Go Back   iRV2 Forums > RV LIFE STYLES FORUMS > Full-Timers
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-22-2014, 11:27 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 578
I should add that I measured our 4-door Norcold refrigerator on electric using a Kill-a-Watt, and it uses about 7 kwh/day. (A residential refrigerator is generally rated to use about 1.5 kwh/day.)

So our Norcold alone is using half of our 15 kwh/day non-climate-control electricity. At 14 cents/kwh, that would mean $30/month is for just the refrigerator. I've had it for 10 years and never dreamed it would be that much.

I think that's why electrical usage in RVs can be surprisingly high. If you need to run the air conditioner or heaters, an RV is generally much less insulated than a house, as Barb pointed out, so it will cost more than even a bigger house.

And even if you don't need to run air but you have a Norcold refrigerator, you're getting hit on that angle, too.

For the record, I've measured propane use on the Norcold, and it's about 1/2 gallon a day. At $3.00/gallon for propane, that's $1.50/day; at 14 cents/kwh for electricity, it's $1.00/day.

A residential refrigerator would be more like 20-25 cents/day.
__________________

oatmeal is offline   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 10-25-2014, 09:01 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
RVingDutchman's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
American Coach Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: B.C.
Posts: 302
Norcold energy use

Quote:
Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
I should add that I measured our 4-door Norcold refrigerator on electric using a Kill-a-Watt, and it uses about 7 kwh/day. (A residential refrigerator is generally rated to use about 1.5 kwh/day.)

So our Norcold alone is using half of our 15 kwh/day non-climate-control electricity. At 14 cents/kwh, that would mean $30/month is for just the refrigerator. I've had it for 10 years and never dreamed it would be that much.

I think that's why electrical usage in RVs can be surprisingly high. If you need to run the air conditioner or heaters, an RV is generally much less insulated than a house, as Barb pointed out, so it will cost more than even a bigger house.

And even if you don't need to run air but you have a Norcold refrigerator, you're getting hit on that angle, too.

For the record, I've measured propane use on the Norcold, and it's about 1/2 gallon a day. At $3.00/gallon for propane, that's $1.50/day; at 14 cents/kwh for electricity, it's $1.00/day.

A residential refrigerator would be more like 20-25 cents/day.
When you took those readings you must have taken notice of the settings on the fridge, I believe it has settings from 1 to 5 regardless wether your on propane or electric.
Then of coarse there is the question of how efficient your particular fridge is?
As some people say they can not keep ice-cream frozen in their freezer and mine I start out on 4 or 5 to get it going but after 8 hours I have to turn it down to 3 or it is way to cold and in mild weather we can often get away with running it on 2.

I find the KWH/day estimate rather high and even the 1/2Gln A/Day propane is not reasonable in my estimation, we ran the fridge in our Am. Eagle this summer for three month plus a few days in that time we ran the HWH when we needed. I would be hard pressed to say that on average we used it more then 1hour per day. many days it would not be used! Cooking about 50% of the time. on the propane stove in the MoHo. but mostly very simple meals supplemented by BBQued whatever from a separate fuel source.
We plugged in maybe 50% (I'm being conservative here) of the time when the Fridge ran on Electric power
At the end of that period we filled up the propane tank and took on 62.7 Ltr. that is 16.56 US Gln. devided by 50% of 3 month plus a few days or 90plus days .... no way you get to 1/2 a gallon per day for the fridge alone !!!
Think about it, its an oversize pilot light, half a gallon of compressed LPG is a lot!
I don't have the exact number and it would be highly variable depending on wheather, fridge efficiency, how much you have in there, how often you open the door, etc. that's why the manufacturer does not give you any numbers, but 1/2 a Gallon it is not. YNMVO!

Regards,
Ed
__________________

__________________
2000 American Eagle. DS.DP. 40' 350HP ISC. 4 Koni's, 1200W. Solar, EMS, Compost Toilet, LED Lighting, TPMS, Scangauge, + 5'x11' ToyTrailer = Garage =Toolshed = Boathouse = Spare bedroom = Looking for a bigger one!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
RVingDutchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2014, 09:12 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
RVingDutchman's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
American Coach Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: B.C.
Posts: 302
To Little To Long.

