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Old 04-07-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
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From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

First off, this forum is great! What a rich source of information and sometimes, solace. Thanks to all of you who contribute, answer and moderate!
We're getting into the trenches now on our Sprinter RB50 build at SMB Indiana. Penthouse and they have onsite already. I know I'm gonna have questions so will do better at collating and asking them many at a time but this post I only have one: I'm thinking... since we are not interested in propane furnace or water heater, I'm looking at the onboard propane system and the stove to be a $1600 luxury just to run the stove. I'm thinking Coleman two-burner portable (which we have two of anyway for our 1974 VW Sportsmobile) and using Coleman on a limited basis inside if needed for coffee in the morning and outside for most cooking.
Can anyone talk me out of that idea? Any RV penalty for not having a stove onboard?
Thanks for all.
Michael B.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

If you have no problem using the Coleman stove, then the only drawback I can see to not having propane is the lack of heat. When I wake up and the temps are in the teens inside, I like my furnace.

Mike
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

If you need the vehicle defined as an RV for tax, insurance or financing reasons, you may want to check with your provider. Some require "cooking, toilet, and sleeping facilities" but not sure if a portable stove qualifies.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

Thanks for replies.
Mike, SMB (Nancy) hinted that furnace takes up a lot of room w. ducting etc in the RB50 and we weren't too keen on one anyway. With 220 pounds of German Shepherds they can heat up a cabin pretty well, too.
And DHally, the RV classification is a bigger issue.

Anyone out there opt out of a stove/propane system and then regret later?

And DHally, what year bay window is that? Can't see a Westy or Sportsmobile top to it. Is there one?
Michael B.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

A microwave is supposed to cover the cooking end of the RV classification. There are times I wish I had a diesel cook top such as when bad weather hits. But the little butane stove works OK if you don't mind packing extra fuel. The only other factor for me with a coleman propane would be size and how hot will the bottom get or will it scratch something sitting on the countertop. I get by fine with a single burner propane stove outside most of the time and try to avoid cooking (and eating) inside. But I have a smaller vehicle than what you are building

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Old 04-08-2011, 05:32 PM   #6
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1974VWSportsmobile
...And DHally, what year bay window is that? Can't see a Westy or Sportsmobile top to it. Is there one?
Michael B.
That isn't my van.... It is a camping "cabin" at a campground in Canada. I just thought it was a cute avatar until we get our van. Here's another one.
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Camping cabin Crumby.jpg  
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:19 PM   #7
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1974VWSportsmobile
Thanks for replies.
Mike, SMB (Nancy) hinted that furnace takes up a lot of room w. ducting etc in the RB50 and we weren't too keen on one anyway. With 220 pounds of German Shepherds they can heat up a cabin pretty well, too.
Michael B.
IMHO propane stove and heater are needed
FYAO (freezing your a$$ off) and then setting up a coleman
Not for me

Throw on a alumines rear bump w/ baja box and a roof rack
for more space

IMHO

bw out

ps
i also love my water heater
we had hot showers in the snow saturday morning
then back in the toasty warm rig.....
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:55 AM   #8
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

One option for heat is using an Espar coolant heater with the factory rear heat. This takes up much less space than a furnace. And, it runs off the van's fuel tank, so no propane plumbing is needed.

You could also look at some of the built in marine style stoves, which do not need need propane plumbing.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:13 PM   #9
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

Ditto the Espar Hydronic. If you have the $, I think that is a brilliant use of space giving you as much hot water as you can hold in your tank with a flat plate. If you need cabin heat, look into the Espar heaters.

I'm doing a homebuild so I certainly have different parameters than ordering off the show room; however, we have opted to not install a permanent cook top because 1) I don't have propane on board, 2) didn't want to sacrifice the additional counter / drawer space, 3) Wanted the option to be able to cook outside anytime which will probably be more often than not.

I'm going to have a simple butane burner like the ones that SMB furnishes in case I want to make coffee or oatmeal in the morning without opening the doors, and then will use the standard Coleman 2-burner for outdoor cooking duty.

Check with SMB, but I think that when they furnish the little butane burner as 'standard' equipment that it counts towards the stove criteria for being an RV.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:16 AM   #10
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Re: From newbie: SMB build planning stove question

Great feedback friends! I'm realizing that my "baseline" for comfort is derived from my experiences in the 1974 Spartan SMB that we have used for 10 years. Mind shift to think in terms of 2011 luxury!
I'm visiting SMB Indiana this weekend and things will be clearer then. Thanks for all the ideas. This site is a wealth of info and experience.
MB
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