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Old 03-27-2023, 06:46 PM   #1
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Small Generator to Maintain Batteries while Boondocking

I bought a 2300 watt (1800) Powerhorse generator to use while boondocking. When I start the generator and it kicks in to generate power it will load up and eventually goes into overload.

Any help would be appreciated.

Larry
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Old 03-27-2023, 07:07 PM   #2
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You need to understand what power consumption you have, to include recharging the batteries (if your converter is a 45 watt converter then that’s all it should pull against dead batteries).
So, light loads, furnace loads, radio. Loads, tv loads, etc., etc. - add them all up, plus your battery charger, and see how close you are to the output capabilities of the generator.
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Old 03-27-2023, 07:15 PM   #3
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Make sure your water heater, refrigerator, a/c, and anything else is either on propane or off.
My EU2000i generator is more than enough to run 75amp converter, tv, satellite receiver, and lights. I can usually also run either the microwave, or the coffee pot, but not at the same time. If I want to run the a/c, I have to start up the second EU2000 generator.
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Old 03-27-2023, 07:36 PM   #4
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Make sure your block heater is off too.
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Old 03-27-2023, 07:59 PM   #5
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If your house batteries are down to 11.5v or so, your battery charger/inverter can put a hell of a load on the generator unless you have the ability to cut back how much the battery charger/inverter draws at first.
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Old 03-27-2023, 08:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Fredward View Post
If your house batteries are down to 11.5v or so, your battery charger/inverter can put a hell of a load on the generator unless you have the ability to cut back how much the battery charger/inverter draws at first.

Fred
Even if your batteries are drawing 75 amps at 12 volts, that's only about 9 amps at 120 volts including losses.
His generator is capable of a steady output of 15 amps and more during the initial surge.
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Old 03-28-2023, 07:09 AM   #7
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If a ~2kW genset is overloading it's a 120V load that's doing it. A 55A converter is about 750 watts, an absorption fridge is about 500 so you'd be over half right there. If an electric heater is on plus a converter that would definitely put you over. If it's not obvious loads like those then you can shut off all the breakers in the load center and turn them on one at a time to find the culprit. Could be a problem in the generator, plugging in a high power load like a heater or hair dryer directly into it will show if that's the problem.

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Old 03-28-2023, 07:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipline View Post
I bought a 2300 watt (1800) Powerhorse generator to use while boondocking. When I start the generator and it kicks in to generate power it will load up and eventually goes into overload.

Any help would be appreciated.

Larry
1999 CC Allure
30391
The generator is an 1800 watt generator. It is not a 2300 watt generator. 2300 watts is the surge capability for starting electric motors. 1800 watts is equivalent to a 15 amp 120 volt outlet. Greater than 12 amps at 120 volts for a while will overload the generator.

1800 watts should be enough to charge deeply discharged batteries, but nothing more. Make sure the electric water heater is off. Don't try to use an electric coffee maker until batteries are charged. No other 120 volt appliances.
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Old 03-29-2023, 07:37 AM   #9
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1800 watts should be enough to charge deeply discharged batteries, but nothing more.
It's way more capable than that. I have the same capacity (different brand) inverter genset (2300/1800). It runs the absorption fridge (400W) plus the small compliment of other AC powered equipment while charging the house batteries. I prefer this setup over running the 4kW Onan unless I want A/C. It does trip out if I turn on the 1500W heater while the batteries are charging but that's close to the 2300W surge rating much less the running watts.

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Greater than 12 amps at 120 volts for a while will overload the generator.
Per the operator manual online, it is rated for 1800W/15A continuous. It might derate at high altitude, but the manual doesn't go into that detail.

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Old 03-29-2023, 10:21 AM   #10
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I have the honda eu2200i (actually 2) with bluetooth, a great feature is it shows the load on your phone on the app so after awhile you know what things you can run together. And its easy to find out what the converter is currently pulling to charge batteries.

And its nice to be able to shut them down without going outside.
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Old 03-31-2023, 06:13 PM   #11
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I have attempted to start at the breaker panel with all breakers in the off position. I donít have a problem with any breaker until I switch the inverter on. Then the generator increases RPM until it overloads.

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Old 03-31-2023, 06:47 PM   #12
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Your inverter/charger is drawing to much power for charging low batteries.

There is a setting that will limit how much it draws, also limiting its charger output but still do the job.
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Old 04-01-2023, 06:31 AM   #13
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Then the generator increases RPM until it overloads.
Odds are good that there's something besides the inverter/charger on that breaker. Another observation, if the RPM is changing under load that means you're in eco mode. Try turning that off, though if it's tripping off even that might not help. The test I would do is to run something like a hair dryer directly on the genset to make sure it's not tripping under a within spec load. If it runs that OK, you need to track down what's drawing >15A from that breaker.

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Old 04-01-2023, 06:45 AM   #14
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Guys - Iíll still say it could be the inverter/charger. 1800 watts=15 amps. The Xantrex in our coach will draw over 20 amps at first if itís been turned off and the house batteries are low. Weíve been plugged in to 15 amps before at peopleís houses and we have to turn the charger way down to keep it from blowing the circuit. Once the batteries are up over 12.5 volts, it tapers down and doesnít draw as much.

-just sayiní I have experienced this several times.
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