Soapstone – Can it heat your Casita?

I was on the Casita Owners Facebook Page awhile back, and I saw a post about using a small soapstone tortilla press to heat up a Casita. I was intrigued that a person could simply heat a small soapstone press and then use it as a radiant heater for small spaces.

Well, I have a small space! At 13′, I have the smallest Casita fiberglass camper trailer that is sold today!

After researching different soapstone presses, I found a Soapstone Bacon Grill Press through Amazon:

Soapstone Bacon Grill Press (Photo: Amazon.com)

Soapstone Bacon Grill Press (Photo: Amazon.com)

Unfortunately, it is not currently available. But with a little searching I’m sure you could come up with something similar. Here’s what the packaging for mine looks like:

Sparq Soapstone Bacon Press

Sparq Soapstone Bacon Press

The wood handle keeps the soapstone cool to the touch

The wood handle keeps the soapstone cool to the touch

I wanted something with a handle, since with heating the soapstone would potentially get too hot to handle.

soapstone04

The dimensions are 6.5″ wide x 10.2″ tall, and 3.9″ on the handle side. It weighs 3.4 lbs.

I then proceeded to place the Soapstone press on my propane 2 burner stove to heat it up and test drive how effective it would be for heating up my 13′ Casita camper.

Soapstone on burner

Soapstone on burner

Long story short…

While the soapstone gave off heat for a long time (felt warm to touch after an hour), it was not useful for heating a small space, such as my Casita. I think if you had the idea to use this as a furnace substitute, or even to just take the edge of cold off, you’d be sorely disappointed.

I think a more appropriate use of the soapstone grill would be to heat it to 105-110 degrees farenheit and use it as a foot warmer. This is what small soapstones were traditionally used in the past, and for this use it is totally appropriate!

So, this particular press is not available, but this pizza stone is still available, and if you only heat it to 105-110 degrees you should be able to handle it either barehanded, or with a small cloth:

SPARQ Home Soapstone Flat Bread Pizza Stone, 12 by 16-Inch 

Soapstone Pizza Stone

In any case, testing this was useful for me so I could see what its appropriate use would be. Heating a Casita, at least at this size, is inappropriate. But as a bedtime foot warmer I could see it as very effective. It gives off a nice warmth for extended periods of time (at least an hour in my brief test). Enough to get to sleep, or for a night time read. But if you are looking for a furnace alternative, this soapstone would not work for that purpose.

 

 

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