Sizing a new stove for a new cabin

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Dec 6, 2019
We have a 700 sq ft cabin to heat. It's new construction "shed cabin", standard 2x4 build. It will be insulated before long with r13 in the floor and walls and r21 in the sloped ceiling. Located in southern Ohio, it's a weekend getaway type place. Off grid solar electric. Lot's of cold starts, but in general it won't be too cold. We probably will stay home if it's real cold (under 20f), so the typical usage would be 45-50 during the day and maybe 25 at night. Of course forecasts can be wrong and I don't want to be frozen. We have seasoned wood. I'm not that concerned about burn time, but do want to make sure we have enough heat on demand. It's not a tall cabin, so would like to keep the chimney as short as possible to keep the shadows off the solar.

This being an occasional use cabin, not feeling the need for top of the price heap. Seems like Drolet is budget priced, readily available, gets decent reviews and is not a piece of chineseum junk. But I am stuck on sizing. It seems like a minimal difference in size between an Escape 1500 and 1800. Main difference being burn time with the larger firebox is longer. So is that the main factor in the various sizes? If it is too small, will I be cold or just feeding it a lot? If it's too big, will it burn right if I am only asking less?

What size would you get?
Definitely go oversized. It takes a lot of extra heat to bring a cabin structure and all its contents up 25º or more. The 2 cu ft True North TN20 is a good fit, in Drolet the 1800 would work. Both stoves will work on a 12' flue system.
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Bigger is almost always better. You can always go with smaller loads, but if it's too small it just won't be effective.
Got everything hooked up and had the first fire over the weekend. Went with a Drolet Escape 1800 and Metal Fab chimney system from Installation was pretty straightforward and went well. (new construction in a simple cabin) Stove burns great! I think the size will be perfect for our use.

My first EPA stove, wasn't sure what to expect. Seems to light easy enough, really had no trouble at all. Maybe have to keep the door cracked open longer than with the old stove I have in my shop at home. Takes a while to heat up, but also seems to stay hot a long time. We love the glass door, so far we give it an A+!


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