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 > Using RV generator as backup for house?

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Rover_Bill

NE. Ohio

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Posted: 02/16/21 11:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pfidahospud wrote:

Wow. $300 would buy a lot of heavy duty extension cords.


Having the refrigerator, microwave, furnace, and room lights run on their own is priceless! [emoticon]

rlw999

Washington State

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Posted: 02/17/21 12:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pfidahospud wrote:

Rover_Bill wrote:

time2roll wrote:

3000 watts should run that house fine. Electrician will probably put the critical items on a 120v sub panel in addition to installing a switch and a power inlet to connect power.


This is the switch that I had installed in my house for use with my 3K inverter generator. Works great and allows you to watch the wattage being drawn on each leg.


Wow. $300 would buy a lot of heavy duty extension cords.


A good quality 12 gauge 100 ft extension cord costs around $70, so you can't really buy a lot for $300.

But if I had a power failure once a year or more, that $300 would be well worth it if it means I don't need to fumble around outside in the rain or snow to plug in the power cords, prop open the door to the house, then run power everywhere I need it (furnace, refrigerator and some lights + phone charger)

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 02/17/21 04:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok first... I used the RV's generator as a home backup so I'm posting expierence.

How I did it: I installed a pair of 30 amp outlets and one special twist lock 30 amp on the RV (These were in a weather protected basement compartment)
Ran a heavy (8ga) 4 wire cord to the hosue where I had installed a proper matching INLET (30 amp twist lock) and a proper generator transfer switch.

Only SELECTED circuits were on the E-Panel (Transfer switch) including all but one light (A hall light we basically never used) Food storage and the Microwave/kitchen counter,, Televisions, computers, internet and other electeronics and of major importance the FURNACE.

Generator is 5500 watts at 120 volts divided into two 30 amp circuits. (Yes I know that 30 amps times two is what 7200 watts) but the total draw was under 4,000 for both legs on my house.

I did not put the dryer or the central air on the E-Panel (though additional circuits on the panel could take them) as they are 240 volt and the generator can not power them. But for sure it powered the rest of the house.


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steveh27

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Posted: 02/17/21 05:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have used my portable Honda 2000 when I've lost power for up to 4 days. I used extension cords 7 powered my fridge, some lights, TV and DISH sat box, and computer. I even ran one cord to my neighbor.

I have not lost power in winter and that concerns me. There is this video on how to wire the gas furnace to be able to use an extension cord:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2FDO3SVnVE

I am also thinking of having a transfer switch like the posted one installed.

Dave H M

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Posted: 02/17/21 05:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have never had a motor home for back up.

That being said, for years i have had a portable genny out in the barn to drag over to the house for emergency power Never could run heat or air because I got a geothermal unit (240, huge power demand).

So in my neck of the woods with the REA power company, one of those "transfer switches" and additional panels is not required. A Lock Out switch/device on the main service panel makes it impossible to back feed into the grid if installed properly. Look it up and google will tell you all about it.

I used the regular service panel and just turned the 240 breakers off.

So I think with a little research, the motor home genny could be hooked to the house and into the regular service panel.

valhalla360

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Posted: 02/17/21 06:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dutch_12078 wrote:

Be aware many RV generators do not provide 240 volts, so you won't be able to run any appliances that call for it, such as most deep well water pumps, etc.


Since the OP specifically covered the water supply as being city water, not an issue.

To the OP: You are golden with what you want to do. Just a question of how much prep work you want to put in from minimal and run extension cords to a built in system with automatic transfer switch feeding a subpanel for the items you want to run off the generator. Since you are asking the question, I'm going to say, get a professional to set it up for you as you likely don't have the knowledge to do it right.


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red31

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Posted: 02/17/21 06:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use a generator interlock
https://www.interlockkit.com/
https://www.geninterlock.com/
it is manual, installed a 30A 240v plug, an adapter ties both lines together with a 30A TT plug witch can use an RV extension cord to 120v generator.

This allows me to operate the gas furnace's fan and any 120v circuit that I flip ON.

At a later time I can obtain a 240v generator big enough for the air conditioner/dryer/water heater!

Sjm9911

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Posted: 02/17/21 07:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use the extention cords. I bought a transfer switch 2 years ago, and every year when i need the generator, I say I'll wait untill the weather is nicer to hook it up. But then when the weather is nicer i forget about it!

Just watch with that whole house hook up, lock out tag out thing, if you under supply voltage to stuff you can burn it out. Not exactly sure how it would work with the generator but there is a reason they have the transfer switches now. Hate to see you loose a fridge or television.


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SAR Tracker

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Posted: 02/17/21 07:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We usually lose power a couple of times a year (winter, wind, fires, ect.). Our 5500 watt portable provides plenty of power, if used judicially. An extension cord run into the house to a power strip for the TV (on cable, interestingly, cable never goes out when the power does - underground), run the refrigerator about every 4 hours, the chest freezer is good for at least 12, laptops can run with the TV. A wood stove heats at least the living room, and eventually the whole house. HWH and furnace are both 240, neither work on gen power.


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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 02/17/21 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

3000 watts should run that house fine. Electrician will probably put the critical items on a 120v sub panel in addition to installing a switch and a power inlet to connect power.

3000W is more than adequate to run a typical home that has no 240VAC loads (well pump, electric water heater, electric stove, A/C).

When discussing the connection to your house with your electrician, as about a "generator interlock". A safe solution, that gives you the maximum amount of flexibility of items to power in your house and is lower cost than most "transfer switches".

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