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Old 06-07-2018, 06:49 AM   #1
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Propane or electric

Right now I am workcamping so I get my site and hookup for free but when I go to Florida this winter I have to pay for my site and the electric is metered. I have my heat, stove, water and frig are all either electric or propane. My question is which is cheaper way to run these?
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:23 AM   #2
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Yes.

Depends on the price of propane and the price of electric.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:44 AM   #3
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as i remember, the cost per kwh times 27 is the equivalant to the propane price. so if electricity is .10 per kwh and propane is 2.70 a gallon its about a push.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DanKathyC View Post
as i remember, the cost per kwh times 27 is the equivalant to the propane price. so if electricity is .10 per kwh and propane is 2.70 a gallon its about a push.


Except that electric is ~100% efficient, while propane appliances are 60-80% efficient. Then you have to determine how convenient is it to give refills. For instance, in Mesa AZ motorhomes can not be filled while parked in an RV park, which means unhooking and driving to get refilled, or setting up extend-a-stay hose, external tank. We always just went with electric and only used propane for furnace on cold nights.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:30 PM   #5
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Except that electric is ~100% efficient, while propane appliances are 60-80% efficient. Then you have to determine how convenient is it to give refills. For instance, in Mesa AZ motorhomes can not be filled while parked in an RV park, which means unhooking and driving to get refilled, or setting up extend-a-stay hose, external tank. We always just went with electric and only used propane for furnace on cold nights.
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:49 PM   #6
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Seeing as OP has a 5th wheel with Two 30# propane cylinders then OP can take cylinder to get refilled w/o having to mess with trailer


So it comes down to WHAT the KW/H cost vs Propane per/gal cost and time/effort to refill
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:41 PM   #7
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The difference in cost isn't that great comparing elec to propane. You will get more savings by sealing your RV up during the cold nights, like Reflex for the windows, skylight pillows, seal stove exhaust vent, even refrig outside vents, also consider LED lights. We try not to use the RV furnace which heats the storage compartments and instead rely on elec space heaters and a propane Mr Heater. The storage compartments don't need heat unless it gets in the low 20's and then a light bulb works good.
We stayed in Gulf Shores, AL last Jan and using elec only, our cost was $66/month for a 34' Fifth Wheel.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:08 AM   #8
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quote>>>as i remember, the cost per kwh times 27 is the equivalent to the propane price. so if electricity is .10 per kwh and propane is 2.70 a gallon its about a push.<<<quote

Using the formula above; here are some real numbers for us to kick around. In both examples below, the electric rates are the rates charged to the park by the local utilities. Re-selling electricity is illegal in both of our situations. It is legal is some places so check carefully do be sure you don't get ripped off. Retail propane cost is relatively the same in many places. At least where we stay most of the time.

In Florida (Tampa area) our metered electric is $.146/kwh ($3.94/gal propane equivalent)
Propane for a 30# tank this past winter was $24.22 ($24.22/7.5 gal $3.23/gal)
30# tank refill on average 45-55 days.

In northern NY our metered electric is $.2697/kwh ($7.29/gal propane equivalent)
Propane for a 30# tank, refilled yesterday, was $25.56 ($25.56/7.5 gal $3.41/gal).

That's a considerable difference for electric vs gas when it comes to hot water, heating, and cooking.
Your appliances will be another factor. We have gas fired on demand hot water and a residential refrigerator so we don't use nearly as much electric compared to some others.
Heating in the early spring and fall in NY is another matter. Between hot water, cooking indoors and using our furnace instead of heat pumps we will use a 30# propane tank about every 20 to 30 days. As summer progresses. our gas consumption drops considerably to 40-45 days. Also air conditioning in northern NY is hardly ever needed so we save there as well. (To paraphrase Sarah Palin, "I can see Canada from my RV!")
Bottom line IMHO, get your costs together and adjust your consumption as best as possible based on the situation where you are.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:05 AM   #9
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Thank you for your response, the 27x formula will give me a guideline for determining which way I use my appliances.
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:45 AM   #10
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Nothing is 100% efficient either.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:17 PM   #11
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Nothing is 100% efficient either.


Electric is close enough for back of the envelope calculations in this context.
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:13 PM   #12
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<snip> For instance, in Mesa AZ motorhomes can not be filled while parked in an RV park, <snip>.

That must be a Mesa city ordinance I guess.

We winter in Casa Grande and the propane truck comes around every Tuesday. They charge about $1.25/gal more that taking the tank to be locally filled.
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:52 PM   #13
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That must be a Mesa city ordinance I guess.

We winter in Casa Grande and the propane truck comes around every Tuesday. They charge about $1.25/gal more that taking the tank to be locally filled.
...


It's probably a RV park restriction. Why would a city care about filling propane tanks. I worked for a Propane Company in Texas and some RV parks would allow us to fill MH's on site and others would not. It was a PITA selling 10 gallons for each site stop.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:17 PM   #14
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...
<snip>It was a PITA selling 10 gallons for each site stop.

I can agree. Stopping for 10-15 minutes to sell a small amount is not cost effective.
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