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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, 06:51 AM   #2
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We're planning on installing a propane system for the stove and the water heater. I don't anticipate it being any harder to install than the solar system will be (how difficult could it be to connect 2 tanks to a pipe that connects to a couple hoses that are, in turn, connected to the appliances?) Of course, I could always be wrong about that
We also plan on being off grid/boondocking for weeks at a time. I just don't see how it can be done without clean buring propane.....our water heater alone drains the 4 house batteries in like 20 minutes.
Personally, I think you should seriously consider installing propane. It'll power your fridge and save the batteries for other power needs.....plus you'll be able to cook up some tasty camp food!
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:43 AM   #3
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Propane is VERY worth having unless you have lots of solar and lots of electrical storage (or shore power). It is very good at heating things up (food and you). Unless you plan to invest heavily in solar (much more than you have listed above), I would install propane for stove/oven, water heater, furnace - maybe even the fridge. Assuming you plan to do any baking, you'll need an oven - either gas or microwave/convection oven. The propane powered refrigerators work (and don't use a tremendous amount of propane). That said, they can also be fickle, their installation is complicated, and they are not very large (capacity).

I am all electric with 1720 watts of solar and 10kwh of battery. My big refrigerator consumes 1,546 Wh per day. Throw in the induction cooktop, microwave/convection oven, coffee maker, hot water heater, etc. - a serious amount of electrical power is consumed every day (for an all solar powered system).

All that said, if you don't plan to do much cooking, don't care about hot water, and won't need heat... well... maybe propane would be a waste to install.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:37 AM   #4
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It might also be worth noting that "two batteries" doesn't tell us a lot. If assuming typical 6VDC golf cart batteries, that is something around 220Ah capacity, half of which is usable. That is not very much (actually, very little) and it does not jive very well with the 40-ish amps of charging power that a 600 watt solar array may produce. Research "C Rate" and lead-acid batteries for more. "C/5" might be a shortcut, maybe...
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