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Old 07-18-2018, 06:25 AM   #1
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Propane worth it if you already have solar?

Hello,
It's a give in that the bus will be wired for electrical hook ups. The plan is to be at an rv park for a little bit while we save money to go on a long trip. We being my husband and I! and a cat!

On this trip we would like to be able to go off grid for at most two weeks at a time. We are already planning on getting a 640 watt solar system plus two batteries.

We have also considered propane. The two appliance that would utilize it would be the stove and the refrigerator. With only two appliances using it is it worth it?

Does anyone have only solar and wish they would have had propane? or have both solar and propane and can share their experience with it? Or does anyone have thoughts in general about this? I appreciate any and all advice! Thank you,
Katie!
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:56 AM   #2
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I have read that your propane appliances might not work correctly when not level.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:10 AM   #3
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Propane is great for cooking but I am not a fan of it for refrigeration. As noted above, unless kept very level, it can ruin the whole fridge.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:18 AM   #4
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if you have propane, you'll have a stove you can use when you're not plugged in. If you have an electric stove, your best result is that you'll melt through a wire without actually burning down your bus. The power needs of an electric stove are well outside what us mortals can provide from solar.

With that said, it can be done. If you're going 48v your cable requirements go way down and your chances of an electrical fire go down, but your inverter cost and chances of electrocution goes way up. Also you need batteries in a multiple of 4, and you need a much more expensive solar charge controller. There are people pushing 3000w or solar on their roofs, and they can make this happen.

Electric stoves only work out when you have "basically unlimited" power.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:30 AM   #5
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Appears this question has been duplicated. The other thread is over in "Electrical, Charging and Solar" at:
Propane worth it if you already have solar? - School Bus Conversion Resources
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:29 AM   #6
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So it is decided I will have propane!!!! thank you guys so much! I am so excited to get this adventure rolling! I have one more question... so I already planned on trying to keep the bus as level as possible when adventuring... my father was always prudent in making sure our beds were level growing up. Is it particularly difficult to do on a bus?
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Appears this question has been duplicated. The other thread is over in "Electrical, Charging and Solar" at:
Propane worth it if you already have solar? - School Bus Conversion Resources
Yes I posted the question twice the reason being I felt it worked in both topics... and I didn't realize how quick and generous people were with responses here! I wont do it again!
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CurvyChevygirl View Post
...my father was always prudent in making sure our beds were level growing up. Is it particularly difficult to do on a bus?
Depends where you are parked!

Most RV parks and campgrounds have reasonably level surfaces. Getting it perfect with boards (or 'spacers' of some sort) under the wheels is not very hard (but is a nuisance if moving very often). Generally requires you to drive onto the boards, check level, pull off the boards, add/remove boards, pull back onto boards, check level, repeat... Hauling the boards around is maybe the worst part (takes up storage space).

When boondocking, it varies. Sometimes getting level is impossible (parked on too much slope). Otherwise, same process.

Many motorhomes have a leveling system that use the air suspension or hydraulic/electric "feet". Might be possible to add this to a bus but they are pretty expensive. Sure makes it easy though!!
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:49 AM   #9
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I haven't slept on a level bed in two years. Just make sure your head isn't lower than your feet!
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:42 AM   #10
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Levelling is important but being dead level is not necessary. Make sure your drains all slope down a bit and your appliances will be fine. You don't want your stovetop too far off level to avoid hot spills etc.

Beds or bunks as mentioned, keep your head higher than your toes.
Glad you chose to go with propane, not sure how people manage without it.
I cook outdoors as much as possible so gives me bbq option often too. Love a picnic...


John
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