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Old 08-25-2011, 10:50 PM   #1
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Newby needs help

Just recently purchased a 99' ford e-350 short bus. Converted it to run on veggie oil and now i am beginning the work on the inside... obviously not much room for a lot. I need help figuring what are my best options for a stove and refrigeration... To be honest id like to stay away from any sort of gas or wood burners, so that would leave me with an electric stove? Anybody know of any low energy electric stoves and an easy way to power those stoves (solar/wind power). Is this unrealistic to shoot for. Also looking for a good idea for a small refrigerator.... Very unfamiliar with electric. open to any good ideas even if they arent electric that is just my preference. thanks a lot!
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:28 AM   #2
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Re: Newby needs help

Welcome! If you want to use electric for cooking or heat I think you will have to run a generator or be plugged in to a shore connection. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you would have to cover your bus with solar panels and carry thousands of pounds of batteries to make enough solar power to run an electric stove or heater. It's just not practical. I think if you want to cook or heat your bus off-grid without a generator, then you are stuck with propane or wood. I got myself a "big buddy" portable propane heater for just such occasions: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/M ... medium=cse. I plan to hook it up to a 20lb propane tank rather than using the little cylinders. I carry a portable propane camp stove for when I'm boondocking and a portable electric rangetop for when I'm plugged in to shore or genset. That way I can have it both ways!
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:37 AM   #3
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Re: Newby needs help

I have to second that notion. Heating anything electrically requires enormous amounts of power. Way more than any rooftop solar/battery set up could ever produce (at this time, anyway). Shorepower or a well-sized genset will be necessary. I'm going with a gas (propane) "on-demand" water heater for just that reason.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:03 PM   #4
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Re: Newby needs help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascend
... but we live in Texas so I will rarely use the heat and won't need much of it...
Excuse me but we spent the winter of 2009/2010 in Corpus Christi TX! I darn near froze my tookus off at times! We were told it never got that cold. I don't believe them! and we did kick the LP furnace on even though we were heating mostly with electric space heaters.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
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Re: Newby needs help

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbusshorty
... I need help figuring what are my best options for a stove and refrigeration... To be honest id like to stay away from any sort of gas or wood burners...
That leaves you with alcohol stoves, diesel/kerosine stoves or restaurants............. or you will always be plugged into either a power pole or a generator if you go total electric. A standard residential refrigerator (or dorm style fridge) will stay cold about 8 hours if you stay out of it.

We can pull out with a completely cold refrigerator and a freezer and get to our destination up to 8 hours away and the refrigerator is still cold, freezer is still frozen. If pulling into a campground, we just plugged into a pole. If wallydocking, we ran the generator for a couple of hours (watch a DVD, get ready for bed). And then cranked it up the next morning for a few hours while we ate breakfast... or we ran the generator the whole time. Rooftop RV A/C unit only works on shore power/generator.

For alternatives to LP ranges/cooktops, checkout the marine catalogs like Defender Marine or West Marine. They have great toys in there.
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