I'm considering buying an old reefer trailer to use as a temporary dwelling/workshop before building my timber frame straw bale home. Apparently the insulation in these trailers (the older ones) degrades over time. I was wondering if anyone at permies has experience working with and or living in a converted reefer trailer.
Alfred Negri : Move forward carefully, many people including myself have tried a temporary variation of this, and found that you are living inside a Zip-lock bag.
I have lived out of various Bread, Milk Trucks, and retired school buses to tell you that your biggest problem is going to be the accumulation and condensation of
Water vapor. Old poorly insulated houses and some tents breath , All a metal box does is sweat.
Imagine this Scenario : A large Bread or Milk truck, your home, you come inside from working on your property, and wash-up, while you are trying to be green
you have the propane cook stove and use it to heat the water to wash-up and make some soup, and coffee/ tea. That and bread and butter will be supper.
You have been using a head lantern most nights for light but the batteries are dead, From an old Hunting club shack you have salvaged a Gaslight, and enjoy
both its Light and Heat, as you set down next to your gas stove and its hot pots of water, under the light, you are setting inside a rain cloud. It is raining off of
the ceiling, and water is collecting and streaming down the walls, Dripping on your Bread and butter, cooling your soup and running through your Hair
With a full sized trailer, no use of propane at night when the Dew point drops, and a little air exchange- you may never have it this bad, but your clothes and
bedding will never be completely dry from October to March, and Your trailer will definitely develop a smell, a pong, and food stuffs like bread and flour will
spoil quickly ! ( Improperly used even an airstream trailer can be reduced to this condition )
Its temporary use in good weather, and then re-use as a workshop or guest cottage without plumbing Is Practicable, but best planned to be a very Temporary
For the good of the Crafts ! Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
But you know, I think I got it covered. I currently live in an old run down farmhouse with leaky windows and leaky field stone foundation - it "breathes" as you say, big time. Even with plastic over the inside of the windows it's still breathing heavy. A couple of years ago I installed a coal and wood burning stove in front of the fireplace and I've never been more comfortable in all the years that I've owned this house.
I just sold my house and have to be out by June 1. The coal stove is coming with me.
Why can't I duplicate the farmhouse conditions in the reefer trailer? Install a few leaky windows, or even crack the windows, and burn coal and wood. The stove will dry out the air and some of that air will draw out the stove pipe and fresh air will come in through the leaks.
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''