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Old 03-06-2015, 10:49 AM   #11
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Lorna, what kind of mounting system are you using for your 20# tanks? I'm having a heck of a time finding something for use under a bus!
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by That Guy in Maine View Post
Good to know, I plan to do a lot of boondocking so unfortunately I think most appliances will be RV type that can run off of LP instead of electricity.
I think Lorna means to say that propane-fueled residential appliances are more efficient with the gas than propane-fueled RV appliances are. I don't think she was recommending electric-fueled appliances.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:31 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
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Year: 1986
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Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
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Originally Posted by charles_m View Post
Lorna, what kind of mounting system are you using for your 20# tanks? I'm having a heck of a time finding something for use under a bus!
I'm going to have to make my own. I cannot find anything ready made that will fit under the bus. I have found that I can tuck the collars of the 20# tanks between the ribs if the metal floor so I can squeeze them up a bit (but can I get them out again without dropping the rack). They will be located at the far end side of the bus on the door side. That doesn't really make sense? Behind the rear wheels, I have 10 ft. On the entrance door side of the bus in that 10 ft space is where I will put the tanks. My idea is was to take my Hitchhaul that I drag around, off the Jeep and pull the framed basket off the receiver bar for the tanks to sit on. Das Mel objected to that use and we swapped Hitchhauls since mine is much heavier than hers. So now I will tear her Hitchhaul apart. I may have to cut the little metal frame to widen/lengthen it (or toss it completely and keep the expanded metal as a floor) so I can stack all the tanks on it. I have discovered "SuperStrut" metal framing channels in the electrical section at work. I think the thinner SuperStruts & 3/8" threaded rods will work for the LP tanks (10 ft space, 10 ft struts) plus another thing that I have been told I don't have. I will use a tank hold down (buy or make my own) to hold them in place. The plan is (and has been) to put 5 of the tanks (one is a backup while I pull the others to be filled) on a manifold that is connected to my two stage regulator which will be connected to an iron pipe that will run the length of the bus up to the front where it will tie into the fireplace and the range . The LP generator, wall mounted Tag-a-long heater and the gas grill all need unregulated LP so they get their own tanks. So in the same 10 ft space on the hookup side (drivers side) from the wheels back, I will have the LP RV water heater for the hydronic heater that I haven't put together yet (and won't until I get stopped after the trip east), the two 20# tanks on an auto change over (need to buy one more tank as I only have 6 tanks) and the LP generator (not bought yet). I have to relocate a few things in doing this. I have a huge hole that the engine exhaust used to go thru in the bumper. The generator exhaust can go thru that. The tanks on the generator side (and the generator) will also be held up with the super struts. LP tanks will be tied down to the SuperStruts as well. For the time being, I will probably only use framed expanded metal for the doors for the whole mess. No time to make better doors. I still have to build two holding tanks (again, held up with SuperStruts but probably the thicker ones) and add a starter battery box under the drivers seat side. I have a little access panel there but nothing to sit the battery box on but air. I'll hang it under there some how.

That's my idea. Hope it gives you some ideas you can work with. I've bounced it around for a while now and that is what I have come up with. I've been running each appliance (Fireplace, range, dryer, tag-a-long, gas grill) on it's own tank to see how long it takes to empty a tank. The fireplace is the hog. If I don't run it all the time, I can get 1 month out of a tank. If its freezing, single digit cold for days on end, it eats a tank in 5-6 days. So once I get to the Gulf coast, the fireplace won't be used as much as it is now, in snowy, icy, single digit below freezing NM.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:26 PM   #14
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
I think Lorna means to say that propane-fueled residential appliances are more efficient with the gas than propane-fueled RV appliances are. I don't think she was recommending electric-fueled appliances.
RV appliances do not have to meet Energy Star standards. Residential appliances DO have to meet Energy Star standards. I prefer gas for cooking and heating. But we evaluated the way we used things. That AC/LP gas water heater that we spent the extra money on was never used on the gas side except to make sure it worked. So we decided to go electric for the water heater in the bus. LP RV refrigerators are fires waiting to happen. And the electric side is very inefficient. I have two undercounter sized units (one stacked on top of the other) so I can have one that is kept very cold and the other that isn't so cold. That way I can have almost freezing drinks while my lettuce is NOT frozen. Plus I could get more refrigerator space that way. Two shorts stack easier than trying to tip up a taller refrigerator. I have an electric freezer. I have both electric heat (two space heaters) and LP (fireplace and wall mounted tag-a-long) for when the electric isn't enough or the power goes out. We evaluated the appliances, what we wanted out of them and the costs. We have a mix of electric and LP.

If you are boondocking then you will be better off using LP over AC. But you really need to evaluate EACH appliance. Check out an LP calculator to see what things cost LP vs AC. Take into account your power supply.

For us it wasn't that difficult. We've been fulltiming since 2006 (our 2nd time fulltiming). Prior to that we fulltimed, long timed (1-3 months), & weekended in a popup. Prior to that we tent camped. We knew what we needed and what we wanted. I will install a 5000 running watts LP generator. It will run the water heater if needed. I only stay without hookups in parking lots. I don't "boondock". Did that enough in a tent. I don't care to any more. The Compass Rose is a custom conversion at a very personal level. It is what suit us, our wants and our needs. You need to be doing the same and suit your own wants and needs. Read what others did, ask them why they did it that way for clarification. Then do your research to find what will work best for you. Just because I did some things the way I did, does not mean that way will work for everyone.

I figure Das Mel is pretty lucky. She has lived in a sticks-&-staples RV, next she will be living in the Compass Rose with me for a year or so. And if she survives that, she will either get a bus to remodel or do a full conversion. By the time she has her own bus, she will know exactly what she wants and needs.
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