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Old 10-12-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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More amps available on microwave circuit

Now that it's cold at night, we use small electric forced air heaters and electric blankets to save propane when we are camped on an electric site. There are 15 amps available on the "Utility Circuit" (the electrical circuit for outlets), in our 17Z. There is (usually) also 15 or 20 more amps available using an extension cord coming off the campsite's breaker box.

In the morning, if our coffee pot was plugged into the utility circuit with the electric blankets, it would trip the breaker. To avoid this, we plug our coffee maker into the outlet provided for the microwave oven. It's on its own 15 amp circuit. You will probably need a short extension cord to reach it. It sure is nice to have heat and coffee together in the morning, although you still have to consider the overall 30 amp main breaker.

And later in the day if your microwave doesn't work, you're the one who unplugged it. Experience really is a great teacher.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:23 PM   #2
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Now I am not trying to spend anyone else's money - but let me throw this out there....Is it really worth the trouble to save a little propane?

In the big scheme of things, i think the actual cost of propane for us weekenders is not that much - a couple of dollars a day. For me personally, I think it is worth it to spend a few dollars a day for the comfort rather than trying to work around a heater and all the issues.

Maybe I am under estimating how much propane it takes to heat. Would be curious to hear some other opinions.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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When I get my TT, the problem will not be the cost of the propane but just getting the stuff since I'll be fulltiming and not moving around a lot. I can just wrestle 55 lb. worth of full 30 lb. cylinders now but for how much longer? The less I use, the less I'll have to deal with it.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:02 PM   #4
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I heat my TT using a two-stage process. The electric heater is set to the temperature desired. Then I set the furnace thermostat so that it comes on a few degrees below the electric heater. This way, if the electric heater can't maintain the desired temperature, the furnace comes on to assist. If the AC power fails, the furnace becomes a backup heater (since it runs on 12V DC) until AC power is restored or the coach's battery goes dead- whichever occurs first.

The electric heater is plugged into the outlet at the dinette. When we want to make coffee, we simply turn off the heater and let the furnace take over the job. Our coffeemaker is a Hamilton Beach Stay or Go and the coffee brews into an insulated caraffe rather than a glass one (which requires heat to keep it hot). Therefore, we can turn off the coffeemaker as soon as it's finished brewing and turn the electric heater back on.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:41 AM   #5
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I had an extra slot on my breaker panel, so I bought another Cutler Hammer tandem 15 amp breaker and installed it. The inverter and the utility outlet were on the same breaker so I took the utility outlet and separated it, putting it on one side of the new tandem breaker. Next I installed a receptacle below the frig and ran it to the other side of the new tandem breaker.

Now I have a dedicated circuit for each utility receptacle and can run an electric heater at each end of the trailer. I will test their effectiveness come Halloween weekend.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:04 AM   #6
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I just bought a big buddy heater.. uses way less propane and has a low o2 sensor.. on my way S I will pick up the low pressure hose that replaces the the 1 lb bottles ... then will post the whole thing in mod my RV...
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfarmall View Post
I had an extra slot on my breaker panel, so I bought another Cutler Hammer tandem 15 amp breaker and installed it. The inverter and the utility outlet were on the same breaker so I took the utility outlet and separated it, putting it on one side of the new tandem breaker. Next I installed a receptacle below the frig and ran it to the other side of the new tandem breaker.

Now I have a dedicated circuit for each utility receptacle and can run an electric heater at each end of the trailer. I will test their effectiveness come Halloween weekend.
I don't know if I have an extra slot because the camper is stored at this time - but I'm sure going to check and see if I do. That's a great idea mcfarmall. Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:14 AM   #8
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Most of the power distribution centers have five full size breaker slots. You may be able to remove a full full size breaker and replace it with two half-size breakers and do what you are thinking about... My main breaker is the only one that is full size - the rest are all half size breakers. Lowes carries all the major brand breakers so I'm pretty sure you will find the same brand breaker you using in your trailer at Lowes. Just follow standard electrical codes when adding another wall plug somewhere. Use all three BLACK-WHITE-GREEN wires...
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:38 AM   #9
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I go along with Terry's thinking that we bought our trailer to be comfortable in. I am very impressed with the heating system in our trailer. The furnace is quiet and keeps the temps where we want. I also find the trailer holds the heat in which means the furnace doesn't have to cycle as often. It also makes sense to me those who use a heater in conjunction with their furnace. Lugging around propane bottles is not one of my favorite chores, so if that can be done in fewer trips on account of a heater so much the better but not at the cost of having one room in your trailer warm but everywhere else freezing. There is a new heating system on the market that is showing up in RV stores. I think the heating unit is around 5 thousand dollars. Very expensive. I forget the name of it but it uses methane I think. I could be wrong but if memory serves, the fuel is inserted in the shape of a puck.
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