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Old 10-25-2009, 11:17 AM   #337
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When's the last time you checked the 115V power needs of the fridge? Last time I looked at my 30-yr old model in the Overlander it was 125 watts, or about 1 amp. I don't think you need to put it on a separate circuit. Your microwave, even if a big one, is probably less than 1200 Watts. Theoretically, a 15-amp breaker can supply 1700+ Watts.

I think three 115V circuits are sufficent--one for the A/C and the other two to split circuits, just in case you have a breaker failure that you can't repair immediately or if you use multiple ceramic heaters in the winter. You're hard pressed in an Airstream to use enough 115V power to blow a breaker, unless you've rooted yourself permanently into a park and are using power tools with abandon. The common exception, of course, is the dreaded 1500W hair dryer, so your bath outlet needs to be on the other circuit from the microwave. If you're using more than one ceramic heater, you need to split them, too.

Zep
Zep

Also thinking about going with a electric hot water take rated at 2000W, if I move the fridge back to the microwave breaker then I can have a breaker just for the hot water.

toastie
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:42 AM   #338
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Thanks Barry, I told the one neighbor that is my beer cooler..........
Its a beer cooler????? And to think I've been peeing in mine. Where do you keep your cigars?
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Old 10-25-2009, 02:48 PM   #339
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The GFI for the converter may not be such a good idea. There have been other threads about this in the past.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...gfi-43187.html
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:04 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
When's the last time you checked the 115V power needs of the fridge? Last time I looked at my 30-yr old model in the Overlander it was 125 watts, or about 1 amp.
Yeah, it was too late late night. I was mixing 12VDC and 115VAC. A 3-way fridge probably pulls something like 12A on 12VDC. You are right that it would be more on the order of 1A on 115VAC, but don't quote me on the exact values. Sorry for the confusion.

I still stand by the idea of not putting all outlets and switches (lights) on a single circuit, though.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:19 PM   #341
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FWIW, I put the converter on a high quality surge protector. Just another option for you to consider.

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Old 10-25-2009, 09:20 PM   #342
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Zep

Also thinking about going with a electric hot water take rated at 2000W, if I move the fridge back to the microwave breaker then I can have a breaker just for the hot water.

toastie
2000W? I haven't looked at electrical water heaters for RV's, but that sounds high for a camper. Is that a tankless "instant" electric water heater or a conventional water heater with tank? I would think a tank type would draw significantly less than 2000W peak.

If that 2000W water heater was 100% efficent, it would draw 2000W/115V = 17.4A, but it wouldn't be 100% efficient, so there will be loses in the conversion and the true current draw will be a little higher. Of course if this is a tank type 2000W, that would be peak draw during heating and once the water was up to temperature the average power draw would be less to maintain water temp, but the water probably would be maintained by cycling the 2000W heater on occasionally - you just won't be able to predict when it will come on (other than when you use some hot water).

If you plan on using a 2000W electric Hot Water Heater, that alone would probably use all the capacity of a 20A circuit in a camp ground. You'd have to turn everything else off to use it. If you have a 30A hook up in a camp ground you might be able to use some other appliances concurrently, but probably not the Air Conditioner, 1500W Microwave, Toaster or other high wattage appliances. Try to do so and you'll risk tripping the breaker at the pole. Just separating the breakers inside the trailer is not enough - got to think about the source.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:21 AM   #343
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Sorry Toastie, I really like what you have been doing but I think you are breaking a serious rule of Airstream construction with all this heavy duty wiring and microwaves and electric water heaters. That rule is called K.I.S.S.
I mean this is a vintage rig and it is a whole what 18, 22 feet long? Not trying to be a downer, it is just my gut feeling here. It would be different if this is going to be put up on blocks and be lived in full time, but we are talking travel trailer. I have been feeling lately that less is more. Maybe that is why I am saying this out loud right now. I really do mean that I think you are doing a killer job. Ultimately you are building this to suit your needs, however "WE" have a tendency to blow all the whistles and ring all the bells on things like these trailers. Maybe keeping it simple is just as good as throwing out all stops. Just saying... feel free to tell me to shut up and mind my own business. I can respect that.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:23 AM   #344
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I don't know-- personally I find my microwave to be very useful. Having infants as I do, microwaves are by far the fastest and simplest method for heating water to warm a baby bottle.

But, I do love my propane water heater. It's very efficient, and very fast.

Just my $0.02, and I, too, love the work you're doing on your trailer.

-Marcus
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:44 AM   #345
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feel free to tell me to shut up and mind my own business. I can respect that.
No way, keep it coming, I valve your input........toastie
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:24 AM   #346
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2000W? I haven't looked at electrical water heaters for RV's, but that sounds high for a camper. Is that a tankless "instant" electric water heater or a conventional water heater with tank? I would think a tank type would draw significantly less than 2000W peak.

If that 2000W water heater was 100% efficent, it would draw 2000W/115V = 17.4A, but it wouldn't be 100% efficient, so there will be loses in the conversion and the true current draw will be a little higher. Of course if this is a tank type 2000W, that would be peak draw during heating and once the water was up to temperature the average power draw would be less to maintain water temp, but the water probably would be maintained by cycling the 2000W heater on occasionally - you just won't be able to predict when it will come on (other than when you use some hot water).

