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Old 06-03-2015, 08:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Western North Carolina
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Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9; MT643
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appliances RV vs. home model

So here is what's bumping around my brain:
We need appliances for our use and to meet state requirements to retitle.

Gonna buy these NOW to meet state standards:
Gas (LP) range
Flexible gas line with divider for future connection to smallish LP heater (vent free)...already own a 20lb tank (full, too!)
Freezer (110w)...will use to freeze meat and water for cooler box (pos built in)
AC/DC panel for 30 or 50 outlet and appropriate e lines to get e to freezer

Will also want:
water heater (7gal) (110w)
inverter (modified sine to spin water heater and pure sine to spin everything else)...this is for when we also get a solar panel set up.
cute little puck lights to see things with
smallish LP furnace (as mentioned above)

Ssssooo...these are our choices to meet our specific brand of crazy and make the suits happy too. My question is (finally!):

Does anyone think that any of these are better purchased as RV models rather than HOME models for reasons like durability, safety, ease of maintenance, avoid trouble with other states when travelling or relocating, or other?

Any preferences? I expect to spend money so not trying to skate out but want my $$ to buy quality not just small size.

thanks
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:39 PM   #2
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RV units use way more propane. They are also intended for part time use, and are flimsy crap. They also cost more and lack availability.

Residential units are available anywhere, cost less, last longer, and use less energy.

Nat
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:16 PM   #3
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I've read a lot about these on tiny house blogs. I think this is what I'll be putting in.

Danby DR201WGLP 20" Ranges White

RV units are flimsy, crappy, and they don't bake evenly. Can you tell I don't like them?
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:43 PM   #4
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Can you tell we're opinionated? nat_ster and ElizaHasAPlan said it well.

For mine, I'm probably going the electric induction hot plate route, maybe two, instead of gas range. Probably will pack along an LP camp stove but won't have a permanently-installed stove top/range. Maybe a convection microwave instead of an ordinary oven, thought I did think for quite a while about a residential LP wall oven.

Think long and hard about whether an electric water heater is going to meet your hot water needs; it seems suspicious.. If I did the calculation correctly, it'll take 10.5 hours to bring 7 gallons of water from 50 F to 120 F at a rate of 110 Watts. Probably the heater really requires more like 1 kW, which could change your electrical budget.

I don't think RV-model appliances are going to be better in any of the aspects you listed.

Careful with the gas flex (I'm assuming appliance connectors, not corrugated stainless aka CSST). It shouldn't be passed through any appliance or building walls, but the LP tank should be outside the bus cabin.
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:42 AM   #5
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I'll be using a combination of appliances, some of which are RV specific.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:08 AM   #6
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everything we have can be replaced at any run of the mill box store...nothing rv specific allowed
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:52 AM   #7
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I'll "allow" for an ice machine and a way to wash my clothes that doesn't take up half the bus.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:33 AM   #8
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The one RV appliance that requires no more LP than a residential version is the RV range. When you take a fuel with a certain BTU and burn it completely you get a consistent heat output. RV ranges direct the flame towards the bottom of the pot or pan, same as residential ones. As for the oven, it's possible that an RV one may have less insulation, but the old Master Chef I installed does better at staying cool on the exterior than the residential one I frequently use. It can cook a mean shepherds pie, as well

Cheap and flimsy? Oh hell no... This thing is a brick. The only plastic parts are the dials. Now, take the natural gas stove in my last apartment: it was almost the same weight as this little stove, though it was full-size (good or bad?), had plastic everywhere and a thin gauge top. It rattled when you shook the floor around it (kitchen dance parties). It would've made a racket going down a bumpy road.
Interestingly, the oven gas elements look about the same in both ovens.

I'm no baker so can't say anything about how evenly the RV ovens bake, though.

TL;DR

What I'm saying is that there's crap in both worlds. If you want to save space, go with an older, solid RV/boat propane range.

In the days before living on a rubber foundation we found ourselves cooking in the toaster-oven far more frequently than the oven. If you're like us then you'll do just fine with an RV oven.



Now, RV furnaces are another story. I've yet to see an RV furnace that I'd consider using. Furnaces are different heating devices than ranges because you're trying to keep the exhaust outside and get the heat inside. This requires a heat exchange. The RV furnaces I've seen have way too simplistic heat exchanges with too little surface area. Outside the exhaust is HOT, meaning it isn't efficiently transferring heat.

I bought an Eccotemp L5 to use as an on-demand water heater. It functions well, but has the same problem as mentioned about the RV furnaces. It's probably only 50% efficient. The other 50% of the heat billows out the top. I'm building a forced exhaust system with an additional heat exchange to try to pull more of that heat out of the exhaust..
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:55 AM   #9
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I've been looking at on demand water heaters myself. The biggest drawback seems to be that they require a fairly high flow rate in order to activate the burner which wastes quite a bit of both water & propane. And only a few (higher priced) models are rated for "Indoor Use". Proper venting is critical. Conventional RV water heaters are heavier and supposedly use more fuel due to the fact they are constantly cycling on to keep the water hot.

I would be very interested to hear some input from any folks who have lived with an on demand unit for a while. Whether propane or electric.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
I've been looking at on demand water heaters myself. The biggest drawback seems to be that they require a fairly high flow rate in order to activate the burner which wastes quite a bit of both water & propane.
Yep, but there is a plumbing solution for that. A simple one, if you're in the plumbing stage of a build.



That green valve in the above picture, when opened, connects the hot water output of the shower to piping that goes back to the water pump (in retrospect, a ball valve would've made more sense). When opened it creates a closed loop that circulates water through the water heater, giving the heater a chance to get up to temperature and filling the pipes with hot water without wasting any. When the shower mixer is opened there will be instant hot water.

I'll be doing the same thing at the kitchen sink when I get around to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
And only a few (higher priced) models are rated for "Indoor Use". Proper venting is critical. Conventional RV water heaters are heavier and supposedly use more fuel due to the fact they are constantly cycling on to keep the water hot.
Venting is important, I suppose ;) Mine will be power-vented since I plan on using it in the winter and the chances are that all of the windows will be closed during that time. It's realistically not doing anything more than the propane range or those buddy heaters I see people using. With all of them we need to make sure that there's enough oxygen left for us! let's play safe people.

Buy a carbon monoxide/smoke detector combo and a propane detector.
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