Small Stove in Enclosed Trailer

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Franklink

Member
Oct 21, 2016
20
Arizona
Now that you've read that title and got your collective blood pressure up......

I camp out of a 5x8 Haulmark enclosed/cargo trailer about 3 weeks out of the year (multiple weekends). It is basically a glorified tent but I sleep much better inside of it than I do in a tent (stay more dry, all my stuff is already in there and ready to go, don't have to set up or take down a tent, etc). Basically, the little trailer is worth it to me to pull to where I'm going as I have a much more enjoyable outing.

I grew up with a wood stove and have one in my current house-which is our only heat supply. After freezing my tush off about a couple of weekends last fall, I've decided that I want a SMALL wood stove in my little trailer, for heat and to cook minimal meals on. All of my online research keeps leading back to boating stoves like the one made by Dickinson marine. http://dickinsonmarine.com/product_cat/solid-fuel-heater/

After researching a little, I think I want the Tiny Tot from Fatsco. https://www.fatscostoves.com:444/ as it seems to be made better than the Dickinson. Yes, it is super small, but so is my trailer.

The plan is to buy the heat shield as well.
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I emailed them about stove pipe and was told that I just need 3 inch single wall. The stove exit is oval-looks round in the pic but they confirmed that it is oval. They responded to the email by saying I would need to just squeeze the round single wall into an oval shape to fit the stove exit.


The install is the hairy part. Ideally, I would like to put it on the back door of the trailer. My trailer has the double doors, not the fold down ramp type. The bottom half of the door is already metal and the plywood on the top half will be replaced with metal. In addition to the metal interior and exterior, I would attach some sheet metal, spaced off the door as an additional heat shield. So, we're talking multiple heat shields and a non-combustible door. The stove would rest on a plywood shelf, with a sheet metal heat shield spaced off the plywood, in addition to the air flow under the stove due to the base it comes with. The door install would require two, 90 degree elbows, one on the inside, and one on the outside. So, the install: stove to vertical single wall stainless pipe from Dickinson (2 feet), 90 degree elbow to horizontal through the door (near the top), Dickinson's thimble, another 90 degree elbow to return to vertical on the exterior of the trailer which would be another section of Dickinson's single wall stainless and a cap (2 feet). Here is their thimble/deck fitting: http://dickinsonmarine.com/product/stainless-steel-deck-fitting-gasket-dress-ring/ The entire run would be about 4 feet with the horizontal section right in the middle and put the cap about 2 feet higher than the roof of the trailer. The external vertical section and cap would be removed for travel.

The problem: Dickinson doesn't make 90 degree elbows, only 45.

I know the door really complicates the install but I want to be able to swing the door open in order to cook outside, kind of like the outside kitchen you see on some RV's and teardrop campers. I also like the idea of being able to swing the door (and stove) outside if it gets too hot, too smoky, etc. Hopefully won't have to use it as a rescue measure, but the idea of being able to swing it out if I get in trouble somehow seems like a prudent one. Finally, I keep this little trailer in a garage and if I go through the roof it'll be too tall to fit into the garage.

There is an oval vent on the wall about 12 inches from where I plan to install the stove for fresh air intake and another on the opposite wall on the front end of the trailer. This exact vent: https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Vents-a...o3V5QQYFHhfoI4XpiRTr02eEQbiqyKuAaAmc5EALw_wcB

I plan on a CO detector.

Is there another manufacturer of 3 inch pipe that has 90 degree elbows?
Will another manufacturer's 90 degree elbows work with the Dickinson thimble and pipe?
Do I dare use something like the snap lock pipe that the tent stove people use? are 90's available for that pipe?
Will there be sufficient draw if I manage to make this work?
Am I completely nuts?

Let the hearth roast of Franklink commence. (frequent lurker of the forum so I see the love this kind of topic typically emits-I want to draw on the collective knowledge of forum members, even if it comes with the roast)

Thanks in advance.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,791
South Puget Sound, WA
I think you are on your own here. Most of these installs just end up with the person doing what they want after pages of folks telling them the safe way to install. Follow the stove maker's instructions. Dickinson only approves using their pipe for installing their products. Maybe log on to some tiny house forums for solutions and ideas and/or some of the camper forums. Perhaps also ask Hallmark what they think.

https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/5-single-wall-pipe-2x4-wall-thimble.172251
 
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ShawnLiNY

Member
Dec 13, 2018
223
Ny
Frank , i like the idea of being able to swing the entire stove out , just be aware of the dangers of small spaces and burning ( that being said I installed an old restored coal ship stove in my camper I used 3”” double wall ). Looks like you have 2 options cut a piece of the straight single wall at 45* reverse it and have a welder close it up for you , tig or short burst mig , the other option is to order 2 of the short barometric pipe remove the flap and use that as a 90* cap the open end and you have a cleanout / inspection port good luck keep us posted with pics when you finish
 

