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Old 07-29-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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Use of house air conditioning and generator while driving

Hello. Everyone has been so helpful in responding to my various questions. It must be obvious that I am new to the motorhome life style. I have a 2012 Forest River Georgetown XL 337DS. I am wondering whether it is okay (or dangerous) to use the generator while driving so that I can have the house air conditioners on. I have hesitated to do so because of fears that this is not a good idea. However, the dashboard air conditioner really struggles to keep even the cab cool when I drive in the desert. Your experiences and advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #2
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I've spent many hours driving with the generator running and the roof top air going. In my opinion it's a perfectly normal thing to do.

The only strangeness is that both your engine and the generator (via the converter) are both charging the batteries. This can cause the red battery light on the dash to come on (or flash). It's not an indication of a real problem just an annoyance. It's a side effect of how the circuit for that idiot light works. Just turn on the headlights and it should cause that light to go out.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsutherl View Post
I've spent many hours driving with the generator running and the roof top air going. In my opinion it's a perfectly normal thing to do.

The only strangeness is that both your engine and the generator (via the converter) are both charging the batteries. This can cause the red battery light on the dash to come on (or flash). It's not an indication of a real problem just an annoyance. It's a side effect of how the circuit for that idiot light works. Just turn on the headlights and it should cause that light to go out.

Could you please clarify yyour statement above for me.
You make it sound like both engine battery and house batteries are connected while driving down the road. Please clarify as I didn't know the 2 were connected unless you hit the special emergency button to connect the two together. Well thats the way my 2012 is.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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When you drive your alternater charges the house batteries as well as engine battery. I use thevgenny a nd the a/c all the time. Have never had an issue.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
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Before you use the generator while driving you have to make sure you big power cord is plugged into the generator outlet. When we disconnect from "shore power" meaning plugged in at the house or campsite, we always plug the cord into the generator outlet just in case we need the generator, or other 110 power while moving. Most of the time the truck a/c is sufficient but when it is really hot the RV a/c is wonderful to have. Also after you have stopped at an attraction/ store and get back in, turning on the generator and the RV a/c is a much faster way to make things comfortable. We also use the generator to power 110 heaters while driving when it is really cold (10 below F). You might also want to use some 110 fans to help circulate th air.

Our 5.5 generator uses about a gallon of gas an hour.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by polkatronron View Post
When you drive your alternater charges the house batteries as well as engine battery. I use thevgenny a nd the a/c all the time. Have never had an issue.
I didn't know my 2012 did this.
"When you drive your alternater charges the house batteries as well as engine battery."

Thanks
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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RV Custom Battery Control Guide.pdf

Click image for larger version

Name:	Battery_Control_Schematic.jpg
Views:	236
Size:	60.3 KB
ID:	17239

This will explain the battery charging etc with the engine running and generator.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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Attachment 17238

Attachment 17239

This will explain the battery charging etc with the engine running and generator.

Thank you. I have that diagram but not the pdf document. I have added it to my MH information. Thanks
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
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While on the subject of Ford AC system I remember reading that someone said it was cheaper to run the generator with house AC than running the engine AC. Better MPG and mor epower for the engine.
They also said that running a 5.5kw generator used only a gallon of gas and is more economical this way.

What do you all think?
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsutherl
I've spent many hours driving with the generator running and the roof top air going. In my opinion it's a perfectly normal thing to do.

The only strangeness is that both your engine and the generator (via the converter) are both charging the batteries. This can cause the red battery light on the dash to come on (or flash). It's not an indication of a real problem just an annoyance. It's a side effect of how the circuit for that idiot light works. Just turn on the headlights and it should cause that light to go out.
Thanks.
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