OH Oatmeal,
I forgot, I think you should check your electric element from the fridge, it's easy to do and will tell you if that's why you're using so much power? I believe it should put out 350watt and many do not even if they are so marked, manufacturers fault! they put out to little and therefore stay on almost all the time without ever reaching proper temp.

Regards,
Ed
__________________
2000 American Eagle. DS.DP. 40' 350HP ISC. 4 Koni's, 1200W. Solar, EMS, Compost Toilet, LED Lighting, TPMS, Scangauge, + 5'x11' ToyTrailer = Garage =Toolshed = Boathouse = Spare bedroom = Looking for a bigger one!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
RVingDutchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2014, 06:59 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVingDutchman View Post
even the 1/2Gln A/Day propane is not reasonable in my estimation
My propane usage numbers are for a Norcold 1200LR, the 4-door model (2 doors for the refrigerator, and 2 separate freezer compartments), in 2005. I came about my numbers under pretty tightly controlled circumstances, completely by accident. So there was no behavior modification based on being in a "test" situation.

The refrigerator has a temperature setting range from 1 to 9. We fulltime, and it was always kept on 5 or 6.

The data were gathered on a stay in South Texas in the spring, with moderate temperatures (we leave when it gets too hot to sleep without air conditioning), sunny skies, and fairly high humidity.

It just so happened that we filled up with propane on the way in, and then again on the way out, 59 days later. During that time, we used 28.5 gallons of propane.

Those 59 days were spent up as follows:

25 days boondocking
2 days with electricity
14 days boondocking
2 days with electricity
16 days boondocking

That makes 55 days of boondocking. We have solar, so we didn't use the generator. The refrigerator was on propane the entire time we were boondocking.

The only other propane use was one stovetop burner for about 20 minutes a week (cooking potatoes and eggs for once-a-week breakfast burritos), which is almost nothing. All other cooking was done in the microwave. We were in and out of the refrigerator about like we always are (we're fulltimers).

We were on the ocean, so we used the shower mainly to rinse off and didn't make hot water for that because what came out of the tank was pretty warm because it didn't get cold at night. At most, we used propane 2 or 3 times to make hot water over that period, and maybe not even that. If there was a cold front and we wanted showers, we would have made hot water. But if it was cold, we probably didn't go in the ocean anyway, and didn't need showers. I honestly can't remember.

But I'm sure it's not more than a very few times because of the cold front angle. Also, were experimenting with making hot water using electricity from the solar panels (a successful experiment, btw), so the temperature of the water in the tank was fine for our use.

Given the very minimal use of propane by anything other than the refrigerator, especially over a 2-month period, I just divided the 28.5 gallons by the 55 days spent boondocking, and came up with .518 gallons/day.

So that's my experience, and my methodology. I don't see any way the 1/2 gallon/day could be erroneous. I did read on another forum once where people were saying their refrigerator uses 1/4 gallon/day, but none of them ever specified what type of refrigerator they have or how they came up with their figure, and nobody ever answered my request for that information. Maybe refrigerators that are basically half the size of mine use half the propane, and that's what they had? I don't know.

Trust me...I'd love to use less than 1/2 gallon of propane per day just for the refrigerator, and yes, it does seem high. But that's what the numbers say, unless I've missed something.

I have a kill-a-watt on the refrigerator and will let it go for a few days, and report back concerning how much electricity is being used.
oatmeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 12:41 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
RVingDutchman's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
American Coach Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: B.C.
Posts: 302
Too much energy use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
My propane usage numbers are for a Norcold 1200LR, the 4-door model (2 doors for the refrigerator, and 2 separate freezer compartments), in 2005. I came about my numbers under pretty tightly controlled circumstances, completely by accident. So there was no behavior modification based on being in a "test" situation.

The refrigerator has a temperature setting range from 1 to 9. We fulltime, and it was always kept on 5 or 6.

The data were gathered on a stay in South Texas in the spring, with moderate temperatures (we leave when it gets too hot to sleep without air conditioning), sunny skies, and fairly high humidity.

It just so happened that we filled up with propane on the way in, and then again on the way out, 59 days later. During that time, we used 28.5 gallons of propane.