ShawnLiNY

Member
Dec 13, 2018
223
Ny
Mine , holds about 6 # coal , in my opinion these are better in campers ( fire and asphyxiation risks aside ) because they remove that crummy damp feeling that you get especially if you have propane heat in a camper it adds way too much moisture to the air and bedding so even 65* can feel damp and chilly
 

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Franklink

Member
Oct 21, 2016
20
Arizona
Shawn, will single wall 3 inch connect to the double wall 3 inch like you used? Did you use the 3 inch double wall like Duravent for pellet stoves? I think I'm stuck with single wall as the first piece out of the stove to connect to the oval outlet. BUT, if I could connect to double wall 3 inch right above that, I could finish it out with the double wall.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
Mine , holds about 6 # coal , in my opinion these are better in campers ( fire and asphyxiation risks aside ) because they remove that crummy damp feeling that you get especially if you have propane heat in a camper it adds way too much moisture to the air and bedding so even 65* can feel damp and chilly
A direct vent propane heater would add no moisture at all and be much safer.
 

ShawnLiNY

Member
Dec 13, 2018
223
Ny
Shawn, will single wall 3 inch connect to the double wall 3 inch like you used? Did you use the 3 inch double wall like Duravent for pellet stoves? I think I'm stuck with single wall as the first piece out of the stove to connect to the oval outlet. BUT, if I could connect to double wall 3 inch right above that, I could finish it out with the double wall.
I did use the dura-vent (for pellet) obviously it won’t last as long but in 4 years it still is in great shape. Frank I know single wall 3” galv ( for gas) fits right inside ( my camper is on a permanent site) so my pipe installation never needed to be as rigid or as secure as yours will
 

ShawnLiNY

Member
Dec 13, 2018
223
Ny
A direct vent propane heater would add no moisture at all and be much safer.
I was giving My Experience having a camper with propane and what a Major difference in humidity when using a wood /coal heat source too , the point was propane heat does not adequately lower humidity. IMO
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
I was giving My Experience having a camper with propane and what a Major difference in humidity when using a wood /coal heat source too , the point was propane heat does not adequately lower humidity. IMO
Ahhh ok yeah it won't lower it
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,596
Midwest
...The door install would require two, 90 degree elbows, one on the inside, and one on the outside. ... The problem: Dickinson doesn't make 90 degree elbows, only 45.,,,

45º would go through a wall / door just the same as 90º, you just need to accommodate the ovalized hole. But 2x45 would give better draft and use standard parts.
 

Franklink

Member
Oct 21, 2016
20
Arizona
I've considered going through the wall at a 45 degree angle like you suggest. My hang up is that I wouldn't be able to use their thimble that way. You're saying to go through the wall at 45 degrees and just use the Dickinson single wall for the section going through the wall?
 

ShawnLiNY

Member
Dec 13, 2018
223
Ny
45º would go through a wall / door just the same as 90º, you just need to accommodate the ovalized hole. But 2x45 would give better draft and use standard parts.
Franklink , Cory has an excellent suggestion
I've considered going through the wall at a 45 degree angle like you suggest. My hang up is that I wouldn't be able to use their thimble that way. You're saying to go through the wall at 45 degrees and just use the Dickinson single wall for the section going through the wall?
what is the door material? Plywood with sheet metal metal skin?
 

Franklink

Member
Oct 21, 2016
20
Arizona
The door is about two inches thick. The external is typical cargo trailer sheet metal. The interior is sheet metal on the bottom half and plywood on the top half. I've been thinking the plywood would be removed except for about a two inch strip all the way around-think picture frame. That would leave me enough material to mount a sheet metal heat barrier, spaced off around an inch. I guess an oval sized hole in the middle of that would allow a 45 degree exiting stove pipe. I've been thinking it would be nice to use something like this on the exterior wall: https://www.etrailer.com/Enclosed-Trailer-Parts/Ultra-Fab-Products/UF48-979009.html would allow me to stick the pipe out the wall during use and close it up when traveling. Could I get away without the thimble that way? It'd be a less permanent install, kinda like a tent stove. There wouldn't be anything but metal within about 18 inches of the stove or pipe. I stumbled across this stove last night and am considering it since it comes with pipes, etc. https://springbarcanvas.com/products/winnerwell-nomad-medium-tent-stove
 

ShawnLiNY

Member
Dec 13, 2018
223
Ny
That could be a solution providing you have a strong removable connection outside to be able to withstand wind , but single wall is going to radiate a ton of heat so I’d be more inclined to use a piece of 4” double wall as my pass through thimble than come up with a way to cap it when outside pipe is removed . Basically any design you settle on should allow outside pipe removal for traveling , even at highway speeds it’s going to be a lot of pressure on any chimney
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,677
WI, Leroy
I would not doubt that marine type small stoves are designed to be bolted down. Wood stove in a mobile home code says it has to be bolted down.
 
