Sunday, February 10, 2019

2/4 Snow in Eugene!!

No, it does not often snow in Eugene, Oregon.  

However, this is winter, and although temperatures are milder than a lot of surrounding areas, it can get below freezing at night here in the Willamette Valley.  Mostly, it just does a lot of raining here--in fact this time of year, it rains almost every day and the ground is always wet.

So, on this morning I woke up early and peeked out of my curtains to see a lot of white stuff on the ground.  This was about an inch of very slushy snow, so I got dressed quickly and went outside to take photos because it was already above freezing and I knew it would not last long.  The colors are all grayish because the sun had just risen.  

Notice that the trees, even the small tree next to my driveway are covered in wet snow.  And because the branches are covered with moss, the snow sticks much better than it would on bare branches.  There are two nests in this little tree--a larger one and a smaller one just above it. 

I even had some snow on the top of my motorhome!  First time, ever, because I make a point to avoid cold weather and snow. 

The trees in the distance are pretty in the snow!  My next door neighbor, to the right, left his awning open all night, so it filled up with snow.  A younger man who is also a neighbor is on the ladder sweeping the snow off.  Not quite sure why he bothered because it will all be gone in a couple of hours.  High is going to be 42 today. 

 So, how do I stay warm when temps are close to or below freezing?  Motorhomes and all recreational vehicles are notoriously under-insulated. That why nearly all of us are "snow-birds."  We head to warmer places when it gets cold.  

I have been trying to find ways to keep the cold  air from my living space. This is how my cab area looks during the day.  There is a queen-sized bunk up here, and a privacy curtain to the left that is usually kept tied open. The problem with this big front open area is that there are horrible cold air leaks in this area, and the vehicle windows do very little to keep cold air out.  

Notice that I also have a small electric heater on the floor to the lower left. I have two of them and keep them both running constantly during cold weather.  I also use my front and rear built-in propane furnaces, but they use up propane fast and my propane tank is built into my motorhome.  That means I have to unhook my motorhome and take the whole thing to a place to have it refilled.  Lately, I am been having to do that every 12-14 days, so I try to conserve propane as much as possible.

On the top, over the bunk, you can see the privacy curtain that can be used by the person sleeping in the upper bunk.  My grandkids love sleeping up there with the curtain closed because it makes kind of a little house.

At night, I put up a small curtain over the cab area that prevents anyone from seeing in through the front windshield and side windows.  I greenish pillows fill in the spaces to the side of the drapes. 

The problem, as you can see, is that it leaves a huge open area for cold air to come in from the cab!!  Pretty useless as an air barrier.
So, a couple of weeks ago, after staring at this area for an hour of so, I decided to do some experimenting.  I had this extra drape provided when I bought my RV, but I think it was a mistake as it is long, but too narrow to fit anything.  I also had some very large safety pins, so I decided to pin the extra panel in the middle with the safety pins.  MY TV is on a swing arm, so I just had to pull it forward and fit the curtain behind it.  

The problem is that the panel is too narrow to go all across, so I may end up trying a sheet or finding a cheap drapery panel to fit across.  In the meantime, I stuck a yellow bath mat in the area on the left where air was coming in next to the driver's seat.  

My solution is not ideal, but it helps.  And I will be here only another three weeks and then heading to warmer places in northern California and the Las Vegas area.  

I have not been posting, but that is because nothing is going on right now, other than getting some medical things taken care of and working on the class I teach online.  I also have been planning out my spring and summer travels and making reservations for the busy summer times.  So, that has kept me pretty busy.  

When I head south, I will be going through the passes along I-5 in Southern Oregon and then in the far north parts of Northern California.  I will have to make sure the roads are dry when I drive through, but i expect there will be a lot of snow in the area. 


  1. My Winnebago Minnie has a similar front configuration as yours, but I have a separate heavy curtain that snaps along the top of my dividers, so my cab can be completely isolated from my living area. I always open the bed cushions out on the cab-over bed because it insulates the air in the cab from the bed above it. If you pulled out your second cushion, you could probably hook a lower curtain to that instead of pinning it to the top curtain. It does look like you need a wider curtain. Mine goes almost from wall to wall. It makes my motor home very cozy and much more private to have the cab completely blocked off, not to mention warmer!

    1. Unfortunately, the curtain I have is not wide enough to stretch all the way across. I need to find a cheap curtain that does. When I get one, I might stitch some velcro to the upper curtain and to the newer curtain so I can attach the lower one more easily. The other problem is the way the bed cushions fold up. The middle part of the bed folds towards the front of the vehicle. I am short and find it almost impossible to pull it toward me unless I get out a step ladder, which is not convenient. At one point, I even tried tying a rope to it, but still could not get it unfolded without help.

      Another solution would be to try to replace the short drape with a much longer one, but it would be in the way when I am not in colder weather.

      Best solution is to head for someplace warm and stay there!!

  2. Still thinking. Do you see how the middle bunk mattress folds away from me? In order to get it down, I need to reach to the far back middle, grab it and pull it towards me. However, I cannot even reach it unless I stand on a stool or step ladder. Very poor design. Most of my company are small kids whom I lift up and get them to help me unfold the bunk. Or I get help from my tall sons. So maybe if I had a wider drape, I could just tuck the top three feet of it under that part of the mattress and somehow tuck the sides into the mattress sides. I will have to get a wider drapery panel and try some things. Then I would not need any pins or velcro. The cold air mostly comes in from the bottom. I want something fairly light as I have to store it and weight counts.