Installing Wood Stove in Camping Van

  • not using it with a camp stove. using it with a standard RV range. 3/8th connector to the stove. standard 5ft BBQtank hose and low pressure regulator with adaptor to coleman bottle because I was afraid to have 20lb BBQ tank inside the van. the interesting thing that I found with the reviews was that other folks using the same hose and regulator with standard 20lb tanks and outdoor grills occasionally had the same problem. Obviously its intermittent as it seems to work fine now. I do however feel confident that if it happens again the solution will be to simply buy a different brand of hose and low pressure regulator.

  • NickG,

    The stove type is irrelevant. I hope the following pictures will convey my point:

    Inside the silver Coleman Tank adapter is a regulator. This regulator reduces propane pressure from 60 psi to 11 in. WP. The steel pipe line that connectors from it to the stove has been removed.

    A Coleman Regulator that screws to the 1 lb Coleman canIMG_0249.JPG

    Below is a photo of a situation in which 2 regulators are on the same line.

    2 equal pressure drop regulators in the same lineIMG_0251.JPG

    Do you have the likes of the above hook up? 2 equal pressure drop regulators in same line likely will not emit much gas at the the 3/8" end.

    This setup to a big tank will work:

    Note. There is only one regulator IMG_0252.JPG

    And this tank hookup will work:

    A tank fitting adapted to a Coleman tank hose and then regulated with the Coleman bottle regulator. IMG_0125.JPG

    Again just one regulator is in use. There would be 60 psi in this hose.

  • no as I said its a standard RV cook stove with a 3/8th in connect. Those types of stoves do not come with a regulator. a coleman regulator will not fit on them hence the BBQ hose with regulator and adaptor to coleman bottle Not stove. the hose, and regulator are the correct parts for the stove. The fuel source is not. hence the adaptor. However I did read reviews where folks had the same issue as I did with the hose and regulator that I am using but without the adapter. that likly rules out the adaptor and brings it back to a malfunction of the regulator. Of course it is still possible that cause of the problem I experienced was different than what others experienced but with the same results.

  • NickG,

    How about posting several pictures that would detail your setup: the tank, adapters, hoses, regulator hoses and the appliance?

    Like what is a 3/8 in connect? Do you mean female 3/8" NPT or 3/8" male flare etc.

    Are you sure there is not a second regulator that is built into the stove past what you call the 3/8" connect?

    What does the adapter to the Coleman bottle look like? Have you tested for gas just beyond the adapter by disconnecting the hose from the adapter towards the stove when you have a working full tank hooked to the adapter?

    You can read all you want online, but you are going to have to put some elbow work into this as your problem may not appear as an online answer.

    Is this what you mean when you say a Coleman adapter?IMG_0130.JPG )

  • the 3/8ths connect is a standard flare. stove is designed to be installed by a real gas tech. its not a quick connect. once the hose is installed it stays installed. has nothing to do with any type of camping stove. you must provide a regulator off the tank weather that be a homeowners 500gal tank or a BBQ tank. I have gone the extra mile to try and make it fit in my van without having a tank mounted on my undercarriage like a real RV would. I did that by using a BBQ tank hose with low pressure regulator and an adaptor that lets me use the small coleman bottle.
    you can see the adapter in this photo. the other end of this hose is connected to the stove the same way it would be to either a BBQ grill or your home kitchen range. the hose and regulator did have some reviews where it stopped letting gas flow through for unknown reasons that uses speculated about but had no scientific evidence of actual cause.

  • Hey guys - This propane stove stuff is interesting. I have had some similar issues in the past, particularly w/my expensive "Made in USA" stainless gas grill. I endeavor to "Keep America Working" when I buy big ticket "wants" that are not needs. Kicked myself in the arse a few times over this one though. But I digress...

    Since this thread is more related to @NickG's Sprinter more than "Installing Wood Stove in Camping Van" I'd like to merge these propane stove and regulator posts into the Sprinter thread. Any objection? No skin off of my nose one way or another, as I know where to look if I need a refresher. New users, however, are unlikely to suspect hidden gems about propane stoves for cooking in a wood stove for heating thread. Or would they? Hmmm... 🤔

  • Toby,

    I object to a merger, but you can move all my & Nicks posts about his propane stove malfunction to his van build thread and we can carry on there.

