Microwave vs Hot water - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-09-2019, 07:19 PM   #1
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Name: Russ
Trailer: 2020 25 RQ
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Microwave vs Hot water

With a new 25 rq due at the end of the month, I have just learned that there is a bypass switch for the microwave and hot water that operate on one circuit. Basically they cannot be operated independently of one another. Meaning ( and I know it’s a small thing in the big scheme of things, but) when the switch is moved to hot water, the microwave ( without a memory) loses the “set” time.
Annoying from this standpoint but also that both “systems” are not wired independent of one another.

Anyone come across this scenario and /or enlighten me.

FYI...we will not have solar or generator.

Thanks for any input
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:06 PM   #2
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If you are referring to running the WH and the Micro on an inverter, then the inverter must be too small to run them both at the same time.

If you are talking about when on shore power, then maybe running the WH, the Micro and the AC would exceed 30 amps. Shutting either the Micro or the WH off, would then allow the AC to run and be under 30 amps.

Your selector switch must be to limit the overall amp draw. You could wire them up on separate 15 amp breakers and just be careful to not run the AC when the others were both on. The water heater, when switched on, runs randomly on it's own internal thermal switch. But you have direct control of the Microwave. As long as you didn't turn the Micro on, it could be powered up to keep the clock running while the AC and the water heater were both on.

Can you run the water heater on propane with the selector switch on Microwave? Maybe not, but that would allow everything to run at once.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:08 PM   #3
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The capacity of the power center is 30Amps 120V. Air conditioning (if you get it), plus microwave plus HW heater plus big refrigerator (if you run it on 120V), plus your converter, and so on, is going to be over that. If you want to run everything at once, you will need to install a 50 amp power center which the 25 does not come with.

Realize a much smaller trailer, like a Scamp 13, comes with a 30 amp power center. Your 25 is over triple the square feet of actual living space, with the same shore power capacity. You will have all larger appliances, and more of them. All your electrical needs come through the same size breaker and cord as a Scamp 13. 12V stuff draws 120V power too, through the converter, unless you are dry camping or boon docking (no 120V). Then the battery will kick in.


Ask BF how many 120 circuit breakers they have with the trailer. Not unusual to combine stuff in the RV world, different than residential construction. In my small vintage Trillium there is one 120V circuit total, covers all outlets, refrigerator, and the converter. I just replaced that center with something a little bigger (I actually went 30amps). I now have a whopping two circuits: one for outlets AND the refrigerator, and a second one for the converter. Thats it for 120V. I could have installed thinner breakers to create additional circuits, but that doesn't increase my capacity above 30amps (which is more than enough for a vintage Trillium 1300)... Lights are all 12V, so those come off the converter circuit.

To be fair to BF, 30Amp is the norm for trailers until they get really big.

If you want to run your microwave at the same time as the hot water heater, use propane. Regardless, as soon as you disconnect from shore power (like when driving down the road) your microwave is going to be off so the clock will clear, unless someone makes a microwave with some type of battery for the clock.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Russ Foster View Post
With a new 25 rq due at the end of the month, I have just learned that there is a bypass switch for the microwave and hot water that operate on one circuit. Basically they cannot be operated independently of one another. Meaning ( and I know it’s a small thing in the big scheme of things, but) when the switch is moved to hot water, the microwave ( without a memory) loses the “set” time.
Annoying from this standpoint but also that both “systems” are not wired independent of one another.

Anyone come across this scenario and /or enlighten me.

FYI...we will not have solar or generator.

Thanks for any input
You're camping. Who needs to know what time it is? (you could probably look at your phone if you needed to
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:46 PM   #5
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You're camping. Who needs to know what time it is? (you could probably look at your phone if you needed to
Dang Mac, you beat me to it . I had a clock in a motorhome that had 12-1-2-3-4 then said who cares. Worked for me as I'm on light thirty/dark thirty time when camping anywhere .
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:57 PM   #6
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I don't get it. Does the water heater not run on propane? Wouldn't it then need a brief spark to ignite?
I can't imagine running a water heater off of 12V and if it's on 120V, why would it interfere with the microwave?
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:30 AM   #7
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I don't get it. Does the water heater not run on propane? Wouldn't it then need a brief spark to ignite?
I can't imagine running a water heater off of 12V and if it's on 120V, why would it interfere with the microwave?

My Bigfoot 21RB has 2 options to run the water heater, 120v and propane. Each option has it's own separate switch. So you can turn the water heater on 120V with one switch, or you can turn it on propane with the other switch. It also has a separate switch for microwave vs water heater. When on shore power you can't run the microwave and water heater (on 120V) at the same time. I haven't used my microwave so I can't say for sure what happens when the water heater is on propane and the switch is set to 'microwave'. Maybe the water heater will work on propane since it is a separate switch.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ Foster View Post
With a new 25 rq due at the end of the month, I have just learned that there is a bypass switch for the microwave and hot water that operate on one circuit. Basically they cannot be operated independently of one another. Meaning ( and I know it’s a small thing in the big scheme of things, but) when the switch is moved to hot water, the microwave ( without a memory) loses the “set” time.
Annoying from this standpoint but also that both “systems” are not wired independent of one another.

Anyone come across this scenario and /or enlighten me.

FYI...we will not have solar or generator.

