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Author Topic: how many kwh do you use monthly?  (Read 1569 times)

Jomo

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how many kwh do you use monthly?
« on: July 31, 2016, 09:18:03 PM »
We are just starting out full timing and are staying at a seasonal site with metered electric.  We were shocked at our first month electric bill at over $200.  We now are trying to watch the electric use more closely and are averaging 45kwh daily without using any air or doing any laundry.  Is this normal or does this seem high?  How many kwh do other people use?
Jo & Jim
2007 Gulfstream Friendship 41' DP
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
Full time since June 2016
Home Base- Traverse City MI

legrandnormand

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2016, 09:31:05 PM »
In the past years, monthly renting in different campsites, we paid between $70-!00./month using A.C., electric cooking with a dual induction top and computers etc. The cost depends on how much the campsite charges you by kw/hre.
Normand
Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada
2010 Gulfstream Independance, model 8367
2009 Smart Cabriolet

Quillback 424

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2016, 11:24:45 PM »
45kwh daily is huge unless you are using electric heat, hot water, fireplace or lots of incandescent light bulbs, if you are not running air conditioning.

Let's do the math:

If power equals voltage times current P = E x I, then I = P/E

Since power is 45,000 watts and voltage is 120 then 45,000/120 = 375 amps daily or 15.6 amps per hour. You need to try to figure out where that 15 amps per hour is being used.

The bad news is if you are being charged 15 cents per kwh and are using 45 kwh per day you are being charged $6.75 per day or $202.50 per month even without air conditioning.

Some actions people take to limit their kw consumption is to turn on the hot water heater only when it is needed (wash dishes at about the same time you are going to shower), turn off unnecessary lights, limit use of heat pumps or space heaters and not using the fireplace until you need some heat in that area. Also, exercise your generator monthly on a hot day in the late afternoon with the air conditioners and water heater on. Sorry if you already know all of this.

I always read the meter the same day as the park and always ask what their kwh charge is so I know at any time during the month how many dollars I have spent on electricity. I have had one time when the park misread the meter and was billing me for double what I used, until I showed them their error.

I also use $60 - $70 per month at twelve to thirteen cents per kWh.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 11:32:21 PM by Quillback 424 »
Larry --  Olathe, Kansas
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2016, 10:43:57 AM »
It is not unusual for newcomers to RVs to find out they have been terribly wasteful all their lives, both water and electric. Even so, the consumption you are seeing seems incredible. That is a huge amount of power to use with no a/c on. Even with the water heater actually heating 24/7, that would be far too much, and the heater won't use anywhere near that much. It's max draw when actually heating water is 1400 watts/hr.

Some simple checks for sanity:
1. Check the meter and then turn the water heater breaker off for a few hours and read the meter again. Then the same time period with heater on. Should not be much difference as long as nobody is showering or doing dishes during those times.

2. Unplug the RV from the power pole and see if the meter keeps on spinning. You may be sharing with an unknown friend!

3. Put your hand on the sides of the RV house battery(s) and see if any are hot. That would indicate a battery being overcharged and probably a defective battery. That can generate a moderate extra load on shore power.

4. Try running the fridge on LP instead of electric for a 24 hour period and observe the meter difference.  In even moderately warm weather an rv absorption fridge runs its heater nearly non-stop during the day & evening, and that consumption is totally hidden until the bill comes in.


You are likely paying a higher rate per KWH than at home as well, so the dollars are worse even with moderate usage. Campgrounds pay commercial rates for electric power and that is usually higher than residential.  However, despite what most people think, the campground does not make a profit on the electricity provided. The sale of electric power by anybody is strictly regulated in every state and businesses that re-sell electric from the utility are not allowed to mark that price up beyond actual costs for the service (but it  may include meter & billing fees).
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 11:57:05 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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Clay L

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2016, 11:05:54 AM »
As others said that is a lot. We (my wife and I) averaged about 10 KWh per day with no AC use in AZ during the winter.
Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats), Sali (toy poodle)
Settled down after full timing for eleven years and snowbirding for one year in a 2004 Winnebago 35N Sightseer, Workhorse W 20 Chassis. Honda toad

