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Old 01-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
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All-electric Trailer Owners - Happy?

We are planning to have an all-electric trailer but thought we should seek opinions from those who have gone the all-electric route. Are you happy with your choice? Would you do it again? Got any suggestions, cautions, or cool mods?

Looking forward to you comments...

Dan and Sue Jones
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:12 PM   #2
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I admit to not having statistics but it seems that many of the people who go to all electric trailers add propane once they've owned them for awhile.

Personally I would love to have an all electric trailer but to me the solar panels nor batteries needed are not yet available to support an all electric trailer. As a result to have any measure of camping flexibility, a generator is required.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
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I really don't understand why anybody would want an all electric trailer.
To make it self sufficient you have to carry a generator, that means carrying gasoline. Gasoline is subject spilling. When cooking and generator runs out of gas it very tempting to fill it while the engine is hot. Spilled gas on a hot engine is a recipe for trouble.

There are millions of RV and homes run Propane for heat and cooking. Propane refrigerators are in millions of RV and cabins. More fires are caused by faulty electrical systems than gas, natural or propane. Ah, let me rephrase that. Electrical systems faults just need combustible material to start a fire. Wiring is usually routed around and through combustible material. Propane requires both a leak and ignition to start a fire.
*Faulty wiring is difficult to detect until it's too late.
* Leak detection devices will usually detect a leak before ignition happens.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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That is just silly?
If you are only camping where there will be power available then why not have an Electric Trailer.

Everybody has different needs and no matter how you might rationalize your take on things all electric may be perfect for someone else.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:44 PM   #5
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all electric or gas

Hey Dan,
I have found that if you use the shower in the camper and want really good hot water, the electric is not enough. A combination of the gas and electric give you a really good hot shower. If you only use the toilet in the camper and shower at a campground facility, then all electric would be fine for me. Kind of a personal preference thing. A good percentage of us try to go somewhere that has facilities such as power and water. For those that rough it, it may be a different scenario.

I don't use my gas stove inside. I have a double burner gas cooker that i use on an outside table and it works better than the stove in the camper and i don't have to worry about food odors or splatters that way. I only have to carry a separate gas bottle that is a bit of a pain. Again, personal preference. Other than the hot water for shower and cooking, electric would be fine and all electric cooking works about as well for most folks. I say go for it.
Have fun camping,
John
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
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If you decide after awhile your new trailer is to small or just doesn't fit your needs you will be limiting your your resale value and number of potential buyers.
What happens if you find a beautiful spot where you want to spend a few days and no hookups are available?
Enjoy your new Scamp,
John
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
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What about getting a propane heater for emergency heat? Campgrounds sometimes lose power so if you plan on any cold weather camping you might want a backup heat source. If you're traveling and dont make it to your campground destination due to weather, traffic, illness etc and you need to overnight some place like a Walmart at least you can keep warm.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
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Back in the 90's I lived in an all-electric house when a winter storm hit that knocked out power for 5 days. We were in a rural area, so the pump didn't work. There was no fresh water, which meant we couldn't flush the toilet. The electric stove, heater and lights didn't work. I couldn't fix a cup of hot soup or coffee or hot chocolate. All I could do was lie in bed under piles of covers to keep from freezing.

After that I vowed I would never live in a home that didn't have, at least, a propane stove so I could use it for emergency heat (they are properly vented in a home) and I could cook and heat water for other uses.

I stuck to that vow, and have been through several winter storms that knocked out power. I stayed warm and well fed.

I carry that reasoning over into my Casita, which is a mini home on wheels to me. No matter if a storm or natural disaster knocks the park's power out, I will have lights, can cook and stay warm.

And I can do it without hauling around gasoline for the generator which scares the fool out of me!
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #9
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Back in the 90's I lived in an all-electric house when a winter storm hit that knocked out power for 5 days. We were in a rural area, so the pump didn't work. There was no fresh water, which meant we couldn't flush the toilet. The electric stove, heater and lights didn't work. I couldn't fix a cup of hot soup or coffee or hot chocolate. All I could do was lie in bed under piles of covers to keep from freezing.

After that I vowed I would never live in a home that didn't have, at least, a propane stove so I could use it for emergency heat (they are properly vented in a home) and I could cook and heat water for other uses.

I stuck to that vow, and have been through several winter storms that knocked out power. I stayed warm and well fed.

I carry that reasoning over into my Casita, which is a mini home on wheels to me. No matter if a storm or natural disaster knocks the park's power out, I will have lights, can cook and stay warm.

And I can do it without hauling around gasoline for the generator which scares the fool out of me!
I second the view! My current house is all "green" - or it was when I bought it. Electric everything! And, due to living "out in the country", we get more than our share of power outages - longest so far was 3 days in mid-winter.

House now has gas stove, gas water heater, gas dryer (but still electric heat) (Power bills are a killer!)

Plans are afoot to put in a gas furnace, but house has no ductwork so that'll be expen$ive.

