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Old 03-27-2015, 02:55 PM   #101
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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, 06:15 PM   #102
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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, 06:21 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, 12:37 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, 12:40 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, 02:34 PM   #106
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Very nice work. Jack
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:23 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, 08:50 PM   #108
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Very cool pix! Thank you for sharing.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:43 AM   #109
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Great story and pictures
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:14 PM   #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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Old 05-01-2015, 08:15 AM   #111
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Yes, one of these days I'll scan those photos into the computer and post them here. The digital "originals" have since disappeared into the ether.

I raised the roof only enough so that I could get 2" of XPS foam board on the floor covered with 5/8" plywood and 3" of foam in the ceiling while still having several inches of head room.

It ended up being a couple inches taller than the stock high-roof Thomas's. I didn't go to high since I wanted to be able to flip the transition piece from low-roof configuration to high-roof. I went high enough that the transition piece had to be tediously re-shaped into place. I'm still glad I didn't have to make one of my own, though! The original looks good and seals perfectly.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:34 AM   #112
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Great use of original material.

Nat
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:21 AM   #113
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Yes, one of these days I'll scan those photos into the computer and post them here. The digital "originals" have since disappeared into the ether.

I raised the roof only enough so that I could get 2" of XPS foam board on the floor covered with 5/8" plywood and 3" of foam in the ceiling while still having several inches of head room.

It ended up being a couple inches taller than the stock high-roof Thomas's. I didn't go to high since I wanted to be able to flip the transition piece from low-roof configuration to high-roof. I went high enough that the transition piece had to be tediously re-shaped into place. I'm still glad I didn't have to make one of my own, though! The original looks good and seals perfectly.
I will wait without food and water until pics are posted.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:55 PM   #114
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Nice work there my brother...............Congratulations..........loo ks like you put in the Hard Yards and now's the time to enjoy the fruit of your labor.............Well Done...........moki
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:10 AM   #115
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Nice work there my brother...............Congratulations..........loo ks like you put in the Hard Yards and now's the time to enjoy the fruit of your labor.............Well Done...........moki
Too true. The tasks now are mostly finishing. Not strenuous by any means. The big, pending job is painting. REALLY need to do something about the meth-lab look.

I drove it out to it's new home yesterday afternoon:



That picture shows the bus resting in the driveway facing south. We later positioned it east-west in the bare area to the right after dropping some trees. One was dead, two were bushy conifers that were blocking the sunlight.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:58 PM   #116
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I like seeing your bus in the tree's.

Without tree's life is so blaw.

Nat
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:46 PM   #117
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I like the neighborhood! Great setting.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:45 PM   #118
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I like seeing your bus in the tree's.

Without tree's life is so blaw.

Nat
Agreed! We're trying to keep as many trees as possible without impeding the sunlight hitting the solar panels. Erin and I made a pact that we need to both agree before taking any trees down. I'll admit that I'm a bit more chainsaw happy than she is. We make do

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I like the neighborhood! Great setting.
Indeed it is a fine neighbourhood. No neighbourhood association to give us heck about anything we do. If we want to do it, we do it. Another reason why I love Northern Ontario!


Here are a couple more pictures of our home:







Yes, we

The neighbours saw that we pulled in yesterday and dropped by today to say hi. These guys are great. All hunting, fishing and enjoying life.. I'm happy to be where we are.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:59 PM   #119
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Well go to youtube check out some of the results with the various Rustoleum spray on paint schemes, which I have used incidentally.........spend a day taping off. Just before you Spray grab a couple big towels, soak them in Liquid Sandpaper and wipe down the bus really well and have at it............use a fairly "wet" setting on the gun so there's no "powdery over spray" flying all over...........lay down a faint tac coat and put on three light coats and you'll end up with out "orange peel" an be amazed at the result...........30% Lacquer thinner 5% acetone.........and the rest paint.......you'd be amazed. I've painted three buses using this method. It's quick, gives handsome results................
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:02 PM   #120
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I of course can appreciate your pimptastic plastic martini glasses

Bravo ;)
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