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Design for an rv

 
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What would be a good design for permenant rv dwellers?
Points
Easy fire setup and less fuddling w the wood.
Put the heat battery under the rv away from fuel tank.
Put the firewood door and combustion chamber outside the bedroom window.
Consider using a small fan to get the fire started and the smoke sucking down under the rv and out the chimney top.

Which designs would this work best with?  Or if it cant work then whats a good cheap solution?  Build a little brick woodburn stove?  Rvs slam on breaks and make fast lane changes sometimes and have little room.
 
master steward
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Welcome to the forum!

I am a little confused about the permanent RV dweller?  So, are you living in the RV traveling around the country?

Since you are posting in the Rocket Mass Heater forum I am assuming you want to put an RMH in the RV and use it while you are on the road?

Rvs slam on breaks and make fast lane changes sometimes and have little room



Yes, that might raise some safety concerns that maybe someone on our forum can address.

I am looking forward to learning more about your adventures.



 
Gregger Jordan
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It would be best if the rmh was built outside with the heat battery under the rv.  Then the rv can drive off to refill water... And repark over the rmh heat storage e mass battery.  Some siding can be placed to prevent an underdraft and keep more heat in as it rises through the floor.  Rvs have little space inside.  It can be loaded w wood outside but hopefully wont require too much going in and out.  If the burn chamber is behind the rear bumper on the ground then the heat battery wont have to be driven over.
 
gardener
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So essentially a stationary RMH for a mobile rv while it is parked in its regular spot. I would consider that as a type of greenhouse raised bed heater, for a style to research.

I would make side insulated panels that could tip or swing away from the rv for driving off clearance, and even maybe extend up the sides a bit to improve the insulation.
 
pollinator
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Where approximately are you located? It would be helpful to know the environment you plan to operate in -- particularly in the season where you need the extra heat. Typical night-time low temperatures, wind, humidity. Does the ground freeze, and how deep?
 
Gregger Jordan
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Northwest south Carolina at the corner in the mountains is where i live.  The coldest night is usually 22 degrees maybe.  Im curious if a trench 3 feet deep beside the garden of  food with a plastic cover over them will keep them from freezing.  A mini greenhouse of sorts.
I saw a video with just greenhouse air circulating underground with a blower 24 7 and his temps were great.  The deep earth acts like a thermal battery and warms up in the day and discharges at night.  This may be the best solution for the rig but with a wood burner as well.  But my biggest question is which rocket mass heater requires the least fiddling to get it started and is cheap to build and how long does it take to get started?  With a blowtorch and starter fluid? Can it be going in 15 minutes?

Also any ideas for the underground tunnel portion?  10 inch vent pipe and cheap chicken-wire and clay for the roof over a tunnel and a layer of clay and then branches laid across the top for more support? Then more fill dirt over that maybe all 4 feet deep with a layer of leaves on top for extra insulation.  It sounds like fun.  My lot is on a 1 to 3 grade. Under 1 foot deep is red clay dirt.  I wonder if it would be just as efficient as a converted 55gal drum wood burning stove with its chimney going through the deep clay to have all the heat absorbed before the smoke gets above ground?  What do you think?  I can do this because of the steep grade.  The chimney can have a shallow angle rise underground before it goes vertical and rises 15 feet above ground.  

The rules. Of writing this added an extra 30 minutes to this editing with a cellphone for a keyboard. Its absurd but this information is worth it.
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I know very little about building a rocket mass heater, but have seen lots of pictures and videos, and none of them used a blow torch or starter fluid. they are started with traditional kindling.
I think if I were building one in a camper I would take out camper bench seating or cabinets that are over rear axle, Cover floor over the area with layers of no combustable  insulator like brick and more. and build one of those bench style RMH with bricks and mortar  like ive seen in videos. the final exit of exhaust would probably have to be vented through the roof.  but then again I'm no expert on RMH. I'm just thinking out loud here
 
pollinator
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Option 1)
For winter I would take a mobile RV and go to 50F  (Florida/Texas/Arizona/California/etc) vs -20F (Maine) or even 20F Carolina. At least that would be my long term plan, but I understand that you are talking about the here and now.

