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Old 06-01-2011, 02:34 AM   #29
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All - I can only provide my unscientific story. We fueled up full in Yuma, AZ and then drove to Quartzsite, AZ for the alpine rally this past Januay, so it's about 90 miles from where we stayed to the rally spot. Then we camped in the desert for 8 days, and I used 25.68 gallons for the trip up to QZ and the 8 days in the desert with genset use. I figure I used between 1-2 gallons in a 24 hour period maybe. The genset would run for 3 hours in the morning, and 2-3 hours in the evening, and I know I need new batteries. Had I had new ones the genset would not have had to run as much. Those are on the agenda later this year in CA so I can fork over the funds to get the AGM's. I run the genset when I want to or need too, and don't worry about my fuel usage, as not running the genset is worse because it puts a larger drain on other systems. The genset is designed to run, and I don' think it's reqired to be rebuilt for 5000 hours. Since I only have about 224 on it, I got a ways to go.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:05 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by StansCustoms View Post
Well that is a surprise..I thought it was considerably more. And yes this rig does have a 7.5 Kw Onan.

..my old 6.5 Kw gas generator is considerably more expensive to run than the diesel in that case.

We boon dock a lot and some times that meant I would have to uproot and go buy gasoline in my old coach....

I was concerned about having to refuel as much abouit as much anything else (as per above post). A 6500 watt gas generator will use about a gallon an hour. If that were diesel at $4 per gallon...it would be $100 per day and 4 days to a tank...provided you arrived with a full tank at the camp site.

This is my first diesel..and if all accounts are correct a diesel generator uses a 1/3 as much fuel compared to a gasoline unit...makes a difference. 12 days , instead of 4...I wouldn't have to break camp and go refuel.

If I'm just on the road...it doesn't matter as much...although I would just as soon not have to run it . Don't get me wrong...it'll run 24/7 for the next 10 years if that what it takes.

...and then I'll buy another one and run it till it dies if need be.

I've never had a big inverter...so I was curious just what you could do with one, and if it made a big difference in the way a coach can be used or not. I believe I have a clear understanding of what to expect from one now.

Many thanks to everyone...
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:57 PM   #31
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Stan,

I have an '01 and run the generator as needed. Fuel consumption to run roof air should be not much more than additional fuel consumption to run dash air - power is power, whether supplied by a generator or by the chassis engine/alternator.
By the way, we use the inverter in the evening to cook in the microwave and watch TV, then in the morning for auto-drip coffee maker and hair dryer and/or curling iron. We have a couple hundred watts of solar panels, and find we have to run the generator to recharge every two or three days. With good batteries, this is a piece of cake. With bad batteries, you may not have enough power for one evening of TV.

A couple of points about the stock inverter: if you do inadvertently overload it, it will shut down (RTFM in that case). And, it's a "modified sine wave" (actually closer to a square wave) that will cause the microwave to buzz when running, but it cooks just fine. The only appliance I've found that won't run on the modified sine wave is one of the newer electric blankets with electronic controls.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:29 AM   #32
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Stan:

Unless you're a glutton for inclement temperatures, I think you'll find you don't run the genset much.

We only have 100 watts of solar and recharge the batteries 2 hours in the morning and one at night, timing it with additional appliance use. If we mistakenly camp where it gets too hot, we'll run it for the A/C units.

Passing through Las Vegas last year, we planned poorly by staying at Thousand Trails and at 115 degrees found it easier to run the genset and just boondock next to the lousy 30-amp electrical pedestal. Almost all the big rigs in the park were doing the same thing. Otherwise, I try to follow three rules:

1. If it's too hot, adjust your altitude.
2. If it's too cold, adjust your latitude.
3. If all else fails, adjust your attitude.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:52 AM   #33
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repair quote format

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Stan:

Unless you're a glutton for inclement temperatures, I think you'll find you don't run the genset much.

We only have 100 watts of solar and recharge the batteries 2 hours in the morning and one at night, timing it with additional appliance use. If we mistakenly camp where it gets too hot, we'll run it for the A/C units.

Passing through Las Vegas last year, we planned poorly by staying at Thousand Trails and at 115 degrees found it easier to run the genset and just boondock next to the lousy 30-amp electrical pedestal. Almost all the big rigs in the park were doing the same thing. Otherwise, I try to follow three rules:

1. If it's too hot, adjust your altitude.
2. If it's too cold, adjust your latitude.
3. If all else fails, adjust your attitude.


Good anecdote...I guess we are a glutton for punishment

...I spent most of my early life in the west Texas oil fields (hot) so we are accustomed to it..and we live and play in Texas mostly. We travel but seldom out of the state. (Although we plan on a Florida trip..and maybe Quartzsite/Grand Canyon soon, now that we have a DP..still hot). Farther than that we fly generally.

I would/could fulltime without looking back..BUT the DW won't give up our nice home "ever", or it's proximity to our family and grandchildren. She's generally ready to get back home after 3/4 weeks, tops .

Much like your Las Vegas experience....It's a 100(+) degrees in Texas, or very close to it quite often, requiring two A/c's ...hence one of the reasons for us boondocking a lot.

We also bird hunt and fish in some fairly remote areas of Texas that don't have any electricity ..not even 30 amp.

...and I am a classic Corvette builder/trader so I make a lot of swap meets and related classic car events. No power at those things either..and hot.

The reason we bought our first gas motorhome years ago( instead of another 5th wheel) was for a "big quite generator"...and ease of set up. Sacrificed a lot of room to get it...

