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Old 03-24-2010, 07:14 PM   #1
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All Electric Option

I were admiring the new Allegro Buses when we were at Lazy Days this winter and have been curious about the all electric option that seems popular or at least it seems like a high percentage of units are being shipped with this option. Really like the new interiors and interior treatments and furnishings.

I understand that omitting the need for propane is convenient, one less fuel source to worry about keeping up with. I guess you then rely on the generator when you are camping or traveling on the road with-out 110V electricity. Refrigerator runs off the inverter and kicks in the generator when required correct ?

We like to camp in the National Parks and often they have very restricted hours for generator use so I guess that we would not want to go the all electric route. What is the forum consensus on the new all electric coach option and is this the future trend in coaches? Thanks for your input.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liralen View Post
I were admiring the new Allegro Buses when we were at Lazy Days this winter and have been curious about the all electric option that seems popular or at least it seems like a high percentage of units are being shipped with this option. Really like the new interiors and interior treatments and furnishings.

I understand that omitting the need for propane is convenient, one less fuel source to worry about keeping up with. I guess you then rely on the generator when you are camping or traveling on the road with-out 110V electricity. Refrigerator runs off the inverter and kicks in the generator when required correct ?

We like to camp in the National Parks and often they have very restricted hours for generator use so I guess that we would not want to go the all electric route. What is the forum consensus on the new all electric coach option and is this the future trend in coaches? Thanks for your input.
I am not a fan of cooking with electric but otherwise an all electric coach does not need to be much of a change from an electric/propane coach. When you go all electric you will have a much larger house battery bank that will allow you to get past all of the no generator hours at most any park anywhere. If you are completely off the grid you will likely run the genny from dusk until you go to bed (or the end of the genny hours) and your coach will do just fine until the morning with no further genny use needed. You will be able to set the auto gen to prevent the genny from starting in the middle of the night so even if your batteries get a touch low the genny will just sit there and mind its own business.
We are currently connected to a 30 amp power source. I am glad to have a propane cooktop (everything else including the GE Profile fridge is electric) as I would have to run the genny to use the cooktop. Otherwise, there really are not a lot of drawbacks to an all electric coach. If you have been in an RV for any length of time, you will simply love having a household refrigerator again!
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:10 PM   #3
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It really depends on where you stay and how long you like to stay off the grid. We boondock extensively and found things like the Hydra-Hot, the halogen lights, satellite internet and TV/home theater are big power drains. We opted for LED lights, standard heat, an additional solar panel and 4 additional batteries for the electronics suite to give us extended boondocking ability. We go for 2-3 days with moderate TV and Internet use without ever running the generator. This is using heat at night and sometimes days. You don't have to give up the creature comforts to boondock. You just have to know how you live and how to configure your coach. We have found no drawbacks with the electric/gas refrigerator.

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Old 03-25-2010, 07:07 AM   #4
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The all electric coach option is gaining popularity and you'll see many more of them in the future. However, just because it's popular doesn't necessarily mean it's best for you. In our case I don't see it as a big deal either which way, but, your mileage may vary.

We have the residential fridge, HydroHot, etc. The only thing that we have left on propane is the cooktop. Now, the residential fridge is feared by many who have not yet had it. It seems that fear of the unknown is bringing up images of this fridge sucking enough power to make your batteries dead real quick. But, that's just not true. The 21 cu ft residential fridge is better insulated and more efficient than the propane/electric Norcold we used to have. It's larger and much more consistent in keeping even temperatures than the 12 cu ft Norcold. Boondoxcking really isn't a problem.

An electric cooktop doesn't run anywhere near as often as a fridge would so the power consumption shouldn't be a big issue either.

However, the fridge runs on the inverter. So, we can boondock and still have power to the fridge. An electric cooktop is not connected to the inverter. This means that whenever you want to use it you will need shore power or else run the genset. If you are camped in a no-generators area or want to use the cooktop during quiet hours you won't be able to do so.

The choice between an electric or gas cooktop is pretty much going to depend on what style of camping you are into and also which the cook in the family prefers to use.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:41 PM   #5
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Cruzer,
I'm ordering the all-electric option on our 2010 Allegro Bus 43 QGP. I don't think I've found more than one in ten campgrounds that have LP, so I've alway had to be sure my fifth wheel tanks were filled in town before leaving. And this usually meant toting 40 lb cylinders to a fill station during the week as they are never open when we are leaving. Being new to a motorhome, I was a bit concerned about the seeming difficulty of finding LP when I might need it, and being able to get the motorhome into a fill location. Probably all a lot of worry over nothing. Have you ever had problems finding LP service for your Bus when you needed it or getting the coach into position to get filled?

