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Old 12-20-2016, 09:48 PM   #1
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Just brainstorming, during a power outage is possible to generate power from your Motorhome to your home. My thoughts are hook up the shore power cord, turn off the main breaker inside the house then fire up the generator. Will it transfer? I'm sure you would have to exercise caution with amp draw but some basic use. Has anyone tried this, I was going to test it by checking voltage at the plug before connecting to the house. Maybe I should just turn off the brain and go to sleep. Thanks
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:55 PM   #2
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Just brainstorming, during a power outage is possible to generate power from your Motorhome to your home. My thoughts are hook up the shore power cord, turn off the main breaker inside the house then fire up the generator. Will it transfer? I'm sure you would have to exercise caution with amp draw but some basic use. Has anyone tried this, I was going to test it by checking voltage at the plug before connecting to the house. Maybe I should just turn off the brain and go to sleep. Thanks
yes it will work if u really want to do it correctly add in a transfer switch
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:58 PM   #3
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Interesting question but I don't think it will work due to the transfer switch.

If the power is out at the house I would just run an extension cord from the RV into the house and plug in what I need. Here the power usually doesn't stay off very long so we just go out to the RV start the generator and wait for the power to come back on.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:11 PM   #4
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Doesn't work that way. Power won't go to the shore power cord from the generator. The transfer switch gets power from either shore or the generator. The switch itself keeps the two separated.

You can of course, wire into the generator circuit. One end to the electrical box the genset feeds and the other into the home. Did this when Rita came through some 11 years ago. We used it to power the refrigerator, washing machine, and a couple of lights inside the house. Of course i only had 120 volts on one leg but it worked out because the frig and wash machine were on the same.

To be safe, i did make sure to pull the electric meter so there was no chance of back feed to the power company's side.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:16 PM   #5
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Doesn't work that way. Power won't go to the shore power cord from the generator. The transfer switch gets power from either shore or the generator. The switch itself keeps the two separated.

You can of course, wire into the generator circuit. One end to the electrical box the genset feeds and the other into the home. Did this when Rita came through some 11 years ago. We used it to power the refrigerator, washing machine, and a couple of lights inside the house. Of course i only had 120 volts on one leg but it worked out because the frig and wash machine were on the same.

To be safe, i did make sure to pull the electric meter so there was no chance of back feed to the power company's side.
if u put in a gen plug inlet after your main breaker you don't need to worry about pulling any meter just turn off the main breaker
when the op asked about using the MH generator one has to assume he knows he will need to splice off the generator TS feed wires and not simply think he can use the SP plug
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:23 PM   #6
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What your suggesting, powering the house thru the shore cord, will not work in the way you stated.

When you start the generator the MHs automatic transfer switch connects the generator power to the MH and your shore cord is disconnected. If it stayed hot, it would be dangerious, with the exposed blades on the plug.

A proper setup involves a new outlet box installed near the MHs generator. That would be used to run a separate cord to a transfer switch in the house.

Electric codes do not allow you to JUST turn off the main breaker in the house and hook up your own power. They require a transfer switch like in the RV.

If switching off main breaker in the house is forgotten, you power up the wires in the street and shock the linemen working on the wires. If the power comes back, your generator burns out.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:28 PM   #7
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if u put in a gen plug inlet after your main breaker you don't need to worry about pulling any meter just turn off the main breaker
when the op asked about using the MH generator one has to assume he knows he will need to splice off the generator TS feed wires and not simply think he can use the SP plug
When Rita hit, our power was out for almost a month. I know the breaker being off will isolate power from the outside world but i figure it was just too easy to pull the can and alleviate any chance someone might try resetting the breaker at a bad time.

On the OP's question, it sounded to me like he thought he might could just plug in his shore power cord to an outlet at his home and back feed through it. If not, then all is well...
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:38 PM   #8
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What your suggesting, powering the house thru the shore cord, will not work in the way you stated.

When you start the generator the MHs automatic transfer switch connects the generator power to the MH and your shore cord is disconnected. If it stayed hot, it would be dangerious, with the exposed blades on the plug.

A proper setup involves a new outlet box installed near the MHs generator. That would be used to run a separate cord to a transfer switch in the house.

Electric codes do not allow you to JUST turn off the main breaker in the house and hook up your own power. They require a transfer switch like in the RV.

If switching off main breaker in the house is forgotten, you power up the wires in the street and shock the linemen working on the wires. If the power comes back, your generator burns out.
I'm not sure our codes are the same but i do know that the power company frowns on anyone messing with their side of the meter. They usually don't want anyone clipping the safety wire and removing the meter. But in our extreme circumstances, it wasn't a problem. I do remember the power company coming out and checking my hook up to make sure there was no chance of back feed to where their linesmen might be working. In this case, i doubt he would have been good with it if i had just simply turned off the breaker.
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:33 PM   #9
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Sorry to be loud for a sec...

