If you are considering taking your camper van to colder climates, you are going to want to install some form of heating. There are lots of options, but one of the most sustainable, and cozy, choices is a wood stove.
Wood stoves provide an ambiance that is difficult to replicate, as well as pumping out a substantial amount of heat. Keep reading for more information about the top 7 van wood stoves on the market today.
Top 7 camper van wood stoves:
1. Dwarf 3KW
Don’t let the name fool you, this stove packs a good punch. The 3 kw refers to the heat produced, in comparison the Cubic Mini above produces around 2 kw. The Dwarf stove will keep you toasty on the coldest of nights.
Also, make sure to check out @roaming.nomads / tinywoodstove.com feature to see this stove in action.
It is comparable to the Cubic mini in many ways. It is perfect for areas under 300 sq feet, so possibly a good choice if you have a larger van or even a bus conversion.
Tiny Wood Stove, the company that makes the Dwarf, have made it as robust as possible. It is intended for daily use and the materials it is constructed from are perfectly suited to heavy use.
The stove is made from a mixture of cast iron and steel plating, making it a very hard-wearing stove, perfect for full time van dwellers. The door also has a nice window in it, allowing you to get some of the cozy light from the fire.
This stove is unique in that the flue can come out of the back or the top of the stove. Having
it out of the back provides extra cooking space on top. Alternatively, having the flue out of the top reduces the amount of clearance you need around the stove. The stove is very compact, standing 17 in tall, 10.25 in wide, and 8.5 in deep. It weighs in at 75 lbs, due to its sturdy construction.
At $795 it sits somewhat in the mid-range price, not as expensive as some of the stoves but also not the cheapest. Its bomb-proof construction at this price point makes it quite an attractive option.
The Dwarf also has a few optional extras, like legs and an oven, that would make it an even better van wood stove.
1. Kimberly Wood Stove
The Kimberly wood stove has an impressive design that makes it a perfect candidate for use in your camper van. It was built by Roger Lehet while he was living on a small boat, so it’s made with small spaces in mind.
This wood stove excels in two main areas, the first is using as little fuel as possible and the second is not taking up too much space.
The unique design of the wood stove uses gasification technology to provide two stage combustion. This means the wood is burnt to form a gas, which is then also burnt, making sure you get the most out of your fuel. It also produces a very low amount of smoke, which keeps unpleasant smells to a minimum.
It weighs in at 56 lbs and has a 12 in base and 10 in diameter in the middle of the stove. The stove is also approved for 6 inches of side clearance, making it great for small spaces. It also comes with a cook top providing an extra way of cooking.
It comes with a high cost, but you get a great quality, well-engineered product with a five-year warranty. The price starts at $3,750, making it the most expensive stove on this list, but also the most well engineered.
2. CUB Cubic Mini Wood Stove
The CUB wood stove is another great contender for a camper van wood stove. Its impressively small size means you will be able to squeeze it into any corner of your van without a problem.
This stove also uses a secondary combustion system to reduce the amount of smoke produced. This model of stove is specifically designed for use in areas less than 200 square feet, making it a perfect choice for a camper van.
The dimensions of this stove are 12 in high, 11 in wide, and 10.5 in deep. There is a rail that sits on the top of the stove that can be removed to provide a cooking area 5 in deep and 11 in wide.
With proper reflective shielding you can have side clearance as low as 3 in. This is a massive advantage in a camper van as it allows you to tuck the stove out of the way. Without shielding the clearance significantly increased to 20 in.
The CUB Mini wood stove is also more budget friendly. The mini wood stove is only $464, which compared to the Kimberly stove, is a great price. This price does not include the reflective shielding or the flue, which must be purchased separately.
The best fuel size for this stove is around 5 inches, meaning your wood can be kept small to make storage in your van much easier.
4. Skippy by Shipmate
Skippy is something a little different, full of character. It’s a classic fisherman’s cast iron wood stove designed to be used on a boat. However, it could very easily be adapted to a camper van of any kind.
The stove comes in two shapes, oval and rectangular, you can also choose the porcelain color of the stove. Options include blue, green, black and red.
These options are not available on many other stoves and is partly what makes the Skippy quite unique. You get to have a stove with a little bit more character than just plain black cast iron, which for some people will be a nice selling point.
Skippy comes with a sea rail which can be removed giving you a large flat cook top should you want to cook on your stove. Alternatively, you can leave the rail in for a little bit more character.
Its dimensions are 13.5 in high, 17.75 in wide, and 13.75 in deep making it only slightly larger than some of the smallest stoves on this list. It is one of the more expensive stoves on the list, with prices starting around $955 and increasing depending on the trim, shape, and color you select.
