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Old 01-14-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
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Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

I have installed a small wood burning stove in my bus, "Buscephus." The first time I used it, it was very briefly and it seemed to work fine. However, each time I use it now so much smoke builds up inside that it leaks out into my bus. The stove came as a kit from Cabela's, so the stovepipe was included. It is 5" single-wall pipe, which seems large enough for such a small stove. I am a finish carpenter, dealing mostly with cabinets, countertops and trimwork - I am not a fireplace or stove installer. I used my best judgement while putting in my stove, but I believe that I may have made a mistake in how I ran the pipe. You can see the pictures of it if you click the link below.

http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Sk.../The+Bus+Pics/

Instead of running it straight up through the roof, I put a couple 90 degree elbows in order for it to vent out the side. Maybe this wasn't the right way to do this. I was hoping that someone else more knowledgeable about stove installation could give me some advice here. Should I reconfigure my stovepipe and run it up through the roof? Would this help it vent better? It warms the bus just fine - in fact it keeps it about 70 degrees, but now and then I have to open windows and run a fan to clear out the smoke, defeating the purpose of the stove altogether. I would appreciate some input. Thank you.

-Adam
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

You may want to check out this thread (if you haven't already):

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1810&hilit=chimney
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:53 PM   #3
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

well looking at your pictures i can see 2 things. To short a pipe, and your cap is too restrictive.
You are not getting a proper draft.
The elbow is fine should not pose a problem, but extend the chimney to about 1.5 to 2 ft above your roof line. (make it so you can disconnect it while traveling) and use a proper chimney cap.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:31 PM   #4
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

Here's mine. It's too short and too skinny (3") and has a coupla 90's,

but it works fine.
Coupla things to try before stacking up pipe - I don't know if you're already doing this, but if it smokes when you first light it, make sure the stovepipe's warmed up before you light the fire. Burn a piece or two of newspaper right under where the pipe comes into the fire box, then light the fire. The warm air trying to get up the pipe is fighting with a big slug of cold air trying to come down, helps to give the warm air a little boost. Mine smoked me out a coupla times before I remembered this from our woodstove when I was a kid.
If it just does it when you open the door, be sure to open the draft control all the way for a minute to clear the smoke out of the firebox, then open the door.
I like the short pipe, I made a metal clip that snaps onto the rain gutter and to travel you just pull it out, raise it up to clear the clip, pop a 3" cap in the hole and put the window up and off you go. Holds up well, the wind was 24 mph gusting to 34 the other night all night long and no problem.
Looked at your album, I like that storm door idea. Haven't seen anyone do that before.

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Old 01-14-2008, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

Well thanks for the input everyone. I really didn't want to cut into the roof to vent my stove. I have another section of stovepipe that should bring it up another two feet - well above the rooftop. Now I gotta figure out a way that it can fold down when I'm traveling so it won't create so much wind resistance. Maybe a hinge system.

-Adam
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:09 AM   #6
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

do you have a damper in the pipe? this will not help the smoke but keeps more heat in the stove and burns less wood i would try another pipe cap before i raised the pipe,but the raised pipe will help bus looks great!
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:28 AM   #7
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

Why don't you simply remove it when travelling?
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:51 PM   #8
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

Getting any smoke in your living space also means you're getting CO, which is a killer.
Whatever you do, solve the problem, don't become a statistic.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:04 PM   #9
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

I don't think burning natural cut logs creates CO gas - does it? If so, that's news to me. I've always known about the danger of burning propane in confined spaces.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:19 PM   #10
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Re: Woodstove in my bus leaks smoke.

CO is produced any time something with carbon in it (that covers just about anything you'd want to burn) is burned. It is produced in dangerous quantities when there is not enough oxygen available to the combustion process e.g. with poorly adjusted burners or lack of venting. There is a good article about CO and RVs here:

http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/skp/codetectors.htm
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