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Old 12-23-2015, 03:58 PM   #1
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I am a newbie. Need some help re: generators. I run a 23 ft travel trailer. I have 2 12v batteries set up in parallel and a 3000 wt Go Power inverter with remote start. I want to dry camp, and the only thing I really need to run off the batteries is a CPAP machine for my breathing, and the fan for my propane heater, which I leave at low temps and therefore only kicks in a few times a night. Problem seems to be that I can't get more than one night out of the batteries without them losing a lot of juice. I've already burnt 2 batteries trying to get 3 nights out of them. I'm thinking I need a generator, but don't know what size or type to get. Any suggestions??

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Old 12-23-2015, 04:08 PM   #2
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No inverter is 100% efficient. All experience some loss. Yours looks to be at least 3X larger than to need. You're probably losing as much energy as you're using.

If you do get a generator, be sure to get one of the super quiet inverter type. Something like the Honda EU-2000 or equivalent. Home Depot sells a Ryobi 2200 watt for around $600. Don't waste your money on one of the cheaper industrial style. Way to loud.

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Old 12-23-2015, 04:14 PM   #3
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I think the inverter may be a tad big for you (I don't know your specific power demands but remember there is some overhead just to run the Inverter). We are running the same 3000 watt inverter but with eight 6v batteries behind it. And 1000 watts of solar to keep the batteries fresh. With that, we keep our residential fridge running, some lights, some TV, and some chargers for laptops, etc. we rarely need the genny unless we want to bake, or vacuum, or run a power tool, etc.

If you added a genny to your setup you prolly won't need such a beefy inverter.


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Old 12-23-2015, 04:17 PM   #4
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From the usage you describe it would seem a Honda or Yamaha 1000 would handle your needs. You could probably get by with smaller and with other brands. I have just found those to be dependable and serviceable.

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Old 12-23-2015, 04:43 PM   #5
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Thanks all for your responses. Still confused though. Obviously my inverter is too large. If I buy a genny, I won't be able to run it at night most of the time. Don't I still need an inverter to convert the battery power to AC. If I do buy a genny can't I just power up my batteries with it during the day and get a good night's use from the CPAP. By the way it apparently draws 6.67 A.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:58 PM   #6
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The CPAP draws 7 amps, your inverter is 80% to 90% effecent so let's say 8.5 amps every hour you are sleeping.

That 8.5 AH and if you sleep 8 hours, that's 68 AH used for that.

Don't know what batteries you have but that could be close to your usable capacity, if you have group 24 batteries. ( you only want to use half your stored power to not damage your batteries )

That means you need to replace 68 AH the next morning. A 40 amp charger will take about 3 hours to do that, because it goes in harder then it comes out. (This calculation does not include any other power use )

So yes a generator running your charger will work, but you need to run it every day.

Many people run the generator for 2 to 3 hours in the morning and then again for 2 hours before bed.

The Honda or Yamaha 1000 watt generators are nice, quiet, gas sipping units. Maybe 1/2 gallon a day to keep your batteries charged.

Don't plan on running your air conditioner with them though. Need 2800 or more watts for that.

2, 6 volt "Electric Golf Car" batteries in series may give you better service. They will give you 205 to 245 AH and many more discharge and re-charge cycles in them, then most 12 volt batteries. You still need to recharge them when the get to 50% charge ( 12.06 volts ).

It's a lot to absorb but just keep reading about Deep Cycle batteries and charging.
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:33 PM   #7
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Get a 12v power cord for the CPAP machine. They are usually very easy to find. Then no worries about losses due to upconverting the 12v DC to 120v AC.

You should make sure you do not drain your batteries below 50% state of charge, better to stay north of 60% SoC.

If you haven't, read The 12 Volt Side of Life.
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

I have a 12v cord for my Philips CPAP that I bought from Amazon. Find the exact maker and model of your machine and you will probably find one easily.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:51 PM   #8
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I have 4 large 6 volt deep cycle batteries on my unit and can camp for almost a week without charging the batteries

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batteries, generator

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