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Wanting to build a "Rocket Stove Mass Heater". But I live in a small travel trailer (:<)  RSS feed

 
Charles Scoville
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Hello all. My name is Charlie, thank you for having me on the forums.

This winter, I would like to ditch propane and electric heating and move to wood/biomass heating, achieved via the infamous "rocket stove Mass Heater" (abbreviated to RSMH from now on). Efficiency and waste aside, I am unable to use a "real wood stove" because I more or less live in a travel trailer, and the risk of fire is high with such limited space. The RSMH however, has the advantage in theory that I could potently surround the entire heat generating area with the mass, which should then both absorb and buffer the heat. This will make one burn last longer, and protect things nearby from catching fire do to excessive radiant heating.

The problem is the spaces that I have for such a heater are small and upright. Is this going to be a problem with a RSMH? I know with "real wood stoves" you have to have the chimney go straight up or you can get back draft and die from asphyxiation. The RSMH however has it's exhaust horizontal in all the incarnations I have seen. This breaks my brain to tinny pieces since it defies all common sense. But being a science minded person, I do understand the physics of cool exhaust is both heavier + smaller volume, so making it go out sideways, or even down is acceptable. But I have my doubts about going up!?!¿ Could/Should I maybe build it to load from the top? And make the exhaust spiral down through the mass, then outside? Or is it safe to do the reverse and go up like a normal stove?

Thanks for your time.
-Charlie
 
Miles Flansburg
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Howdy Charles. I have an old Spartan travel trailer on my land and have been wondering about this too. I hadn't thought of a top loading spiral. Someone else will have to chime in on that one. Or do an experimental one ,outside !
I do not know if you could do this, but I was thinking that I could build a rocket outside and run the vent tubes lenthwise under the camper and cover them with a large mass of cob. The area would have to be skirted so no heat would be lost out the sides and probably insulated underneath to avoid loss to the earth below? As the cob heated it would warm the floor of the camper, Maybe?
 
Charles Scoville
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I do not know if you could do this, but I was thinking that I could build a rocket outside and run the vent tubes lenthwise under the camper and cover them with a large mass of cob. The area would have to be skirted so no heat would be lost out the sides and probably insulated underneath to avoid loss to the earth below? As the cob heated it would warm the floor of the camper, Maybe?


I need my trailer to be mobile, so this won't work for me. But that don't mean it won't work for you.

Yes, I think the earth will suck all your heat out. Science wise, as far as I know, earth works as a massive "heat sink". So you would want to insulate from the ground good to be sure. You would most likely also want to take any insulation out from the bottom of your trailer, since this would block the heat. Of course, some trailers don't even have this insulation to begin with. In which case, might be a good idea to do the insulating skirt anyway. However, heat rises so the bottom of your trailer having insulation is not as important as the top and sides are. That's why some manufacturers don't even bother with it. My trailer has insulation, it also has covers over the insulation, making it difficult to remove it.

 
R Scott
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look up the civil war trench stoves. They did basically that under the tents.
 
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