Meanwhile, I have a Honda generator to run the well pump and to keep refrigerators & freezer cold as well as lights, and I rely on a wood stove to keep the house from freezing up and bursting pipes.

Going all green is a laudable goal, but when it comes to my home.....

My trailer(s) are the usual mix of propane stove, furnace, fridge and water heater, with 12V electric lights and water pump. If I get a propane leak I can smell it (and the detector should also go off) and I can evacuate, so I consider the propane stuff to be far more desirable and reliable than all electric
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
That is just silly?
If you are only camping where there will be power available then why not have an Electric Trailer.

Everybody has different needs and no matter how you might rationalize your take on things all electric may be perfect for someone else.
You're right. An all electric trailer is just silly.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:31 PM   #11
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Different strokes for different folks group. As far as propane goes, just because you have it doesn't mean you have to use it... unless you change your camping style to more off-the-grid or have a power outage. If I lose power at home, I can move into the trailer and be completely comfortable. But I 99% camp where there's electric hookups.

The question to ask yourself is what's important to YOU.

It's unfortunate there will always be contrarians and can only see their own point of view....
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #12
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I have had both, so I can speak from experience. The all electric is somewhat simpler, easier to work on and if you have solar you can camp without hookups. They have 12v blankets and propane stoves for cooking. That said, the propane does allow more flexibility in the refrigerator and hot water to function with propane. But then again, some people do not like propane in confined spaces. So it is more of a personal matter, I had no issues camping in my Nest Egg and did not feel deprived of any necessity.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
That is just silly?
If you are only camping where there will be power available then why not have an Electric Trailer.

Everybody has different needs and no matter how you might rationalize your take on things all electric may be perfect for someone else.
For me it would be a problem if I could only camp in places that have electric. Part of the reason I have a trailer is to get out and go places I have never been. Part of the fun of hitting the road for a month or more is never really knowing where your going to end up. Many of the greatest campsites I have stayed at where only stopped at as a result of what someone camped at the last place I stayed at said.

Just finished a month on the road through six states and I know I would not have enjoyed the trip nearly as much if I had not been able to stay at some of the places I did. Only about half of the places I stayed at had power and of the ones that I would call the best of the trip, only about half again had power. Here in BC there are very few Provincial Parks with power and many of the nicest county, state and some national parks I have stayed in State side in the past 5 years had no power. Many of these places are very popular destinations and not what I would consider "out in the wilds" :-)

Yes generators are an option but they have downsides that someone starting out may not be totally aware of and not just the operating costs and the space they take up. The shift away from generators to solar is happening big time. On my recent trip it was very common to see many of the big rigs with equally as big solar banks on their roofs - a sight that has far less common to see just four years ago. But more importantly to me personally is the fact that generators are becoming ever increasingly unpopular. Number one complaint at many campgrounds I was at was about the use of generators. It would seem to me that the majority feel its a big disappointment to discover the camper near them has a generator no matter how silent the owner thinks it is and how few hours they ran it. Many campgrounds are increasing the restrictions on the use of generators and some are out and out banning them as solar becomes a more affordable and popular option. If it was put to popular vote as to whether or not generators should be out and out banned in State and National parks I have not doubt as to what the result would be.

As correctly been said its a personal choose but someone starting out may not be aware of some of the pitfalls of going all electrical.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #14
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Thanks folks, I am paying attention and appreciate your comments. Sure would like to hear from some EggCamper folks though. I understand that they are all electric.

Dan
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:09 PM   #15
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Generators

The only time I have been camping "off the grid" and NEEDED a generator was at Bonneville Speedweek. Temps were in the 110-125* range during the day and still 95* or so at night. A/C was not a luxury - it was a life-safety issue. (Wife was gonna kill me if I had suggested staying any longer sans working A/C! )

Nearest place to plug in would have been about 30 miles away or else I'd have needed about an acre of solar farm plus a ton of batteries to be able to use battery power with a huge (power-hungry) inverter to run my A/C

I sat down to figure out how much battery I would need to run the A/C at night, given a suitably-sized inverter. The back of my pickup would have been mostly full and I'd likely have been WAY overweight on the one-ton truck. Now how much solar would I need to be able run the A/C all day through the inverter, PLUS recharge the battery banks for night operation? (Hmmm - that'd be visible from the International Space Station!)

How much would all this gear cost? Yep - might even be a lot cheaper to just buy a 40 foot motorhome with a built-in genny

Solution: carry a genset along. If I were to ever stay in a park that didn't have a "current bush" and didn't allow gennies, I'd be OK for a day or 3, using propane for everything except lights and waterpump, but there are some situations......
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:35 AM   #16
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Thanks folks, I am paying attention and appreciate your comments. Sure would like to hear from some EggCamper folks though. I understand that they are all electric.

Dan
Dan, My 2007 EggCamper was all electric when I bought it, but I've since added a propane furnace and an electric/propane combo water heater. (Two 11# tanks fit nicely in the tongue box.) I live in NH where state/federal parks don't have hookups, and these are really the nicer parks up here. I tried camping with a generator, but the hours of use are very restrictive and even with my quiet honda, it was too noisy for me.

