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Old 03-07-2012, 08:03 PM   #43
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Reply to nuvite-F about wind turbines, most generate 8500 megs. power up to 9500 megs,The energy co. does get a tax credit for construction. sell to power cos. by bid, power cos. charge much more to consumers same old story gouge, needed for renewable energy, I have heard every bad story about mills at zoning hearings they are not true [noise vibrations etc.] I have contract for 4 one 1 of my farms
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:12 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post
This is an interesting statement. Let me make sure I understand what you are saying here. Let's consider Trailer A, which is running a 1,500 watt portable heater (120 V at 12.5 A) and Trailer B, which is running a 1,500 Watt electrical heating strip in the roof air conditioner (also 120 V at 12.5 A).

So, are you asserting that the 30 A trailer power cord on Trailer A will run hotter than the 30 A trailer power cord on Trailer B because the heater is portable?
.
Step out of your numbers cloud a moment. Anything with a cord (space heater to the wall outlet) will have a power supply line that is unprotected, prone to stretching, cracking and all kinds of "normal" damage (and it won't be replaced as it should be). Where permanent will not. This is rocket science? The trailer electrical system is what is in question. Where do you want to start, really? The melted wall outlet? The frayed/corroded inner wall junction in a 20-year old coach?

What strain is acceptable where the alternative [propane heat] is already at hand? And the burden on the electrical system is about being miserly, being unwise (to be generous). That is the question, not the nitpicking about discrete parts.

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Old 03-07-2012, 09:35 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
Step out of your numbers cloud a moment. Anything with a cord (space heater to the wall outlet) will have a power supply line that is unprotected, prone to stretching, cracking and all kinds of "normal" damage (and it won't be replaced as it should be). Where permanent will not. This is rocket science? The trailer electrical system is what is in question. Where do you want to start, really? The melted wall outlet? The frayed/corroded inner wall junction in a 20-year old coach?

What strain is acceptable where the alternative [propane heat] is already at hand? And the burden on the electrical system is about being miserly, being unwise (to be generous). That is the question, not the nitpicking about discrete parts.
So, I infer from your circumlocutory answer that you are retracting your earlier assertion that running a 12 Amp electric heater will cause your 30 A trailer electric supply cord to fail. I think we can agree that assertion is unsustainable.

Now you seem to be saying that it's a bad idea to plug much of anything into the outlets of your trailer because the wiring is old, not properly maintained, frayed/corroded, etc., etc., etc. Well, that's at least arguable since there are all kinds of trailers out there in all kinds of condition.

Of course, the propane system is as old as the electrical system so you can have just as many problems with your old gas appliances. And an electrical problem will usually just trip a breaker, whereas a propane problem can blow the trailer to kingdom come.

So, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

Feel free to worry about what you want to worry about, and I will worry about what I want to worry about.

Peace.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:44 PM   #46
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I really don't see a need to use propane to heat with unless it is really cold outside. My mother in law stayed in the trailer during Christmas and she kept overloading the main circuit because she would turn the heater on high when I told her that you can't. I also told her the microwave heater could run on high but not the one in the bedroom. If I remember correctly there is a 30A main breaker and a 20A that goes to the microwave or AC. There is another 15A circuit that runs all the recepticles, the fridge, and the univolt. I could never get 15A out of the bedroom plugs. I also told her that is all else fails turn on the thermostat. When I lived in a trailer during college I used the heater in the AC exclusively.

Propane tanks are a racket. They charge you $30 for $15 of propane. So heating with propane is not cheap. Also there is the pain of trying to get older tanks filled so the less propane I use the better.

Perry
I get 30-lb tanks re-filled for $22.50/ea, in the park. And haven't gone through two tanks in two months. With keeping the [new] furnace at 70-F (and plenty of days/nights below 60-F with high winds). Less than $40 in 60-days for a 32' TT. 75-cents/day. That's expensive? Compared to what . . the pilot lights in a house? I also have two space heaters I've used as experiment. One new, one a few years old, each of different type. There is no comparison for overall even heat. With the local humidity I run a big dehumidifier that keeps this tin can more comfortable. And it doesn't have to run long to bring things back down past 55% (and I don't need to run it with the furnace, obviously).

A vented catalytic heater is what makes "cents" for those wanting to cut the propane burn (for one area of the TT). In a trailer of this size I'd have two were I in a cold climate for the winter (as do other SS and AVION owners in oilfield work overwintering in Montana and Wyoming).

Jammer, with a permanently-installed, properly-sized electric heater, has the "other" solution (also for one area of a TT). The craft workers I've talked to who have used electric heat have also run separate power for this type of install, bypassing the trailer electric entirely.

Only a forced-air furnace can cover the whole TT. Run the numbers as to years of ownership and nights of use. It's cheap. It's like mistaking fuel economy as being the "expense" of a given TV when the sunk (fixed) costs are the real money, and dwarf fuel economy. Only now we are speaking of the electrical delivery system that is hard to access and check for problems, thus a danger-in-waiting as these coaches age.

Folks will do as they will. But there is no upside to "saving" pennies when the dollars are elsewhere.

