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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Power outage, moving into TT - tractor to charge 12v?

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EstorilM

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Posted: 03/02/18 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Power is probably going to be out for a few days. Generator is at my parents a few hundred miles away (yeah, not convenient) so I'm on my own with 12v.

I have a second marine deep cycle, but that's only going to get me so far with the propane furnace blower, etc.

Two questions - one, I have an 800w inverter but I'm not sure how to hook this up in this case. I would just plug the RV into it and keep my power usage down, but I would need some way of bypassing and disconnecting the power supply/battery charger.

I'm guessing the most efficient way to do this would be to run large gauge 12v wires inside the TT and run the inverter off of batt directly/separately, then only plug in the few 120v things I need (ie not use any of the TT's 120v systems).

As far as keeping the battery charged, I have a diesel tractor - do you think the alternator generates enough current at idle to charge up the batteries? I'm thinking I'd just run the two deep cycles in parallel then run the tractor every now and then to charge them back up. I should be fine at night as it's just the furnace blower that would be running.

I could always use the LR3 as it has a 160A alternator and a huge battery, but nowhere near as efficient. I could run the diesel deere on a couple gallons forever (and it's obviously made for idling anyways).


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Lynnmor

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Posted: 03/02/18 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Might be the time to buy a small and cheap generator.





Sam Spade

North Central Florida

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Posted: 03/02/18 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor wrote:

Might be the time to buy a small and cheap generator.


MUCH preferred to his other ideas.....which all are pretty much BAD.

P.S. How is it that you know ahead of time that this is going to happen ??


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WVJayco

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Posted: 03/02/18 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can pick up one of the Champion 3500 watt generators for around $300. I have one that I have used frequently for the past 4 years and it has held up great, no complaints. And it will run everything. Might be something you would want to look into.

As far as running the propane furnace over night, you battery will most likely need a recharge every morning.


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DrewE

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Posted: 03/02/18 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would guess that the tractor alternator is quite small, basically only sufficient to keep its starting battery up. Depending on the size of the tractor, it could be in the 15-30A range. (It also has little need of working very well at idle speed since a tractor is generally operated at full rated RPM.)

I second the suggestion of getting an inexpensive generator. Even one of the little two stroke 900W units would probably serve you okay for this situation; they should be able to power the converter to charge up your 12V batteries, though you might have to force the fridge to run on propane during that time.

If you're feeling rich, there are nice PTO-mounted and powered generators available for tractors that would do a fine job here, too, and might prove useful in other circumstances.





Jim@HiTek

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Posted: 03/02/18 09:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm with others that don't think using the tractor for charging is the best way to go. You should probably get another generator. You can always sell it after the season ends.

For only $110 it might be worth making a trip to your closest Harbor Freight...

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GordonThree

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Posted: 03/02/18 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hitch up that RV and tow it somewhere that has power?


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boogie_4wheel

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Posted: 03/02/18 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I WOULD use the tractor. You already own it vs making another purchase. I did this very thing one time during a loss of power at a campground during the winter. I hooked a vw bug to the trailer via jumper cables and idled the car all night.

While the alternator on the tractor is typically a lower output, I would imagine it to be more than adequate for battery maintaining. Personally; I'd run the tractor speed up a little bit, maybe 1500rpm or block part/all the radiator to get done heat on the engine to reduce cylinder washdown.

You're not going to burn enough diesel to equate the cost of a cheap generator.


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Sam Spade

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Posted: 03/02/18 04:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

boogie_4wheel wrote:


You're not going to burn enough diesel to equate the cost of a cheap generator.


But.....when you burn the fuel, that money is GONE.

If you get a generator, after the power outage is over you still HAVE a generator that theoretically is still worth about what you paid for it.

SDcampowneroperator

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Posted: 03/02/18 06:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fuel used by either genny or tractor is fuel used. Use the tractor if you believe this is a rare occurance. No point in having a second genny even if you could find one during this outage. We have recharged with our truck with jumper cables even left the truck idling all night when boondocking in extreme cold. Didnt use any more fuel than a cheap genny would have.
Tractors do not have high output alternators, but your Deere should put out plenty for basic needs at a little above idle.
If you have a clampmeter to measure DC amperage, its easy to balance supply with load.
I would stay away from using an inverter unless you know the batteries are full, will have time to recharge.

* This post was edited 03/02/18 07:09pm by SDcampowneroperator *

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