Warming up: wood heater installed

It’s been a busy Easter here at the block. Deirdre’s family has been down for a visit so we’ve had 7 people on deck working on the bus. Luckily we had good weather and enough little jobs that we all could be occupied. Having said that the major aim Deirdre and myself set for her families’ visit was to get the flue for the wood heater installed. We set aside Good Friday to be the day for this. What follows is a written and pictorial description of this process.

Installing the WOOD HEATER FLUE

1.Cut a hole in your roof panel and install the roof panel.

Make sure the hole is big enough and if not get out the japanese


Deirdre and her Dad, Hugh, working together to test the roof in the right place.


Deirdre and her Dad completing a dry run of the the flue to make sure it can fit.


Deirdre’s sister Ceara screwing the roof into place.

2. Complete a dry run of the insulation.

Assemble the flue pieces outside. Put the pieces together per instruction. Making sure to complete each skin. Carry these pieces round to the back of the bus. Take them up the ladder with you and from above put the pieces through the roof into place.This will be tricky and you’ll need someone inside directing you and your piece of flue into place. Be prepared to be shouting down flue parts and poking your head down flue pieces in order to be heard. Also be prepared that the pieces will be large and you may need more than one person to feed the flue from above. Furthermore some adjustment in design may be needed when working with the curved roof of a bus as the flue is designed to be installed in a house and not a bus. In this case it was working out how to sit the flue so it would hold in the roof without shifting or falling down. Some creative use of leftover pieces, such as a second rubber cowl place on the inside as well as the outside, helped alleviate this.


Hugh putting the first pieces into place during the test run.


Ceara. In the background Deirdre’s Mum, Mary, and sister, Mairead, are at work putting the fly screen in to stop the bus filling with wasps and flies.

3. Begin

When satisfied that the dry run has been successful take everything back down and put together with some pop rivets. Once the inner, middle and outer skins have been pop riveted take them back up the ladder and working from the outside in feed them piece by piece into the whole on the roof. Make sure that someone is inside ready to help guide them into the fire box as otherwise the bus not the sky may fill with smoke. After you you have got the outside pieces into place install the final inner piece and then add the cap and you should be ready for step 4.


Deirdre and Hugh pop riveting the inner skin


Deirdre and Ceara working together to put the flue in. Hugh is waiting inside guiding the flue into place.

4. Test it with a fire.

Build your kindling pile in the fire, light, watch the flames and step aside. Hopefully you will see smoke billowing out of the flue and not in the bus!


Hoping that after 2 and half years in the tropics my wood box fire skills have not been lost.


A pleasant and comforting sight. Fire at last. We want freeze come winter!


Deirdre and her sister Mairead watching the smoke exiting the newly installed flue!

So that is a guide to installing the wood heater flue in a bus. All in all it took 3 people around 6 hours to install. This is from reading through the instructions to fire. Time would have been shorter no doubt if we were installing it in a roof as we wouldn’t have to have added the extra rubber cowl inside and wouldn’t have had as many issues with the curved roof. But it was a rewarding day to see it all working.


One thought on “Warming up: wood heater installed

  1. I can assure you that your firebox will be your best friend over winter. When we inherited Serendipity Farm from my dad back in 2010 we had to do a fair bit of renovating and I decided to ask for a wood fire/stove in the process. When she was installed we christened her “Brunhilda” as she is a massive Valkyrie of a stove with 4 ovens. She heats our water, heats our small home, gives us the most glorious ambiance and place to come back inside to, makes our dogs incredibly happy (by the way, best of luck getting yourself or your feet ANYWHERE near the heat as your dogs will take up 24/7 residence 😉 ) and we cook in it for the 7 or so months that we have weather cool enough to handle the heat she generates. The primal delight you get from having a wood fire in a cool climate is way above and beyond what you would expect. Excellent tutorial by the way 🙂


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