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Rocket Stove in Mobile Home? How feasible?  RSS feed

 
Morana Revel
Posts: 37
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I own an older mobile home. It is about 16X75 and is a fairly open design. The living room and kitchen is together. The bedroom and master bath is on one end and a small bathroom and small bedroom is at the other end, separated by a short hallway.

The furnace went out and we were told that due to its age, it could not be fixed and we were looking at about $1800-$2000 to replace. At that time, our central AC worked and the only thing to be fixed on that was a single cable.

At that time, we were making a 3 hour round trip (140 miles total) to work with gas costing about $3.85 a gallon. It was cheaper for us to move closer to the city and basically abandon the 5 acres I own. So now we live in a small mobile home in the city. But due to economics, we may have to move back.

So it sits and acts as storage for now.

The mobile home was put in on almost flat land. One end is about 2.5 feet off the ground and the other is only 1.5.

so my question is...

How feasible is a rocket heater for this? While it is mostly open inside, there are walls and the outlets already in place. Underneath is basically open but it has 8 tie downs on each side and the heating/AC duct runs centrally down the trailer.

We thought about a wood stove. But trailers are incredibly flammable. My husband is also handicapped and could never get out in time if there was a fire.

My mother had seen a set up in MO years and years ago (1975ish) that had a the fire outside in a brick building and the heat would blow itself inside. No danger of fire to mobile home. I now think she had really seen some sort of rocket mass heater and not a regular wood stove.

So if this was done, any ideas on how...and has anyone done it before?

Also, the end with the hall, bathroom and small bedroom would not necessarily need heat. While it would be nice, the water to that end can be cut off in the winter and only the living room, master bath and kitchen would require heat.

 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Outdoor wood stoves are common here--some are hot water boilers and some are forced air. The forced air ones use insulated ducting to tie to the main house ducting. They are not cheap. And you have to go out in the cold to fill and fire them. But you can install them in houses they don't have the room or structure inside. And no tracking firewood inside, or the bugs that live in it.

The easiest way I can think of to do a rocket stove in a trailer is to pull the floor and actually build it on the ground. I helped a guy do the same thing, except with a potbelly stove. Built a concrete block footing and pad big enough for the stove and clearance to combustibles. If you make the bench level with the floor, you will be about right to run the exhaust out the skirting.
 
Morana Revel
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I thought of that also. We were planning on replacing the kitchen and bathroom floor already. But that is a lot of floor to replace and a lot of expense.

We were kinda planning on enclosing the stove in an outdoor building right off an unused door to make it convenient but at least have a brick layer between it and the mobile home.

Would there be any way to run it down the center without having to enclose it in cob? Would any other insulating material be convenient and effective but easier to manage while crawling under a mobile home?

I was thinking if we ran it parallel to the venting in place, we could turn on the AC fan and the fan could pull heat from the heat tubes more effectively. Or just leave it off and let the floor heat from below.

But the actual building materials baffle me.


 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkHOwmKyL7A&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bsUd5zLcLw&feature=plcp

You don't need cob for the mass, BUT it has advantages in that it turns to low-fired brick/masonry to seal the system so the exhaust is sealed, even after the metal tube rots away. Good for keeping CO out of your house.

You can do a thin layer of cob to seal the tubes, then any pourable mass (sand, gravel, pourable cob).

 
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