Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-09-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 65
Powering home with Coach Generator

I'm wondering if there is any way to use the coach generator to power my stick house in the event of an emergency. In other words, would it be possible to disconnect the main breaker on the house and power up the generator and have power fed through the 30 amp shore power connection back into the house? I have a portable unit that I've used in a similar fashion and I'm wondering if the power transfer switch automatically disconnects from shore connection when the generator is running.
__________________

__________________
Greg Michel
2001 Alpine 36MDS
Greg from Pittsburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-09-2010, 04:18 PM   #2
Member
 
Coastal Campers
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 61
Two things, first your transfer switch should transfer the load from shore to the generator, second you need a transfer switch on your shore power from the generator feed. If you simply plug into the house circuit you can even with the house breaker open back feed and electrocute a lineman. If you install a transfer switch in the house circuit and wire a separate feed off the generator you could do it and be safe. Talk to a local licensed electrician for details.
Jim
__________________

__________________
jim and di is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 05:52 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
mudpuppy's Avatar
 
Appalachian Campers
Forest River Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 230
Yes your transfer switch in the MH disconects the shore power cord from the MH electrical system when you run your genny. You could wire a new pigtail in at the genny to back feed the house. Also many people do just open the house mains and do not use a transfer switch which while not to code will isolate the hot legs (not the neutral) from the grid.
__________________
David & Teresa
2017 Silverado 3500HD Duramax 4X4 Crewcab Dully
2017 Cedar Creek 37MBH
mudpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 07:34 AM   #4
Member
 
Coastal Campers
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpuppy View Post
Yes your transfer switch in the MH disconects the shore power cord from the MH electrical system when you run your genny. You could wire a new pigtail in at the genny to back feed the house. Also many people do just open the house mains and do not use a transfer switch which while not to code will isolate the hot legs (not the neutral) from the grid.
Keep in mind, the neutral can have current; you can seriously harm the linemen trying to restore your power. Codes are written in blood. You could put a wall plug on heat and ac and unplug from utility and plug into RV but better safe than sorry.
Jim
__________________
jim and di is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 09:29 AM   #5
Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 65
Hey thanks for the input, I had no idea that the neutral could be live, I would have thought that any current on the neutral side would be directed to ground through the water pipes etc. I most certainly do not want to hurt anyone especially those that are trying to restore the power.
__________________
Greg Michel
2001 Alpine 36MDS
Greg from Pittsburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 11:47 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
Greg- almost always, the neutral is fully bonded to the ground buss at the service panel for your house, business, etc., and the earth ground is both well made and fully bonded to the panel ground buss also.

If you have a deficiency in bonding either the neutral to the ground buss, or the ground buss to earth ground, OR your earth ground isn't fully draining off the voltage, you have current back on the neutral to the utility lines. So the precaution is based on a somewhat unusual possibility, but those things do happen.

In making a transfer switch setup for a "separately derived" power source (i.e. your gen, whether from the coach or from a standby gen), transferring the neutral is good practice. Not all transfer switch setups transfer the neutral. In phone company cell sites, the grounds are well made and tested to well below the ohm rating presumed for a house, so they use a two-wire (two hots) transfer, or a three wire (two hots & a neutral) transfer at their option. For a house where the ohm value of the ground has never been tested, it is best to go with a three wire transfer or get the ground potential tested, then complete a full professional check on the neutral bond to ground buss and ground buss to earth ground to assure safety. These connections can be made in ways to assure ongoing safety by a well versed professional. Just a guess, but these measures are properly understood by maybe one in 50 credentialed electrical contractors.
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:06 PM   #7
Member
 
Coastal Campers
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
Greg- almost always, the neutral is fully bonded to the ground buss at the service panel for your house, business, etc., and the earth ground is both well made and fully bonded to the panel ground buss also.

