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Has Anyone Totally Converted from propane to electrical?


sharpest
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Hello,

I have a newly purchased 1983 21 ft Sunrader. It is a 4 speed. It only has 21,000 miles on it. It is in like new condition. It has been garaged for the last 15 years with very little use. I used this forum as a resource to check check out the RV part of the unit. It has no rust. I found no evidence of water damage. The roof looks brand new. It has the upgraded axles.

We knew going in that with so few miles that it could be a good thing or a very bad thing. We had a presale inspection at a local auto repair facility. The owner of the shop has an 1982 Toyota pick up with over 300,000 miles on it. He knows these trucks and likes to work on them. We are having the head gasket replaced, everything flushed, all the pumps checked, tune up, etc. We are replacing all of the tires as they are over 10 years old.

We are looking a removing everything having do with propane and running everything from a generator. We are having the range removed and replacing it with a microwave/convection oven and a couple of restaurant quality hot plates. We will be putting in an electrical heater.

Has anyone out there done this? Any advise you can give would be apprecated. Thanks, Bob

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We are looking a removing everything having do with propane and running everything from a generator. We are having the range removed and replacing it with a microwave/convection oven and a couple of restaurant quality hot plates. We will be putting in an electrical heater.

Why would you want to remove the propane? Having gas is far better than running a generator and bothering everyone else around you, unless you plan on always staying on the side of the highway where the residual traffic noise will drown out the sound of the generator.

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Thanks Mike.

I have no intention of bothering anyone around me with a noisy generator. I do not know if the current generation of generators run quiet enough. Just lookng for suggestions. I wanted to see if anyone has made this switch and their experience in doing it.

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I think you need to stick with the propane. There are no quiet generators except the small Honda's etc. You really did not say why you want to remove all the propane devices. Our rig had a microwave in place of the oven when we bought it. Worthless for us as many of the places we go have no shore power. We bought a new stove with oven and threw out the microwave. Took off the roof AC for same reason and replaced it with a Northern Breeze 12 dc fan. We don't have a generator but would not mind having one of the Honda's to charge my batteries when needed. But solar panels would be good for that also. How many watts does a hot plate need? How big a generator will you need? A gas stove and oven is instant on, an electric is not. It will cost more to run the gen than using propane. I have never heard of anyone replacing their gas appliances with electric.

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Our rig had a microwave in place of the oven when we bought it. Worthless for us as many of the places we go have no shore power. We bought a new stove with oven and threw out the microwave. Took off the roof AC for same reason and replaced it with a Northern Breeze 12 dc fan. We don't have a generator but would not mind having one of the Honda's to charge my batteries when needed. But solar panels would be good for that also.

DC/AC inverter will charge the coach battery and run the fridg on AC while you are driving and if you get a large enough one you can run a microwave very easily (with the engine running). I don't think you will find one large enough to run an AC unit though :(

This is a nice unit which seems reasonably priced considering it is full sinewave and 2000 watts (price is for a factory referb not new unit):

http://www.coloradostandby.com/catalog/pro...afeef09401d905f

I came across it while looking for a generator

here is a pdf of the owners manual for this unit

http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/238/docserve.asp

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If you always camp where there are hookups, this wouldn't be a bad idea. Otherwise, it is a very bad idea. Propane is safe, quiet and much more efficient for heating, refrigerating and cooking. It isn't even close.

I guess you could boondock with solar/battery power if you were very very frugal with your electrons. Most folks, however aren't that frugal.

