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Old 11-14-2008, 08:39 PM   #1
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2009 27' FB Classic
Southlake , Texas
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Gas or No Gas, that's the question...

Ok, here is my problem. I am trying to decide to go with or without propane. My wife really wants a gas range. But, I was considering going all electric. What should be my considerations going forward? Cost seems to be one of the best reasons to go all electric, I'm over running my buget I'm also concerned about refrigeration cooling while on the road. Another thing I was considering was running all of the plumbing for propane so when an appliance breaks and I needed to replace it, I would then have the ability to go with gas at that point with less trouble. This also could be a selling point for the next owner.

Let me have it. I want a good discusion. Oh and I'm not planning much boondocking but, it would be nice to have the ability to at some point the inlaws driveway.


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Old 11-14-2008, 09:23 PM   #2
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The big advantage of propane is that when you don't have shore power, you can still function...refrigerator (while parked and on the road), furnace, stove top, over, etc. You'd also need to install an electric water heater. Going all electric would be OK if you never plan to go without electricity... but then there's that old "never say never" thing...and it could detract from resale possibilities if you limited it to electricity. Propane is still fairly economical and readily available...and having a set-up where you canuse a combo is great.

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Old 11-14-2008, 09:31 PM   #3
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Gas or No Gas, that's the question...

I gave some consideration to this as my coaches were refurbished, but realized that all-electric would pose several problems for the way that I travel.
  • Stopping at scenic roadside rest areas for lunch is one of my favorite passtimes. It is so nice to be able to go into the coach and prepare a bowl of soup and a sandwich -- or re-heat some of the left-overs from the previous evening.
  • For rallys with limited electric, it is imperative to be able to run the refrigerator on LP as electric use for refrigeration is discouraged. I am, however, a proponent of the 3-Way RV refrigerator as I like to travel with mine in 12-volt mode (have been doing this since 1980).
  • An ice storm last winter reminded me of another reason -- the Overlander was warm and comfortable the three days when we were without electricity (it has 3 Gel-Cell batteries and 3 Solar Panels) -- had about 10 pounds of LP left when the electricity came back on (the twin 40 lb tanks were full prior to the storm).
Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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I'd definately keep the gas, simply to have the freedom when you're out to do what you want without having to find a power source. Sent you a PM with a lead on appliances source we used that saved us tons of money.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:58 PM   #5
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I side with your wife in terms of a gas stove top for cooking -- much better control of heat input. For baking, most cooks prefer electric, but one must make compromises in a travel trailer.

Also, if this is your '48 you are talking about, it would have had at least one, maybe two, propane lamps for lights. Batteries these days have greater ampacity for a given size than they used to, but it still would be prudent to provide yourself with diverse alternatives for light.

If you were to go all-electric you'd probably need a diesel generator in the 7KW size if you wish to deploy heat or A/C and cook at the same time, plus operate a refrigerator simultaneously. That means losing some significant storage somewhere between the hitch and axle, coupled with the necessity of counter-balancing with your waste water and fresh water tanks.

Finally, I'm a 'belt and suspenders' kind of guy, so it just seems right to have both LP and electric (and kerosene lamps, charcoal grill, etc).


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Old 11-15-2008, 12:07 AM   #6
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Need more amps.

Hi, you might have to rewire to whole trailer with a 50 Amp circuit, because 30 amps won't cover much more than maybe an air conditioner and water heater. [micro-wave, toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer, refrigerator, TV, hot plate, battery chargers, and more.] What it would cost to convert everything to electric, would buy a lot of propane. If you are going to have an electric stove top and oven, you might need a 240 volt system.

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Old 11-15-2008, 06:25 AM   #7
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I guess I'm the lone ranger here on the other side.

I've been all electric but then I don't have but a fridge and microwave.

I just emptied my storage locker and have the old frame tank that I was going to put on my former rolling showroom.

I do miss the propane heat of the old setup.

I've done a lot of boondocking (at Wal-mart) over the years and have had few nights that I actually wanted gas for heat.

Though I'm all electric the real missing item from my coach is the propane furnace.

I've got a Honda 6010 to supply all the juice I need while untethered.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:10 AM   #8
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Gas. Much better for boondocking. On a cool morning when I heat water on the stove for coffee it warms the trailer nicely and encourages, Lynn, to finally crawl from under the covers.
Neil and Lynn Holman
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:31 AM   #9
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Everything on our Caravel runs on gas or 12v except the A/C, microwave and coffee maker. When boondocking we use a small Honda generator for the microwave and coffee maker or do without the microwave and use a percolator.

I would give up the 110v before I would give up the gas..

True story.......
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:59 AM   #10
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This solidifies what I thought. Thanks for the comments. I'll be going propane. I want a trailer I'll use.
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by oldtrucksrul View Post
This solidifies what I thought. Thanks for the comments. I'll be going propane. I want a trailer I'll use.
You'll be doing it right, you won't have to do it over.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:18 PM   #12
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Mine is restored to all electric except for cooking and retained the 30 amp service. I did it by putting in a new a/c unit on the roof that also serves as a heater as a heat pump, no strip heating. I put in a new energy effecient 10 cu.ft. refrigerator freezor that is rated for 1.2 amps max, and also have a small microwave. I have pulled the old furnace out to put in a drop in propane oven and cook top combination. The water heater has 110v plug on it so I run a separate extension cord to the 110v plug on the rv hookup.

So long as I am at an rv park or have at least a 5kw generator with a 30 amp output along with a 20 amp outlet I can keep everything running including two computers and the lights. I just got back from 6 weeks in it down on the Houston coast while doing adjusting in Houston.

If I were to put in an electric oven and cook top, I know I could not do it on a 30 amp and have the a/c or heater running while cooking, but I don't like electric cooking.

The trick to staying at 30 amps is to purchase energy effecient low amp devices. Most computers stay below 1/2 amp but monitors can pull more so an LCD monitor for lower watts can be used. I was running a full size computer with a large crt monitor along with a lap top computer and a printer/scanner and did not have any trouble. I do have a new breaker panel with two 20 amp breakers. One runs only the a/c and the other runs all of the 110v outlets and the 12V converter.

I use a hardwired 600 watt inverter (5 amp) in my truck to operate 110v devices such as my computer. I have not researched the capacity of my converter in the trailer yet, but if it will support it, I will plug in a 300 want inverter into the 12v accessory plug next to the refrigerator and run the refrig on it while towing. If the aux. 12 volt from the truck is not sufficient to support this, I will rig a large inverter in the back of my truck and run an extension cable from the truck to the refrigerator somehow to keep it going when needed.

Hope this helps you a liitle bit. You can purchase the refrigerator from Home Depot for $299 and has a separate freezer on top.
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:13 AM   #13
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Very interesting. Thanks
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:46 AM   #14
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1973 31' Excella 500
Morristown , Tennessee
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The question should really be trvel trailer or stationary structure. There is no capability when traveling inless you plan to start and stop a generator. Operating equipment on the TV alternator strains it's capability and shortens life expectance. The original propane refrigerator can be operated if stationary or mobile or in places where there is no hook-ups.

The discussion boils down to mobility. Best of luck with either scenario and keep everyone posted with pictures if possible.

Joe DeFelice
1973 Excella 500
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