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Old 01-17-2022, 07:37 AM   #1
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1961 24' Tradewind
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Ditching propane, going all electric on a 66 Tradewind

I am renovating my 66 Tradewind and am contemplating removing my propane tanks, adding a GoalZero Lithium power station as the center of my electrical system putting it between the incoming plug from the campsite and having it supply both the 110v and 12v systems in my camper. Then I swap in an electric fridge, and induction cooktop, a microwave/convection oven, a Coleman AC/heat pump, and an electric tankless water heater. I’m guessing there might be less expensive ways to do this, but I like the fact that the GoalZero is self contained so when we’re not camping I can move it to my house for backup power. If I find myself camping off-grid for longer periods of time, I could add solar panels as well as expansion battery packs.

Anyway, I’m looking for any advice on this, whether it’s a good idea or not, or whether anyone has suggestions. I’m not too concerned about costs as I just retired and what better way to spend my nestegg. I haven’t purchased the power station yet as I’m still tearing into the rotted floor to see just how much damage occurred from a leak. So far it looks isolated to 1 location to hopefully it isn’t too bad. My wife loves the allure of renovating this old beauty, but if it gets too hard, we might take the plunge and just buy a brand new camper. The next week or so when I get under the floor will give us a decision point.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:42 AM   #2
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A Goal Zero isn't going to give you the Amp-Hrs you're needing. Powering the AC, a microwave, a hot water heater will be massive and unsustainable. Folks that have done this are installing 10k-20KWH of of Lithium with Victron equipment (Typically).
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by LLninja View Post

Anyway, Iím looking for any advice on this, whether itís a good idea or not, or whether anyone has suggestions.
It is a great project. I am now just finishing up my AllElectric GlobeTrotter detailed in this thread.

My configuration includes an F-150 with ProPower 7.2kw generator. All electric operation is feasible with one exception. Off grid heating and cooling is limited when the F-150 is not near by. My solution is a super efficient and light weight two zone Espar diesel heating system for heating. Cooling not so critical as it can be quickly restored when the F-150 is nearby.
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:27 AM   #4
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Redundancy and multiple options are always a good thing.

When you're in a campground where you can plug in electric is a great thing to rely on. When the sun is shining and can keep your batteries topped off it also great.

When you've been dry camping for a few days of overcast and cooler weather and want to take the chill out of the air while you make some coffee, nothing beats the convenience of propane.

Our coach is pretty much all electric, yet we still have the propane furnace for times we're doing extended dry camping. And, we always carry a single-burner gas stove with a few 1-lb bottles of propane for those times we want to make coffee and don't want to hear the generator run in the early a.m.

In our Airstream we have the gas stove, but we also carry a portable induction heater for use when we're plugged in and the electric is available.

Options.
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Redundancy and multiple options are always a good thing.

When you're in a campground where you can plug in electric is a great thing to rely on. When the sun is shining and can keep your batteries topped off it also great.

When you've been dry camping for a few days of overcast and cooler weather and want to take the chill out of the air while you make some coffee, nothing beats the convenience of propane.

Our coach is pretty much all electric, yet we still have the propane furnace for times we're doing extended dry camping. And, we always carry a single-burner gas stove with a few 1-lb bottles of propane for those times we want to make coffee and don't want to hear the generator run in the early a.m.

In our Airstream we have the gas stove, but we also carry a portable induction heater for use when we're plugged in and the electric is available.

Options.
We will still bring our small propane Coleman 2 burner camping stove and small bottles when needed.
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by vanderwielen View Post
A Goal Zero isn't going to give you the Amp-Hrs you're needing. Powering the AC, a microwave, a hot water heater will be massive and unsustainable. Folks that have done this are installing 10k-20KWH of of Lithium with Victron equipment (Typically).
Iím hoping that 80% of the time or more we will be able to plug in at a campsite and just use plug in electricity. The power station would be mostly for night time lighting, plus weíre not always going to camp when we need AC or heat. But I will look into Victron as Iíve never heard of them and this is all new to me. Any suggestions for where to get standalone lithium batteries?
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by LLninja View Post
I am renovating my 66 Tradewind and am contemplating removing my propane tanks, adding a GoalZero Lithium power station as the center of my electrical system putting it between the incoming plug from the campsite and having it supply both the 110v and 12v systems in my camper. Then I swap in an electric fridge, and induction cooktop, a microwave/convection oven, a Coleman AC/heat pump, and an electric tankless water heater. Iím guessing there might be less expensive ways to do this, but I like the fact that the GoalZero is self contained so when weíre not camping I can move it to my house for backup power. If I find myself camping off-grid for longer periods of time, I could add solar panels as well as expansion battery packs.

