The best part about adventure is that it can happen year round. If you have a motorhome or caravan, you are constantly on the move and can even go offthe grid if you are prepared. There’s only one thing holding you back: the heater. Most RVs are not insulated well enough to withstand temperatures around freezing. So if you want to take your RV to the mountains to go skiing, you are going to shiver through the night. That’s why you need something reliable to heat the space, like an RV wood stove.
A wood stove is a great solution to a problem that has always plagued campers. How can you heat the inside of an RV without wasting money? Electric and propane heaters are expensive to run, and you can not go off-grid with them. A wood stove for the RV, on the other hand, is ideal.
But how do you know which stove to choose? Do not worry, here are the answers and a review of the best RV wood stoves on the market. Let us get right to it.
Choosing the best RV wood stove can be a challenge. There are a variety of wood stoves on the market, but not all of them are compatible with your RV or camper. So we went to the trouble of researching the three best units. We compared the heat output, dimensions, quality, features, price, and safety of each unit before determining which three RV wood stoves were the best. Then, we rated these wood stoves on a scale of 0-10 to show you how they compare to each other.
Check out our favorite RV wood stoves below:
- 1. Best for Small RVs: Cubic Mini Wood Stove
- 2. Best Tiny Wood Stove: Kimberly Wood Stove
- 3. Budget-Friendly RV Wood Stove: Mini Woodsman Stove
- Buyer’s guide: How to buy the right wood stove for your RV
- Frequently Asked Questions about RV Wood Stoves
1. Best for Small RVs: Cubic Mini Wood Stove
Made in Canada, the CUB Cubic Mini Wood Stove is an extremely popular option for campers and caravan dwellers. This unit is designed for very small spaces – no larger than 200 square feet – and heats that space quickly and efficiently. If you are looking for a larger version of this RV wood stove, check out the Grizzly Stove from the same manufacturer.
But it’s not just the efficiency of this small unit that makes it a worthwhile purchase. The Cubic Mini Wood Stove is one of the smallest wood stoves available, and it’s beautiful too. The gold accents make it a standout in any decor. Since there are no mechanical elements to the Cubic Mini, it will provide you with many years of a warm and cozy RV. With the open cooking area and charming flames, you can also entertain guests.
Installation is effortless. All you need is some fire protection and a suitable bracket to get started. There are a few things you should be aware of with this unit. First, the maximum length of wood in the firebox is 5.75 inches because it is so small. Also, the stove tends to use up the wood in less than 3 hours, so you may have to stay up all night to keep the RV warm.
2. Best Tiny Wood Stove: Kimberly Wood Stove
The Kimberly wood stove from Unforgettable Fire looks sleek and high-tech, adding a futuristic touch to your quaint RV, van or camper. When in operation, the Kimberly is efficient and environmentally friendly thanks to its unique design. This RV wood stove features a secondary combustion chamber that burns particles that make the smoke visible, so once the smoke rises from the chimney, it is almost invisible. As for efficiency, you do not have to worry about the wood burning quickly. A single pressed log will burn slowly throughout the night, radiating a luxurious warmth. And did we mention you can cook on the lid?
The unit is designed to fit on both houseboats and RVs, so the design is compact enough for a small space. Plus, the body is insulated. Heat is radiated from the front of the stove and hot plate, so there are no drafts. You also do not have to worry about children or pets accidentally burning themselves. The insulation keeps the Kimberly Wood Stove cool from the outside.
The Kimberly gives off a lot of heat – so much that smaller campers could overheat. Another thing to consider is that the Kimberly is very expensive – ten times more expensive than the Mini Woodsman Stove and the Cubic Mini Stove. But if you plan to live off-grid for some time and heat a larger space, this RV wood stove is a worthwhile investment.
3. Budget-Friendly RV Wood Stove: Mini Woodsman Stove
The Mini Woodsman Stove from North Woods Fabrication is a 15.5×11×11 inch affordable masterpiece that can heat a 100-200 square foot room quickly and efficiently. It’s a wonderful option for school dorms, RVs, and smaller campers. If you are looking for something small and easy to use, the Mini Woodsman Stove is just the ticket. And since the stove gives off enough heat to warm your RV within 10-15 minutes, you really can not say no.
The design is quite different from the first two. This no-frills RV wood stove is modest and simple, and does not have many features that drive up the price. It does have a built-in connection for a flue pipe, but you’ll have to buy that separately. One thing the Mini Woodsman Stove does well is that you can see the flickering flames through the glass window. The chrome handles stay cool, so you do not have to worry about using oven mitts to replace the wood.
Buyer’s guide: How to buy the right wood stove for your RV
Now that you have seen some of the best RV wood stoves currently available, you need to know what to look for. Before you decide to buy one, there are a few things you should consider:
You may think that bigger is better, but that is not the case with wood stoves. Buying a stove that is too big will put you in an awkward position because not only have you paid too much for a stove, but you have also brought a safety hazard into your RV. Larger stoves require more wood and generate too much heat. If you do not like to fry, your RV will become unbearably hot from the large wood stove.
Therefore, you should aim for a specific range BTU. 3,000-8,000 BTU is adequate for smaller caravans, vans, campers and motorhomes. 6,000-14,000 will allow you to heat motorhomes of about 200 square feet. If you have a more spacious motorhome, trailer, camper or caravan, you should aim for 40,000-60,000 BTU.
Remember that the amount of BTU /hour needed changes as you move from a temperate zone to a frostier zone. For example, if temperatures drop near freezing and your RV is not well insulated, you may need more BTUs than on fall evenings.
