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Can Woodstoves Be Installed In Campers?

Most RVs are heated with propane furnaces. However, another heating option is an RV wood stove. Yes you can actually install wood stoves in RV’s and tiny houses! They’re designed specifically for RVs and maximize space and safety. 

RV wood stoves offer a rustic and environmentally friendly heating solution. They’re carefully crafted for safety and come equipped with features such as heat shields and secure ventilation systems. Some models even offer additional functionalities, such as cooking surfaces. While propane furnaces remain popular and the most common for their convenience, RV wood stoves cater to a niche market of campers seeking a charming and unique heating experience on the road.

woodstove vent on travel trailer

Is It Safe to Burn Wood Inside Your RV?

It can be safe to burn wood inside your RV as long as you correctly install your stove and follow basic safety guidelines. Because of the heat given off by a wood stove, you need to have enough space in your rig to allow for proper clearance. You need to install a heat shield and place the stove where it won’t set anything on fire from the radiant heat, and a chimney flue to vent the fumes out.

The biggest danger to running a woodstove in an RV is not actually fire, but the small space and carbon monoxide risk. There is also the potential to consume too much oxygen. Because of these risks, a window must be left cracked when burning wood, and CO, O2, and CO2 sensors are highly recommended.

Pro Tip: Keep warm this winter by using one of these 7 Best Ways to Heat Your RV.

Benefits of RV Wood-Burning Stoves 

While there is no one-size-fits-all heating solution for each rig, there are some pros to using an RV wood-burning stove to heat your RV. If you’re trying to decide if it’s worth switching to a wood stove in your rig, check out these benefits: 

  • Electricity Free – For those who enjoy boondocking, this is a great option for staying warm while in the wild.
  • Affordability – RV wood stoves are both affordable to install and use. They will almost always be cheaper than using propane, and you may be able to gather wood for free.
  • Extra Cooking Space – Depending on the size of the stove, you may be able to cook on the top surface.
  • Reduced Condensation – The dry heat produced from burning wood can help remove moisture from your rig.

Cons of RV Wood-Burning Stoves 

Of course, there are always two sides to every coin. While  there are some benefits to installing an RV wood stove, you will also want to consider the following things:

  • Carbon Monoxide Risk – Carbon monoxide poisoning is a risk for anyone who burns wood and this is no exception to RVs. You will want to make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in your rig if you plan on using a wood stove.
  • Smoke Sensitivity – The small space of a camper will commonly have air quality issues even without a fireplace. Add smoke and air quality can get bad very quick.
  • Cleaning Schedule – You will need to regularly clean the stove and flue to prevent ash and fume buildup.
  • Flame Monitoring – If it’s cold outside and your fire goes out at night, you could end up with burst pipes or hoses. You also can’t leave the fire burning when out of your camper which could impact your rig.
  • Wood Storage – RVs don’t come with a ton of storage space and you will need to find somewhere to keep the wood for your stove.

What RV Woodstoves Are Available


For those looking to install a wood stove in an RV, several options cater to the unique needs and space constraints of RV living. Here’s a summary of some available wood stoves suitable for RV installation:

  1. Cubic Mini Wood Stove (CB 1008): Known for its compact design, the Cubic Mini is ideal for spaces up to 200 square feet. It’s popular in tiny homes and RVs due to its secondary combustion system that minimizes smoke. This model is lightweight at 29 pounds, making it suitable for even the smallest campers​​.
  2. Dickinson Marine Newport: This model is celebrated for its efficiency and lightweight design, weighing only 15 pounds. It’s capable of producing 8,000 BTUs of dry heat with minimal smoke, perfect for smaller boats and RVs​​.
  3. The Kimberly: Offering a combination of style and functionality, The Kimberly is a premium wood stove that can heat a large RV for 8 hours on one load of fuel. It’s known for its efficiency and the option to accessorize for cooking, baking, and even generating electricity​​.
  4. The Mini Woodsman: A product of North Woods Fabrication, this tiny stove is suitable for heating spaces as large as 200 sq ft and is praised for its quick heating capability and portable design, weighing just 23.5 pounds​​.
  5. The Hobbit Stove: For those in Europe this stove is tall and thin, designed to save space while providing enough heat for a decent-size van or RV. It’s compatible with wood, coal, or eco logs and can take logs up to 8″ long​​.

When selecting a wood stove for your RV, consider factors like space, weight, and the specific heating needs of your RV. Also, be aware of the inherent risks associated with using wood stoves in confined spaces, such as fire hazards, carbon monoxide production, and the need for proper ventilation​​. It’s crucial to follow safety guidelines, perform regular maintenance, and ensure the stove is installed correctly to enjoy the benefits of wood heating safely.

custom trailer woodstove

Pro Tip: We uncovered how your RV is insulated to help you improve it for your winter adventures.

Installing an RV Wood Stove

Installing a wood stove in your RV is a process that requires careful planning and consideration for safety, space, and functionality. While installation is going to be unique to every RV or tiny house or cabin here are some general considerations. You can dive deeper into installation topics over at tinywoodstove.com

Stove Placement And Clearance

The wood stove should be placed on a non-combustible surface, such as a stone or metal hearth pad, to protect the floor from heat and any embers that might escape.

Adequate clearance from combustible materials (walls, furniture, etc.) is crucial. This distance varies depending on the stove model and the use of heat shields, which can reduce required clearance.

Venting

Proper venting is essential for safely removing smoke and gases from the interior. This typically involves installing a chimney or flue pipe that extends above the peak of the roof to ensure good draft and to keep smoke away from the living area. The specific requirements for chimney height and installation can vary based on the stove model and local building codes.

Heat Shields

Installing heat shields on walls near the stove can reduce the clearance required and increase safety. These should be made of non-combustible materials and properly anchored.

Air Supply

Ensuring there is an adequate air supply to the wood stove is necessary for efficient combustion and to prevent the risk of carbon monoxide accumulation. Some stoves require direct external air intakes.

Cubic Mini WOOD STOVE in a VAN | Full Install & Review

Stay Warm And Safe With RV Woodstoves

I want to close with one final reminder that burning wood produces CO and consumes O2. This can KILL YOU. Always allow air in and have two monitors to check CO and O2. The benefits of a woodstove are not worth your life.

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While you may not be able to build a campfire outside while RVing in the colder months, you can still enjoy the crackling sounds of a flame with an RV wood stove. Not only are RV wood stoves aesthetically pleasing, but they’re also a practical way to keep warm in the winter. 

Would you install an RV wood stove in your rig? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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Marc Stauffer

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

We have a Woodstove installed in our small travel trailer and love it. It is a Dickenson marine stove designed for boats and burns small twigs, wood chunks and even hardwood coal. It is a wall mount and takes little space. Remember to provide for an outside air source when using. We have an adjustable vent next to the stove that brings in fresh air.

Mark

Saturday 5th of December 2020

Though most of the pros/cons are the same I wish you had included pellet stoves in your article because there are distinct advantages to using them including super high efficiency combustion.

Mortons on the Move

Monday 7th of December 2020

Thank you for the suggestion!

Not So Free

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

I have a series of RV pictures of rigs from the 20's and 30's on my laptop. Almost every one of them had a wood stove. Like the old saying, Everything old is new again.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

That's so cool! Indeed, the tried and true things stick around. :D