Those 59 days were spent up as follows:

25 days boondocking
2 days with electricity
14 days boondocking
2 days with electricity
16 days boondocking

That makes 55 days of boondocking. We have solar, so we didn't use the generator. The refrigerator was on propane the entire time we were boondocking.

The only other propane use was one stovetop burner for about 20 minutes a week (cooking potatoes and eggs for once-a-week breakfast burritos), which is almost nothing. All other cooking was done in the microwave. We were in and out of the refrigerator about like we always are (we're fulltimers).

We were on the ocean, so we used the shower mainly to rinse off and didn't make hot water for that because what came out of the tank was pretty warm because it didn't get cold at night. At most, we used propane 2 or 3 times to make hot water over that period, and maybe not even that. If there was a cold front and we wanted showers, we would have made hot water. But if it was cold, we probably didn't go in the ocean anyway, and didn't need showers. I honestly can't remember.

But I'm sure it's not more than a very few times because of the cold front angle. Also, were experimenting with making hot water using electricity from the solar panels (a successful experiment, btw), so the temperature of the water in the tank was fine for our use.

Given the very minimal use of propane by anything other than the refrigerator, especially over a 2-month period, I just divided the 28.5 gallons by the 55 days spent boondocking, and came up with .518 gallons/day.

So that's my experience, and my methodology. I don't see any way the 1/2 gallon/day could be erroneous. I did read on another forum once where people were saying their refrigerator uses 1/4 gallon/day, but none of them ever specified what type of refrigerator they have or how they came up with their figure, and nobody ever answered my request for that information. Maybe refrigerators that are basically half the size of mine use half the propane, and that's what they had? I don't know.

Trust me...I'd love to use less than 1/2 gallon of propane per day just for the refrigerator, and yes, it does seem high. But that's what the numbers say, unless I've missed something.

I have a kill-a-watt on the refrigerator and will let it go for a few days, and report back concerning how much electricity is being used.

Hi Oatmeal,
You know I `don't really want this to turn into an argument and whether you're wrong I think is not the big issue but that you need to do something about it is!

A) First so you know I'm not coming from a widely different angle I own an identical fridge Norcold 1200LR (w/icemaker) mine is mounted in our American Eagle and was original since 2000!
You came by the numbers completely by accident under strictly controlled circumstances ????? not sure how that works. contradiction in terms.

B) The refrigerators both your's and mine have 5 thermostatic settings not 9 like you state, just read your manual its written in there.

C) Besides the 55 days of boon docking there seems to be some other use that consists of this and that and of some amnesia which in my opinion in 59 days could add up to more then a few gallons but he' I wasn't there so I can not argue that one!

D) What I will argue is that that even if you are close this number you need to have your system closely inspected because this can not be right on the propane side it must be running full blast all the time and still not doing the job!

In another post you said your Fridge uses about 7KWh per day Have you ever stopped and figured out how much that is for that little fridge? That is Absurd!
The main heating element in the fridge is about 350 Watt (Or should be) multiply that by 24 (hrs) div. by 7000(watt)=1.2 that means the poor thing runs more then 80% of the time, it hardly ever shuts off.
Once again you need to have your system checked out very carefully, and I bet you that you're heating element is underrated maybe by as much as 40/50Watt
so it is actually running 100% of the time and barely keeps your food at the required temps.

Maybe all this sounds pretty critical and harsh but there's some good information here if you follow up on it and I know will help you.

Best regards,
Ed
__________________
2000 American Eagle. DS.DP. 40' 350HP ISC. 4 Koni's, 1200W. Solar, EMS, Compost Toilet, LED Lighting, TPMS, Scangauge, + 5'x11' ToyTrailer = Garage =Toolshed = Boathouse = Spare bedroom = Looking for a bigger one!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
RVingDutchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVingDutchman View Post
Maybe all this sounds pretty critical and harsh
Yes, it does sound critical and harsh. For example, you said,

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVingDutchman View Post
B) The refrigerators both your's and mine have 5 thermostatic settings not 9 like you state, just read your manual its written in there.
Short of posting a video of the display going from 1 to 9 as I press the button, I don't know how to convince you that my refrigerator has nine settings. I said it once and you didn't believe me. Does saying it twice change that? And not that it's necessary because I know how many settings my refrigerator has, the manual that you referred me to says "9 is the coldest setting."

