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Old 10-21-2006, 10:56 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Stupid Question Time...

I have a 74 31' Sovereign. We have gutted it in prep for a full restoration.

I have questions.

Has anyone ever gone ALL electric? Removed all propane appliances, including furnace, stove and fridge?

Recomendations for an ELECTRIC tankless hot water heater that handles high volume (I found a low volume one, but I love my LONG hot showers <grin>).

Thanks!

Merry
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:11 PM   #2
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When I was looking for my first Airstream, I ran across an all electric '96 25' Excella for sale near Sarasota, Fla. The original owner's wife was scared to death of propane due to some former incident so they ordered the all electric Excella direct from the factory. Unfortunately the trailer leaked like a sieve and the floor was rotting. It was all moldy and damp inside so I ran like hell!
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:19 PM   #3
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Due to an unfortunate fire in my teens, I too, am afraid of fire. Open flames don't bother me - having to restart a pilot light or a sparkingelectronic ignition, that sort of thing scares me.

We will be doing all electric, I just wondered of anyone else has ever done so? Is there anything to watch out for? Advice, tips, suggestions, things to beware of?

Thanks, Merry
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:42 PM   #4
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Talking Fire good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry Stahel
Due to an unfortunate fire in my teens, I too, am afraid of fire. Open flames don't bother me - having to restart a pilot light or a sparkingelectronic ignition, that sort of thing scares me.

We will be doing all electric, I just wondered of anyone else has ever done so? Is there anything to watch out for? Advice, tips, suggestions, things to beware of?

Thanks, Merry
You're going to be restricted to being at full service campgrounds only - no boondocking. Now I thought I'd be spending 99% of my time in just those circumstances, but I've found the joy of being self contained. The new gas water heaters have ignitions that don't require a long match or lighter, and a gas water heater recovers much faster than an electric one. I never had propane before, but I'll tell you the smell is "distinctive".... You'll never have a leak you won't smell LONG before it becomes dangerous.

By all means get a convection microwave oven if you want, but I'd really try to get some help getting over the fear of open flames and keep the water heater and gas burners.

Whatever you decide... enjoy your airstream.

Paula
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:07 AM   #5
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I agree with Paula, I boondock 99% of the time and could not be without propane. Another thing to think about is the amount of current all electric is going to use. Your trailer most likely has 30 amp service as do most RV parks. Add the amperage of the items you want to run at the same time and you will be way over the 30 amp number. 120 volt tankless water heaters draw alot of power (20+ amps) as do A/C units, stoves and ovens. Check out the units you want to get, find the amout of current they require and do the math.
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry Stahel
I have a 74 31' Sovereign. We have gutted it in prep for a full restoration.

I have questions.

Has anyone ever gone ALL electric? Removed all propane appliances, including furnace, stove and fridge?

Recomendations for an ELECTRIC tankless hot water heater that handles high volume (I found a low volume one, but I love my LONG hot showers <grin>).

Thanks!

Merry
Hi, with everything electric, you would probably have to have 50 amp service; And with the exception of a hot plate, I believe electric stoves all run on 220 volts. And if I'm right about this, what campsites have 220 volt systems for you to plug into? High voltage could be just as dangerous as with a propane problem. [Key word Problem]

Bob
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Old 10-22-2006, 02:30 AM   #7
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You will be without a cook stove since none operate on 110 and if you ever did find one the amp drain would be too great for campground wiring. Then there is the problem of campground wiring. Many, too many, campgrounds have poor wiring, reverse grounds, no grounds, low voltage, and anything else that can go wrong. There have been times that I will plug Chummy in only to unplug and go without due to the campground wiring problems. I am willing to bet that more fires are caused by electrical problems than by propane problems. One other thing for you to consider is the resale if you do go all electric. You may not think you will ever want to sell but most of us are on at least our second Airstream. An all electric trailer will make it difficult to sell and diminish the price. I drive a motorhome with a 100 lb. propane tank that extends from the passenger seat almost to the entrance door and we keep it full. There is a propane gas detector inside but as previously mentioned the rotten egg smell from a leak is very distinctive. The only concern I have about the propane is the ever increasing price.
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:40 AM   #8
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Hmmm..the voltage thing would be a problem. I shall reconsider.

That said, when we boondock, we stay in tents. We've been doing it for about 14 years. Although Mom and Pa bought a pop-up a couple years ago, they've never really cooked in it, we STILL cook outside even when they bring it along.

The problem is that we have various needs for this Airstream. It wasn't bought to camp in, it was bought so I'd have a living space while the house was being built. Due to construction delays, looks like I might be living in it for up to a year. I am permanently parked on my property, tied into septic, electric and water.

I'll be staying in it through the winter. An experimental night sleeping arrangement was tested 3 nights ago - the electric space heater did a fine job of keeping the place warm. Of course, it only dropped to the mid 30s...so we shall see.

We still have a long way to go to rehab it, flooring, cabinets and walls are awaiting a dry day because we need to caulk a couple windows before the floor is tackled. Some leak spots have damaged the subfloor.

Anyway, I'll talk to the husband and Pa about which propane devices may stay, if any.

Thanks for the advice and I'll refer them here to see what you have to say, too! Thanks again!

Merry
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Old 10-22-2006, 08:23 AM   #9
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On the "all electric" Airstream I saw in Sarasota, the owner used a 110v hotplate for cooking. The upgrade to 50 amp service will likely be a necessity.
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Old 10-22-2006, 08:50 AM   #10
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No trailer should be without a smoke detector and CO detector (mounted high) and a propane detector. The latter is mounted near the floor since propane is heavier than air. One might not smell it right away down there, so the detector is vital. New units certainly have all three and anyone should retrofit if theirs doesn't have them!

I was traveling last week in 30 degree weather and having my LP furnace running was cheap insurance to keep the pipes thawed. (Unthawed if you speak Minnesotan... )
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Old 10-22-2006, 08:59 AM   #11
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CO detector

Canoe Stream,

I know smoke detectors need to be up high, but I just got a CO detector and was going to mount it low. I always thought it was "heavier" than air. (Our home bedroom is below grade and our kids said we needed to put one at a lower lever where the CO "sinks". I need to be sure on this one.
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:02 AM   #12
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It occurred to me some people may be too young to remember hotplates so here's a pic of one:
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:40 AM   #13
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I agree that you should probably upgrade to 50a service if you want to avoid propane. You can run a 240V cooktop and oven on a 50a campground service, or your temporary service at the construction site.

You should figure out a way to get warm air to the black and greywater tanks if you don't use the propane furnace. May be as simple as installing a booster fan in the existing ductwork, or running just the furnace fan to draw warm air from the electric spaceheater.
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Old 10-22-2006, 10:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auretrvr
Canoe Stream,

I know smoke detectors need to be up high, but I just got a CO detector and was going to mount it low. I always thought it was "heavier" than air. (Our home bedroom is below grade and our kids said we needed to put one at a lower lever where the CO "sinks". I need to be sure on this one.
Actually, it depends. Here's a link.
Dave
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc.../chem03364.htm
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