Travel Trailer Mini Wood Stoves - Buying And Safety Tips
Just like in a regular home, a heat source is a paramount necessity during a travel trailer road trip. There are many options of fuel source out there, including electric stoves, propane stoves, coal, and wood. Each of these has its own merits and demerits. Since time immemorial, wood has always been an excellent source of heat or fuel, especially now that there are modern highly efficient wood stoves that have lower emissions and less risk of causing fires. However, before approaching the market for a wood stove, there are some important factors to consider. Some of these include performance efficiency, cost, safety, durability, and maintenance, among others. To help you make the right decision and safely enjoy your classic source of heating or fuel, here are a few buying and safety tips for travel trailer mini wood stoves you might want to have a look at.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Mini Wood Travel Trailer Stove
1. Construction Material
In most cases, mini wood stoves are constructed from steel or cast iron. The main difference between the two options is not in the overall performance, but rather on price and aesthetics. Cast iron stove tends to be a bit more expensive, due to their overall pleasant appearance that makes them look like part of your indoor furniture as compared to steel options. They also require less maintenance than their steel counterparts. On the other hand, steel wood stoves are less costly but will require constant maintenance and repairs to reseal panel joints and prevent air leakage. Some of these steel and cast iron alternatives come with some part made from soapstone, which is said to make them more conservative in terms of holding heat. However, they are also said to be a bit slow in heating up.
2. Combustion Technology (Catalytic Or Non-Catalytic)
The other important factor to consider before buying a mini wood stove is the combustion technology it uses. Even though both of these options have with time proven effective, there are some sure differences when it comes to performance.
a) Catalytic Stoves: These stoves make use of catalyst-coated honey combs that are buried inside the stove, in which they ignite and burn steadily to produce a steady output of heat. Wood is loaded through a bypass damper that has a gripped lever for opening and closing. However, the stove has to be burned hot enough before the catalyst is engaged. In addition, the catalytic element may require replacement with time since it gets degraded the more the stove is used. How long the catalyst element will last before requiring replacement will depend also on the level of maintenance and careful use.
b) Non-Catalytic Stoves: In this type of stoves, a catalyst is not used for heating. However, the stove performs by creating a suitable combustion environment in the firebox. This is achieved by proper insulation, a baffle for gas diversion, and the small holes located on the upper section of the firebox to introduce pre-heated combustion air. Due to the quality of fire they provide, Non-catalytic stoves tend to be costlier than catalytic versions. The downside is that some internal parts such as the baffle may require replacement with time due to gradual deterioration that is caused by high heat conditions.
3. Other Factors to Consider
Before buying a wood stove, you will also want to think about other factors such as size, design, brand, price, and performance efficiency. How long does it take for the stove to heat up, and how much heat does it generate per hour? Will it fit the space you have on your travel trailer? Additionally, look at online reviews and compared different models and brands of camper trailer wood stoves based on price, durability, efficiency, and overall reputation before buying.
Safety Tips for Using Mini Wood Stoves in Travel Trailers
Like any other heating appliance, wood stoves come with a number of implications regarding safety. If improperly installed or operated, some of the biggest safety concerns include indoor fires as well as exhaust fumes poisoning from carbon dioxide emissions. To ensure maximum safety, it is important to have your mini wood stove properly installed and ensure you always use the implement the right way.
For installation, you can consult your dealer, fire department, or even your insurance provider in case you are doubtful about installation safety. Most importantly, ensure that the stove you buy is cleared or recommended by the manufacturer for use in a travel trailer or such small spaces. Below are a few more safety tips for travel trailer mini wood stoves.
• Keep inflammable away from the stove. • Place your ashes right: avoid placing ashes on wooden or cardboard material. • Adjust air inlet dampers to the low setting before going to bed to avoid CO poisoning. • Avoid turning your travel trailer range hood on with the stove operating. • Consider having a carbon monoxide alarm installed.