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RMH for mobile home...longer and skinnier?  RSS feed

 
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HI! I am trying to solve the problem of using a RMH to heat my 72' long mobile home. Obviously since it's so long and skinny, I'm not sure building a typical heater with most of the mass in one spot would allow the heat to carry through. Because the kitchen, then the living room, are at one end, and 3 bedrooms and bath at the other end, I can't really put it in the middle, either, or I would be putting it in a bedroom. I realize I would need to put firm, sturdy support under the floor, but my main question is... is it possible to do one long tube rather than have to serpentine the tube, or would that ruin the function? I was considering breaking through the wall of a couple bedrooms with one long, skinnier mass coming from the unit in the living room. I do also realize this would mean the mass would not be as much of a battery as one large "hunk" would be, but it's still got to be better than this terrible wood stove that heats the air above my house more than the inside. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Is this mobile home ever going to move again?  That would give more options in terms of mass inside the home if it were never to move again.
 
Gayle Reynolds
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Hi Graham, thanks for answering quickly. No, this mobile home won't move again, unless I decide to tear it down and build a cabin in a few years...it's too old to sell or move (1981).
 
Graham Chiu
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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If your mobile home is as insulated as much as possible, maybe you could look at a stratification chamber that runs the length of the home?  https://permies.com/t/74116/stratification-chamber-rocket-mass-heater
 
Gayle Reynolds
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Thank you Graham, I will check it out!
 
Gayle Reynolds
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Okay, so, after watching the video of him explaining the "bell" feature...my mind keeps going back to the toxic gases. With a flue pipe system like in the RMH, surrounded by huge amounts of cob, I would feel safe, and not consider any chance of leaks happening (barring massive cracking). But with this bell system, am I wrong in understanding that it's a big empty chamber, and you might have 34-4 inches of stone, masonry, etc? Because if so, I would constantly be worried about a leak between the bricks, or even the fact that masonry is much more porous than a flue pipe would be? Also, even without an actual leak, due to the porous nature of masonry, what's to keep the toxic fumes from soaking into the masonry and building up? In addition, just addressing the nature of the battery...doesn't less mass due to the chamber being empty mean less storage of heat?

These concerns may have already been addressed, or be kind of silly, as I'm not educated on how the carbon monoxide problem works, so I appreciate any guidance.
 
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Location: +52° 1' 47.40", +4° 22' 57.80"
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Gayle Reynolds wrote:But with this bell system, am I wrong in understanding that it's a big empty chamber, and you might have 34-4 inches of stone, masonry, etc? Because if so, I would constantly be worried about a leak between the bricks, or even the fact that masonry is much more porous than a flue pipe would be? Also, even without an actual leak, due to the porous nature of masonry, what's to keep the toxic fumes from soaking into the masonry and building up?


A masonry heater in operation works in underpressure because of the pulling draft of the chimney. So CO won't leak into the house, unless you employ a chimney damper that closes 100%. I experimented with masonry heaters for years, using a gas analizer. This device also measures CO inside the room where it is situated and it didn't even flinch once in ten years while the diverse heaters were in normal operation. It did measure CO when the workshop was full of thick smoke though, but that seems only logical. One wouldn't be able to smell, feel or see CO but smoke is an entirely other matter.

Having said that all, building rules in US asks for a double walled heater with a thickness of at least 8", if I understand correctly.
 
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi Gayle;  Welcome to Permies!
Asking questions about your concerns is not silly at all.  72' is just more than you can push the hot air.   If you tried to run the lenghth of your trailer (just 50') I think you would be disapointed in the back bedrooms.
I suggest 2 rmh's , one at the bed rooms and one in the living room.  It is twice the work to build but I think you would be much happier and warmer.

A Rmh does not have to be huge if your not trying to heat the entire 72' . As far as masonry bells, the brick will not seep CO/2 thru. But if that is a concern in your eyes, (no matter what anybody else says) then you can cob the inside of the bricks with a skin of mud. That would effectively seal even your joints between bricks. A different style of stratification chamber uses 55 gal drums split lengthwise and set end to end. Those barrels are then encased with brick and covered in cob. No chance of any CO/2 escaping thru solid metal.  (Known as the Matt Walker 1/2 barrel bench)

My suggestion is for you to build a conventional rmh with bench in your living room and to build a smaller brick bell rmh in your bedroom (you may as well benefit the most) Check out this post...  https://permies.com/t/43809/Masonry-stove-diy-build-feasible  This size would be just right for your bedroom.  The poster built a batchbox style but it could be a J tube feed instead. She built a 4" which is smaller than recommended , a 6" is what I recommend for your bedroom and I suggest building an 8"  for your living room.  Not that I think you need an 8" it just that an 8" burns longer , is easier to reach in to clean ash, allows using slightly larger wood as well.
Do you have a copy of the RMH builder guide ?  It is the go to book for any new rmh builder. It is available from amazon or from Ernie & Erica Wisner directly. They are 2 of the top rmh builders/ innovators  with over a 1000 builds to their credit.  A can't recommend this book enough !
 
Gayle Reynolds
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I think I like the idea of the half barrel...I don't know, that C02 just freaks me out, lol. And thanks for answering whether I should continue thinking about going 50'; I had a feeling, so you've confirmed it's not really possible. I'll think about the two separate heaters...it didn't occur to me to do a tiny one in the back, great option!

Thank you all!
 
Gayle Reynolds
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Thanks, Peter, for pointing out US building codes. Ugh. I know it makes it worse that I'm in a mobile home, but try convincing code officers that an RMH is safer! Double ugh. You'd think there'd be progress with them by now, but I know better.
 
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Location: Western Montana
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I am finishing up my build in my 1973 65 foot by 14 Foot trailer. Granted this trailer is missing half its floor insulation i can comfortably heat the living room and kitchen area which is about 30 feet. Temps here are 10f to 30f at night. Things i personalty did was, position the stove directly over the frame of the trailer house to eliminate weight issues, installed a ceiling fan in the living room, i have my stove up on bricks and it is made of the HEAVY DENSE fire brick not the light insulation kind. i get GREAT radiant heat off the Barrel AND the Stove its self there is also a secondary bell/mass after the barrel. Other things to note are i am running an 8 inch chimney for great draft, i can feel the draw all the time even when its not burning.    

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Gayle Reynolds
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Thank you, Roak...good points for me to keep in mind. Yes, there ARE large beams going across underneath, aren't there...so placement would make a big difference. Thanks!
 
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