We have had a wood stove in our bus since 2001 and have lived and traveled in it all over the country. I cant imagine not having it . Besides the solar refrigerator it is my favorite appliance and I would never even consider propane. We can often find wood as we travel, scavenge it from the woods, but we also have a small woddbox built in the bus and underneath as well. It has kept us warm in 9 degree weather.
We installed ours as close to mobile home standards as possible, built a heat wall on four sides and underneath it, used double insulated pipe where it went through the roof and some metal box type contraption . We have plenty of clearance and nothing ever gets too hot. We also bolted it to through the floor of the bus.Here is a link to a post with pics about how we did it,
http://enchantedgypsy.blogspot.com/2004 ... chive.html
I had the same concerns and fears that you did when we first put it in. I was especially worried about Carbon Monoxide poisoning. We got a Carbon Monoxide monitor that will tell you when there is a danger, that went a long way cowards easing my fears. It's kind of funny when I was doing research I read that "Carbon Monoxide is a odorless, colorless gas". It went on to state that the first signs of poisoning may be sleepiness. So every night as I was watching the fire and getting sleepy I would think " ahhh, I am getting Carbon Monoxide poisoning !
We have never had a problem with it though in all the years we have been using it. I do make sure to leave a window cracked though. Another good idea is to make sure the stove you get has an air intake from outside. Also get a good airtight stove, not some leaky old thing that you find in the dump .
We have a lopi patriot, it is small with a glass insert which is really a great option. It is also ultra efficient. I highly recommend it,
http://www.etbrick.com/product.asp?Prod ... 0&l2=15471
I would also advise not just putting the pipe out the window with an elbow , that creates more creosote build up and not as good an air draw.
We have also never been stopped or had anyone even question the legality of it, which I also was a bit concerned about. We do sometimes get funny looks , especially from truckers at truck stops when we are parked in next to all the big rigs for the night. They look at our stack because it resembles there diesel stacks but its on a school bus and there is smoke coming out when the bus is off !
I hope you decide to go with a woodstove, it really makes it feel more like a home. Just get as good a stove as you can don't cut corners on safety, and you'll be fine.