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Old 10-28-2005, 04:54 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
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I have a small (yea right) wood stove (like any of them are small in weight) for my bus..but finding stuff for the house has been harder. Thanks for the link and the phone number.
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Old 10-30-2005, 09:43 PM   #12
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How about a fireplace? I was thinking about that the other day. A "Russian fireplace" (massive masonry heatsink). Hmmmm....
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Old 10-31-2005, 01:28 AM   #13
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Recently researching wood burning stoves, I found this link:

http://www.walltentshop.com/CatStoves.html

The marine stoves are fairly expensive, IMO, and anything residential is just overkill given skoolie interior volume.

These stoves are for tents & travelling, and as such most are collapsible. With some mods (mostly involving adding anchors) I think some models could be suitable for Bus use.

Sean F
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Old 10-31-2005, 07:36 AM   #14
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Even though I’m an advocate of installing all sorts of non-approved for RV mobile use stuff ….I don’t think it’s a good move to install a lightweight woodstove designed for temporary use in hunting camps in a rig that’s going to be your home.
When we lived in our vans and traveled about all the time I bought one of those ‘outdoor’ stoves and a little Coleman folding oven to carry along with us.
We used it quite a lot …but only outside the van. They get glowing red when operating and after using them for awhile you get burned out spots on the stove….which would not be a good thing to happen inside your bus when you’re asleep.
Here are a couple of our pre-digital camera day’s pics of our setup…

http://www.mobilehomestead.com/buses2/s ... /strg2.jpg

http://www.mobilehomestead.com/buses2/s ... /strg3.jpg

Other Stoves we’ve used and will use….

I installed a little Dickenson stainless steel wall mounted woodstove in Latcho Drom…which has some similarities to the sheet metal stoves but is much better built and designed for safe use inside a boat or bus.
http://www.mobilehomestead.com/latcho/l ... tvdet7.jpg

It’s a pretty small stove….But I figured on only using it as a back-up heater and also for knocking back condensation build-up …not as our primary bus heater
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in some nice warm area where it never gets very cold it’s a bit too small handle the job of heating a whole bus..
I’ll use it in Latcho Drom 2 as our main heater …a tiny version of our bus cut down to tow our trailer with.
Yesterday I finished up demolishing the cabinetry in our bus in preparation of cutting her down to a smaller size.

In our last bus ‘Home’ I installed a medium sized air tight woodstove which worked out great for heating up the whole bus in minus 30 temps .I loved that stove and wouldn’t consider having a Rolling Home without one.
I just drilled out the legs and bolted it down….
For our Trailer I picked up a very nice little Jotul woodstove ….
http://www.mobilehomestead.com/trailer/ ... stv456.JPG
http://www.mobilehomestead.com/trailer/ ... stv559.JPG

It’s about half the size of the one I installed in ‘Home’ and much nicer …but Jotul’s are not cheap , this model runs around $700.00
Even though it’s not a Jotul …This pic give you an idea of the scale of our woodstove

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

If the cost is an issue in choosing which woodstove you want to install…IMO , rather then buying some cheapo woodstove that probably wont last very long and is most likely dangerous to use….a person would be much better off going down to a steel dealer and having them cut steel sheeting pieces to the size you want your stove to be …and then either weld up the stove yourself or find someone else to do it. You’d get a really good stove at half the price of a pre-manufactured one.
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:27 AM   #15
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Sorry forgot this bit…..

Richard …lots of the folks who convert big MCI’s and such install regular 120-volt House Hold fridges in their buses and run them off their inverters.
The ones who do this and spend large portions of their time Boondocking instead of staying plugged in at some campground most of the time… tend to have huge banks of batteries to handle this.
Even though you can buy energy efficient fridges ….you are running them 24/7 which means you need to have a system big enough to handle the constant load.

I thought about installing a regular house hold fridge in our trailer but after thinking about the battery capacity I’d need to run an inverter all the time I chose to stick with a Propane/elec model.

………………………………………… ………………………………………….

As far as building your own water tanks go…..that’s a big job. Some folks build plywood boxes , fiberglass them inside and out…..for their water tanks.
But… I think that’s a bit excessive and unnecessary because you can just buy about any size or type of tank you’ll need. The only folks who absolutely need to do something like this are the sailboat building crowd….they build the tanks into their keels for ballast.
But for bus converters …unless they enjoy making their lives harder then it has to be …its kind of silly to build a water tank when you can just buy one.

If you’re on a budget you can pick up 30 or 50 gallon barrels to use for your tanks very cheaply.
That’s what we did in ‘Home”. I located 2-25 gallon barrels under the sink area and used a 12-volt water pump.

