Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Heating Cost: Electric vs. Propane
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 > Heating Cost: Electric vs. Propane

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DallasSteve

Texas

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Posted: 10/27/20 09:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not sure if this is the best forum category for this thread.

I am spending the winter in South Texas and we are back to heating the motorhome. I bought an electric heater because I like to minimize my trips to refill the propane tanks. Here at this park they have a propane service that comes by every week and I can pay them to refill my tanks.

My question is: Is there much difference in the cost of heating with the electric heater (at 16.5 cents per KWH in this park) versus using the propane heater. The propane heater uses the thermostat and so it is a little easier to control the temperature throughout the rig, but other than that the electric heater can keep us warm.

Also, do you trust a propane service to use good propane and fill your tanks? (I don't know if using bad propane is a real problem as I am new to this) Generally I took my tanks to Tractor Supply and trusted the to give me a good liquid/gas.





pianotuna

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Posted: 10/28/20 03:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DallasSteve wrote:

I'm not sure if this is the best forum category for this thread.

I am spending the winter in South Texas and we are back to heating the motorhome. I bought an electric heater because I like to minimize my trips to refill the propane tanks. Here at this park they have a propane service that comes by every week and I can pay them to refill my tanks.

My question is: Is there much difference in the cost of heating with the electric heater (at 16.5 cents per KWH in this park) versus using the propane heater. The propane heater uses the thermostat and so it is a little easier to control the temperature throughout the rig, but other than that the electric heater can keep us warm.

Also, do you trust a propane service to use good propane and fill your tanks? (I don't know if using bad propane is a real problem as I am new to this) Generally I took my tanks to Tractor Supply and trusted the to give me a good liquid/gas.


Here is a cost comparison calculator:

http://www.maxmcarter.com/fuels/fuelscalc.html


Regards, Don
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cavie

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Posted: 10/28/20 04:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I find that propane from BJ's is cheaper than using the electric. It all depends on the cost of electricity. My electric cost at camp is the commercial rate at $.24 per KWH


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BobsYourUncle

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Posted: 10/28/20 05:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:


Here is a cost comparison calculator:

http://www.maxmcarter.com/fuels/fuelscalc.html

Gosh Don, where do you find these things? [emoticon]
That's excellent!


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WNYBob

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Posted: 10/28/20 07:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Please remember exchange tanks usually don't have 20# in them! More like 15#.

valhalla360

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Posted: 10/28/20 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WNYBob wrote:

Please remember exchange tanks usually don't have 20# in them! More like 15#.


Modern 20# tanks don't hold 20#...but that's mostly due to the overfill device limiting how full they can fill.

To the OP:

There isn't a lot of difference unless prices are out of wack (ie: $0.40/kwh vs a more typical $0.15/kwh).

Propane is propane. It's not like gasoline or diesel where you are pumping liquid fuel into an engine. The propane evaporates and a gas flows thru the lines, so don't worry about a mobile fill truck.

The biggest issue is the hassle of filling propane.

We usually start with the electric heat and if it will be below freezing, set the furnace to supplement (and it sends a little heat to the tanks).

It's unlikely that you will save enough to pay for a dinner out once a month by selecting heating source.

Now if you are at a nightly stop where electric is included...then it's pretty obvious use electric heat first.


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joelc

Cedar Point, NC

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Posted: 10/28/20 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am not sure on cost, but that is a good question. We are on our own pad in East NC and when the temps drop in the upper forties and above we use a portable space heater, 38 and above we use our heat pump. But when the temps below 32 I use my furnace to keep water lines from freezing. Electric bill has never gone above $150/mo This is full electric RV including range and water tank.

aftermath

Washington State

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Posted: 10/28/20 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WNYBob wrote:

Please remember exchange tanks usually don't have 20# in them! More like 15#.


Before I get to this statement, I have a big question.

The place where you are staying, do they meter your electrical usage? If not, then use the electricity. If not, use the estimator provided earlier in this post.

When I hear how people across our nation are charged for propane usage, it sometimes makes my blood heat up. In my state, and most places I have filled my tanks, propane is charged by the gallon. I pay for what I use. Those who pay a flat fee for an exchange tank are paying much more in the long run. If the service at this place fills your tanks on site that would make a difference to me. Had this done once in Wisconsin. It was a nice service. Fair price too.


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DallasSteve

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Posted: 10/28/20 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks to everybody for those great comments. We got down to about 50 last night and I started on electric, but it was getting chilly so I set the furnace to kick in at 73 degrees. I don't like it very cold.

Pianotuna (Don?) That is a great calculator. I'm going to call the propane service today and find out how they do the service. I want to keep my tanks and I want to know how they charge. I will try to get the BTU numbers on my furnace and do the calculation. I may have to keep making trips to Tractor Supply. I also need to see if I can get my second electric heater on a second circuit so they will both run and not trip the breaker.

CarnationSailor

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Posted: 10/28/20 09:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last year we were in an RV park in Palm Springs from November thru March, and we paid for the electricity we used. I kept close track of our heating costs when using our heat pump and when using the propance furnace. The cost to heat by electric was virtually identical to the cost of heating with propane.


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