Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-23-2014, 11:11 PM   #1
Senior Member
Just For Fun's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bonsall CA
Posts: 731
All Electric Class A or Not???

During our evaluation of buying a new (to us) class A (upper scale units), we are seeing several "all electric" coaches. Most of them have that 12.5 Cummins diesel genny.

We are wondering about the truth (or not) of what the seller's are telling us:
1. While dry camping at night, the automatic "ON" genny (sensing low battery voltage) does not go on to recharge our batteries. Q: How can this be true in light of the electrical requirements of a large home still refrig?

2. If it does go one, do your neighbors get pissed at you - dirty looks in the morning?

3. What's the benefit of an all electric over a standard coach

4. If you have an all electric coach now, would you buy another one


1999 Winnie Adventurer 37.5' (we call it a 38' for short) with a Ford Triton V10
2009 Yorkie named Teddy
2010 Ausi named Bear
Just For Fun is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-24-2014, 07:59 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 918
I think most RVers of the all-electric persuasion have a LOT of house batteries that keep their reefer working. You might want to think about how many batteries you would need, and whether you have extra space for them.
Also, many of these RVers use solar charging systems to keep the generator from cycling too much. Personally, I wouldn't want my generator coming on during the night because it WILL make noise that neighbors won't appreciate.

2004 Tiffin Allegro 27.5 ft. P32 18,000 lb GVW. 8.1 liter. Workhorse chassis built May 2002. 21,000 miles. 2012 Jeep Liberty Toad. RVi2 brake unit.
Full.Monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 08:04 AM   #3
Senior Member
luvlabs's Avatar
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 1,480
Your large, home style, frig draws very little power. You can thank the entire Energy Star movement for that. You can easily go overnight and well into the next day without needing to start the generator. You will have at least 6 house batteries (I do) if you have a residential frig.

The biggest thing with the all-electric coaches might be the need to start the generator to cook if you have a 220V induction cook top. Of course, if you want to use your electrically heated floors or air condidtioning or washer and dryer, you will have to start it.

Unless you plan to boondock and set in one spot for a while, don't bother with solar. If you are like most of us and travel from one campground to another, about the only time you will be running your generator is on the road to run the A/C units.
Roger & Mary
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH
2012 Honda Fit toad
luvlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 08:21 AM   #4
Junior Member
tbird2000's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 21
I have owned both and prefer the all electric. in situations where you don't want to have genny come on at night you have the option of setting a quite time, so that if there is a need for the generator it will not come on during the time you have set. i do have a gas stove on mine, which wife likes that option. if the coach was all electric from the factory, they have most likely sized your battery compartment to accommodate all the battery storage you will need.
tbird2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 08:31 AM   #5
Senior Member
Country Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 818
You'll have to look at your life style to see if they will work for you. If you are going to just go places that you can plug in it should be no problem. If you are going to to places to dry camp or boon dock starting your gen in the middle of the night could be an issue. Most campgrounds have quiet hours from 10 pm till 6 am. In the National Parks they often have some screwy hours that only let you run your generator for a few hours a day. I'm not sure if many coach manufactures are using Lithium ion batteries but you might want to consider this from the weight point of view and the fact that they have thousands of recharging cycles in them instead of hundreds. Also if you are going to boon dock or dry camp you might want to load up your roof with solar. (30% tax credit till 2016)
We prefer to dry camp or boondock so we like the propane feature for our refig and cooking. It also have the option of using propane to heat water but when we run the generator we just let the electric heat up the water. Right now we only have one panel on the roof but are going to have 4 more installed in the near future.
I have been looking at all electric coaches and have failed to see any real advantage over propane. By the way we have a diesel heater and heat pumps and are very happy with them.
You'll have people raise the specter of fire due to propane but if you use your head, follow common safety procedures, and have your propane appliance serviced annually you should be good to go. I have seen and extinguished at least 7 RV fires. One was from propane, one was from a brake fire, the other five have been some electrical cause (3 of them from heat tape improperly installed). The rest were from problems with the electrical system. If you look at the thousands of RV on the road the number of fires is pretty low.
Good Luck and happy hunting
pumper9x9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,034
FWIW all electric houses are like all electric homes. Single point failure and you are screwed. I like the mix of gas and electric.

