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Old 07-19-2011, 05:36 PM   #1
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Generators Necessary?

Very new to trailer camping and wondering if Generators are necessary purchases if I intend to use the RV parks with hookups? Not planning on doing too much "Dry Camping" so If I don't need to spend $1000 I certainly won't unless any one here has guidance....

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Old 07-19-2011, 05:42 PM   #2
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You don't need a generator if you have hook-ups.

You can still dry camp for a nite or 2 without needing a generator to charge the battery, if you are careful with your usage.


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Old 07-19-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
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No need for a generator if you are in a campground with hookups, they will be supplying the electricity.

With a good battery(s) you should be able to go 2 to 3 days off the battery(s) . But would not be able to use AC, microwave or television. Generators (or solar) are only necessary if you will be camping several days without electricity.

EDIT - mtnguy beat me to it.

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Old 07-19-2011, 05:55 PM   #4
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Congrats on joining the RV world.

Wait until you have need one before investing that amount of money. If and when the time comes you will be better prepared to find the right one for your needs. As time goes on you will find out what you really need or could use vs "what if...."

I was pondering this myself not too long ago when my s-i-l was selling her 2007 Honda 2000 generator for $400. (She sold the 5th wheel) After tent camping I am in love with hookups so I wouldn't get my investment back unless my camping style changes.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:09 PM   #5
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nope, unless you plan on dry camping or boondocking more than 2-3 days.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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You can charge the coach batteries via the TV. Some people will tell you that you don't get much amperage from that. Well, that's not true. My TV can supply lots of amps even when it's just idling. I've seen as high as 16 amps when my house battery needed charging on our last camping trip. Part of that might be from the equalization going on between the TV battery and the coach batteries. That's ok, as long as the TV is running and the current is being delivered.

I would say you only really need a generator for 110v appliances when dry-camping. TV will get you by for battery charging.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:39 PM   #7
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Oh, and by the way, my idling truck is quieter than my Honda 2000.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:02 PM   #8
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If there are hookups, naw you don't need one.


They can be incredibly nice things to have when the power goes out and you want to live in your trailer till the power comes back on.

I live in a rural area in a hurricane zone. Every decade or so a big one can blow through and take out the power for a week or more. A generator can be very nice, and when we get our Unleashed home, it can become a really nice survival craft.

I am guessing from your maps, you might be living where they have snow and ice storms. Would a genset make your life easier during one of those events???
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:34 PM   #9
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Generators--wouldn't leave home without one but as many have observed; if you are hooked up you really can do without. Your house batteries will recharge while on shore power and during travel.

I use mine frequently in my motorhome for hot weather travel; in rest stops I can just turn on the generator and use the microwave and air and get a good rest before heading out. It also drones out the highway noise which can be really annoying.

I live in Florida where a 2nd home on wheels is a great amenity to have to outrun hurricanes headed my way. The generator is sometimes the only power available for days to a week.

I also use it to boondock during travel; my style is to avoid RV parks like the plague. When the weather is hot, the RV can be cooled down until the temps drop at night, and while its running, everything gets recharged, water heats for the shower, you can watch TV for awhile etc. A few hours of generator time or....$35/night for an RV park? I can think of lots of better things to spend money on!

Having one gives you more flexibility and comfort, so you should make sure you will make use of one before spending the bucks. You can stay in a LOT of campgrounds for the price of a generator!

I think the best advice was from the person who said "live without one" and see if it will benefit your traveling lifestyle enough to make the purchase.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Glenn5995 View Post
With a good battery(s) you should be able to go 2 to 3 days off the battery(s) . But would not be able to use AC, microwave or television.
And that also depends on the television. Just came back from our first dry camping trip with the trailer- 3 nights. We spent 1 night at one location, then 2 nights in a row at another. With a 2 hour drive in between the battery was fully charged again, and at the end of the trip the battery was still showing 12.6 volts.

That was with about 7 hours of TV watching. The TV I have is this 12" LCD. The power draw is just over 1 amp at 12 volts. The trick to getting a TV that works on 12 volt DC is to find one that runs on AC power; and has a DC adapter.

The other key thing is that I switched almost all of my bulbs to LED, so my lights draw a very small amount of power.

To me the big thing is where in North America you are camping; and do you need air conditioning. Our warmest overnight low was around 15C (60F); and even by 9:00 it had cooled down to 21. (70F) But if you are somewhere that will not cool off at night; you may need the air conditioning.

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