Installing A Small Wood Stove Into A Vehicle

In this article, we’ll explain a few basic points that you will need to consider when it comes to installing a small wood stove into a vehicle. This could be a campervan, a horse box, a tiny home, an RV or any other vehicle which is fairly air tight! Check out our case studies to see how other people have installed their Hobbit stove!

You can watch our video below to see how your small wood burner should be installed, or you can read the rest of this article, which will guide you through each step to installing a small wood stove into a vehicle!

Installing A Small Wood Stove Into A Vehicle – Bolting The Stove Down

If you’re looking to install a small wood burning stove into a moving vehicle, then you’ll need to make sure that your stove is fitted securely. Your tiny wood burner will need to be firmly bolted to a surface, whether you decide to site your small wood stove on a platform or on the floor of the van itself.

In our video, you can see that the Hobbit stove is on our pedestal stand, which has been bolted through the floor of the van, with a nut at the bottom. This means that the stove won’t go anywhere if your van happens to be involved in a crash!

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Here you can see that our small wood burning stove is safely bolted to the floor, and we’ve also installed an air vent behind it.

If you’re looking to site your stove on the floor of the van, then you will need to inspect the undercarriage of your vehicle to make sure you do not damage any conduits, exhaust pipes or electrical components when you drill through the floor! You will also need to do this before you cut a hole in the floor of your van for an air vent, which we will cover in the next section of this article. This might mean that you’ll have to fit some sort of platform in order to situate the stove where you want it to be.

Before you bolt the stove down, you’ll also need to consider some sort of hearth. Your hearth will need to be made out of a non-combustible material that’s at least 12mm thick, in order to comply with regulations. However, if you’re installing a small wood stove into a vehicle, then there’s a bit more flexibility with these regulations. Nevertheless, you will still need to have some sort of hearth in case anything falls out of your tiny wood burner when you go to refuel it!

You will need to bolt the stove onto the hearth, but in the video we’ve also showed you how you could use a removable hearth, which can be taken in and out. Either way, you will need to have at least 225mm of space from the front of your stove to the front of your hearth. So you will need to have some sort of hearth in place, whether it’s going to be positioned in front of your stove, or beneath the stove itself.

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This image shows our removable hearth, which can be taken in and out.

We’ve created a document which will show you how to bolt down your Hobbit stove, and you can find more useful resources in our help section and FAQ! It’s also worth reading our article on how much room you will need to have around a small wood burner.

Installing A Small Wood Stove Into A Vehicle – Ventilation

When it comes to installing a small wood stove into a vehicle, another crucial thing you’ll need to consider is how your space is going to be ventilated. In our video, you can see that we’ve cut a 100mm diameter vent hole behind the stove, which has a vent cover fitted on top of it. This is to ensure that there’s a supply of air to the stove. In a sealed van you’ll be in competition with the stove if you don’t put some form of ventilation in, and it’s really no good just relying on opening a window – it’s not good enough. You’ll need to put at least one vent in, and it should be positioned as close as possible to your tiny wood burner!

Installing-a-small-wood-stove-into-a-vehicle-fitting-an-air-vent  Installing-a-small-wood-stove-into-a-vehicle-fitting-an-air-vent-2

When you cut the hole for your air vent, you’ll need to make sure that you don’t damage any parts in the undercarriage of your vehicle.

Alternatively, you could connect this air vent directly into your stove if you purchase a Hobbit stove with our direct air option. However, our small wood burning stoves will be able to comfortably heat the space inside your van, so you really don’t need to worry about any cold air entering your vehicle through a vent.

Distances and Shielding

After siting your small stove, you will also need to consider how much room you will need to have around a small wood burner. You will have to shield any combustible materials that are near your tiny wood burner, as there’s certain distances that you’ll need to comply with for your safety. If you have any combustible surfaces near your stove (such as the plywood van wall in our video), then your tiny log burner will need to be positioned at least 400mm away from this type of material. Because space is at a premium in a van, you’ll want to reduce these distances as much as possible!

