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Old 05-29-2016, 11:55 AM   #1
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Default All electric or gas/electric

I am going to visit NRC and Showhauler in mid July and I want all my likes and wants down so I can use my time there wisey. Looking to find out how effective an all electric coach is while boondocking. I have read many articles on this subject but I haven't gotten a clear answer. I know a clear answer might not exist but any help will be appreciated. Thanks Speeno.
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:26 PM   #2
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You need to assess your power needs, leaving out the fridge, to determine the watts needed and how many batteries it would take to meet your needs plus some % over to ensure you don't discharge batteries much below 50%. Once that is done you can add in the fridge requirements of electric vs electric/propane. Be sure to factor in the temperature as much as possible as that really affects the amount of time an electric fridge runs. Many use solar but it efficiency runs from less than 10% to no more than 50% per daylight hour due the many factors that affect solar panels.

In my case I only 6 hours before reaching 50% and needing the generator for 2 hours with an all electric fridge. I have 3 batteries for 300 total amp hours. For us we run the generator as much as necessary as we live in Arizona and most boondocking is done where the temperature ranges from 85 to 110 in daytime, which really requires the fridge to work harder.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:24 PM   #3
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I didnt go the all electric route because I don,t feel comfortable with hydronic heating(Aquahot,Oasis)service in the areas we travel. So we installed gas hot water, range, furnace and of course run the bbq off the big tank. We have 8 6 volt batteries (Trojan T105) which provide plenty of power to run the satellite,tv, microwave and lights for our dry camping adventures during the cooler months. We attend race events for 3 to 5 days and the gen doesn't get started unless we want to fire up the ac's.
If you go full electric get the manufacturer to guarantee run time because everyone I ask can't tell me how long the batteries are going to last.
BTW looked at a new Kingaire and it had 8 8D size batteries for standby and the salesman still didnt have any idea how long they would last on an average discharge rate.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:30 PM   #4
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I've gone all electric. The products and information available for off-grid solar homes have made it possible to use electric appliances. For me, the refrigerator is less of a challenge than hot water and heat. Propane is really good at heating water and producing heat for forced air systems.

I' have basically substituted diesel for propane, (for the generator). We use electric hot water heaters, a diesel hot water heater, and a heat exchanger tied to the generator and engine cooling systems. For coach heat I'm using a small resistance heater in line with the a/c and hydronic heating, (like you'd find on a sail boat).

If I was doing it all over again I'd probably do it the same way, but I'd really think it over. I had to blaze a new trail with a lot of this stuff and pull things in from the boating and over the road trucking fields, (diesel water heater). Propane is simple but then you have another tank to fill.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:36 AM   #5
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Thanks TG, so you run your gen about 4 times in a 24 hour period? Or when it cools at night you can go longer without the gen running? I assume you run your AC at that time too.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:40 AM   #6
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personally i like combination electric & gas...

if we want to run (3 burner propane) stove we don't need electric, same with the (forced air) heater, water heater & fridge.

If we were full time i suppose it would be nice to have a larger fridge (ours is the small single door norcold), ours is plenty for 5 or 8 days but again if we were full time it would be different.

our 10 gallon hot water heater is more than enough for even 4 or 5 of us and if i don't want to consume propane theres always the electric element.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:51 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the great info, I have more to think about then I thought. I was leaning toward hydronic for heat and hot water and large solar/battery for the rest. I thought a couple of well place Yeti coolers could take the place of the fridge for a few days dry camping to eliminate propane for fridge. If you have any thoughts on this please speck up. Thanks again, you are all a great wealth of knowledge.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:56 AM   #8
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One of our members is working on installing a battery from a Volt into his Truck Conversion. Might want to consider something like that too. If you're doing new construction maybe 2 Volt batteries? I really like my propane oven, stove, water heater, and furnace. I converted my fridge over to a residential (120v ac) for various reasons and am happy with that so far. Not much run time yet though on just my 2 golf cart batteries.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:09 AM   #9
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Thanks Bob, that's an interesting idea. I wonder how much power is needed to charge a Volt battery. Where do you pull up to fill your propane tanks? Can you fill at the local hardware store, RV dealer?
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:10 AM   #10
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as for coolers....several years ago i installed a EdgeStar 63 Qt 12vdc/120vac cooler (in the basement on slides)....EdgeStar makes 'em in 44 & 80 quart sized....you don't realize how much space ice occupies in a cooler until you don't need any, the 63 quart will hold 100ish cans (and then some), and it runs for a couple of days on the batteries.
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