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Old 11-13-2010, 10:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wagoner, OK
Posts: 132
propane cost verses generator costs

I am new to the RVing world and have noticed the posts citing using portable electric heaters rather than the furnace. We have a 2010 Sunseeker 2300 and although the weather is getting cooler in OK, we still enjoy the fall atmosphere at local campgrounds. We have been using a small 1500 watt electric heater rather then the furnace (used it one night). I am curious to know what the economics are when we are at a nonelectric site. Is it less expensive to run the generator all night or should we switch to the furnace?

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Old 11-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 151
In my case, it's cheaper to run the furnace at night than run a Onan 5500 generator. Of course, this is where the use of a second battery comes into play. If you have a two 12v battery setup, you will have plenty of battery reserve to run the furnace, water pump when needed, turning on lights when needed during the night. You can run the generator during the day when the batteries need to be recharged.

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Old 11-13-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,651
It depends on what the site costs you.
Recently we stayed at Cumberland Gap National Park.
Most of the electric sites were taken.
There were many non electric sites and we grabbed one all
by itself.
We saved $5 per night by choosing non electric.
We ran the LP furnace each night and morning but did not use
a full 20 LB tank so it was actually cheaper for me to go with
no hookups.

Keep in mind that a furnace will suck a battery in a 1 1/2 nites.
We have 2 12v batteries and I did run my little honda generator
one morning to top up the batteries but that used way less than
half gallon of gas.

So if you can get by without totally discharging your batteries
you might be cheaper and for sure more private if you go
with no hookups.

We also watched a couple hours of TV each night on battery power.
I have a little cheap 12v to 120v inverter that works great.
Cost less than $25 for the inverter. It just plugs into a cigarette
socket type outlet in my trailer.

You can NOT run a generator in many parks at night.
Please don't park next to me if you are going to do that!!!
Dan & Rita D
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch, AirLift load levelers

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-38
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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Location: Camano Island, Washington
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i'm not aware of any campground that allows generator usage at night.
you'd be asked to leave at all the campgrounds i've been to, private or public.

therefore, you have to use propane at non-electric sites.
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