BTW, if decide to go with this idea and you have a functional hot water heater, can I have it? :)

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DC/AC inverter will charge the coach battery and run the fridg on AC while you are driving and if you get a large enough one you can run a microwave very easily (with the engine running). I don't think you will find one large enough to run an AC unit though :(

This is a nice unit which seems reasonably priced considering it is full sinewave and 2000 watts (price is for a factory referb not new unit):

http://www.coloradostandby.com/catalog/pro...afeef09401d905f

I came across it while looking for a generator

here is a pdf of the owners manual for this unit

http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/238/docserve.asp

I have this model Xantrex in my Itasca and highly recommend it. I run the reefer and water heater on 110 electric while underway, and occasionally the roof air at a rest stop at fast idle. Will probably take a small microwave this year. I don't have any sensitive electronics yet, which this unit is designed to pamper, but I'm ready! It does a great job with recharging my golf cart batteries, with the charge rate and pattern selectable per manufacturer's spec, and temperature-adjusted. Very good price as listed in the link!

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I have this model Xantrex in my Itasca and highly recommend it. I don't have any sensitive electronics yet, which this unit is designed to pamper, but I'm ready! It does a great job with recharging my golf cart batteries, with the charge rate and pattern selectable per manufacturer's spec, and temperature-adjusted. Very good price as listed in the link!

Did you install it? How does it deal with the standard coach converter/charger? Is that disconnected and charging done by the inverter?

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Stay away from vacation spots that need A/C or heaters! No, just kidding! :lips-sealed:

I think propane for heating and cooking would seem the best. I have come across European rigs in my travel however that use diesel fuel for cooking and heating. A lot of modern high-tech campers (especially abroad) use DC w/solar for refrigeration tho! Nice when you're dry camping for LONG LONG period's of time.

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Sharpest:

You should seriously go and look at the small INVERTER Hondas (there is also a Yamaha). These units are able to adjust their running speed to suit the load, whereas a normal generator has to run 3200RPM to produce the right AC frequency no matter what the load. Under normal (low) load conditions, these units are VERY quiet. They also have 12V outlets for charging batteries directly, which is pretty neat by itself.

After the last 2 weeks on the road I have to say I found working with the refrigerator a pain. Every 4 hours or so of driving, I had to stop for gas. I get out the cab with the keys in hand for the fuel tank hatch. My wife gets up, goes to the back of the camper and switches the refrigerator over from gas to electric, which put out the propane flame. I fill up with gas. When I'm done and we drive off, my wife goes back to the refrigerator, changes back over to gas and re-lights the propane (takes about 2 minutes). With our unit, we can't see the flame burning, and of course you can't hear anything (normally that is a good thing) so you have to hope for the best (that it has lit up).

The cooling effect is actually quite good while driving, but sucks when stationary.

A modern small AC refrigerator costs < $100. It is very quiet too. The only thing you hear is the motor start up. Just make sure you listen to it start up and running. It is not critical if it is slightly less than level. Too far over and the motor might rattle (you might find such an angle quite alarming yourself..).

I personally plan on a bigger battery installation with a dedicated high quality charger running off 110V. I will run an inverter off the alternator while underway, providing 110V to everything that needs it, including the refrigerator and charger. When the motor is not running, the cabin battery will run the inverter, so one has continuety of power. There is no coupling of the 2 12V systems whatsoever.

I will personally keep the propane for the heater and 4 burner, but I want to ditch the oven in favor of a microwave. The oven takes up a lot of room and makes a lot of metallic squeaks and screetches while underway. I think ours had never been used in 21 years. It is no problem bringing along an electric heater for the times that you are "plugged in", but think about wiring in a thermostat so that you stay comfortable. These vehicles are pretty small enclosed spaces so ading heat can produce some dramatic temperature swings quite quickly.

regards

Keith

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Did you install it? How does it deal with the standard coach converter/charger? Is that disconnected and charging done by the inverter?

Sorry, I didn't see this question when you posted.

Yes, I installed it. With a pair of lovely 4/0 cables to reach the six feet from battery to inverter position.

Yes, the converter was removed and the charging is now done in what is apparently four stages. The unit can also 'equalize,' which is a periodic manual function to de-sulfate and bring all the individual cells into uniformity. I use twin golf cart batteries.

I removed the guts of the old converter/charger but kept the ac/dc distribution panel and housing.

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