We really enjoy the Alpine so far...it's truly self sufficient, in any weather.
Now that's luxury....at least to the 2 kids that started out with nothing but a pup tent and a little ski boat in 1970.

We're still kids...just grey haired ones, ha!

Rambling..I guess, sorry.
... but I said all that to say that if a motorhome didn't have a good generator...it would be of no use to us at all.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:12 AM   #34
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Although we plan on a Florida trip..and maybe Quartzsite/Grand Canyon soon, now that we have a DP..still hot.
If you plan to go to Quartzsite soon, you are worse than a glutton you're just downright masochistic!



Of course in January it's quite pleasant (Alpine Desert Rat Rally and Quartzsite RV Show).
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:25 AM   #35
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Re-reading the original post.. The question was about the alternator not holding up with the inverter.. Ah, now I understand the confusion.

The problem is some folks will try and run a roof A/C off the inverter, or the Fridge (I can do that in this rig, if I wish) or other medium to large ticket items off the inverter WHILE DRIVING.. The alternator is not, usually, designed for that kind of sustained load and will fail sooner as opposed to later.

I leve my inverter on all the time,, Driving it is powering this laptop (Navi-comp when driving) perhaps a phoen charger, A couple of digital video recorders and their assoicated digital ota television converters,, I suspect the set of them does not total much past 100 watts (in fact I know for a fact it does not) add around 20 for the computer in Navi-comp mode and you have the list.. Save for when the ice mkaer cycles. Not much different than turning on the headlights, less in fact. The alternator CAN take this load just fine.

Camping, (parked) it provides power to what needs it (The fridge is locked on gas but I can switch the outlet that provides it 120 volts to the inverter so as to get the ice maker to work)

Fridge on electric is over 300 watts.. That's a bit much for my system.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:43 AM   #36
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If you plan to go to Quartzsite soon, you are worse than a glutton you're just downright masochistic!



Of course in January it's quite pleasant (Alpine Desert Rat Rally and Quartzsite RV Show).
You're not kidding on that.... No telling what it gets up to at Quartzsite in the summer. Heck, it's been 99 degrees already here in Fort Worth and school is barely out.

I doubt we'll be headed out anywhere till after the 4th. Then hopefully where it's shady and close to water.

...and I meant the next Alpine Rally...that's soon for us. Heh Heh! The rest of this year is already booked.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:05 PM   #37
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Re-reading the original post.. The question was about the alternator not holding up with the inverter.. Ah, now I understand the confusion.

The problem is some folks will try and run a roof A/C off the inverter, or the Fridge (I can do that in this rig, if I wish) or other medium to large ticket items off the inverter WHILE DRIVING.. The alternator is not, usually, designed for that kind of sustained load and will fail sooner as opposed to later.

I leve my inverter on all the time,, Driving it is powering this laptop (Navi-comp when driving) perhaps a phoen charger, A couple of digital video recorders and their assoicated digital ota television converters,, I suspect the set of them does not total much past 100 watts (in fact I know for a fact it does not) add around 20 for the computer in Navi-comp mode and you have the list.. Save for when the ice mkaer cycles. Not much different than turning on the headlights, less in fact. The alternator CAN take this load just fine.

Camping, (parked) it provides power to what needs it (The fridge is locked on gas but I can switch the outlet that provides it 120 volts to the inverter so as to get the ice maker to work)

Fridge on electric is over 300 watts.. That's a bit much for my system.
Yes that was really my original question....I didn't know if you could just turn on the A/C and run on the inverter /alternator, while traveling. I never had a big invertor, only little stuff in boats for big bait aeriators.

Makes sense that any alternator would play out prematurely, when trying to run full tilt all the time.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:20 PM   #38
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Air conditioners are not wired to a 2000 watt inverter. You can turn on the inverter and you can turn on the air conditioners and they will not work. A/C wiring is to shore power and the generator only.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:40 PM   #39
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Air conditioners are not wired to a 2000 watt inverter. You can turn on the inverter and you can turn on the air conditioners and they will not work. A/C wiring is to shore power and the generator only.

10-4 RJay,
...that's somehing else I learned about my question on this thread. I couldn't do it if I wanted too.

Old Scout had pointed that out as well....but I had a memory lapse till you mentioned it again.

Thanks
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:15 PM   #40
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Perhaps someone can educate me out of my ignorance....Since the only mechanical parts of an alternator are the bearings....How can using an alternator to produce its rated load, result in failure??? Bearings will not wear out sooner regardless of the load on the alternator, Right?

The stator spins inside a magnetic field, the voltage regulator measures battery voltage and the diodes convert the AC produced to DC for charging...What fails due to load?
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:22 PM   #41
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Perhaps someone can educate me out of my ignorance....Since the only mechanical parts of an alternator are the bearings....How can using an alternator to produce it's rated load, result in failure??? Bearings will not wear out sooner regardless of the load on the alternator, Right?

The stator spins inside a magnetic field, the voltage regulator measures battery voltage and the diodes convert the AC produced to DC for charging...What fails due to load?
There are carbon brushes ...but they rub all the time too.

Since the engine loads up when a big draw is on the system (like jumper cables)...I would guess that the side load on the bearings would increase..wouldn't it?

And if the alternator was putting out at 100% the windings would be likely to heat up a lot more...causing an internal short, sooner rather than later, I would imagine? Sorta like a well used welder...with lots of hours.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:47 PM   #42
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Ahha!

HEAT is the enemy....I get it!

So why would a 160 amp fail before a 200 amp? the heat generated would be similar, right?
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