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Old 07-23-2018, 10:46 AM   #1
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Do I unplug to use my generator?

I am currently plugged into 110V electricity at a friends house. It has been very hot here and I would like to use my AC and I know that I cannot use it on 110V. I can use the generator to cool it down, but will I have to unplug from the 110V to do so?
I am very conservative about what electricity that I use. I will only use 1 or 2 lights on at any given time. If I watch TV, I will only use the TV and maybe 1 light. I rarely use more than 3 electrical things (TV, coffee pot, CPAP machine, phone charger, lights, etc.) at any given time. I do not use the refrigerator or the microwave at all. I have been told they take to much power and will not run on 110V. I do not want to blow any breakers; mine or theirs. Any advice?
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:49 AM   #2
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I don't know about your RV, but most MH's have automatic transfer switches that will switch over to the generator when you start it.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
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Will not be a problem if the generator is the one that came with the coach.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:02 AM   #4
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I do not use the refrigerator or the microwave at all. I have been told they take to much power and will not run on 110V. I do not want to blow any breakers; mine or theirs. Any advice?
You have been given wrong information by somebody. The first thing you should find out is the number of amps on the circuit you are plugged into. If a 20 amp circuit you could probably run one air conditioner - 15 amp circuit probably not. Refrigerator and microwave should run fine on a 15 amp circuit, if no AC is on.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:03 AM   #5
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If the RV has an automatic transfer switch then it should switch over to the generator very shortly (seconds) after it's started. At that point everything is running on generator power even though you're plugged in.
If no automatic transfer switch then you have to physically move a plug into a different outlet, which gives the same results as above.

The general consensus here is to not have any heavy draw appliances (AC, water heater, etc) running WHEN the switch over occurs, to prevent damage due to arcing. Not everyone agrees with this, but it seems to me that the consensus leans that direction. To me, it's one of those things that can't hurt to do that way, so that's the way I do it.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:07 AM   #6
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I turn off any heavy loads before starting the gen and letting it switch over.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:09 AM   #7
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I turn off any heavy loads before starting the gen and letting it switch over.



This
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:10 AM   #8
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Since your not running the AC from the shore power, starting the generator, waiting the 20 to 30 second delay, and then switching on the AC will be all you need to do.

Remember to switch off the AC before shutting down the generator. Gives the generator a few minutes to cool down.

Your coffee maker probably uses more power then the fridge. Running the fridge isn't a problem on 15/20 amp shore power.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:10 PM   #9
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Thank you all!!

Having a motorhome (2001 Itasca Suncruser) is a totally new experience for me. It will eventually become my permanent home and I would like to know as much about it as I can. I am an older woman who will be out on my own one day soon. It was not bought for the intention of "traveling" but of having a home to live in when my significant other passes. He is 82 and has several health issues. I will be moving to Arizona onto my daughters' property and this is what I will be living in. I know NOTHING about motorhomes and since this one was bought well-used, it does have some issues. Many that I am finding out about. I have a fear of anything major happening and am trying to avoid any stupidity on my part. Thank all of you that have answered my questions.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:23 PM   #10
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Happy to have you and wishing you the best in your soon to be new journey.

This meter can help you keep track of how many amps you're drawing when plugging into 15a/20amp circuits at someone's house.

https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Elec...illawatt+meter
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:44 PM   #11
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When you set up on your daughters' property have the proper outlet wired for your coach. 30 or 50 amp. Then you can use all your appliances. If it is 30 amp only one ac.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethAHeeler View Post
I am currently plugged into 110V electricity at a friends house. It has been very hot here and I would like to use my AC and I know that I cannot use it on 110V. I can use the generator to cool it down, but will I have to unplug from the 110V to do so?
I am very conservative about what electricity that I use. I will only use 1 or 2 lights on at any given time. If I watch TV, I will only use the TV and maybe 1 light. I rarely use more than 3 electrical things (TV, coffee pot, CPAP machine, phone charger, lights, etc.) at any given time. I do not use the refrigerator or the microwave at all. I have been told they take to much power and will not run on 110V. I do not want to blow any breakers; mine or theirs. Any advice?
You are confusing 110V (VOLTS) with amps. Amps are what all the 110V appliances use. You MAY be connected to 15, 20, or even 30 AMP circuits, but all of these will be "110V". MOST normal residential circuits are either 15 or 20, and if that is your source, then 1 AC and maybe one other smaller appliance is about the max you can use at the same time, because your coach battery charger is almost always pulling amps, thereby reducing the total available to other components. If you try to use more than the rated amperage of the source, it will most likely trip the breaker at the home source. Turn everything off and reset the breaker, otherwise you will only be running those things such as lights off of your coach battery bank.

I personally do not trust the built in transfer switch (IF you even have one) to do its job correctly when you start the generator. Most transfer switches are designed to disconnect the 110V (home) source whenever they detect power coming from the gesnset. But, the transfer is usually a mechanical movement (switch) from the home output and to the genset output (assuming you were plugged in before starting the genset) and bad things will happen if the switch movement isn't completed quickly and correctly.
All that said, it is ALWAYS better to turn off major loads and then unplug the home source power BEFORE starting the genset. As soon as the genset starts producing power, you can likely run MORE components than you could when you were on the 15 or 20 amp home source power, but an AC and a microwave at the same time is likely a full load. If you lose power while running the genset, you need to reset the breaker on the coach panel, or perhaps one on the genset.

Don't be worried about asking for help here as you transistion to living in an RV. Lots of experience here to help you.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:05 AM   #13
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One other thing OP. If you are running off a 20 amp circuit to your vehicle you MUST have a 12 gauge power cord and the shorter the better. A 100 ft 12 gauge cord, driving an AC, will get very hot and that is a result of impedance and could be hard on your AC motor. 50 ft would be much better. 12 gauge only. I'm guessing a 50amp cord is probably 8 gauge wire.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethAHeeler View Post
Having a motorhome (2001 Itasca Suncruser) is a totally new experience for me. It will eventually become my permanent home and I would like to know as much about it as I can.

It was not bought for the intention of "traveling" but of having a home to live in when my significant other passes.

I will be moving to Arizona onto my daughters' property and this is what I will be living in.
Maybe it's too late now - but a Class A is an expensive purchase, and if you are not planning to travel, I would say it would be a better investment to get a Trailer to live in. Why pay for an engine and drivetrain, if your not going to use it. You could just have a Trailer delivered to your daughters property and setup/leveled for you.

Maybe you can still trade the Class A in for a Trailer at your local RV center. I think you will get a nicer and bigger living space for your money with a Trailer.

Good luck.
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