In order to do this, you could choose to shield the wall, the stove or both, but to site your stove closer to the van wall, you will need to take some form of action. In the above video, you can see that we’ve used an enamel sign with an air gap behind it to shield the plywood wall of the van. You could use vermiculite board or hardiebacker board in a similar way (this can be purchased from sites like Vitcas, for example), and this will mean that your stove can then be positioned 200mm away from your shielded wall.

installing-a-small-wood-stove-into-a-vehicle-distances-and-shielding

You can also shield the sides or the back your Hobbit stove with our small stove heat shield option, which will enable you to place your stove 200mm away from a combustible surface. If you decide to shield your wall and the stove itself, then your tiny wood burner can be positioned just 100mm away from the wall! This is what we’ve done in our van, and this way, you can fit your stove into a much tighter space.

If you don’t take any action, then your small wood stove will need to be placed 400mm away from combustible materials. In a van, you’ll probably want to reduce that distance as much as possible by incorporating a sign, for example, or by shielding the stove itself.

Installing A Small Wood Stove Into A Vehicle – Fitting Your Flue System

You’ll also need a flue system to run your stove! We’ve designed a wide range of installation kits that are each suited to a variety of different applications. For example, we have designed two different flue kits for campervans, two different flue kits for horsebox conversions, and two different flue kits for tiny homes!

In the video, you can see that our flue system starts in single wall flue, which then transitions into twin wall insulated flue pipes before going out through the roof. After that, the twin wall flue pipes go through a silicone boot roof flashing, before the final component – a rain cap cowl – is fitted. You can click here to read our article and to watch a video on how to fit a silicone roof flashing.

So, after positioning the stove where you would like it to be (and checking that this is compatible with the undercarriage of your vehicle), you can then use a plumb line to denote the centre of the hole that you will need to cut into the roof of your van. For example, if you hold a piece of string with a weight at the end, and position the weight in the centre of the stove collar, then this will show you where the centre of the hole is that you will need to cut into the ceiling of your van. After you’ve marked out where the hole will be, you can then begin to cut it out of the roof. In the video, we’ve shown you how we removed a section of the roof of the van before cutting a hole in it.

Your twin wall flue parts will exit through the hole in the roof, but you will need at least 50mm of space between your twin wall flue pipes and the edge of the hole in the roof. This gap can be covered up by using the trim plate which is included in our installation kits! In our vehicle, the twin wall flue parts come down onto a 1000mm and a 250mm length of single wall flue, which then connects into the stove itself.

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This picture shows how we’ve fitted the trim plate and the wall support.

If you’ve parked your van up somewhere for a couple of weeks, then you can add the extra length of flue that’s included in our van installation kits to improve the draw of your flue system. You obviously can’t use this when you’re driving around because it will be sticking up too high, but if you’re parked up for any length of time, then adding an extra length of flue pipe will make a great improvement to the draw of your flue system!

Our flue system is supported by a wall band, which is mounted onto the side of the van. This ensures that everything is absolutely rock solid, which is what you want. You don’t want any movement at all, because if your flue kit gets bumped or if you hit the curb, for example, then you could shake things loose.

Fitting A Carbon Monoxide Alarm

As a final step, you’ll want to make sure that you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted near your small wood burning stove. Having a carbon monoxide alarm (or even better, one with a built-in smoke alarm), will mean that you’re sure to wake up if anything blocks your flue pipe, for example.

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This is the carbon monoxide alarm that we’ve used in our van.

If you consider the few basic points in this article, then there’s no reason you should have any problems when it comes to installing a small wood stove into a vehicle!

If you have any other questions, or would like more advice about installing a small wood stove into a vehicle, then please feel free to contact us! We will also be launching a special offer for our Hobbit stove and pedestal stand, 3 heat shields and a van flue kit! So keep checking our website, as this offer will be revealed very soon!

Small Stove Review 9

Our Hobbit Stove Has Been Fitted!

"We had a Hobbit stove fitted this week by Alex Reay from Flues and Fires, and I just wanted to get in touch to say it is AMAZING and we love it! We have a lovely cast iron tiled fireplace which I was desperate not to lose when we installed a small wood burning stove, but until I found the Hobbit on Google, everyone told me it would be impossible to keep the fire surround. The Hobbit is perfect - not only does it fit very snugly, but it looks fantastic and the blue door complements the tiles very nicely. We are sitting enjoying a fire now and absolutely loving it! Thanks for creating such an amazing product."

