Campervans grant their owners an enormous sense of freedom. Having a home on wheels means you can explore the UK and beyond at your own pace, set your own travel agenda and enjoy lots of spontaneous, last-minute trips.
Indeed, the reason why many people choose a campervan over a caravan is because of the freedom and flexibility it provides.
It’s your transport and accommodation all rolled into one; many consider their camper their home from home.
Of course, any ‘home from home’ needs to contain a good deal of the essentials we’d find in our actual houses.
Our campers are equipped with kitchen, bathroom and bedroom facilities and equipment, allowing us to travel in a self-sufficient way.
But there are lots of owners who have taken on the task of retrofitting even more features to their campervans to make them even more homely – wood-burning stoves being one of them.
If you enjoy year-round campervanning, a stove could make the perfect addition to your mobile home. Just imagine snuggling up in front of it in the evening on those chilly winter nights?
If you’re interested in embarking on a DIY stove project, this guide shares some tips you might find useful.
Having a stove in your camper is a cosy addition but it can also carry some risks. That’s why it’s important to have the right campervan insurance in place.
Here at Motorhome Protect, we can set you up with a policy tailored to your specific needs, for a price that’s right.
Whether you have a shiny new camper or a retro classic, leave it to us to search the market and get you insured.
The policies we arrange can include unlimited European cover as an extra, as well as features such as breakdown cover in the UK and Europe and up to £3,500 worth of contents protection.
You could benefit from discounted insurance if you travel limited miles, too.
How to install a wood stove
Obviously, the size of wood burner and fittings will depend on your needs as well as the size of the space. But we can share the general process, as outlined in an Anevay Stoves blog:
- A small stove (a stove company will be able to advise on suitable options for your specific campervan, requirements and budget).
- An insulated flue kit – this will include all flue parts and fittings for the stove. An insulated flue is recommended as it will prevent accidentally touching the hot flue in the small space and is safer, as the outside temperature of it is cooler.
- Flashing kit designed for a solid roof (this will create a watertight and heat-proof seal around the flue when it leaves the camper roof. It might be included in a flue kit and the pitch of your camper roof will determine the angle.
- Cowl – this will stop rain from coming into the camper and may be included in a basic flue kit.
- Heat shield – if fitting the stove in the corner of your camper then you’ll need a corner heat shield.
First things first: before you embark on this project you need to be totally sure that installing a stove is safe given your van’s size.
There must be a suitable, safe space between the stove and other combustibles.
For example, a stove may require clearance of 250mm to the rear and 300mm to the side, explains Anevay Stoves.
If you’re sure it’s safe and know where it’s going to go, you’ll need to assess where the flue will exit the roof.
Bear in mind you’ll need to leave some extra space where it leaves the roof, and space between the flue surface and combustibles.
The next thing is to gather all your tools and parts together to make them easily accessible.
Position the stove where you want it to go and construct the flue, so you know exactly where the hole needs to be cut.
Now, you’ll need the flashing kit. Use it as a stencil on the roof exterior, tracing the inside of the hole.
Cut around the inside of the circle using an angle grinder or jigsaw – you might need to repeat this on the inside if your camper roof is insulated, making sure the holes line up and leaving at least 60mm between the hole edge and flue pipe.
While doing the above, take the stove outdoors to cure the paint. Attach a metre of flue and use a curing pack to light the stove.
Secure the flashing in place on the roof exterior and use silicone sealant to seal down, then secure it to the roof using self-drilling screws.
Push the flue up through the flashing kit from inside your van before fixing the cowl.
Attach the flue to the collar at the rear of the stove and, voila! You have yourself your own wood-burning stove!
Quick safety tips
- Fit a carbon monoxide alarm near the stove as per guidelines.
- Check the stove and flue on a regular basis to ensure everything is working as it should.
- Ensure walls or cupboards close to the stove are protected with a suitable heat shield.
- Be mindful of the height of the flue. If your campervan has a high roof then you need to be aware of the cowl height when you pass under bridges or barriers. It’s not unheard of for campers to have their cowl ripped off by a low tree or bridge!
- If you think your cowl is too high and is proving impractical then you could replace it with a flue cap when you’re driving. You just need to remember to remove the cap before lighting the stove.
Campervan insurance from Motorhome Protect
Before you set off on your first adventure with your new stove, make sure you have the right level of cover by taking out campervan insurance with Motorhome Protect.
After giving us a few details, we’ll search our panel of leading insurers to find you the most suitable policy – and remember, if you’ve fitted a gas stove yourself you will most likely need to provide us with a copy of your Gas Safety Certificate.