How to choose a Tiny House Heater

the tiny house

Ethan Waldman blogger and tiny house builder over at The Tiny House and author of the ebook Tiny House Decisions says he often gets the question on what is the best way to heat a tiny house? Ethan decided to do some major research as he needed to know the answer himself for his own tiny house. Ethan put together a post over on his blog that really goes into all the details and also made a YouTube video to explain it even more.

Here is an outline of what he came up with:

Step 1: Work Out How Powerful your Heater Needs to Be
Step 2: Avoid Vent-Free Heaters
Step 3: Check out the Clearance
Step 4: Check that the Heater Is Thermostatically Controlled
Step 5: Read the Manual
Step 6: Find Pictures of an Installed Unit

In summary you need to do the following:

  • Calculate how many Btus you’ll need your heater to provide.
  • Stay away from vent-free propane heaters.
  • Check that the clearances will work for your tiny house.
  • Find out whether or not the heater can be run on a thermostat.
  • Find out what kind of venting the heater requires.
  • Check out what the heater looks like when it’s been installed.
  • Work out whether the heater will have to go through the wall or ceiling of your tiny house.

Go here to read the complete post.

Here is the video:

Be sure and check out Ethan’s ebook Tiny House Decisions if you are considering building a tiny house. It will help you make the right decisions as you plan your own home.

Connecting Propane To Your Tiny House

Propane. Can’t live with it. Can’t stop talking about it. I like to call it the “friendly flammable.” But what is it exactly?

Propane Tiny House

WHAT IS PROPANE?

Also known as liquid petroleum gas, LP-gas, and LPG, propane is produced in roughly equal amounts from both natural gas and crude oil sources.  Propane is nontoxic, colorless, and odorless.

(WARNING: technical talk coming) To make propane from crude oil, the oil is separated at a refinery using a fractioning tower.  It is refined into different levels of purity depending on what height of the fractioning tower the propane is pulled from.  The higher the point on the fractioning tower, the higher the purity, or quality, of the propane.

According to the US Department of Energy, the southern states sell propane with more butane, which is at a lower cut point, in the fractionating tower.  In the colder states, the propane sold is from a higher crack that is more pure. All of this to truly say that if you are taking your tiny house from a warmer climate to a colder climate you should either use up your propane before reaching cooler weather or simply exchange your tank at the new climate center. However, the quality of colder weather propane is better, so if you are toting propane from cooler to warmer climates you should be okay.  Rule of thumb: use propane from the climate you are in.

The use of propane is one that can all at once seem like common sense and like rocket science. It has been used by campers for years. However, it is relatively new to the tiny house community since the modern tiny house movement itself is rather new. If you consider the use of LP-gas for sticks ‘n bricks though it only makes sense. Propane keeps water hot, it makes stove burners blaze, and it allows furnace air to be toasty. Put those items on the road and you have a need for a system both new and old. But before going into those areas it is most important to know how to hook your propane tanks up in the first place. The process can be scary for some and even a bit perplexing.

In the next three minutes or so I hope to show you how easy hooking up a propane tank to your tiny house or recreation vehicle can be and even how safe it can be. Just click on the standard YouTube play button on the screenshot below. When you’re finished watching be sure to subscribe to the Tiny r(E)volution YouTube channel.

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By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

Note: “What Is Propane” section paraphrased from Ask The Expert.

Properly Hitching A Trailer To A Tow Vehicle

Before building our tiny house I gave very little thought to what we’d do after it was built. I knew the land we intended to settle on was in a different state and that somehow we had to get the tiny house there. But at the time we drove a Dodge Caliber sport wagon so I rested easy knowing I would just find someone to tow it for us. When it came time to relocate I practically begged my father to use his Chevy 2500 extended cab to do the towing for us. He agreed but on one condition. I had to help drive. That meant I had to learn how to tow our 7,800 pound tiny house.

Towing_Odom

What I have learned since that time is that perhaps one of the most important parts of building a house on wheels is knowing how to transport it safely and effectively once complete. This includes the use of safety chains, stabilizer bars, a sway bar, coupler locks, and trailer brakes. While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist it does take a few minutes and an idea of what needs to happen to safely move down the road with your tiny house in tow. I invite you to spend the next 3 minutes watching this short video on how to properly hook up your THOW or travel trailer to your town vehicle. Just click on the standard YouTube play button.

Click the button below to subscribe to the Tiny r(E)volution YouTube channel for up-to-date tiny house videos and access to all archive videos.Subscribe_Button

-OR – Subscribe to the Tiny r(E)volution via this link for a weekly video uncovering more topics of tiny houses and life on the road.

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]