Thanks for any input

As stated above, I haven't used the microwave. But if you need a clock, the radio will keep the time unless you disconnect the battery when not in use.
Here is what the owner's manual says about all this:


Quote:
30-Amp service 30-amp service is 110-volt service limited to a total of 30 amps of draw. A three pronged power supply cord much like the clothes dryer you have in your house identifies this type of power supply. Each appliance in your recreational vehicle is capable of working by itself with this type of service. However, you may not be able to operate all of your appliances at the same time without causing a circuit breaker to blow. The 30 Amp power cord may be used with a 15Amp receptacle, however a 30/15Amp power adapter will be required. This adapter may be purchased from any RV Dealership. When the power supply cable is plugged in to an outlet the converter will automatically supply all 12V circuits without a drain on the battery, All 12V circuits are protected from overload by automotive type fuses. Reset-able breakers protect all 110V/120V circuits. The converter charger is protected from any power surges by an automotive type fuse. CAUTION! NEVER REPLACE CIRCUIT BREAKERS OR FUSES OF HIGHER CURRENT RATING THAN THOSE ORIGINALLY INSTALLED. THIS COULD OVERHEAT THE WIRING AND START A FIRE. A typical component in your recreational vehicle such as a TV will draw only about 1 amp. Other items such as microwaves will draw 10-15 amps when used. Roof air conditioners usually draw the most, up to 15 amps when the compressor is running, when the pump is running and at the start up of the air conditioner. If your trailer has 2 air conditioners, you can only use one air conditioner when hooked up to shore power. The combined draw of the air conditioners along with other items in your trailer, such as the refrigerator, electric water heater, etc. will put you over the 30-amp mark causing a circuit break.


Not sure why they let you run the air conditioner but either microwave or water heater. Maybe they are just trying to make sure you don't use all 3 at the same time? Seems to me that if you are running the air conditioning and the fridge (on 120VAC), adding either the microwave or water heater (on 120VAC) is going to exceed 30amps and pop a breaker. I've never tried to run everything at once so I can't say what would happen.



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Old 07-10-2019, 06:18 AM   #8
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Many trailers have automatic load shedding devices
The loads are prioritized to prevent the overloading of the service
IE : If the A/C is running then the water heater or microwave is automatically shut down
This is not a fault of Bugfoot but a requirement of the NEC
If your trailer’s service was 50 amp then the problem can be avoided

My buddy has a 32ft Winnebago Class A motor home with a 30 amp service
When his A/C is running other thing in his trailer automaticall shut down to limit the load .
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:30 AM   #9
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When I read his note (when seeking help, everyone seems to write their notes like we're all standing around watching what's going on and we don't always get all the background info.) I assumed he was talking about when camping at a site with a power pole. Both microwave and WH would be running on AC current. Why run the WH on propane if power was available, he might ask? The WH is not a particular gas hog so running it on propane as a normal routine would presumably solve the microwave clock issue.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:08 AM   #10
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MMM, even the few times I've had a power hookup, I've always used LP for the water heater even though it has an electric mode. It only takes around 10 minutes to heat a full tank and the water is hot for a long time but the refer would be on AC though. Maybe I'm missing something with the microwave usage and a clock .
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:56 PM   #11
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MMM, even the few times I've had a power hookup, I've always used LP for the water heater even though it has an electric mode. It only takes around 10 minutes to heat a full tank and the water is hot for a long time but the refer would be on AC though. Maybe I'm missing something with the microwave usage and a clock .
I take advantage of the electric service if I have hookups, and save the propane for the furnace.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:51 AM   #12
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I take advantage of the electric service if I have hookups, and save the propane for the furnace.
Like I said, the few times I've had hookups, maybe 24 in over thirty years. Using electric doesn't even come to mind and the few minutes of LP use doesn't make any difference to my overall usage. Maybe I've been lucky as I boondock and I've never run out of LP but then I don't leave the house without full tanks either. We all use our RVs, of any kind, to suit our own needs and styles. I don't like to have another RV closer than 100' so hookups aren't on my radar. As the saying goes, YMMV .
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:20 AM   #13
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I take advantage of the electric service if I have hookups, and save the propane for the furnace.
We’re the same way . In our 10 years of fiberglass trailer ownership ( 3 different FG trailers) we have never run our water heater on Propane .
In fact if we are camped at a site with electric we don’t run the propane furnace either
The electric heat strip in the A/C is sufficient
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:29 AM   #14
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We’re the same way . In our 10 years of fiberglass trailer ownership ( 3 different FG trailers) we have never run our water heater on Propane .
In fact if we are camped at a site with electric we don’t run the propane furnace either
The electric heat strip in the A/C is sufficient
Agreed. If I am hooked up to shore power, I'll save the propane for the stove, etc..and use the supplied electricity for hot water.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:04 AM   #15
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Russ:

We have a, new to us, 2018 25RQ Bigfoot. It had the WH/microwave switch. I decided to eliminate it. Not a hard decision as we plan to remove the microwave in favor of more storage.

I put another dual breaker in the electrical box and used one side for a circuit to the WH. Then took the switch out and put in a 120v outlet where the switch was. Not a big job.

But now it is on us to not run too many things at one time. Easier as we don't use the microwave. For us it's more critical to turn the electric side of the WH off when not hooked up. Our 25RQ has a transfer switch and large inverter. If not plugged in and the WH is set to electric it will try to run off the batteries. (But this was true before changing the switch.)

I think with the transfer switch, if you left the inverter on, it would keep the microwave time. However, we turn off the inverter when not in use to avoid the parasitic draw. That parasitic draw 24/7 is a concern when boondocking.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:16 AM   #16
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My water heater has a pilot light and no electric element.
When I bought my camper there was no option.
Turns out for the best.

Once hot, the heater almost never kicks on unless water is used.
If I have shore power, I have electric for space heat.
When boondocking and the propane furnace runs, the water heater is not significant in comparison.
Now, I'm not sure that I would choose the electric option if I replaced the water heater. No need.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:30 PM   #17
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Trailer: 2008 Bigfoot 25RQ
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My 25RQ originally came with a propane option only. So, simple solution was to add a Hot Shot. The Hot Shot is wired directly to a circuit and comes on with shore power with a flip of the switch. No problem here.
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