Wood Burning Stove: Advice Please.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by TheFluffs, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. TheFluffs

    TheFluffs Deleted User

    Hi guys.
    Winter is quickly on its way!
    I am happy to use my hot water bottles for the moment but I will soon be needing a better form of keeping my toes and nose warm at night. I want to fit a wood burning/multi-fuel stove into my Merc 709D. Does anyone have any advice on what sort of stove is best for a campervan also any advice on fitting would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.
    TheFluffs.
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Simple answer is a small one, they chuck out a huge amount of heat. will need to be bolted to the floor and chained to wall and units to stop inertia ripping it from the floor. Either pipe through the roof or remove a window and replace with a through chimney to which an elbow and stack can be added when stationary. Making a smoke proof joint is not easy but some silicone sealents do work better than fire cement. protect floor walls and units with tiles. Staple fine mesh to all surfaces for tile cement to grip to. leave plenty of space around it. door must have a lock so it can not shake free when travelling otherwise hot coals or embers will fly out. fire should be out when travelling and a carbon monoxide detector an absolute must. Chimney must pass through steel or alluminium, not fibre glass and be of sufficient size to prevent a fire. Fire extinguishers, fire blanket, sand bucket etc a must to be safe. Wood harbours all sort of wood boring insects do you really want them eating your van away. Why not consider a diesel drip fed heater. much safer. See yacht chandlers for details or have one built. Good luck
     
  3. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Top gear fitted one in a Mercedes i believe:Wink:
     
  4. TheFluffs

    TheFluffs Deleted User

    Wow!
    Thanks.
    Almost everything I need to know there.
    Just need some recommendations for stoves (I'm looking at an Arrow Acorn) and maybe a bit of detail about how to seal the roof once I've cut a hole and stuck a pipe through.
    Not really keen on using a diesel heater, its a bit of a faff to install and I'm trying to cut down on my fossil fuel usage.
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2008
  5. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    and free waste vegetable oil???????? or recycled waste engine oil, recyling is good for you. you need to insulate the steel from the glass fibre roof, stray ash, sparks can still set the van alight, or is it an ali roof.
     
  6. TheFluffs

    TheFluffs Deleted User

    Like I said its a bit of a faff. Also wood is free, easy to find and completely renewable. whereas bio diesel is hard to find costs money and has a higher carbon footprint than wood.
    My roof is steel. on the outside then has a layer of sheep's wool insulation then a layer of tongue and groove.
     
  7. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    point taken on the installation, however must correct you waste vegetable oil is carbon neutral, as would be used engine oil as it is a waste product. having used numerous wood burners in vans I can assure you that only very small logs can be used or you have too much heat, plus burning wood is prohibited in a lot of areas. It does create a lot of smoke polluting the atmosphere you seem so keen to clean up. steel roof, no problem but the heat will take the paint off unless insulated with the modern equivalent of asbestos. Must add every single van I have seen using a wood burner reeks of burnt wood.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  8. TheFluffs

    TheFluffs Deleted User

    Actually Bio diesel isn't carbon neutral. A friend of mine used to run a bio diesel garage in Manchester and I'm also doing a degree in sustainability so I know a bit about this subject. Wood is carbon neutral because the carbon it releases is taken up by new growing trees, this is not the case with recycled mineral oils, and Bio diesel has to be transported, refined, and has some ethical uncertainties such as taking up space that should be used for growing food etc.. Even recycled cooking oil isn't completely carbon neutral, it's just a lot better for the environment than fossil fuels.
    As well as being more sustainable, a wood burning stove will be much easier to find fuel for and easier to fit. I don't mind smelling a bit like a bonfire. might cover up my B.O :D
    I take it you have a diesel heater :p
     
  9. TinaGlenn

    TinaGlenn Read Only Funster

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    We were at the Great Dorset Steam Rally a couple of weeks ago andf they had a huge auto jumble and there were many small and light wood burning stoves there, they were originally made to fit in very small trailer/caravan things towed behind the steam engines for the workers to live in. there were companys doing reproduction style burners too, again very small and just right for a canal barge or van. I am sure you could find them by doing a web search, or looking in the canal boat magazines, as they are used a lot in those too.
    We live near to Avebury and have seen many new agers with their van conversions complete with wood burners hapily living all year around very snugly. As Wildman points out, make safety your main priority. We have seen one van where the flue came away from the burner and the occupants had a lot of smoke damage and other problems. It was all down to not having it all secure enough when travelling, and the burner shifting about as they were driving.
    They are hefty bits of kit and so make sure you have it very securely fastened in place, as well as sufficient weight allowance on your van before you start making holes in the roof for the flue.

