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Old 09-20-2004, 10:34 AM   #1
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Wood stove

I found a stove at the local transfer station (dump) very similar to this one:



I'd like to hear suggestions for installing it in our bus project. Of course the standard residential clearances are untenable in a bus, what have people used for heat shields? What length of chimney is needed for a good draft? How would you mount a stove so it would not break loose in an accident? Any other insight would be greatly appreciated!

Our bus will be used for camping trips with the kids - I imagine the stove will get used for incidential heating in the fall and spring, we won't be doing any winter camping for now.

Cheers,

Jake.
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Old 09-22-2004, 08:40 AM   #2
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Jake…Here’s a link to our page with some info on how we installed a full-sized woodstove in our second bus & a small wall-mounted woodstove in Latch Drom (most recent conversion)…there might be something there that could help you.
http://www.mobilehomestead.com/projects/woodstove1.htm


I just ordered a really nice little Jotul woodstove that we’ll in install in the trailer I’m building …
here’s what it looks like
http://www.barronheating.com/product.as ... 41&l1=1100

Michael & Millie
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:06 AM   #3
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Woodstove Installation

I would suggest mounting it in the center left to right somewhere near the middle of the bus front to back. Drill and tap the legs from the underside with 1/4-20. Bolt from bottom through bus floor. Be sure stove is at least 2 feet from anything that might be combustable. Run stove pipe straight up through roof with insulated sleeve, flush with roof is okay. When camping, use an additional 4 foot chimney extension. Do not use while moving. Yes,the stove will be in the way of passing by, but this is the safest and best place to put it. Best to use adequate clearance rather than heat shields. If you have any combustible flooring materials, put a piece of that rerinforced concrete board about 2 by 3 feet under and in front of the loading door to catch any sparks. Better yet to extend this board under the stove to shield floor from heat.
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:45 AM   #4
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Nope…you don’t want to put a woodstove in the center aisle of a Bus.
That’s very silly …

First…if you’re actually going to do a good job of converting your bus (versus just bolting down a crock pot and calling that your kitchen)…then you’re going to have closets or whatever on either side of the main aisle.
If you were to install the stove in the middle ….you’d have problems opening drawers , doors etc.

Then even more important is …how are you going to safely get by that stove when it’s lit. If you’ve got kids, you especially want to be careful about this sort of thing.
Also …if the stoves being used …how are you going to safety open doors drawers etc (located on either side of the stove)

In all of the many bus homes & housetrucks I’ve been in…no one ever installs a woodstove in the center aisle.
You always locate them to the sides …where they’re safely out of the way.
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:41 PM   #5
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Woodstove

Thanks for the info, I love that little Dickinson stove! I'm concerned that the cast iron legs of my stove would crack in an accident - but I think I have a solution. I will do as you suggest but use threaded 3/8" rod and come up through the inside of the leg and secure inside the firebox.

Cheers!

Jake.
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:13 PM   #6
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Have you decided what material you are going to use underneath the stove? I hope you have a way to post pictures so we can see your progress.
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Old 09-24-2004, 12:04 AM   #7
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To Soused Moose

To get around a stove in bus center, but down that beer, and walk around it. Couldn't be easier. Your idea of how to convert a bus isn't very interesting. If you stick stuff in the sides, of course you can't use the center, that's a good reason to not bolt stuff down on the sides, he he he he. The center is safest, and best from a heat distribution perspective. I believe the questioner hasn't started their conversion yet. In front, as another suggested, is bad because that's where the fuel tanks are. These stove work through radiating heat. If the sides are blocked by stuff, the heat don't get out.
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Old 09-24-2004, 09:51 AM   #8
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Jake, Here’s a few links that will come in handy for seeing how folks installed their woodstoves in their Schoolies’.
Just ‘Click’ around on these sites and you’ll see all sorts of neat stuff.
The 2nd site listed is run by Roger Beck. He compiled the best collection of Schoolie & Housetruck pics you’ll ever see in his great book ‘Some Turtles have Nice Shells”…I REALLY recommend buying that book. It’s a great resource for figuring out layouts & Such.

http://www.mrsharkey.com/busbarn/busbarn.htm

http://www.housetrucks.com/

I wish I had taken more pics of our last Schoolie conversion “Home”…that showed the nice medium sized airtight woodstove that I installed…

I located the stove very near our front door for a couple of reasons.
One:…it keeps the rest of the interior clean from woodchips , dirt etc..
And Two: …since the stove only weighed in at about 180 lbs loaded, I wanted to be able to toss it out the front door if something bad happened (IE. Meltdown). I kept a big pair of heavy-duty welders gloves on a hook by the stove for this reason.
I knew I’d probably bust our front door to pieces and get a hernia if I had to heave the stove out …but figured that’s a much smaller price to pay than the total loss of our Bus home would be.