The biggest mistake with the all electric refers is putting them in a smallish MH. They do not have the room to stick the battery bank necessary to run them properly. If you want to occasionally dry camp you will also have a problem keeping the batteries charged. That is why folks go to the big solar arrrays to charge the big battery banks all done to avoid an easy to refill propane tank.
nothermark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 08:41 AM   #7
Senior Member
CountryFit's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Between Oceans
Posts: 2,641
richard (dr4film) from alaska has a lot of experience on this. wait to hear from him... i think the biggest advantage for all elec over lpg is its fire safety...
2000 Country Coach Intrigue 40'
CountryFit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 08:45 AM   #8
Senior Member
Clayobx's Avatar

Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Willow Lakes RV & Golf Resort, FL
Posts: 3,082
I agree with tbird2000's post. We too have had both types of coaches. I much prefer all electric. I do like cooking on a gas stove top but not to the point that I would not purchase a coach with electric induction cooktop or electric cooktop. The maintenance on heating and cooking is cost saving, at least in our coach. I would not go back after 2 1/2 years of all electric. As mentioned the auto start will start your Genny if programmed to charge your low voltage issue and not start at quiet times. The auto start is a very nice feature especially if you have furry friends onboard and there is a power outage while away at a campground.
Clay & Pebble.. Miss Butter our sweet Goldie (Jan. 2005-Jan. 2015) Sissy our Border Collie
2012 Providence 42 M. Spartan Chassis, 450 ISL
Ford Edge toad, RM All Terrane, TST TPMS, SMI Air Force One, RVM95....
Clayobx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 08:45 AM   #9
Senior Member
Algoma's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 2,166
We have just modified our Newmar order to all electric as the only item using propane was the stove top. On this model you go from 4 to 8 house batteries, a larger inverter and the option to upgrade to all AGM batteries. You no longer have a large propane tank taking up space and you don't have to worry about gas leaks. We don't do much dry camping but with parks that only have 30A power we may have to run the generator more. As has been said you can program the auto gen start with a quiet time so it will not start up in the middle of the night. I think once you opt for the residential fridge and have diesel heating systems you are over the edge and might as well go completely electric.
John and Mary Knight
2015 Ventana 4311, 2015 Cadillac SRX
Algoma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 08:57 AM   #10
Senior Member
plasma800's Avatar

Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,998
Blog Entries: 1
2. You would be hard pressed to run your batteries down overnight. Deleting propane only does a couple of things - deletes gas use on the stove, deletes gas use on the fridge, and deletes gas use on the furnace.

A. you won't be cooking at night.
B. The furnace would now run off an aquahot I'm sure.
C. The fridge draws low anyway - the addition of two batteries would handle this no problem!

We only have 4 house batteries, and we do have a resi fridge. When we dry camp, we turn the fridge to a less cold setting (say middle of the road) just to keep the compressor off as much as possible - and we have never - ever - not once - run our batteries down to where they genset needed to be kicked on.

This is really more of a "do I want to cook with gas or not" type of situation if you ask me. I would dry camp the crud out of an all electric Mind you, you will want to run the genset a bit during the day to top of those batteries, but you should have no trouble at all.
RVM#78 - -USAF- F-15 Eagle Radar Vet
2005 Fleetwood Revolution
'12 Chevy 2500HD
'15 Airstream International Signature 27FB
plasma800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 09:12 AM   #11
Senior Member
TonyDi's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Posts: 6,238
All electrics have another advantage in that they don't have the restriction Propane user do. They can go through most tunnels. In MD the harbor tunnel will not allow a MH with propane to go through.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
TonyDi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 09:36 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ & Plover, WI
Posts: 968
The length of time your batteries will last depends on more than just the refrig load. We have six wet cell batteries 18 months old. We can not make it through the night before the batteries are down to the 12.2 volt gen start level. However, the tv and satellite receiver use power as do the fans for the aqua-hot system. I do not like to hear the big generator start up at 4:00 am and neither do my neighbors. Most of the time, we dry camp off by ourselves. I use a 2K Honda to charge the batteries. My 620 watt solar system keeps the batteries charged during the day. At 6:00 pm, I'll start the Honda sitting 50-75' away from the coach. It holds .96 gal of gas and will run for 7-8 hrs and can hardly hear it. It powers a 40 amp smart charger. I'll shut it down at bedtime or sometimes just let it run out. We use everything except the induction cook top and AC. The 10K gen is used for them.