Many new models come with a number of features that make wood stoves for RVs and other recreational vehicles safer than ever. Some of these features make it easier to regulate heat and get started. Others ensure that soot does not build up in the chimney. While these features often increase the cost of a product, it’s always in your best interest to buy a wood stove with safety features, especially if you are traveling with children or pets.
An efficient appliance uses less wood, gives off more heat, and is better for the environment. Older models tend to be much more inefficient. So look for newer models that are more than 70 percent efficient. You will not regret it.
What does it mean if you can not find the efficiency rating on a wood stove? It probably does not meet EPA standards and is not worth your time.
If you can not install a wood stove properly, it’s useless, even if it’s the right size. You should find an RV wood burning stove that is not too complicated to install and allows you to set everything up properly. Consider where it will be placed and if there is enough space between the unit, walls and other furnishings.
To ensure your stove is working properly and not posing a safety hazard, maintenance is essential. Clean the chimney at the end of the season and before you put the stove back into use.
If you are unsure how to maintain your mobile home wood stove, you should hire a certified chimney sweep. For example, the Chimney Safety Institute of America has certified technicians who are up to the task of cleaning the stove’s chimney. They are also able to inspect the chimney and identify potential safety hazards.
You do not want a stove that emits smoke and ash to pollute the air in your RV. Look for units with a low smoke output of about 2.0-3.0 grams/hour. Check EPA for a list of stoves that emit less than 2.0 g/hour to find the best unit for you.
Can you put a wood stove in a mobile home?
Yes, you can install a wood stove in a mobile home. Otherwise, we would recommend something completely unsafe! However, there is a catch to installing a wood stove in an RV. You need to install the stove and vent properly, and be careful when using and maintaining the stove. If you do that, you’ll have an RV that will make you feel right at home, no matter how cool the temperatures are.
Wood stoves are also more beneficial than other types of heating. You can easily camp or stay overnight without having to rely on an energy source for heat. Running a wood stove is minimal because wood is available almost everywhere. Fire up the stove, and you can prepare a meal and warm up quickly. Plus, you can not ignore the glowing ambiance of a wood stove. You’ll actually feel like you are camping instead of snuggling around a whirring fan heater.
Another advantage of a wood stove is the type of heat it produces. Dry heat is much better than heat from propane. With a propane heater, the windows could be covered in condensation or mold, and no one wants that.
What is the smallest wood stove on the market?
The smallest wood stove currently available is the Tiny Wood Stove Dwarf 3KW Lite with a volume of 1,360 cubic inches or 10×8.5×17 inches. The Cubic Mini Cub Wood Stove follows close behind at 1,386 cubic inches or 11×12×10.5 inches.
The smaller the wood stove, the less space it can heat. So if you have a recreational vehicle, a small wood stove is ideal for heating the entire vehicle. Larger recreational vehicles and RVs require a stove with far more BTUs.
Frequently Asked Questions about RV Wood Stoves
Here are some frequently asked questions about RV wood stoves:
1. How do you install a wood stove in an RV?
Most wood stoves for RVs are sold with installation instructions from the manufacturer. Because of this, installation may vary from brand to brand. Still, there is one important consideration when installing a wood stove in your RV: finding a safe place. You will need to set up an area with heat-resistant materials that will protect your RV’s walls and other surfaces from the heat emitted by the stove.
Next, you’ll need a way to anchor the stove so it does not tip over while you are driving. The last thing you need to do is cut a hole in the roof through which you can run the exhaust pipe for ventilation. You should also remember that a cap is required for the chimney. The cap is necessary to prevent air from flowing through the flue pipe and blowing ash and embers everywhere.
Do not forget to remove the cap when you have parked up for the evening and want to fire up the stove.
2. How do you size a fireplace stove?
If you are wondering how big of a wood stove you need to heat your RV, camper or van, always measure first. Sizing a wood stove will prevent you from making a big mistake. In other words, you do not want to buy the biggest stove out there.
First, you need to know how big of a space you want to heat. RVs are not much bigger than 400 square feet, which means a mini wood stove like the Cubic Mini Stove (1386 cubic inches) might be enough to heat most of the space. Most wood stoves for RVs are rated in kilowatts (KW), but
Many dealers also offer calculators to help you find the right size wood stove for your RV. A motorhome that is 23 feet long, 7 feet wide and 7 feet high will need a 5-kW stove.
3. Are wood stoves worth it?
Yes, wood stoves for RVs are worth it for the following reason: they pay for themselves. Since you do not have to rely on gas, propane, or electricity, you save on utility costs. You can go into the woods and find wood for free. You also do not have to rely on electricity sources for heat. This means you can go a little farther afield or find a place off the grid without worrying about comfort.
Wood stoves can also be used for cooking and drying clothes. When you consider these factors along with the cost of buying and installing a unit, you’ll find that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
4. Are wood stoves safe in an RV?
Yes. If you install your wood stove properly, provide adequate ventilation, and perform regular maintenance, a wood stove in an RV is perfectly safe. You should also make sure that the stove does not prevent anyone from leaving the RV, tent, coach, or trailer in case of an emergency. If you are worried about the smoke or carbon dioxide, you should install some detectors in your vehicle for peace of mind.
Although these RV wood stoves are small, they are the best of the best when it comes to heating your RV safely and sustainably. You can buy a less expensive model or make an investment that will last a lifetime. Either way, you know the heat source is reliable enough to go offthe grid for a while. While each model has some pros and cons, you should be able to find one that fits your RV or camper, as well as your preferences.