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Author Topic: Do I want an all electric coach???  (Read 4939 times)
TomC
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2007, 11:00:51 PM »

Chaz- now that you have the 4kw true sine inverter, I think I'd just go with an efficient 120vac home type reefer.  I used a 6.3 cu ft Norcold with a 100# Norcold chest freezer that both are compressor type that work on 12v and automatically switch to 120vac when it is present, since the true sine wave inverter was not made yet (1994).
Jim's set up is great-except that it is very expensive up front.  Each of the solar panels are several hundred dollars each, alot of extra weight and cost with the big battery bank, Sunfrost as told is very expensive, even the cook tops are more expensive.  But- it works well for Jim and I also think it is a good setup-once you get past the initial cost.
I almost went all electric, until I priced out a 3 burner Princess stove at almost $2000! I broke down and used propane for my stove and my 35,000btu furnace.  The chassis mount 100# propane tank is directly below the stove and furnace, so the gas lines are very short.  I also have an electric solenoid switched from inside to shut off the flow when not in use.
I plainly didn't have the room for more than 2 or 3 8D deep cycles.  As the gal I bought the inverter from said, if you have a good Diesel generator, just run it more frequently.  Make the gen very quiet, and it will serve you well.  You can buy alot of Diesel fuel on the difference in cost between a Sunfrost and a home style reefer; alot of fuel for the cost of the solar panels; alot of fuel for the cost of the extra batteries and the extra fuel to haul an extra ton around.  Just my opinion, this subject is always way open to discussion.  It is the system the works well and works for you that you are pleased with that is important.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2007, 04:17:19 AM »

Chaz,

Ahh!, the decisions we must make!!!

I had a lot of mixed thoughts on what I wanted to do, mostly based on my previous Class C experiences.

But, what really helped was dry camping at a few rally's.

I was already committed to a battery bank and inverter, so the test was really would it be enough.

I was able to get almost two days with an electric apt size refrigerator and 4 persons usage of the lights, TV etc...

Then came the generator to recharge.

It really is about how you use it. 

With a family we tend to boon dock at the most overnight for two days max, while heading somewhere for 90% of our travels.

I am going all electric based on this usage. 

We also do 90% of our cooking outside(grill, smoker in the bays), though I do have a convection microwave and two burners inside.

Hmm!, cooking outside, I am going to fire up the smoker and put on a Boston Butt right now... Tongue

Cliff
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2007, 05:52:46 AM »

Chaz,

Ahh!, the decisions we must make!!!

I had a lot of mixed thoughts on what I wanted to do, mostly based on my previous Class C experiences.

But, what really helped was dry camping at a few rally's.

I was already committed to a battery bank and inverter, so the test was really would it be enough.

I was able to get almost two days with an electric apt size refrigerator and 4 persons usage of the lights, TV etc...

Then came the generator to recharge.

It really is about how you use it. 

With a family we tend to boon dock at the most overnight for two days max, while heading somewhere for 90% of our travels.

I am going all electric based on this usage. 

We also do 90% of our cooking outside(grill, smoker in the bays), though I do have a convection microwave and two burners inside.

Hmm!, cooking outside, I am going to fire up the smoker and put on a Boston Butt right now... Tongue

Cliff

Cliff,
Your making me hungry.......and it's still the morning!
Nick-
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2007, 06:33:08 AM »

Tom makes some good points about the cost of it all.  The solar panels however are really vey light weight.  I wuold guess that the entire 600 watts I bought, (4 150 watt panels) weighs no more than 25 lbs or so.  they are 31" x 61" and about 3/16 inch thick, mounted in an aluminum frame 2" wide (or is that tall).


They too are somewhat spendy, but you pay now for all the power they will provide for the next 30 years.  I spent $4.50 a watt, 600 watts, plus $200 for a great solar controller with a shunt  so I can manage all the rest of the power as well. Total amp hours in, total amp hours out etc.  I have to say, there is nothting like that clean, quiet power, day in, day out.  Living in Seattle or an area with lots of rain and haze would lower the efficiency, but of all the $ I have spent, I feel that the solar is some of the best bang for the buck.  My only regret is that I did not do it sooner.
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2007, 03:17:05 PM »

Jim,
  Are you saying that the solar was about 2900.00??

