Same advise as the one before(from Whistlenut). Try to find a dealer burning ant. One time before I bought the Vigilant ll, we went in a stoves store and the saleman
, told us that burning ant was so easy, him after the day time he lighted the stove at home for the evening time and night and was doing that every days. Useless to say that it was all b.....
The price you mentionned seems correct for a ton bagged
When you will be out for weeks on the truck, does your wife will burn the stove herself? That could be important to consider when choosing the stove.
An other way to get the natural air loop do the best job is to find the colder spot on the main floor. That place is where you should place a register on the floor for having the cold air going down, ideally when possible to attach a duct/pipe going down to about a foot from the basement floor so the warm air under the main floor doesn't try to block/reduce the air circulation. Cold and warm air shouldn't fight themself but work together
Then try to find the warmer spot on the main floor, curiously the stove will be not too from far form it
That is where the warm air should rise from a grill in the main floor.
Best to cut the floor after a few burning times
By the way, if all car drivers could drive a truck van a few miles in their life they would be much more polite with the truck drivers.