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Rocket Mass Heater in/on a tiny home trailer?  RSS feed

 
Diabalein Avidyia
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I am no where near building this but it is a question me and my Girlfriend have. Can you build an RMH on a trailer type tiny home? would you need to re-enforce the trailer or limit the RMH to some smaller weight? are there any questions I am missing that I should be asking about this idea?
 
allen lumley
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Diabalein Avidyia : The good news is tiny trailers are tiny and easy to heat, The bad news is they are universally poorly insulated.

If you have any expectation that you want to someday be able to hook up your trailer and move it to another location then building a rocket mass heater in
a trailer even a tiny one is not a good plan.

Here I am assuming that this trailer has no existing space for a heating unit besides the propane/butane Cook stove, and only has one door to the outside !

From the stand point of the amount of room that you would lose, 1) the the burner itself, 2)a minimum safe distance from all flammable objects, 18'' all the
way around, 3) an additional 4-6 '' for a protective heat shield when the heater house touch a wall, and you need to be safe from fire and burns while Two
of you are in the trailer with the heater burning, This is only something to be contemplated if this is free living space and most of your cooking, eating, and
personal hygiene can be done else where,and you ether have very few personal possessions, or they can be stored at a remote and secure location !

It would be possible to build a shed like structure say 2 meters by 3 meters onto the side of the trailer. then when you came home you first entered into
the shed through an outside door, and then could enter your trailer through its outside door, with such an additional structure built very near ground level,
you could then have a small rocket mass heater within the Shed, and most of its heat would rise up through the open door on your tiny trailer and heat it !

You would regain the interior space of your trailer, and have room for the RMH and its wood supply stored within the shed, with outdoor clothing and some
additional storage! Again you should only consider such an option if except for the cost of materials, this is free living space.

If you could move in in say the middle of May, build your Shed before The 1st of September, you would have 10 weeks to construct a small working RMH>

For an example of something that might work in the space within a shed structure, I recommend looking at A Dragon Heater Castile Build-Masonary-Heater
unit From Dragon Heaters, dragonheaters.com For the Good of the Craft ! Big AL !
 
Kate Nudd
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Allen
How could the shed and tiny trailer house be 'connected' enough to not allow too many unwanted 'guests' ,rain or snow getting into both structures?
without this connection being such to render them as one building?
Thanks
Kate
 
allen lumley
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Kate Nudd : A home made gasket made of a tube of plastic and Spray foam! Or a plastic tube filled with Perlite or Vermiculite ! If ease of separation is important
you could use strips of velcro The two rooflines can be made one with a little flashing and a single large tube of silicone seal that fits in a caulking gun, both will be
available at any good hardware store !
 
Diabalein Avidyia
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An interesting Twist on the idea, Not sure if its what we are after but it may work.

We are thinking about a pretty big tiny home, Looked at a 35ish foot gooseneck trailer that would be really nice and thought about running a small RMH near the neck section.
 
jack vegas
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Two options come to mind. First, one could build the "shed" large enough to allow the trailer to be parked inside. No connection needed between the two. A good discussion of this approach in in this Mother Earth News article: http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/solar-trailer-home.aspx

Because the shed they describe is a simple solar greenhouse, you might find that the need for additional heat is substantially reduced. Also, in many jurisdictions a modest greenhouse needs no permits.

The other approach maintains the "portability" of your trailer home. Build the secondary heating shed on a trailer as well. Now both units can be moved and since they are on wheels, neither counts as a permanent structure.
 
allen lumley
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Diabalein Avidia : If you give us a Name and model and year we can google it and see what you are talking about ! Most of my original objections still hold true!

If we say the Rocket burner base will be An egg shaped mass Approximately 33'' by 44'', then in order to protect the interior walls at that location you will need
a 6'' air gap with air circulation behind an insulating and Reflective barrier in order to then place the Rocket Burner base and barrel within 18'' of it! Add ing up
these dimensions will take us to a more rounded shape assuming open access to the Feed Tube End Of The Rocket burner base but we are still losing an Oval area
over 6' wide at the Barrel and 5' deep !

Most of your fire wood can be undercover under your Gooseneck, but you are still going to have to plan on having a three day supply of wood co-located to your
Rocket! Is there a door near that location you can use to bring in Fire Wood! Needing to move people to the far end of the trailer to have an open pathway to your
Rockets Location will get old very fast !

Generally the gooseneck area of the trailer is considered to be a sleeping loft, I must warn you that most rocket mass heater RMH, Accidents are related to fires
when some thing Flammable is placed on, or falls onto the Barrel, Your bedding is your enemy in this confined location, in the event of a fire you would have
seconds to Breakout a window and then fall over 7' to the ground .