If you have a deficiency in bonding either the neutral to the ground buss, or the ground buss to earth ground, OR your earth ground isn't fully draining off the voltage, you have current back on the neutral to the utility lines. So the precaution is based on a somewhat unusual possibility, but those things do happen.

In making a transfer switch setup for a "separately derived" power source (i.e. your gen, whether from the coach or from a standby gen), transferring the neutral is good practice. Not all transfer switch setups transfer the neutral. In phone company cell sites, the grounds are well made and tested to well below the ohm rating presumed for a house, so they use a two-wire (two hots) transfer, or a three wire (two hots & a neutral) transfer at their option. For a house where the ohm value of the ground has never been tested, it is best to go with a three wire transfer or get the ground potential tested, then complete a full professional check on the neutral bond to ground buss and ground buss to earth ground to assure safety. These connections can be made in ways to assure ongoing safety by a well versed professional. Just a guess, but these measures are properly understood by maybe one in 50 credentialed electrical contractors.
Well put Mike, however, I have seen ground wire cut, corroded, and water pipe that were copper, replaced with Plastic. The average homeowner just dies not check for grounding. We have seen 50 volts on netural sides.
I would never recommend not disconnecting all legs from the utility side when using a emergency generator.
Nuffsaid,
Jim
__________________
jim and di is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 02:51 PM   #8
Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 65
Thank you very much for the explanation which raises an interesting question, should the aux. generator be grounded to earth with a grounding rod?
__________________
Greg Michel
2001 Alpine 36MDS
Greg from Pittsburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 03:22 PM   #9
Member
 
Coastal Campers
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Danvers, MA
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg from Pittsburgh View Post
Thank you very much for the explanation which raises an interesting question, should the aux. generator be grounded to earth with a grounding rod?
That is a interesting question, I will check with our Electrical Safety Officer. Off the top of my head when the jacks are down we might be grounded, however, I run the generator with the AC in hot weather while driving down the road, the rubber tires are not a ground unless the carbon is a conductor.Will be interesting,
Jim
__________________
jim and di is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 06:16 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Dale777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX
Posts: 495
Greg from Pittsburgh,

I think your question might have already been asked and answered in another forum. So, rather than repeat everything here, you can check this link:

Do I need to ground my portable generator? - RV Forum - CamperCommunity.com

Although that forum is mostly about folding campers, the person providing the comments did say:

"Note the above applies to portable generator such as those in folding trailers. If the generator is mounted on a vehicle (as is the case of some motor homes or travel trailers) then NEC requires that the generator frame be bonded to the vehicle frame."
__________________
Dale & Karin
2006 Alpine Coach Limited 36FDTS
Watercolor Artist: http://www.cindydaunis.com/
Dale777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 11:39 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
wa8yxm's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,792
I will tell you how I did it.. And you can take it from there

First: Check your generator,, Mine is a dual output but both outputs are in-phase it is not a split phase 120/240 device but a 120-120 single phase generator This does make a difference as it can not power any 120 volt device such as a dryer or range or my central Air Conditioner.

Now.. I added a 30 amp Twist lock outlet.. it is in a place where it is protected from weather and it has the proper wires all the way back to the breaker box, it also has it's own breakers... I do not, actually, recommend this type of outlet

I also added a pair of 30 amp pigtails.. and I recommend one of these, Turns out I did not need that much power.. But the 30 amp 4-wire twist lock is still good

I also made a custom extension cord matching both the outlet on the motor home and the inlet I had installed on the house

So much for the motor home

now the house

In the house I was doing an upgrade anyway so I had 'em install a proper generator transfer box at the same time.. This box contains both 3-position switches (Mains/Off/Generator) and breakers for the generator position (post type)

So what happens when the power company leaves me in the dark,, And they do that at least once a year it seems.

I plug in, fire up the Onan, head to the basement (by flashlight) and flip a switch, Turn off the flashlight as the basement lights are now on.. FLIP and the furnace kicks in, FLIP and the fridge kicks in, FLIP and the freezer kicks in.. FLIP and the UPS stopps beeping, FLIP and the TV makes noise, FLIP.. Well you get the ideal.

