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Old 01-23-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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RV and small generator

Hello- I have a Thor Pallazzo and am wondering about what to do when boondocking. I have a little Honda 1000 watt genset with a 12 volt output on it.

My question is would I be better off plugging into the main camper with the 120 volt portion and using minimum power in the camper or hooking up to the coach batteries with the 12 volt output of the genset and using the inverter for everything?

Or...does it make any difference which way?

Thanks,

Dale
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:57 PM   #2
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Is there a reason why you don't want to use the on board generator in the Palazzo?
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalez View Post
Hello- I have a Thor Pallazzo and am wondering about what to do when boondocking. I have a little Honda 1000 watt genset with a 12 volt output on it.
My question is would I be better off plugging into the main camper with the 120 volt portion and using minimum power in the camper or hooking up to the coach batteries with the 12 volt output of the genset and using the inverter for everything?
Or...does it make any difference which way?
Thanks,
Dale
Dale
I don't think the 12VDC amp output of a Honda 1000 watt genset is enough to accomplish much, (nor is a 1000 watts of AC power).

However, if you add a good 3 stage automatic battery charger and constantly manage/limit/monitor your electrical use, (both 12V and 120V), you might "get by".

Mel
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:22 PM   #4
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Is there a reason why you don't want to use the on board generator in the Palazzo?
Fuel consuption. The little generator will run 3-4 hours on a half gallon of gas.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:05 PM   #5
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Fuel consuption. The little generator will run 3-4 hours on a half gallon of gas.
I would be relaxed and comfy
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:11 PM   #6
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Use the 120vac output. If you read the manual you'll notice that the 12vdc output is not regulated. I've seen it go anywhere from 12v to 15.5v. It's designed for emergency boosting of a battery, not regular charging.

On my travel trailer, 2hrs every 2-3 days gets my battery up to 90-95%charge. Even if the converter is putting 25a in the battery, it's only drawing about 400 watts. But I only have 205amp-hrs of capacity.

How big is your battery bank and how many amps is your charger?
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:46 AM   #7
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Use the AC output and not the 12v as mentioned above. 1000w power is not a lot but will run everything except high draw items - microwave, coffee pot, etc. No air conditioning of course. If residential refrig may be marginal or not enough.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:00 AM   #8
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Fuel consuption. The little generator will run 3-4 hours on a half gallon of gas.
Yes, but if the big generator puts out more power, it might accomplish its task (charging the battery) in only 1 hour, meaning you would be consuming the very same half gallon of fuel and not saving anything.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:36 AM   #9
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Yes, but if the big generator puts out more power, it might accomplish its task (charging the battery) in only 1 hour, meaning you would be consuming the very same half gallon of fuel and not saving anything.
It's not the generator that charges the batteries, it's the on board inverter / charger that does that, as long as the 120 volt supply is capable of powering that, anything extra is just wasted gas as far as battery charging goes.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:10 AM   #10
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It's not the generator that charges the batteries, it's the on board inverter / charger that does that, as long as the 120 volt supply is capable of powering that, anything extra is just wasted gas as far as battery charging goes.
Yes, but the little honda he mentioned is only rated to 7.5 amps (900 watts ) continuous. - so it's not even the
Equivalent of plugging into 15amp shore power - actually only HALF that amount !

Will the converter/charger be able to function at full output at this power input ? Seems doubtful to me.

As an example- most Onan "quiet" series generators have inverter technology, and therefor only run the
engine at the required RPM for the load. This would power the charger at full power, possibly pumping
100 or more amps into the battery bank - vs. the much smaller charge if only running the charger on the
tiny Honda portable (assuming the charger can be programmed to operate at a reduced amp level)
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:07 AM   #11
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Dale,
I would recommend selling the 1000w generator and purchase the EU2000. They are about the same size and weight. I use my EU2000 to power my electronics in my race trailer and plug my MH into it as well. It powers everything except the A/Cs and only uses a gallon of gas every 6-7hrs. Just a thought...
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:28 AM   #12
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Dale,
I would recommend selling the 1000w generator and purchase the EU2000. ...
I would agree with the EU 2000 idea. I have one and during extended dry camping I just hook it up and flip the power save switch so it only runs at the speed it needs to supply the power requested and you can barely hear it run - in the mid 50dB range - lower than normal speech.

I would buy the "companion" model for $100 more - it has a twist lock 30 amp outlet (in addition to regular duplex outlets) that stays plugged in better to your heavy rv cord.

I also have a Honda EM 7000is that I sometimes carry in a trailer with my motorcycle and it will run everything in my coach including air conditioners and it uses a lot less gas than my Onan 7000 since it has the same power save switch as the smaller Honda. Last year at Sun-N-Fun for a week of dry camping my Onan decided to be intermittent (still hunting for the loose wire) and we just happened to have the big Honda in the trailer so we didn't miss a thing.

Only issue you might have is if you have a power manager system it might see an "open ground" since the generator neutral and ground are not connected. Mine has an over-ride switch that lets it ignore the "open ground" and provide power through the switch.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:42 AM   #13
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Forgot to add that the fuel savings are significant vs the Onan.

Onan is about 0.5 to 0.6 gph (gallons per hour) with up to about 1/2 load and around 0.9 to 1.0 gph at full load. If it's running at all it is using at least 0.5 gph

The Honda 2000 will use about 0.15 gph running normal loads in my RV - one TV/lights/refrigerator(RV type) and RV charger/inverter set to high charge rate. If I want to use the microwave I need to set the charger/inverter to low rate or it really grunts. Buy an extended fuel system (cap with a hose and outboard 6 gallon poly fuel tank) and it will run for over 40 hours without refueling!

One really nice thing about the little Honda is you don't hear it at all in the RV and you don't get any vibration in the RV either since I set it on a small board on the ground.

The onboard generator serves a great purpose but for long dry camping the savings in fuel and the quiet sure are nice when using the portable.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:57 AM   #14
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A honda 1,000 can safely run, I think a Progressive Dynamics 9160 with charge wizard or a 9260.. A TRUE 1000 watt generator can run a 9180 with wizard (I used to have one and IF I ever find it again somebody will enjoy the hospitality of the state for several years).

So if you have a plug in converter, as I do, then try plugging JUST IT into the honda and use an inverter for light loads (Up to microwave for short time) and fire up the ONAN when you need SERIOUS power.
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