New user application questions

Hi guys I am looking to build a gasifier system for an RV camper. This will be my first build, I see there are different design plans and such would any particular one be preferable for this application. I just need to be able to run a 3500 watts (continuous) generator and if possible be able to use the same gas instead of propane for the heating system. I want to get something built that gets the job done and then I’ll work on refining the unit.

If this is not the right forum subsection to post this question can a mod please move it to the appropriate subsection.


Hi Drew, I’m looking forward to other’s comments and viewing your progress.

Assuming this RV is for traveling, consider a wood gasser that runs on wood pellets that are readily available on the road.

A gasifier is a lot of extra equipment for an RV that has already maxed-out every bit of available space. Will the gasifier be mounted with the generator on a frame extension behind the RV?

I love running engines on Charcoal. Carbon Monoxide is odorless and deadly! Be very careful when using CO as a gas for a heating system. I would also avoid gasifying a generator that is anywhere near a window or door.

Good thinking on building something that works, then refining. The practice will give you an idea of the effort required to build and operate a refined unit.


I live in the RV. It was either this or build a cabin. This was the better of the 2 eventually off the grid options to start out with. A cabin may come later on. I have plenty of wood to work with and even coal. As far as mounting options goes it wouldn’t be mounted at all. One idea I was kicking around for the heating to supplement the propane was to run baseboards in the RV and use a 10 gallon gas water heater set up outside and fuel that using maybe another gasifier unit. Run the pipes in from the outside and that solves the carbon monoxide problem and also works for hot water for the sink and shower. The oven is the last piece to figure out then how to run alternate gas for cooking.

The generator I want to adapt for wood gas is a Westinghouse igen4500.

As far as pellets goes that would be a refinement after getting the initial unit going.

I still need to read up on this some more but any suggestions as far type of unit for this application or anything useful to ensuring a successful first run would be appreciated.


Usually the smaller engines on this site are using charcoal (not the same as coal), It is typically simpler design and easy to get going. There is a whole section for small engines and charcoal gasifiers. Just to be clear you aren’t going to get the full 7.3hp out of the engine using wood/char gas though. There are numerous discussions about making charcoal as well. It isn’t hard. Gary Gilmore’s “simplefire” is usually where people start. The material cost is fairly low as most of it can be obtainium.


Hey, you might try a search for “Charcoal gas cooking stove” and look through that thread for some ideas on how to use charcoal gas in lieu of propane. Heating water outside is probably a good call. What sort of a climate are you in? There is an enormous amount of info on this site, so you got a lot of reading to do :grinning: I would suggest you check out the charcoal topics, myself, but I have a bad case of the “black madness” (i.e. I think making charcoal is the best part).

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I live in a 31’ Jayco with 16’ slide out. I heat with a pellet stove, and run propane for running my fridge and hot water heater for showering. I only run the hot water for that purpose. For general hot water I keep an SS pot on the stove for ready available hot water for general use.

For power on the RV I run 400 dollar 5 kW inverter from Harbor Freight. I was a little Leary of the HF unit, but after 2 months it has not gave me a lick of issues. I have 4 heavy duty lead acid batteries in parallel. I am running the Predator 8750 generator with an auto start and shut off system for charging the batteries. Im using a PowerMax 100 amp charger that is plugged into the genny. Right now I am running on gasoline, until I can build a new gasifier unit.

If you run on wood gas and need the 30 amps than you will need the equivalent of the 8750.

I will be working on a new micro gasifier for 2019 that will feature full automation for the 3500 inverter generator. With the battery bank and the 100 amp charger this should be easily doable with this smaller generator and it will be more efficient. This will run on pellet fuels; for me making chips is more work than its worth. Id rather pay 4 bucks for a bag of fuel vs working over an hours time for the same amount of energy producing chips.

Link to my Pellet Stove it is the only cook top pellet fueled stove on the market.

Link to the 100 amp charger

3500 watt genny with electric start.

