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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Practicality of non-propane Camper

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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 05/06/22 09:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DiploStrat wrote:

And I would certainly never try to heat a camper electrically, although I have seen a lot of folks using heat strips or pumps.


I have heated 100% electrically at -37 C (-34 f). The wattage needed was about 4100 watt-hours. Peak load was about 7000 watts.

I use several heat sources. It does require that I have either a 50 amp shore power supply, or three 15 amp circuits.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

K3WE

Missouri

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Posted: 05/07/22 06:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very simple: Do you want, or need to camp with batteries/no electrical hookup?

Typical battery setups fall way way way short on heating, cooking and AC .

Being slightly more complicated: 20 and 30 Amp hookups also fall a little short sometimes...It can be done, but you'll have to stagger things.

Lantley

Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 05/07/22 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wade44 wrote:

Lantley wrote:

I don't see any difference between a diesel engine and a genset.
Both are relatively loud and burn fossil fuels.
Surviving on renewable energy alone is a real achievment.
Existing on fossil fuels is no real accompishment.


I would like to know the amount of fossil fuels that were used to manufacture all that stuff in your signature?

I am personally not green at all.
I fill my truck with $6.00 a gallon diesel fuel a burn it till the tank is empty and fill it up again.
I'm not claiming to be green! Or live an ECO friendly lifestyle.
I did not start this thread.
While I'm not green at all I commend those that try to be eco friendly.
However the OP claims to be electric only except he runs his diesel engine at will. Nothing wrong with that approach but it is quite a stretch to claim electric only when lots of things are supported by a diesel engine.
Once upon a time Electric only meant no lp, however now I believe it means off grid living with solar power only.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/07/22 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Grit dog wrote:

I’m kinda slow, and yes I understand both sides of the coin. But I just don’t understand some folks aversion to propane…


Hi Grit dog,

I'm not adverse to propane--but I have a fixed tank. That means small towns can't sell me propane. So I run my RV almost 100% electrically, and only use propane to run the fridge while trundling down the road.


And that’s you working through a limitation, perceived or otherwise, with your particular camper. In situations that the vast majority don’t camp in.
You missed the point and thought I was talking aboot you?


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/07/22 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

DiploStrat wrote:

And I would certainly never try to heat a camper electrically, although I have seen a lot of folks using heat strips or pumps.


I have heated 100% electrically at -37 C (-34 f). The wattage needed was about 4100 watt-hours. Peak load was about 7000 watts.

I use several heat sources. It does require that I have either a 50 amp shore power supply, or three 15 amp circuits.


Again, missed the point. In the spirit of the Trudeau at least!

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/07/22 09:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^OMG that was so funnny I can’t correct it!
I was typing the word “thread.” LOL!!

DiploStrat

Arlington VA

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Posted: 05/07/22 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

K3WE wrote:

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.


Quote:


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) [emoticon]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.



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toedtoes

California

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Posted: 05/07/22 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In your first post, you speak of issues with different hookups for propane, etc. In that situation, I could see choosing to change your setup to something simpler.

But for most people, the propane system is the same everywhere they go. Propane is easy to obtain, so special connections are required, etc. So why go through all the hassle of converting to diesel or gasoline heat and hot water?

And as has been mentioned, "all electric" means just that - ALL electric. If you are using diesel or gasoline for certain things, then you aren't really all electric.

What you are describing is simply "eliminating propane".


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DiploStrat

Arlington VA

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Posted: 05/07/22 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

...

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.



toedtoes

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Posted: 05/07/22 03:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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.

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