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blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,677
WI, Leroy
single wall of any type cools off so fast - causes creosote build up- something you do not want.
 

Franklink

Member
Oct 21, 2016
20
Arizona
I've read that response, nearly verbatim, all over the internet. With a four foot total flue length (stove outlet to rain cap) will it really have the chance to cool enough to cause creosote buildup?
 

Chimney Smoke

Minister of Fire
Nov 24, 2013
679
Maine
Here in Maine many of us have ice shacks that we put out on the lake to fish from during the winter. Our shack has a tiny woodstove that was designed for a wall tent I believe. It also uses a three inch outlet. We just used metal dryer vent ducting to pipe it out. As for the concerns about creosote, etc. with the amount of wood that will realistically burn and how much use it will get per year I think you're probably ok doing whatever you want. Sure you may have to pop the pipe off and knock some creosote out but it'll keep you warm. You're not going to need much of a fire to be warm in a 5x8 trailer. Our 6x8 ice shack gets over 80 when it's below zero outside and there's no insulation. And we feed the fire with wood chunks no bigger than 2 inches diameter and 5-6 inches long. Takes a lot of fires like that to add up to a cord of wood.
 

Franklink

Member
Oct 21, 2016
20
Arizona
Here's some pics of the completed project. Built my own thimble with some right angle aluminum I had laying around. Also recycled a piece of conduit for all the spacers to keep the heat shield off the wall. The manufacturer sells a heat shield that is only 1 inch thick. My spacers are 1.75. I also blued the heat shield with some leftover cold blue from a gun project. Restained the plywood panels and touched up the paint on the lower half of the doors. There's a before and after picture in the ones I attached. I still need to do a couple burns with it outside, not installed on the trailer to cook off the galvanized and cure the stove paint.

The goals were: not cutting through the roof, easily returned to cargo trailer status, no open holes while traveling ( just pop off the pipe and close the little access door). Ultimately I'm happy with how it turned out.

Yes I used pellet stove pipe for a wood stove. It's gotta be better than single wall for a lot of reasons. I'll monitor temps with a laser thermo and see how it goes. I don't think it'll explode and I'm willing to bet the cost of the sections of pipe that it'll hold up just fine for 18-20 nights a year.
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semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
4,064
SW Virginia
Thanks for sharing.
Does the stove you installed have a connection for an outside air source? I ask because a supply of fresh air is critical in such small quarters.
It looks like your doors don't have weather stripping though so maybe there's a lot of air leakage?
All that said, I'd definitely use some sort of outside air supply in a space that small regardless of how airtight the trailer is.
Just curious, how do you secure those doors when you're inside? Is there another entrance?
 

Franklink

Member
Oct 21, 2016
20
Arizona
The stove does not have a connections for an outside air source. Sharp eye with the weather stripping, the doors have about a half inch gap at the top when I'm in there with the doors closed, although I am planning on putting some weather stripping on to cover that gap. There is a small overhang of aluminum that keeps the doors from leaking when it rains (I found that out on a rainy camp out last summer.

The doors shut more tightly when using the latch on the exterior but when I'm in there I just use the little latches I screwed to the door. I lock the factory latch on the exterior so that I can't be locked in there by someone with a sense of humor. If you look closely you can see the latches I installed inside at the bottom of each door. I had to put a small piece of plywood under the latches to get them to align correctly. The latches look like this. They look big in this pic but I think the pin is about 3/8 inch. I just drilled a hole into the metal trailer frame that the pin drops into. The set-up isn't for ultimate security, mostly just to keep the door shut.

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Back to the air supply issue. About two years ago I installed two vents on the walls of the trailer, right about stove height. One is just to the left of the stove, about 3 feet away. And the other vent is on the opposite wall up at the front. I'm attaching a pic of the vent I used. I installed them vertically so that they can be opened the right direction to catch some air for circulation, depending on how the wind is blowing. The screened (little holes) part of the vent is probably about 5"x10." They vent the trailer quite well, better than necessary when it's cold outside. They can be open or closed in a stepped fashion so they can be providing some fresh air for the combustion without being open all the way. All that said, I will have a carbon monoxide detector in there with me for an overnight camp out requiring stove heat.



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