Kimberly™ In the Airstream
We purchased our Kimberly™ woodstove in October 2016 for our 1993 Airstream as we often camp off-grid in the fall and winter in cold, snowy locations for extended periods of time. We found that relying on batteries, generator and propane was not only expensive, but also inconvenient – holidays, weekends and remote locations at times made it difficult to re-fill our propane tanks.
It was time to look at an alternate heat source and we started looking for a small, light -weight, efficient woodstove that would be suitable. We spent a lot of time researching stove options and came across the Kimberly™ (there is so much excellent, detailed information available about the Kimberly™ on the Unforgettable Fire website). The decision to purchase the Kimberly™ over the other small woodstoves available was made based on the superior full stainless steel construction, small footprint; clearances, extremely light weigh, small size and long burn times.
- Removing a corner cabinet and table in the living area and planning the exact layout.
- Installing a fire mat and stainless steel tube through the floor for the outside air draw (another awesome feature that we couldn’t find on other stoves we looked at- so important for a supply of fresh air to the stove thereby eliminating the need to have a window open).
- Ensuring the elevation where the stovepipe would exit was perfectly planned before the dreaded task of cutting a six-inch hole through the side of the trailer.
- Welding of a custom six-inch aluminum flange for the pipe to pass through the wall. This is used as a thimble to maintain space away from combustibles.
- Rerouting some wires out of the way to give a large area around the thimble where there are no combustible materials.
- Installation of metal spacers and heat shielding (24 guage galvanized sheet metal for the shielding) in order to reduce required wall clearances.
- Fabrication of an aluminum chimney support.
The decision to vent our stove out the side wall instead of through the roof was made for a few reasons: to avoid the potential disaster of cutting through a curved roof perfectly in one shot, less chance of leaks, and ease of removing the chimney for travel. The only downside to this decision is that in sub zero conditions chimney draw is decreased due to the fact that the majority of our chimney is located outside in the cold (this issue is not present in milder weather). The reduced draw created difficulty lighting and maintaining a fire.
We contacted Erik when we were trying to sort through a few issues during exceptionally cold weather. He involved Roger in our exchanges and the customer service, advice and troubleshooting from both of these amazing people was truly above and beyond! They completely stand behind their product and it shows. They helped us figure out the issue and come up with a resolution. The solution to our issue has been to apply a wrap of 1 ½” Roxul stone wool (not fiberglass) insulation to the outside of the chimney pipe and encasing that with foil tape.
DISCLAIMER: This is against all manufacturers recommended uses of the products, both of the chimney pipe and the insulation and we are not suggesting that you do this, however it worked for us and we are currently checking into other more appropriate chimney insulating systems
During the day we burn 2 year seasoned maple and oak cut to the recommended size for the stove, at night we burn additive free hardwood presto logs as they have a longer burn time- we have no problem getting 8 hours from them. The top gets glowing and we use it to boil water, cook and produce electricity with the TEG (thermoelectric generator), which we also got from Erik, using a spacer plate on the stovetop as to not overheat it. Also when we’re not cooking or using the TEG we have a 160 cfm thermoelectric fan, which really moves the warm air around the trailer creating a more even heat. This stove meets all of our needs and exceeded all our expectations.
We find that we are comfortable in the Airstream to minus 15C in exposed windy environments with the Kimberly™ as our sole heat source with no skirting or exterior protection. As the Airstream acts as a giant heat sink- being aluminum inside and out- we are confident that with the addition of skirting, plastic to insulate the windows and some other weatherproofing that we could easily live in it in much colder conditions. In milder weather, we are often find ourselves opening windows.
It is a truly beautiful little stove and nothing is better than curling up on the couch to watch a nice fire and dog loves it too!
We have no hesitation in recommending this stove. Yes it is a little pricey, but we truly believe that it is worth every penny.
Erik was by far the most helpful and understanding salesperson we have ever worked with. He supported us through the entire process of ordering, installing and later disassembling our [Kimberly™] stove. We are new to stoves and had a lot of questions and Erik was never too busy to help explain things and make us feel comfortable. His commitment to ensuring we were happy customers was very refreshing and we would recommend working with Erik to anyone!
Salt Spring Island, BC