5. Survivor Cub Camp Stove
The Survivor Cub camp stove is another tough as nails choice for a wood stove. Designed for use in the outdoors and small shelters like tents or vans. It is made of welded 12-gauge steel meaning it is virtually indestructible and will last a lifetime.
It comes in 3 sizes, but for the purpose of this write up we will be looking at the smallest model, the Cub. This stove focuses on simplicity, which means it doesn’t use any fancy secondary combustion. Instead, it has simple air flow controls and is a standard rectangular design.
This further adds to the robust design of the stove, as there are less complicated parts that can break. It does mean that you don’t get advanced features like smokeless burns, however for some that won’t be a problem.
The stove has an off-set flue, which provides a great cook top space on the stove. The dimensions of the cub are as follows, 11.5 in high, 14.5 in wide, 19.5 in deep. As you can see it is quite deep, which means you can fit larger logs into this stove.
It weighs in at 38 lbs and the price tag is a lowly $179 for the stove itself. If you want you can purchase the cub kit which includes the flue and a shelf, this kit brings the price to $259.99.
The Cub is perfect for anyone with a tighter budget who doesn’t want to sacrifice build quality. It’s simple and strong, guaranteed to give you years of good use.
6. The Hobbit Stove
As the name suggests, this stove is a stunningly designed compact wood stove perfect for use in small spaces like vans. It is, in my opinion, one of the best-looking stoves on this list. It has a large window in the main door, allowing that campfire ambiance to permeate your van.
The air flow controls are at the front of the stove, making it easy to control the burn of the stove. The stove measures 18 in high, 11 in wide, and 10.5 in deep, making it a comparable size to the other stoves on this list.
It is a 4 kw stove, which means it is going to provide you ample heat for your van. It is made from cast iron, but there are a whole host of customization options. You can choose the color of the body, top door, lower door, and air flow wheel, which makes this another great option for those that like character.
You can also purchase all the extras you could need, like heat shields, with the stove making it easy to get fully kitted out.
The hobbit is another quite expensive model, coming in at around $850 before you purchase the optional extras like heat shields and stands. However, as I previously mentioned, it is a very nicely designed stove so could be worth splashing out on.
7. Newport P12000
This last one is something a bit different. It isn’t strictly a wood burning stove, but it is a fireplace. The Newport P12000 has a very futuristic sounding name, but it’s actually a propane fireplace.
A direct vent allows this propane fire to safely be used in confined spaces, and it was initially designed for use in boats. However, it is a great option for use in a camper van. The stove comes with a stainless-steel backing plate and a length of flexible chimney.
The Newport fireplace is very compact, weighing only 15 lbs, with dimensions of 16 in high, 10 in wide, and 7.25 in deep. This makes it a fantastic choice if you are very space restricted in your van. This heater is going to set you back $1,487.21.
The only caveat to this fireplace is that they are designed for use near sea level. If you want to ascend to higher than 2000 feet you need to adjust the size of the intake. However, the company is happy to help you do this, all you have to do is reach out to them.
There are a lot of options on this list, ranging from high end stoves with complex designs to simple wood stoves that offer robust quality at a more affordable price.
I think the Dwarf 3KW offers a fantastic balance between price and quality. It will provide you with ample heat for your tiny home, without being overkill. In addition to that you get good flexibility in installation, because the flu can be directed out of the top or the rear.
Furthermore, you have great air control with the stove allowing you to moderate your fuel usage and ensure you get the most out of your wood. It isn’t the cheapest option on the list, but it also isn’t the most expensive, making it a great middle of the road choice.
How do you install a wood-burning stove in a van?
Installing a wood stove in a van requires you to have an outlet for the stove’s flue, you can situate this in the roof or sidewall of the van. The area around your flue exit will need to be heat proof and waterproof. Inside the van you will need reflective shields and a base around the stove to prevent nearby materials from catching alight.
What is the smallest wood-burning stove available?
The smallest fireplace on this list is actually the propane powered Newport. However, if you are looking for something that burns wood then it’s the Kimberly wood stove. It has a base of only 12 in and a central diameter of 10 in, making it quite a compact stove.
Where do you place a wood-burning stove in a campervan?
The best place is in a corner somewhere. That way you can clad the corner with reflective paneling to push the heat into the van. It also keeps the stove out of the way to prevent anyone bumping into it. Often the best place is opposite a side door in the corner. This keeps it tucked out the way but still easily accessible to add wood.
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Erick is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast. Growing up in Nairobi Kenya and now calling Glasgow, United Kingdom home. Sipping on homemade spiced swahili tea and enjoying a good book is his idea of bliss.