Installing the log burner

Oh I’ve been looking forward to this bit so much !!…. Working in a cold van for the last 6 months has really taken its toll on me and my friend Mark. Mark has been helping me with the conversion so when we finally got around to installing the burner it was like heaven for us 🙂 plus we could now make tea in the van great stuff….


The main things I needed to take into consideration was the size of the vehicle and Onyx he needed to be comfortable in the van {he can’t take his coat off} so the output of the fire couldn’t be to high. The the size of the van also dictated the size of the burner, not so much the heat output but more the physical size, I didn’t want to take to much room up.

So the hunt began..

Heat output is provided by stove manufacturers in kilowatts (kW), and as a guide I was told that those old heaters that your grandparents had when you was a kid, the ones that glow and you could never touch are about 1 kw per bulb, so the one below would be about 2KW’s and if I remember rightly they were toasty 🙂


I started to look for a small log burner with a maximum heat output of 3KW’s. Once I started researching and speaking with people I soon realised that I wanted not just a normal log burner but a multi stove log burner which means you can burn more types of fuel. The main difference is that on a normal stove the fire is just on the base of the stove where as a multi stove has a grate which allows air underneath the fire. Allowing more types of fuel to be burnt.

To cut a long search short I found the perfect little stove. It was multi fuel, 2KW and a perfect size.

It cost £180 all in that’s the stove 2 meteres of flu a cowl and delivery bargain…

Before I new it I was the owner of a new stove.



Planning a suitable spot for your log burner is important, it should be in a place free from anything that could become a fire hazard, I call this place “my fire free zone”. There are many rules and regulations to follow when installing a log burner into a house but I soon found out that not many people really wanted to advise me the safest way of doing things in a van as it breaks many of the regulations that have been set out. So I had to get advise from friends who live in boats and vans.

HOW I INSTALLED MINE          (please note this is only a guide and I am not a professional installer)

  1. Cut a hole in the roofMARK GRINDER
  2. Clear all insulation away from the flu and any other combustible materials by at least 6 inches, the more the better.20160210_112740
  3. If the flu is single skinned in my case it was then make an outer skin from pressed still making the flu double skinned where it passes out of the roof. {I have a good friend who can do this for you if interested please message me} ..FLU DIAGRAM
  4. Position the log burner into place making sure you leave at least 6 inches around the entire burner.20160301_131613
  5. Place your log burner onto a fire proof material such as vermiculite board or any natural stone or metal.20160419_102652-1
  6. Secure the log burner by bolting it through your chosen material through the floor of the van {this is essential!}.
  7. If your flu will be going up against a wall you will need to protect the entire length of the flu from the wall, you can do this with vermiculite board or pressed still or any other metal. Its important not to directly put the board or metal onto the wall you will need to leave at least a 25mm air gap.20160418_114204-1
  8. Once you have lined the wall you will also need to put a heat plate on the ceiling of the van above the log burner it gets pretty hot up there as you know heat rises.20160418_114204-2This will protect the roof and reflect any heat downwards away from the roof. Its a bit tricky but make sure the plate is cut around the top of the flu as snug as you can. I also put Skamotec board click here in between the heat plate and the roof for added protection and as I had to cut the insulation away from around the flu I didn’t want a cold spot so its also very good to insulate with. Its also much lighter than any other fire boards and can with stand temperatures up to 1000c. 20160309_093838
  9. Secure the flu about half way up with a flu fixing bracket click here. Make sure you get one suited to the diameter of your flu. This stops any movement whilst driving and is just a good safety measure to take.20160418_114204-1-1
  10. Once the flu is in position you will need a rubber flashing to fix to the roof of van to stop any water from coming inside, I used this one as the red one is the higher temperature rated one out of the black one and red one click here 20160210_130417
  11. Use high temperature silicone to fix the flashing to the roof… use plenty you don’t want a leaky roof 🙂 I used this one click here 20160210_12493720160210_125845 (1)
  12. Once that’s done attach a cowl to the top of the flu, allow the diameter of the flu as a guide of how much space you need to leave between the top of the flu and the cowl in my case I left 3 inches.
  13. Now your prety good to go once that’s all done fire her up for a couple of days prior to sleeping in the van just to make sure its all safe, the hotter the better I got mine up to 450c and it all seemed fine. Check with your hand all around the log burner to make sure nothing is exessley hot, you should also get up onto the roof and feel the roof to make sure its not getting to hot, if its all ok at that temperature for a couple of days it should be ok to say that you have done a good job.20160418_114204-3
Have a look at my page on security and safely living in an off grid vehicle


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