    Take note, one could have this propane tank/stove problem in a campground at a pic nice table instead of in a van. What about starting a thread about stove/tank malfunctions using this material?

    I would rather the installing wood stove thread be mostly about such installations but NickG ask of his stove/tank problem on this thread. So l have kindly tried to help sove his predicament.

    And on another note I see your request to combine as a form of micromanaging with out much justification. Certainly not laissez-faire.

    Excuse my reading comprehension, I see now that you requested the propane material moved to his thread. Okay.

  • NickG,

    Is there a straight thru & clean hole on the brass Coleman adapter's depressor rod that has a hole thru it?

    A test to try: 1st disconnect the Coleman bottle. Then disconnect the silver flex hose on the stove connection end.

    Carefully and near no flames and also outside slowly attach the Colman adapter to a full Coleman tank to see if raw propane comes out from the open end of the flex hose. Maybe try several different canisters of propane all for only short bursts.

    You might put the regulator in a freezer for an hour and test whether it works cold.

    If propane readily flows the problem appears to be on the stove side.

  • @DingusMcgee said in Installing Wood Stove in Camping Van:



    Take note, one could have this propane tank/stove problem in a campground at a pic nice table instead of in a van. What about starting a thread about stove/tank malfunctions using this material?

    Yep. In any case.....

    That would be a "Fork". I am totally open to that and a more descriptive thread title and, indeed, personally would prefer such. @NickG, on the other hand prefers running things together (iirc). "Lumper vs Splitter" personal preferences vary so I try to be sensitive to that. Finding that elusive balance: one man's poison, another's bread kind of deal.

    I would rather the installing wood stove thread be mostly about such installations but NickG ask of his stove/tank problem on this thread. So l have kindly tried to help sove his predicament.

    Which is totally cool and appreciated. The info is here, complete w/photos, which is the important thing. I can fork or merge fairly easily for the icing on the cake presentation. 🍰

    And on another note I see your request to combine as a form of micromanaging with out much justification. Certainly not laissez-faire.

    Excuse my reading comprehension, I see now that you requested the propane material moved to his thread. Okay.

    It's all good. I am amazed at some of the stuff I misread at times. 🐕

  • Ok I am going to have to eat my words Here but first. Yes the first thing I did when the stove did not work was to put the adaptor on a bottle with no hose just to make certain it worked. being a stupid redneck I did it without much ado other than being outside and not playing with matches or guns at the same time. It works. Now the eating words part. this looks a heck of a lot like a regulator.
    When I was buying the unit on amazon there was very little information about what type of hose I needed. I asked a bunch of questions and read all the previously answered questions and answers. Everyone said it has no regulator and you need to install your own. I went ahead and ordered this hose with regulator and installed it with my mind already set that this was how it was done . Obviously I did not think to contemplate that this thing shure as heck looks like a regulator?? but I am Not a gas guy so ??????
    Toby. As long as everyone is playing nice relax, don't over think it. I wanted to talk to Dingus so I went where I knew he would be available.. thread drift is part of what makes these forums what they are.

  • BTW the unit has been working perfectly, possibly with two regulators????

  • NickG,

    My Subburban heater manual states to not use two regulators. I suppose if the first regulator is set to 10.75" WP or less then the second regulator could not produce 11.00" WP. You might try just one. I like to reduce the pressure ASAP. Will that flex line withstand 60 psi? So to be safe leave the one on closest to the tank. thanks for the photos.

  • Toby & NickG,

    I am more inclined for a third and separate propane stove problems thread. With this type of subject headings one might find their subject of concern faster but what is the search box for? Certainly a van build could contain their problems of propane stove installations.

  • for now it seems to work just fine so why worry....

  • Yes, if it works fine now, there is no urgency to test what causes it to fail when it does. I guess these efforts leave you with a potential new remedy to test the next time the stove fails?

    Certainly if you could adjust the 1st regulator output to greater pressure than the 2nd regulator output the system should work all the time. Some regulators are adjustable and some are not.

