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Old 06-05-2015, 05:01 PM   #15
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My camper is my only shower right now

I am repairing house plumbing, and money is tight.

In a pinch I stopped on the way home to get propane so I could take a shower.
It was $36 to fill my 30 tank. Isn't that high??????????

Anyway my question isn't about what is convenient while camping. I am trying to make the propane last.

I guess there are a lot of variables, but it's been about 70 during the day and 55 at night, and I take one shower a day.

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Old 06-05-2015, 05:34 PM   #16
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A 30# tank is 7 gal, so they are charging you about $5 a gal. Very high compared to the prices here in Idaho. I paid around $18 as I recall the last time I had my 30#, 7 gal tank filled. Look around to see if there is any cheaper place to fill up. Some places just have crazy prices for the BBQ set.

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Old 06-05-2015, 08:38 PM   #17
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I light my hot water tank before I get into a shower. I let it run through a complete cycle and then turn it off before I start my shower. I am able to take a nice warm shower. I like to rinse off and turn the shower off until I have scrubbed up and shampooed, then I have enough hot water left in the tank for rinsing.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:55 PM   #18
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I am out camping now, and can hear my water heater cycle. An hour and a half ago it ran, and it ran just now. It ran for 3 minutes to keep the water hot for 1.5 hours. It is in the 70's outside now.

So to answer my statements in post #14 on this specific trip the burner has been running about 1 minute per half hour to keep the water hot. So, in 24 hours, it would run 48 minutes doing nothing but keeping things hot.

Since the burner takes 0.1 gal per hour to operate, and 48 minutes is 5/6 of an hour, the propane consumption would be about 0.09 gal per day (under 1/10th of a gal.).

So, bottom line, at today's test reading, a gal. of propane would be needed to keep the water hot (no water use, just hot) for about 11 days. Att my propane cost, that is about 25 to 30 cents a day. More if it were colder out of course.

My head hurts again..... LOL.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:12 PM   #19
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That was a question on a Thermodynamics quiz in college!

Yes, It's better to turn in off. The rate of heat loss drops as the tank cools resulting in less energy transfer over time.

It's mathmatically possible to show that reheating a slightly cooler tank is more efficient than keeping in hot all of the time.

Of course, this method, in the long run should save the average use at least a penny or so every year...
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:22 PM   #20
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Efficiency-wise, turning off the water heater will use less gas in the long run. The heater is more efficient at heating cold water than holding the temperature at high temp; plus as noted by others in his post the heater cycles frequently to maintain the temp, when you don't need it. We often find the water hot enough to wash up on the road hours after breaking camp, so the water stays hot for quite a while.

That being said, we leave the heater on while at camp....mostly for convenience...until the noise in the night gets to me.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:40 PM   #21
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I had a wierd feeling the other day - and for no reason checked by Sewer Solution. I realized I had the GRAY tank valve closed and the BLACK tank open. No biggie because it was only a couple of days - but then I thought what would happen if I had a plumbing leak or a dripping faucet. I could come home at night and find a wet floor. So NEW protocol, turn off water heater and WATER when leaving and turn water ON when arriving back at home.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:44 PM   #22
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It may have household amenities, but a bit of planning (discipline) goes a long way in keeping a travel trailer both comfortable and its components long-lived. NOT using an appliance isn't the path to longest life, nor, I think is constant use that route either. What works best for those using it is probably right.

I'm of the camp that plans some use around the water heater in operation (any washing of dishes, bodies and clothes kept together in time) to be "best". I prefer evening use be it summer or winter. And whether using propane or electric to then turn it off.

The question worked back to what part of camping did I like best. And that was the main meal of the day. Chores or adventures over, now time to settle in, prepare dinner, get cleaned up. Works whether coming in off the road or any day of a long stay at a campground.
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:18 PM   #23
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Thanks Idroba

The savings would be small

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