van tbh. It's cold I think because of the pop top part. It's a lot colder up there. When I'm sleeping downstairs it's noticeably a bit warmer.

However vans without heating turned on will get cold. Our heater has timer controls but not sure about that. No guarantee we'll need it when set for or earlier. Better to manually turn it on then back into a nice, warm sleeping bag until it's got the van warm again.

We're learning about van life so we don't know what suits us. The new sleeping arrangement is only a reaction to our second camping night in it leaving us feeling a bit too cold. It woke us up a bit early. With the whole idea of a van being to extend the season we realised warmer sleeping arrangements are needed.
Sweet. I wasn't accusing anyone of bad workmanship, just asking a question thats all.

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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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I have lived in mobile homes in the 70s and caravans and campers on and off up untill the early 90s. No matter how well insulated they are always cold as basically they are a tin box.
We are very used to living permenantly in a relatively well insulated (in comparison) house with central heating nowadays.
I have woken many a time with a bedside glass of water turned to a block of ice!
The trick is to have layers of bedding rather than just rely on a bag, and either get your heater if you have one to warm the van up before you get up or be brave and just accept the morning start will be almost as cold as a tent.
Thermals for sleeping in and a "po" for nighttime trips to the loo so you don't let any warm air out of the van at night.
A good winter sleeping bag with a down quilt over the top was my go to to keep warm while sleeping along with a hot water bottle. Brewing the morning cuppa helps warm the van up too , but don't forget the steam from that can cause condensation.
Van life isn't always the romantic idea one imagines, Especially in winter!.
Magical in summer though.

Another trick is to put old sheepskins on the floor. Keeps the old toes warm when you get up in the morning and adds extra insulation to the floor. Shake daily to keep them clean.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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She has a nice, wool blanket we pull over her and she simply sleeps under it. Looks funny with her head poking out like says wearing a shawl.

Then halfway through the night she decides she wants to go upstairs to also with my partner and our son. That's despite there being no blanket up there and it's colder. I think she cuddles up to my partner up there I think.

I can't think of anything else for her that's better than a wool blanket. It's actually a baby blanket that's possibly had 3 generations of human babies use it too. It's rare warm and I'd like it if it was a lot bigger.
 
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Paul_B

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Jul 14, 2008
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I've just replied to the repair question thread and that got me thinking about a repair business that used to be at ulverston. It's now located over the Kent estuary from our area's at Grange over Sands. They're down specialists. Do you think my sleeping bags loss in performance could be recovered?

It is externally sound but I wonder if it could have lost insulation or it has moved inside. Perhaps there's damaged baffles that mean down has redistributed. Perhaps a professional wash might be enough.

I'm thinking that the three Rs applies. Reduce, reuse or recycle in that order. If a repair means this bag is now of use to me again then it's one less bag in landfill or one less new bag that's needed with all the carbon emissions and other pollution needed to get it to me. I reckon a new £65 snugpak bag would offer better performance for potentially less money but perhaps refurbishing this bag might be the better if more expensive option.

Anyone use

Anyone got any views on this?
 

Van-Wild

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Feb 17, 2018
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Hi all,

I've always found vehicles colder than tents at night. I usually carry a US army poncho liner which, amongst other things, can be used to supplement the performance of a sleeping bag. They are light (synthetic) and surprisingly warm. [ https://www.endicotts.co.uk/content/us-quilted-poncho-liner-woodland-dp ]. No connection except as a customer.

Live long and prosper.
A poncho liner has been with me around the world for years. They're awesome bits of kit. A blanket, lightweight sleeping bag, an extra season in a sleeping bag, a cushion...... so versatile.

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Van-Wild

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Feb 17, 2018
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Just spent the night in my van with the lad. Warmed the van at bed time for 30 minutes with the heater. We both slept like logs. Not cold at all. He had his duvet, I had a lighter 2 season sleeping bag.

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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Lancashire
If you go the two bag route for extra warmth, is there any issue with the two layers of insulation? As in moisture issues between the outer n layer of the inner bag and the inner layer of the outer bag?
 

TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Not sure if its been mentioned but I have a silk liner that is supposed to increase the rating by 1 Season.
 

TLM

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Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
If you go the two bag route for extra warmth, is there any issue with the two layers of insulation? As in moisture issues between the outer n layer of the inner bag and the inner layer of the outer bag?
Not as such, the problem is where the dew point is reached and that should preferably be on the synthetic side. That means that if you have down and PE bags put the down inside and the best arrangement is thin down and thick synthetic. If used in below freezing temps the ice clumps'll form inside the synthetic bag.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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874
Lancashire
Is it possible the dew point will be between the two bags?

We've got my XL bag with down inner and pl outer insulation. The idea is to use it around a fully down sleeping bag to increase the capability in the cold. The larger bag is quite thin but used to be a lot warmer. Easily zero rated but now it's certainly lost at least 5C warmth somehow. The inner bag is about +5C rated. This would be for our 7 year old son. He doesn't usually feel the cold but did one recent night.


If this works then we could get one good synthetic bag say a snugpak for my be partner or I with either me using the quilt on its own (UL backpacking style shaped quilt) or my partner uses it over her yeti down bag when feeling cold. The other person uses the new 4 season synthetic snugpak bag.

It's money saving to combine if possible I think.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,655
742
Vantaa, Finland
Is it possible the dew point will be between the two bags?
Sure, depending on: inside temp, outside temp, relative humidity inside the dew point picks it's place. Though adding to previous that if you have the possibility of drying the bags every day you can laugh at the dew point and just go on sleeping.
 

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