If you plan on using a 2000W electric Hot Water Heater, that alone would probably use all the capacity of a 20A circuit in a camp ground. You'd have to turn everything else off to use it. If you have a 30A hook up in a camp ground you might be able to use some other appliances concurrently, but probably not the Air Conditioner, 1500W Microwave, Toaster or other high wattage appliances. Try to do so and you'll risk tripping the breaker at the pole. Just separating the breakers inside the trailer is not enough - got to think about the source.
Well said Joe, the reason that I'm looking at electrical hot water tanks at the moment is that I just don't want to cut a large hole for a propane heater, want to keep the outside looking vintage. I have seen electric heaters at 1500 watts.

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Old 10-26-2009, 05:40 PM   #347
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Well said Joe, the reason that I'm looking at electrical hot water tanks at the moment is that I just don't want to cut a large hole for a propane heater, want to keep the outside looking vintage. I have seen electric heaters at 1500 watts.

Toastie
Toastie,
I've got to say I've got the same concern with my '55 Safari. I don't want to cut a hole in the exterior skin for a propane water heater. So while not really doing any investigation yet, I had hoped a small tank type electric water heater might work. I know that until the late '50's, most Airstreams that had a water heater had a tank type electric job. What I don't know was how many watts those units were. I think they did have switches so that they could be turned on when one wanted hot water and left off the rest of the time. Maybe folks just knew to turn off most other 115VAC items when heating water.

Another option is to do what Shari Davis did on her '56 Safari and go with a propane unit that vents thru the floor, but I think that is expensive to the tune of about $1500. Another option could be a propane tankless water heater. I have seen the exhaust from those tee'd into the furnace vent cap so that no exterior holes are needed except for an air inlet in the belly pan (or else crack a window when using it).

I really don't know what we are going to do because without a shower we will have a limited need for hot water. I'd think a tank style with a capacity of a gallon or two would do if there is such a thing. Or a vintage tankless propane water heater could be cool, but I have never seen one for sale. Because I am trying to keep my trailer appearing period correct, going to a brand new tankless propane water heater would not seem to be an option. Maybe I can reuse what appears to be a " scuba tank" electric water heater that is currently in my trailer if I can figure out if and how it works because it is hidden under a dinette bench. It was added in the '60's or '70's by a previous owner. Heck, we have even wondered about just forgoing a water heater entirely and making hot water the old fashioned way - on the stove.

Good luck whatever your decision.
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:08 PM   #348
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I poked around on the internet quickly to see what I could find in low wattage tank type electric water heaters. A more detailed search might turn up more.

Here is a 1200W (10A) 2.5 Gallon electric Water Heater on Amazon:
Amazon.com: Eemax EMT2.5 "Mini-Tank" Electric Water Heater: Home Improvement

Here is the same unit on another site:
Eemax Mini Tank Electric Tankless Water Heaters EMT2.5: Designerplumbing.com

That site also lists a 4 gallon unit at the same wattage:
Eemax Mini Tank Electric Tankless Water Heaters EMT4: Designerplumbing.com

I have never heard of Eemax before so I cannot endorse these products as good, nor tell you to stay away. Nor do I know if they are rugged enough for travel trailer use. I just point them out. You can also find Bosch 2.5 and 4 gallon mini-tank water heaters on Amazon, but they are listed at 1500W. There may be other brands and wattages, but I stopped looking.

EDIT: A google search for "mini tank water heater" turns up more brands and wattages between 1200 and 1500:
http://www.google.com/search?q=mini+tank+water+heater

Good Luck!
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:10 PM   #349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
I poked around on the internet quickly to see what I could find in low wattage tank type electric water heaters. A more detailed search might turn up more.

Here is a 1200W (10A) 2.5 Gallon electric Water Heater on Amazon:
Amazon.com: Eemax EMT2.5 "Mini-Tank" Electric Water Heater: Home Improvement

Here is the same unit on another site:
Eemax Mini Tank Electric Tankless Water Heaters EMT2.5: Designerplumbing.com

That site also lists a 4 gallon unit at the same wattage:
Eemax Mini Tank Electric Tankless Water Heaters EMT4: Designerplumbing.com

I have never heard of Eemax before so I cannot endorse these products as good, nor tell you to stay away. Nor do I know if they are rugged enough for travel trailer use. I just point them out. You can also find Bosch 2.5 and 4 gallon mini-tank water heaters on Amazon, but they are listed at 1500W. There may be other brands and wattages, but I stopped looking.

EDIT: A google search for "mini tank water heater" turns up more brands and wattages between 1200 and 1500:
mini tank water heater - Google Search

Good Luck!
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:34 PM   #350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
I poked around on the internet quickly to see what I could find in low wattage tank type electric water heaters. A more detailed search might turn up more.

Here is a 1200W (10A) 2.5 Gallon electric Water Heater on Amazon:
Amazon.com: Eemax EMT2.5 "Mini-Tank" Electric Water Heater: Home Improvement

Here is the same unit on another site:
Eemax Mini Tank Electric Tankless Water Heaters EMT2.5: Designerplumbing.com

That site also lists a 4 gallon unit at the same wattage:
Eemax Mini Tank Electric Tankless Water Heaters EMT4: Designerplumbing.com

I have never heard of Eemax before so I cannot endorse these products as good, nor tell you to stay away. Nor do I know if they are rugged enough for travel trailer use. I just point them out. You can also find Bosch 2.5 and 4 gallon mini-tank water heaters on Amazon, but they are listed at 1500W. There may be other brands and wattages, but I stopped looking.

EDIT: A google search for "mini tank water heater" turns up more brands and wattages between 1200 and 1500:
mini tank water heater - Google Search

Good Luck!
Marine Water Heater Review - Atwood, IsoTemp, Torrid, Superstor
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