5000 watt inverter

If you can afford the inverter it will be very big cost savings to you. It will cut your fuel consumption in half at least. With the inverter generator and the 100 amp charger I bet you will only go though 2 gallons of gas a day maybe even less. The 8750 goes through roughly 3 gallons a day and its twice the engine as this 3500 watt gen. Plus the 3500 watt is very quiet.

I can offer the auto-start system if you would be interested I am planning to bring this to market for existing gasoline back up generators. The Flex Mini Gasifier that I am planning to build with have this feature built into it.

Edit: The 8750 will run for four days on 5 gallons of fuel. So its averaging, 1.25 gallons a day!! So that 3500 watt genny will be interesting to see how much more efficient it is.


As for wood pellet gasification, my view is the technology does not really exist. There are some units out there that are making clean gas. However, I am one of the developers in the United States. and a pellet fueled reactor needs to be built specific for pellet fuels. One of the major issues is combustion gasses getting into the hopper. This gas is full of moisture and methods of removing this moisture on traditional system will not work here. The gas just migrating up through the hopper is enough to cause absorption into the fuel and begin the viscous cycle. Once the pellets get wet they start to break down, leading to flow issues, and lower combustion temps. leading to tar production along with higher levels of produced moisture. This flow will cycle. First it bridges and fuel bellow burns out, the bridge breaks and wet raw fuel drops down rapidly cooling combustion, tar and moisture are now produced in this low combustion cycle, feed moisture rich gas back up and into the hopper and start over again.

The down draft Imbert gasifier has worked for some, but in my opinion this is a chip/chunk fuel reactor. You can run a gasoline engine on diesel and vice versa but it dont work very well.

If you build a unit check out the Drizzler on Youtube, this solves the moisture issue. Yes folks Im endorsing this unit. to make a better version look at the Wiseway pellet stove and implement its hopper system into this gasifier I know all this because I have developed a very advanced reactor specific for pellet fuels. Unfortunately I have been advised to keep it out of public domain until I get patent protection. Im dying to share it but I do have to protect this technology first. The gas to diesel analogy isnt really a good comparison with this reactor. Its more like comparing a steam engine with a jet engine. :fire:

Get the moisture out of the fuel and you will fix all issues that plague this technology plus simplify it at the same time. When you have dry fuel its a breeze to achieve tar and steam cracking temperatures.


Hi there Drew,

My approach would be:
Making a charcoaling set to produce charcoal fuel for the generator ( Charcoal gasifier, Gilmore style )
Using the waste heat from that (charcoaling) process to heat camper and cooking power, heating a puffertank warm water as well.
Exhaust from generator to keep the puffertank on temp ( heat recovery )

Keep gasifier and generator in well ventilated place at all time
Keep all gas piping outdoors. Open space between gasifier shed and living quarters
Avoid any direct fire inside living places
Try liquid to air heat transfer or at second place air to air heater

Succes, you came to the right place for information, plenty good folks and plenty good builds around here.


I will look into the charcoal gas stove option for the oven. Climate is pretty moist here in eastern Kentucky. I am up in the mountains.

I considered a pellet stove but I have no floor space to spare to put one in here. The RV already has an inverter I think the power center is where the inverter is on this. I haven’t worked on expanding electric storage or generation capacity yet for the system. If I need to upgrade those components I will when the time comes. I have a Westinghouse igen 4500 generator which I think is a much better generator than the Predator. It is quiet has less than 3% harmonic distortion and all the bells and whistles as the Predator. It is more expensive but a better sine wave generator will cost more which this one has compared to a Predator. My main goal is to get it running on wood gas then refine and size the system accordingly once I have something viable I know works. I have shore power and septic and in the worse case can run the generator on propane in the short term if I don’t have gas on hand.

I eventually want to go the pellet route for a gasifier but I have other reasons for not using pellets initially. Partially has to do with my own learning experience by doing and then see if I can refine the byproducts into lubricating oils and even plastics that might be usable for 3D printing. To get the lubricating oils to refine is pretty straight forward using a multiple stage condenser tanks as the gas cools as it flows through the flue I think it would be called.