………………………………………… ………………………………………… …

Just about all the old-school Bus converters I know always installed a regular House style LP-Gas stove instead of the smaller RV type.
They tend to cost much less and are big enough to actually cook with.
You can buy them in apartment sized models (24 inch wide) .
The way I feel about the little RV cooking stoves is …they were designed many years ago (and still are) with temporary camping in mind. They figured most folks only cook a little on their camping trips …so why bother installing a more realistic sized stove in the rig.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to cook great meals on a small RV stove…..it’s just a lot nicer to have a real stove big enough to cook whatever you want.
We use the house type in our rigs….and they’re just as safe to use as an rv one is. In ‘Home’ we had a 30 inch model but for the trailer I went to a very nice 24 inch stainless steel model.
Michael
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:58 AM   #16
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Thanks s'moose for the experience/advice on the camping woodstoves.

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Old 10-31-2005, 10:42 AM   #17
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Your welcome…..
And sorry, I do tend to forget folks don’t only use their buses to live in fulltime.
I’m kinda old-fashioned about Schoolies and come from a time when everyone who had one mostly lived in them.
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:15 PM   #18
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stove advice

Michael, thanks for the detailed information. I appreciate the "vintage" advice since I will be living in my bus in the canadian climate. Also thanks to all of you for your varied advice and suggestions.

I am coming from a place where money is an issue. That is why I am looking at building waste water tanks versus purchasing. The same with trying to find a reasonable wood stove. I have seen a couple for sale in the local used paper so i'll keep you posted on how the hunt goes. I am hoping to find somthing in the next few weeks.

On the apartment size propane stove note, are there modifications that need to happen prior to it's use? I suspect not, however it's good to know.

On the fridge front, what I am thinking is a small 2 way rv fridge so I can run propane for the important things while boondocking and a small ac bar fridge for expanding the system when plugged in. This seems to be an economic alternative while still allowing for the required flexibility.

-Richard
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:31 AM   #19
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Richard …The Stoves are mostly always Natural Gas stoves , but all you do to make them run on propane is turn the little burner jets over , loosen this …tighten that , etc. etc.
The stove will come with clear instructions on how to go about this.
If you buy them new the dealer will sometimes do the lp switch-over for you.
If you buy the used …most of the time you’ll find them already converted to run on propane.

To save some bucks on the holding tanks you could always buy a 35-50 gallon used plastic barrel. I know lots of folks who have done that and all seem happy with their choice.
But those folks mostly live in warm areas not cold and miserable places like I do.
If you use barrels or even conventional RV holding tanks and locate them outside under the bus…..they’ll freeze solid in a few days of bad weather.
Which is not just a temporary pain in the butt… typically you’ll run into all sorts of problems when the tanks un-freeze.
I really suggest locating the tanks inside the bus if the rig is going to be lived in cold weather areas.
But those Barrels do take up a lot of interior space …which is why it’s better to bite the bullet and buy a conventional tank ….which is mostly always a tidy rectangular shaped tank easy to find space for.
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Old 11-01-2005, 11:22 AM   #20
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re: freezing tanks

I am unsure how drainage would work if the tanks are located inside the bus? To combat the weather what I am considering is creating large storage compartments under the bus that run from behind the front wheel drivers side to just in front of the rear dually. This would be built out of steel and coated in sheet metal or just wood ($$??), insulated then have the tanks, whichever style I go for, also insulated, the t juction and drains inside the compartment with an opening just large enought for a drainage hose. I would lay a couple brew belts under the tanks and install a 40 watt bulb in the piping area where the drain controls are to keep things warm enough. The access door would also be insulated (2" stryro foam) and the drainage hose would be insulated and have a heat strip applied. From my research this method should work fine.

In regards to the tanks. I have been looking for plastic barrels in good shape and they seem to be difficult to locate. Additionally they don't seem to be an efficient use of space. so..

I am thinking of building. I saw a dual tank somone had made that was inspiring. I am unable to find a photo or web address at this moment so I will do my best to explain it. They created a long rectangular box out of plywood (think coffin). Then installed a dividing wall to seperate the two comartments. One for black and the other for grey water. They added small bevel bits of wood in the corners to create a rounding in the space. Then they added the inlet/outlet spouts. Then they fiberglassed both interior spaces. Although you could do both inside and outside for added durability. They built a fitted top that was also fiberglassed to seal up the unit. It was siliconed and screwed into place. The benifit of this is access to tanks in case of major problems.

The reason I like this system are:
- Space efficient
- Only one tank to heat
- completely custom
- Easier to install (?)
- Economical

I still plan on buying fresh water tanks. I am unsure of placing all my fresh water in a fiberglass box. This does not seem a good idea for quality reasons.

Speaking of which, can anyone recomend a company located in canada that builds holding tanks to order?

-Richard
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