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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings folks -


I've been researching the possibility of a wood stove in a diy van conversion. This would be for use more as a fireplace than for heat - I'll have an Espar diesel heater to insure good heat.


I've found a number of tiny stoves that could work - however, I'm experienced with metal working and I'm thinking of making my own custom fireplace/stove.


My idea and the layout I want in the van would require something more of a direct-gas exhaust implementation of the flue. So, I want to take the exit exhaust directly horizontally out, and perhaps insert a fan into the flue pipe to pull the exhaust out - I am even considering flowing the exhaust down under the vehicle, so an exhaust fan would be essential. I would incorporate an input feed of air from outside to create a nice airflow through the stove.



I've had difficulty, though, finding exhaust fan/flue parts that could work for this implementation. I'd like to keep the flue under 4" diameter if possible, this will be a very tiny stove with a large window, very small pieces of wood would be burned so I'd keep the heat output down.


I'm also wondering how safe/crazy it would be even with a fan, to run the exhaust horizontal and then down below the van and out the back - air pulled by a fan. Would too much heat build up? I'm thinking most direct air implementations basically work like this don't they?


Thanks for suggestions/threads/links.
 

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Master General ReEngineer
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I've been researching the possibility of a wood stove in a diy van conversion. This would be for use more as a fireplace
I'm also wondering how safe/crazy it would be
Ayuh,..... This idea sounds like a great way to kill yerself,......

If you want to gaze at a fire, get outa the van, 'n build a campfire,......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ayuh,..... This idea sounds like a great way to kill yerself,......

If you want to gaze at a fire, get outa the van, 'n build a campfire,......



Thanks - but please anyone that can assist, tiny homes, bus conversions, vans with stoves - this is far more common than you might think.


I need to understand about horizontal transmission of the exhaust using a fan system and if this is possible/what products I could investigate.


I'm an engineer and very experienced diy fellow - I wouldn't attempt anything that would risk my life, and I'm not suggesting anything that hasn't been done/proven pretty extensively in the diy conversion communities.
 

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Even building your own fireplace for a traditional house would raise a lot of concerns. last visit from my insurance co, unrelated but they asked.
When was the chimney last inspected?
By whom?
Who installed it?

All done by ME and they weren't happy even though it has all worked fine for 40 years. I have discontinued my wood stove for now to avoid my policy being canceled.

In a tiny home you will be dealing with combustion air and don't say "you will open a window" that involves a human input which is very unreliable.

I'm not sure who sets the requirements for mobile housing, probably at the state level. Do some searching.

Bud
 
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I call it the organ donor.
 
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I'm confused. Is the plan to use this when the vehicle is mobile or stationary. If mobile - why? If stationary (also a 'why' but, regardless) - make-up air would be a concern, perhaps less if it is a airtight but then you need combustion air. If it is exhausted out the side, why would you need a fan? It's not like there is going to be a long horizontal run. I think any though of exhausting under the vehicle is simply wrong-headed. Not only are you fighting natural convection, you are exhausting hot, chemical and soot laden gases into a less-than-free-air space close to combustibles both on and around the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I'm confused. Is the plan to use this when the vehicle is mobile or stationary. If mobile - why? If stationary (also a 'why' but, regardless) - make-up air would be a concern, perhaps less if it is a airtight but then you need combustion air. If it is exhausted out the side, why would you need a fan? It's not like there is going to be a long horizontal run. I think any though of exhausting under the vehicle is simply wrong-headed. Not only are you fighting natural convection, you are exhausting hot, chemical and soot laden gases into a less-than-free-air space close to combustibles both on and around the vehicle.

Thank you - I appreciate at least some attempt to provide insight.


Yes, this would be 100% parked only. Many folks remove the chimney during transport. It would be very dangerous to attempt during transit - I certainly hope that wasn't implied in my OP.


Yes, I was thinking I may have to extend a chimney-pipe of sorts when parked, so the exhaust would run under the vehicle but have ample distance from the vehicle walls - the fan would pull air through the system and insure it was propelled enough away from the van walls. Many folks do this now from roof-top implementations. I'm seeing if I can avoid going through the roof of the van for many reasons, and since I see a very common horizontal-out approach with direct vented gas fireplaces, I thought -hmm - this must be possible what I'm thinking.


As for the other insulting replies, folks - looks like I found the wrong forum on the internet. I'm brand new here, this forum was listed first when I typed 'DIY Fireplace/stove...' but it doesn't seem like this is the proper group to ask.


The diy tiny home and van conversion community is pretty huge. We've had to adapt most marine applications as it is somewhat new. Installation of stoves burning every fuel imaginable for marine applications has been around since the 10th century at least, although I'm quite sure I remember reading even the Greeks and Romans were clever enough to burn and cook aboard vessels. I'm quite sure they broke every possible legislated/local code.


If spending $200k on a custom diy van conversion (4x4 170 Sprinter loaded with options, 1500watts of solar, 800ah lithium batteries, 40gal water, full toilet/shower and sleeps 4 adults comfortably) is what you consider a *******, well, then I guess I'm a *******.