NO NEVER DO THIS EVER FROM ANY GENERATOR EVER!

Doing this will make bad things happen. Even if you cut off the main. Even if you flip the breaker it is not isolated. All the neutral wires run to a central rail and are connected.

Never ever back feed a circuit from an outlet. And yes like others have said that is not how your gen and power cord work... and that is for a reason.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:52 AM   #10
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Multiple answers}As stated NO. the shore cord is disconnected by the Auto Transfer Switch when (well about 30 seconds after) you start the generator. The Generator is also disconnected until just after the shore cord is disconnected,, The techinical term is "Break before Make".

this brings up the question of could you re-wire so as to backfeed: See post above advising NEVER To even think about that and I mean NEVER, do not do it, Do not even THINK Of it.

Finally we have the way to do it, this is what I did

I installed a 30 amp Twist lock outlet in the basement.. It is wired to 30 amp breakers with the proper size wire,, all done properly.

A custom made cord connected it to a matching PLUG (inlet) on the back of my house.. This, in turn, fed a proper GENREATOR TRANSFER SWITCH. This switch was manual (they also make automatic ones) and only switched selected circuits (Read on for why)

Plug in, fire up, start flipping switches one at a time

Issues and notes and reasons for the "Selected" comment.

Generator is 120 volt, yes there are two legs, but they are same phase so you only get 120 volts, not 120/240.. HOWEVER you could put a 120/240 Generator in if you wished.

Thus ONLY 120 volt lines were switched.

The Switch I used had a load meter on it so I did not overload the Motor home.. Suggest you use one like it.

Finally, One key circuit was a hallway light,,, Now in normal every day living we nearly never used that light, I seriously doubt it had 10 hours on it in the nearly 30 years I lived there... But It was NOT on the transfer panel, also called the "E-panel" (Emergency power).

I turned it on after I got the house re-lit/heated and food cooled.

When the hall light came on... Times to return to mains and shut down the Generator.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:25 PM   #11
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If you run an extension cord from the exterior outlet on your rv to your house and just plug in things you might need like the refrigerator and tv you should be fine.

Problem with that is if the exterior outlet on your motor home has a 15 amp breaker you'll be limited to what you can plug in and run at the same time.

If it's an emergency situation and you just want to run a couple lights and the fridge it should be fine.

If you think about it there is no way any factory hook up would allow the male end of any shore cord to be hot. Think about that for a second.

As far as back feeding if you disconnect from the pole and then lock out that box it's safe. But we're back to the only way to back feed is to make a cord with a male end. If you plug it into the house first and then the generator you should be safe unless that plug gets pulled out of the wall by a child, pet, or someone who doesn't know the male prongs are hot. You could kill someone.

But unless you figure out how to come right of the rv generator and get 30amps you're back to only being able to run a few things.

The other problem is your house has two 110 legs to make up 240 volts. That means you would have to figure out which outlet comes from which leg.

In my case for example if I back feed into my kitchen outlet I get one half of the house, if I back feed into a living room outlet I get the other half.

I've done it in an emergency but I disconnect from the pole in the outside box that feeds my breaker box and then lock that out so it can't accidentally be turned on. If it was and you were back feeding you could theoretically up the voltage back to the pole and down the line and kill a line worker.

A manual transfer switch works the same way except you have a proper inlet so you don't use a male plug to energize the box.

Buy a generator and use extension cords or install a transfer switch to use with the generator.

That's my project this summer. An 8 circuit manual transfer switch with an inlet box will cost around 400 bucks. Most transfer switches are DIY the hardest part is mounting the box and getting the wires to your current box. Hooking up the circuits is pretty straight forward.

Check with your local building department in case you need a permit and inspection or just get an electrician.

Or just go stay in the rv during an outage.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:59 PM   #12
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If you want to use a decent generator from an RV (4k to 12K watts) to run power to the house you absolutely should get a licensed master electrician from your specific location to set it up. It would be worth the cost to have it done professionally. The RV is a significant investment and a good generator is good piece of that investment. Quite a few people, especially in rural areas, have expensive generators just for this purpose so it's worth having a professional give you a correct solution.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:07 PM   #13
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Ours is sitting in the driveway right now. Plugged in to 50 amp. Water hooked up. Slides out. Alone. If the power went out in or S&B for a long period, I would just go stay in the coach. Lol.
Crank the genny when needed. I can dump into our septic.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:02 PM   #14
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The brain storm has passed. What was I thinking a hot mail plug on the shore power cable My take away is like most of you
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