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Old 12-18-2014, 02:23 PM   #15
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Check with your campsite. A lot of them have a propane truck deliver to the MH in the camp on certain days of the week. Just like delivering it to your home.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:32 PM   #16
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A RV is much smaller than a home and when moisture is generated by dish washing, showers and just breathing, a lot of water gets put into the air. There isn't a whole lot of dry outside air getting in or moist inside air getting out so the moisture has nowhere to go. When its gets cold outside you will see condensation on windows and this could be enough to run down the walls below damaging them. I tried telling my wife to stop talking so much because she was dumping way too much moisture in the air, but for some reason she didn't listen to me.
Ah, that makes sense. I got a dehumidifier around here somewhere, so I'll take that with me.

As far as telling your wife to stop talking, you're lucky you're still alive to tell that story.

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In my old Fleetwood Discovery Diesel coach, we camped in West Virginia at a ski area once and it got down to -5 degrees. When we woke up the next morning you could see every aluminum wall stud because the moisture in the air froze to the walls right where the studs were. The aluminum was conducting the heat to the outside and they ended up being below freezing. We were nice and warm and toasty but the walls right where the studs were sure weren't. It looked like vertical lines of white snow on the walls! Really way cool!
That doesn't sound comforting. But I guess all is good if it didn't cause any damage.

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One more piece of unsolicited advice, make sure you have a escape plan incase the worse were to happen. If you lost heat where would you go? What would you take with you? How long can you stay there?

Best of luck, and I hope school goes well.
Step 1) PANIC!
Step 2) Panic..

Well, the furnace could run off electric or propane, but neither of those will help if the blower motor poops the bed. Could resort to an emergency walmart trip for space heaters, but those won't help either if there's a power outage. In case of the last scenario, I really don't know what I would/could do. I don't know anyone in the area, so my options would pretty much be a hotel (or finally give me a reason to get that generator fixed).

And thanks for the kind words. I too hope school goes well
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:21 PM   #17
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Sound like this might come in handy: http://www.amazon.com/Conntek-Adatpe.../dp/B003YDY89Y
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:06 PM   #18
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The issue I have seen with the on demand water heaters is that they of necessity draw very large amounts of current for a short period of time. The advantage to having a classic hot water heater and tank is that the tank integrates or averages the energy over time so the peak energy use is much smaller. The total energy use may be higher over a period of time but the peak energy use will be much much larger.

By the way my motorhome has a 240 vac dryer in it that uses both sides of the 50 amp circuit. I need to run the generator when I only have 30 amps.

I believe that in most parks the 30 amp circuit is across one leg of the 50 amp circuit. This makes sense because why would a park pay a lot more for the copper required to bring the additional 30 amps to the pedestal when an RV is using one or the other but not both. You could use the 15/20 amp circuit with the 30 amp since both are on one side of the 50. Many people do use both of these.
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:27 PM   #19
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Cant answer your questions, but can suggest that parks only have a 30 or 50 amp post. Some have a outlet for 15 amp, but I haven't seen a site which had two power outlets.
I have been in many, many campgrounds that have a 50 AMP plus a 30 AMP plus a 20 AMP outlet in the campground shore power box.

I use both 50 & 30 with my MH. The 50 for the MH 30 AMP main breaker box. And the 30 or 20 to another 35 AMP breaker box with a 20 & 15 breakers in a compartment that runs my front 15K heat pump and a stand alone Ice Maker and the 15 AMP for items outside the MH(weed whacker, iPad/phone charger etc.).
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:36 PM   #20
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@Road Pilot

Yes, the instant water heaters use a *lot* of power (probably need a 5-7.5kW unit), so there's some major difficulties if you want to install them in an RV. If I have to stick with 50A, one of my options is to tie into that water heater's flow sensor and have it shut off the furnace's heating element when the water heater is in use. That would leave me with at ~40A @ 110V for everything else. I'd rather not have to do it that way, but it is an option.

@Triker
That's good to hear. I doubt you actually use the full power rating all at once, but I really don't expect to do so either. Maybe another 10 to 15A above the 50 (and 20 of that is only when I actually need to use the furnace).
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:56 PM   #21
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The basic problem with the MH in cold weather is poor insulation. You will be paying a lot for heat because it will be exiting faster from a MH than a house. Your best friend will be extra insulation in the form of heavy curtains across the front and something like Reflectix cut to fit under the blinds for most of the windows. Don't forget vent pillows as they are a major heat leak.

You need to understand the costs in a park better. Bulk delivered Propane may well be cheaper than electric. You will either be metered and surcharged for electric or you will see high site rent to cover your electric usage. Park owners need to make back their investment. An extend a stay kit and supplier bottles will let you use bulk delivery and get the lower prices associated with it.

I would not electrify the existing furnace. It is asking for trouble. You are a lot better off with a couple of space heaters so you can zone a bit. I would also not blow off the 80% effciency rating. Part of how they get higher efficency is to run much higher blower speeds moving a lot more air. That draws a lot of electric that does not seem to count in the efficiency rating but does in one's bill at the end of the month.

