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Old 03-27-2015, 03:55 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
What diameter is it?

What you want to do is get (or make, but they're cheap) yourself a good manometer that can measure in w/c. This is the one the folks on Arboristsite.com are always recommending:
http://www.amazon.com/Dwyer-25-Manom...3C8/ref=sr_1_6

n.b.: I don't own this one - I have an older, uglier unit my dad gave me - but people seem to like this one, and the price is right. Amazon has a great return policy if you don't like it.

This will probably confirm that you have a weak draft. Chimney length is a major contributor to draft, and it's hard to get much in a school bus. You kind of have to have a removable extension piece if you're going to be traveling. Insulation helps a LOT, though. You can either use double/triple-walled pipe, or if that cost makes you choke, you can get an insulation kit from a place like this:

Chimney Liner Flue Pipe Blanket Wrap Insulation Kits - Pour-Down Insulation | Rockford Chimney Supply

This is a stiff insulating blanket that you wrap around the flue. It's really meant for in-chimney installations when installing liners, but it works great, is pretty cheap, and doesn't look too terrible with its foil facing. IMO, the rigid liner insulation product on that page looks good enough to stand on its own in a home, but it's a bit more expensive. Your call.

Getting the right chimney cap helps a LOT too. A flat cap with a mesh screen can hurt a weak draft a lot, and also enables the kinds of wind-induced downdrafts others mentioned above. Vacu-stacks are popular although overpriced IMO:

Vacu-Stack Wind Resistant Chimney Cap | WoodlandDirect.com: Chimney Caps & Accessories, Improved Consumer Products

I'm a fan of concentric shrouds, which you can totally DIY out of one piece of 2" or so wider diameter straight flue pipe - you make that the one that's your extension. I have all kinds of pics saved on this somewhere but can't find them. This page has one thumbnail that's basically the idea:

Wood Smoke - Leichhardt Municipal Council

These create a "venturi effect" that increases draft. Note that there is no top cap on this. Rain never falls STRAIGHT down, so if the extension is at least a few feet, it hits the sides and drips out the bottom rather than into your stove. Sounds weird but it works.

Make sure you have enough make-up air coming in. Not usually a problem in a bus, but...

So much to go through, but the summary: a taller, better insulated chimney is a huge helper for solving draft problems.

Thanks taskswap, the double walled pipe is 3 inches, the heat up the pipe is hot to hot to the touch. I try concentric shroud I have flat top cap now.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:15 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
Nice write up, taskswap! I'm intrigued by that pour-down chimney insulation. I might try something similar to convert my double wall exterior chimney into an insulated one.
I read up more on the stuff. I'll probably just try packing the chimney pipe with vermiculite. I don't need the hardening qualities of the pour-in stuff.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:21 PM   #103
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Oh, yeah, the pour-down insulation is for houses. It's to fill the space between a clay/tile flue liner and a stainless liner insert. It has no place on a skoolie. The blankets, though, might be very helpful. That's why I linked to that page.

I asked about the diameter because a chimney that's too large can let the flue gas cool quicker than it should so perversely, it drafts worse. That shouldn't be the case with a 3" flue, tho. 3-4 is the standard for almost all pellet appliances, at least around here. As long as you're using whatever your manufacturer recommended, you should be fine.

The longer pipe is so easy to try (just add a length of flue pipe for a few days) that I always recommend starting with that...
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:37 PM   #104
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Not much bus progress to report on since we've been back from our trip. Paid employment has been beckoning, which is perfectly acceptable considering the next couple months will be sloppy spring conditions. I did manage to get a couple small things done, though.

For one, I got the fans installed for the wood stove. They are NZXT 140mm computer fans which, altogether, almost pull a whopping 1amp.


I curved a piece of tin behind the fans to better direct the flow upwards:


Finished product:


Installed a thermostat switch to control the fans. It turns on at 18C (65F) and back off at 27C (80F). I initially had it flush mounted against the wall, but when it warmed up it would turn on the fans which would cool it back down and turn them back off whoops. It works where it is right now so I'll make some sort of hanger for it.
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:40 PM   #105
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Also installed two reading lights up front. This was an annoying omission on our trip.


I put them in the center, as opposed to the far right and left, so that I can easily turn both of them off from the driver's seat.
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:34 PM   #106
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Very nice work. Jack
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:23 PM   #107
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Neat. I found the website of a photographer, Sera Lindsey, who we met at White Sands National Monument. She took a couple really sharp pictures of dirty ol' us with a dirty ol' bus.

JOURNAL - Sera Lindsey


There's even a picture of a real paper photo of when the bus was a mere skeleton. I need to scan those long lost digital pics back into the computer and post them here.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:50 PM   #108
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Very cool pix! Thank you for sharing.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:43 AM   #109
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Great story and pictures
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:14 AM   #110
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Looks like you had a great time. Somewhere in this build process, I missed the roof raise.

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