Option 2)
If you can get cords of firewood,  you can probably get strawbale too. So make some strawbale walls with a tent roof. Or even just a tent inside of a tent, to help with the wind chill effect. You will be 20F warmer inside two tent. Essentially make a temporary house/garage and park your RV in it. Maybe there is an inflatable dome garage?

Option 3)
The ultimate goal is to warm your bodies, not the air inside your RV or to warm the mass inside the RV. So wear sweaters/hats/socks/etc vs being shirtless in the winter. Have a feast in the fall, add 10lbs of fat and slowly use it up by spring when it gets warmer (the pattern of other mammals in nature, the trick for us humans is using it up spring).

Options 4)
Radiant Floor Heating. If you could get a compost nice and hot then pipe that warm water into your RV floor that sounds like a good idea. You could maybe build a rocket stove and boil some water and manually pour that hot water in a tank inside your RV, slowly filling up that tank, maybe there is a way to semi-automate it.

Concerns.
A. Limited thermal storage capacity in a RV that is going to be mobile moving daily/weekly
B. Heat loss via winds blowing under the RV
C. Minimal/Zero Insulation of the RV, so all heat generated is lost quickly, no matter how efficient the burner is.
D. Increased combustion risk in/under/around a RV, due to more complex systems in a smaller space.
E. Ease of getting cords of wood as you show up in a new state, while moving about and keeping said wood dry.

EDITED:
I went back and read the pervious post and it seems that what you really want to do is build a temporary structure to park your RV, and you want to figure out a way to heat that temporary structure.

1)Floor Soil Water Barrier so that water doesn't carry away your stored heat (6mil poly)
2)Floor Insulation, I would get 4inch of rigid Insulation then maybe cover the insulation with old carpet/sand/plywood/etc
3)Wall Insulation + Water/Wind barrier. I would get some strawbale
4)Roof for your structure, Maybe a tarp and poles.
5)Heat Distribution: Radiant in floor pex piping.
6)Heat Storage: hot compost pile, 80gal solar hot water tank, boiling water on rocket stove, 120F mass of earth
7)Heat source: rocket stove, compost, solar thermal, wood boiler.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Your mini greenhouse cold well idea might work for plants, but I think it would have to be impractically huge to help your rv.

Burying an RMH thermal mass deep underground would not work well; you want it to be closer to the rv floor than to anything else, with maybe 4-8" of cob or stone cover over the duct or stratification chamber. As long as you can ensure that the rv wheels stay on course (guide rails beside the wheel tracks or something like that), I would advise a simple stratification chamber such as a half-barrel bell (look it up for details). This can be cheap, easy for a beginner to build, and very effective. I would put something like a couple inches of styrofoam under and around the bell, with at least a few inches of earth or sand separating this from the heated area. No insulation on top of the bell, you want the heat to go up toward the rv floor. I would measure the ground clearance of the rv and make the top surface of the bell just a couple of inches lower than that between the wheelbase clearance which obviously needs to be solid structural ground. Removable windproof side and back panels that lock into a groove on the ground and touch the rv sides would be important to help the heat go to the rv and not be carried away in the breeze.

A J-tube is the simplest RMH core to build reliably. I would go with at least an 8" diameter system size, maybe larger, so as to provide a lot of heat in a firing and longer times between loadings. You would need to place the feed and combustion core at the rear of the rv if you plan to back in, or the front if you intend to drive forward into the parking spot. The core needs to be at or below the level of the bell for reliable function, so you would need to arrange to approach it from the uphill side. How practical would it be for you to get a truckload of gravel dumped on the parking spot to make that level and easy to drive on and off of, after building the workings of the RMH?
 
Gregger Jordan
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Thak you for your responses.  

Is it possible to combine a dakota firepit with a rmh?    Check out ldspreppers geothermal greenhouse on youtube.  Even 55 degrees found 3.5 feet deep is better than 10 degrees.  Im in zone 7b or a.  So 10 degrees is the average maximum coldness.  I will have to consider the above replies but it may be best to keep the fire far from the gasoline perhaps 40 feet downhill and make a big dakota fire pit and channel the smoke underground and use a blower to suck heated air indoors and into a greenhouse.  The water barrier mau be needed too.  As well as insulation lile leaf shreds in trashbags.  There is potemtial and its somewhat new.
 
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