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Old 04-29-2015, 04:22 PM   #1
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Thoughts on running the generator??

We have a 2007 Fleetwood Providence DP and may be staying in it at our children's home for a couple of weeks. Don't know yet if they have any electrical for us or how many amps will be available.
Since we will be there in July and August, if we need the generator to run the ac, how long would you advise we run the genset?
Check the oil and coolant how often?
Any thoughts will be appreciated.

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Old 04-29-2015, 04:49 PM   #2
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Most gen-sets are designed for full time use , with low coolant and low oil level shut downs, If you have service records for the set; I'd say check coolant and oil levels every 3rd morning before start-up.
If it's hot enough to require running overnight, check levels after a minimum one hour , shut-down , cool off period.

Without running the air conditioners, microwave and having the water heater on propane only. Most coaches can survive with only 15 amp service, to maintain the batteries and use a coffee maker or toaster. ( but not both at once).

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Old 04-29-2015, 06:36 PM   #3
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Your generator motor should be liquid-cooled. Like Skip said, it's designed to run constantly. You might consider shutting it down for a couple hours right after breakfast, to check liquid levels, for the sake of your nerves.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:07 PM   #4
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I wouldn't be overly concerned about running the generator, but if it is close to needing Preventative Maintenance (PM), I would get it completed prior to your trip. I think Onan calls for every 150 hours for the PM. I wouldn't run it non stop unless you are not going to be disturbing neighbors? If you run it overnight while you sleep 8-10 hours, in 10 days you are at maximum 100 hours.

Does your coach have auto start generator?
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:21 PM   #5
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The generator is pretty expensive to run for the amount of electricity used. At $4 a gallon for diesel fuel it's about 2-3 times more than metered home electric. (about 50 cents per KW Hour)You also will have to drive the RV to a fueling station a few times a week. Then add the additional maintenance on the genny, the noise, and the smell. It's not such a good deal.

If you have close access to an electric dryer outlet at the house, you can get 30 amps from 1 leg to neutral by using an adaptor plug. This applies only to a 4 blade dryer connection that has a true neutral connection. Of course, you can't use the dryer when the RV is attached.

It may be cheaper and easier to have an electrician install an RV style outlet on the outside of the house.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:13 PM   #6
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If you learn you have only the generator for electricity, you could set the Auto Gen Set for overnight by temperature. We have done that when traveling and resting for the night without hookups available. We also only had the AC set to run that was located in the sleeping area and closed the door around it to prevent air leakage. We set the temp at 78 degrees. In our circumstances, it only came on about 3-4 times for about 20 minutes each time. Your climatological conditions may vary.

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Old 04-29-2015, 09:51 PM   #7
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When we park at my In-laws farm we use a cheater box with 2 110 volt extension cords. Being careful to find 2 circuits in the house on different breakers we don't have any problems unless somebody plugs something else into one of the circuits and then it only trips the circuit breaker in the house. We bought our cheater box at Camping World.

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Old 04-29-2015, 10:10 PM   #8
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We were at a friends house, they have a space beside the house big enough for our rig. Have an outlet box out there too so we plugged into it. Turns out his shop is also on that circuit so everytime he turned on his saw our lights flickered. Seems the voltage was going low enough that it triggered our low voltage protection and transferred us to the inverter. It was going back and forth so I finally just ran off the batteries till he got done cutting stuff.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:24 AM   #9
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If running the genny while sleeping make sure there is good air circulation outside ...that no fumes get into mh or house. I would use a gen-turi or similar.

As stated above, based on cost for diesel, (and neighbor relations) it could easily be cheaper to install an outlet on the house. As also mentioned, we have done it several times using a homemade adaptor to connect to 4-wire dryer outlet.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:57 PM   #10
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I have run my generator continuously for three days in central NC in July. Any problems with cooling, etc. will show up in the first half hour: 30 minutes = 30 hours = 30 days.

You can count on the generator using about half a gallon of diesel per hour of service, depending on the load. For several weeks, you will have to refuel several times. It would probably be cheaper to pay for your children to have an electrician run a 50 amp line for you to plug into.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:52 PM   #11
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Just keep up with the preventive maintenance items and fluids and you should be fine. On ours we can plug in to 120V and run the AC on low fine as long as there isn't anything else going on.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:09 PM   #12
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I was advised to make sure you run your Gen set under load.
this chap advIsed me that he spent 30 years in the Navy servicing generators
and that generators thrive under load.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bluepill View Post
If you have close access to an electric dryer outlet at the house, you can get 30 amps from 1 leg to neutral by using an adaptor plug. This applies only to a 4 blade dryer connection that has a true neutral connection. Of course, you can't use the dryer when the RV is attached.

It may be cheaper and easier to have an electrician install an RV style outlet on the outside of the house.
Yep!!!!!!! That's what we did. We gladly paid for any increase in the electric bill. It saves ware and tear on the genny and simply makes more sense.

You might also want to check with local noise abatement concerning running your genny after 10 PM. Our your kids may not invite you back.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:17 PM   #14
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Call your kids, have them get an electrician out to install a 50A outlet and you can plug in! Maybe $300 depending on the setup at their home.

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