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Old 12-04-2017, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default Propane free... Onan free?

As my research accelerates on my search for new class B, one question continues to consume me: Can I get a fully outfitted rig without propane AND traditional generater? At the moment I'm leaning toward Promaster setup for ease of maintenance as I travel (just 7-14 days at the moment).

Eveny time I do the "build it yourself" mode online, I'm not a hundred percent sure I'm getting rid of propane. Heck even when I opt for the "platinum/diamond" option packages (Roadtrek for example) I'm not sure I've completely accomplished such a feat.. Is there a downside to this venture? Can I conceivably lose rig weight and maybe gain storage space with no propane tank? Sorry about the newbie questions. Carry on
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:17 PM   #2
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As my research accelerates on my search for new class B, one question continues to consume me: Can I get a fully outfitted rig without propane AND traditional generater? At the moment I'm leaning toward Promaster setup for ease of maintenance as I travel (just 7-14 days at the moment).
I guess it depends on how you intend to use your class B and what you call "fully outfitted".

My 2015 Promaster SportsMobile has no Propane and no generator other than the optional 220 amp alternator that can be ordered with the Promaster. I also got the Promaster with the optional rear heat/AC connections to the dash heat/ac system.

Sportsmobile installed rear heat/ac, floor heat, and water heater all heated from the van engine coolant. Here is a description of my build.

My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobile. - Sportsmobile Forum
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:18 PM   #3
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I have propane and Onan free RV built my myself, however I still use hydrocarbon fuel to heat my van, to heat water and the stove.

For space and water heating I use diesel fuel, for stove ethanol. I have not seen electrically heated van from batteries yet, some folks get by with electric battery water heating, many with fully electric refrigerators, and few with electric induction stoves.

So, for space heating you donít need LPG if you use another fuel, or donít go to cold places, or have good sleeping bags.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:55 PM   #4
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As mentioned, intended us makes all the difference.

Need air conditioning when not plugged in for many hours, very hard to do without a generator, regardless of what Roadtrek says.

Hot water, heat, cooking inside and out are the things for propane and the heat and hot water can be covered fairly easily in a diesel van, not as easily in a gasoline van. Cooking, especially outside is tough without propane unless you use the little bottles or charcoal.

Doable, yes, depending on how you define "full featured" can get to be very expensive, though.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:42 PM   #5
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.

Anything is possible,

all it takes is money.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:48 AM   #6
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Can I get a fully outfitted rig without propane AND traditional generater?
Do you mean without propane but WITH a generator? Or do you mean without either one?

If you want the generator but not the propane, our Crossfit's Onan generator runs off of the Transit gas tank. And although the common version of our van comes with propane, they offer an induction cooktop and the Truma heater CAN run off electricity rather than propane (either shore power or the rather loud Onan). So, theoretically anyway, you wouldn't need propane at all.

Coachmen is new enough in the Class B division to be willing to custom make vans (I checked a few months ago thinking I might want a different engine and color and they said it was no problem.) Note that it's on a Transit rather than a Promaster, but if that's acceptable, you might call them and see if they are willing to work with you.

If you don't want either propane or generator, you will have to plan on using shore power, go with a large battery bank, use an underhood generator, etc OR do without the big energy-suckers like air conditioning, etc. You CAN get heaters, stovetops, refrigerators and all the bells and whistles without using propane.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:24 AM   #7
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Thank you all so much for your input and feedback.. Maybe it's not a bad idea to have propane on board. My initial thoughts were probably nothing you haven't heard: I don't want an on board generator. Too d@mn loud and annoying for my taste.. A second underhood alternator is just fine. I'm really interested in loading up on as much lithium batteries as a manufacturer will allow. Same goes for solar. I'm not necessarily an Eco nut. But I do a lot of off site camping. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.. But I started thinking about opting for the induction stove, and I started wondering, "do I need propane?". As with most technology, I realize we are still in the early stages. But a man can dream. Thanks again for all the great knowledge. This community seems real giving and helpful .i appreciate it.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:07 PM   #8
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If you want to have a Class B escape the condition of being propane-limited, you might consider enough lithium and solar to power a good marine-grade refrigerator plus internal appliances (including a large computer workstation and microwave oven in our case, as those things were priorities for us), while retaining the efficiency of propane for stove, furnace, and hot water heater.

Without the burden of a 3-way fridge, even a B-sized undermount propane tank can be made to stretch a long way (weeks off grid). And if you have solar AND lithium, there's rarely a need to run either the engine or an Onan to top off the batteries.

In your case, as others have noted, the decision might come down to price. The diesel options can eliminate the use of propane, but that comes at a cost.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:44 PM   #9
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As previously noted, so much depends on how you'll use the rig.

If extended stay remote boondocking in a colder temperature place then propane is almost a must have for heat. The other option is to use the vehicle's propulsion fuel but then you have to make sure to arrive with enough fuel in the tank to: 1. heat the rig for your intended stay and 2. have enough fuel left over to make it back to a fuel station.

Maybe someone here who has experience with diesel heat could let us know how much fuel they burn when staying in cold temperatures for 1 week and also for 2 weeks if heating is a constant requirement. If just touring and driving every couple of days then burning diesel for heat would not be a problem.

I think 400ah battery capacity is ideal if choosing a compressor fridge over an absorption fridge. That would permit extended stays in a shaded campsite for example without having to recharge the batteries often.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:53 PM   #10
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Most people who want extended-stay in the boonies tend to avoid aircon and modern day "luxuries".

Most people who want extended-stay with aircon and modern day "luxuries" tended to go to campsites with hookups.

The limitation to extended-stay is not propane, or water, or battery, or fuel...

The limitation to extended-stay is beer.

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