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Old 11-18-2009, 11:06 AM   #1
Bea
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What can I expect my electric bill to be?

Hello all,

I have a friend who wants to hook up her 1970's vintage Airstream on my property, and into my home electicity, for a few months. She is semi-disabled and thus will be in the trailer most of every day (ie. using lights, heat, etc.)

So, I am hoping you experienced folks can give me some idea of the ballpark figure for an electric bill of a trailer being used as a residence.

I really want to help her out, but I need to know if I'll be able to afford the bump in my utility bill.

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide!
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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For just lights and a TV/radio, I doubt youd notice a big difference in your electric bill. Think of it as just another bedroom.

But, how is she going to heat the trailer?

If she uses electric space heaters, or a heat pump, then youll notice a difference. How much? That depends a lot on how warm she likes it, how cold it gets, and your electric rates. Id plan on a few bucks a day for electric heat. Maybe upwards of $5 per day for cold snaps as a rough estimate until you get the first bill and know for sure.

If shes going to use propane and the AS furnace, then shell be filling up the propane tanks on a pretty regular basis. Does she have 30 or 40 lb tanks? Whos going to fill them and pay for them?

When we have visitors stay for Thanksgiving weekend in our SOB trailer in the past, we would go though both 30 lb tanks in 5 days, and that was strictly for heat. Of course, its typically a bit colder here than Virginia.

btw - I think you're a saint for letting her stay in her trailer at your house!

Good luck!

Chris
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:07 PM   #3
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If she uses her refrigerator and hot water heater that will make a difference as well. Those two items in a month will be about $10 to $20.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:20 PM   #4
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In it all the time...my guess...$100 plus per mo.
Those space heaters can use the juice. Maybe
$140.00 plus during the winter. Then there is propane,
water, sewer and trash. Help is help! And
Free aint free. Keep an eye on it...it won't take long
to figure it out.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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SO glad to be getting some responses. I was worried I might have put this in the wrong place (didn't realize there was a "Fulltiming" forum... got here from a Google search.)

Thanks so much for your replies so far!
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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Bea,

How about water and sewer? Do you have provisions for those? Also, it gets cold enough in the Valley to have to worry about freezing; will you be able to wrap the "basement" and keep the area somewhat heated?

Pat
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:05 PM   #7
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Bea,

How about water and sewer? Do you have provisions for those? Also, it gets cold enough in the Valley to have to worry about freezing; will you be able to wrap the "basement" and keep the area somewhat heated?

Pat
I think the plan will be for her to use the facilities indoors. Thanks for the tip on insulating. I'll have to look into that.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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a (very) little math, here

okay, assume she uses ALL of the 30amp 120vac power available. And assume your electricity costs .0765/kilowatt hour; then 24 hours/day x 30 days/mo x 30amps x 120v x .0765 divided by 1000. this would equal $198/mo!!!! but of course, her actual daily usage would be less than 12 hours, which cuts it into half $100/mo, and she absolutely will NOT use 30 amps of power, probably less than half that = $50/mo. This, to me would be a MAX figure. of course, the utility rate may be more or less (I dunno), so you may have to adjust. But I would bet that it will be less than $50/mo. Way to go helping out!
ol bill
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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okay, assume she uses ALL of the 30amp 120vac power available. And assume your electricity costs .0765/kilowatt hour; then 24 hours/day x 30 days/mo x 30amps x 120v x .0765 divided by 1000. this would equal $198/mo!!!! but of course, her actual daily usage would be less than 12 hours, which cuts it into half $100/mo, and she absolutely will NOT use 30 amps of power, probably less than half that = $50/mo. This, to me would be a MAX figure. of course, the utility rate may be more or less (I dunno), so you may have to adjust. But I would bet that it will be less than $50/mo. Way to go helping out!
ol bill
Thanks for helping with the math factor. I was able to look at past bills and calculate a KWH rate (with taxes,etc.) of 0.108-- now I'm off to plug that into your VERY helpful formula. Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:40 PM   #10
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Hi Bea and welcome, This link may help the heat bill. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462...eam-20597.html. Bails of straw would work in a pinch but critters will like it too.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:49 PM   #11
Bea
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Hi Bea and welcome, This link may help the heat bill. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462...eam-20597.html. Bails of straw would work in a pinch but critters will like it too.
Very helpful. Will probably go with this instead of the bales of straw idea... not looking for any ADDITIONAL tenants this winter.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:09 PM   #12
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Hi Bea,

When you do the math for figuring out electrical usage, keep in mind that the trailer needs to be heated 24 hours a day. Granted, you can drop the temp down when she's not in there, but you can't shut it all the way off. Even if you don't need to worry about water freezing, you really don't want to start heating the trailer up from near freezing or below freezing temps evey time she wants to go out there for the night.

Do you have a 30 amp 110 VAC outlet for her to plug into?

Chris
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:23 PM   #13
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hi bea...

IF electricity use is CONFINED to charging the batteries and using the 12v interior lights...

the monthly charge will be small (20$ or so depending on KW rates)

but HEATING water or the trailer involves 1500 W or larger appliances...

and EACH of those will bump the juice bill significantly.

there is ALSO the issue of wiring.

because IF you don't have a dedicated 30 amp outlet (and correctly sized wires)

there is RISK of damage, melting and so on with 2 or more 1500w appliances 30-100 feet away on an extension cord...
______________

so ideally you would supply enough electric power for the interior lights and battery charging...

then USE LPGAS for heating water, cooking, the fridge and HEATING the trailer.

this could mean regularly filling the rv bottles OR having a LARGE lp tank set up and filled by a gas vendor.

IF the lp gas use if fully incorporated the cost of electric power (and wiring install) will be MUCH MUCH less.

cheers
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #14
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I wished I lived in an area with $.0765/kilowatt-hour electrical rates!!!!

Here in Silicon Valley my baseline rate is $.11531/kW-hr. Check your local rates before you take that plunge. Also, electric heaters can be pricey!! I left a 1500W oil filled electric radiant heater running non-stop in my bedroom for about a month (turning the thermostat down during the day when I was at work). This took my electrical usage well above my baselines and my rates skyrocketed. I was graced with a $250 electric bill that month.

That actually brings up a good point. If you have a tiered billing system like we do here in California with PG&E then your electric bill could really go up with her added usage. Not trying to scare you away from the idea of helping out a friend, but rather hoping that you will fully consider all added costs.
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