Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-23-2019, 11:14 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 342
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Electric/propane/both???

So, I'm in the process now of planning the bus interior. Trying to decide what type of appliances to go with for the fridge/freezer, stove, etc.


Propane?
Electric?
Both?



We will hook up sometimes, but I want to be able to run my fridge, freezer, stove, etc. off the grid.



Want to avoid 220/50amp.



I have zero knowledge of electrics, solar, or batteries.



I cook, so need more than just a single burner, but don't need a large stove. An apartment size stove will do fine. Not a big fan of microwaves, though the convection ones seem OK. Still, I wonder how they compare to a regular convection oven.



Am also considering this:
https://www.amazon.com/Pizzacraft-Pi.../dp/B00FYO368K


Yes, I like pizza that much!
Says "outdoor", but I wonder if it can be used in the bus, being by the window.



Also, I want to have power to run my computer so I can also write, edit video, animate etc. while boon-docking.



We have a generator, a pull start Predator 4375 from Harbor Freight at the moment. Had great reviews and so far it starts on the first pull every time.


https://www.harborfreight.com/4375-m...ion-63960.html


May add an electric starter kit to our current gen, or get an electric start generator eventually, and have the pull start one as backup-maybe.

Plan on installing solar panels and extra batteries.


May also install a small washer/dryer, and one of those top open freezers.


Cooling and heating will be via a "Mini-Split", with possibly a mini-wood stove as backup for winter. Thinking of 8,000 or 10,000 BTU.
But maybe we can go a little higher, just to be sure the bus will be sufficiently cool or warm.


Wondering what others have experienced regarding appliances, electric, propane...



Thank you in advance for the advice!
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 11:43 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
I'm using a 10cf., 110v fridge, 3 burner Dometic RV range, and a 12k BTU Mini-split on 110v ($432). I have a small diesel heater for back up.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2019, 12:31 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 342
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I'm using a 10cf., 110v fridge, 3 burner Dometic RV range, and a 12k BTU Mini-split on 110v ($432). I have a small diesel heater for back up.



Does the fridge run well? Solar? Generator?


Does the oven work well? I've heard RV ranges are problematic.


Thank you!
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2019, 12:45 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
Does the fridge run well? Solar? Generator?


Does the oven work well? I've heard RV ranges are problematic.


Thank you!
In the build stage right now, no personal use experience yet.
I've not heard that about propane ranges, nothing is simpler.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2019, 12:55 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,026
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
My 2 cents

If you want to run A/C and washing machine, you’re going to need a generator or shore power.

Cooking appliances, furnace, water heater, your best bet to cover yourself for boondocking and tethered living is going to be propane

I saw a video from a guy that did a quick short bus build. He had an AC fridge. He said that it really zapped his batteries and replaced it with one of those 12 volt coolers. There’s some good DC refrigerators out there. Sundanzer is a brand I’m looking at. Of course Dometic has 3-way refrigerators that might be the ticket, especially if you’re looking for something larger.

Lighting, stereo, other entertainment, all DC, USB powered devices.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2019, 08:23 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 950
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
No idea what your budget is or anything, but here's our setup. We've got 1100 watts of solar panels and 700 AH of battery storage (total of 6 golf cart batteries). As well as 2 BBQ size clean burning propane bottles. With this we run:
  • Apt. size 4 burner stove that runs on propane, which we several times a day.
  • 6 gal. water heater that can run on propane or electric
  • 7.5 cu. ft. apt. size refrigerator, runs on AC
  • Various AC outlets for television, laptops, chargers, etc.
  • 2 MaxxAir fans
  • Mr. Heater Buddy heater, runs on propane. We used this for about 30 min. every morning for several weeks.
We've not been plugged in for over a month and have never been below around 75% SOC. The water heater will even cycle through once on battery power and still stay above 80% SOC (we normally run the water heater on propane). We're probably due for a propane refill soon, I'm not sure though.

I don't know the logistics of the mini-split or the washer/dryer, as we don't have those. I suspect you'd need a generator or shore power for those. For the price of a propane fridge or a DC fridge, you can buy an awful lot of solar panels and batteries....providing you have room for them.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2019, 07:14 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 342
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
No idea what your budget is or anything, but here's our setup. We've got 1100 watts of solar panels and 700 AH of battery storage (total of 6 golf cart batteries). As well as 2 BBQ size clean burning propane bottles. With this we run:
  • Apt. size 4 burner stove that runs on propane, which we several times a day.
  • 6 gal. water heater that can run on propane or electric
  • 7.5 cu. ft. apt. size refrigerator, runs on AC
  • Various AC outlets for television, laptops, chargers, etc.
  • 2 MaxxAir fans
  • Mr. Heater Buddy heater, runs on propane. We used this for about 30 min. every morning for several weeks.
We've not been plugged in for over a month and have never been below around 75% SOC. The water heater will even cycle through once on battery power and still stay above 80% SOC (we normally run the water heater on propane). We're probably due for a propane refill soon, I'm not sure though.

