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Old 06-11-2014, 12:11 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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When it comes to a woodstove...

We have two stoves in our possession - a larger ~2.0 cu ft one and a wee potbelly. My fear of cold makes me think, go big or go home, but my inclination is towards the wee potbelly for both aesthetic and space considerations. I'm just unsure how much stokin' she'll need to make it through our -40 winter nights here in the Great White North. We salvaged the bigger stove from our cabaña which was about 650 sq ft and we could keep the place warm (and subsequently stay in bed - it's all about uninterrupted sleep here...) for a good 8-10 hours if we built her up proper before bed. The bus is about half the size of la cabaña but the wee potbelly is less than half the size of the woodstove. I've never had the potbelly hooked up to anything - it's been a photo prop since I brought her home - so I have no idea how much heat it will pump out. I know what you burn makes a difference too and I imagine we'll get better fuel economy and require less storage using compressed heatlogs, but there's that dirty hippy tree hugger side of me that says if it's manufactured I don't want to touch it. While we intend to have multiple heating sources for both practical and safety reasons, my preference would be to avoid power draws on our battery bank or using up propane running some kind of furnace. Thoughts or experiences? Thanks in advance.


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Old 06-11-2014, 10:12 PM   #2
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Re: When it comes to a woodstove...

If it's not a air tight stove, don't even think about using it in a bus.

Wood stoves take a ton of space. Many here have done it. I will have one in my conversion as a standby back up and waste incinerator.

Setting up a high efficiency propane heating system off grid is possible, but not cheap.

Forget about forced air heating off grid. It uses to much electricity.

Spend money on spray foam insulation. It's better than the stock market. As energy keeps increasing in price, it just keeps saving you money. More and more as time go's on.

Nat
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:57 AM   #3
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Re: When it comes to a woodstove...

The first pic looks like the double wall air tight Appalachian wood stove we used to have as a primary heat source in a house. That stove would still have sides that were cool enough to touch without creating a burn. It had fairly close clearances on it. Our first wood stove was an ancient "Ben Franklin" style stove that we bought in Skyland for $25. It took an hour's drive each way and a can of heat temp paint (plus many hours to clean the rusty thing) to result in a wood stove that ate up the freebie kiln-dried oak flooring scraps. The air-tight was a dream compared. In the narrow confines of a bus, I would lean more towards a double wall stove than a single wall "pot bellied" stove. Single wall cast iron gets really hot and one might brush up against it accidentally. But I'm not a fan of splitting wood (been there, done that, not gonna any more). We have a vent free LP fireplace in our mantle. No wood to haul and split, no ashes (I got enough problems with the talcum-powder-fine NM dust) and it's instant on/off. I still want to add a fan to the thing before next winter. That's in my "finish the beastie up this summer" budget. That is just my opinion. It's YOUR bus to convert as you please. You have used wood stoves and know what is involved. Use your own discretion. There are plenty of bus conversions that have wood stove in them. So it is definitely doable. Just keep in mind your house now moves and you need to secure things accordingly (in case of violently sudden stops).
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: When it comes to a woodstove...

The bus we are converting right now doesn't ever have to make a second trip once she's parked on our land, and we likely won't install the stove until after we decide whether to tour with her the first year or just park her. The big thing is that when planning our cabinetry and plumbing and other such things that I won't want to relocate, I want to make sure I leave enough space. The pot belly is definitely not air tight, the woodstove definitely is.

I'm curious what the argument is against not having an airtight unit? Sorry if that sounds obtuse - I know airtight burns longer (which would certainly help me stay in bed longer lol) but they also produce more creosote and leave more waste. I think for the time being I'm going to leave enough space for the cabaña stove as my gut tells me it is the better option, but I'm gonna give the potbelly a whirl over the winter. And build a cage of some sort around the stove to prevent accidentally brushing up against it.

Thanks for the input! (And nat, anytime you wanna come and peek at the FE 8.3, just let me know ;) lol)
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: When it comes to a woodstove...

Our airtight produced much less creosote, etc than the old fashioned wood stove. We cleaned our stove pipe ourselves. It was a single wall pipe up to the ceiling and then it was triple wall with a cap on top. We only burned hardwoods too. Once a day, I would stoke the fire up and let it burn hot and then bank it down for the night. During winter the wood stove never completely shut down. We had a propane back up system and I think it usually kicked on once during the winter (not counting the deliberate turn on to make sure everything was operating right at the beginning of the winter). I was in the hospital for three days and then laid up at my parents house for a week after I had the girls. David didn't go home during that time and the neighbours fed the chickens for us. The back up furnace ran during that time as well. Other than those times, it was all wood heat. I was an avid reader of Mother Earth News back then and wood stoves was a hot topic.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:58 PM   #6
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Re: When it comes to a woodstove...

A not air tight wood stove burns out of control until the fuel load is gone, creating a extremely hot, dangerous situation.

Not safe in a small space.

Nat
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:17 AM   #7
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Re: When it comes to a woodstove...

Safety schmafety ;) lol
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:57 AM   #8
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Re: When it comes to a woodstove...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
. . . wood stoves was a hot topic.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:45 PM   #9
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Re: When it comes to a woodstove...

When it comes to a wood stove in a bus, I always lean toward marine stoves. Yes, they are pricey, but if you check around marina's and old boat salvage yards, a lot of times you can find a used one reasonable. Plus, the sky's the limit when it comes to choices.

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