Static Caravans are a home away from home and often resemble a place we can go and relax, many people furniture them and decorate as they would their full time home. These can include certain luxuries from wallpapering, comfortable seating and adequate heating.
Putting a log burner in a static caravan is possible but requires specific safety measures. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has regulations for all models that can be placed in a caravan or mobile home. Safety features such as flues, smoke alarms, and hearth are also required.
Installing a log burner safely is a fantastic way to get more economical and easier heating, but safety must come first. For more information on what is needed and how to move forward, keep reading below.
Can You Put A Log Burner in A Static Caravan?
A log burner or wooden stove can absolutely be placed in a static caravan or mobile home. They are great heaters that can add considerable charm and save on heating in a variety of cases.
There are specific regulations on wooden stoves allowed in caravans as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These are often easy to identify and shop for due to a metal plate’s presence stating the heater’s compliance and testing facility.
Absolutely no log burner not regulated by the U.S. HUD should be placed in a mobile home. Other log burners often require longer chimneys or additional regulations that are simply not possible to achieve in a mobile home.
Installing an incorrect log burner can result in serious injury or damages to you, others, and the mobile home itself.
Choosing an Approved Wood Stove
Choosing a HUD-approved stove is an essential first step, but there are still many choices to be made. Factors such as:
- Necessary clearance
- Additional needs
Should all be considered when choosing a log burner for a caravan. Look at the size of the caravan and available area for installation before choosing a wood stove. Many smaller mobile homes may be heated by a 4 or even 6kW stove, but larger caravans of cold places may demand more power.
Available size is an essential consideration before choosing a wood stove. This covers two main points of concern: space for the log burner itself, and space for the necessary safety features and chimney attachments.
Different manufacturers will need varying amounts of space and clearance for stoves. While this is primarily tied to the stove’s power, it is not always the case, so double-checking is a necessity.
Butting the log burner against other objects is also not an option, so be sure to account for clearance. Flammable objects should, as expected, be kept the maximum distance away from the stove to stop any possible sudden combustion. Necessary clearance can vary greatly depending on the design and size of the stove.
Is It Safe to Put A Log Burner in A Static Caravan?
Assuming proper safety precautions are taken and with proper planning, it is perfectly safe to put a log burner in a static caravan or mobile home. Accounting for specific requirements of the stove, as well as some general safety features, is vital to ensure that everything stays safe.
Consulting a professional is a good idea for anyone unsure about the installation or unclear about any part of it at all. At the same time, it will inevitably raise the price but will provide great peace of mind and avoid catastrophic problems later on.
They can also provide information or installation of some essential additional safety requirements.
The flue is a pipe that extends out of the main stove and ultimately connects to the chimney system. It traps smoke and other gases from the wood stove and funnels them properly into the chimney and out of the caravan. The flue is an essential part of a log burner to prevent smoke inhalation and damage to both inhabitants and the home itself.
All wood stoves have a flue, whether created for a caravan or not. The specifics of a flue, such as length, shape, and exit area, will change depending on the model of wood stove you have selected. For instance, some may extend straight into a chimney, while others bend.
Many people unfamiliar with a wood stove’s specifics are likely to think of it as part of the chimney. Ultimately, this is not a dangerous thing, but people looking to install the log burner themselves must learn the difference. The chimney connects to the flue and exits the caravan.
Smoke inhalation is dangerous, and given the small size of most caravans, it can happen extremely quickly. If a flue is installed incorrectly or poorly, it will likely be immediately noticeable, as the caravan will fill with smoke.
The Hearth and Proper Walls
The hearth is a non-flammable piece of floor that the wood stove will sit on. Typically, it is a heavy stone or concrete slab. It extends out from the stove and can represent the necessary clearance of the manufacturer, but this is not always the case.
The hearth is essential for not catching the floor on fire and providing ample space around the stove in case embers escape. Similarly, fireproof walling is also essential to put up around a log burner in a caravan.
This accounts for the classic look you have likely seen around other wood stoves, where they are raised slightly above the ground and feature a stone backdrop. These are, in fact, safety features but can add to the charm and aesthetic of a log burner.
Plans for the hearth and walls must be made before the stove can be installed, so take the time to consider where it will work best before moving forward.
A Working Smoke Alarm
A smoke alarm is essential for monitoring the stove and catching problems before they turn into a disaster. As mentioned in the flue section, the build-up of smoke is dangerous on its own and must be avoided. The presence of smoke inside a caravan from a wood stove is often an indicator of something going wrong.
There should be no smoke escaping anywhere but through the proper chimney. A smoke alarm installed properly will help catch this issue and hopefully allow a fix to occur quickly.
Installing a smoke alarm is easy and relatively cheap, especially with more recent models.
Putting It Out Before Sleeping or Heading Out
A wood stove should not be left burning while nobody is in the caravan or while sleeping to avoid any possible accidents. A fully put-out log burner will have no active flames but will still give off heat for several hours, providing enough warmth to last through all but the coldest nights.
This is simply to avoid problems or sudden combustion without someone being actively aware of it. While the aforementioned smoke alarm should alert people to sudden problems, it is always best to have an eye available for the burner.
Additionally, putting it out while gone or sleeping is a great way to save energy. The heat simply is not needed while away, and the residual heat will keep people warm through the night. This is another of the added benefits of being in a caravan.
Beyond the specific safety equipment like a flue, chimney system, hearth, and walls, general common sense is the best bet for staying safe.
The Extra Essential Safety Features
In addition to what was highlighted above, a complete chimney system is also required and comprised of a series of smaller necessities.
According to Mother Earth News, a complete chimney system includes:
- The chimney itself
- A spark-arresting cap
- A joist shield explicitly made for mobile homes or caravans
- A flue and chimney connector piece
Also included is the flue mentioned above. Finding the space both in and above (or on the side of) a caravan may be challenging, depending on your build. Consulting a professional is an excellent idea if you have any questions about the meaning of any part.
What You Should Know Before Installing A Log Burner in A Static Caravan
Before moving forward with installing a wood stove in a caravan, it is essential to consider some additional points. It is a great idea for a variety of people, but the extra work and possible size constraints may reduce the appeal of the option for some.
The Benefits of a Log Burning Stove
With all of the additional safety concerns, it can be easy to question why anyone would choose a wood-burning stove in a caravan at all. Despite the extra steps, there are plenty of reasons why, such as:
- Economic cost- A log burner can be cheaper to install than a new oil tank or other heating forms, and certainly cheaper to operate.
- Aesthetics- The aesthetics of a wood-burning stove are hard to ignore; for those looking to cozy up their space or introduce some old-world charm, they are a great option that also provides the benefit of good heating.
- Availability- They are also great for those who are located in areas where wood is easier to come by than oil and provide a great heat source for small areas.
- Environmental impact- Finally, while still not a great choice for the environment, wood is a renewable resource, while oil or natural gases are not. This can be a large pull for many people.