I will be embarking on a US cross-country trip with a friend this October. We’ll be driving from the Pacific Northwest, through Richmond VA, up to New England, then in a southerly loop, out to Taos NM and back up along the coast to Oregon. I would like to do this exclusively on wood and possibly meet some sustainability-minded tinkerers along the way. I thought I’d post here to get people’s thoughts. Tips and suggestions for both fabrication and travels welcome!
A bit about the bus. It’s a 30-foot, 1999 Chevy Bluebird/B7 with a 454 gasoline engine. It was converted by the school system in Texas to run propane. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been fabricating a wood gasification system to be mounted on the rear. I’ve settled on a downdraft reactor based on the one in the Wood Gasifier Builder’s Bible, which seems to be a popular build. I’ll be mounting a light-weight stainless steel drum on top as a hopper for additional fuel capacity. Some other interventions are likely in order, and I have a great deal of flexibility with size and weight. I’ll be mounting everything to a very heavy-duty 32" deck on the back, which will be connected directly to the bus chassis. Radiator, condenser, and filter still to come!
Some fun thoughts I’ve been entertaining include the use of woodgas to cook and heat the vehicle when it is being used as an RV. If anyone knows of some good, woodgas-safe, heat-exchange methods for either of these purposes, I would be grateful to hear your thoughts. I was just laughing to myself about the absurdity of having a woodgas-powered, fake wood fireplace… but perhaps its not so silly!