    Tina
     
  10. Gonewiththewind

    Gonewiththewind Read Only Funster

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    Just explain in idiot terms, if wood is good, why is its burning in smokeless zones prohibited?:Eeek:
     
  11. Braunston

    Braunston Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    I know quiet a number of people who live on their canal boats and none of them appear able to find sufficient free wood to keep their homes heated over the winter, and from what they tell me a lot of the wood that they do use needs to be stored to I think dry out because of the resins or something like that, which requires a storage area so may not be that helpful if you wish to travel around.

    Most of them supplement their heating it with coal or LPG as even if they can find free wood it usually doesn't stay in/alight over night so they wake to a very cold boat.

    hope that helps
     
  12. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    We are coming from different directions, I made no mention of biodiesel, only vegetable oil, Straight vegetable oil is carbon neutral. It releases only the same amount of carbon that it absorbed whilst growing. Wood is sustainable. In one van I have a wood burner and my workshop has a waste oil/ chipfat burner. Fuel cost is zero and the veg oil burns cleaner. So actually use both. Bio diesel has a lot of bad additives. One vehicle runs on SVO, not biodiesel.
     
  13. andyman

    andyman Read Only Funster

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    I'm forever throwing wood away. I used to get Environ to take it away, but then they decided as it was'nt just wood ( it has nails and the odd label / printing ) they did'nt want it. So now some goes to a friend the rest in the skip. No doubt I am breaking some law by giving it away ie no waste transfer license.
     
  14. TheFluffs

    TheFluffs Deleted User

    Yeah sorry.... Was a bit tired last night. Probably got the wrong end of the stick.
    I'd still really like a multi-fuel stove but you have got me interested in this drip fed heater malarkey. Any more advice on it would be appreciated.
    Sorry about the rant.
    Thanks.
     
  15. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    No problem, only trying to help. Try reading from the site below. may give you some ideas.


    Mother Earth: Waste Oil Heater - Feedback
     
  16. paul&stella

    paul&stella Read Only Funster

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    My brother used to live in a '1954 ex-royal navy personell carrier' (an old bus basically!) and had a log burner right in the middle with the chimney going up through the roof. It got really hot in there - so hot that his cockerel (named Saunders) used to fall asleep then fall on the stove, resulting in the whole bus smelling strongly of burning feathers. Not so nice!
     
  17. TheFluffs

    TheFluffs Deleted User

    That's cool. unfortunately I don't have the facilities or equipment to build one of those (being a full timer) and the ones I've seen for sale on t'interweb cost thousands and seem to be of an industrial size. I'm looking into an eberspacher heater now they seem to be around a similar price to a wood burner, you cant stick a kettle on top of them though :Wink:
     
  18. TheFluffs

    TheFluffs Deleted User

  19. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    That looks great a small one would be handy but pricey to have made, luckily I have a workshop so construction not too much of a problem have an oil burner in the the workshop and you can put a kettle on top, it just a matter of design I suppose.
    I saw one in a boat that included a water jacket to retain heat and also to provide hot water. It was built of stainless steel and looked great as well. A van or boat does not require a massive heat source. A converted furniture lorry I had included a wookburner that was 12" cube so inside approx 9" cube and that heated the whole van plus a kettle. Current motorhome has an eberspatcher (currently not working) but when I get around to sorting it I will add a seperate tank for red Diesel or heating oil at around 60p per litre. But other things need sorting first. Must admit the eberpatcher would be cheap to run, clean, smoke free safe etc and you always have gas to boil a kettle.
     
  20. TheFluffs

    TheFluffs Deleted User

    Righto.
    I've still not made my mind up.

    Eberspacher = clean (ish) and easy to run (after tricky installation) cheapish fuel, can have a timer fitted.

    Whereas this (the Louis Ranger) :-
    http://www.windysmithy.co.uk/html/woodburners.htm
    would be a beautiful thing to have in my home, I'd be able to bake bread and drink constant brews, Its safer than most wood-burners as it's actually designed for a motorhome, free fuel, cosy, and with the installation of a stainless twin wall, 25mm insulated flue I'd also have a radiator to dry clothes on.

    Wadayathink folks?

    :Confused:
     
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