NEWS

Musician in Dawson City winterizes camper van with 117 straw bales

01/17/2015 03:30 EST | Updated 03/19/2015 05:59 EDT
A banjo player in Dawson City, Yukon, doesn't plan on letting the cold stop him from spending the winter living in his old tour van. 

Cud Eastbound drove his 1977 Dodge camper van "Night Danger" from Halifax to Dawson City last summer. 

When he decided to stay in Yukon, he came up with a rather unconventional way to keep his van warm in the winter — surround it in straw bales. 

- Click on the link on the left for the full interview with Cud Eastbound

"I figured, people build homes out of straw bales, so I sort of had the idea that if I put straw bales under the van and all the way up and over, I could build myself a little cave, almost as if I was storing the van for winter in a very eccentric way," Eastbound said. 

Eastbound is used to spending six months a year in the van, but never tried living in it in the winter — let alone a northern winter — so he installed a custom-made woodstove. The van is also equipped with a full kitchen and a couch that turns into a bed. 

Fire hazard?

"It's really cozy," Eastbound said. "It's just like living in any other small space."

Not everyone sees it that way though. Eastbound says some family members and friends have raised concerns: straw bales and woodstoves don't mix well.

But Eastbound says he's covered the bales in plastic and they're not near any open flames or sparks. 

And he says living in his camper van is just a temporary fix anyway; he's in the middle of building a small log cabin in the city. 

For now though, "Night Danger" the camper van does the trick. 

"I don't know if I got it looked at for home inspection if it'd pass, but I feel safe in it."

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