Below are commercial products focused on what I'm asking to do - these are specifically designed for very small spaces like boats and tiny homes/RVs and there are many, many applications/installations of these products in marine/mobile/tiny home/bus-rv-van conversion installations. All I'm asking is for expertise on products to pull the exhaust from one of these stoves, or a custom one I'm considering welding in a similar way that direct venting fireplaces work - I thought they probably had a fan system to extract the heat horizontally out a wall rather than relying solely on convection:


https://www.unforgettablefirellc.com/kimberly-wood-stove/


https://anevaystoves.com/collections/small-space-stoves/products/the-shepherd-stove


https://www.amazon.com/Dickinson-Marine-00-NEWSF-Newport-Heater/dp/B007PS3GGU


https://www.rockymountainstove.com/morso-1410-wood-burning-stove/


https://cubicminiwoodstoves.com/products/cb-1008-br-cubic-mini-wood-stove



https://www.tinywoodstove.com/product/small-stove-the-dwarf-3kw/


If anyone actually can provide any information, thanks for a reply here. Otherwise I'm off to find a forum with folks with some knowledge and experience and less hubris.


Automotive engines are performing a very dangerous combustion cycle when exhaust is not controlled - and exhaust is very easily channeled horizontally and even lower than origination of the combustion - and they don't rely on a natural heat-rising process - they just rely purely on the explosive force of the combustion propelling the exhaust - that to me is what sounds crazy. So nothing I'm asking hasn't been considered a million times over in heat and exhaust transfer design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually, this is very close to what I was thinking - I'd prefer a fan directly inside the flue, but this serves the same purpose effectively:


https://www.amazon.com/Tjernlund-Draft-Stove-Blower-Model/dp/B07ND4F5SY


And for the safety police - yes, obviously I'll have carbon monoxide and other sensors in the van - all of these commercial products pass a lot of testing and I've yet to see anyone mention their sensors were tripped by any noxious gasses escaping the stove - if you properly vent and create the airflow - shouldn't be an issue any more than you might die inside your vehicle from the enormous combustion engine sitting in front of your feet because the air flow and exhaust is managed properly.
 

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Automotive engines are performing a very dangerous combustion cycle when exhaust is not controlled - and exhaust is very easily channeled horizontally and even lower than origination of the combustion - and they don't rely on a natural heat-rising process - they just rely purely on the explosive force of the combustion propelling the exhaust - that to me is what sounds crazy. So nothing I'm asking hasn't been considered a million times over in heat and exhaust transfer design.

Although I'm not equipped to get into a discussion on the chemical composition of internal combustion engine exhausts vs. that of a wood stove, modern vehicles burn quite clean, and the exhaust does not exit under the vehicle and spends most of its life being carried away by the motion of the vehicle. True, older vehicles such as large trucks and some tractors did dump their exhaust underneath right after the muffler, but they were usually much higher off the ground so the space was less 'captured'. I tend to believe that the volume of engine exhaust is less than a wood stove, particularly one where the combustion is fan-driven, but I can't support that.



Back in the late '70s, catalytic converters had only recently been introduced and a lot of engine pollution controls were still pretty rudimentary. The fleet I used to operate with had a large number of 454 and 440 ci engines (probably because they could no longer move them in regular sales) and they ran very hot. We lost a number to fire when operators were idling over long grass or dry stubble that was ignited by the converters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've found in research, you can travel the exhaust of wood burning stoves/fireplaces horizontal as long as there is a min 4 degree elevation every 10 feet I believe. This would probably be plenty sufficient for me in my design - I could exit horizontal with the slight elevation to the rear of the vehicle, then go straight up and out the roof, probably without the fan system I'm thinking -



It would be really great though to have a fan-driven exhaust that would enable me to drive the flue under the vehicle and out the rear - and then I might have a stow-away chimney I latch on when parked.



I'd test everything out of course first before trying to install - using gas detection and temperature readings along the transit -


I guess what I'm asking this community specifically, if there is a detailed write-up of direct venting exhaust for fireplaces/stoves - I guess I had assumed it was using some sort of fan-based system to insure adequate draw since most applications I see do not go straight vertical, and they go out horizontal through a wall - then yes, perhaps they go straight vertical from there - but, to travel several feet - hmmm. I was imagining there were fan kits out there -
 

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Since you brought it up, engine exhaust is not looking for a place to go. It is being forced to the rear of the vehicle under pressure of the combustion of the engine, where it escapes mostly in a safe manner.
 

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I realize this is for aesthetics only but is there a reason not to consider 4" stainless stove pipe run vertical for say 3-4 ft. then angle to the wall with a vertical terminal outside the wall? This should eliminate the need for a blower i wouldn't like the looks of or the noise and a hole in the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I realize this is for aesthetics only but is there a reason not to consider 4" stainless stove pipe run vertical for say 3-4 ft. then angle to the wall with a vertical terminal outside the wall? This should eliminate the need for a blower i wouldn't like the looks of or the noise and a hole in the roof.



Yes, thank you.


I guess I could have explained - I have similar threads on different forums (diy van/tiny house etc). I have at least 3 other ways that have been tested/proven fine by others so I'm confident how it could be done safely simply jacking a flue straight up and through the roof or other variations as you suggest out the side -


I'm asking something specific, because I want to see if I can do this similar to a direct-vent fireplace (I believe they are called). It isn't just for asthetics - although yes, I don't like the look of a big flue sticking straight up through the van - so I'm thinking I could channel the flue with use of a fan system so I can control where the flue is placed throughout the van better - without solely relying on the natural convection.


Really appreciate the insight though thanks.
 

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I am wondering from a practical standpoint if the benefit of wood burning is worth the effort required. A realistic looking gas burning fireplace has all the advantages over wood except maybe a slightly degraded view. Having to start a wood fire versus flipping a switch will get old fast.
 

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In a couple weeks there will be a news headline on drudge:

Man found dead after using wood stove in Van.
 
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