new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

rmh for tiny houses?  RSS feed

 
victoria mayhue
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a tiny house on wheels 8x24...or roughly 200 sq feet.

Is a rmh a viable option?

I would love to do one that I could fire up at night and it would keep my lil place and my dogs warm all the next day.

Thoughts...go!
 
Ron Helwig
Posts: 130
Location: New Hampshire
10
forest garden hugelkultur tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Probably not a viable option due to weight. My rmh is in my 12'x24' cabin and it works great, but then the cabin is on solid footing. Before building the cabin I was looking at building a tiny house, but calculating out the weight of just the structure I wanted showed how little wiggle room there is. Even a small mass would add hundreds of pounds/kilos.

Also, the mass does take up quite a bit of space in the cabin so I had to plan carefully just to make everything fit in a way that works. Mine runs along one wall, under the stairs to the loft (which on the underneath is the closet) and through the bathroom. It does make a nice heated seat in the shower, but also complicated the design; and the bathroom is 5' wide.

If/when I build a tiny house I'd certainly look for a small & efficient propane heating system, probably with an electric space heater as a backup.
 
Rose Pinder
Posts: 410
Location: Otago, New Zealand
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's been a few threads on permies about this but I haven't seen one done inside a moveable tiny home sucessfully yet. As Ron mentions weight is an issue, both for floor strength, and for driving/legals. One way to solve the latter is to make something that is removable.

Other issues are size of mass in a small space, best minimum flue size for efficiency (there is info on this in past threads), and safety/design.

I considered this for my housetruck (similar size to your tiny home) but fast and direct heat suited my situation better so have a conventional wood stove (with fire bricks inside). A RMH inside a tiny moving home would need good design and experimentation to get right. I think someone will eventually do this, but the RMH material I have seen is aimed at efficiency in spaces that are quite different to mobile tiny homes. I would love to have a more efficient wood stove so that I burn less wood, and can see a rocket stove being in such a small space, but the mass will always be the design sticking point. Maybe someone will develop a hybrid that ups efficiency but sacrifices some of the mass as a concession to weight and space.

Just looking at the old threads, Erica Wisener says that RMHs in tiny houses are using 1/2 - 3 tons of mass. That's about 3 x the weight of my full sized woodburner, and not an amount I would want to add to the house.

http://www.permies.com/t/14609/wood-burning-stoves/RMH-flue-fires

Another option is to build mass into the tiny home that serves dual purposes.

http://www.permies.com/t/28910/wood-burning-stoves/Mini-Pocket-Rocket-Van-life#231392
 
Ron Helwig
Posts: 130
Location: New Hampshire
10
forest garden hugelkultur tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh yeah, there's also the stress that moving would put on the mass, making cracks or breaks a big issue.

In a tiny house I would even avoid wood burning because you have to store the wood somewhere, and space is precious. Also, when bringing in wood you'd be bringing in critters/bugs as well as sawdust etc that will get all over.

And as I learned last Winter, with my RMH (and probably to a lesser extent a traditional wood stove) you get fine ash all over the place. Before this spring I always wondered why "spring cleaning" existed as a thing. I always keep my place relatively tidy but there was just no way to clean everything all Winter.
 
After burning through the drip stuff and the french press stuff, Paul has the last, ever, coffee maker. Better living through buying less crap.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!