   Sun is fun,
         Chaz
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H3Jim
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2007, 11:56:24 PM »

I think I spent a little more than that, but not much.
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2007, 02:43:55 PM »

Jim:

Does the Sunfrost freezer keep ice cream hard?  My Dometic will freeze most foods but will only go down to 7-10F.  Makes very soft ice cream.
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H3Jim
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« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2007, 07:46:57 PM »

Yes, in fact I put it in the microwave before I eat it to soften it up a bit.  1/2 pint  for 30 seconds.  Still firm, but much easier to get at it.

Its also temperature adjustable.  I haven't played much with it, its always been cold enough.  It has more range so I could set it lower.  It would use more electricity, so I haven't bothered.  I've still got ice in there I bought in a bag last halloween.  No bad taste, no melting.

Deb / Dav - are you guys full timing now?  How are you doing?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2007, 07:52:21 PM by H3Jim » Logged

Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
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« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2007, 03:35:47 AM »

Jim,

We sold the house Aug. 2006.  Moved into the Discovery.  Found that 30A in Houston in summer is not enough.  Bought a 5th wheel and BIG truck.  Am selling the Discovery.

Sold my business Nov. 2006.  Buyer took all of my employees, customers and me!  He gave me a sales position for 12-24 months for transition.  Without employee problems, paperwork, etc.  I am top sales and enjoying 'daily grind'.  No worrys, no cares, just a nice weekly check - - and all the time off I want.

Bus is in the final stage of structural changes.  Will reveal later.  Took longer than expected.  Hope to have it back here in 4-5 months.  Then 1 year to build .  Have many parts and finish ideas.  Just need my bus!

David
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H3Jim
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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2007, 06:47:38 AM »

Sounds like you have done some smart things.  Nice to hear you're doing so well.  I am very much looking forward to  hearing about and seeing pics of your bus.  I remember you are doing slideouts, did you do a roof raise too?
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2007, 07:03:56 AM »

Just five years ago I would have said  all electric was the easy way to go....I even built one...but now with southern winter time (snow bird)use rv parks disapearing all over the south , and the corp of engineers riding itself of most of its parks ,,I have rethought the use and added an inverter and battery pack... just to make it possible to live in our bus on the road..so many of the state parks offer dry camping...If your planning on fulltiming  you might better plan ahead...ggo4
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Chaz
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2007, 07:21:57 AM »

I have the inverter and amfiguring out the batteries I want, I was just more curious about using propane or not.
  Thanx!
     Chaz
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skipn
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« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2007, 07:59:27 AM »

Chaz, FWIW.....

  I always figured the more options the better.

 What I have done.
Refrig             Propane/DC/AC
Hot Water       Propane/AC     (At some point I will add the engine to the loop)
Heating          Propane/AC Diff Appliances / Engine
Cooking          Propane/AC Diff appliances
Electricity AC   propane(gen)/shore/inverter w/ batteries or engine alt. 

Needless to say I have a good size Propane tank plus I am set up to use the small tanks in an Emergency.
It seems that no matter what I set up there will be a situation where my options don't cover everything
It is basically set up like my old Class C and worked for me for 17 years. (Just a little bigger and better everything)

 I guess that's just life

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Chaz
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2007, 10:19:07 AM »

Skip,
  I also like diversity. And gravitate towards it in most anything I do, but I guess in this circumstance, the diversity is how to get the electricity to power everything.
  Obviously, electricity is the number one power source so it is a must. And there are several different ways to generate it so my thoughts are to concentrate on the different ways to get, make, convert and store it as opposed to adding other energy sources. It also sounds like a home fridge works better too. But I guess that could be up for debate.  Wink
  I have, what I understand is, a good inverter (4024) to help with managing everything, and from what I understand, that is the main thing to having an all electric coach.  I have a generator that is gas, but want to get a diesel just to keep the fuel thing simple also. And I am contemplating adding another alternator to the engine to help keep the house batteries topped off. The solar panels interest me also, but they seem to be a bit pricey for me right now.
   Soooooooo, it just kinda seems logical to me in many ways, but I am TOTALLY open to others opinions as to what works for them and what doesn't. I am new at this, so my thoughts are not always "real world", but I am trying.
  Thanx for the input, and I hope to hear more pros and cons on this as I think it will help anyone who is putting together a coach or reworking one. It's best to have an overall plan to work from, from the "get-go".
   
  Like a sponge,
       Chaz
 
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Pix of my bus here: http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g279/Skulptor/Motor%20Coach/
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H3Jim
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« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2007, 10:25:09 AM »

one more thought on the solar panels, you can start off with one panel and the controller, and just add panels over the years as your budget allows. 

I probably don't need all 4 of the panels I have.  One of my buddies gets by just fine with two panels, although I am totally electric and he is not.
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
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