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Author Topic: Excessive Power Consumption  (Read 1344 times)

chaz1040

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Excessive Power Consumption
« on: August 03, 2017, 10:29:14 PM »
I have been living full time in a 2002 40 foot motorhome for the last year. For the last year my power bill has averaged 1300 kWh per month ($130 per month at 11c per kWh). There has been very little difference between summer and winter. I live near Seattle, WA.
My hot water tank is always on propane only.
I never use power for heat.
All my lights are LED or compact fluorescent.
The fridge is on AC
I have been using the electric dryer for the last 4 months and it made a 10% difference on the power bill.
When I switch off the inverter/charger unit at the breaker panel in the motorhome the power meter on the pole slows to a trickle. There is nothing else on the power meter except the motorhome.
I have a 50 amp plug with an adapter plugged into a 30 amp outlet.
Does this seem excessive?
2002 Gulfstream Friendship 40' DP
Full-timing since Feb 2015

jubileee

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 12:44:47 AM »
Seems excessive to me. Can you have power company do a meter check or audit? Might pay to buy a kill-o-watt and check everything that runs on 120. Our sticks and brick was $119 last month @ .12 kw. Air conditioner (2 1/2 ton) ran 10-12 hrs a day. Did quite a bit of welding - plasma cutting in shop on a project last month(same meter). Electric clothes dryer. Electric range.  All led lights. 3 refrigerators and deep freeze. Year round average, $70-80 month.

SkateBoard

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 01:18:46 AM »
Ya, what jubileee says. I'm at home. I run 2 large AC's every day for 14 hours and everything else and my bill was $130 last month. The Kill-A-Watt meter is a nice tool.

https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Electricity-Usage-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501827505&sr=8-1&keywords=kill-a-watt

SeilerBird

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 04:12:28 AM »
The problem is you are running the refer on a/c.  They suck up a lot of power.
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 07:00:22 AM »
We use ac extensively (stay quite cool in FL) and run everything on ac that we can. Our bill varies between $100 and $120 per month. Note that we have three slides, including one full body so its a big 37 foot MH.

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 08:09:57 AM »
As Seilerbird says, the fridge in 120vac mode sucks a lot of power, but I still think your consumption is high for what you describe. I would have expected around $60-$80.

What make/model of inverter/charger do you have? I ask because the meaning of "Off" varies by model and I'm wondering what consumption gets stopped when you turn it Off. Sometimes Off is just the inverter function, while in others it also stops charging and/or 12v power production.  Also, what stops working when you turn the inverter off?
Gary
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Larry N.

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 08:13:35 AM »
Quote
When I switch off the inverter/charger unit at the breaker panel in the motorhome the power meter on the pole slows to a trickle.

In addition to the fridge on AC, don't forget that the converter is still charging the batteries. Assuming you have a good, 3-stage charger it will still maintain a float charge a lot of the time.
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JSplaine

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 08:49:10 AM »
When Inverter/Charger is on can you read the amount of charge(amps) going to batteries? Is it in Float mode or maximum (40-50amps) try to charge bad batteries. Check condition of batteries and test them if charger is on full continuously .
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Sun2Retire

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 08:56:18 AM »
As Seilerbird says, the fridge in 120vac mode sucks a lot of power


Out of interest, how much is "a lot"?
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 09:23:38 AM »
When we're in Florida in the winter, at the park we stay at the longest we pay a monthly rate plus $0.12/kwh for 30 amp electric. Using one A/C at a time, plus our residential fridge, converter/charger, satellite dish, and the other usual appliances, we average about 300 kwh each month for a monthly bill of about $35. No washer/dryer on board though. Back when we had an RV fridge, the bill was about the same, but I don't recall what the rate was then. When we're living in the coach while parked at our upstate NY cottage, the combined bill for both places rarely exceeds $75 at $0.16/kwh. And that includes a washer, a dryer, two electric water heaters, a fridge, a freezer, water pump, etc., in the cottage.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 09:32:58 AM »
Quote
don't forget that the converter is still charging the batteries. Assuming you have a good, 3-stage charger it will still maintain a float charge a lot of the time.

If it is only "float" charging, the 120v power draw is tiny, surely no more than 1 amp (120 watts/hr). That's about 3 KW per day or  $0.36. But if the charger is struggling to push amps into a shorted battery, it could be several times that.
Gary
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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 09:36:47 AM »
Quote
Out of interest, how much is "a lot"?

Depending on the fridge model, anywhere from 260-440 watts/hour and they typically run 14-18 hours per day in warm weather. That could mean 5-8 KWH per day
Gary
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 03:25:45 PM »
There are 720 hours in a month, so at 1300 kwh usage, you're being charged for using an average of 1.8 kw per hour.  That's 15 amps 24/7, or half of what 30 amp outlet can deliver running flat out.

