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Old 10-01-2007, 05:31 PM   #1
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Camping in a class"A" how many hours daily would you need to run generator??? To keep batteries up, No air, some invertor and a few lights.
Rick
Looking at a site with limited gen time!!!
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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Camping in a class"A" how many hours daily would you need to run generator??? To keep batteries up, No air, some invertor and a few lights.
Rick
Looking at a site with limited gen time!!!
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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If the frig is running on propane you will easily get by only running the genny a couple of hours per day if it is sized adequately.

Dave
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:53 PM   #4
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Fridge and hot water are on LG.
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:54 PM   #5
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Gen is 7.5 KW.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:09 PM   #6
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Two more energy stealers are the Sat/TV/VCR and most microwave ovens that use about 50 - 100 watt-hours per day waiting for us to use them. In my solar powered house I have these on switchable power outlet strips that we turn on and off as needed. We can go twice as long on a cloudy day before needing our backup generator without these phantom loads. Anything with a clock or remote control function typically draws a tiny amount of power 24 hours per day unless on a switched outlet or the inverter is shutdown between uses. Good luck and have fun!

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Old 10-01-2007, 06:36 PM   #7
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Generally, most converters put out a very small charge current to the batteries when you are 120 volts, land power or generator. You will charge the batteries faster using a separate and dedicated battery charger.

You need to check the 12 VDC capacity to the batteries from your converter.

Dave I see you have a picture of a recumbent bike....Rans or what brand. I ride an old Bike E.

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Old 10-01-2007, 06:48 PM   #8
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Ken,

Good points about the converter, not many impress me. My Outback Inverter has a nice charger that efficiently uses those generator amps, I am spolied.

That was a Ryan LWB recumbent. I still have a Bike E that is waiting for us to hit the road, right now I am contracting aerospace as a test engineer until our solar straw bale cabin sells and our son finishes his senior year of college ($$$).

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Old 10-02-2007, 01:55 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Latitude:
Camping in a class"A" how many hours daily would you need to run generator??? To keep batteries up, No air, some invertor and a few lights.
Rick
Looking at a site with limited gen time!!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

We dry camp often. We will usually run the generator 1 hour in the morning from 9 to 10 while making coffee, toast and other hi wattage appliances. Then again for 2 hours while making supper, again while running microwave and other hi wattage appliances. Any time we run the generator, we also make sure that the hot water heater is on 120VAC. We always have hot water for dishes and whatever is left over stays hot until the next time the generator is run.

Therefore, we run our generator 3 hours a day. We have 400AHR of battery capacity. 2KW inverter/charger with 130A charging capacity.

Our inverter in our motor home is not connected to the fridge, hot water heater and washer/dryer, but the microwave is connected. We only use the microwave on inverter for small stuff 3 minutes or less.

There are many items that need to be factored in.
1)Battery capacity (minimum 300 AHR)
2)Battery charger (if you only have a converter/charger; that won't cut it)
3)Fridge and water heater on LPG (water heater on AC when generator is running)
4)Consumption must be monitored carefully

Now, if we are on a site in which generator run time is at a premium, then that is a different story. Now I become an electricity cop. We disconnect any phantom loads, and there are lots. We will only switch the inverter on when it is needed. In this case I will run the generator for an hour a day.

Basically, it all depends on how much energy you are consuming and your battery capacity...

Hope this helps..
Phantomiz
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:21 PM   #10
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Phantomiz I see you are in TO We are just a little North!!!

I do have the converter/charger combo and it is slower than the direct charger on my boat.
I was not using Gen for micro use just inverter.

So my 2 hrs per day will have to go to 3 and I wii watch for the phantom loads

Thanx Rick
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:36 PM   #11
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We boondock almost always, and the gennie runs the entire time we're on the road (usually 8 - 10 hour driving days), for a couple of hours when we are parking overnight, and all day and evening when we are at our location. It's a 12,500 Cummins... only had a problem once (knocking wood) when the it died due to overheat, took it to Cummins, turned out to be a "known issue", they retrofitted the fan belts to one serpentine fan belt. No charge to us. Our previous 2001 Beaver which had a 10,000 Cummins was used the same way. Generators were meant to run. Not running them causes problems. So my answer to your question is... run it as long as you need/want to. Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:00 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Latitude:
Phantomiz I see you are in TO We are just a little North!!!

I do have the converter/charger combo and it is slower than the direct charger on my boat.
I was not using Gen for micro use just inverter.

So my 2 hrs per day will have to go to 3 and I wii watch for the phantom loads

Thanx Rick </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually a little east of TO...

