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Old 01-28-2015, 10:45 AM   #29
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Hello J.air.doe ... I think your idea of making your unit all-electric is a great one, for several reasons. First, there is a growing number of people that want a travel trailer that is total electric - me, for one - but they are extremely hard to find. Some just don't like gas, some think gas is unsafe in such a small space ... the debate rages on. An electric unit, however, is much more efficient than gas because 100% of the energy it consumes is transferred into heat, hot water, the pan, whatever. With gas, as much as 30% of your energy goes right out the flue. Electric is safer than gas because you have the luxury of a breaker to likely stop unwanted flow. Gas is not unsafe by any means if used correctly, but a breaker won't stop a ruptured gas line. And, let's face it, in today's society you have GOT to have AC to power the TV or laptop or charge those cellphones that life would be unsupportable without! So, if you already HAVE to have electric, why not go all the way and alleviate the need for two fuel source requirements?

This is a hotly debated topic and folks will say gas is easier, some mention resale and on and on, but the bottom line is what do you want and what is right for your application. The "gas folks" aren't telling you that an LP furnace will rip through a full 20# tank in about three days. If all-electric is your fancy then go for it and then come back and post the results here for folks like me fascinated with the possibility. Remember, travel trailers are like trousers. What fits one guy, won't fit another so basically you've got to find the breeches that are the best comfort for you.

In my experience, inverters nor batteries will do an effective job of operating AC appliances while in-tow and definitely not the repertoire you mentioned using. A DC refrigerator, however, along with your inverter and batteries WILL suffice while in-tow and then the remainder of your appliances will work once you reconnect with shore power.

So good luck to you and if you do go all the way, I'd love to read about it when you're all done! Happy trails!
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:46 AM   #30
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I'm going to go ahead and disagree with you zendog.

There seems to be someone here about every 90 days, who having spent a 2-3 hours doing internet research, declares that they know better than 80 years of trailer experience that all-electric is the way to go.

Some have undergone the process which solves many problems and seems to raise many problems.

Butane/Propane is a proven clean portable, storeable fuel for heat/hot water/cooking and refrigeration. 12V electrics well great for LED lights, Fans, Pumps, Radio and entertainment.

If you are talking about a motor home running on diesel with a on board on demand diesel gen, then you have a platform to go all electric and ditch the LPG. This is how the interstates should run.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:19 PM   #31
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As long as you are committed to staying where shore power is available, go for it. Remember electric heat is the most expensive energy available. It's even worse if you have to burn diesel or gas to produce the electricity. Current bushes are hard to find in the outback and running a genny spoils the experience with noise.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:25 AM   #32
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TimHortons ... I happen to prefer electric over gas and that's based on my personal experience over the past 50 years and not some transient research via the Internet. FOR ME, electric is a better choice but I'm not attempting in any way to sell your or anyone one way or another. J.air.doe stated he wanted to do it. I agree with him and if he does it, I'd love to see the outcome. Where's the harm in that? Did it really warrant your comment?
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:06 AM   #33
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I don't buy the safer argument. Seems to me that electrocution is a much more likely prospect in a trailer with metal shells and metal ribs with wires running through them plugged into questionably-wired outlets, than an explosion from a gas leak.

I also think people aren't familiar with the safeties in the propane system, such as the excess flow shutoff in the regulators. Think of it as a circuit breaker for propane.

I'd never consider buying a trailer without a propane system; I wouldn't be able to dry camp with it. I know some motorhomes do without propane by having things like a diesel powered water heater for those times when you're camping without electricity, but that's not a solution I'd prefer.

Also, this is an old thread.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:33 AM   #34
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Certainly you can do it with all electric. Drop a 3000 watt Honda in the back of the truck and go. The specific thing I would change is the on demand hot water heater. I do not like them anyway, and for your application it would seem to be better to have a insulated tank of hot water and then switch the heating element off so it does not come on when you are running the ac or something else with a lot of draw and trip the breaker. I would want to be able to control when it heats. The compressor refrig. will be more efficient than the gas-electric ones.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:00 AM   #35
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We travel widely about the country using the simple, quiet and efficient propane and solar systems of our Airstream, sometimes we have hookups sometimes not. No generator to mess with at every stop. Can't imagine a better way to enjoy travel and camping.

Without propane we'd need a generator and lots and lots of gasoline, don't see how that's better or safer in any way.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:59 PM   #36
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Zen dog, perhaps the question back to you is the basis for your post. Usage (lots of boon docking or not), vehicle ( an AS, 5th wheel, motorhome, van type) etc all play into an answer. Maybe this list of choices is why, as you point out, there aren't very many all electrics offered by the manufacturers. Demand is to low from the buyers.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:40 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Nuclear is quiet.

Gene
There would be a market for a mountable small quiet reliable diesel generator hybrided to some lithium batteries/capacitors for surge draw. Would take most people completely off grid for a month at minimum fuss/cost.

Nobody makes one.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:04 PM   #38
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Tim,

It is easier to have electricity for a long time boondocking, but the real limits are water—fresh water to drink, cook with and be clean, and then black and grey water to dump.

Between our 200 w. of solar and a small (1 kw.) generator, we could stay somewhere a long time, but water is the issue. Then eventually propane runs out, more quickly if it is cold.

Unless you are the real Tim Horton, aren't you Burger King now?

Gene
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:49 PM   #39
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There was a semi-retro Shasta made in 2009 called the Shasta 12. It looked like an old fashioned Shasta on the outside, but as modern as the sleekest Airstream inside. It was all electric, with no LP systems. It was a flop, and pulled from the market, primarily because of the limitations of an all electric configuration.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:41 PM   #40
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Unless I missed it, I didn't see a mention of needing ducting around the tanks to prevent them from freezing. Certainly a consideration. There are some great diesel furnaces if a fear of propane is an issue.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:40 AM   #41
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Quote:
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Tim,

It is easier to have electricity for a long time boondocking, but the real limits are water—fresh water to drink, cook with and be clean, and then black and grey water to dump.

Between our 200 w. of solar and a small (1 kw.) generator, we could stay somewhere a long time, but water is the issue. Then eventually propane runs out, more quickly if it is cold.

Unless you are the real Tim Horton, aren't you Burger King now?

Gene
In my off-grid survivalist fantasy, I have already used one of those gravity filters to supplement the fresh water supply and a composting toilet to turn my black into grey. I'm not bothered by state grey dumping rules, because the state has already collapsed.

Now my limitation is propane/heat ... short of building some kind of passivhaus pad in the wilderness running on lots of solar/wind/batteries/ground heat pump I'm a little stuck. The simplist solution would be to go somewhere above freezing. Now my main limitation is food and 12V refrigeration.

Diesel has great portability, long term storability over gas, and energy density. But you need tanks, generators, etc.

My conclusion is that unless you are living the full Heisenberg lifestyle, just go into town for water and propane once a week. (or send someone else in to pick them up)
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