.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:05 PM   #47
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While electricity and propane prices vary widely across the country, depending on a variety of factors, some political, the average cost of electricity across the U.S. is currently about 11.6 cents per kwh (eia.gov). As someone noted earlier, at that price, running a typical 1500 watt (1.5kw) electric heater 24 hours/day would cost 1.5*24*.116= $4.18 per day. In reality, most people don’t run their space heaters 24 hours/day, and since most space heaters have some form of thermostat, they cycle on and off during their hours of operation. As a rough guess, the daily cost is probably about half that number, maybe only one fourth, maybe less, depending on the settings, hours of use, ambient temperature, etc.

Though Bernanke says there’s no inflation, we all know that prices are, indeed, rising on the basket of goods many of us actually purchase, including electricity. Still, increases in electrical rates are not driving the seemingly 10% annual rise I see in campground/RV park rates, and as campground owner wasagachris noted, I suspect usage, not electric rates is a big driver there. In terms of usage, it is the large coaches driving consumption, not the occasional space heater use in the typical Airstream, or similar sized coach. Even doubling the electric rates would have relatively small dollar impact on daily space heater costs in a small trailer. If you really want to economize, using you’re A/C in heat-pump mode is more efficient than either the furnace or a space heater, if the noise doesn’t bother you, albeit I suspect you’ll wear out your A/C more quickly with obvious cost factors. Nevertheless, neither the heat pump nor the space heater will provide the same level of freeze protection that the furnace ducts are said to provide.

In terms of efficiency, electric heating compares well with propane. The cost per million btu’s is similar, depending on the volatile price for propane, but as a heating appliance, electric heating is more efficient than the typical forced air gas. If we had access to natural gas at the campground hookup, the advantage would tip toward using the furnace rather than a space heater; but since our most common option is propane, electric heating is more economical, especially at today’s propane prices.

Although the btu output of the propane furnace in the typical Airstream is much larger than a typical 1500 watt (5,000 btu) space heater, size, efficiency, and operating costs are not the same thing; consequently, heating a small space like an Airstream with a 1500 watt space heater can be very cost effective, relative to the furnace, particularly during the “shoulder” months of spring and fall, in the winter months in warmer climates, especially if you desire to heat only a portion of the coach. They’re cheap to buy, cheap to operate, and perform well if used within their output capacity. Personally, I prefer the noiseless, oil-filled radiator style electric heaters. The oil functions as a heat sink, providing a fairly steady heat level. From my perspective, the typical fan-driven, element heaters can be noisy, and can produce fairly wide fluctuations in room temperature as they cycle on and off.

Having said all this, if you’re full-timing in a large RV, in a cold climate, a 1,500w space heater just isn’t going to have the capacity to keep the whole coach warm. But that lack of electric heater capacity should not be confused with perceptions of superior forced air furnace efficiency. On the other hand, if you have a smaller coach, seldom need heat, camp mainly during milder weather, or only seek to take the chill out of specific living areas, a space heater can be an economical, low-maintenance heat source, whether electricity is included in the RV site price, or billed separately.

You can take a look at the attached spreadsheet from eia.gov and note the pricing impact for different fuel sources. You can make changes in columns “C” (fuel cost) and “H” (efficiency) depending upon your local pricing, or the efficiency of your heating device.www.eia.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:51 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post
So, I infer from your circumlocutory answer that you are retracting your earlier assertion that running a 12 Amp electric heater will cause your 30 A trailer electric supply cord to fail. I think we can agree that assertion is unsustainable.

Now you seem to be saying that it's a bad idea to plug much of anything into the outlets of your trailer because the wiring is old, not properly maintained, frayed/corroded, etc., etc., etc. Well, that's at least arguable since there are all kinds of trailers out there in all kinds of condition.

Of course, the propane system is as old as the electrical system so you can have just as many problems with your old gas appliances. And an electrical problem will usually just trip a breaker, whereas a propane problem can blow the trailer to kingdom come.

So, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

Feel free to worry about what you want to worry about, and I will worry about what I want to worry about.

Peace.
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Circumlocutory. Bubba, the point is about the health of a system.

FWIW, I quoted a post above mine. I've seen fried 30 and 50A power cords. Should have seen the moho next to me that just got hauled away. Mismatches abound, coming and going, in RV electrical. The big problem is in the trailer walls and always will be. And we haven't even touched on crappy RV park electrical in this, fluctuating voltage and all that adds a whole other dimension . . that breakers won't catch. These trailers are prone to bad worksmanship at the factory, bad "repairs" or "workarounds" by the owner or a service tech, and then subjected to lousy park voltages and owner misuse on top of it.

By contrast the delivery system for propane is easy to check (and that is the comparison). One can easily examine any point of the propane plumbing. And replacing any of the four appliances run by propane is also easy.

Can I do the same with the electrical? Is it placed in baseboard runs to R&R every decade or so? Or do I have to remove the TT interior shell to access it?

You tell me which system you will double-doggone guarantee short of a tear-out. One of them you almost can, and it ain't the electrical. 2-years old or 32-years old.

(You're a fun guy, Nuvite, when you aren't putting words in my mouth )

.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:11 AM   #49
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Yikes, guys!

I think someone suggested I was miserly.

A lot of information here to take into consideration. Thanks.


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Old 03-08-2012, 09:50 AM   #50
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If I had tanks that did not take bribery to get filled then propane would look better.

Perry
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