Think on that for a minute !

I am assuming that you will have Plywood floors, these would have to be reinforced, with possibly other reinforcements to the trailers frame from below, there will
be some kind of a Streamlining and insulation package that will have to be removed to get at the frame, which will then leave you to deal with Plumbing, Wiring,
and Heating and Cooling Ductwork before the Braces are added on.

Then it must all be put back together, weather-tight and vermin proof! But we are not yet done adding in weight ! On the reinforced floor we now need to extend our
air gap and reflective barrier. You will be toping that of with Brickwork and insulation to protect your trailer from the heat radiating from the bottom of your Rocket
Burner base, -and we have not yet Laid the first brick of our D.I.Y. RMH, this will be 1,000s of pounds more !

You will also need to plan on where you exterior vertical chimney is going to go and how you will make a Whole in the Side of the trailer for that Chimney !

If The land that you were going to park this trailer on was free to use, and adapt to your needs, a Crusted stone pad several inches above grade would be step
one, then french drains, A Concrete Slab ( this is also a potential problem area !) and a pole barn over the whole structure could be added in in that approximate
order.

A careful use of tarps for wind breaks might allow you to take advantage of solar gain and make you a Micro climate, and give you other heating options, but we
are already into a 5 Year plan for most people !

For the simplest thing on the market with the most-likly solution to your problem you could take a look at the 4'' Castle Build offering from the people at Dragon
Heaters dragonheaters.com This is a commercial built more compact and lighter unit that can be more rapidly installed without a massive weight penalty
and may better fit your Knowledge and Skills Set ! For the good of the craft !

Think like Fire, flow like a Gas! Don't be the Marshmallow ! As always your comments and Questions are Solicited and welcome ! PYRO - Logically BIG AL !






 
Jay Kepple
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Location: Dubuque, ia
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What if only the heat storing mass was in the camper and the fire stayed outside? On a 1972 Dodge Xplorer the mass could be under the dining seats and the rocket stove could stay outside and put on a trailer when moving.
 
allen lumley
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Jay Kepple :Too much Weight for a conventional rocket mass heaters Mass !

However, in a totally non-pressurized water heating system You can hold a lot of heat, and Water is water, You can drain it out, (or Gift it to a geographically
-close friend) and drive away, knowing that any local municipal water system will be your source for an adequate replacement !

While you are researching how much weight you will save for a given amount of '' Specific Heat ", you should also look into Phase Change Materials !

For the Craft ! Big AL !
 
Jay Kepple
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Location: Dubuque, ia
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How many gallons of water? would you heat it like a Kelly Kettle? Jay
 
allen lumley
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Jay Kepple : Start from the Rocket Stoves Forum to narrow your search to RMHs. At the top of this page centered between the Permies Banner and the Permies
Video 'of the week' is the 'Permies Toolbox'! Find the 'Search' button and on the next page Enter1) 'Specific Heats'', or 'Phase Change Materials' into the Search field
check 2)'' Match the exact Phrase", check the next box down 3) it should have Rocket Stoves underlined

And 4) Do a search within Permies only, membership has its privileges, this information is available to you 24 / & ! Good Luck ! Big AL !
 
Kate Nudd
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Allen,thanks for the gasket idea.
I envision those swimming 'noodles' being used.
The idea of living in my tiny trailer house without a rocket mass heater was a sad thought. This is certainly doable.
Kate
 
Brett Andrzejewski
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Diabalein Avidyia:

You seem to be sold on the idea of a rocket mass heater. Yet, as Allen stated you will have many many problems to over come. In Permaculture you often look for the least amount of work for the highest yield. May I suggest looking into passive solar, WOFATI, wind blocks from plants or berms, or Earthship design.

I believe you can take many elements from these topics and apply to your trailer. If you create a proper microclimate you will not need a rocket mass heater. I have been inside an Earthship house in winter. It was warm and toasty and used only the sun for heating.
 
Murray Sibbeston
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I'm building a tiny house in the yukon. Effective wood heat is a priority.
I was thinking of building a rocket stove with a water tank mounted on top of the drum for thermal mass and dhw. A coil in the rocket stove drum thermosiphoning to the water tank with appropriate safety valves ect.
Mass would be easy to increase by the size of water tank. Electric dhw tanks with insulation stripped are plentiful and could be used for the rocket stove and water tank. A coil in the tank for dhw could be used and the storage tank be non pressurized.
 
We've gotta get close enough to that helmet to pull the choke on it's engine and flood his mind! Or, we could just read this tiny ad:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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