Van Life At -24ºF: Did My Pipes Make It?


  • Van life in -24ºF temperatures. Did my pipes freeze AGAIN?
  • Leaving my second home 😥
  • These Utah mountains are FAKE. See for yourself.

February 2023


Where In The World Was I?

  • Steamboat Springs, CO
  • ⛷️ Steamboat Ski Resort
  • 🚐 Vernal, UT
  • Salt Lake City, UT

The Last Of The Pow

The mega-storm continued into Monday with another 6″ at Steamboat.

What an unbelievable experience – pow day, after pow day, after pow day. I had so much fun skiing Steamboat. The trees there are just incredible – so many stashes, so many sections of spaced trees, low-angle skiing. There’s something for everyone.

That last day, I found an incredible stash of untracked, knee-deep pow mid-afternoon. No one had skied it up in the past couple days. That spot, I’m keeping a secret 😉 (although you could probably find it based on my Strava).

This last day was also the most I’ve skied this season in one day, at least in terms of vertical feet, at 21,947ft (via the Ikon Pass app).

The Freeeeeeze ❄️

Monday started the first of a multi-day cold front. I was looking at between -10ºF and -16ºF overnight Monday night.

This would be the coldest I would take on in the van since the Breckenridge pipe-freezing incident… It was kind of a toss up as to what would happen, so I decided to drain my water tank (as much as possible; some water in the tank already started to freeze by the evening).

… and I’m very-much glad I did because I woke up on Tuesday morning to temps between -22ºF and -24ºF…

The van gave some nice hiccups and crankiness getting the engine started but alas she started right up 🙏!

Temp readings when I woke up:

  • Inside the main van cabin: 37ºF
  • By the water pipes: 10.4ºF
  • “House” battery: 28.4ºF

I definitely felt some crackling in the water pipes but I just 🤞 that it’d only be a tiny bit of frozen water in there since I tried to drain most of it the night prior. I did the ‘ol “ignore the problem” for the time being.

The next night, Tuesday night, it was a balmy -6ºF to -4ºF! I practically had my tshirt and shorts on!

Temp readings when I woke up:

  • Inside the main van cabin: 41ºF
  • By the water pipes: 17.2ºF
  • “House” battery: 28.6ºF

I was a little “cool” under the covers, but me being cold was really the last of my worries. I could always (and did) just bundle up more. The main concern was long-term damage to 1. water system or 2. the battery. Those would pose worse problems and headaches to deal with.

  • For a bit of context, my “house” battery can be used (discharged) down to 14ºF but only can only be recharged down to 32ºF. Thankfully my battery heater pads kept it “not frozen” (One of the 3 pads got unplugged, which I later fixed).

I grabbed my spare handheld water jug for the water-related things I did need and decided to take the opportunity to eat out at some places in Steamboat Springs (see food pics at the bottom of the post).

By Wednesday, ignoring the unknown of if there was any actual damage, it actually felt quite liberating knowing I could make it through really cold temps in the van.

Was there any actual damage? I’ll soon find out in the next couple days…

The Last Day At Beard & Braid 😥

Basically my second home while in Steamboat Springs.

That final day was the day where (I’m guessing) the barista recognized me enough to ask for my name. I felt a bit bad knowing I probably wouldn’t be back for probably many, many, months 😬😅. Besides that, I had seen the same locals pretty much every single morning there.

It was a mix of emotions – feeling a little sense of positive community there, mixed with a hesitation and uneasiness that I’m hogging up one of their tables for most of the morning…

Heading West 🚐

I headed out on Wednesday to Utah! The drive was gorgeous.

The mountains just inside Utah on the border (pictured above) were incredible. The scale of your vision that they take up just made it look like a fake background.

A Small Win 💪

Thursday morning I stopped by the Anytime Fitness first thing in the morning.

I was gonna just do some walking on the treadmill since I knew I’d be sitting (driving) all day and wouldn’t see another gym for a while.

But as I sat there in the parking lot, staring at the door, I thought, “what would an athlete do here?”

I envisioned an athlete in my situation.

I envisioned him taking advantage of this small opportunity to get a workout in.

The idea of NOT taking this opportunity for a workout would just seem silly…

And so, reluctantly, I thought, “allllllright I’ll do a workout”

I don’t love morning workouts, usually I’m tired from just waking up and fasting which makes it a bit harder to push -> “excuses, excuses, excuses….” but alas we did it.

This moment felt like a small little win, another little vote for the identity I’m forming for myself. Just a little action to reward. These are the moments that build and build.

The Last Of The Drive

Temperatures had risen, so I was on a journey to refill my water tank, but 3 attempts all had either their taps off or water frozen… oof. I was headed to Park City, but I decided to divert down to Salt Lake City.

Oh and did I mention that the Utah mountains are freakin’ incredible…

This backdrop literally looked (and still looks) fake…

I mean like com’on how is this not just a big greenscreen they put up…

We succeeded in filling up my water!


No leaks!

Heck yeah 💪

Now THAT is liberating, that I can actually withstand -24ºF weather with no damage…

Back At It

A couple chill work days while we wait for some storms to form…

  • Publik Coffee Roasters – love the industrial vibes, OH and the powdered soap here too; Traffic Secrets notes, transcribing YouTube videos with ChatGPT idea, 2 stages video editing
  • Sugar House Coffee – crazy popular with people; Traffic Secrets takeaways, dream customer, Dream 100, started video transcription, finished 2 stages editing and uploaded (coming soon!)

Some Food From The Week

  • Pizza from Steamboat Springs (Blue Sage Pizza and Clyde’s Pies) – both were delicious!
  • Wrap was from Spitz Mediterranean Restaurant in SLC
  • Ice cream sandwich from Penguin Brothers in SLC
  • Started adding crushed tofu to my quesadillas for extra protein and I think it’s a keeper



  1. Really cool content!! Seems like you’re living it up!

    I was going through my Instagram unfollowing people I didn’t recognize and I found your website (I’m the Asian cymbal players from blue band, btw.) Glad I clicked on the link!

    I did a solo road trip myself for a week, heading down to Nashville from Philadelphia, and I learned so much! Most profound realization was that I have no idea what I’m doing 😂 (many moments sitting in my car waiting for… something.) But an experience to fondly reminisce!

    Anyways, just wanted to cheer you on and wish you safe travels!! 🙌

    • Hey Bryan! Yes I remember you! Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement!

      Haha we’re all there. I’ve had many lessons learned as well. Road tripping and life on the road is definitely something special

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