Anyway, Iím looking for any advice on this, whether itís a good idea or not, or whether anyone has suggestions. Iím not too concerned about costs as I just retired and what better way to spend my nestegg. I havenít purchased the power station yet as Iím still tearing into the rotted floor to see just how much damage occurred from a leak. So far it looks isolated to 1 location to hopefully it isnít too bad. My wife loves the allure of renovating this old beauty, but if it gets too hard, we might take the plunge and just buy a brand new camper. The next week or so when I get under the floor will give us a decision point.
I like having a dual energy source .
It has served us well numerous times.
All electric is way too expensive and compicated.
And you will always need gas genetator as a backup.
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:34 AM   #8
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An electric tankless water heater is unrealistic in a trailer, it uses way too much power. You will need propane for tankless or a tank for electric.
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:46 AM   #9
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Llninja,
Your approach is appealing in its simplicity, until you look at the hard numbers. That's why this is such a perennial topic. To get the big picture, it would help to think of your energy system like a bank account with a limit on ATM withdrawals.
A filled 30 pound propane tank will cost you about $100 and weighs 55 pounds or so, and holds the equivalent of about 180 KWhr. LiFePO4 batteries with similar capacity will cost about 1,000 X and weigh about 150 X the propane tank. Of course, the electricity is much easier to keep filled (with a hookup) and there is a weight and space saving in ditching propane appliances.
As mentioned, anything to do with heating or cooling is energy intensive. Your home hot water heater draws 4,500 W or so, and makes hot water at a rate about half what you would find acceptable in your trailer. You won't be able to make an electric instant heater work. There's a reason all RV systems are propane fired. I've toyed with the idea of a rooftop swimming pool type collector to supplement the electric element in our dometic water heater, but exposure to the elements and unit and the rigors of travel down the road seem to make that approach unfeasible.
I suggest you make a chart of your energy users, listing the average daily consumption and instantaneous power draw. (The manufacturer's spec will cover this in most cases.) This would be invaluable in guiding your decisions.
Good luck! Let us know the outcome of your process.
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:58 AM   #10
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No good

Propane is much more energy dense that the replacement devices you mentioned that you want to switch to. Youíre not going to be sble to run all that stuff without a 100 amp service coming into the Rv.
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Old 01-17-2022, 12:09 PM   #11
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I have a Goal Zero 6000x. It will power anything in my van including the microwave, Keureg, water heater, fridge, freezer and even the air conditioner. On a full charge, it will start and run the AC for about 4 hours. But, the internal fan inside the GZ will turn on and make heat and noise. But, if you want to cool the van for 15 minutes or so, it works. I’m not talking about running the AC in Phoenix in July. But if you are following the weather- Texas in November and just want it to be a little cooler before going to bed, it will work.

You will NOT charge a larger GZ with a car charging cord that plugs into your cigarette lighter. The included charger that comes with the 6000x puts in about 600 watts. Before I had the 6000x, I had a 3000 which worked OK, but the larger inverter in the 6000x is much more powerful. Either of these units will run the fridge in your home for days during a power outage. For a while, I had both the 6000x and the 3000 and kept one in the garage and the other downstairs. If the power went out, I plugged in and forgot about it.

If you get a GZ, get at least a 3000x with the 6000x being the better choice. I’ve read a number of posts where people are getting smaller units and complaining that it only runs their RV for a short period of time. It’s simple math. More capacity is where you want to be.
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Old 01-17-2022, 12:44 PM   #12
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Why use a Goal Zero instead of just building in a system using lithium batts and a good inverter/charger?
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:42 PM   #13
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Just started researching lithium power stations. So far I have learned you need to
Research well before buying. Know exactly what your power needs are first to
Determine how big a unit you really need. Compared to Lithium 12v batteries
Like Battleborn, life cycles are much lower, charging times vary greatly and some require only their brand solar panels and hookups. They are not cheap so know
what you are buying. Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:44 PM   #14
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The carbon footprint to go all electric is exponentially large compared to the little bit of propane a trailer uses.
Since Airstreams have the highest thermal bridging of Any trailer and single pane glass they use the most energy to heat and cool.
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Old 01-17-2022, 04:00 PM   #15
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as @vanderwielen stated , go with victron equipment as the very reliable and scale all the way up to ship's need

