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Old 11-05-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
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I imagine that this topic has been discussed before but at the risk of being repetitive...

We pay for our electric at 14 cents/Kwh. We are also hooked up to a 150 lbs propane tank. I previously calculated (from a formula online) that the propane, at $2.38/gallon, would be a cheaper alternative for heating than the electric - the formula I used was to multiply the Kwh cost by 27 to get the cost relative to propane. In my situation that means the electric cost would be $3.78 (14 x 27) vs. the $2.38/gallon propane cost. Therefore, propane is 63% the cost of electric according to this formula. BTW, our Rv is skirted and slides are insulated.

The problem is that we apparently spent $160.00 on propane over the past 2 weeks with lows in the upper 20's, highs in the lower 40s and inside temp of around 70F. Can't imagine what we'll be spending when we get down to the 10s F! Given our electric bills thus far, it is hard to imagine that we would spend more than $320/month on electricity if we were to switch entirely over to electric (fireplace and purchasing an energy efficient convection heater - an "ENVI" wall heater). I imagine that when it gets cold enough, we will HAVE to use propane as the electric sources will likely not be enough to keep the inside temp comfortable.

Anyway, just trying to use the least amount of energy and money so wondering if anyone sees anything incorrect with my calculations or has suggestions or advice (we have reduced the inside temp to 68F)? Thanks all
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:20 PM   #2
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As mentioned on the response to your post on the other thread, you should consider that the efficiency on propane is in the 50 to 80% range vs. almost 100% for electricity, that may make a bit of a difference in the analysis. I think you may also have to run some propane heating anyways to heat the basement where the pipes are located to prevent freeze up, the electric heaters in the cabin won't get there. When I ran your costs through my spreadsheet the costs of heating are about equal if your furnace is a bit above 70% efficient, anything lower then electricity wins.

For what it's worth, I've gone through a tank and a half of propane in a week or so keeping the RV cabin at 45F (no electrical supplement) so I don't have to winterize before heading south, lowest overnight temps were around -5C which isn't a lot below freezing, with daytime temps above freezing and the furnace shut off during the day. I didn't have to use this much propane in our older Titanium which may say something about the insulation quality of the Redwood compared to the "northern" Titanium RVs.

Edited by: almcc
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc
As mentioned on the response to your post on the other thread, you should consider that the efficiency on propane is in the 50 to 80% range vs. almost 100% for electricity, that may make a bit of a difference in the analysis. I think you may also have to run some propane heating anyways to heat the basement where the pipes are located to prevent freeze up, the electric heaters in the cabin won't get there.

For what it's worth, I've gone through a tank and a half of propane in a week or so keeping the RV at 45F so I don't have to winterize before heading south, lowest overnight temps were around -5C which isn't a lot below freezing, with daytime temps above freezing and the furnace shut off during the day. I didn't have to use this much propane in our older Titanium which may say something about the insulation quality of the Redwood compared to "northern" Titaniums.
Thanks. I didn't even think about the efficiency factor which I'm not sure is factored into the X27 equation. Will have to check into it. Also, great point about the basement. I imagine a solution would be to use the electric heat sources as much as possible and, with the use of a wireless thermometer I purchased, keep an eye on the basement temp. and turn the propane on when needed i.e. close to freezing. It would be great to have a basement thermostat wired to the propane furnace
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonbound
Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc
As mentioned on the response to your post on the other thread, you should consider that the efficiency on propane is in the 50 to 80% range vs. almost 100% for electricity, that may make a bit of a difference in the analysis. I think you may also have to run some propane heating anyways to heat the basement where the pipes are located to prevent freeze up, the electric heaters in the cabin won't get there.

