Cud Eastbound is a musician and filmmaker.
He packed his 1977 Dodge Tradesman Campervan and set off from Halifax in June bound for Canada’s Yukon Territory.
After two months spent touring and traveling across Canada, he arrived in Dawson City, Yukon.
His mission: survive a Yukon winter living in his van.
Winter temperatures in the Yukon can reach -68 degrees Fahrenheit!
See how he turned a simple vintage campervan into a warm and cozy winter home.
The first challenge was to find a way to efficiently heat my little abode, so before I left Halifax I constructed a wood stove that would fit nice and safely in the back of the van.
Second Challenge was to find a way to hold in the heat I would produce to stay warm all winter. I was not keen on using traditional insulation, because at that point I might as well just build a little shack, so I came to the conclusion that straw bales would be my best bet.
Once I was finished with the first winter, I could donate the bales to folks who have live stock, or dog sled teams or something.
Cud and a friend first cleared some brush to make room for the campervan.
Along with a couple of friends, he laid some recycled 2″ x 6″s on the ground. This platform would support the 1 1/2 ton campervan and minimize moisture and permafrost.
A few friends stopped by after he moved the campervan onto the new platform.
Cud had made his own custom wood stove before he left Halifax. The stove is lined with crushed fire brick, but he hasn’t tested it down to -50 F yet!
He also made a simple onsite outhouse. It’s just a dug out hole in the ground with a wooden frame and a tin roof.
Cud had to rebuild the triple-lined chimney twice to get it just right.
The walls surrounding the stove and pipe are lined with corrugated tin…
And finished off with another layer of metal.
Old license plates and road signs shield the floor from hot embers.
Cud has plenty of wood in his woodshed.
While waiting for a shipment of hay bales to arrive, Cud set to work optimizing the interior layout of the campervan. He took out the front seats and installed some shelving.
Two friends helped turn the campervan into a mummy.
They started stacking the bales around the outside of the van…
And they kept going until the van was completely encased in straw.
Yes, there is a van under there somewhere.
Cud finished things off with a tarp. He planned to use dried earth called ‘cob’ to cover the straw, but the ground was already too hard.
Cud said that in early November it had already gotten down to around -25 F, but still the van was nice and warm.
The only issue he’s had so far has been cold air creeping in through the floor. As the stove heated the van up, it drew in cool air through the floor paneling. He fixed this by drilling a hole through the van right next to the stove and installing a PVC air intake.
In case you were wondering, he said he does use a carbon monoxide detector in the van.
You can say hello to Cud through his website here. Best wishes for a warm and fast winter!
Source: Cud Eastbound