And NO, I would not want to go back to propane, although, a gas stove is nicer than the induction top.
2013 43 QGP Allegro Bus
26' Enclosed trailer for toys
Crasher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 09:42 AM   #13
Community Moderator
JMonroe's Avatar

Newmar Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: On the road again
Posts: 6,161
Firstly, there's probably been a dozen or more threads on this very topic on IRV2 alone. Do a search for "all electric" and you should have an afternoon's worth of reading.

Few high end coach owners do a lot of dry camping, or boondocking, so I'm assuming you won't either. It's not just a matter of desire, but also one of practicality. Few are willing to take their new 40' plus long coaches down some rough gravel road to find solace. We clearly have some members more adventurous than others here, but they are in the minority.

We have attended rallies or visited relative where we might be as long as a week without hookups and have done just fine. If you are somewhere that limits generator run time you no doubt will have a programmable control that will not allow the gen set to start during those times. It can also monitor your thermostat settings and if A/C is called for it will start the generator, shutting it down again once the desired setting is reached (we once "camped" in a relatives front yard in 95 degree weather and the gen set only ran an accumulated 3 hours all night long). It will also monitor battery level and kick in when they need to be recharged - yes they will recharge off the generator.

As has already been suggested, most any manufacturer that sells an all electric will use at least 6 house batteries and more likely 8. The items that will not run off the batteries in our coach are the A/C, the cooktop and the washer/dryer. I inadvertently left the coach unplugged one time, before we were living in it full time, and three days later the fridge was still running.

What do I like about not having LP on board. An extra storage bin where the LP tank would normally reside. Not having to find a place to refill the LP that can accommodate a big motorhome. Last January was extra cold, even in central Florida. Those with LP furnaces were looking for a refill every 10 days to two weeks. Most of the time that requires pulling off the site. A bonus was when we were travelling up the east coast last year we didn't have to find routes around some of the tunnels that forbid vehicles with large LP tanks.

Aquahot was also mentioned above. Your all electric coach will come with the Aquahot boiler system, or it's equivalent, depending on the manufacturer you buy from. These are extremely efficient and will provide both interior heat and all of your hot water. I've calculated that even with last years extremely cold winter (again in central Florida, not back in Wisconsin) I could have sit on our site for six months with no concern about running low on fuel.

You do have to consider how you expect to use the coach and as others have touched upon, if you're going to spend a major portion of your time off the grid, LP would make sense. If maybe a couple of weeks a year (like us) the all electric, at least to me, seems like the best choice. Somewhere in between, it's dealer's choice.
Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
2016 Newmar London Aire 4553, Spartan chassis
Wrangler Unlimited toad
JMonroe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2014, 10:07 AM   #14
Senior Member
falconman's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the Road
Posts: 625
We have the AquaHot, the res refer, and a propane cooktop, the only propane appliance. I hate cooking on electric cooktops so a "all electric" coach would not be for me. Even if you don't mind cooking with an electric cooktop you will probably still carry a propane bottle with you if you barbecue outside or use a propane firepit as we do. Tapping into the large propane tank is easier for me than carrying around an external tank. It depends on your RV style.

Dan & Arlene
2005 Monaco Dynasty Diamond IV
Chasing the good weather
falconman is offline   Reply With Quote

class a

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Norcold Class Action Suit Settled Dr4Film RV Systems & Appliances 69 05-05-2016 10:43 AM
Class A quality PuebloPete Class A Motorhome Discussions 40 09-16-2014 01:58 PM
Anyone go from a Class C to a Travel Trailer and Happy? mdo iRV2.com General Discussion 15 05-28-2014 11:19 AM
Switching From an A to a class C with non air braking system Mondo Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 3 05-27-2014 12:51 PM
Class B Production Expansion - New Leased Plant to Build Travato DriVer RV Industry Press 0 11-20-2013 05:26 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.