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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Why "All Electric"

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dougrainer

Carrolton, Texas

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Posted: 04/17/12 06:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lobstah wrote:

What do you do for heat? We dry camp several times a year, in fact right now while I'm typing this , but we frequently use our furnaces. Seems like electric heat would be a huge drag on battery power?

Jim


All Electric Motorhomes have a Combo 120 (or 240 if large expensive motorhome)/Diesel furnace/Water Heater. The 120/240 will heat the coach just fine, but you have to use the Diesel burner for continous Hot water unless you have the larger 240 volt model. Most of these motorhomes are NOT really built for boondocking in the traditional way. They are built for the RV'ers that will be staying at most upscale RV parks(that have 50 AND 100 amp service available) or they have a permanent home in a RV resort and then make short trips. Doug

Mr.Mark

California/Tennessee

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Posted: 04/17/12 06:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lobstah wrote:

What do you do for heat? We dry camp several times a year, in fact right now while I'm typing this , but we frequently use our furnaces. Seems like electric heat would be a huge drag on battery power?

Jim


Ours has the diesel fired Aqua-Hot system that heats the water and the coach. The recirculating pumps and fans don't seem to use much power. Again, 8 house batteries give a lot of power.

MM.


Mr.Mark
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JTHarley

Northeast, Michigan, USA

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Posted: 04/17/12 06:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I love my all electric coach....5 house batteries, 2-3000 watt inverters, residential fridge, aqua hot that runs on batts or diesel. I love not having to get propane and when we boondock the 12,000KW gen set rarely turns on and when it does it is only for a couple of hours to charge up.

I can run the aqua hot heat for over 2 days and the genny never kicks on. I guess it doesn't take much juice to run it. When we shower, I simply turn on the diesel burner for a few minutes and the water is hot, hot, hot!

In my 3 other class a coaches with propane, the furnace always seemed to be a problem. Sometimes it fires up and sometimes not. Never enough hot water and always trying to top off the propane tank before going into campgrounds let alone when you stay somewhere for a couple of months you have to plan for another fill up of propane and if the campground won't bring it to your site then you have to pack up and go out and get it.


Jim , MJ & Spirit of Sambuca Bear
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mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 04/17/12 09:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All-electric advantages:
No propane on board. Some people are VERY paranoid about the perceived "dangers" of propane, and it makes them feel quite secure to NOT have any around.
A "residential" type refrigerator.
That's the only advantages I can think of right off hand.

Now, let's look at DIS-advantages:
First off, I detest cooking on an electric range. IMO, gas is MUCH better. I got rid of the electric range that was in my house, and converted the natural gas unit I had to propane. I would not want an electric range in my RV.
Secondly, the "residential" style refrigerator. I am not 100% convinced that these units have been built to withstand the bumping and banging around they get in a mobile unit. Yes, I know there are quite a few of them running up and down the roadways at any given time, but how long will they last? Nobody knows, not yet, anyway! I have been quite happy with the performance and safety of all the gas/electric absorption units I have owned over the years.
Third, almost all of my camping is done without benefit of hookups, in back country "PACK-IT-IN,PACK-IT-OUT" campgrounds. Since I avoid using the gas-hog furnace and water heater, propane lasts a long time!
Fourth, I simply can't see spending $100K to $200K (or more) on a motorhome. Even if I win the Power-Ball lottery, that just ain't gonna happen!
Fifth, weight has a deleterious effect on fuel economy. I don't want to be packing several hundred pounds of batteries around. Besides, I can utilize that space for other things (that usually weigh much less!)

For those who want and can afford an all-electric coach, good for you.
It just isn't for me, not now, not ever!


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Lug_Nut

British Columbia, Canada

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Posted: 04/17/12 09:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lobstah wrote:

What do you do for heat? We dry camp several times a year, in fact right now while I'm typing this , but we frequently use our furnaces. Seems like electric heat would be a huge drag on battery power?

Jim


Both hot water and heat are served by the diesel burning AquaHot or HydroHot.


