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 > Your search for posts made by 'DiploStrat' found 16 matches.

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RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

.... It almost seems if you had an answer in mind before you started the thread, labeling people as unaware of the options that are out there. A little disingenuous if you ask me. Absolutely. When we are in campgrounds we get a lot of people visiting and asking about our systems. Most comment that they could not imagine a camper that did not use propane. We have not used propane (except for a small grill) for years. Simply don't need it. My only point in starting this thread was to point out that it is very possible to build a camper that is comfortable to 0F and below, for months on end, without using propane for heat or cooking. Air conditioning is, indeed, a challenge. Having installed a 12v air conditioner, and used it, I think that next time I will go back to a 110v unit. -- If it is really that hot and miserable that you NEED air conditioning, then it is probably worth paying for a campsite. And, if you have shore power, it is much more efficient to simply use 110v than to to run the air conditioner on 12v and recharge with 110v. (The charger gets hot!) -- If you need to do this in the bush, then you are probably far enough from other folk that one of the new inverter/generators is a good option. Everyone's needs differ.
DiploStrat 05/13/22 02:28pm General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

...I run out of fresh water long before I run out of battery (no solar) or propane. That's why I have a 100 USG water tank! After years of living out of the back of a Blazer, we do love our (hot) showers! :B
DiploStrat 05/09/22 09:57am General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

While I can appreciate the ability to do this I am still amazed at how much power people use when they are camping.. Maybe I am just the not normal one. in my truck camper with the furnace running most of the time my AH consumption is about 35AH a day. in my 40 foot 5th wheel it is only up around 85 at 28 degrees F so running the furnace, letting the kids watch 1 movie a night and using my kureg in the morning and after supper and the odd microwave use.. popcorn... so your supper alone is almost my entire days use , but I am using propane not power, and same for my fridge and furnace.. I recently upgraded to LFP batteries in the camper, and I am still playing to see what I can do with it but my rough capacity is 9 to 10 times my daily use, as I use it a lot in the real early spring and late fall when there is or could be snow on the ground still and we get a lot of overcast days so I want to be able to go until the sun comes back out and can charge everything up again. I plan on switching the 5th over also , just watching for screaming sales again.. I guess my thought process is that by leaving the furnace, fridge, and stove on Propane, I can focus my power on the lights, furnace fan, pumps etc which maximizes the length of time I can go.. with the solar set up in the summer water and take capacity are my limiting factors now as I can go a couple months on the propane and I'll never run out of power with the solar panels.. Would be interesting to do an energy audit - am I using the same amount of energy, regardless of source. As my camper is considerably smaller than a fifth wheel, I suspect so. I am just using electricity as opposed to propane. My objection to propane is mostly the challenge of finding the right adapters outside of the US, getting a certification that there is no propane left before shipping, compressor refrigerators tend to work better than absorption, and, finally, a 60 gallon diesel tank will produce more heat, longer than a common propane tank without the need to refill. But if you never travel outside of the US, none of this may be worth it. Ironically, we have a gas stove at home. :D
DiploStrat 05/09/22 09:53am General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

There were some comments about gasoline/diesel heaters. This just appeared on the EXPO Portal. Gas - Diesel Heaters for Overland Travel
DiploStrat 05/09/22 09:45am General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

As noted previously, agreed. I could have been more precise in the thread title. Or completely misleading. Should have been: "Practicality of a Diesel-Electric Camper" Yes, it can certainly be done. Heck it's done with trains and ships. Certainly can be done with an RV but the market is largely built around propane so unless you have a specialty need, there isn't really any benefit for the vast majority of people. EDITED TO READ: Fixed the Topic title! :) Certainly no attempt to mislead. Quite the contrary, my soapbox is built by the people telling me that I can't do what I have done for years. :D Agree completely, not everybody wants to do what I do, but a lot of people who visit our camper are interested.
DiploStrat 05/08/22 09:02am General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

