Sunday, March 11, 2012

Working hard and looking at wood stoves.

I'm going to be selling stuff on eBay for the Bicycle Shop now. It will be a supplemental income, and I'm looking to take advantage of all opportunities. We worked out a fair cut, and I do all the work.

It's 7:21pm. My van is packed to the brim with bicycles to sell on Craigslist and a batch of tools and parts to sell for the shop. I will be busy as hell tomorrow. I will be busy, but it won't be stressful. It's not like I'm working in a coal mine or something. I'll be snapping photos and drinking coffee with a computer in my lap. I can do that.

I found a wood stove that should work nicely for a medium-sized decommissioned transit bus. It even has a cute name: The Sardine.


John said...

I've been looking out for woodstoves too. I'm not sure how to judge what will be enough, since vehicle insulation is a good deal poorer than home insulation (usually, and certainly in my case). But I notice some folks are using a Little Cod in a schoolie, so maybe it cranks out enough heat. I've also been eyeing the Kimberly Stove (was featured on Tiny House Blog a while back: It's more expensive, but it has its advantages too. I'm not sure which direction to go, either.

Pixy Stoneskipper said...

Hey, thanks for the link. You live on a school bus? Is this the same John who had the awesome cross country adventure on the veggie conversion, per chance?

Yeah, school busses don't look so great for insulation. I'm looking more at transit busses which seem somewhat better insulated. And I think I'll enjoy the feeling of living in a bubble with the big windows. The main thing I'm wondering is 1) if a Sardine marine stove will crank out too much for just a big ol' van. 2) if the Sardine will make a 40ft transit bus cozy. I'm willing to experiment...

I'm thinking if I go with a big ol' transit bus, a Sardine will still keep up with the cold. It's not a scientific measure - just a gut feeling, unfortunately. I'm also assuming that ANY woodstove is a bit much for a van - even if it's a big ol' 15 passenger with a raised roof.

Input is requested and enjoyed.

Boy am I excited to keep this project rolling. My long term end-game is to set up a small vandwelling community that shares resources and a vegetable garden. If you're like-minded, local or just generally interested, you should stay tuned and stay in touch. The next year or two will have a lot of unfolding events.

Thanks for the support,

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

I remember these stoves from Ferenc Mate's "Finely Fitted Yacht" or maybe his "From a Bare Hull".

There should be a lot of cool stuff for your project in various old sailing mags and books.

I look forward to hearing about your vandweller community project.

I live in a trailer park, which is, after all, a similar (albeit less romantic) housing alternative. The current fad is shipping containers which are pretty bulletproof. I am of the opinion that if you were to acquire such a place as you propose you will have no problem filling it up.

During one of my long rides I cooked up a scheme for rural campsite/showers/bike service centers every 75-100 miles along any given ACA trail.

I can go on along this way for thousands of words and would enjoy doing so. Feel free to not post this long-ass ramble and if you like you can contact me by email or my blog.

John said...

Ya man, the very same John. Not living on a bus presently, but will be in a year's time. That's this summer's project.

I would worry about the larger windows on transit buses. I keep kicking around an idea for custom insulated curtains (my dad used this flexible R-19 stuff in his garage). I'll probably try something like this for my bus.

I also keep leaning towards playing it safe and going for something like a Jotul Black Bear ( and just being sure I can lounge about in my underwear in 0 degree weather.

I'm completely on board with the community, though I may only be a semi-permanent resident at best. I think I'll be spending a lot of my time in Southern Vermont/Upstate NY, and a fair chunk in CT with my family.

Pixy Stoneskipper said...

Yeah, that's a hell of a nice looking woodstove. I'm inbetween the idea of wanting a van and wanting a big transit bus to live in. I already have the van... I'm just trying to keep it long enough so I can put it permanently to pasture, so to speak. Make it a permanent installment and cancel the insurance...

What I want from a woodstove is the same, it sounds like - to have the option of being almost too warm even when it's 0 degrees outside. Also, I like the cook top option on the stove. Roast peanuts up on that and whatnot. I don't know.

Well, stay in touch. Even if our permanent location needs don't line up, we can have a sort of vehicle living/ visitation arrangement. I'm saving money like a bastard and trying to look at land that's fairly desirable - close enough to amenities, but also has some seclusion. I'm also keeping an open mind - I could go with less land if the location is better and I can put up some shrubbery for a "secret garden" kind of setup.

I won't get ahead of myself. There's time for my mental image to mature while I save the money.