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Old 11-18-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
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Newbie needing generator advice

Can solar replace generator requirement and is it worth it? Tks, new and learning.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
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You never NEED a generator, just allows using 120 v AC appliances and air conditioner(s) when not plugged in. Solar will not replace a generator for those uses. RV air conditioners can not be run on solar, it uses elec. much faster than it collects it. Solar panels can be used to recharge batteries and a few small electric needs, but the inefficiencies of converting from sunlight, to 12 v DC, to 120v AC leaves so much energy by the wayside it's not really viable.
Microwave and other 120v items can be run off an inverter, making 120v AC from 12v batteries, but not for very long. Again, inefficiencies will drain even a large battery bank much faster than solar panels can charge.

Many folks forego the large on board generators and make do with small portables. The small Hondas and the like are efficient, but can be noisy.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Actually, the small Honda generators (1000W, 2000W & 3000W) are extremely quiet, but only the 3000W can run an air conditioner. The inexpensive generators sold at home improvement stores are very noisy, and would likely cause complaints from others if run in a campground.

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...Many folks forego the large on board generators and make do with small portables. The small Hondas and the like are efficient, but can be noisy.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Actually, the small Honda generators (1000W, 2000W & 3000W) are extremely quiet, but only the 3000W can run an air conditioner. The inexpensive generators sold at home improvement stores are very noisy, and would likely cause complaints from others if run in a campground.
Good advise. If you run one AC you will need at least 3000W and 5000W if you are running two. Stay away from the mass merchant generators. They may be cheap but there is good reason they are cheap. Honda is one of the best and there are lots of service outlets if needed.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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Genny needed if you want to run air conditioning.
Genny for back-up should weather or trees preclude solar from keeping up with needs.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Can solar replace generator requirement and is it worth it? Tks, new and learning.
Yes to replacing a generator in some cases, an adequate battery bank and sufficient solar wattage to recharge it fully even in winter/cloudy days will allow you to run TVs, radio etc off of an inverter, in larger applications even the microwave is on the inverter, the exception would be the ACs.

As to whether it's worth the $$$$ that 's up to you, I camp without hookups more than 50% of the time in the coach and 95% of the time in the TC. The TC will probably get 140w of solar for next year. Since the coach would require 400+W to properly do the job it's just not worth the $$$ right now.

I have found almost no way that the cost of solar can be justified by fuel savings using the onboard generator. If you're thinking of buying a portable like Honda or Yamaha then it does pencil out if you don't need high draw 120V appliances.

Do lots of your own research on pricing and then look at your wants/needs and go from there.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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Hi Dave! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you with us! I would suggest posting future questions over in the appropriate areas of the forum for better results. Not too many folks hang out here. Good luck & God bless!
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