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Old 05-12-2024, 03:36 PM   #1
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Trying to save a few bucks

Hi,

I have a 2017 Jayco Jayflight SLX 245RLSW. This is new for me. This also only my 2nd year at camping. Last I had a different brand TT...which was all bad.

I'm at a seasonal site (Ontario Canada). The owners really stroke us for the electricity bill. We are all independently metered. All of us pay a share of the "delivery fee"....which just adds to the bill.

I'm only at the trailer from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, plus 4 or 5 weeks (1 week at a time) throughout the season.

This year I am running the hot water heater (Atwood) on propane.

The furnace is only used minimally the first weekend or two, but that is propane, right?

Is there a fuse to take out so no power goes to the hot water heater? I don't know how much propane it takes to keep it hot all the time (6 gal)

Aside from the fridge running all the time, I only have a light on when needed. ... and the radio on off and on throughout the day.

Thanks for your help

Jimisand
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Old 05-12-2024, 05:24 PM   #2
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Some propane appliances use electronic controls. Obviously I can't comment directly on your WH.

I assume you unplug when you are not camping. If the usage seems too much is it possible that someone is using your electric when you aren't there?

And finally have you analyzed the cost difference between buying propane and buying electric?
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Old 05-12-2024, 05:51 PM   #3
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Without 12 volt you will not run on propane, it takes 12 volt for the control board.
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Old 05-12-2024, 07:32 PM   #4
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Without 12 volt you will not run on propane, it takes 12 volt for the control board.

Never encountered metered shore power (!), but 12 volt is battery power not shore power, right? Just have to figure out how to keep your house battery charged. Hook it up to the truck and run the truck? Bring a spare battery? Dunno.
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Old 05-12-2024, 09:25 PM   #5
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When we wake up we turn the water heater on, take showers right after breakfast the turn the water heater off for the day. If we have dinner at the trailer we turn it on briefly, wash dishes then off again till morning. You’d be surprised at how long it stays hot.
I wonder if a Honda generator might be of value for you.
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Old 05-13-2024, 05:57 PM   #6
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Check out: Pulse Tech, solar pluse products.
Might be right up your alley for maintaining your battery while you shut off power while you're away.
I'm tempted to get one for my rv.
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Old 05-14-2024, 09:14 AM   #7
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It sounds like most of your items are 12 volt - lights, water heater on propane, furnace, etc. Everything that is 120v would be plugged in to an outlet - Microwave, coffee maker, etc. My suggestion will cost you before you save (and how much the return on investment may be is dependent on the cost of your electricity). Doing an energy audit to see how much power usage you have is the first step. This would give you an idea of what you power usage is over a 24 hour period, which drives how big a battery bank you need to have (and figuring out how much contingency you need - say you want the battery bank to cover you for the entire weekend and then let it charge up over the rest of the week).

Once you have the battery bank sized, then how do you recharge the battery bank? Rooftop solar (if it's allowed in the park) would be a great (but not inexpensive) method to recharge the batteries. By sizing the battery bank to cover you for the weekend, then you could leverage the solar to charge up for the week. You could also install an inverter for a few plugs that would allow you to run the Microwave and other small appliances which would just allow you to leverage the 120v connection to run the AC when it is needed.
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Old 05-15-2024, 11:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jimisand View Post
Hi,

I have a 2017 Jayco Jayflight SLX 245RLSW. This is new for me. This also only my 2nd year at camping. Last I had a different brand TT...which was all bad.

I'm at a seasonal site (Ontario Canada). The owners really stroke us for the electricity bill. We are all independently metered. All of us pay a share of the "delivery fee"....which just adds to the bill.

I'm only at the trailer from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, plus 4 or 5 weeks (1 week at a time) throughout the season.

This year I am running the hot water heater (Atwood) on propane.

The furnace is only used minimally the first weekend or two, but that is propane, right?

Is there a fuse to take out so no power goes to the hot water heater? I don't know how much propane it takes to keep it hot all the time (6 gal)

Aside from the fridge running all the time, I only have a light on when needed. ... and the radio on off and on throughout the day.

Thanks for your help

Jimisand
If it's metered then check your meter and see how much usage you are doing. if the costs are high enough, maybe a battery bank with solar would be better? If you are not running the a/c you could probably get by with a small solar array and battery bank.
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Old 05-18-2024, 07:17 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I have a lot figuring out and calculating.

Thanks,
Jimisand
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Old 05-18-2024, 12:44 PM   #10
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You might also consider an Ecoflow portable power station River 2 Pro if it budgets out vs. metered shore power. $429 on Amazon.
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Old 05-22-2024, 02:22 PM   #11
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We are boondockers with our own private camp, but we do have our own electric meter. I also have a Mopeka on my propane system and my app will tell me how much I use in a day.

A 3 day weekend will use maybe 5 KWH of electric. That includes keeping the 12 V charger going to keep the battery charged, a couple uses of a coffee maker and toaster, charging 2 cellphones as needed, an hour of an air conditioner, two Microwave uses and 2 hours of watching TV.

