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How small can you go? (RMH)  RSS feed

 
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Hello dear permies,

Been lurking around these forums for quite a while gathering information about this and that. Now I have an idea as a first step before building a larger shipping container home, a bicycle camper (just to get going)

The primary wishes/goals for the bike camper are as following:

  • As light as possible.
  • Within dimensions of L200cm x W120cm x H120cm (height counted from flooring to top peak).
  • Have a RMH.
  • Some smart storage cabinet for a bit equipment not obstructing bed/floor.
  • Sleeping possible year round in Sweden.


  • These goals will surely be adjusted as progress goes along. The main component that will make it comfy enough for sleeping during the coldest parts of winter will be the RMH. It needs to small enough for this camper and preferably be usable for cooking. I wonder how small can you really make a RMH and still get good enough heat to warm up the 200cm x 120cm x 120cm? How does the down-scaling of a RMH affect the exhaust suction for example? Anyone know of any real life examples to take a look at for inspiration?
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 1467
    Location: Vancouver Island
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    Robin Lundgren wrote:Hello dear permies,

    Been lurking around these forums for quite a while gathering information about this and that. Now I have an idea as a first step before building a larger shipping container home, a bicycle camper (just to get going)

    The primary wishes/goals for the bike camper are as following:

  • As light as possible.
  • Within dimensions of L200cm x W120cm x H120cm (height counted from flooring to top peak).
  • Have a RMH.




  • That is a very small space to have any kind of fire inside (even an alcohol or propane stove). With something that small and light (your bicycle has to be able to pull it), insulation is much more effective for the weight. Your body should have no problem keeping itself warm with good insulation (search debris hut/shelter). A mass heater of any kind would make the camper unmovable. Even a gas/propane lantern would need some ventilation and may bring in more cold air than it heats, though if you can solve that, it would provide more than enough heat for such a small space. I do not see that you would be able to cook inside, I am thinking there would need to be a shelf that folds outwards so you could cook outside while being inside. If you wanted to use wood over gas, then there are lots of plans to make either a rocket stove or a gasification cooker... your tilt-out shelf would want to be at the same height as your floor probably to allow overhead clearance. The rocket stove would retain some heat (assuming a clay/sawdust build and not a tin can build) and the clay/sawdust ratio could be skewed to make the stove less efficient but a bit more massive (more clay less sawdust) so it stored a bit more heat. This may be enough to preheat your camper so that your body can keep it warm... a small dog would help too A gasifier cooker might still be running after cooking and could heat water. After the fire goes out, put a lid on the water and set it inside. You could do this with a rocket stove too, but you would have to keep feeding it till the water warmed. All of these cookers are made to cook a meal with as little fuel as possible, but you want to redesign them so they can store a little heat too... that is, make them a little less efficient.

    Insulation:
    I am assuming you want the dimensions to be the outside dimensions and this means the insulation would take up inside space. SO you would want thin but effective insulation and I would guess you want it cheap too. Does it matter what the outside looks like? Could you put sort of a tent outside of it when stopped? I am thinking of a skirt at least to keep wind from taking heat from your floor. This could also be done with fold down panels which would give you a more secure storage space to keep things that travel in the space you would normally sleep in. A tent over the outside that provides 5cm or so air space would help reduce the need for insulation. Using reflective mylar, like the emergency blankets, would be best as it would reflect radiated heat back in. One way thermal paint that absorbs heat from the outside but only radiates inside may help too. If this tent was pocketed, it could be stuffed with leaves or other loose insulating material that could be emptied before moving on.

    Those are the ideas I have for now.
     
    Posts: 3366
    Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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    www.kifaru.net or www.hillpeoplegear.com or www.titaniumgoat.com

    They all make backpackable wood stoves for tents. Good place to start for small and light. Warning: those are all hunting websites and products so don't go there if you are offended by that.

    I think one could rig up a gasifier space heater that small based a backpacking wood stove like a sierra or a silver fire, but a J tube rocket would be really challenging.
     
    This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. Now it's a tiny ad:
    What would you cook first in a rocket oven?
    https://permies.com/t/89866/cook-rocket-oven
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