If propane seems to be a better heat option for your tiny space there are lots of options. The RV industry is full of propane heat sources: like forced air furnaces, and catalytic type heaters. Both these options work well but they have their downsides. Furnaces are hard to retrofit into existing spaces and catalytic heaters can cause issues with condensation.
Another attractive option is a small propane fireplace! These little fireplaces are very light weight, have a very small footprint and they are very efficient plus they don’t have as many issues with condensation if they include a direct-vent flue. They also have a built in thermostat so you can have complete control over the interior temperature of your space. Unlike wood stoves they don’t require all the chores plus some models have the option of a thermostat which would shut off when the desired interior temperature is reached.
OUR WOOD STOVE + GAS FIREPLACE PLANS
We’ve lived in our Airstream and now 5th wheel for a total of 6yrs. Four of these years we had a wood stove as our primary source of heat. When we had shore power we used a small electric space heater to keep the edge off when we were gone and at nights.
This summer we have plans to build an off-grid Tiny House so I’ve been doing some planning and scheming on all our systems. Since we are off-grid electric heat is not an option. Coupled with our small wood cookstove I also want a heat source that is connected to a thermostat. This thermostat option would kick in when the wood stove died out and when we are not home maintaining a 55-60 degree temperature so our plumbing doesn’t freeze.
SMALL PROPANE FIREPLACES ON THE MARKET
There are currently several small propane fireplace heaters on the market. One, The Dickinson Newport, is made for the marine industry and has been used for years. The Stainless-Steel Newport is pretty simple and aesthetically not that pleasing. Another downside with the Newport is it does not have a thermostat simply a high/low control. This is fine for when you are home but if you wanted to set the temp then leave or go to sleep this is not ideal. The other option is the Mini-Franklin which is currently out of production.
For more info on the Dickinson Newport and Mini-Franklin checkout the info box at the bottom of the page.
DWARF GAS PROPANE FIREPLACE COMING SOON!
Given our own personal needs and seeing what’s available for the Tiny House community it’s time for another small gas fireplace heater option! We’ve started the design process on our little Dwarf Gas heater and hope to have it ready for Tiny Living in 2020.
We are obviously fans of wood heat and a gas option certainly has its place in Tiny Living! Some spaces wood heat is not practical because of lifestyle. A small propane fireplace would add comfortable heat and the ambience of a dancing flame. Propane fireplaces cost a bit more than forced air furnaces and catalytic heaters but they are small, lightweight, efficient, easy to install and look great!