Obviously, rates differ from place to place, but 2 campouts a month amounts to $3.00 of electric usage (plus the $21 flat fee just for having the electric line in the first place).

Propane for cooking breakfast, plus dinner vegetables might amount to a pound or 2. Maybe another pound for hot water. Hot water accounts for 2 showers and 2 dish washings. The hot water tank propane usage under these conditions is so low that IMHO turning it off when not in use is more of a hassle than a cost savings.

The furnace is another issue. If it's 20F outside and we set the thermostat at 62 (for night time sleeping), that will itself consume about 5# of propane per day.

Ours is a 190, so we are a little bigger. But I would guess the usages would be quite similar.
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Old 05-23-2024, 04:47 PM   #12
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Do you have a fridge in use?
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Old 05-23-2024, 05:14 PM   #13
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Do you have a fridge in use?
Fridge use 100% of the time.

Before we had the electric line run to the trailer, we ran the fridge on propane. I never tried to figure out how much propane we used back then.

Currently, we run the fridge on electric, so any electric usage is included in my calculations above.
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Old 05-25-2024, 10:28 AM   #14
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If you have a so-called "full size" fridge it will consume 3 KWh/day by itself. A smaller fridge (probably less efficient) at least 2 KWh/day.

But who cares? If you're on shore power, that's the cheapest power you will find. Period.

Show me a generator you can run on gasoline, or propane, or diesel that will come anywhere near the utility's cost per KWh. No way, not a chance. Show me any solar with enough battery capacity and panels to always keep you running while you're at work throughout the week, and you're looking at $3,000-$4,000 dollars up front.

Residential utility rate in North America averages around $0.10/KWh. So in this case you're fridge is costing you 30 CENTS per day. Even if the owner is splitting the utility's "delivery" cost among say 5 of you, so you have an additional $10/month cost. So I'm going to guess you're spending in the range of $30/month on electrical. OMG. The sky is falling.

I'll bet you spend more than that on gasoline every single time you drive back and forth to town. If you have an EV... god bless, and don't forget to add the electrical cost every time you charge that baby, or the cost when you hire someone to move your trailer around.

And keep the hot water on whenever you're at the trailer for crying out loud (on electrical, NOT propane - your utility electrical cost is FAR less per KWh than propane).
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Old 05-25-2024, 06:45 PM   #15
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FWIW, I just finished installing 2 X 300 watt solar panels, a 100amp MPPT contoller, and two Interstate Group 27 Deep Cycle lead acid batteries on my Jayco Jay feather. Total cost was around $1100. We can easily make it thru 2 days of cloudy weather by prudent power management, We run a Starlink system converted to operate on 12 volts (I shut it down at night) a VOIP telephone also converted to run on 12 volts (also shut down at night), power to water heater control board and run the refrigerator control board on as-needed basis. I don't have an inverter. I spend a lot of time in the National Forest and on BLM without campground amenities. Also have an Ogo composting toilet.
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Old Yesterday, 10:19 AM   #16
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Yeah, but 2 x 300 W solar panels and 2 batteries, and "skimping" on power, is a far cry from a "no worries" solar system that will keep a full size fridge + CO monitor, etc. running for 5-6 days when you get 4 days of cloudy/rainy weather.
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Old Yesterday, 01:39 PM   #17
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Yeah, but, I ain't got all that junk in my trailer! And I spend less than 5 days a year in an improvred, pay for parking campground. Most of my RV usage is on National Forest or BLM land in Wyoming either fishing in the summer, or hunting in the fall, which averages to about 170 days per year.
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Old Yesterday, 05:41 PM   #18
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Yeah I get it. I just get tired of everyone throwing around misleading electrical numbers while they're actually skimping like off-grid energy hermits when they're in their trailers.

Which is OK. I'm just saying that if you're realistic about the numbers, the average person can consume a lot of electricity. And there is absolutely, hands down, no way you can generate power anyway near as cheap as the electrical utility. I'm a registered professional engineer, and I work with this stuff all the time.
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Old Yesterday, 05:46 PM   #19
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Yeah I get it. I just get tired of everyone throwing around misleading electrical numbers while they're actually skimping like off-grid energy hermits when they're in their trailers.

Which is OK. I'm just saying that if you're realistic about the numbers, the average person can consume a lot of electricity. And there is absolutely, hands down, no way you can generate power anyway near as cheap as the electrical utility. I'm a registered professional engineer, and I work with this stuff all the time.
I am as well, and I can provide data to substantiate my experience.

Based on the OP's discussion so far it seems to me that the campground is over charging him in the first place. No matter what changes he might make to save money, nobody can overcome price gouging.
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Old Yesterday, 06:03 PM   #20
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I see nothing in the OP's discussion that suggests the campground is overcharging. Splitting the "delivery charge" among the campers is maybe a little petty, but it would be extremely difficult to "overcharge" for shore power.

But... if you want to voluntarily unplug from shore power, be my guest. Let me know your total gasoline/propane bill at the end of the season. And show me your corresponding KWh consumption from your surge device or something similar.

I'll take that bet all day long. You name the $ that we'll wager.
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