I agree with having a fuel that is refined and consistent from one batch to another. That seems to be based upon what I’ve read where the biggest improvements to this can be made right now. As I said above it also depends on your objectives of what you are trying to do with the gas. Energy generation is only one thing I am looking at. As I stated in the other post if plastics are viable then the idea of a completely self sustained off the grid manufacturing process may be viable like paper mills. It becomes something you can also sell as a national security product, another market for pulp wood that sort of thing.


I agree on recovering waste heat but using it to heat the camper directly wasn’t what I had in mind. Using the heat from the exhaust to keep a shed warm where the water heating tank was what I had in mind. Then the idea would be to run water pipes into the camper and put baseboard heaters running the heating system that way. I can dual use that heater for hot water at the same time by plumbing into the existing system.

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First unit is going to be a proof of concept for me and learning tool. I know it is proven to work but I haven’t proven I can make one work is all. Gary’s design is one I am looking at.


LOL you most likely will not even be able to get a pellet stove inside the RV!! Did you look at my stove, it is very compact and can fit in 24 X 24 inch area. You could plumb through wall. Yeah Im in Michigan and using the furnace is a no go. No way could that be affordable Id go through 40 bucks in less than two days, plus filling those tanks up constantly.

Yeah I had this stove here:

I was going to put it in the RV. But I could not get the top inside the door at least not by myself and yeah its pretty big; it would have taken up considerable space. I ended up putting in small compact wood stove and then later my own proto type stoves.

The Enduro Stove outputs 40,000 btu and is a third the size of the pellet stove in the listing that this same output rating. However this stove dose not require electric to operate and I have cooked all meals on this since I installed last October.

I didnt see you had an existing genny, Thats pretty cool can you share a link to it? I am looking at working with another distributor automating a 4kW Inverter genny with gasificaiton.

For refining wood gas, all you need to do then is build a simple FEMA unit It will make plenty of tar for refinement. A gasifier producing clean gas will leave nothing to refine.

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Yup that generator is the same one. We may possibly set up a relationship with these guys to supply them with an auto start system for this generator. Then you would have two of their 120 amp chargers producing around 3400 charging watts.

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I totally can relate to that. The simplefire is a fairly easy design.

You can do it! Matt does make an excellent point about fuel and fuel preparation and the interrelation with the gasifier design itself. Quite honestly, he has some really kick ass stuff, that I would probably buy if I was going off-grid.

Just be forewarned, there is a group of excellent fabricators on this list that make stuff look a lot easier then what it is. :slight_smile: I, however, am not one of those excellent fabricators. I just found out, welding cast iron and mild steel doesn’t work very well, although I did get it to stick… :slight_smile:


I was considering the pellet stove outside with a pipe running in then out of the trailer but it is still under warranty so I don’t want to start modifying it just yet. I did take a look at your stove I totally think it is worth the asking price but I don’t have any use for one just yet.

Would it be an issue modifying the stove to use a heat exchanger like this to do water heating with that stove?

I could use that to do heat / hot water and as a way to keep water lines from freezing in the winter using the waste heat transfer to my fresh water storage tanks.

Here is the generator. If I get everything working when I upgrade I can run 2 in parallel at 9000 watts if needed.


you are NOT going to get 9000 watts running in parallel running off wood gas -period-. It just has less energy density. If you run them in parallel and you are lucky you might get 4500w.

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Yup that is unfortunately the case; however, that is a cool feature that you can hook these up and add a second unit.

Yes I have thought of putting an SS coil around the center flew pipe in the stove. That maybe something I will add to next years version.

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You have to be careful it doesn’t boil and cause an airlock. Since he partially wants heat. A furnace heat exchanger like they have in the 95% efficiency gas furnaces, might actually work, those create condensate though and that skips the flue altogether…

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