Nicola Williams

Small Stove Review 10

The Best Stove Ever!

"It’s the best stove ever! It’s easy to light, very efficient, burns anthracite and stays in overnight (ours has been in for three weeks now). It even keeps a kettle of water at the ready for a cuppa! What more can I say, we love it! Just the thing to make our Yorkshire home cosy, and the cat loves it too!"

Lynn and Andrew, West Yorkshire

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First Small Stove Installation

Was looking for a small stove for my first self-install. Found Mark very helpful. Knowledgeable, friendly service. Stove burns well and generates lots more heat than the previous open fire. What is not to like?

Sam

Small Stove Review 15

A Huge Thank You!

"Dear Mark and Gill, a huge thank you for designing and making the Hobbit stove! We had two different London-based fireplace companies tell us that we simply had to knock out the old cast iron and tile fireplace to fit in a woodburning stove, and that there was no other option! Then we found you online. We are delighted with our little Hobbit, which swallows up logs and kicks out a good amount of heat. Perfect for the winter! I will also be writing to the London-based fireplace companies to put the Hobbit on their radar. Best wishes."

Nat

Small Stove Review 14

Delighted With Our Hobbit Stove!

"Mark, Gill, thank you for your assistance, we are delighted with our Hobbit! I fired it up this evening after taking all afternoon making a register plate to fit the opening."

Alan

Small Stove Review 5

It's Brilliant!

"Hi Mark, here's a photo of the Hobbit installed in my Yorkist grate. It’s brilliant! It also throws out a lot more heat than the grate did."

Roger T

Small Stove Review 3

Just to Say Thank You!

"I just had a chat with Gill saying how delighted we are with our little Hobbit stove, and to also thank you both for your attention to detail and excellent customer service!"

Derrick

Small Stove Review 4

The Little Hobbit Has Stepped Up To The Challenge!

"We just wanted to say how impressed and how much of a life saver our little Hobbit has been! It was fitted a few months ago in our holiday home in Rhu, Scotland, which is a large open plan conversion in a Victorian house. This weekend our boiler decided it was not going to play ball. The little Hobbit has stepped up to the challenge, providing heat to a very large area, about twenty eight foot by twenty four foot with a high ceiling of about eighteen foot, keeping the room reasonably warm, warm enough for us not to use cardigans!”

Alan W

Small Stove Review 8

Very Pleased With Our Hobbit!

"We are very pleased with the stove and think it looks great! We restored our fireplace (it was hidden under plaster!) and the whole look is better than we hoped!"

Neil

Small Stove Review 2

Absolutely Delighted!

"Just had our Hobbit SE installed in our Victorian fireplace and we are absolutely delighted with the end result. We felt passionate about preserving our lovely fireplace!"

Andy

Small Stove Review 13

Our Pride And Joy!

"What a fantastic fireplace with the beautiful Hobbit stove. It fits perfectly into the small space and throws out a lot of heat. Here's a photo of our little stove, now our pride and joy and much admired by all who see and feel the warmth."

Chris and C

Small Stove Review 11

Fantastic!

"Just to bid you all a Happy New Year and to say how much we’re enjoying having our Hobbit stove! It was easy to fit with the help of your excellent ‘how to’ videos and we’re just awaiting our inspection by building control for the certification. The Hobbit has fitted neatly into the hearth vacated by the old gas back boiler (with a little cosmetic rendering) and never ceases to surprise us how much heat it can deliver to the point that the new condenser boiler is having an easy life, thereby saving us on gas bills too! Everyone loves having a ‘real fire’ in the living room."

Philip Baird

Small Stove Review 6

A Brilliant Little Wood Burner!

"The stove we bought from you is really starting to come into its own as the weather cools down. Here is a photo showing how much one of our dogs is enjoying it!"

Small Stove Review 1

Brilliant Product!

"Just wanted to share a picture of our newly installed Hobbit. Absolutely delighted with it, and so pleased we were able to retain our existing fireplace as well. Brilliant product, thank you!"

Marion

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