Sunday, February 3, 2008


Here's Julia's hilarious photo essay of our wood stove installation.....maybe it's only funny to me but here it is. I think the pics speak for themselves.

It's in! Don't worry - the gray cement board look is temporary. We are going to do a tile mosaic over it in time. The very top part of the side wall above the heat barrier is going to be filled in with wood, too. We're thinking metal blinds (not fabric curtains) behind the wood stove. The window that gets cut in half by the side wall is going to be blacked out.

The chimney is secured to the roof but we still haven't weatherized the flue collar. What with snow and rain we're worried that the silicone won't cure right. We're waiting for a dry, non-freezing day. In the meantime, we uesd good old duct tape to hold down the collar and weighted down a tarp over the top of everything. Of course, we can't really light it up with duct tape wrapped around the flue and a tarp over it. Which means we haven't been able to test the stove - there are still questions about whether the stove will have enough draft to work in our bus. We also need to replace the braiding all around the stove door and in some other places (if we're keeping it). Once we decide what stove we're going with we'll still have to tackle the fun challenge of how to secure it in place!

Here's a pic of how we did the heat walls:

Here's me re-wiring our salvaged RV propane oven with high temp wire. The previous owner - some weirdo McGyver - got in there and did some real funky wiring.

Spencer came over today to help us test out the propane part of our stove. It works! I tested and there are no leaks, either. We plumbed the main lines for the propane this afternoon. Working in groups is fun! We still need to figure out the venting situation before we can situate the appliances and hook them up.

We aren't planning on mounting the 2 BBQ tanks under the bus anymore because I've decided it's dangerous. I've been looking at side-mount tanks meant to live underneath RVs. They're about $300. I'm planning on buying one off eBay when Mercury stops being retrograde on the 18th.

Pics of propane progress to come!


Lizz said...

Well, the weather's better, not as cold.

We plan to put a much smaller stove in. Still looking. But in such a small place you don't need much to keep it toasty. Somehting like the tiny potbelly ones you see in yurts.

Thanks for the details and pics.

3 moons and the sea said...

It's amazing to see things coming along for you guys, we admire your dedication and hard work. We've finally decided to take the plunge ourselves and are starting to shop around for an idea of what we want and a reputable seller. Maybe we'll be seeing you next spring out on the West Coast. God I hope so, these Illinois winters are getting old!

patchworkunderground said...

Thanks for your guys' replies!

You're right Lizz - the stove is a bit too big for the space. We got it free on Craigslist so we thought we might as well see if it won't work for us. It's so purdy! =)

It seems like the wood stove thing is more of an art than a science, really. The cute ones in yurts are a good idea, though, if you're buying new!

Good news Nina!!!! Julia and I are super-excited for you guys! Let us know if we can help in any way. =)

Erin said...

One thing I forgot to add: we have a lovely little metal collar to go around the hole in the ceiling - we're not going to leave it looking like a huge gash!

that's a little too post modern for our tastes...hee hee...

Wally said...

We are enjoying watching you build your conversion. If you have anyone passing thru Omaha I have a 24 gallon DOT propane tank you can have. It was out of a taxi.
Wally Anderson & Sue Philbin

Erin said...

Wally and Sue -

Thanks so much for the offer of the propane tank! =) Haven't been to Omaha and don't know anyone (excepting you kind folks) who has! But its good to hear from you. Here's hoping we can find something that will do locally but your generosity is much appreciated regardless!

Anonymous said...

I can understand your reluctance to have multiple 20lb tanks under your bus. I had the same delema with mine. However if you plan on using it while in a stationary it is a pain just to move your bus to fill your propane tank. I opted for two sealed "boxes" under the bed in the rear inside of the bus that is accessed from the exterior. Both are sealed from leaking inside the living compartment and will vent outside if a catastrophe occurs. But the benifit is the propane tanks are warmer in winter and protected by the buses body on all 4 sides in case of an impact.

If you decide to stick with an underbody unit, you may want to consider running a second lead off the main line as a bbq tank backup. This way if you do stay somewhere you are all set. We use our bus as a guest home when we are not on the road, and it is now covered in 6 feet of snow. The bbq tank situation is perfect.

Your bus is coming along well, congrats! It's so worth it in the end. You may want to buy a jig saw as they are very helpfull for cutting corners in wood and metal. And they're cheap.

Keep it up!

-Richard in Rossland