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Old 11-07-2009, 10:35 PM   #1
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Hay bales to keep warm?

We're in Coffeyville KS to workamp with Amazon this Christmas season, and have been concerned about the weather turning chilly. Our coach is older, and it's difficult to keep warm when the outside temps drop much below 40. Freezing pipes are a concern, too.

Here in Kansas, I noticed some other RVs with hay bales piled around the body, presumably to keep the wind from getting underneath. Can anyone who's tried this weigh in on its effectiveness? Will it keep our RV's belly warm in moderate winter temps? What do you do with the hay when you're done with it (forgive me, I'm a city kid)?
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:34 PM   #2
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I saw a home built with hay bales somewhere in the west. I had hard walls and outside covering. If I remember right seemed the insulation factor was outstanding. I would see no reason not to use the bales as long as there is danger of fire. When you're done with them find a farmer with cows.
Safe journeys and warmth...
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:58 PM   #3
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I think their use in that manner is valid. Take a look at this article. I have also seen photos of RVs with the bales around them in the middle of winter and snow.

Good Luck with your winter-time job in Kansas!
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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Looks like it would beat freezing Your Butt's Off but, I would still be adding some Pipe Insulation and heat under there!
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:48 AM   #5
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I have used them before and they do a good job. You could also hang a light under the middle of the coach along with the hay and you will not have a problem. You will need to insulate and either heat the water hose or fill your fresh water tank and drain the water out after each fill. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:55 AM   #6
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hay bales

friend in Rociada, NM living in trailer on their property for past 5 yrs uses this system. He ,being an engineer, designed a system where the heat exhaust from the propane furnacewas ducted back under the trailer. Warm floors and no frozen pipes etc. Looks like hell but works great.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:56 AM   #7
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I would be afraid of hay bales attracting "critters" which would then be attracted into the warm RV.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:19 AM   #8
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I would be concerned about them catching on fire. Once a bale starts to burn it is hard to control. Also mold becomes a problem as well if you wet them and the hay could start gasing. It would be better to use some conventional materials that are less likely to burn or become a health issue.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:24 AM   #9
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I would be afraid of hay bales attracting "critters" which would then be attracted into the warm RV.

Very true on the critters!!



Used to made a winter house for our dog with bales!! Hay bales would be an excellent and easy skirting. Id lay down plastic and wrap them completely with it. The reason is unprotected they act like a sponge and absorb moisture. Id probably go with straw since thatd be cheaper. If you go with hay it would have no feed value in the spring since it would be wet and starting to mold. My self Id buy the garbage man a fifth of whiskey to haul away.
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:07 AM   #10
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straw bales + garbage bags ... propane supply

I recommend that you use straw bales ... cheaper and better insulation ... put each bale in a garbage bag ... then use tape designed for fastening polyethelene sheets together to close the air gaps (you will find it in farm supply stores ... the tape looks similiar to electrical tape but is as wide as duct tape )...

I know a person who lived in a fifth wheel all winter in Wisconsin using this technique ...

Another concern will be your propane supply ... you will probably need to install an extended stay connector to your propane supply ... and have a large bottle of propane delivered to you
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewer & Nancy View Post
friend in Rociada, NM living in trailer on their property for past 5 yrs uses this system. He ,being an engineer, designed a system where the heat exhaust from the propane furnacewas ducted back under the trailer. Warm floors and no frozen pipes etc. Looks like hell but works great.
My Lord, putting the exhaust from your furnace under your coach ! Don't do that ever. I work in the Heating industry and have never tested the exhaust from any furnace that had no carbon monoxide. This would be a fast way to die in your sleep. In Canada when we store cars and MH's outside we will put out a bit of straw to keep the moisture from coming up. Mice are a problem then. try a sheet of plastic vapor barrier. Do the ground first then around the coach. Works here at -20. Helps to the pests out also. Local hardware stores sell it in 10' wide rolls and attach it with 2 sided tape. Make sure that you leave a couple of holes along the top to let any vapor that may get trapped escape.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:51 AM   #12
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I was thinking about hay or rather straw (it's less expensive) bales and someone pointed out something I'd overlooked.

Mice and Rats love a warm place to nest.. and mouse issues are common among RV's.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:24 PM   #13
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The problem I see with grain straw is this. There is always a few grains of wheat or oats left on the staws. Mice love to eat and make their homes in this stuff. We had horses for several years and I baled a field of oat straw for bedding. When the straw went into the barn, so did a population of mice right behind it.
It is however a great insulation material.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #14
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If you are going to be there just for the Christmas season I don't think the critters will be a big deal.

Transient workers here in the Palisdae CO area where we spend a couple of months on our way south each fall often use straw bales to help keep the energy cost down while they are here.
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