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Old 07-14-2014, 02:35 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 38
Stove or NO stove

Again, I am new to the forum and looking in to ordering a new SMB. So really trying to do research. My current struggle is to get the stove in the Van or not. Seems like a lot of people here do both. We will be going with a full on 4x4 build and camping as much as possible. Usually, when I camp now, I bring a pretty good size BBQ and do most of my cooking there. But I have to imagine it would be nice to get the coffee pot on the stove int he morning, nice to have in cold weather, etc. etc.

It doesn't seem like storage for the stove unit itself is much of an issue, fairly shallow, counter top cover over it when not in use, right? But it runs off propane, correct? How big is that unit, how much storage does that take up, where does it live.

Also seems like a lot of people go without it and then get the little single burner stoves: ... ess-steel/

I don't know, looking for guidance and experience...? Theere has to be SOME of that on here right?

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Old 07-14-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
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Re: Stove or NO stove

I chose to go without a built-in stove since I figured that the small van interior would get overwhelmed with cooking smells. I carry a couple of butane burners & do have the microwave built in.

2013 E-350 6.8L V10 4x4 RB50, penthouse top, Aluminess bumpers
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:00 PM   #3
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Re: Stove or NO stove

I don't do a lot of cooking on my stove, but having a stove inside is a good way to heat up water for oatmeal, coffee, and hot chocolate on a cold morning. If it's more complicated, I try to take the task outside on a camp stove - especially if it involves bacon.

However, there is another reason you might want a stove: Insurance. You could save some money if you have the right build. Here is Progressive's list for a class B RV like Sportsmobile:

A class B camper van has the following characteristics: Built by the factory for camping purposes with sleeping, kitchen, toilet facilities, 110 volt hookup, fresh water storage and an extension roof. ... insurance/

FWIW, something to think about as you make your plans. Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:05 PM   #4
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Re: Stove or NO stove

We have both. The two burner stove in the van is good for morning tea and when it is nasty outside. Nasty means rain, high winds, cold etc. The outside gas barbecue has a burner to place a pot on but sometimes it is nice to have a couple of pots going so we use both.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:21 PM   #5
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Re: Stove or NO stove

We do not have a built-in stove. We use a 2-burner propane stove either on the counter top, the door galley, the little 3-footed table (both of those are usually under the awning) or the campsite picnic table. We really like not being constrained to cooking inside.

For morning hot water, we have a small electric kettle that lives in the drawer over the potty. It'll boil a few cups of water in a few minutes for just a little power off the house battery.

Now, we store our stove (and a little propane grill) under the bed of our '50 floorplan so generally we have to go outside to get the stove when we arrive at camp. But if I know it'll be raining, I'll just get the stove out and stash it behind the driver's seat ahead of time.

I don't think stove / no stove would be a dealbreaker if I bought another used van, but if I were buying new, I'd leave it out. Especially if it were going to be my only propane appliance.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:24 AM   #6
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Re: Stove or NO stove

The Progressive List:

A class B camper van has the following characteristics:

Built by the factory for camping purposes with sleeping, kitchen, toilet facilities, 110 volt hookup, fresh water storage and an extension roof.

Most economical, versatile and maneuverable type of motor home.
Narrower than other motor homes because it utilizes space within the existing van body.
Ranges from 16 to 21 feet in length.
Typically sleeps up to 4 people.
All features are installed by the RV manufacturer.
Does not include conversion vans.

So..... Therefore conversion vans are not Class B's......... at least by Progressives definition.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:28 AM   #7
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Re: Stove or NO stove

I have propane (for the furnace) and originally had a stove but I chose to leave it out when I rebuilt my cabinets. We use a freestanding single burner if we need one inside and outside we always have our grill/stove combo thing. The stoves don't take up much counter space (if they have a cover) but they do use up a little depth, which I thought could be better used for more drawer space.

One other thing to consider with a stove that is not mentioned much is that most of them RATTLE!!!
No, they don't all rattle I'm sure, and yes you can minimize this with a little creativity, but every one I've had rattled and that's something I really hate when in the van. Just food for thought.

If you are considering a propane system (tank underneath the van) just for a stove I would leave it out. It's a pretty expensive option and that space can be used for a lot of things under the van. They are usually mounted on the driver's side frame rail about midship. Look for the propane door on any SMB picture here. If you need a furnace though I highly recommend a fixed propane tank.

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Old 07-15-2014, 08:30 AM   #8
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Re: Stove or NO stove

Everyone I know doesn't cook inside the van. We all have portable butane single burners. But then again all those I've encountered live where I do. So cal where it never rains.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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Re: Stove or NO stove

Unlike Ocsmb, we've never cooked outside except for BBQing. Cooking is not a part of camping that we make a big deal out of...quick and easy is our preference. Thus, we don't cook extensive meals, we BBQ whenever we are having meat, and use the stove mainly for boiling water for pasta or cooking rice to go with steaks. Together with the microwave, the stove gives us options, especially when it cold or raining outside or during the winter when it gets dark before dinner time.

Our stove doesn't rattle. SMB suggests storing a dish towel on top of the burners (which lifts the lid slightly) to eliminate the rattle. That seemed too simplistic so I bought 8" of rubber hose from the hardware store (maybe 1/4 id), cut it into two pieces, sliced it lengthwise, and slipped them onto the front lip of the stove cover...problem solved.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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Re: Stove or NO stove

I have yet to use my stove inside the van. I've turned it on once to see if it works and it does, but haven't ever turned it on since. We bought ours used so I didn't have a choice but we have used the heater a number of times.

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