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Old 02-06-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
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Question propane vs electricity cost to run fridge

Is there any savings by running the fridge on propane vs electricity at a full hook-up campground.. when then are charging $40 -60 dollars a month for electric ??
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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Probably. But it really depends on your costs. Filling a propane tank can cost 25 dollars. But you could run a refer for maybe two/three months on that propane. But the electric element will run the refer without the need for going out to find gas. Leave the refer on auto and it will choose the most economical mode of operation.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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we have a 25% discount on propane here.. a 30 lb refill should be around $20- $22
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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Probably. But it really depends on your costs. Filling a propane tank can cost 25 dollars. But you could run a refer for maybe two/three months on that propane. But the electric element will run the refer without the need for going out to find gas. Leave the refer on auto and it will choose the most economical mode of operation.
Wonder how it does that ??????

...VTX-AL
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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You might consider calculating the kilowatts per hour of usage with electricity first. You'll probably need an ammeter to do this.

Next, determine the approximate number of hours your equipment runs, and calculate the KW usage during this time.

Do the same for your other RV needs excluding that in question.

Find the cost per KW charged at the park or supplier, and calculate your maximum usage with both variables, subtract out the difference.

As stated before, other costs are incurred which include your time, expense to get the gas, the propane cost, servicing your rig, etc. For these costs, are you willing to go to all of this work? That's a question only you can answer, and only you can assess this by working out the solution mathematically.

Too many variables exist—heating degree days, temp you like to run at, distances to and from the supplier, your abilities, etc.

Just a thought.
Mike
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:37 PM   #6
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All things being equal you can simply remove all the variables as the question is, which is more economical.

Let's assume you have a 325 watt electric element in the refrigerator. We can also assume you run the element for x amount of hours. I'll use 10-hours to make it easy. In this 10-hour day of operating you would consume 3250-watt hours or 3.25 kilowatt-hours. Here on the East Coast the average cost after all deliverables is $0.14 per kWh. So the fridge would cost $0.46 to operate that day. Before all you efficiency nuts jump in, the electric element is essentially 100% efficient and the losses to ambient for the element can be the same ambient losses with the propane so all we can use a factor of 1.0 for the ambient loss comparison.

Now converting the 325 watt element to btu/hr would be a total of 1,109 btu/hr for the same amount of heat. Use the 10 hrs and you consumed 11,090 btu's in that same day on propane. Propane contains approx. 21,590 btu's in every lb. Also, because of the flue gases we can apply an efficiency loss of approx. 10% according to some data I looked up on small propane appliances. So now the 11,090 btus / .90 = 12,322 btu's used that day. Divided by the 21,590 btu's in a lb would equal 0.57 lbs of propane used in the same scenario as the electric element. Again, using pricing in my area we are paying approx. $0.83 per lb. Total cost of propane for that day would be $0.47

So, you can see the prices are very similar and a careful calculation would be made to the prices paid for electric and propane.

Personally, Keep the beer cold no matter the cost. We always use propane when travelling, and switch to electric if at a CG with hook-ups, because we pay for the electric with the camping rate. The same applies to the HW heater as well.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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Not to be argumentative, but variables actually have an impact in the equation. The reason is the question posed initially wherein the cost was 40 to 60 per month. Not stated was whether the electric cost is a set figure (per month). Therefore, the question may not be as simple as which costs more, gas or electric.
When considering the amount charged per month as a set figure we must allocate our resources accordingly. Paying 40 – 60 per month may be over actual the usage.
A like example is in a cell telephone use where another call under the maximum minutes has no impact on the charges, and purchasing a calling card only adds to the total cost.
Therefore burning propane while under-running the electrical costs is a net loss—if the park charges a set amount.
Sometimes two ways of approach yield two different results.
Ciao,
Mike
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:40 PM   #8
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Leave the refer on auto and it will choose the most economical mode of operation.
That's not my understanding, I understand that with the switch on auto it will run on electric whenever available, then switch to gas when there is no electrical hookup.

If not, my propane would be empty all the time because I leave it on auto and run it all the time plugged in while at home.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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Are you being charged for electricity if you use it or not? If the CG is going to charge you 40 to 60 dollars for electricity then you will not save anything by go to propane.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:51 PM   #10
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That's not my understanding, I understand that with the switch on auto it will run on electric whenever available, then switch to gas when there is no electrical hookup.

If not, my propane would be empty all the time because I leave it on auto and run it all the time plugged in while at home.
Yes, your understanding is correct....the Person who said it chooses the most efficient ......is.....well, misinformed.
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