ArdraF

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2016, 01:56:25 PM »
It also depends on where you are staying.  Some areas have very high utility rates while others do not.  Gary gave you a lot of good ideas to check your usage.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 02:09:12 PM »
Last year we averaged almost 20kwh/day in July in western North Carolina, during warm days but with only rare a/c usage. We did do laundry regularly, though. Our coach it about the same size as your Friendship and kind of a power hog as well. We paid $85 that month.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Jomo

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 02:31:54 PM »
Thanks for all your thoughts.  We pay .13 per kwh, have no fireplace, no space heater.  We have aqua hot and have been using that on electric for hot water.  We talked to our repair shop about it today and they said we might have our engine heater on.??  We didn't even know we had an engine heater.  We will check this out tonight as well as a few other things you suggested.
Jo & Jim
2007 Gulfstream Friendship 41' DP
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
Full time since June 2016
Home Base- Traverse City MI

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 08:36:26 AM »
Yeah, an engine block heater would do add a major power draw. Since you have the Aquahot, chances are the block heater is an additional loop on the Aquahot rather than a separate electric block heater, but it's still sucking the kilowatts via an electric heater. There will be an on/off for engine block heating in any case.

You can put the Aquahot on its diesel burner for a day (instead of electric) and see how that affects the meter. And if the engine heater loop is active or there is some other heat waste somewhere, you will hear the diesel burner running a lot and be aware of it.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

GR 'Scott' Cundiff

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2016, 09:36:26 AM »
Looks like you've gotten a lot of good information.  Just for comparison, we're in Houston and our a/c runs continuously from around 11:00 am to 8:00 pm each day.  Last month we used around 38 KWh a day.  I haven't gotten July's bill yet but I'm guessing it will be about the same.

BTW, in May with less a/c use we used around 22 KWh a day.
 
2008 6.4L SRW F-350 Diesel - 2007 Hitchhiker  - http://travel.pastorscott.com

Ken & Sheila

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2016, 03:40:28 PM »
Thanks for all your thoughts.  We pay .13 per kwh, have no fireplace, no space heater.  We have aqua hot and have been using that on electric for hot water.  We talked to our repair shop about it today and they said we might have our engine heater on.??  We didn't even know we had an engine heater.  We will check this out tonight as well as a few other things you suggested.

Our coach has both an Aquahot Engine Preheat and an electric block heater. Not all Aquahots have the engine preheat feature, but if you do it is activated by a separate switch on the Aquahot Panel. In past in our coaches the engine block preheat was was turned on by a switch in the bedroom, but in our current coach you have to plug/unplug the block heater in the engine compartment. Look in the engine compartment for a 110 outlet with a cord plug into it. That would be the block heater - just unplug until needed.

ken
Ken & Sheila
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Trivet

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 06:57:09 PM »
It is not unusual for newcomers to RVs to find out they have been terribly wasteful all their lives, both water and electric. Even so, the consumption you are seeing seems incredible. That is a huge amount of power to use with no a/c on. Even with the water heater actually heating 24/7, that would be far too much, and the heater won't use anywhere near that much. It's max draw when actually heating water is 1400 watts/hr.

As a data point--I have a 40-foot motorhome and have measured my electrical usage a lot.  I always have the water heater on electric and do laundry (the dryer uses some electricity, while the washer uses almost none but does use hot water).  When I don't use air conditioning or the heat pump, my usage is about 15 kwh/day.  When I run the air a good bit, I use 30 kwh/day.  When I've had a big backlog of laundry and also run the air a lot, it's gone up to about 40 kwh/day.

So 45 kwh/day for normal usage without running the air is crazy. 

If you have a propane refrigerator--my Norcold 4-door refrigerator used about 7 kwh/day on electric, which is a LOT more than anybody would expect. 

Jomo

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2016, 09:50:49 PM »
Thought I would give everyone an update on my electric usage.  We found the engine heater plug outside in one of the compartments.  Unplugged it, usage was down from 45 to 20 immediately.  I can't believe that we had that running for 2 months straight!!  Boy do we feel foolish.  Thanks for all your help!
Jo & Jim
2007 Gulfstream Friendship 41' DP
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
Full time since June 2016
Home Base- Traverse City MI

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: how many kwh do you use monthly?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 10:53:58 AM »
Glad to hear it was an easy fix!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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