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Old 11-10-2012, 11:55 PM   #1
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Rv generator for power outages in stick built home

My RV generator connects to my RV's power cord (30 amp) via a receptacle (no transfer switch). I want to have the generator be a lifeboat for my home in power outages. I don't plan on installing a generator transfer switch in my home at this time. My thought instead is to craft a breakout box with a outlets that I can connect to as needed to run our deep freeze, etc. The breakout box would be connected to the generator using an RV power cord. I will purchase an inexpensive load tester to make sure I don't exceed the 4000 watt max of the generator.

Any suggestions from others that have gone down this path?
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
..... I will purchase an inexpensive load tester to make sure I don't exceed the 4000 watt max of the generator.

Any suggestions from others that have gone down this path?
I have done something along those lines at my house. My 5500 watt genset has a cord plugging in the gen-set and the other plugging it into my 240 volt welder outlet (large #6 gauge wire and 50AMP breaker) on the back of the house.
Mine will run Everything in my house except for the central air unit.

CAUTION!! its not quite that simple. You MUST, I repete You MUST turn your main breaker off as long as the gen-set is plugged in.
IF you don't you can shock a lineman to death!!.
This will make it nessasary for you to watch your neighbors houses to see when the power comes back on.
the only down side is the 5 gallons or more a day it takes to feed one. after a few days it gets old paying for the fuel.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:22 AM   #3
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Some sort of a circuit transfer switch or physical main breaker lockout is required in most all areas. Just ensuring you drop the main breaker is not adequate to satisfy the requirement.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:18 AM   #4
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Some sort of a circuit transfer switch or physical main breaker lockout is required in most all areas. Just ensuring you drop the main breaker is not adequate to satisfy the requirement.
I wired my new house in 2002 back then Ohio had NO requirement for Residential electric service. quite surpriseing huh?
I installed EVRY inch of wireing in my house right down to the light fixtures.
The only inspection was from the power crew hooking up the house to the service line. They came in and made sure I didn't have the mine line from the meter to the main breaker crossed.
I prefer to think of my genset wireing as the manual tranfer switch rather than a automatic one.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:00 AM   #5
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word of caution. If you have a 30 A 3 wire plug for you RV that is 120vac, not 240V.

If you wire this to your house you will only run power to 1 phase (side) of your your house power. Check and see if your genset has 120v or 240v output.

Any modern house needs 4 wires for 240v power. Normally black and red are for the hot side of the circuit. White s neitral and green is ground. Other colers

t
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:17 AM   #6
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oops sent before completing and editing above. Doing on phone and big fingers are a problem.

Just make certain wiring is correct - measure everything before connecting and indeed disconnect main power before connecting gen. make certain line from gen is run from a breaker adequate for protection for the wire size, connector and gen capacity.

I have a 22KVA propane gas genset configured for my house with auto/manual cutover but at one time I did power from my 8000 watt gen from my RV and needed to follow a specific procedure to configure and operate. CAUTION the operative word. Never backfeed out to the external line.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:45 AM   #7
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I see no problem on your plans as long as your outlet box is only tied to the genny. The genny circuit breaker will protect that system.

I have a manual transfer switch as I have mine powering the whole house. Sure don't want to zap any power workers.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:15 AM   #8
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No problem using your RV genet for emergency power. It is just a portable generator that is mounted in your RV. At 30 amps it is most likely a 120 volt unit. As stated it is very easy to power half of you electrical box. Please be sure to turn off main breaker and all other 220 bold breakers. These are the ones tied together in pairs. You need to do this as the units will try to run on the 120 and could possible be damaged.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:20 AM   #9
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I ran 240 volt, 30 amp circuit to my main and built this interlock bracket to allow either main or Gen set to power the buss.

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Old 11-11-2012, 09:19 AM   #10
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ON/OFF/ON transfer switch will work..
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:25 AM   #11
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to do the install properly you need to have a transfer with at the house. This is to prevent back feeding into the power grid and harming a power worker. While manually tripping the main breaker will work, it is not positive that it will be disconnected prior to adding power to the house.

My suggestion is to have a professional do this unless you are familiar with the applicable codes in your area.

Ken
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #12
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Sorry I wasn't clear in the earlier post. I'm not planning on wiring into the home's electrical system on this first venture. The breakout box I'm referring to create here is simply on the end of the RV power cord that connects to the generator's RV female receptacle in the RV's cord storage area. I would then use extension cords to connect the fridge, etc. and other 110v only items.

I do like several of the methods shown here by fellow IRV2 members for a more elegant solution that ties into home electrical.

In essence I am want to create something like below, just with the proper RV male end instead of the standard emergency generator 4 pin twist lock connector. I could buy this below and modify, but making on my own is much less expensive.

http://www.amazon.com/GenTran-Genera...generator+cord

I would use this

http://www.amazon.com/Conntek-14345-...=Rv+power+cord

And a breakout box I construct with parts from home depot.

Later I would absolutely use a transfer switch and lockout method for the mains if wiring to the house, using one of the suggested methods.

An alternative could be to cut off the end of one of these ready- made cables below and install an RV male plug, but it seems most of these are 10/3 or 10/4 wiring instead of 10/2 like an RV power cord. (rv power cord being 2 conductor (hot, neutral, insulated ground instead of bare wire ground in most 10/2 residential wiring). Since I don't have a 220 genny, I would simply not connect the 220 leg (3rd conductor) when swapping out the cable end, right?

http://www.amazon.com/Champion-Equip...tor+power+cord

A final option would be to use a cord like above but create a short adapter with RV male and the connector on this cord but I don't like the thought of 2 additional connection points (added resistance).

Thoughts? Goal: inexpensive, temporary, safe.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:58 PM   #13
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I heard ya good the first time

A male 30a 120v plug to the genny outlet. A 220v 3 prong plug will work fine if the pattern is the same.

Then 10/2 w ground or larger if a long run to your outlets. You can use underground or a fully wrapped cable like an RV cord. All this is available at Home Depot. Just use 1 for hot, the other for neutral and the ground for ground.

If you are planning to hook up to house eventually, get a long enough cable to begin with and go with perhaps 8/2 w/ground. Then you can add any plug you want when you hook to the house.

All you need to remember is this 30a setup is no different than a normal 15a house setup, both are 120v, just bigger plugs, wire and circuit breaker.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:08 PM   #14
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I heard ya good the first time

A male 30a 120v plug to the genny outlet. A 220v 3 prong plug will work fine if the pattern is the same.

Then 10/2 w ground or larger if a long run to your outlets. You can use underground or a fully wrapped cable like an RV cord. All this is available at Home Depot. Just use 1 for hot, the other for neutral and the ground for ground.

If you are planning to hook up to house eventually, get a long enough cable to begin with and go with perhaps 8/2 w/ground. Then you can add any plug you want when you hook to the house.

All you need to remember is this 30a setup is no different than a normal 15a house setup, both are 120v, just bigger plugs, wire and circuit breaker.
Thanks. I will put together and show the results here.
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