I guess the final decision was my wife's, because she doesn't like cooking with gas and, like you said, it's the cook's call.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:03 PM   #6
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When we had out 40' Bus I generally found LP when I needed it, but not always at campgrounds. Sometimes at FlyingJs. However, it was a bit of a hassle in cold weather because the furnaces would burn it up.

Our 42QRP has HydroHot so the only thing we run is the cooktop. Even though we use the cooktop quite a bit, the LP gauge hardly ever moves. In that case I wouldn't be concerned about running out of propane. But, if electric is the preferred choice of the cook, then there's nothing to worry about.
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:42 PM   #7
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Thanks Mark, that answers still another question. I've had the same problem in cold weather with the furnace gobbling up LP. There is so much more energy in diesel, there's a lot of it on board, and I've got to buy it regularly anyway.

I see your point about camping in parks with generator restrictions. We'll have to prepare dinner earlier or eat cold beans. Actually, cold beans aren't so bad--for the first few hours.

Thanks for sharing your experience in operating and maintaining motorhomes. I hate walking into a vacuum (although I did it with the fifth wheel). I feel much better having some preparation.

--Rick
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:59 PM   #8
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I didn't see it mentioned but one reason for all electric is the lack of tunnel restrictions we have with propane. Also you gain more basement storage. I would be a little bothered by the addition current draw if there was not on-board energy management.

Here's an idea, if you want the best of both simply buy an IWATANI 15K btu butane stove. They work great and you may use them in or out of the coach.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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Wardy, your point about tunnels is an excellent one. I pulled over for inspection at the Cumberland Gap tunnel last Thanksgiving and the guy said I didn't need to even though the signs required it. (?) Then I had to wait for ten minutes until they could stop traffic and bring out an escort car to run a gas truck through with me following. With all-electric, I could whisk right through. Of course, they'll probably send the law after me to inspect my rig for not stopping and spend thirty minutes looking for a propane tank. I doubt many tunnel authorities have heard of all-electric coaches. Maybe we need to get RVIA to make a certificate stating "All Electric Coach, no LPG on board."

I do keep a small 5 lb propane tank on board with a grill to cook the smoky stuff outside. But it is always shut off.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:03 PM   #10
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I bought an $150 Coleman fold up BBQ pit with the small propane bottles that you can buy at camping world or just about any outdoor store. You can also use them to cook on due to the design of the surface. I, too, am looking at an all electric coach and a Tiffin to boot. Just not sure of the Allegro Bus or the Zephyr.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:28 AM   #11
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I guess that depends on how much you have to pull and how much you can spend to do it. I was at the factory last week watching the lower part of my coach go together (Bus) and looked over some of the Zephyrs. The finish is a bit more refined, although there isn't much that can be done over the Bus. You pick up an extra 50-75 hp and that can do a lot of work.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:31 PM   #12
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I thought the new 2010 and up Tiffins used a management system that when plugged into the 30amp circuit if you needed more amps it could draw off of the batteries and boost your output for at least a short time before shutting down AC etc. that is their way of using an all electric coach.
The small gas burner sounds like a good idea for the Backup if needed. I read about a electric hot plate that could be used off of the inverter also.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:30 PM   #13
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Yes, Tiffin does use the PCI EMS on all 2010 Allegro Bus and Zephyr models. Like any EMS, it is designed to shed loads when on 30 amp shore power if the total power draw tries to exceed 30 amps. But the PCI system also communicates with a Magnum 2800 watt true sine wave inverter. Rather than shed loads it will first try to bring the inverter on line to prevent the shore power from exceeding the 30 amp threshhold. If that's not enough, it'll begin to shed circuits as a second phase. It's a nice system and it comes on all Bus and Zephyr models, regardless of whether or not you have the all-electric option.

The all-electric option gives you the electric cooktop, electric fridge, Aqua-Hot heating and domestic water heating, and drops the LP tank. It also has an AGS module as well as a 10K generator but then all 43' tag axle coaches have that anyway. That compartment is now converted to additional basement storage space.

The real question is where or not the electric cooktop is wired through the inverter. I seriously doubt that it is. It's a 120 volt cooktop so it'll draw plenty of amps and I don't see that the 2800 watt inverter could power the fridge, the microwave, dishwasher, TVs, and convenience outlets as well as the cooktop. Entegra Coach has two Magnum 2800 watt inverters on their all-electric option so that they can run everything. If you really need to run the cooktop when boondocking I think you have to fire up the generator (or add a second inverter).
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:49 PM   #14
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Call us old fashioned, but we're stayin' with da gas...We like having the option for electric or gas...and i'd rather cook with gas. Feel the same way in the home...and this is our rollin' house.
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