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Old 03-09-2004, 05:01 PM   #43
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Suz, your house probably has 200 ampere (200A) service. You can run a LOT of electricity hogs (generally things that make heat) simultaneously on that.

50A campground service gives you two 50A power lines for 100A total. If you add up the amperage (A) of the items I've listed, you'll see that you can't run them all to the maximum simultaneously. But that's hardly a problem.

For example on Line 1, it means you can't run the cooktop and the washer/dryer simultaneously IF the air-conditioner is on AND there's something drawing considerable power from the bath, kitchen, and outdoor outlets, for example a toaster or coffeemaker.

On Line 2, you can't flush the toilet if the microwave is on at the same time the water heater is on AND there's something drawing considerable power from the living room, bedroom, or converter outlets.

The odds of 50A service being insufficient, and you tripping a circuit-breaker, aren't very high at all, but it can happen.

30A campground service only gives you one 30A power line for 30A total. It's fine for most of us who use propane for heat, except those who have dual air-conditioners. You would only use it as a last resort, and would only be able to run two of the major items at a time.

Before building this trailer, you need to make sure you can get a lease at a park that can provide you with 50A power AND that will let you use your washer. If that isn't possible, you may have to pay someone to come by your trailer, pick up your laundry, and take it to the laundromat for you. CALL AROUND to campgrounds in the area you intend to stay in.

You should also realize that all this solar and wind power is only going to reduce your monthly electrical bill by peanuts relative to the size it will be. An RV is insulated nowhere near to the same level as a residence and uses much more energy.
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:09 PM   #44
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I just noticed something, Suz... you DID realize that while you may not have propane or charcoal starter fluid, the neighbors less than 20' on either side of you in a campground will.

In a campground, you'll be surrounded by hundreds of propane bottles and RV propane systems, certainly not all of which are totally leak free.

From what I hear, Texans only use charcoal to grill, and in campgrounds folks grill outside more than cook inside! You should expect that to occur almost daily right next to your trailer. Some will use starter fluid and some won't, but you won't have any say in whether they do or not.

Just some thoughts...
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Old 03-09-2004, 11:11 PM   #45
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TX=propane , gas heaven

Yes all this is a very big problem. I am going to be working with Real Goods in CA. they offer off grid RV systems and there is a new product from australia that is really efficient and can increase solar power by 30%. I plan to put a 4 foot shelf on the back (notice the royal "I") my son loves to weld. for 6-10 deep gel batteries for storage. I know it is hard to understand but there is NO WAY I can have someone wash my clothes in a laundromat. there are simply too many perfumes the stuff would pick up. To even tolerate the clothes I wear they have to be 100% natural cotton or silk (not raw) or linen and must be soaked in baking soda and rinsed in vinegar and washed before I can even tolerate them. so imagine how much trouble sheets and towels are. I've had this for almost 30 years so it's kind of normal for me but people first time dont understand usually. they think they are wearing nothing perfumed, but even deodorant can be perfumed or shampoo, or the dertegent your clothes are washed in, much less the little old ladies who dose themselves in perfume and are walking death to me. when I say I dont go out I mean not going out. If I happen to go to the doc's or food shopping I am on oxygen with an air filter and I'm usually sick for a day or two after. cooking is a bear for me. I can pass out from the smell of lamb cooking. It's a very "interesting" life. On the statistical bell curve I'm way out there at the very end. maybe I'll be able to find a piece of land with decent air and run electricity to it. meanwhile I have to find it.
Usually in the carribean I spend 4-6 hours a day slowly snorkeling around the coral and that is how I get better. But TEXAS??? are there smells from the off shore oil platforms?? are there globs of oil in the water?? How come no one mentions swimming in the tx gulf?? What's the matter with the place? In 4 more summers I can head to the fla keys and pennecamp park. another 4 after that my youngest finishes college and my hub retires hopefully. I have to hang on for 8 more years.

Has anyone driven down into mexico way down to the curve of the yucatan penninsula? Are there camps down there? with 50 amps??? : ) tarnished but sort of silver suz.
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Old 03-09-2004, 11:29 PM   #46
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Unhappy 2 50 amps- thank god!

ok I think I could make it on 2 50 amps. I will just need a large diagram of everything's amps so I can know what to run and what not to., and which circuits they are on. I have NO IDEA how much my oxygen maker uses. I have actually done a lot of solar- our house in CA was solar. Here in TX the word solar wasnt even in the phone book. I do have 2 sizes of solar ovens- one's too heavy to take. Lots of solar flashlights and lanterns. Solar battery chargers solaer cell phone charger. I can get a lap top charger. I did have an idea about expanding panels. I was thinking of hinging 2 together and attaching them to the front wind screen so folded up they would present a rock protector front but unfold to present 2 panels up to the sky. there are actually solar racks that tilt different ways to maximise the sun exposure, for RV's. Deep gel batteries seem to be the best for recharging and draining. I have heard in the Rockport- Fulton area, the trees are sculpted by the wind. If I can get in front, i will be upwind from the RV pollution. I obviously have a lot more research to do, any help would be appreciated. tarnishing fast silversuz
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:10 AM   #47
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Don't even THINK about putting 6-10 deep-cycle gel cell batteries on/in the rear of an Airstream! You're talking 400-700 lbs plus the shelving. Half that much weight that far back can have the trailer frame bowing down in the rear, and the aluminum body sections above it separating. That much weight will also definitely cause severe sway when trying to tow the trailer!

If you have to have that many batteries, carry them in the truck bed (and a heavy-duty truck at that), and set them up on a separate rack on the ground when you get where you're going. Putting that much weight in the very front will cause extreme tongue weight, not to mention have the tongue cracking and separating from the frame.

There's no such thing as a "deep gel" battery. If you create a 3 by 3 matrix (i.e. a tic-tac-toe grid), there are three most common types of battery by purpose on one axis, starting, dual-purpose, and deep-cycle. On the other axis there are 3 most common types of battery by construction, conventional flooded cells, absorbed glass mat (AGM), and gel cells. So there are 9 common types of batteries. It sounds like you meant deep-cycle gel cells.
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Old 03-10-2004, 09:31 PM   #48
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wow you certainly are educating me!

thanks RoadKingMoe, I dont know what I would do without you. You certainly keep me on the straight and narrow.
Would I be able to put a 110 lb electric bike on the back of the trailer? We can reinforce the whole end with steel studs (left over from the house) My husband says No to that. My older son loves welding. should we reinforce the floor around the wheel wells for the fridge, washer/dryer, and the other heavy stuff?
(my husband is a mechanical engineer but is also lost on the electrical.

We will have a ford 350 Van with a 460 cubic engine (whatever that means I just asked my husband) We are buying it on tuesday. It was used to tow a 34' AS, and has all the bells and whistles.. even AS colors! would it handle the batteries weight too?

After looking at the 2 KOA's on the florida keys (with 50 Amp service) I think I can survive. there's one thats just a pile of sand with about 50 trailers and water all around. That looks REALLY good. I'll just stay in during grill time. Perhaps I will just live in the water, eventually turning into a fish. silversides suz
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