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Old 08-01-2013, 10:53 PM   #1
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Propane Usage

Been up in Payson Az for 6 weeks. Little background, Fridge working on electric, cooking off of stove 5 nights,lost electric for about 1 hour total, and using propane for the hot water heater. Just went down and filled up the 7 gallon tank and it only took 6.3 gallons. What we do is wife gets up in morning, about 15 minutes before she takes shower turns on hot water heater, leaves it on until after the breakfast dishes are done, then hot water heater gets turned off until suppertime dishes need to be done then heater stays on till I take my shower then turn it off. The water stays very hot most of the day. This might help people wondering how long propane last.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Why don't you run your water heater using electricity since you are running your refrigerator with it? Last year I went 30 nights with one 30 lb. tank to run stove, BBQ and occasionally water heater and fridge when electric was not available. On the other hand I used a full tank in 4 nights last fall but I had to run the furnace the entire time since it was very cool and cloudy. I guess that is why rv's usually have 2 smaller tanks rather than one larger tank. You should always have a full spare.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:06 AM   #3
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X2 on using the electric water heater option if it is available. You can also turn on both the electric and gas at the same time if you are taking a shower as it will speed up your recovery time.

We do not take showers in our HTT as it is too small and we get water all over the floor, which I dislike. If we do not have an electric site, we often boil a tea pot full of water while we are eating our meal for dish water, and then we are only heating up the water we will use and not the entire 6 gallon tank.

We have dual 20# tanks. Both were full this spring. We have about 25 nights on the HTT this year. During that time we ran the furnace for about 3-4 nights before going to bed and when we woke up in the morning. The frig has ran about 350 hours on propane during this time on that one tank. When I filled the tank it only took about 3.4 gallons. I do not recall using the water heater on propane for any significant amount of time. If I recall correctly a 20# tank when empty will take 4.3 gallons to fill.

It does sound like you had a fairly long run time on a single tank.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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Where we are at the electric is .16 per kilowatt hour. Why run the electric or the propane for hot water when we don't need it. Just trying to conserve propane . Propane is $2.95 per gallon up here. With it being A little warm up here,[90 degrees] the air conditioning works and our last bill for electric was $81.50 for the month, not bad. I only posted this because of the amount of people asking about propane usage.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:09 PM   #5
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Where we are at the electric is .16 per kilowatt hour. Why run the electric or the propane for hot water when we don't need it. Just trying to conserve propane . Propane is $2.95 per gallon up here. With it being A little warm up here,[90 degrees] the air conditioning works and our last bill for electric was $81.50 for the month, not bad. I only posted this because of the amount of people asking about propane usage.
Fair enough, I wasn't aware that you had metered electricity at your site. You may want to calculate what your refrigerator is costing you to run also. I bet it would be a little cheaper to run your fridge on propane vs. electric plus it will probably keep it colder on the inside too. But then you would have to refill your tank a little sooner.

BTW you can keep the heat down in AZ. It is a cool 74 degrees up here in MN.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:28 PM   #6
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When we are parked at camps with expensive electricity we also use propane to heat the water. I always turn it off when we go to bed because the hot water tank is close to our bedroom and it makes a lot of noise at night. We always have hot water when we get up in the morning.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:35 AM   #7
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Our old class C had a single built-in 20# tank. We used to run the fridge and water heater (only ran on propane, no electric) on propane all the time and of course used the stove for cooking. We turned the water heater on at 5pm or so and off after we had showered for the day. As long as we did not have to run the furnace, the propane would last 3-4 weeks.

Our 25Z has two 30# bottles. This spring we ran the furnace every night and used the stove for cooking. The fridge and water heater stayed on electric and the tank lasted for about two weeks. Last summer with no heat usage, and mostly electric for the fridge and water heater, we went all summer (8 weeks of camping) without filling.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:44 PM   #8
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I worry about running the hot water heater on electric when everything, including A/C, is already plugged in. It takes so many amps and I guess I'm afraid I'm going to blow something up. I'm just a worry wart!
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:50 PM   #9
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I worry about running the hot water heater on electric when everything, including A/C, is already plugged in. It takes so many amps and I guess I'm afraid I'm going to blow something up. I'm just a worry wart!
You are worrying needlessly. Nothing will "blow up". The worst that will happen is a breaker may trip. Normally you should be able to run the A/C, the refrigerator and the water heater at the same time. Add the microwave or the coffee pot or the toaster or the hair dryer and you will trip a breaker.

My SOP is to run the gas and electric together on the water heater until does its initial heat-up then I turn off the gas. Only once have I had the breaker trip. It was when the A/C was running and the microwave was in use and just coincidentally the water heater decided it also needed to come on. Pedestal breaker tripped. Turned off the water heater. Reset the breaker. When we were done with the microwave we turned the water heater back on. Nothing blows up. Just a minor inconvenience.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:06 PM   #10
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Neat thread! I never thought about running the electric and propane water heaters at the same time. We just made 6000 km to Whitehorse and back, only wired for three nights out of 15, and used one 20# tank. Our propane costs $21 to fill a 20# tank. I guess $.75 a day for propane isn't going to break me!
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