As far as heat loss issues in installing a woodstove off to the side versus in the center goes…
We lived fulltime in our last bus up on the Homer Spit (Alaska). Up there during the winter months its gets VERY cold (30 below and colder on stormy days)
Even though our stove was located up front near the door, it kept the bus so warm we had to open the front door just to cool it down a bit on most winter days.

The stove pads I used on the floor & behind the stove reflected plenty of heat.
They’re made out of thin steel with a fireproof insulation on their bottom side and are really easy to bend. (Any woodstove dealer should have these)
The nice thing about these pads is …when you install them with a 1-inch airspace left open behind them on your walls …you can safely have the stove much closer to the wall. Which gives you more room inside your rig.
(I used 1” long sockets that I found in a bin at the hardware store to hold the pad away the from the wall and that worked out really well for me.)

I didn’t worry at all that our stove was over the fuel tanks because it was lined with firebrick and never got really hot on its underside. Even when the draft was wide open I could place my hand down on the stove pad (on the floor) and not feel much heat.
Jake , I don’t know if your woodstove has fire brick on its bottom (lots of the cheaper stoves don’t)…but if it doesn’t …I really suggest buying some .
You’ll only lose a few inches of interior capacity…and you wont have to worry about the bottom burning out.
(Which the thinner & cheaper models can & do on occasion, especially if you’re burning coal in them.)

Jake I really loved our woodstove …it kept us very comfortable under conditions that NO propane furnace could ever handle.
Most of the early House trucks & Schoolies always had woodstoves for their primary heat source and lots of folks still use them in their rigs. They’re not hard to install and are completely safe to use …as long as you’re careful & watchful.

Don’t take my word for any of this …just search around and you’ll see that just about everyone locates their woodstove to the side with either a stove pad setup like I used or used bricks for fire safety.
Even though Schoolies have a front and rear door that you can get out of in an emergency …you don’t want anything in that center aisle that will keep you from getting to your Kids or whoever if something bad happened. Bad things can & do happen …and often happen very quickly …so be careful.

You’re going to hear all sorts of ways to go about this…because everyone’s School Bus Conversion is different …
But you’re also going to hear ‘garbage’ on any forum that always perpetrated by folks who don’t know what they’re talking about and have no experience whatsoever. …
Stuff like calling good conversion jobs silly & sissy looking and how they’re going to retire in their great conversion (only to sell their bus a few days after making their comments)…
You see this stuff on just about any forum…and rather than slink off to some Internet back water forum and leave us real converters alone so we can try to figure out smart and safe ways to go about this sort of thing or anything else…they think its OK to continue to post ‘how-to’ info about stuff they know nothing about ………
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Old 09-24-2004, 04:10 PM   #9
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Wood Stove

Thanks for the links!

I'm planning on laying down 1/2" foam insulation and 1/2" ply or strand board throughout the bus. In the area of the stove I'll have two layers of cement board with 12x12 marble or granite tile on top. Against the side of the bus I'm thinking about more cement board and tile with an air gap behind. The stove will have a heat shield on that side to further reduce the temperature.

The stove does not have fire brick in the bottom - it's also missing its fire grate. I was planning on fabricating a grate with smallish slots like my old Vermont Castings stove - then I could have an ash drawer underneath. The sheet metal of the draw and the ash in it kept the bottom of that stove almost cool enough to touch.

I agree with respect to keeping the stove out of the center aisle - I would consider that if this were a bus shell that was never going to move, but in a vehicle I'm happier with a clear isle.

Cheers,

Jake.
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Old 09-25-2004, 08:05 AM   #10
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Jake I was searching around in my pics of housetrucks & buses and found this great shot of a woodstove installation.
Check it out…they did a beautiful job.

http://www.mobilehomestead.com/images/woodstove45ty.jpg

Michael & Millie
Sitka Alaska
http://www.mobilehomestead.com
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