'07 Newmar Essex 45' ISM 500 4 slides


Lug_Nut

British Columbia, Canada

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Posted: 04/17/12 09:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mowermech wrote:

All-electric advantages:
No propane on board. Some people are VERY paranoid about the perceived "dangers" of propane, and it makes them feel quite secure to NOT have any around.
A "residential" type refrigerator.
That's the only advantages I can think of right off hand.

Now, let's look at DIS-advantages:
First off, I detest cooking on an electric range. IMO, gas is MUCH better. I got rid of the electric range that was in my house, and converted the natural gas unit I had to propane. I would not want an electric range in my RV.
Secondly, the "residential" style refrigerator. I am not 100% convinced that these units have been built to withstand the bumping and banging around they get in a mobile unit. Yes, I know there are quite a few of them running up and down the roadways at any given time, but how long will they last? Nobody knows, not yet, anyway! I have been quite happy with the performance and safety of all the gas/electric absorption units I have owned over the years.
Third, almost all of my camping is done without benefit of hookups, in back country "PACK-IT-IN,PACK-IT-OUT" campgrounds. Since I avoid using the gas-hog furnace and water heater, propane lasts a long time!
Fourth, I simply can't see spending $100K to $200K (or more) on a motorhome. Even if I win the Power-Ball lottery, that just ain't gonna happen!
Fifth, weight has a deleterious effect on fuel economy. I don't want to be packing several hundred pounds of batteries around. Besides, I can utilize that space for other things (that usually weigh much less!)

For those who want and can afford an all-electric coach, good for you.
It just isn't for me, not now, not ever!


I fully agree with the electric stove vrs. gas (Propane) My wife complains about this on a regular basis. The weight however may be a trade off. Four extra batteries probably weighs no more than the propane tank and hot water heater. The durablity of the residential fridges are exceeded only by their great efficiency.

vic46

Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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Posted: 04/17/12 10:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lobstah wrote:

What do you do for heat? We dry camp several times a year, in fact right now while I'm typing this , but we frequently use our furnaces. Seems like electric heat would be a huge drag on battery power?

Jim


Probably hydronic heat fired by diesel. google Webasto


Never argue with an idiot. You will be dragged down to their level and then beaten with experience.


mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 04/17/12 10:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"The weight however may be a trade off. Four extra batteries probably weighs no more than the propane tank and hot water heater."

That may be true, but there is also the space issue. The propane tank is out of the way under the coach, and the water heater is out of the way under a counter where the space wouldn't be of much use for anything else. Oh, I suppose a storage bin COULD be put in where they are, and 2 batteries would probably fit in each of them, but no, thanks.
Then again, there has to be something to supply hot water, how much does it weigh, and how much space does it take up?
Let's see...
Heating the house and water with diesel fuel at about $4.10 per gallon, vs using propane at $2.88 a gallon? Would it require 1.5 times as much propane as diesel to do the job? I have wound up with just enough motor fuel to get back to town, but I have never run out of propane. I think having the heat and water heater separate from the motor fuel is a great idea!
Residential type refrigerators have only been installed in RVs for a few years, so I think the real durability of them in a mobile environment has yet to be proven.
Then there is the cost of the all-electric coach. Again, no thanks!

* This post was edited 04/17/12 10:57am by mowermech *

RandyP77

Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Posted: 04/17/12 11:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Would not own anything besides an all electric coach, they may not be for everyone but it seems that those people that go all electric, would never go back.

paulcardoza

Southeastern Massachusetts

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Posted: 04/17/12 11:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're "almost" all electric. I have the inverter on 24/7, so when traveling the Fridge stays on electric. We have only used the gas cooktop once, since buying the rig. Nothing else uses Propane and the tank has read full since we took delivery. With the auto-gen start, there is no reason for us to worry about power. I would not hesitate to go all electric, should we ever buy another coach.


Paul & Sandra
New Bedford, MA
2014 Heartland Cyclone 4100 King

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