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Old 10-21-2019, 11:47 PM   #1
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Wiring for generator

Hi guys, I recently bought a new Jayco 5er that was not wired for a generator. What am I missing out on and how do I wire it up myself?
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:25 AM   #2
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Two choices.

One is to just plug the shore cord into the generator when needed. You will need a simple receptacle, length of wire to the generator and receptacle box.

Second is install a automatic transfer switch. With that, you just start the generator, and it delays for 30 seconds before it connects. It disconnects the shore cord so the plug blades are not powered.

Which auto transfer switch to use depends on if you have 30 amp@120 volt or 50 amp@120/240 volt service. 3 blades is 30 amps, 4 blades is 50 amp.

If you have a connected shore cord, cut it and install the auto switch, using the cut ends and a wire to the generator. If your shore cord is removable and plugs in to a inlet on the outside of the RV, you need to install the auto switch in the wire inside, between that inlet and the circuit breaker panel.

You didn't mention size of proposed generator but almost all generators are 120 volt output. If you have a 50 amp shore cord its 120/240 volts.

Not a big deal because if you choose a 4000 watt generator you would wire it the same as when using a dog bone adaptor. 1 generator hot to both RV hots.

Bigger generators will have 2 120 volt outputs, so one goes to each hot leg.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:28 AM   #3
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If you have to ask here, then you probably shouldn't be doing it yourself.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:38 AM   #4
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The first question is:

Where are you going to put said generator? Do you have a bay you can convert to a location for a running generator? Or will you do what 95% of all other TT/5th Wheel owners do and just run a portable generator outside when needed?
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 2Yung2 Quit View Post
If you have to ask here, then you probably shouldn't be doing it yourself.
Nice, I picked up a troll.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Two choices.

One is to just plug the shore cord into the generator when needed. You will need a simple receptacle, length of wire to the generator and receptacle box.

Second is install a automatic transfer switch. With that, you just start the generator, and it delays for 30 seconds before it connects. It disconnects the shore cord so the plug blades are not powered.

Which auto transfer switch to use depends on if you have 30 amp@120 volt or 50 amp@120/240 volt service. 3 blades is 30 amps, 4 blades is 50 amp.

If you have a connected shore cord, cut it and install the auto switch, using the cut ends and a wire to the generator. If your shore cord is removable and plugs in to a inlet on the outside of the RV, you need to install the auto switch in the wire inside, between that inlet and the circuit breaker panel.

You didn't mention size of proposed generator but almost all generators are 120 volt output. If you have a 50 amp shore cord its 120/240 volts.

Not a big deal because if you choose a 4000 watt generator you would wire it the same as when using a dog bone adaptor. 1 generator hot to both RV hots.

Bigger generators will have 2 120 volt outputs, so one goes to each hot leg.
First thanks for the reply.
I picked up a Yamaha knock off from Costco. Itís supposed to put out 1600w continuous. Weíll see about that tomorrow.

My 5íer has 50 amp service, obviously Iím not trying to run either of the A/C units. Looking to charge the batteries, run lights, fridge, coffee maker, etc. The Genny comes with a 30amp plug but Iím not sure if I can use a dog bone to the 50 amp plug or not.

My main question was; my 5íer didnít come with the pre wired generator option and I wanted to know how the dealer/factory would have done it. You answered my question I think. I doubt Iíll be installing an auto transfer switch for a while so I just need to figure out if I can go from the 30 amp plug to the 50 amp.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tfryman View Post
The first question is:

Where are you going to put said generator? Do you have a bay you can convert to a location for a running generator? Or will you do what 95% of all other TT/5th Wheel owners do and just run a portable generator outside when needed?
Itís a portable ďsuitcaseĒ style one from Costco.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:00 AM   #8
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It’s a portable “suitcase” style one from Costco.
You simply get a 30 to 50 amp "dogbone" and plug your shorepower cord in to it, and that into the generator. These are available at any camping store or Walmart. You'll also want it just in case your not able to secure a 50 amp camp site or are at say an older state park with only 30amp service.

The way you phrased your initial question, it sounded like you were trying to hard wire/install in an permenant Onan without a generator prep package - a MUCH harder thing to do, and he's right - you would likely want an electrician for that if your asking. Doesn't sound like that's what your doing though.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:38 AM   #9
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I also read your initial question as trying to mimic some hard wiring that the factory does. If all you want to do is use the generator it couldn't be any easier. Just buy an adapter from CW or Amazon and plug your trailer in the same way you'd do at home or at a campground.

Your usage sounds right on par with the capabilities of the generator. I do the exact same thing with my Honda 2000. The only real limitation that I have to sometimes remind people of is you can't run more than one of the following at the same time - toaster, coffee maker, microwave. Also, be sure to kill the electric side of your water heater (if applicable) or it will kick on each time the generator fires up and the fuse on the generator will trip. I also run my fridge on "gas only" to cut down the draw on the generator and to keep it from switching power sources excessively.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mrgrayaz View Post
You simply get a 30 to 50 amp "dogbone" and plug your shorepower cord in to it, and that into the generator. These are available at any camping store or Walmart. You'll also want it just in case your not able to secure a 50 amp camp site or are at say an older state park with only 30amp service.

The way you phrased your initial question, it sounded like you were trying to hard wire/install in an permenant Onan without a generator prep package - a MUCH harder thing to do, and he's right - you would likely want an electrician for that if your asking. Doesn't sound like that's what your doing though.
Exactly how I interpreted the initial question by OP. As for the OP referring to me as a "troll", perhaps the OP should be a little more clear on what he's asking.
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:10 AM   #11
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So that Costco generator turned out to be not so hot, itís supposed to run 1600 watts continuous but wonít power my 900 watt microwave? I tried it a couple of different ways, even turned off all the other breakers in the trailer. That would mean the initial surge on the microwave would be well over 40%, Iím not buying it. I assume the power converter in the trailer was charging batteries but all other 12vdc and 120vac was off.
Next I unplugged the genny from the trailer and plugged in a heat gun, max output on the heat gun is 1250 watts, the genny ramped up to high rpm but didnít trip. I donít know much about this particular generator, itís an iPower 2000 watt surge, 1600 watt continuous and itís sold at Costco for under $500, the reviews look pretty mixed.
I have a kill-a-watt meter on order, Iíd like to get a better idea of how much current the microwave and other systems draw, likewise when the batteries are initially charging and hopefully I can see if this generator is a good or not.
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:23 AM   #12
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If your reading the cooking watts of the microwave, that will not be the input watts needed to run it. The running watts will be higher.

Once you get the Kill A Watt, you will know.
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