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Old 08-09-2011, 09:57 AM   #1
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RV genny as home backup power

Does anyone else use your RV generator to power up your home when you have a power outage? If so, how do you have it wired up? A nice quiet 7 KW genny with 80 gallons of fuel makes my neighbors jealous. I have been able to use it 3 times in 3 years. Twice I already had it in the drive, the other time I went and got it out of storage two miles away.

I have a 3500 watt home generator, but it is so noisy I can't stand it and it only holds like 6 quarts of gas. Pretty old. I keep it as I leave my MH in storage in FL during the winter between FL trips so it is not always available.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:03 AM   #2
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best to use a pro to wire it up. i would just run a cord into the house to run the reefer n move into the rv.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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We plan on living in the rv and run a cord to our deep freeze in the garage. We will empty the house refrigerator. Dosn't make a lot of sense to try to power the house when we have the rv.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:14 AM   #4
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Have never used the rv generator to power the S&B. We have a portable 5500W for that purpose. Keeps the frig., freezer, tv, fans going. Have had to use more in the winter then summer. Nice to be able to have heat and the like. I can see your point about the noise, as ours is loud as he__ , well you know but hey it gets the job done. I can't see why everyone shouldn't have a small generator at home even to at least keep the frig. and furnace going in a time of need. Most will run at least 8 hours on a tank of fuel and most situations are handled within that time unless it's a real catastrophy.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:31 AM   #5
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The generator has to be wired in correctly if you tie into your residential wiring with equipment to separate you from the grid. When the generator is connected the house must be disconnected from the electrical grid.
When an outage is in progress the electrical company may have disconnected parts of the system from power to protect electrical linemen working on the problem or the general population from downed lines. If your generator powers up those lines you may kill someone.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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I have mine set to feed the home breaker panel through a 2 pole 20 amp breaker so I can power both legs of the panel. I have all of the home breakers, including the 200 amp main, marked in red which I disconnect before powering up the genny. I flip off any power hungry loads such as my range, dryer, spa, A/C, microwave, etc. This way everything else works, including all my lights, reefer, freezer, garage door opener and TV and if I have too many circuits on, the 20 amp panel breaker trips. I have city water so I don't have to worry about a well pump load.This is not per code so don't try it yourself! To do it per code, hire a professional to install a transfer switch and special panel. Now that I have time it's on my list to install a 50 amp 220 volt outlet for the RV and redo everything per code. I wired my entire home in 1975 under a homeowner permit.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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I just run an extension cord into the house and power the refer, freezer, a few lights and maybe our TV if needed. Have so few outages that I really have not done this in quite a while. Have not powered the whole house off the RV...too much work and costs involved too justify with so few outages.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:05 PM   #8
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i installed a manual transfer switch in my well house then ran the wiring from the house to it and then wiring from it back to the house actually from the meter on the power pole you can put the switch in a garage or an storage building just as well as long as it is weather tight.
when i have to run on the generator i just make sure not to run to much in the house which is basically every thing except the central air and the dryer but i am only running 5500 watts of generator at this time
I've have rural water for years so i switch over to it when the power is out.
you can put a plug on the output of your mh gen-set and the mate to it on the other side on the mh inlet then use a cord to run to the transfer switch and leave it hooked to the transfer switch. you want a manual switch if you are price conscious just one main switch no sets of breakers then you take care of the house your self. or you can go with the set up where it has all the circuits separated in the switch but price around prices vary dramatically on transfer switches . I've run my place for up to ten days on the generator during the ice storm in 09 the only problem was having to fuel it every twelve hours or so, I've thought about setting my mh to use the generator for this because of the fuel capacity my self .
i did all the wiring myself with a couple of calls to a buddy that it a licensed electrician to confirm i did it right i don't know about where you live so check first before doing this your self.
I've had this set up for six years now and is tremendously better then running cords into the house
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:11 PM   #9
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We've used our twice to run our sump pump. We would've been flooded if it wasn't for the generator on the mh. We just ran a heavy duty extension cord to the motorhome and plugged it in...along with a lamp since it was getting dark. Power wasn't off long enough to worry about the frig/freezer. But if power was off for an extended time, we would move into mh.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:17 PM   #10
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If needed, I have an extention cord with male plugs at both ends.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:56 PM   #11
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i used to run a 5kw coleman back through a breaker, with the mains breaker off. now i have a 7.5 kw diesel onan wired up to a 200 amp manual transfer switch. pretty much runs everything except the a/c. not an issue in the winter. gotta see if the coleman will run that.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:42 PM   #12
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I also have used the RV Gen. to power the house during a blackout. A 30 amp cord with 2 male ends. One end plugged into the gen outlet, the other end plugged into a dedicated RV plug on the side of the house leading to the breakers. First open all the breakers including the main. Close the RV dedicated line breaker, & a few others you want on which you have pre marked. I can't stress how important it is that the main breaker remain OPEN during this entire process. If the main breaker is closed you will be back feeding power into the system, & stand a very good chance of causing serious injury to any worker trying to restore power to a line he thinks has no power!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Man View Post
We plan on living in the rv and run a cord to our deep freeze in the garage. We will empty the house refrigerator. Dosn't make a lot of sense to try to power the house when we have the rv.
That's what I'd do too, never happened in the 25 years we've lived there though.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:11 PM   #14
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Couldn't you wire up a transfer switch bypass and back feed through the shore power cable? Effective and dangerous as hell. But then again, no worse than some of the other things listed here.
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