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More Small RMH Questions -- Help!  RSS feed

 
Posts: 1092
Location: Green County, Kentucky
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It looks like I'm going to HAVE to put a wood stove in the travel trailer. I've taken out the water tank, and can put the wood stove where the tank was, so the floor should be able to support some weight there, since the tank, when full, probably weighed at least a couple hundred pounds. I'd like the stove itself, including mass around it and heat shields, to take up no more than 30" X 30". Height is limited -- not only is this a travel trailer, but there are cabinets on the wall above the window which is the width of that whole section of the wall. We need the cabinets. And besides, I've already spent several precious days of work time doing nothing but tearing stuff OUT of the trailer -- don't want to waste any more time doing that if possible!

I think I can do a short mass 'bench' but it will be only about a foot or so square -- if I use six inch pipe, this would leave only three inches of mass on each side of the pipe. Is this enough? I would include heat shielding. The total space I'm working with is only six feet long (it's where the hide-a-bed used to be, with the water tank under it).

So, my questions are, where do you buy fire brick and refractory cement (what kind of business do I call?)? What should I use for the 'barrel' part of the stove? I was thinking a grease can, but would a five-gallon metal can be big enough? Should I look for a small water heater? I'd like to be able to use the top of the stove for at least heating water, simmering soup, etc., but we do have the propane cook stove, so I don't have to do all my cooking on the rocket stove. Is stove pipe going to be durable enough for the feed tube/burn chamber? And what would be best to use for the inner cylinder, inside the 'barrel' part of the stove?

I can find someone to do welding, if necessary.

Will be burning pine and juniper, mostly pine as my mother and step-father have twenty acres of pine trees and there are lots of dead branches I can pick up. I also have some scrap wood I've picked up, close to a cord of that if I'm able to get it all moved up there. No hardwoods available here.

My step-father is allergic to wood smoke -- he was having trouble yesterday just from the neighbor's wood stove several hundred feet from their house. So I have to do a rocket stove if I'm going to have a wood stove at all. It doesn't look like we are going to be able to use the electricity much in the trailer as the inverter hums and my step-father thinks it's on it's last legs. He said the propane furnace needs electricity for the blower (how do they run when someone is camping where there is no electricity -- off the battery?), so we can't count on having that. We only have a few more loads of stuff to take up there to be completely moved, and I don't want to have to be sleeping in their house! (We've been sleeping in their house when we stay overnight on one of our moving trips, but it wouldn't be a good arrangement for long-term.)

Kathleen
 
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Posts: 1467
Location: Vancouver Island
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:It looks like I'm going to HAVE to put a wood stove in the travel trailer. I've taken out the water tank, and can put the wood stove where the tank was, so the floor should be able to support some weight there, since the tank, when full, probably weighed at least a couple hundred pounds. I'd like the stove itself, including mass around it and heat shields, to take up no more than 30" X 30". Height is limited -- not only is this a travel trailer, but there are cabinets on the wall above the window which is the width of that whole section of the wall. We need the cabinets. And besides, I've already spent several precious days of work time doing nothing but tearing stuff OUT of the trailer -- don't want to waste any more time doing that if possible!

I think I can do a short mass 'bench' but it will be only about a foot or so square -- if I use six inch pipe, this would leave only three inches of mass on each side of the pipe. Is this enough? I would include heat shielding. The total space I'm working with is only six feet long (it's where the hide-a-bed used to be, with the water tank under it).



That is not much... standard (code too) clearance over a wood burning appliance is 18inches to anything combustible. The roof is probably not more than 7ft. then cabinets then 18inches (you really don't want to burn down). I would almost think a (used) marine diesel stove might be best. If you are going to go RMH, then your riser will be height to bottom of cabinets minus 18inchs, minus 3 or 4 inches insulation under, minus 2 inches patio slab (24x24) minus 6 inches burn tunnel height, minus 2 inches barrel gap. Where does that get you so far?


So, my questions are, where do you buy fire brick and refractory cement (what kind of business do I call?)?


Central Builders... probably not close to you though (AKA home hardware) Home Depot....


What should I use for the 'barrel' part of the stove? I was thinking a grease can, but would a five-gallon metal can be big enough? Should I look for a small water heater? I'd like to be able to use the top of the stove for at least heating water, simmering soup, etc., but we do have the propane cook stove, so I don't have to do all my cooking on the rocket stove.



depends on riser height. I would use a water heater (Oh... I am at that) They are the easiest thing for me to find. Every house replaces them every 10 years so there are lots around (get electric so there is no flue pipe to deal with). Most are 4ft high... cut to suit (angle grinders are $20 on sale and a few cutting discs will do the job... lots of noise buy ear plugs... no joke) If you use the bottom end up there will be a built in wok (ok... that was a joke). I have not done this but the bottom end up with a lid might make an ok shallow oven... just a thought. The right way up as I did, makes it hard to heat on. as the top is not flat... pack some clay (clay with sand... cob pretty much) on to make a flat surface.

In this case (against much advice to the contrary) I would put mass around the barrel even covering the top. The more mass on the top, the less heat will get to the cabinets... maybe some insulation on top of the mass... (feel the cabinets while the beast is running to make sure)

Mine:
http://www.permies.com/t/10653/alternative-energy/Yet-another-portable-RMH

Is only 25inches in diam. with mass (500lbs or so) and 4ft high. The flue gas is very clear coming out with no bench and the brick is quite cool compared to an iron stove. I used bricks, but I have seen someone do the same thing by putting a 24inch barrel outside and filling the space with dirt/clay/sand... cob. I would pack it down really good... not too wet so it doesn't shrink much like compressed earth blocks.


Is stove pipe going to be durable enough for the feed tube/burn chamber? And what would be best to use for the inner cylinder, inside the 'barrel' part of the stove?



I don't know yet... it's what I used. I am putting a sacrificial piece of metal inside (just more stove pipe) that can be replaced as needed. I hope to get a year out of it, but I haven't got there yet... looks good so far. Stove pipe is fine for the riser, almost everyone uses that with a bigger one outside and the space filled with insulation of some sort (cob and vermiculite is most common, but I am using roxul rock wool and I have seen welders blanket used too).


I can find someone to do welding, if necessary.


I did some welding, but everything I did could have been done without too. Just more drilling and screws.


Will be burning pine and juniper, mostly pine as my mother and step-father have twenty acres of pine trees and there are lots of dead branches I can pick up. I also have some scrap wood I've picked up, close to a cord of that if I'm able to get it all moved up there. No hardwoods available here.


Softwood burns quick... bad in a fire place or wood stove, but good for a mass heater do use a spark arresting chimney cap anyway.


He said the propane furnace needs electricity for the blower (how do they run when someone is camping where there is no electricity -- off the battery?), so we can't count on having that. We only have a few more loads of stuff to take up there to be completely moved, and I don't want to have to be sleeping in their house! (We've been sleeping in their house when we stay overnight on one of our moving trips, but it wouldn't be a good arrangement for long-term.)



Yes those furnaces run on 12v battery.... a battery charger from 120v will power it too. Mine worked pretty good... I put a timer thermostat on it so it didn't run as much when I was a work.... but I had to modify it to work with dc by replacing the triac with a transistor.

I understand about house guests... I have heard them compared to fish... you don't want to keep them around for more than three days... the person I heard it from has no children by choice... so maybe more than three days, but not long.

 
Destiny's powerful hand has made the bed of my future. And this tiny ad:
five days of natural building (wofati and cob) and rocket cooktop oct 8-12, 2018
https://permies.com/t/92034/permaculture-projects/days-natural-building-wofati-cob
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