No change of power being back fed to the mains, Absolutely ZERO as only the ground and neutral (Which remain bonded in said breaker box) are common to both main and Generator circuits.. and you need a complete circuit to back feed.. The ground/neutral wires are electrically bonded and thus not a circuit.
__________________
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 07:44 AM   #12
Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 65
Wow, seems there are a few different opinions on this. From what I understand from Dale777's post, the lack of a grounding rod is only applicable when using chord and plug devices connected directly to the generators receptacles. So to run a house furnace, for instance, that would require a separate chord from furnace to generator, not really a convenient solution. Looking at my generator transfer box, the neutral is not isolated when switched therefore if any voltage leaks into the neutral then it would theoretically be a potential threat to workmen, (or anyone else on the same ground circuit). So my thoughts so far would be to use a grounding rod at the point where I've installed the outdoor receptacle and use it as a common ground for the generator and house.
__________________
Greg Michel
2001 Alpine 36MDS
Greg from Pittsburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 10:52 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
wa8yxm's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,792
If you run your house off your RV's generator then neutral WILL be bonded to ground and it WILL be grounded.. If, that is, it's done properly.

AT THE SERVICE ENTRANCE (the breaker box in the house) same as if you run it off mains.. The transfer switch (At least the one I have) does not break ground, nor does it break neutral, Only L-1 and L-2 are broken by the switch (And transfered to the Generator)

Only the black wires, no white or green/bare.

So it's still grounded

PLUS, the need for grounding has to do with how the mains are wired.. For the most part, if you are running on a generator, WHICH IS NOT GROUNDED, you do not need a ground.

People tend to not understand this.

It is perfectly safe to use an RV to power a house provided you use the proper Generator Transfer switch/panel in the house and only transfer the loads the RV can power.. (IE: I don't transfer the dryer or central AC, The range.. Was "Not applicable" being 100% natural gas powered)
__________________
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2010, 08:24 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Rick J Fisher's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Chatsworth CA
Posts: 166
My 8 kw Onan provides two 35 amp 120 volt outputs to the transfer switch. As wa8yxm says there is no 240 volt availability. Getting the maximum amps from the coach is a problem because the internal breakers are 15 or 20 amps and most of them are on one leg. My CB box has two blanks and I would install two 30 amp breakers, one on each leg, and run that as input to a small sub-panel with a couple of 20 amp breakers on each leg. THese should be wired to four 20 amp outlets easily accessible. Unless you have a lot of power failures, I would suggest running extensions to the critical 120 volt loads so the house wiring is never affected. Most houses have all the lights on one or two circuits which could not be powered this way but you could leave some lights on to signal when power returns. If you prefer to power the whole house, a proper transfer switch is necessary. I would suggest an RV 50 amp plug and receptacle to utilize both legs. Do not try to use 240 volt appliances like the AC and the dryer. The receptacle should be on the RV. Never use the plug on the RV land line to power the house as you will potentially have 120 volts on two of those pins.
__________________

__________________
Rick J Fisher, BW is Judy
2007 Alpine 34FDDS Limited SE
2003 Jeep Rubicon or a 1995 Toyota Tacoma
Rick J Fisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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 Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Motor Coach and RV Fires/Refrigerators Pubtym Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 21 01-07-2011 12:42 AM
seperate fuel tank for generator Dave1330 RV Systems & Appliances 3 11-28-2009 07:08 PM
New Coach Batteries Not Powering Coach challengerros MH-General Discussions & Problems 14 02-23-2008 08:02 PM
8.1L GM Vortec 8100 -- Still the King of Gas Motor Home Power DriVer RV Industry Press 4 07-22-2005 08:55 AM
Home Depot 5000 Watt Generator max49 RV Systems & Appliances 5 06-23-2005 05:25 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.