also, you'll need 400-600 AH of lion battery . battle born are the best
and 300 - 700 W of solar could help too
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:27 PM   #16
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Your thread title caught my attention. I spent a ton of money and time renovating a 66 Trade Wind. I really enjoyed that trailer, except for the Corning curved glass windows. I had subfloor rot, worn out bathroom, and plumbing issues. Here are a few photos of my trailer, I figured you might be interested. I have since traded it for a 75 Overlander 27', which also is a nice vintage trailer.

Good luck with your energy project. I know little about such systems. But they sound expensive, complicated and limited. All I want is a comfortable place to eat and sleep while traveling no matter where I go.

David
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:49 PM   #17
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Y

Good luck with your energy project. I know little about such systems. But they sound expensive, complicated and limited. All I want is a comfortable place to eat and sleep while traveling no matter where I go.
I have owned all electric/diesel assist RV's for the last 12 years. Six of those years running an EarthRoamer in areas that have never seen an Airstream. All electric RV's are more expensive but that cost is coming down relative to other RV costs. The big price drops of lithium batteries is making a major difference. One thing for sure they are not "limited" in any way compared to propane powered, lead acid battery RV's.

White one below was one of my rides. My biggest problem with these machines was the reliability of the Ford F550 platform not the camper energy systems. The F550 was not tough enough for these expedition vehicles.

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Old 01-18-2022, 10:12 AM   #18
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I like having a dual energy source .
It has served us well numerous times.
All electric is way too expensive and compicated.
And you will always need gas genetator as a backup.
I view my gas generator as my tow vehicle, unless, of course I eventually get something like an F150 Lightning or a Chevy Silverado EV - I know, I know, towing range will likely suffer greatly, but weíre retired, not in a real hurry to get anywhere, so more stops along the way may be needed.
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Old 01-18-2022, 10:27 AM   #19
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I have a Goal Zero 6000x. It will power anything in my van including the microwave, Keureg, water heater, fridge, freezer and even the air conditioner. On a full charge, it will start and run the AC for about 4 hours. But, the internal fan inside the GZ will turn on and make heat and noise. But, if you want to cool the van for 15 minutes or so, it works. Iím not talking about running the AC in Phoenix in July. But if you are following the weather- Texas in November and just want it to be a little cooler before going to bed, it will work.

You will NOT charge a larger GZ with a car charging cord that plugs into your cigarette lighter. The included charger that comes with the 6000x puts in about 600 watts. Before I had the 6000x, I had a 3000 which worked OK, but the larger inverter in the 6000x is much more powerful. Either of these units will run the fridge in your home for days during a power outage. For a while, I had both the 6000x and the 3000 and kept one in the garage and the other downstairs. If the power went out, I plugged in and forgot about it.

If you get a GZ, get at least a 3000x with the 6000x being the better choice. Iíve read a number of posts where people are getting smaller units and complaining that it only runs their RV for a short period of time. Itís simple math. More capacity is where you want to be.
I was contemplating the 1500X along with a number of expansion batteries as I was planning on putting these under the middle bed because Iím height constrained there and venting the heat out a utility panel on the side of the airstream. How many expansion batteries is still TBD. Iím thinking we wouldnít run AC or take warm showers if we were not connected to AC at a campsite, but still be able to turn on lights, charge cell phones, use a cooktop, etc. A 3000x or 6000x would require me to either relocate where I put these or raise the couch/bed to give more vertical space. If I had more vertical space, then Iíd consider getting EcoFlow Delta Pros as 3 of those would produce close to about 10kW. I guess another option could be to place these in the tow vehicle and run a cord to the front of the Airstream somehow.
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Old 01-18-2022, 10:31 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Why use a Goal Zero instead of just building in a system using lithium batts and a good inverter/charger?
The goal zero is portable, self contained, expandable, so I could disconnect it easily for use around the house and farm when not camping. If I build a system with various components, Iíd still move the batteries into the house when not camping to keep them out of extreme heat and hold, and I guess I could make a removable panel to hold the inverter and solar charging battery management, but it seems more cumbersome.
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