I'm assuming that your generator is gas? It was recommended to me that when you run your generator you do so in two hour stints and try and keep it loaded at least 30%.

I have installed a timer and set it for 1.5 hours (adjustable of course). The need for the timer came when we were on the east coast of Maryland. It was 9:00 am when my wife started the generator for our breakfast. Soon after that I went fishing for the day. Well, when I got back @ 3:00pm, the darn thing was still running with very little load.

Not sure about converter/chargers in motor homes, but the ones that are installed in TT and 5th wheels are not very reliable. Oh yea, their output is deplorable. So, if I may suggest, if you don't have an inverter/charger that outputs 80 to 120 A at 12VDC, you're waisting your money running the generator just to charge the batteries.

The key is organize your loads. Make it so when you need to run the generator, you do the things that need to be done that require 120VAC. I had a 5th wheel with solar panels and a large battery bank. Just to give you an idea. We would make toast in the morning. Had to get the order as to how many people wanted toast and how many. It doesn't seem like a big thing, but once the toaster is warmed up, it doesn't take much more energy to keep it going. Now on the other hand if you make 2 pieces of toast now and 2 more 10 minutes later and 2 more 20 minutes later....well you get the picture...

Phantomiz

BTW the microwave is a huge load. My old one would only draw 125ADC, depending on the status of my battery bank. The microwave I have in my motor home now draws about 200ADC. If I have to run the microwave on inverter power, I don't run it for very long. Usually, when the microwave needs to be fired, then so does the generator...
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:11 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bsavage:
We boondock almost always, and the gennie runs the entire time we're on the road (usually 8 - 10 hour driving days), for a couple of hours when we are parking overnight, and all day and evening when we are at our location. It's a 12,500 Cummins... only had a problem once (knocking wood) when the it died due to overheat, took it to Cummins, turned out to be a "known issue", they retrofitted the fan belts to one serpentine fan belt. No charge to us. Our previous 2001 Beaver which had a 10,000 Cummins was used the same way. Generators were meant to run. Not running them causes problems. So my answer to your question is... run it as long as you need/want to. Good luck! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're right that generators are meant to run and you sure take advantage of yours. I have a gas generator and I wouldn't want to run it any more than 4 or 5 hours a day. Mind you, this summer on our yearly trip to the east coast, it would run all day long during our drive and then a few hours in through the night. That was the most I've ever used the generator.

Only problem is everyone is comfortable on our 3 day journey down, but when we arrive at our campsite, the generator gets shut down along with the A/C. Generator run times are from 8:00am to 10:00 pm. Hardest part is getting used to the heat not from the weather, but from the wife and children... I think these generator quiet times are great because there are YAHOOS out there that drag their 5kw industrial units and fire them up. Couldn't sleep very well if that was right next door.

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Old 10-04-2007, 01:08 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Phantomiz:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bsavage:
We boondock almost always, and the gennie runs the entire time we're on the road (usually 8 - 10 hour driving days), for a couple of hours when we are parking overnight, and all day and evening when we are at our location. It's a 12,500 Cummins... only had a problem once (knocking wood) when the it died due to overheat, took it to Cummins, turned out to be a "known issue", they retrofitted the fan belts to one serpentine fan belt. No charge to us. Our previous 2001 Beaver which had a 10,000 Cummins was used the same way. Generators were meant to run. Not running them causes problems. So my answer to your question is... run it as long as you need/want to. Good luck! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're right that generators are meant to run and you sure take advantage of yours. I have a gas generator and I wouldn't want to run it any more than 4 or 5 hours a day. Mind you, this summer on our yearly trip to the east coast, it would run all day long during our drive and then a few hours in through the night. That was the most I've ever used the generator.

Only problem is everyone is comfortable on our 3 day journey down, but when we arrive at our campsite, the generator gets shut down along with the A/C. Generator run times are from 8:00am to 10:00 pm. Hardest part is getting used to the heat not from the weather, but from the wife and children... I think these generator quiet times are great because there are YAHOOS out there that drag their 5kw industrial units and fire them up. Couldn't sleep very well if that was right next door.

Phantomiz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I installed an Onan EC30 AutoStart switch on mine this summer and saved back the cost of it already on fuel savings and wear on the genset. Starts the genny when the AC calls and shuts it down a few minutes after the AC is done.

Before I would have been doing my second oil change by now however with it I am only about halfway there to the first oil change instead. The way things are going now I am using 75% less fuel and performing 75% less maintenance then before I installed the EC30.

Everyone is comfy all the time now too. The unit does have an internal time clock with a "Quiet Time" function and will run the genny to top off batteries etc just before Quiet Time arrives.
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