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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  General Topics

 > Does Anyone See A Need For a Portable Generator?

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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/04/21 03:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ivylog wrote:

The best thing you can do for a generator is to use it and at half a gallon/hour, how much fuel are you saving with a portable...


Assuming the portable is in the 2000-4000w range, you aren't going to be burning anything close to 1/2 gal/hr. On our 2400w yamaha, we get 7-12hr out of a gallon. On the lower end if we are running the air/con and the higher end if not.

Still doesn't makes sense to take a portable if you have an onboard generator but make the choice with reasonable assumptions.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/04/21 03:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

obiwancanoli wrote:

As for the consequences to the external genny, I don't know why it didn't function properly after charging my battery bank... it would start and run briefly, then shut down. Can't tell you if time has healed it, for it belonged to someone else, and he used his all the time for his setup (pull behind trailer, no onboard genny)... thankfully, he had two.


Did the generator just not run your RV or will it run nothing else afterward (say plug a light directly into the generator, what happens)?

Portable inverter generators generally have an overload breaker built in and if you try to pull too much, it will cut the power to the outlets. Usually, you will hear the engine surge as the load drops off suddenly. Depending on the model, you often have to shut down and restart the generator to reset the breaker...of course, if you overload it right away, it will cut out again.

johnhicks

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Posted: 11/04/21 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My situation is a bit odd because my MH has a propane-powered generator. If I have to run the furnace a lot plus run the generator I'll be sitting in the dark and cold in a fairly short time. Think of those folks caught in Texas last winter.

So I bought a small cheap Champion inverter generator to keep the power up, leaving the propane for the furnace. I can siphon gas out of the toad if needed.


-jbh-

cjd10

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Posted: 11/05/21 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A few times a year we stay at some big drag racing events for sometimes 4 to 7 days. We carry a 3500W portable on the trailer with the golf cart to use at night when we only need 1 air conditioner. That little generator sips gas compared to running the big Onan 24 hrs a day


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CJW8

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Posted: 11/06/21 12:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I always take the 3.5k champion inverter generator to the sand dunes. We seldom need ac when winter camping there so why run the 7.5 k Gen? It travels in the enclosed trailer with the RZR so easy to load and unload.


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rjstractor

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Posted: 11/06/21 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

obiwancanoli wrote:

having recently used a Honda 2K to charge my house batteries (don't ask, long story, not relevant), the small generator was ruined due to the high demands of the coach charging system.

Sadly, you learned the hard way ! NEVER use the 12V outlet of a portable generator !! I don't know why they are even on most generators.


No idea how it was inferred that the 12V outlet was used, since nothing the OP wrote indicated that. In fact, nothing that the OP stated even indicates that the generator problem was directly due to using it to charge the coach batteries using the onboard charger. Chances are the generator is not ruined at all. First thing I would check is oil level. Those little Hondas have tiny crankcases- oil capacity is less than half a quart. But like any small gas engine, they use oil, and the harder the engine works the more oil it uses. It doesn't take much of a drop in oil level to trigger the generator's low oil shutoff, which will do exactly as the OP describes- the generator will start and run for a second or two, then die.

obiwancanoli

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Posted: 11/06/21 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rjstractor wrote:

theoldwizard1 wrote:

obiwancanoli wrote:

having recently used a Honda 2K to charge my house batteries (don't ask, long story, not relevant), the small generator was ruined due to the high demands of the coach charging system.

Sadly, you learned the hard way ! NEVER use the 12V outlet of a portable generator !! I don't know why they are even on most generators.


No idea how it was inferred that the 12V outlet was used, since nothing the OP wrote indicated that. In fact, nothing that the OP stated even indicates that the generator problem was directly due to using it to charge the coach batteries using the onboard charger. Chances are the generator is not ruined at all. First thing I would check is oil level. Those little Hondas have tiny crankcases- oil capacity is less than half a quart. But like any small gas engine, they use oil, and the harder the engine works the more oil it uses. It doesn't take much of a drop in oil level to trigger the generator's low oil shutoff, which will do exactly as the OP describes- the generator will start and run for a second or two, then die.


You know, I hadn't thought of that... I'll let my buddy know to check that... thanks!

BENTARROW21

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Posted: 11/11/21 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We use a 2000W Champion for my wife's CPAP since almost all our camping is boondocking. Runs all night on 1 tank at ecomomy setting, maybe a gallon. Keeps the batteries up and outside lights on.

Chum lee

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Posted: 11/11/21 11:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

obiwancanoli wrote:

Thanks, everyone, for your input. As I suspected, there's really no good reason to have an external generator. FWIW, I have 600W solar, 4 LiPo batteries (400Ah), and no, I don't really want to have to store gas for the genny onboard... yes, I agree it's a hassle, that was one reason I posed the question... and I, too, typically run my onboard generator when using a high Amp appliance.

As for the consequences to the external genny, I don't know why it didn't function properly after charging my battery bank... it would start and run briefly, then shut down. Can't tell you if time has healed it, for it belonged to someone else, and he used his all the time for his setup (pull behind trailer, no onboard genny)... thankfully, he had two.

I'll save the external genny for power outages at home...


Well, you didn't say the above in your initial post. That said, there are other fellow RV'rs who AREN'T as well prepared as you. (full credit given to you) Having the remote jenny (just like a set of jumper cables) may help someone else out of a current jam they are in. RV life isn't just about you.

IME, what goes around, . . . comes around.


Chum lee

HumanFriendly01

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Posted: 11/18/21 03:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Has anyone used a genturi on a portable generator? its too late, we already have it

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