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Thread: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

  1. #1
    2 wheels > than 4 wheels. BELOWaverageBOB's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    You could build your own rather easily.

    1burner stove from coleman\walmart.
    2x2' sheet of tin from local hardware store.
    Expandable ducting hose and 1 high temp fan from home depot.


    Make a box out of the 2'x2 sheet, weld\crimp+rivet the sides, you want to make a small rectangle, drill holes in the 'long' side of the box, you want THIN skinned steel\aluminum tubing and run that through the holes, the more metal pipes the better but don't go smaller than 1\4inOD.

    Weld all the pipes to the sheet metal (remember you weld to the thinner material! Or you can use HIGH temp JBweld, now fashion a bracket for the fan to mount to your steel box make sure that your fan covers all the holes!

    Seal this up so it can ONLY pull air through the holes, now make a shroud for your fan that your duct can attach to (use plexiglass or a thick plastic tub and use a heat gun).


    Mount it to the coleman burner.




    I made those plans just a minute ago for another thread as a reply, however I think it deserves its own thread.

  2. #2
    Skybiker's Avatar
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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    I like it. I've been trying to come up with something kind of like that for over a year.

    The tubing needs to be made of something non-ferrous or it will rust big time. From what I've seen of the internals of a 'real' furnace, gas heater, etc., they usually have a series of S-shaped tubes running through the air box. Each is heated by something like a big propane torch blowing into it. Keep in mind that complete separation of the heated air and the exhaust gas is... CRITICAL! Failure in this department could EASILY be fatal. Carbon Monoxide is heavier than air and most tents are vented at the top. If you get too much CO in the tent while sleeping, you and anybody else in there will simply never wake up!

  3. #3
    SCRC Ch. 183 N. Atlanta quadancer's Avatar
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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    As a general inventor, I can see some alternatives. For one, if you don't need a blast furnace, building a simpler stove with a stovepipe using an alcohol stove would be easy enough, and not even use a fan.
    Your air for the stove would be intake holes at the bottom (I kinda see a coffee can here),
    and as long as the airpath lends itself to rising, it would be continual until the fuel ran out.
    The flame would heat the box/can itself. Both the can/box and flue would be double walled:
    can in a can, electrical tubing flue with larger piece over this at point of exit from tent/motorhome/palace. The flue would be then capped for rain, and slowing of exhaust gasses for radiative heat from all. Electrical conduit connector screws on at lid.
    Downsides:
    Penny stoves burn about 5 min. (rotate 2-3 of them)
    Must be awake. Sleeping bag keeps you warm at night.
    Must carry extra fuel if you want to cook breakfast.
    Air in/ Air out. One air vent must be cracked for occupants and stove oxygen.
    Exit thru tent wall may require some creativity. Melting from heat must be addressed with second tube wall. Also, double walled base needed to keep tent floor from melting - 2 coffee can lids separated by nuts and 4 screws. Screws point up, and screw heads are "feet":
    ..._|_|___..........(had to use periods to keep spacing here. I haven't had breakfast yet...)
    ...|.........|
    ...|.........|
    ...|.........|
    =|======|= coffee can sits on top of base. Sliding door with tab as handle allows replenishment without moving.

    Upsides/possibilities:
    I could invent a self-fueling penny stove, using a small tube/orifice feed.
    No dead battery or weight of extra battery.
    Coffee can could store more than the stoves, including fuel. Properly set up, top could
    be a food warmer.
    2 candles could be used inside. Less heat, but long burn.
    Tent stakes could store in flue.
    If'n ya boards ain't a-sparkin',
    then you is just a-parkin'!

    DARKSIDE RULES!

  4. #4
    kitesurfer's Avatar
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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    JUST marry a fat woman

  5. #5
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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skybiker View Post
    I like it. I've been trying to come up with something kind of like that for over a year.

    The tubing needs to be made of something non-ferrous or it will rust big time. From what I've seen of the internals of a 'real' furnace, gas heater, etc., they usually have a series of S-shaped tubes running through the air box. Each is heated by something like a big propane torch blowing into it. Keep in mind that complete separation of the heated air and the exhaust gas is... CRITICAL! Failure in this department could EASILY be fatal. Carbon Monoxide is heavier than air and most tents are vented at the top. If you get too much CO in the tent while sleeping, you and anybody else in there will simply never wake up!
    Yes, you're basically making a box that tubes sit in which cool ambient air is drawn through and heated by convection. By placing the tubes in to the box you're insulating them from the cold and allowing them to attain a much higher temperature.


    Like quadancer said, separation of the drawn in air and the heating element is critical to reduce the chance of fumes being pulled in to the heated air.

    If you go buy a simple brake line bender from the local hardware store and purchase copper tubing to fit it you COULD make the S shapes and have a greater surface area, which would be ideal, however you also lose velocity of the air as it moves through the pipes.

    As a general inventor, I can see some alternatives. For one, if you don't need a blast furnace, building a simpler stove with a stovepipe using an alcohol stove would be easy enough, and not even use a fan.
    Your air for the stove would be intake holes at the bottom (I kinda see a coffee can here),
    and as long as the airpath lends itself to rising, it would be continual until the fuel ran out.
    The flame would heat the box/can itself. Both the can/box and flue would be double walled:
    can in a can, electrical tubing flue with larger piece over this at point of exit from tent/motorhome/palace. The flue would be then capped for rain, and slowing of exhaust gasses for radiative heat from all. Electrical conduit connector screws on at lid.
    I like that! being coffee can sized it would fit right on one of those coleman burners. If I went that rout 'which I think is an easier\better idea than my own' I would use copper tubing.

    With the can sitting normally cut the bottom off, drill holes through the sides directly across from each other in a pattern that allows as many holes to fit in the footprint of your purchased fan as possible.

    I like your idea for the lid, it would act just like the rain catch does on current furnace exhaust vents, and it would slow the escaping gasses and allow them to heat the tubing more effectively.

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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    I know this defeats the purpose of DIY, but....the Coleman Blackcat is pretty nice.

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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    Back in the day.... step dad use to put a roll of toilet paper in a coffee can with kerosene oil and it was nice and cozy.... AND WE SURVIVED!!!
    2011 Heritage / 2010 Rollahome

    Okie Girl

  8. #8
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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila View Post
    Back in the day.... step dad use to put a roll of toilet paper in a coffee can with kerosene oil and it was nice and cozy.... AND WE SURVIVED!!!
    Well... this isn't the 30's anymore .

  9. #9

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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    Quote Originally Posted by BELOWaverageBOB View Post
    Well... this isn't the 30's anymore .
    Well then..... Before my time anyway!!

  10. #10
    SCRC Ch. 183 N. Atlanta quadancer's Avatar
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    Re: Plans for a DIY tent heater.

    Bet that tent was black...

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