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Old 08-01-2020, 09:19 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 47
Conflict between auto-generators and generator use restrictions?

I've got a very basic question regarding generator use restrictions in campgrounds, vs. the "auto-generators" that I believe are on the higher-end motorhomes.

My understanding (perhaps mistaken?) is that the newer motorhomes with residential refrigerators and inverters to power them when not on shore power also typically have a feature that will "auto-start" the generator if/when the system detects that battery power has dropped below a given threshold. I'm intending to purchase a late-model Newmar Dutchstar in the near future, and I believe that's how the system works.

So that gets me wondering: say we're parked somewhere without hookups, and the campground has generator use restrictions that only allow them to be run at a certain time of day (typically a couple of hours in the morning and again in the early evening). And say we go out hiking for the day, but while away the residential refrigerator sucks down the batteries (via the inverter) below the threshold and makes the generator auto-start.

So is that indeed an issue? And if so, then is the general idea that one must take responsibility for ensuring that the auto-generator function is "turned off" when going away for a time during which generator usage is not allowed? Either that or ensuring that prior to leaving, the batteries are "known" to be charged up enough that nothing draining them while gone will be enough to cause them to drop below the auto-generator-start threshold?

Or am I just completely confused as to how these things work?


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Old 08-01-2020, 09:42 AM   #2
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CG rules/restrictions apply to ALL
So disable the 'auto-start' feature and manual run gen during the hours generator use is allowed

Seems simple

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Old 08-01-2020, 09:45 AM   #3
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Generally the AGS allows you to specify a quiet time

In general you will be better off monitoring your battery charge level and running your generator a few hours in the morning and then a few hours before quite time. After a while you will figure out a cadence that keeps your batteries charged.

The AGS is awesome for running your generator only when AC is on , or for protecting your pets if park power goes out when you leave them.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:48 AM   #4
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By default the AGS is disabled.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:11 AM   #5
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I turned off the genny auto-start feature on our Windsor! And yes, that could get you in trouble with the CG management!
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:22 AM   #6
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Thanks to all the responders for confirming my understanding!

I was mainly wondering if "turn off the generator auto-start" just becomes one of the "normal" things that one must remember to do when going away for a few hours and parked at a place that restricts generator usage. Or in practice, is it just that the kinds of things that drain the batteries when not plugged in and not actively *using* the motorhome (I'm thinking residential fridge running off the inverter is probably the biggest (only?) substantial consumer) don't actually drain them enough to make it likely that generator auto-start would kick-on during a few hour absence in the first place.

Anyway, appreciate the insights of those that already have an RV with this feature! :-)

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Old 08-01-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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Before thinking about how to stay off-grid, install a battery monitor to see how you use power. We have a residential refrigerator and an AGS, but we have never used the AGS except during our initial walkthrough of the coach. You are much better off learning to monitor your power usage yourself. Places with strict generator hours will generally kick you out of you violate the rules, so plan on running your generator when they allow it (usually a couple of hours in the morning and afternoon/evening). Learn how much power you use while sitting in a park that has electricity, but don’t plug into it. See when you need to charge, and see what modifications you can make to your habits to reduce power. For example, our entertainment distribution system and satellite use a lot of power, about as much as our residential refrigerator. We completely unplug that system when it is not actively in use.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:56 PM   #8
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My AGS has a quiet time mode that can be set to not run the genny during certain hours. I have it set for 9pm and 9am. That way it doesn't accidentally start during quiet time. It also have a temperature setting to start for the AC if it gets too hot inside for the dogs. It does require you to remember to have at least one heat pump set to AC though, but in warm climates we almost always have all 3 set to cool anyway.

Remembering to turn the get start on and off seems like too much work. Just set the quiet time setting.

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