Finnish Sauna Page 
Your guide to real Finnish Sauna Culture 
Suomalainen Sauna 
6th year on Internet: Updated January 6, 2004

"Happiness is summer and a lakefront sauna"
"Onnea on kesä ja rantasauna."

A recreational vehicle, mountains, lakes...wilderness - a perfect setting for a sauna. Why not consider building one in your RV? Impossible? Not at all. The author is doing just that. Find out about this and sauna stories, hints, books, neat products...all here at the Finnish Sauna Culture page.


During the spring-fall work season, I work away from my wife and family in the northern British Columbia wilderness. It is beautiful there, not withstanding the terrible swarms of blackflies that immediately cause skin infections. It's a rugged country where a Canadian Finn feels right at home. It is in the blood. The forest is not an alien environment to a person of Finnish persuasion; it is home. I arrive home every day from my highway engineering job on one of the isolated stretches. And every day I wish I could relax in my own sauna as there is maybe one sauna for every 200 km in the Highway 37 region of the province. I can't understand why this is even though it is a winter country. No tradition in that direction I guess. This contrasts sharply with my own heritage, where every little shack or mansion has a sauna. And the prestigious President Hotel in Helsinki, where I stay in Helsinki, has one with a large picture window overlooking the city. The Finns have learned to enjoy the little things in life that make the north tolerable, and even desireable, and I intend to do the same. My home for five or six months of the year (which is all I work, the rest is taken as time off) is a 30 foot Wilderness trailer. So it would be natural to wonder if a sauna could be built in the trailer. The design converts the bathroom into a sauna, without taking away its primary functions. The toilet is covered and an air-tight lid can be used for access. That will require some special engineering. The bench mounts over the sink, and there is a hinged portion that allows access to the sink. You can fill a basin and pour the water into the shower area where it goes through the spaces in the boards.

The heater could be converted from a small, very inexpensive wood stove, or a small (RV?) gas fired water heater. But I plan to use a ecologically friendly Pyrolytic system of my own design that uses twigs and wood-chips or what have you and does not produce smoke. Nor does it need a chimney, just some ventilation, when adjusted properly. The new, inexpensive "Turbogas sauna stove" is beginning test trials early 2004. The goal is to obtain 3 kw heat per 1 kg (2.2 lb) of wood chips or sticks which is the energy of the 2.2 m3 (1 m3=35.3147 ft3) of pyrolytic gases given off. The energy output per kilogram would be the equivilent of 1/3 liter (a little more than 1/3 quart) of diesel fuel or a 3 kw electric heater. For more information, contact me. Plans are available or I can custom design to suit your RV. osmo

A clean burning sauna stove such as the one I am developing is not supposed to create CO problems but don't take any chances with yours. If you burn anything for heat, be sure to have a CO monitor and stay well under 10 ppm increasing ventilaton as required. See Not all CO detectors are created equal.

Soapstone tiles, which get 2 times hotter than brick using the same heat and give back heat over 12 hours, could be added to hot areas to store the heat. If you are interested in heating stoves look into soapstone products by Tulikivi of Finland. Be sure to comply with proper construction methods stressing fire and carbon monoxide safety. Overdo it in this regard; also have fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. photos of soapstone stoves, includes small stove with soapstone inlay.

Shower water is easy to heat with a tankless water heater, and you never have to worry about running out. An inexpensive point of use system could also be used. My office has a propane heated tankless unit and I can't see any reason to fool with tanks anymore especially if the RV has to be winterized as mine does. The systems are inexpensive enough and I believe they will be used extensively in the future and there are many models available to suit your requirements. I have included a few links for examples of what you could use and in fact you could order them today. The dimensions of the sauna are 35" x 5'6", drawn to scale. The sauna heater is 7" deep and can be installed on the wall with a 1/2" space.

Sauna built in a converted van trailer


Nu-Way Wood-Burning Stove Nu-Way Wood-Burning Stove

Heats a workshop, small garage or hunting shack! Wood-burning steel stove has a 3in. diameter top exhaust opening and a stoking door thats 5in. W x 3 1/2in. H. Stove is 14in. H x 12in. D x 7in. W. Clearance: 9in. between stove or flue pipe and any combustible material

from Northern Tool

Wood stove - wall clearances

Thermex 15FP Electric Point Of Use Water Heater Thermex 15FP Electric Point Of Use Water Heater

Manual (PDF file, 628KB) | Installation | Specifications

Big Under The Counter Thermex Water Heater
4 Gallons

Special Offer: FREE UPS Ground Shipping* !!!

Please choose "FREE UPS Ground For Thermex Heaters ONLY" shipping option when you check out.

• Polyurethane Foam Insulation - CFC FREE>
• Flanged Heating Element
• Saves Space
• Impact Resistant Plastic Outer Shell
• Adjustable Thermostatic Control
• Power Indicator Light
• Temperature / Pressure Relief Valve included
• Glasslined Internal Tank

Save Water: Install the Thermex Pack under the sink. No waiting = No Waste.

Save Energy: Hot water in long pipe runs will cool down wasting energy. No waiting for hot water means minimal energy consumed. Adjustable thermostatic control allows low freeze protection setting 50°F. Maximum temperature setting is 160°F.

Save Time: Quick and easy floor or wall mount (bracket included). You can mount it independently or in line with the central unit.

Thermex Electric Water Heater Benefits Thermex Electric Water Heater Benefits

5 Year Warranty on glass lined tank with Magnesium Anode and high density, CFC free, foam insulation.
* Free UPS Ground shipping offer is valid for shipments in the continental USA only. Please choose "FREE UPS Ground For Thermex Heaters ONLY" shipping option when you check out.
Thermex_15FP $139.00 Special Internet Price: $122.00

Paloma PH6 Tankless Water Heater Paloma PH6 Tankless Water Heater

Specifications | Installation | Manual for PH6, PH12, and PH24 (PDF file, 1.5 MB)
Small Paloma tankless water heater

The Paloma PH6 is a wall mounted tankless water heater that is ideal for cottages, cabins or auxiliary installations such as in an office. AGA Design certified.

Turn on your hot water faucet and water is heated instantly as it flows through the heating coils. Paloma's burners shut off automatically as soon as you turn off the faucet. The Paloma modulating control automatically adjusts the flame to the water flow you select. Paloma tankless water heaters produce hot water only when and as much as you need. That's why you can save energy and money.

Wall-mounted Paloma tankless water heaters are built to perform efficiently with very little maintenance. First class materials include a copper heat exchanger and combustion chamber, brass controls, stainless steel burners, and a hard baked porcelain exterior. Palomas are easy to service and all parts are easy to replace.

Save dramatically on your current water heating bill. Storage-type hot water heaters lose heat all day long (and all night too!). They consume more energy than any other job in the home except space heating. Paloma tankless gas water heaters heat only the water you need as you're using it. You never store hot water again. You never wait for water to heat up again. You never run out of hot water!

Paloma is the largest gas appliance manufacturer in the world. As a Japanese, privately owned company they are committed to quality manufacturing. Their quality control is excellent. Each and every water heater is tested thoroughly with gas and water connections.

PH-6 $495.00 Special Internet Price: $429.00 Gas: 

Stoves in log home section


Majava Sauna
The Sauna Tradition
Feeman Virtual Sauna
Sauna and Bath Supplies
Finn - Tastic Sauna & Gift
Saunasite, lots of information
Homecraft, Langley BC Canada
Finnish Sauna and Wood Products
Suomen Sauna Seura/Finnish Sauna Society
Kastor - one of Finland's oldest sauna heater companies
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