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Old 09-11-2013, 02:48 PM   #1
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VERY new at this

Ok, we are taking our new rig out for the first time this weekend and we have never done this before. I am sorry if these questions are dumb or answered elsewhere but I have spent some time looking for these answers and haven't found the full results that I am looking for and need to know them for dry camping this weekend.

Ok to start...
the generator
We plan on using our TV in the evening (2 small children) and maybe the microwave for lunch. We will also HAVE to have the fridge be running at all times as we have formula that needs to stay cold. My TT has 2 large LP tanks on it and I know the fridge can run on those for a while but would rather it run off electric when possible. So the question(s) is, what size generator do I need, are there any other things I will need to get in order to transfer the power to my TT, and do I run my batteries until almost dead then kick on the generator or just plan on running it a few times a day?

Next question...
Anyone else have issues getting the ball out of the hitch?? ha ha I had to take my entire hitch off my truck then wiggle the ball around until it finally came out!

Thank you!
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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Sandifords...I did not read the model and make of the frig you have in the TT.... but i will use my Dometic 2852 model that is AC and Gas type as an example for you. I need about 1.7 amps to run the refrig in my RV on gas....and about 12.5 amps from AC.... I am figuring about a 200w generator will run that frig.... so the $99 Harbor Freight 900W model will be fine. This is using my Example.... and just chatting refrig.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:07 PM   #3
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Sorry,

I have the 2013 Jayco Eagle 284bhs

Ok, So I was looking at a 3500w generator from Cabelas, do I need anything else with it or would I just plug my cord that I would use to hook up at a full hookup site straight into the generator?
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:13 PM   #4
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Here is a question for you in return... Do you need all that generator? You are going to pay to run that device.....and my 5500W generator at 50% LOAD uses .6 gal per hour. You will find your generator using similar fuel. Try to do a load calculation on your maximum real use.... and buy accordingly to save money on the under use of the generator... figure 80% max load when everything you use in the TT is turned on. My AC unit....and microwave can run at the same time but i can not run coffee,microwave, toaster, AC and Other stuff at the same time and that is fine with me.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:15 PM   #5
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I note you plan to use the microwave and since I've been dry camping for 8 years I will advise you to buy a HONDA 2000EU for camping. It is quiet and will run everything except the AC unit. It will run the fridge, TV, and recharge your batteries at the same time. It will run all day on a tank of gas. Try it, You'll like it, and your neighbors will love it.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:24 PM   #6
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I dont want to go above and beyond but I am just worried out fridge will die in the middle of the night and we will lose all of our cold food items (some of which are critical to our young children).

Do you have to run the generator at all times or just to charge your batteries then shut it off and repeat?
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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I run the GENNY several hours per day for AC use only and microwave use...I installed a two panel solar system to charge my batteries and use the propane for the refrig. But to answer your question.... you can run off propane and just charge the batteries. I am thinking if you have two batteries and only run the refrig... twice per day for a few hours.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:56 PM   #8
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I agree with Lehafer, a Honda EU 2000 is the best all around. Your refer will run for a month on full propane tanks and over a week on a good battery. Running a generator for a couple hours a night for tv and microwave use should be more than enough to keep your batteries charged. As for not being able to unhook from your trailer ball it is almost always due to pressure from backing the trailer pushing the ball against the latch. When you are done maneuvering, chock your trailer wheels and inch forward until you are slightly pulling on the trailer. Release the latch (should be easy now) and jack it up off the ball. If it is still stuck back up half an inch and it should drop right out. It's all about the horizontal loading of the hitch. Also do not run your a/c on a 2000 watt generator as you will likely burn something up.

Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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Generator - Yamaha or Honda are the very best. Quiet, provide 'clean' current for computer use, fuel efficient, starts easy.

Will you want to run the A/C? How about next summer? If so, Yamaha builds a 2400watt IS model that will run a 13,500 A/C unit.

Your trailer is 30amp and has a 30amp cord. Typically a 30 amp cord from your trailer will not plug directly into a generator. You will need an adaptor that fits on the end of your trailer cord and downsizes from 30amp to 15amp. The 15amp end of the adaptor will plug into the generator.

The generator, if run to watch TV for a few hours will be enough to keep the battery charged.

Refrigerator - this really will not be an issue. They run on propane great and will run weeks on one tank. I would just let it set to run on gas and forget about it.

Battery - you mentioned plural batteries. You propably only have 1. Probably a small group 24. (On your next trailer insist on the largest group 29) I did but somehow ended up with a group 27...darn dealers). A good group 24 battery will run things for around 2 days w/o being charged. Since you will run a generator a few hours per day you will in good shape.

You will run into a problem if it gets cold. A group 24 battery will not run the furnace blower all night. On a cold night it will last 8 to 10 hours. On my trailer with a group 27 battery I am hoping for 14 hours.

Oh - I would unplug the generator not in use done. Then next use would start the generator. Let it run 10 seconds then plug in the trailer.

Getting the hitch unhooked. Move the tow vehical (TV) with the wheels chocked a little forward. If that does not work move backward a little. That method should work.

Good luck
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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Also, do not run your batteries below 40-50% charge. It will shorten the life of your batteries.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:17 AM   #11
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I've been camping all my life and have never had the need for a generator. Not saying you don't need one but in our case, when we dry camp, we do it where we don't need our A/C. Elstwise, we camp with hook ups.

We accomplish not having a generator dry camping by running the fridge on propane, not using the microwave but using the stove in the trailer or a portable stove or grill I keep outside, and running LED lights in the trailer. Our kids grew up camping and we never had a television, computer or cell phone. We entertained ourselves by playing games, doing crafts or sitting around the campfire.

Please understand, I'm not being critical of your situation, I'm just challenging you to think outside the box a little. Camping can be an incredible family experience.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
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volts times amps = watts. so if Gocoffeer is right about 12.5 amps, 12.5 amps * 120 volts = 1500 watts. you would need at least a 1500 watt generator at 100%
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #13
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I cannot recommend these generators enough!

Honda Generators - Inverter Generator Advantages

First off, they are inverters not generators. Generator power can be "messy", these inverters are much smoother and safer for electronics and anything more sensitive than a light bulb!

Also, I had the 1,000 watt I used for my pop up, one time camping next to a river in GSMNP it was so quiet you could not hear the generator over the sound of the river. These things are QUIET! Very important for when you have to "push the limit" on quiet hours. I would not start up a 5,000 watt generator at 8:00 AM even if quiet hours are over!

Yes, you will pay a premium, but I have a 1,000 watt unit, used it for camping, tailgating and home power during outtages for over 7 years and ZERO problems. (Use full synthetic oil)
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:55 AM   #14
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Oh, and grease that hitch ball!
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