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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / heating options
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Barrys Bay
# Posted: 31 Aug 2009 10:59

We are curious about heating options for our 12x8 bunkie. I see Cabin Builder has a small wood stove which would be great for us: lots of free wood lying around. But I don't have the slightest idea how to install something like that and we are very concerned about how safe each heating option is.

We would like to know if anyone has heard about using propane gas tanks to power an indoor heater of some sort. Is there a way to heat using propane as fuel, but without emitting harmful gases into the heating space?

We only need to heat the cabin in spring/fall for a few hours each day (long weekends let's say) so we can sleep at night, otherwise we will be enjoying the outdoors during daylight hours.

If anyone can recommend anything or share their ideas regarding my dilemma please let me know.


# Posted: 1 Sep 2009 13:12

We have a similar sized "shed" and we were thinking about heating too. The inside space we have is about 70 sq ft which does not leave any room for the clearance required for a tiny wood stove. We have looked at exterior propane tent heaters which have a duct that goes into the tent/shed while all combustion is outside. But we are not too keen on having even that. So far we have found that we have not needed a heater. Just body heat and a hurricane lantern plus stored heat from the day seem to keep the shed very warm. Also the shed is completely insulated which helps a great deal. And -10c sleeping bags help as well. So at present we are thinking we might not need a heater for three season overnighting. Although when it is -10 outside I may be eating my words!!!!

# Posted: 2 Sep 2009 08:48

Cabelas has small propane heaters that are designed for use in tents. They have a safety valve that senses dangerous combustion byproducts and shuts it down.

In my mini cabin I have a wood burner. It is a cheapo harbor freight stove. My installation is simple. I layed 2x4 sleepers on the sub floor and put 12x12 pavers on them. On the wall I put wonder board. Then I put cinder blocks against the wonder board. The blocks rest on the sleepers and the pavers butt up against the blocks. The bloks and pavers are hel in place by thin set tile adhesive. The above creates an air path from infront of the pavers to the top of the cinder blocks. As it heats up the lighter hot air rises and cool air is sucked in at the base.

My flue is single wall stove pipe up until about 18 inches fromm the roof (no ceiling). Then it is double wall stove pipe. This is pipe that is specifically designed for wood stoves and not the thinner double wall designed for interior gas fired appliances. I welded up some brackets to support the double wall pipe so I can remove the lower single wall for cleaning without having to remove the entire flue. On the outside I made two supports out of steel conduit. I just measured from the ridge to the flue, cut the conduit and flattened the ends. I drilled a couple of holes in each end and conected it with sheet metal screws.

My roof jack (flashing) is one with a flexable soft metal base. I needed this because of my corrigated roof. It has a high tempeture silicon seal.

You don't want to skip on where it goes through the roof or wall. I had a friend loose his cabin because someone cut corners and an idiot built too big of a fire.

Another alternative it a sheet metal wood stove. These are small and are designed for wall tents and ice fishing shacks. I have one that I use in my wall tent. It really works and it doesn't require as large of clearances. I have been toatsy in snow with tempitures in the low teens with mine in my 10 x 12 wall tent. I have also seen these used in sheep camps. If you don't know what a sheep camp is do a search on them but don't open the yahoo group called the sheep camp as it is a discussion group about doing disgusting this with animals.

In my wall tent I just put a sall piece of plywood under the stove to protect the ground cloth. The flue is single wall pipe all the way. I also use a barb wire fence T post and some baling wire to supprt the flue outside the tent. And of course I always use a spark arrestor.

I hope this helps.


Barrys Bay
# Posted: 2 Sep 2009 21:58

Thanks for the advice Jocko. I got a laugh out of that yahoo tip.

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