Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-05-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Suffolk, VA
Posts: 5
Default Generator options, need help.

I'm trying to develop the plan for my build and I'm struggling with how to go about providing power to the RV. I know it sounds like a stupid question, but I can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for. I've seen the generator setups on the site here, done a bunch of searching. My question is, is there a reason you can't use a portable type generator to power everything up? I already have a 6500W generator for power outages, can't I use it to power things up inside? Also, is there a way to wire it where I can plug the generator in for certain situations and then have a shore plug-in for campsites? How about when the engine is running on the road? I could run an inverter off the alternator, correct? Sorry for the newbie questions, just trying to sort it out, thanks.

LCDR D
__________________

Danzboys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 02:36 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Camano Island, WA
Posts: 163
Default

Welcome to the forum, Here is some info for you, hope it helps more than it confuses...lol Way to late to be up typing...

There are many ways to wire in a gen-set. If the unit is to be mounted on the coach, then connecting through a transfer switch (either manual or automatic) is a requirement if you are going to also have shore power. You want to make sure that there is no way to be powered from two different sources of electricity at the same time (nasty things can happen if power is back fed from one system to the other). If you plan on using a portable generator,then the easiest way would be just to plug your shore power cord directly into the generator outlet, this creates the simplest and most reliable of transfer switches as you can not physically plug into two places at once. Check your generators paperwork, some can be wired to output to two 120v circuits or one 240 volt, some come already wired for both. when you plug into a 120v outlet on the generator you typically only get one half of the Kw rating. as the rating is usually phase to phase(240) not phase to neutral(120). To use the full capacity you would need to run two cables to the coach, and use two separate elec panels to split the load, a 6.5kw will probably have a 25 or 30 (6,000 to 7,200 watts) amp breaker on the 240volt outlet, and each of the 120v will only have a 15 or 20 amp (1,800 to 2,400 watts) breaker

The big thing with a portable unit is to make sure it will handle the load you plan to run at one time. Some of the units are rated at peak power not at continuous running load. Some of the import units can actually only handle a portion of their listed capacity. There are a number of adapters available to allow you to plug a 30 or 50 amp RV shore power cord into a smaller outlet which will allow you to power the coach from a smaller generator as long as you are mindful of how much you turn on at a time. All modern portable generators should have a built in circuit breaker that will trip before damaging the unit. However you will need to go outside to reset it, and to add fuel. You will learn quickly which combination of loads trips the breaker.


Unless you are running AC units (and microwaves) most of the loads in an RV are usually fairly small, especially if you heat with gas.

for the more scientific method you can pick up a watt meter from the local hardware store (Kill-a-watt is the common one), then plug it into an outlet, and plug in your appliances and it will tell you exactly how many watts ea one uses in operation, you will find many items use quite a bit less than what the label or paper work state. The meter will only handle 15 amps (1800 watts) but if you test things one at a time it gets the job done. don't forget to plug the shore power cord into it and measure the built in lights as well. Once you have all this data, you can make some good judgments on what size generator and inverter will work best.


Inverters are great, especially when you are camped in a state park with no shore power and unable to run a generator at night. you can power laptops, tv's or even the microwave for a quick back of popcorn. Some of the models will even provide load management shutting down loads as battery power drops.

my .02

Dave
__________________

Dragonslayer140 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 04:32 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Rockford
Posts: 490
Default

i tried using my champion generator on a rack off trailer hitch going down the road. when i hit bumps it would trip the circuit breaker. after resetting about 4th time i gave up on it.
volvoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 114
Default

You might consider a little different approach. Maybe you could find an RV generator to use. RV generators a MUCH smoother, and more quiet than portable units and are often more fuel efficient. Everyone around will thank you for not using a portable unit. The RV unit is often connected to the vehicle's tank which is larger and reduces fueling hazards. Remember that the unit mounted in your coach is still portable because it is on wheels. One reason that I bought my toter is that it has a diesel generator on board. If I have a power outage I can power my home with the generator in the toterhome. Diesels sip fuel compared to single-cylinder gas units and it is connected to a 200 fuel supply. This combination puts me in pretty good shape. Keep your eyes out for deals on used units. Dad got a 7500W LP generator with about 30hours for $1500. The deals are out there if you are patient. You may be able to sell the portable unit to offset the cost of the RV generator.
__________________
AndyG
1989 FLD120 with 2000 NRC conversion
andyg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Doc Weaver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: West Chester, Ohio
Posts: 483
Default

I had a cheap Chinese generator in the beginning and it couldn't handle the crappy roads on which I drive. it would stop after a bump, pop circuits for no reason, etc. I finally gave up and got a diesel RV gen set. having a gasoline bomb on the frame or the truck wasn't appealing either.
__________________
Doc Weaver '98 Freightliner FL60 pseudo toy hauler
Doc Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2014, 11:08 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 134
Default

I added an APU to the Moby build. Maybe one of these will wok for you. Here's a link:

Moby's electrical
jbeech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Texas88Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Conroe
Posts: 10
Default

Doc,

Which diesel generator did you go with? There is an Onan 6500 watt diesel generator that came out of a fire engine available that I know of for $2000 but I am concerned with the amount of noise associated with diesel. I will be using mine for tailgating and I don't want to anger my neighbors with a really noisy generator, well not too much. I often use a portable generator (5500 watt b&s) to power the music and tv so as long as it is not much louder than that I think it would be okay.

I certainly see the benefit of going with the onboard diesel supply, in my case 300 gallons (at least when I have the money to fill it).

Texas88Wrangler
95 Freightliner
Texas88Wrangler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 10:04 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Texas88Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Conroe
Posts: 10
Default

Also, if anyone else running a diesel generator would let me know which type and how loud it is I would certainly appreciate it. I appologize for hyjacking this thread but could use the info.
__________________
Texas88Wranger
95 Freightliner with condo sleeper
10.5' box with nothing in it, yet!!!
Texas88Wrangler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 10:06 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 134
Default

Don't apologize, start a new thread.

In any case, what stops you from increasing the size of the muffler? Simple solution.
jbeech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2014, 10:14 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
bushpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tomball
Posts: 1,404
Default

Ive got an Onan QD10k on mine - its only loud if you stand right next to it
Barely hear it inside if at all - i think we feel the vibration of the gen in the floor more than anything (and even its pretty subtle.

we often sit outside our coach under the awning at the race track w/ the gen running, no issue having a conversation over the running generator.
__________________

__________________
Don R.
'04 Haulmark (M42386) 42', 2 slide, 10kw - Pictures
'04 F350 CrewCab Longbed 4x4, 50g aux tank & gear vendors dbl over
bushpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.