Did you really think that someone who collects data like I posted doesn't know how many settings there are on the refrigerator being tested?

Also, you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVingDutchman View Post
The main heating element in the fridge is about 350 Watt (Or should be)
My refrigerator has two heating elements, of 225 watts each, for a total of 450 watts. So it neither is, nor should be, 350 watts, as you claim.

Now that we have that cleared up, on to the numbers.

You said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVingDutchman View Post
In another post you said your Fridge uses about 7KWh per day Have you ever stopped and figured out how much that is for that little fridge? That is Absurd!
The 7 kwh/day I reported (and you called "absurd") was derived using a kill-a-watt over several days on a Norcold that came as original equipment on a 2003 motorhome.

I recently installed a new Amish cooling unit and have had it on a kill-a-watt for week. I'm in Denver right now, where the humidity is very low, nighttime temperatures are in the 30s and daytime highs are in the 60s or 70s.

It is using 5.8 kwh/day.

The Amish cooling units are purported to be more efficient than Norcold ones, so I'm not surprised that it's using a little less. What I don't know is whether this number is also "absurd."

For the record (and using the correct wattage of 450, not 350), the original number of 7 kwh/day equates to a 65% duty cycle, and the Amish cooling unit's 5.8 kwh/day equates to a 54% duty cycle.
oatmeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 01:14 AM   #21
Senior Member
 
RVingDutchman's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
American Coach Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: B.C.
Posts: 302
So sorry

OK I have no Idea why the numbers are so far apart on supposedly identical refrigerators (Norcold 1200LR 4 door ) but obviously it makes no sense and is not my intention to start or continue some kind of senseless argument over numbers that will help no one, so I will stop here and apologize for whatever part I had in starting this!

Regards
Ed
__________________
2000 American Eagle. DS.DP. 40' 350HP ISC. 4 Koni's, 1200W. Solar, EMS, Compost Toilet, LED Lighting, TPMS, Scangauge, + 5'x11' ToyTrailer = Garage =Toolshed = Boathouse = Spare bedroom = Looking for a bigger one!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
RVingDutchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 02:37 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Denali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 244
Rates and comparing propane to electricity

We have seen rates from $.08/kWh (Mesa, AZ) to $.35/kWh (in the top tier of PG&E rates in Coarsegold, CA).

To evaluate the relative cost of heating with propane or electricity, here is a great spreadsheet: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/heatcalc.xls
__________________
Dave Rudisill
2004 Beaver Monterey - Fulltiming since August 2002
Denali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 05:31 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVingDutchman View Post
.... no way you get to 1/2 a gallon per day for the fridge alone !!!
Here's an update on propane usage on the Norcold 4-door (1200 LRIM) refrigerator, which now has an Amish cooling unit that was installed last year.

Upthread I described the measuring I did a few years ago (with the original cooling unit), and came up with about about 1/2 gallon of propane/day.

This time, the period examined was:

Filled up with propane and immediately spent 10 days boondocking, using refrigerator on propane.

Spent 5 days plugged in, with refrigerator on electric.

Spent 14 days boondocking, using refrigerator on propane.

Spent 4 days plugged in, with refrigerator on electric.

Spent 14 days boondocking, using refrigerator on propane.

Spent 3 days plugged in, with refrigerator on electric.

Had propane tank refilled.

In that time, the propane water heater was used twice to heat water and then immediately turned off. The propane oven wasn't used at all, and the propane burners were used for maybe a couple of hours total over the 50 days.

The tank took 20 gallons to refill, which was what was required for 38 days of refrigerator use on propane, along with 2 tanks of hot water and a little stovetop usage.

This again works out to about 1/2 gallon/day--the same as I calculated the last time I was able to experience some well-measured conditions.

So I'm pretty confident about the 1/2 gallon/day number for propane on a 4-door Norcold, whether it has the original cooling unit or a new Amish one.
oatmeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 08:17 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Barbaraok's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Traveling in North America
Posts: 1,562
In 38 days you only heated water twice? Really? And you didn't say what the outside temperature was, and whether or not your frig was in a slide. Since you don't appear to need heating when boon docking, I'm going to assume we are talking about warm to hot weather, which will mean the frig is going to run more than if you were using propane to heat the rig because outside temperatures were very low. And then there is the question of whether your frig is shaded or not, etc.

