Originally Posted by BarnacleBill
The problem I see is that the furnace, on our Land Yacht, heats the tanks as well as the living area. I guess if it does not get too cold the electric heater would work.
Two 1500W electric heaters will keep the trailer reasonably warm down to around 30 degrees. ( fact based furnace thread
I wouldn't be too concerned about the tanks and plumbing freezing, with two 1500w heaters going and the interior temp kept around 70, unless you have night temps below 20 and day temps below 30, at which point the electric heat won't really keep up anyway.
Is electric really cheaper than propane?
It depends on what you pay for propane
, whether your electricity is metered, and if so, how much you pay for electricity.
Typically propane for RV use is around $3 a gallon although prices vary widely both with swings in the underlying fuel price and how much extra the dealer is marking it up.
20 kwh of electricity has about the same usable heat content as 1 gallon of propane (assuming 99% efficiency for the electric heat and 80% for the propane furnace), so here's a little chart for the break even point.
Typically campgrounds don't meter electricity and charge a flat fee instead. If you are parked at your house or someplace else where you're paying the going rate for electric service, you're probably paying around 12 cents a kwh although again rates vary widely.
But there are reasons to run electric heat besides pinching pennies. As SteveH notes it eliminates the hassle of refilling the tanks. In cold weather with 30 degree lows and 50 degree highs the electric heat will keep up just fine (if you have two 1500w heaters), but if you ran the furnace instead you'd go through two or three gallons of propane a day, so you'll go through more than two 30# bottles a week.
Sometimes this is a major hassle particularly if you are parked in one spot for an extended period of time and your tow vehicle is a Touareg or Suburban or something else that can't really carry propane tanks safely. Many propane dealers have daytime hours only so if you are working a day job and living in your trailer getting the tanks filled is a real problem.
Also, unless you're using a heat pump (which I wouldn't recommend), electric heat is generally quieter, even if you've taken steps
to quiet down the furnace and deal with blower rumble.