I don't know the logistics of the mini-split or the washer/dryer, as we don't have those. I suspect you'd need a generator or shore power for those. For the price of a propane fridge or a DC fridge, you can buy an awful lot of solar panels and batteries....providing you have room for them.



Thanks.


So you run the fridge off of batteries and keep those charged with solar/generator?
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2019, 07:31 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 950
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
Thanks.


So you run the fridge off of batteries and keep those charged with solar/generator?

Solar exclusively so far. We haven't had to fire the generator up since we got the solar finished....but we've got it as a backup power source if need be.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2019, 08:37 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 342
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
Solar exclusively so far. We haven't had to fire the generator up since we got the solar finished....but we've got it as a backup power source if need be.

Thanks!

Good to know!


So running a house fridge is possible then, even with solar.

I', thinking when parked it will be plugged to the house, boondocking it will have solar and generator, and hooked up at a site, same as house.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2019, 06:17 AM   #10
Site Team
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 1,074
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
So running a house fridge is possible then, even with solar.
Yes, running a residential refrigerator from battery via inverter is possible and widely done but its a question of where you want to spend your dollars. I had years of fulltime living experience in RV's (with solar) and knew that it was possible before starting my coach - which is entirely electric (Samsung residential refrigerator, NuWave induction cooktop, Samsung microwave/convection oven, and so on). However; my lifestyle and location are conducive to it (I generally move with the good weather in the west & southwest) and I have spent a good many dollars on solar and battery. This isn't always the case - either because of location (low solar insolation), lack of roof space for panels, 'need' for air conditioning, etc. An alternative is setting up your rig like a typical RV - using an absorption refrigerator (uses propane as the alternate fuel source) and a gas stove/oven. These components sip propane. Of course, there are pros/cons to every decision.

Operating air conditioning from battery/solar is also possible but not practical in most situations.
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2019, 10:11 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 342
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
My main concern is being able to run a regular 110Volt fridge. A propane fridge isn't out of the question, but they don't seem to be as spacious.

Someone mentioned they don't cool as well either, being dependent on outside temperatures.


The rig will definitely have a generator, which I will place in a sound deadening enclosure. I'll use one of the fans from the old AC condenser to ventilate/keep the generator cool.
Seems most of the noise from jennies is other than the exhaust.


For AC I can run the generator. I figure in regular RV place I can hook up to power. If I'm boondocking I can run the jennie when necessary.



The other things, like the stove and cook-top will be gas powered.


There was a comment around here that stated for the cost of of one of those RV fridges I could get set up with the solar. I have yet to determine what solar to use, inverter, batteries... I have no idea about any of that stuff.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2019, 10:32 AM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,206
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Some folks love their two way RV fridges.

I am not one of them. I have replaced the RV fridges in my last two RV's with apartment size 110 v fridges.

I found units that fit in the existing opening. The 110 fridges have much more room, cool better and, when on 110, use less power.

The one in my 5er is 10.8cu.ft. and uses between .5-.6 kwh daily. I have two GC-2's in series and Xantrex 1000 watt psw inverter. I have a Honda EU3000 generator and a 25amp "smart" charger.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2019, 10:56 AM   #13
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
I bought a 10cf apt. fridge from HD for around $300. It used .35kwh in 23.32hrs, or .014/hr. Compressor on and it hit .50kwh. I think my solar system should not have a problem with those numbers.

Discussion and pics
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...-22665-20.html
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2019, 11:01 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,206
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I bought a 10cf apt. fridge from HD for around $300. It used .35kwh in 23.32hrs, or .014/hr. Compressor on and it hit .50kwh. I think my solar system should not have a problem with those numbers.

Discussion and pics
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...-22665-20.html
That fridge is not using much more power than one of the $2300 DC units.

Cool!
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2019, 11:09 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
A fridge typically uses very little consumption once it's cool and the compressor shuts down. It stays that way for hours if you don't open the door. It takes 1/2hr to cool back down for every 30 seconds the door is open.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2019, 11:21 AM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 342
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Thank you all!


Now I have to figure out how to set up the solar, and generator, and water...

Time to peruse the threads, and builds, starting with the one above.
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2019, 11:29 AM   #17
Bus Nut
 
Joe45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 342
Year: 2004
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Does anyone use one of those chest freezers?
Seems like a great way to keep extra food, and since the door opens up, there's much less loss of cold air when open.


Thinking of having it under the kitchen cabinet/counter on a slide.


https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-Garag...SKWW/206943524
Joe45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×