... When it comes to eliminating Propane from one's typical RV one might be able to do so if they only camp in temperate climes. I encountered a couple in Arizona a couple years ago that had about 600w of solar power on the roof of their converted Step-Van and cooked using either an Instant Pot or Induction "hot plate". Since they didn't need either heat or A/C it was very workable. I do think that many have either never camped "old school" in a tent of old "teardrop trailer" or if they have, they've forgotten how it was done without heaters. Perhaps that was why large dog breeds were so popular back in the day :W I have camped old school - for years! This was our rig for decades. Camp outside Jos And, after years of freezing our knees, even with a dog, we are all about heat. As noted, we use a microwave/toaster/induction cooktop/Nespresso and are now playing with an Instant Pot. (Gotta measure the total amp draw when pressure cooking.) Never run out of power. I find your comment about heat to be a bit the reverse of our experience. With diesel heat and a fullish tank, we have heat for weeks, if not months, even at 0F. Now, we are not a 'typical' RV in that we have dual pane windows, no cold bridges, and about two inches of foam on all sides. But I would propose that it is propane heat, not diesel heat that is limiting. In fact, at 30k BTU, our Dual Top is actually oversized for our space. (The cat does not complain. :))
DiploStrat 05/08/22 08:15am General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

There are always idiots who say "never" to anything they don't personally like. Nothing you say or show will convince them otherwise. Personally, I camp with only propane and battery. No generator, no hookups, no solar. Many will argue that I am doing it all wrong and how I need to do this or that to improve my camping experience. I just ignore them, save my money, and enjoy my camping my way. No solar! Dude! Your toes will fall off! :E I am not advocating that anyone what I do. I am merely making a bumble bee statement - rumor to the contrary, I can actually fly! And, if COVID rates continue to rise, I will have wasted a lot of money as I won't be able to ship. :(
DiploStrat 05/07/22 03:33pm General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

... What you are describing is simply "eliminating propane". As noted previously, agreed. I could have been more precise in the thread title. Propane fittings in the US and Canada are the same (Don't know about Mexico), but that is emphatically not the case in Europe and much of South America. Depends on where you want to travel. (Same reason that I use a composting toilet, not a black tank. Those beasts are a bear to deal with outside of the US. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but because no one uses them.) Beyond that, using diesel or gasoline for cabin heat can give you longer autonomy when traveling/camping. Scholars can debate the safety of propane, but in most cases, it is not an issue. Especially if you do not use a propane refrigerator. In the end it all depends on how you use your camper. As noted here, many are convinced that you cannot build a camper without propane and a generator. You can, but you will need systems that are more robust than those on many production RV's. Nice discussion by Rick Howe HERE.
DiploStrat 05/07/22 12:00pm General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

Very simple: Do you want, or need to camp with batteries/no electrical hookup? This nails the essence of what I am talking about - extended camping without propane or shore power. None of this is relevant if your normal mode of travel is to go to campgrounds with power/water/etc. I am NOT proposing that this is better or required, simply noting that it is the way some of us travel. Typical battery setups fall way way way short on heating, cooking and AC . This is exactly my point - typical setups can't do it. But it is not that hard to build a camper than can, and easily. I do have a microwave, toaster, Nespresso, cooktop, computer, vacuum, etc. Don't use (need) :(a hair dryer. As noted, I have once, in 8 years, bothered to actually start the engine for meal prep, and this was more of a precaution in a tropical storm, rather then a necessity due to dead batteries. A basic set up would entail: -- Diesel, gasoline, or heat exchanger for cabin heat and hot water. -- Around 150Ah of battery for every day that you expect no sun and will not start the engine. That is more than we have ever used. We went for years with a 600Ah AGM battery which gave us between 300 and 450Ah usable. Lithium batteries are not required, but they do save a lot of weight and space. -- A 2000 - 3000w inverter. We have a 2000w with a 12v air conditioner. With a 110v air conditioner, we used a 2800w unit. -- The rule of thumb is 100w of solar per 100A of battery. The magic numbers come in the 1000 - 1500w range. At 1500w you can feed 50-75A to your air conditioner and still have 50+A to charge your batteries. (Friend of mine has this and I am sooooo jealous! He doesn't even bother to charge from his engine and runs his air conditioner 24/7 in Mexico. Of course, he does have really good sun! Everlanders) Offered for your consideration.
DiploStrat 05/07/22 10:05am General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