  • I still think the failure had to do with the $19.00 BBQ hose and regulator just being quirky as others had the same problems with that product in different circumstances.

  • NickG,

    Certainly a regulator that gave variable output would be suspect.

  • Have you taken it for a spin?

  • I have sat here and read through a lot of this, wondering if it was a joke. I registered just to reply. Old thread I know, but if anyone stumbles across it like I did please know just how incredibly stupid and wrong it all is. I'll try to give some good information on SOME of these things but honestly there are too many. So just do a little research ffs.

    First of all, propane is really super dangerous... there are many reasons you don't keep your tanks inside a small enclosed space, one is that propane is heavier than air. Even an otherwise undetectable leak, in say a cabinet inside a van, can accumulate and explode easily. Easily. Do I need to go into the propane thing more? Read about it or ask someone qualified. You're not just putting yourself in danger, you're rolling down the highway, and telling others to do these stupid stupid things.

    This whole thing is a very good example of a saying, "trying to reinvent the wheel" and also how you can't learn anything if you think you know everything. Which I can see, saying anyone that disagrees with or questions you has a small mind, etc. Honestly, this atrocity of a build is just stupid, from the beginning and at every single step. It bothers me that you are allowed to buy dangerous tools and gasses.

    When I say from the beginning I mean with the stove. It's a pos. You should never ever have to worry about smoke coming out of the stove when you open the door. The chimney should have a draw. In tiny little 80 square foot cabins, or little sailing boats, RV's, busses, Van's, I have used wood stoves with the door completely open, watching the flames. No smoke. You did it wrong. There are many things that effect how this works including the length of the chimney and what kind of pipe. One of many reasons to research something you don't understand. Even a guide gear stove would not pour smoke back in to the van if installed correctly. (I have and use one in a canvas tent) many of the stoves I've had and used in tiny spaces were 100+ year old cast iron. Not exactly airtight. In fact an airtight and non airtight are completely different kinds of wood stoves that would be installed very differently.

    The thimble you made.. you could have had one meant for that purpose for less than all the hardware you bought, not a huge waste of time, not a danger to everyone. You don't even have to buy one, just look up how to make one right. All you need is plates of anything non flammable, something to seal them from rain, and insulation. Use ceramic wool.. or mineral wool, or.. air. By the way if your chimney where it passes through the ceiling ever reaches 1000 degrees you fu""ed up. That's not normal.

    Anyway, for a van just use things meant for a boat. Like the thimble meant to go through the deck. They are also called roof jacks and flashing. Just Google that and see the many options. I know how much hardware costs don't lie.

    Yes having to go outside to feed the fire is pointless. So much wrong there. Perhaps everyone but you doesn't just do it the other way because they are just too weak to go outside? Again if your stove worked at all from the beginning that design choice wouldn't have been considered. Some things just have to be done right, if you can't afford to do that then you can't afford to do the project. And I say this as someone that does most things with little or no money, I haven't bought anything new for years. Just because fittings are the same size doesn't mean they will work, some are for air and some for propane, some natural gas, some just because they are different brands. They are not interchangeable.

    Wood stoves, gas appliances, the right materials for skoolies, vans, whatever, can be had cheap used. Free too. Scraps from home building are usually the right amount. Information is free. There is usually a solution for an idea you have and it's usually better. Many people came before you. it will almost always cost you a lot more trying to half ass something yourself than just buying it. Besides, what is your time worth? And with things like this you also wouldn't be held criminally accountable for damage caused by a stupid build.

    I'm not going to keep going, I forgot the rest. But I hope this helps someone. I have lived most of my life off grid. Cabins, conversations, rv, fishing boats in the bering, remote oil rigs far away from any help. I know how to do a lot, from actual experience. the most important thing I know is how to admit I don't know something so I can learn.

  • @stellarsea Hmm..... I, too, read thru the entire thread. As it unfolded, even. 🐕

    While I have no use for a wood stove in an RV, I thought it an interesting engineering project. Seemed to have been fairly well thought out. At least at the time. I did not delve into Author's facts and logic too deeply. Seems you have. Would be interesting to have a civil discussion 'twixt the various viewpoints. Maybe Dingus will pop in.

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