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Old 02-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
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Generator load question

Hello, we have a new Sunseeker coming and I have a question about the 4kw Onan that it comes with. The whole purpose of upgrading to a motorhome was to be able to use some medical equipment while traveling down the road. We upgraded to the 15k btu a/c since we live in FL, not thinking of higher loads on the gen. Additionally our medical equipment requires about 500 watts, (not sure about peak or constant) Anyone have any advice or experience using the 15k AC unit plus about 500 watts? Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:46 PM   #2
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I went to the dometic site and it is recommended to have a minimum 3.5W genet for one 15K btu a/c. The unit is protected by a 20 amp breaker (2.4KW) but the unit draws about 15 amps (1.8KW). I assume there is a surge current but that is momentary.

https://www.dometic.com/01face5d-12b...3ce3bca2.fodoc

I don't know what your shore power is (30 amp or 50 amp) but each of those is 3.6KW and 6KW respectfully.

I would assume when traveling down the road you can use the dash air and not the cabin air thus no problem. It is only when you don't have access to shore power that you have an issue. You have to remember you will also be drawing power for other things. You can keep ref rig and hot water on gas.

If it is not too late you might want to get the next larger genet.

I don't know what medical equipment you are using but let me just say this about genets and this is my experience from MH's and boating. They can be really unreliable. Of all the problems I have had on my boats, the gensets take the cake. So, what I am saying if your medical equipment is critical keep your genset maintained and even then you can't always depend on it. I have become a pretty good genset mechanic over the years.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:03 PM   #3
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4G, I forgot to mention you may want to look into an inverter for your medical device especially for back up if it is a critical device. Inverters are pretty inexpensive for 700-1000 watts. Just check it out...
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:56 AM   #4
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We also have a Sunseeker with an Onan 4KW generator and the 15,000 BTU A/C - heat pump option. The generator will handle the A/C - heat pump and other loads but does not have as much surge capacity as your shore line can provide. One time our generator stalled and shut off while running the water heater, heat pump and other normal loads, including the convertor working to charge the coach batteries, which were low. I suspect that what happened is that the starting load for the heat pump was too much with the water heater and other loads already on the generator. I just switched the water heater off, restarted the generator, and had no more problems.

I suggest that to be sure you have the 500 watts for your medical devices when you need to run the A/C or heat pump that you switch the water heater off. Don't add more loads such as an electric space heater.

Also, I don't think you can get a larger generator on a Sunseeker. You could check with your dealer or call Forest River customer service. Ask for April Conner.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:26 AM   #5
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Thanks folks dalford and rambler guy! We used to have a TT with a 15btu AC, but never had a generator. We always camped with shore power. I had no idea 30a shore power only provided 3600 watts. We never tripped any breakers before. Yes, D, one of our medical machines is over 20k dollars, so we have to protect it! Rambler, it's good to hear you haven't had any issues. I rarely see us using the heat pump, just Ice cold air! We could work around leaving the water heater off during treatments. What do most class c owners do traveling down the road, use the cab AC or the dometic? My kids will be sitting on the couch and dinette behind us. We may not even need the 15k unit running.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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One more thing, there was no option I could see to upsize the genset on the Sunseeker beyond 4kw.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
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No option for larger Gen. The 15k does draw more than the 13, but I'm not sure if going back to the 13.5k is enough of a difference to make everything OK for the medical equipment. As others have said, run the dash air when in transit and the medical stuff will be fine.

Is it too late to switch back to the 13.5K?
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #8
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Bclemens,

I think our unit comes off the line at the end of Feb. I'm apprehensive to make any more changes at this point since we already some changes to the original order like interior decor and side view cameras. If I try to change one more thing we get a big surprise during delivery! Our local FR rep, Chris was nice enough to see that we got the cabinet installed over the door to hold all the extra meds we have to carry too. We have a 30" model and with all the florida camping we do I really think the 15K unit will better meet our demands on shore power. Do most people just rely on cab air to keep the coach cool when traveling?
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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4G......

Just a thought for cooling off while travelling down the road........

If the situation allows.......meaning no one in the rig other than two people riding up front in the cab.....and cooling from the dash air vents is not enough......you can do as some people do (Class A, B, and C motorhomes) where you can install some form of drapery or curtains behind the front seats to make the cabin area smaller.

Sometimes the dash air can't handle cooling off the entire rig, but can handle the smaller cockpit area. (this same condition applies to heating capacities for some rigs) If hanging a fabric behind the driver's seat blocks some of your visibility rearward, then try using a clear plastic shower curtain to allow some light or visibility as needed.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Gcampers View Post
Thanks folks dalford and rambler guy! We used to have a TT with a 15btu AC, but never had a generator. We always camped with shore power. I had no idea 30a shore power only provided 3600 watts. We never tripped any breakers before. Yes, D, one of our medical machines is over 20k dollars, so we have to protect it! Rambler, it's good to hear you haven't had any issues. I rarely see us using the heat pump, just Ice cold air! We could work around leaving the water heater off during treatments. What do most class c owners do traveling down the road, use the cab AC or the dometic? My kids will be sitting on the couch and dinette behind us. We may not even need the 15k unit running.
4G... Power(watts) = volts X current, for your future reference. I also mentioned an inverter but be real careful here. Your medical equipment is very expensive and the 120 volts ac provided by some or most converters is, let me say, not a clean sine wave. If you should want to go that route just make sure the unit generates a good output waveform

Also, if you don't already have one you need to get a good surge protector for your shore power when at a RV site. RV parks can have issues with their power and you certainly don't want a transient damaging your medical equipment or any other electronic equipment on board.

Search - surge guard - Camping World
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