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Post Info TOPIC: Kilowatt Usage


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Kilowatt Usage


Ok I did a search and found some info that dates back about 8-9 years ago. Plus it spoke about dollars and not actual kilowatts used. What I would like to know for those that are full timing and paying the electrical seperately is how many kilowatts are you using (I realize everyone is a little different, but I'm just trying to get somewhat of a base). The other part of this is I will be in a new Grand Design Solitude, it will have all LED lights, a residential fridge, and a washer dryer. ( I am not sure how much the LED will save but it has to be a little) 

Any idea/input would be appreciated as I am setting up my monthly budgets. Thanks! 



-- Edited by Rickl on Thursday 14th of April 2016 08:33:32 AM

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We, too, are in the planning stages. The budget we are working on has 30/mth set aside for electric. I have no idea what that equates to in KWHs (rates vary widely around the country.) We know we won't be hooked up all the time as we plan on a decent amount of boondocking and a significant amount of stays where electric will be included.

 The pat answer is "it depends".

Our budget has a lot of play in it so we can rob Peter to pay Paul if need be when some expenses blow out the budget. We have no way of accurately guessing what our electrical consumption would be at this stage but having a rough idea of the time spent at FHU where electric is billed separately will give us, or you, a decent idea of what to "allow" for electric in a budget. Anecdotally, I have read that 30/mth is a lot, and also, very low... so I picked that number as an average from my research and our planned lifestyle. YMMV as they say.

FWIW, Brian



-- Edited by BiggarView on Wednesday 20th of April 2016 06:29:58 AM

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Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)



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I also am on the Grand Design forum and a member there told me that his bill was in the $150-$200 per month range. Now I'm not sure what trailer he has but I know the Solitude has a R factor of 45 in the floor and a 40 in the ceiling, with 11/12 in the walls and 25 under the slides. In addition I added dual pane windows so my thought is the wall factors probably are with single panes. 

Our present S&B house is about 2900 sq ft in Tulsa with 2 A/C units, 2 fridges running, computers, basically no LED bulbs. ( plus our 13 old granddaughter presently lives with us and she only knows how to turn things on) Our total kilowatt usage for the past 12 months has been 17120 kilowatts.

My assumption was we should at the worst case cut that in half. The answer I received on the other forum scared the beegeebers out of me. I was in the ball park with you in figuring around $35-$40 per month. But again I would like to hear some real world numbers to validate the budget. 



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Host

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We've typically been in the $50 - $75 per month range on electric when we are staying a month or longer and the electric is metered.  Of course, the more you run the air conditioner or an electric heater, the higher the usage and, therefore, cost. We've had electric bills up over $100 on rare occasions when we ran the air a lot.

Of course, you know any stay under a month is typically not metered.

Also, when you stay a month or longer at a private RV park, you get a huge discount off the nightly rate, so even with the metered electric, it's a good deal.  Still, if we feel the kilowatt rate is too high, we'll conserve more and even have been known to unplug and use our solar panels, batteries, and inverter to keep usage down.  Since we don't have metered electric often and I forget how much we've used, I sometimes maintain spreadsheets to monitor daily usage in the beginning of the month just to make sure I don't get a big unwelcome surprise at the end of the month.  :)

Unfortunately, I can't find those old spreadsheets of KW usage, but I think 500 - 600 kwh/month is a reasonable number with gusts up to 1000 with air conditioners running a lot.

 

 



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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I ran a calculation of our nights in various places, including boondocking, TT CGs, dry camping, workcamping gigs, Wallydocking etc., what was left was the number of nights at FHU 50amp sites. I simply took the total number of nights x cost (estimated) then divided by 12 to get a monthly budget. We are planning a healthy solar set-up so our electric bill will be correspondingly more moderate.

We have a smaller house than you and it's just the two of us with only one AC.

Howards numbers seem to fit the profile we are looking at, so I feel reassured that I'm on the right track budget-wise. Your 35-40 number seems reasonable as well.



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Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)



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A low month's usage for us is about 500 KWH, but we have used closer to 1500 KWH when it is really hot and the air conditioners are running 24/7. We find our residential fridge uses much less than our old 12cuft Norcold on electric. KWH rates vary from about 10c to 30c (gouging is legal in some places), but are mostly under 15c.

Since we have a motorhome with a fixed LP tank, we try to use electricity to heat both the RV and our hot water, since we have to drive somewhere to fill the tank. That means we rarely trade off using LP instead of electricity.

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Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 AWD Chevy Equinox
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Picking up in BillJ's comment - LP in most cases will be less expensive than electric for hot water.  Naturally that depends on location and the price of both.  But electric hot water is the most inefficient use of energy there is in the RV - or a house for that matter.

Keep in mind, depending on the outside temps, AC's in an RV can run much more than a home AC unit to keep things cool.  No matter the quality of insulation, RV's, like cars, are simply not able to be insulated like houses.  The large, percentage wise, of the RV that is exposed to the sun can keep those AC's running for hours on end without shutting down if you are in a really hot area of the country in the summer.  So there is a lot of variation as to costs not only for the energy but physical location and your tolerance for heat.  All big variables.

Naturally if you are on non-metered service run it all on the plug.  You've already paid for that power in the price of the site I assure you - especially if its a 50 amp service.



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Bill & Linda
2014 New Horizons Majestic F37RLTSS 96

2016 RAM 5500HD \ 4-Wheel Drive \ Link Air Ride
Classy Chassis RV Hauler Bed Conversion \ Aux Fuel Tank 



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I like Howard's answer....its a good one. We are starting our 10th year fulltiming and we move frequently trying to stay a month at a time. Sometimes the monthly rate incudes power (by my estimate about 15% of the time) so power is $0 (or hidden if you like) but we have paid $200 for metered power. Not sure how you could budget power as it varies widely and should probably be viewed with other factors like park rent, location and park condition.

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Bill,

I think you want to look at the efficiency of your water heater. When propane is really, really cheap, it might be cheaper to heat with propane, but generally a water heater is only about 70% efficient when heating with propane.

Barb


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Barbaraok wrote:

Bill,

I think you want to look at the efficiency of your water heater. When propane is really, really cheap, it might be cheaper to heat with propane, but generally a water heater is only about 70% efficient when heating with propane.

Barb


I guess your right, Barb.  I was basing this on the manufacture's advice and years of experience from my parents who were full-timers for about 35 years.  Guess it just depends on the situation.  No question electric is less trouble in a motor home especially due to filling of the fixed tank.  That's also a factor - having to get the tanks filled.

Bill



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Bill & Linda
2014 New Horizons Majestic F37RLTSS 96

2016 RAM 5500HD \ 4-Wheel Drive \ Link Air Ride
Classy Chassis RV Hauler Bed Conversion \ Aux Fuel Tank 



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We're in the Tampa area. Oct - Mar averaged $45/445kw per month. Used A/C as needed with temps averaging in the mid 70s.

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Leonard, Sally & Sprocket

2014 MS 36RSSB3 2013 F-350

http://where-rv-going.blogspot.com/



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In AZ in the winter we used 300 to 350 KWh per month with minimal AC use. We had a 3.2 cubic foot freezer, two CPAP machines and at night an oxygen concentrator. The 300 KWh per month was without the second CPAP and oxygen concentrator.

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Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (wife), Katie, Kelli (cats) Full timed for eleven years in a 2004 Sightseer 35N. Snowbirds for one winter and now settled down in CO.

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