Insulation and Below Freezing Temps

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    Hello Builders,

    I am an avid skier and one of the main purposes of this building trailer would be to allow me to travel to ski resorts without having to pay the high fees of hotels in the area. I am an avid camper and have slept in those temps with just a tent and sleeping bag, it’s not a very enjoyable experience.

    The main question I have here is what have you all done to insulate the teardrop for low temps? I am thinking that adding an insulator to the floor and between the headliner and roof/ walls would work. I am also planning on having some sort of electric heating source as well.

    If anyone has first hand experience in the cold or experience adding more insulation to your build, I would love to hear about it.



    We did put down foam tiles to help insulate the floor, they are about $10 from costco and cut fairly easily, they puzzle piece together. We also are seeing after spending the night in 50 degree temps that we are going to need to put insulation or foam on the transom which the headliner kit DOES NOT supply (not quite sure why!). Otherwise we noticed that the teardrop insulated really well, even with the mushroom vents open at night and we weren’t too cold. We also have looked into a heated mattress pad, obviously when we put the electric in,  to extend the camping season a bit!


    Kevin, I was thinking of a heater a while back but have decided at least for a while to forego it for the time being. I live in the South on the island Ocracoke and for local use or heading up North in warm months I haven’t really needed more than what I now use. Before this CLC teardrop I built a classic TD out of birch plywood for my daughter who lives in Park City Utah. We share it usually in October or May and she uses it all but the really cold months. It’s not insulated but it’s bigest problem is sweating inside in cold weather when camping at 5,000’ or greater where the night become very cold. That teardrop as well as the CLC one demand that you have ventilation when inside and of course when sleeping. In the second year of use she and her husband had it closed up tight on a cold night in the 20* range and woke up gasping for air before opening a vent some. That said what we do now on cold nights is sleep in long under ware with a light ski beanie. She has a thick feather comforter to pull up and get under. If that is not enough add a 30* down bag. You said you were considering something electric and if you will have 120v at hand you have a lot of options from an electric blanket to a very small safe heater. That has never been an option for us as we go off the grid. The best heater I’ve found runs on propane and a low current draw electric circulating fan. Propex HS2211 is what I found and from what I’ve read it’s safe and mounted underneath. It’s not cheap, $825 but from what I’ve read I would trust it. It’s web page offers a lot of information and I don’t think “it’s made in China”. I would post a picture but this site is so bad that I usually loose everything whenever I attempt and no help fron their webmaster.



    If we plan to extend our camping season to cold weather I would add one of these:

    It is 12v and my plan would be to put it down under our feet and let the heat build up and fill the cabin. To really winterize it you would want:

    • The headliner kit or other insulation
    • Some insulation on the floor (as catcamper mentioned we did interlocking floor mats from costco, and with a 4″ mattress the 1/2″ it adds is right at the limits for my foot size under the galley flat)
    • Insulate the transom/quarter panels as the headliner does not
    • Insulate the bottom of the galley flat as the headliner does not
    • Insulate the bulkhead, as again the headliner does not. I would lean towards doing this on the galley side as I would not want to lose shelf space or the pretty wood look.

    I looked at even small ceramic 12v heaters and they draw a lot of amps  and would take a lot of amp hours to cover a weekend. I think if you insulated as well as you could, which would be WAY more than a tent, you might be okay. Especially in a sleeping bag; in which you can toss a Hothands warmer down by your feet.

    As catcamper said, we will likely add a layer of foam to the transom and quarter panels, but at this point the galley flat and bulkhead will not be insulated as I doubt we’ll sleep in that cold of an environment.


    catcamper–I emailed Dillon at CLC and he said that they tested the prototype in 40F and below temps and they felt it was warm enough inside, so they decided to forgo the transom insulation to keep the price of the headliner package lower than it otherwise would be.    we took ours out last weekend, and it was 50F at night.  it was very toasty (had to take off the comforter about 2 am) but in the morning there was condensation everywhere that was not insulated.   I will use the Costco interlocking flooring material on the transom, and around the ceiling fan bezel where the supplied headliner does not totally cover.  I didn’t notice any condensation on the bottom of the galley flat, nor on the inside of the bulkhead.


    Faithie, I think we are going to go the same route:) We have the same interlocking flooring material on the floor of our camper and will cut that to match the transom and quarter panels.



    Our personal record is 34 degrees with a bare shell and we did not have any significant comfort issues.  We used a 4″ memory foam mattress we found on and did not have the headliner or any active heating system at the time, but we woke to significant condensation (which the headliner addresses).  Our plan is to use 12V/USB heated blankets if we were to camp below freezing for more than a few nights in a row.

    Bob D.

    You shouldn’t have much or any condensation so long as you have ventilation.  Obviously you can’t have a breeze in the icy winter months, but you can probably have enough to knock back the condensation while still staying warm.

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