we received a passing grade on weathering the first colder nights.
the overnight temps got close to single digits. i slept with just a single wool blanket on, not the big down comforter, so i could wake up every few hours when the stove needed feeding. this system worked just fine and we all stayed plenty warm. that part of the situation went as planned.
however, the reasons for a c-:
- the ash levels in the stove pipe built up enough to nearly stop the draft going up and out. a little smoke got in the trailer, so i turned on an (powerful) overhead vent to suck the smoke out. that created a very strong draft down the chimney, but we didn’t realize why the draft was flowing down the chimney. each time i would try and light a new test fire, the stove would fire out the front of the stove and blow soot into the trailer. i’d have to dump a pan of water on it to put it out. these cycles of smoke and ash entering the trailer encouraged me to leave the vent sucking air out of the trailer. after an hour of troubleshooting, in deep dusk, and temperatures already in the teens
wecait figured that we probably should turn the vent off. i guess that is only obvious afterwards? i dried out the stove and lit the fire.
- despite the heat tape and insulation, the water supply froze one morning. i had to thaw it with my heat gun. likely the small leak at the top from the crappy rv part (everything in here designed specifically for rvs is a piece of junk) is what froze and created an ice dam. i’m going to re-plumb the connection to avoid any of the rv hookup. i’m also going to back fill the spot where the line comes out of the ground a little more in case the problem was down there.
after this i think we will be ready for 0. -10 with some wind still has me a little concerned.