Even when we're hooked up, I always cook outside on a grill or a propane stove. The EggCamper has a coffee maker and microwave, but off-grid, we make coffee on the stove and don't leave any left-overs to be re-heated in the micro. We have a dog who helps with that.

I've also traveled in the southeast where electric is everywhere (obviously because of the need for AC). If I camped exclusively down south or where there was electric, I would not have added the propane. Electric is very simple. (There is seldom a need for AC up north and I've never used the AC in the EggCamper.)

To make off-grid camping more feasible, I added solar and a fairly substantial battery (150 amp/hours). LED lights throughout, the original fridge and the new propane furnace use about 15-25 amp-hours/day depending on the outside temperature, so even off grid, I can go for several days without bright sunlight. Except in winter up north, on a sunny day, the solar can easily restore the daily usage. Forget about using any of the 120 vac appliances while off grid. At best I can watch a little TV using a small inverter plugged into a 12V socket. But then, this is camping and a campfire can be better entertainment.

I also kept the original furnace (so there are two furnaces in the egg). When I have hookups, I use the electric furnace.

I think you can still buy EggCampers with a propane option. For my situation, and knowing what I do now, I think that I would have opted for the propane version. In fact, I'd see if Jim Palmer (the owner of EggCamper) would install the same Atwood furnace and water heater setup.

Ron
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:49 AM   #17
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We have lived in our all electric house for 15 years without complaint. The heating/cooling is geothermal so the electric bills are very reasonable. We also have an all electric Egg Camper. I plan to add a second battery and we do have a Honda 2000 watt generator that we have not yet used. We cook outside on either a propane grill or a propane 2 burner stove. We shower in campground facilities because our bath is a wet bath and the water heater is very small. Like anything else, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:02 AM   #18
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Heck, if they offered a propane A/C I would never need hook-ups!
Other than that I would rather have propane than 110V AC. luckily I don't have to choose and can have both available when needed.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
For me it would be a problem if I could only camp in places that have electric. Part of the reason I have a trailer is to get out and go places I have never been. Part of the fun of hitting the road for a month or more is never really knowing where your going to end up. Many of the greatest campsites I have stayed at where only stopped at as a result of what someone camped at the last place I stayed at said.

Just finished a month on the road through six states and I know I would not have enjoyed the trip nearly as much if I had not been able to stay at some of the places I did. Only about half of the places I stayed at had power and of the ones that I would call the best of the trip, only about half again had power. Here in BC there are very few Provincial Parks with power and many of the nicest county, state and some national parks I have stayed in State side in the past 5 years had no power. Many of these places are very popular destinations and not what I would consider "out in the wilds" :-)

Yes generators are an option but they have downsides that someone starting out may not be totally aware of and not just the operating costs and the space they take up. The shift away from generators to solar is happening big time. On my recent trip it was very common to see many of the big rigs with equally as big solar banks on their roofs - a sight that has far less common to see just four years ago. But more importantly to me personally is the fact that generators are becoming ever increasingly unpopular. Number one complaint at many campgrounds I was at was about the use of generators. It would seem to me that the majority feel its a big disappointment to discover the camper near them has a generator no matter how silent the owner thinks it is and how few hours they ran it. Many campgrounds are increasing the restrictions on the use of generators and some are out and out banning them as solar becomes a more affordable and popular option. If it was put to popular vote as to whether or not generators should be out and out banned in State and National parks I have not doubt as to what the result would be.

As correctly been said its a personal choose but someone starting out may not be aware of some of the pitfalls of going all electrical.
Generator usage certainly has been restricted these days. I can't think of any non-electric campground that doesn't have some restrictions. Almost all don't allow generators between 10pm and 7 am. Many National Parks (US) only allow generator operation 6 hours per day, 2 hours at each of three meal times. It appears that most non-electric campground managers view generators are to be used primarily to charge batteries.
Another note, the cost per night goes up dramatically for electric sites. Example, last year we were out for 97 days, average cost per night $7.50, the most expensive was an electric site at $20.00 per night, the cheapest non-electric in a campground was $2.50 per night. Many RV parks the prices are much higher than the $20.00/night.
Something more to think about when wanting to go all electric.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #20
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My wife and I pretty much limit our camping to state parks here in the Southeast. All the parks in this part of the country seem to have electricity, probably because air conditioning is so important in the summers. So, for our needs, all-electric is all we need. Oh, and the water heater in the EggCamper does more than an adequate job of producing all the hot water we need.

If we boondocked, or lived where the parks didn't have electricity, then propane would have been important to us. I have thought about buying a generator, but my very practical wife asked "why?, we haven't needed one yet." We have thought about visiting the Great Smoky Mt. Natl. Park again, and I thought that would be my excuse for getting a generator since they don't have electricity at many sites, but again my wife asked "why?" She reminded me that we used to tent camp there and did very well with a propane stove and lantern, and for the two or three nights there we could just pretend we were tent camping again, but with a nicer place to stay.
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