David Konkle

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since Oct 16, 2012
NW Arkansas
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Recent posts by David Konkle

While a rocket mass heater would be a very efficient way to burn wood, getting the mass to radiate the heat into the camper might pose a problem.

Small, old campers are notoriously drafty, the most bang for the buck is usually by spending your time insulating as well as you can before spending any money on adding more heat. Adding insulation is a one time thing, instead of gathering wood all the time (and eliminates concerns with a fire in a small space).

Everything you can do to seal up drafts and add insulation pays off quickly. A little caulking and duct tape usually go a long way on campers. Stuffing newspaper into cracks and adding insulation to the roof, walls, and floor would help if feasable. Heavy curtains over the windows at night helps a lot. (1" blue foam makes excellent removable panels to cover windows at night)

a couple of sheets of foam on the roof covered with a tarp or polyethelene then weighted down with something heavy is a pretty common fix for heat escaping through the thin roofs on campers (but a bit unsightly if that is a concern) along with some skirting or straw bales to keep the wind out from under the floor.

Many times you can get the materials to insulate very cheaply or for free by scrounging them.
5 years ago
Why not just build a RMH on the existing hearth and exhaust out a nearby window or wall, using the masonry of the fireplace as part of the mass?

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before or not. It obviously would not be practical in all situations, but could work in at least some situations where the builder wanted a less permanent installation. If it could be done, I can imagine the feed and barrel sitting in front of the existing fireplace (using the existing chimney as the fresh air inlet) and wrapping the RMH exhaust as close to the existing masonry as feasable before exiting through a nearby window or wall.

Biggest problems I can forsee is not having a nearby exit for the exhaust from the RMH. May not be as simple as it seems, but could be workable in some situations.
5 years ago