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Prepping for Fireplace


There are a lot of special requirements for installing a wood burner in a bus or van. The owner at Unforgettable Fire (who sold us our Kimberly stove) walked us through everything we needed to know for safety.

For starters, the stove pipe cannot / should not have a shoulder joint like what we had hoped for to go out the side of the bus instead of the top. This is so that the smoke will be lifted up and out, and not build up unnecessary creosote inside, which is a fire risk. It helps with the air draw.

Then the materials around the stove (in the ceiling, wall, and floor) need to be able to handle high temperatures. XPS foam board near a stove that gets too hot will melt and release toxins into the air. Very bad! The recommended insulation is ceramic, which is this thick mat of spun ceramic fibers. It can handle very high temperatures and disperses the heat. Over the top of the ceramic should be concrete board for it’s heat resistance. This should all be secured with high heat resistant adhesive.

The stove itself should have a six inches of clearance around it and the stove pipe.

This changes our plan a little bit, but we can be adaptable since it is for safety. 🙂 We removed the foam board from the wall and ceiling with a (minimum) six inch clearance around the stove and pipe.

For the ceiling – we will wrap the pipe in six inches of ceramic, and fill the rest of the space with denim insulation (the blue stuff).

For the wall – we filled the empty space with denim insulation, held in place by plywood. Over that will be a second layer of ceramic insulation, then concrete board.

For the floor – first we had to deal with the issue of the tracks in the floor. The tracks are slightly raised, and make an uneven surface to work with. To fix this, we re-applied a square section of the original rubber flooring, which raised it back up to the track height. Over the top we did two layers of plywood to prep the space for concrete board.

You can see from the photos that the fire space is still recessed a bit below the level of the floor, but this will raise up even higher when we install the concrete board and finish with tile over the top.

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