I'd unplug the motorhome for a day.  Confirm the spinning disc on the electric meter completely stops after you unplug and take a picture of the electrical meter.  Then take another picture a day later before you plug the motorhome back in and compare the readings. 

Any change means something else is drawing power through the meter, and I'd have a talk with park management.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 03:33:15 PM by Lou Schneider »

Jomo

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2017, 04:31:31 PM »
We had a very high consumption of electric and we realized our engine heater had been on for 2 months.  We didn't even know we had an engine heater!  Ouch.
Jo & Jim
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DearMissMermaid

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2017, 08:24:43 PM »
I am very frugal but I get high power bills too.

I read an article that an absorption fridge can suck 5 times the electric of a regular fridge. But I do love the propane option for when I am traveling or there is a power outage.

Must be my fridge cause I do keep it good and cold so the food doesn't go off.

Also I am a fan-o-holic. Always a fan running somewhere. I do have a compact washer, that is good and bad. More loads, more electricity, but the convenience has me spoiled. A larger one would mean less loads, but I don't have room for a larger one.

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butchiiii

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chaz1040

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2017, 03:07:32 AM »
We had a very high consumption of electric and we realized our engine heater had been on for 2 months.  We didn't even know we had an engine heater!  Ouch.
Wait a minute. I see from your tag line you are using a 2007 Gulfstream Friendship DP. I own a 2002 40 foot Gulfstream Friendship DP. This may very well be the problem. (however I will also switch my fridge to propane). Where was your engine heater switch?
2002 Gulfstream Friendship 40' DP
Full-timing since Feb 2015

chaz1040

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2017, 03:45:11 AM »
Wait a minute. I see from your tag line you are using a 2007 Gulfstream Friendship DP. I own a 2002 40 foot Gulfstream Friendship DP. This may very well be the problem. (however I will also switch my fridge to propane). Where was your engine heater switch?
Okay Jomo, I owe you a beer. After reading your post I checked the compartment where the power cord and the inverter is. There was plug coming in from the side of the compartment and was plugged into a 120 volt outlet. I had seen it before and knew it was there but had no idea what it was for. I pulled the plug out of the outlet and the power meter slowed to a trickle. In the last year I have spent $1,000 keeping my engine warm. The only possible switch I can find is a breaker marked "GFI". 
2002 Gulfstream Friendship 40' DP
Full-timing since Feb 2015

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2017, 07:22:09 AM »
Usually there is a switch that controls that outlet so you can turn the block heater on/off, but I have no idea where it might be on your Friendship.  Many RVers simply unplug the heater, since they rarely need worry about starts in freezing weather.
Gary
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Jomo

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2017, 10:54:00 AM »
There is no switch that we could find.  We too, had to unplug the plug.  Too bad the 50 lbs of manuals in these rigs aren't a little more helpful!!  Glad you found the problem!
Jo & Jim
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Alfa38User

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2017, 11:22:23 AM »
Wait a minute. I see from your tag line you are using a 2007 Gulfstream Friendship DP. I own a 2002 40 foot Gulfstream Friendship DP. This may very well be the problem. (however I will also switch my fridge to propane). Where was your engine heater switch?

Chaz1040
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« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 11:37:45 AM by Alfa38User »
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Jomo

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2017, 11:37:53 AM »
Chaz,
where can I meet you for that drink?? ;D
Jo & Jim
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chaz1040

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2017, 02:20:18 PM »
Jomo:
I have a case in the fridge next time your near Bellingham, WA. I still can not believe that plug was not marked and that it was plugged in by default. I bought the MP a little over a year ago and I'm sure that plug has been plugged in for the last 15 years. Not much need for a block heater near Seattle. I'm a little pissed at Gulfstream at the moment. Thanks again.
2002 Gulfstream Friendship 40' DP
Full-timing since Feb 2015

Trivet

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2017, 03:15:34 PM »
Depending on the fridge model, anywhere from 260-440 watts/hour and they typically run 14-18 hours per day in warm weather. That could mean 5-8 KWH per day

I put a kill-a-watt on my 4-door Norcold 1200LR for a couple of weeks and it used about 7 kwh/day.

Residential refrigerators are rated at about 1.5 kwh/day.

[For the record, the Norcold uses propane at the rate of about 1/2 gallon/day.]