You don't seem to have a clue about water and sewer management. Assume that you will need to manage heat with more than a 100 W bulb at times. The pad heaters on the tanks may or may not be sufficient for your area. The sewer line will need to be managed and the fill water line either heat taped or managed. I would put an electric element in the existing tank rather than mess with a new demand heater. It will be a lot cheaper in the long run as the heaters are not cheap to buy or run. You also need to worry about the existing tank freezing as they are not well insulated on the outside because of the gas flame path. Better you just keep it warm.

If you are going to increase the power capacity (I would) the answer is to go to 50 A and split your loads across the two legs. IF two 50 A 120 VAC legs won't cover what you are doing you cannot afford the electric bill.

FWIW If I was setting this up I would also be looking at some lower than normal thermostatic switches and freeze alarms so I could put some electric heat into the basement areas of the coach with it set to around 40 - 45 deg F and an alarm if the wet areas get too cold. It's easier to add heat than to fix plumbing.

You also need to know there is a park where you will be able to rent space. Not all places are open in the winter. Find out how they plan on managing water and sewer as you will need to adapt to their way.
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Pilot View Post
The issue I have seen with the on demand water heaters is that they of necessity draw very large amounts of current for a short period of time. The advantage to having a classic hot water heater and tank is that the tank integrates or averages the energy over time so the peak energy use is much smaller. The total energy use may be higher over a period of time but the peak energy use will be much much larger.

By the way my motorhome has a 240 vac dryer in it that uses both sides of the 50 amp circuit. I need to run the generator when I only have 30 amps.

I believe that in most parks the 30 amp circuit is across one leg of the 50 amp circuit. This makes sense because why would a park pay a lot more for the copper required to bring the additional 30 amps to the pedestal when an RV is using one or the other but not both. You could use the 15/20 amp circuit with the 30 amp since both are on one side of the 50. Many people do use both of these.

I'm not sure of the gauge wire used for the incoming power to an RV pedestal but I do know that most of these pedestals are rated at 125-130 amps. This indicates to me that the pedestal can support the concurrent use of both the 50 and 30 amp services.


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Old 12-18-2014, 05:34 PM   #23
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The 50 amp park service is exactly the same as a 50 amp service at your home. It is two 120 volt 50 amp breakers tied together and 180 degrees out of phase which results in 220 volts across the two legs. The confusion comes from the fact that the RV has no 220 volt appliances and only utilizes 120 volts. I only mention this because if you are inclined to modify circuits in the RV you need to know how it is wired:

Electrical Tutorial
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:10 PM   #24
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@nothermark

Thanks for your thorough reply.

I intend on closing off the front cab with either thick curtains or styrafoam panels. The windows will get cellophane treatment taped to the frames. It's not a perfect solution, but should be better than nothing. Duly noted on sealing roof vents.

The park that I intend to stay at has very good monthly rates which of course doesn't include electric. They also reduce their rates further for any stays longer than 6 months. AFAIK, they're open for business year round. I don't know if there's propane delivery at the park, but I can find nothing to indicate that there is. I will ask.

Making sure don't bust any pipes is my biggest concern. Keeping the sewer valves and drain warm should be easy enough. The rest of the tanks, though? I'm not so certain. I have no clue if the heating pads will be sufficient, or if a small space heater will be able to get heat to the rest of the tanks.

I considered insulating the outside of the water heater, but that might not be enough. Maybe I should get an electric element, if for nothing else than to prevent it from freezing. As far as the price of on demand water heaters go, 5-7.5kW units from Rheem can be had for as low as $150-175. You can't get *any* other water heater for cheaper. This actually gave me a potentially good idea.. If I run the on-demand heater ahead of the existing heater, I could get away with a lower wattage unit while prolonging the amount of useful hot water from the tank because the water getting fed into it will be pre-heated. It might be a good trade-off.

Thanks for the tips on the freeze alarms.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:24 PM   #25
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Nothing in an RV should require 240V. All devices connect to one side or other for 120V.
A lot of the newer units with stacked washer/dryer do in fact need 240V for the dryer.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:41 PM   #26
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A lot of the newer units with stacked washer/dryer do in fact need 240V for the dryer.
It makes sense that 240 volts might be used but on my 2015 Palazzo 35.1 the stacked washer and dryer both use 120 volt.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:05 PM   #27
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It makes sense that 240 volts might be used but on my 2015 Palazzo 35.1 the stacked washer and dryer both use 120 volt.
My comment wasn't directed at anyone in particular, it was in general.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:08 PM   #28
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FWIW RV wiring is the same as house wiring just smaller. It's a 220 VAC center tapped winding on the customer side of the pole transformer. The plugs do not match normal home power sockets because home devices that plug in are normally either 120 VAC or 240 VAC without the split.

As far as hot water goes one of these:

Hott Rod Water Heater Conversion Kit - 6 Gallon - Diamond HR6 - Water Heaters - Camping World

One of them will cost a lot less than the on demand heater and it's wiring. Run the thermostat hot or use propane along with the electric. You might be surprised how well 6 gallon HW tanks work when run hotter than average. If you decide not to use the gas on the HW heater disconnect the gas valve and fit a piece of styrofoam under the door. It will help a lot on insulation but you do not want it there if the gas gets turned on. Usually there is a disconnect of some kind at the valve.

If you wire in the Hott Rod the best installation is to run the cord inside and plug it into a box with a switched outlet and pilot light so you know if it is turned on or not. The thermostat in the package will control the temp.
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