Please see my first post. I think the point is that it is very possible to build an off-grid camper that is comfortable from below 0F to whatever heat you can stand without using propane or a generator. When used for cabin heat and hot water, propane is not as effective as gasoline or diesel. And I would certainly never try to heat a camper electrically, although I have seen a lot of folks using heat strips or pumps. Expedition campers, as opposed to RV's, try to avoid propane as it is low energy for weight/volume, can be difficult to fill outside of the US (need adapters), and it can be difficult/expensive to get a certificate that it has been removed before shipment. (To be fair, a good friend of mine carries a lot of adapters and, because he uses propane only for cooking, and, with a 30 gallon tank, he has around 90 days, he argues that if you can't find propane in 30 days, you aren't trying. That said, the last we chatted, he was considering going to an induction cooktop. (FWIW - most of us who have used diesel cooktops don't like them. But that is another discussion.) Air conditioning without shore power or a generator is a challenge - less for the cooling and more for the recharge. I can easily do 12 hours; absent a long drive and a lot of sun, I may not be able to do it three days in a row. :(
DiploStrat 05/06/22 02:50pm General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

Fair question of semantics. Perhaps a better title might be "non-propane?" But some of my friends have gone to electric refrigerators (with or without gasoline/diesel heat) specifically to get their propane to last for months. I have a 12v air conditioner, but for the reasons you noted, I tend to argue that a 110/220v air conditioner is a better, more practical answer. If it is really THAT hot, then you are probably going to find a camp site (most of who won't give you a discount for not using shore power) or, as you noted, carrying one of the new, small inverter/generators. In my world there is a premium attached to not having propane, both for the difficulty of finding the right fitting, and for the complications of shipping. (Specifically the requirement for a certification that there is no propane left on board.) In the end, do what works best for you. In my case, the limitation is recharge. I can get a steady 25A the hour in good sun.
DiploStrat 05/06/22 12:38pm General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

Two comments: -- NEVER needed a generator. But my largest draw is the air conditioner and I can only do a short time before I would probably need shore power to replenish. -- Would not consider electric heat. I use diesel. Diesel or gasoline are MUCH more energy dense than propane. (And using diesel or gasoline eliminates the need to carry multiple adapters for gas fittings in different countries.) A number of new builds are using a heat exchanger for hot water. Water typically stays hot for two/three days after driving. The systems on my truck are typical of expedition campers. Two commercial examples are: Aeon Nimbl
DiploStrat 05/06/22 11:27am General RVing Issues
RE: Practicality of non-propane Camper

sure - here - - - - -eStream Although its only a concept, I like the idea My only point is that it is way more than a concept. There are lots of these beasts out there. The trick is that that most RV owners have never seen the kind of equipment needed to make it work.
DiploStrat 05/06/22 10:14am General RVing Issues
Practicality of non-propane Camper

Is it possible to have an all-electric (or, at least, no propane) camper? Of course, been doing it since 2013. (OK, true confession, our outside grill is propane as you usually can't use charcoal west of the Mississippi due to fire bans.) A serious answer. Our first EV (expedition vehicle) had 500w of solar and 600Ah of lead acid battery. The worst camping weather we ever faced was five days of tropical storm rain at Overland EXPO East. To protect our batteries, we simply idled the engine for the 20-30 minutes we were cooking meals. We have only had to do this once since 2013. Our current vehicle has 800Ah of lithium iron and 600w of solar. Of course, we also have a bigger, two door refrigerator. Historic data: We budget 30 wall clock minutes of power per meal; 15 minutes of microwave and 15 minutes of induction cooktop. At a guesstimated consumption of 150A, this works out to about 75Ah for a dinner. With a two door refrigerator, fans/heat, lights, etc., we are usually down about 125 - 135Ah overnight. Lithium iron allows a lot more power in less space/weight, but we did this for years with lead acid AGM. We visit family in the northern part of the US and the temperatures drop to below 0F. This pretty much requires diesel or gasoline heat. We can run the air conditioner over night, but this consumes on the order of 500Ah, and that is hard to recover without using shore power.
DiploStrat 05/06/22 08:00am General RVing Issues
RE: first commercially available all electric RV

So you get to sleep right on top of an air conditioner that's cycling on and off all night?Compared to the roof shaker over the bed? How bad can it be? OOPS! Posted in the wrong place! Sorry. :o
DiploStrat 05/06/22 07:33am General RVing Issues
RE: first commercially available all electric RV

First? No mention of Nimbl or Aeon, or any of the others? Even my 2013 Tiger was all electric.
DiploStrat 05/02/22 05:57pm General RVing Issues
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