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2017, 05:20:08 PM »
According to the latest "energy star" certification ratings residential refrigerators draw and avg of between 600 kwh/per year to 810 kwh/ per year.
That is only 50 to 70 kwh per month. May be something other than your refrigerator.

https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-residential-refrigerators/results?scrollTo=1242&search_text=&type_filter=Side-by-Side&additional_features_filter=Icemaker&capacity_total_volume_ft3_filter=18+-+23&height_in_isopen=&width_in_isopen=&brand_name_isopen=&markets_filter=United+States&zip_code_filter=&product_types=Select+a+Product+Category&sort_by=percent_less_energy_use_than_us_federal_standard&sort_direction=desc&page_number=0&lastpage=0

RV dual refrigerators (propane and electric) are vastly different from household refrigerators. They operate as an absorption unit.

I guess Dometic hasn't figured out how to make it more energy efficient.
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mrschwarz

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2017, 06:35:48 AM »
I put a kill-a-watt on my 4-door Norcold 1200LR for a couple of weeks and it used about 7 kwh/day.

Residential refrigerators are rated at about 1.5 kwh/day.

[For the record, the Norcold uses propane at the rate of about 1/2 gallon/day.]

This is a surprising number. A 100 lb propane tank holds about 23 gallons of propane. At 1/2 pound per day, you would empty a full tank in about a month and a half. That seems too much, to me. We had a 100 pound tank that ran the fridge and cooktop and used considerably less than that when the fridge was running on gas.
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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2017, 07:42:25 AM »
A double wide refrigerator has two cooling units, so it uses twice as much propane (or electricity) as a single wide refrigerator.

A single wide refrigerator uses about 1/4 gallon of propane per day.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2017, 10:14:04 AM »
Quote
A double wide refrigerator has two cooling units, so it uses twice as much propane (or electricity) as a single wide refrigerator.

I don't think that is quite right, Lou. Bigger coolers, no doubt, but not two actual units.  The Norcold 12xx series has two heaters of 225 watts each to operate the single boiler & chiller. The big Dometic NDA1492 has two chiller tubing towers but only one boiler to feed them and it too has a pair of electric heater elements (in series, according to the service manual). Both the Norcold and the Dometic use 5A fuses to feed the heater circuit, so a max of 600 watts. They both have a single propane burner under the boiler as well, but no doubt the flame burns a bit brighter to provide some additional heat.
Gary
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Trivet

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2017, 12:36:07 PM »
This is a surprising number. A 100 lb propane tank holds about 23 gallons of propane. At 1/2 pound per day, you would empty a full tank in about a month and a half. That seems too much, to me. We had a 100 pound tank that ran the fridge and cooktop and used considerably less than that when the fridge was running on gas.

The 1/2 gallon/day surprised  me, too, but that's what I've come up with every time I've measured it.

Do you have the same refrigerator I do?  And I know performance depends on conditions--the measuring was done during warm rather humid days.  Highs in the 80s and lows in the low 70s or high 60s, with occasional cool, dry fronts.  The refrigerator wasn't in direct sun.

Leave.Today

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Re: Excessive Power Consumption
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2017, 05:06:33 PM »
Hello Thread,

I have been reading and I am having a similar issue to many of you. Today my land host hit me up with a $155 bill for power as my 5th wheel is pulling around 545kWh per month. I could tell she really didn't want to do it either. She is too sweet. I though it right and fair that I pay for my power usage, but also weird that the power jumped so much. Last month our power bill was $45, and we used close to 200kWh. This is crazy to me. A little back story; I am new to all of this. I jumped in head first into full timing because my month rent increased to $3000/month. I have a 2016 Sandpiper 381RBOK. We bought the really nice package, but got bait and switched by camping world in Fresno, so we only haver one AC, 3way fridge not residential, and while there is an outside kitchen, we keep the fridge in it off. I say all of this because I cannot figure out where all the power is going.

I am thinking it has to do with the length of cable between me and the home. Starting from a 20A outlet at my land host house, I have a (4/6) 50 foot 110 20A cable that feeds into a 20A/30A plug adapter, then into a 30A/50A pigtail, then into my 50 foot 50A shore cable to my rig. To sum that up, it's a total of 103 Feet, 50 feet each on 20A and 50a, and 2 adapters.

So I am thinking maybe its the resistance on the 20A cable? My rig doesn't know not to try to more that 20A. We know that we can't run the AC, but have popped the breaker (@ land host) with a microwave and 2x fantastic fans running.

I recently bought a plug in kWh meter to try to be more accurate with my usage. I am thinking about solar, but none of my house outlets run off the battery, they require shore, so this will only off set the LED lighting. Ultimately I need a solution. $150/month is as much as my power bill from my bricks and sticks house. Your expert advise is always appreciated.

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