Barb
__________________
Barbara & David O'Keeffe
Figment II (Alpine 2002 36 MDDS)
On The Road since 2006
Blog
Barbaraok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 11:29 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 578
I covered most of your questions upthread.

And yes, we REALLY heated water only twice this last time. I made a point to note it because I couldn't remember for 100% sure what we'd done the time before, although I knew it was no more than a handful times. But this time I'm positive: we used the propane water heater twice.

The refrigerator is not in a slide. During the first time I recorded the numbers, the refrigerator faced west and got afternoon sun. This most recent time, the refrigerator faced much more north and got only a little bit of sun at all, and that was early in the morning.

Both of these experiences were in South Texas in the spring. We don't stay past when it becomes too uncomfortable to sleep at night without air conditioning. During our most recent stay, the daytime highs were generally in the mid-70s to mid-80s, and the nighttime lows were in the mid-60s to mid-70s, with a couple of outliers sprinkled in there.

Both times, the propane usage was about 1/2 gallon per day.
oatmeal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2015, 09:26 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Barbaraok's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Traveling in North America
Posts: 1,562
Good rule of thumb is if price of propane is less than 19*KWH for electric, go with propane, otherwise go with electric. Propane water heaters/furnances/frig heating elements are notoriously inefficient (between 65-75%) so for a lot of cases using electric makes sense if it is available. Of course that doesn't take into account the cost of getting the propane, if you have to drive to get it, nor the hassle of having to unhook rig and go get it if you have a motorhome.

Barb
__________________
Barbara & David O'Keeffe
Figment II (Alpine 2002 36 MDDS)
On The Road since 2006
Blog
Barbaraok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2015, 08:22 AM   #27
Senior Member/RVM #90
 
MSHappyCampers's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 29,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVingDutchman View Post
OK I have no Idea why the numbers are so far apart on supposedly identical refrigerators (Norcold 1200LR 4 door ) but obviously it makes no sense and is not my intention to start or continue some kind of senseless argument over numbers that will help no one, so I will stop here and apologize for whatever part I had in starting this!

Regards
Ed

Ed, my Norcold 1200LRIM has settings from 1 to 9 also.
__________________
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2015, 01:20 AM   #28
Senior Member
 
MtnTrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Currently; SW Cali. Sunny & warm!
Posts: 1,145
Hi,
On OP, Barbaraok makes several good points about the inefficiency of RV gas appliances. Although I don’t have a spreadsheet to display here there will be a break even point for fuels based on their BTU content & current costs. LP would need to be under $3.25 Gal. Plus the hassle of filling 40# cylinders. The CG I’m at charges $.09 KWH with a $9 meter reading fee per mo. I typically use between 450 summer-975 winter KWHs in chilly Seattle area.
I don’t think the original post claim of 938 KWH @ $.12 sounds outrageous considering a W/D, w/ warm water, probably dual A/C’s running etc.
Modern coaches have a lot of "phantom" power suckers too that go un-noticed.
I always log my site electric meter using my cell phone camera when I go pay my bill.
Anyone have a induction cook top? DW has a twinkle in her eye for one of those in a new coach, but I’m trying to dissuade that and order our trusty 3 burner LPG range.
Play nice campers, peace!
__________________

__________________
J & J, DRV Suites ES-38RSSA #9679
GM Denali, 3500HD-Max, 4x CC, 8' DRW,
EZGo-TXT, Yamaha-G22E
MtnTrek is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electrical



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
Daily Travel Costs smlranger iRV2.com General Discussion 6 08-10-2014 04:14 PM
More Electrical Issues on 2014 44B Aspire Diesel Diva Entegra Owner's Forum 7 07-23-2014 11:07 AM
DC Electrical Issue Jchet Class A Motorhome Discussions 5 05-07-2014 08:53 PM
Yearly maintainence costs? Kiddikop Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 3 03-10-2014 01:47 PM
Help identifying electrical component where power comes in Turbo38sfi Class A Motorhome Discussions 36 08-31-2013 06:30 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.