For what it's worth, I've gone through a tank and a half of propane in a week or so keeping the RV at 45F so I don't have to winterize before heading south, lowest overnight temps were around -5C which isn't a lot below freezing, with daytime temps above freezing and the furnace shut off during the day. I didn't have to use this much propane in our older Titanium which may say something about the insulation quality of the Redwood compared to "northern" Titaniums.
Thanks. I didn't even think about the efficiency factor which I'm not sure is factored into the X27 equation. Will have to check into it. Also, great point about the basement. I imagine a solution would be to use the electric heat sources as much as possible and, with the use of a wireless thermometer I purchased, keep an eye on the basement temp. and turn the propane on when needed i.e. close to freezing. It would be great to have a basement thermostat wired to the propane furnace
Your thermostat solution is a good one. What I do when heading south is I put out a wireless thermometer and monitor the outside temp, if it's above freezing I maximize the electric heat with 2 heaters in the cabin, when the temps go below freezing I back off a bit on the electric heat allowing the furnace to come on to heat the pipes in the basement. For our one night stays the electricity is included in the camping fee.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonbound
Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc
As mentioned on the response to your post on the other thread, you should consider that the efficiency on propane is in the 50 to 80% range vs. almost 100% for electricity, that may make a bit of a difference in the analysis. I think you may also have to run some propane heating anyways to heat the basement where the pipes are located to prevent freeze up, the electric heaters in the cabin won't get there.

For what it's worth, I've gone through a tank and a half of propane in a week or so keeping the RV at 45F so I don't have to winterize before heading south, lowest overnight temps were around -5C which isn't a lot below freezing, with daytime temps above freezing and the furnace shut off during the day. I didn't have to use this much propane in our older Titanium which may say something about the insulation quality of the Redwood compared to "northern" Titaniums.
Thanks. I didn't even think about the efficiency factor which I'm not sure is factored into the X27 equation. Will have to check into it. Also, great point about the basement. I imagine a solution would be to use the electric heat sources as much as possible and, with the use of a wireless thermometer I purchased, keep an eye on the basement temp. and turn the propane on when needed i.e. close to freezing. It would be great to have a basement thermostat wired to the propane furnace
Out of curiosity, what kind of heaters do you have? I'm looking at the "ENVI" wall heater.

Your thermostat solution is a good one. What I do when heading south is I put out a wireless thermometer and monitor the outside temp, if it's above freezing I maximize the electric heat with 2 heaters in the cabin, when the temps go below freezing I back off a bit on the electric heat allowing the furnace to come on to heat the pipes in the basement. For our one night stays the electricity is included in the camping fee.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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We have a "cheapie" ceramic heater that has a fan built in, we also used to carry a ocsillating fan heater, we are leaving it at home this year as we have the fireplace to replace it. I may be wrong but a "watt is a watt", other than the losses created by the fan most heaters should be around the same efficiency in that everything produced goes into the room.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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You all make me very happy to be here in Waco. We have been in our coach since March, 2012 and have used one and about a half of a 40 lb bottle of LP so far.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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Nice….although in the middle of summer, I was unhappier being hot than I am having to wear sweatshirt. If the AC's/electricity is included there, I would think it's a pretty good deal.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:19 PM   #9
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It is. We have not had an utility bill (other than a little LP) since like 2006. It has us spoiled rotten.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:56 PM   #10
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We use a oil filled 700 watt electric heater and the fireplace .
Been in the low -20 s works good the furnaces are not very efficient
in rv,s I find that electric is about the same but I do not have to go get a bottle of electricity every couple of days
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:57 PM   #11
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Is the electric heater in the basement?



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Old 11-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #12
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No, only the openings into your RV. One under the stairs, one under the cabinet to the right of the front door on the RL/GK models, and one under the cabinets in the bedroom. That's the only heat to the basement except what comes off the heater plenum.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #13
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I leave it on automatic, if the heat pump can't handle it, the propane floor furnace can.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:31 PM   #14
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I borrowed an "ENVI" 450 W wall heater and have been using the fireplace as well. With it around 36º out, it can maintain around 64º inside. So, we need a little propane to keep it at 70º. It'll be interesting (hopefully not too shocking) to see what our next electric bill is.
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