Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-16-2018, 08:31 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Wandering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 621
Another Reason to Love My Camper

Ice storm and no power - Not a problem, just plug the house into the camper and generator! Power company says it could be 4 days for some. Creative wiring to run furnace. Alternating furnace, sump pump and fridge.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6144.jpg
Views:	192
Size:	393.9 KB
ID:	191541
__________________

__________________
Forester 2451s
Wandering is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 08:55 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
rp53's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Jonesborough
Posts: 730
are you running the generator ?
__________________

__________________
2017 Micro Lite 21FBRS
2017 GMC Sierra double cab Z71
rp53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 09:25 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Wandering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 621
Yep. Using the generator in the MH.
__________________
Forester 2451s
Wandering is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 10:15 AM   #4
Broken Toe
 
Cowracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Imperial (St. Louis) MO
Posts: 2,990
Oh Crap. Hopefully you disconnected off the main incoming. More than a few linemen have been zapped or killed by people doing that exact thing.

Tim
__________________
FROG Member MO-0008-571 Since 20124444444444My Project Blog: https://cowracer.blogspot.com/
2016
Rockwood Signature Ultralite 8329ss

Rallies Attended:
Cowracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 10:37 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
rp53's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Jonesborough
Posts: 730
hadn't thought of that but your right need to disconnect the main for sure
__________________
2017 Micro Lite 21FBRS
2017 GMC Sierra double cab Z71
rp53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 01:33 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Wandering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowracer View Post
Oh Crap. Hopefully you disconnected off the main incoming. More than a few linemen have been zapped or killed by people doing that exact thing.

Tim


Yes Absolutely Critical. FIL was a lineman his whole life. He taught me well. Turned off the main but also disconnected furnace from the house supply. Wire nutted a pigtail with a plug to the furnace and just plugged in. No possible connection between generator and house wiring. Good point to highlight tho.
__________________
Forester 2451s
Wandering is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 01:45 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Iwannacamp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5,308
X? The problem with taking the main wires out without a changeover setup is that when your service is HOT again you won't he able to connect without pulling the meter.(or at least that's the way the ones I have seen are)

I would also make an extension cord setup for temporary use.
__________________
2017 Puma 297RLSS
2005 Ram 2500 4X4 diesel
Our new 5er 10-26-16
Iwannacamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 02:17 PM   #8
Member
 
bcmcdonald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Allenspark, CO
Posts: 50
Sounds ok

I read it as the main breaker is off and the furnace circuit was disconnected from the panel and then pigtailed to the camper power. That would work.
bcmcdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 04:10 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 763
Good solution to your power problem. I've used my little 2KW inverter generator to keep us going during outages. It can alternatively run refrigeration, the microwave, lights, computers, and so on. We have a wood stove to make heat. Sadly, we are on a well, and it cannot run the 240 Volt well pump.

Addressing others' concerns.

Depending on your generator, you MIGHT be able to back-feed the main panel - if the generator puts out 240 Volts. This is unlikely with an RV generator, because most are wired for 120 Volts only...even the Onans.

A typical 120 Volt generator could only power half of the main panel, and it would require some expensive connectors to adapt a 30 or 50 amp 120 volt RV circuit to connect to the generator's output. And the "double-male" adapter would be dangerous indeed. While it's technically possible to connect a 20-amp outlet from an RV generator to a portion of the home's circuitry, it's kind of pointless.

You've (the OP) made it clear that you're just feeding 120 volts to individual "appliances" via an extension cord. No risk of back-feeding the grid with this arrangement. If you unplug the fridge from the wall and plug it into an extension cord connected to the generator, that system is totally isolated from the grid. Your "kluge" with the furnace is essentially the same thing.

If power outages are a "thing" in your area, you might consider permanently splicing in a male and female plug/socket in your furnace connection to simplify the changeover. A short #12-3 AWG extension cord can be cannibalized for this purpose. The furnace is probably connected to the panel with #14 wire. Turn off the breaker for the furnace circuit. Install a single socket in a box on the end of the power wire that feeds the furnace. Don't use a duplex outlet or someone will surely plug something else into the outlet. Mount it securely. Use the extension cord to connect the furnace to the new outlet box. with solder to make them more durable in the conventional screw-terminal connections used for solid copper wire. Crimp-on spade connectors would work, too, but the crimp is the weak link in the chain. In a basement environment, these crimp-ons will be prone to corrosion.

Shutting of the main breaker is an excellent precaution any time you're running on generator, but if your genny is not applying power to the panel or main house circuitry in any way, there is no risk of back-feeding the grid.

On the other hand, if you have a 240 volt generator, it's possible to energize the entire panel through a range receptacle (50 amps) or dryer receptacle (30 amps). In this case, you either have a transfer switch (legal) or shut off the main breaker (illegal but safe) to prevent the generator from energizing the grid. The beauty of a transfer switch is that it's fool-proof. The generator cannot energize the panel without disconnecting the circuit(s) from the grid. Relying on the main breaker requires you to remember to do it during a crisis.

I had a remote farm back east, and we lost power pretty often. I had a welder in the garage/shop, and it required a 50 amp circuit. I had a generator and made up a cable that connected to the generator's 240 volt output and plugged into the welder outlet. This custom cable had male connectors on both ends, so it was a very dangerous piece of wire. I'd kill the main breaker, plug into the welder outlet, and only then connect to the running generator. Do this out of sequence, and a male plug end could be live with 240 volts and as much as 50 amps. Certain death. This arrangement was adequate to run the well pump, the furnace, basic appliances, and so on with a 5 KW 240 volt generator. I kept my "special" cable secured in a locked cabinet. Without a transfer switch, this was NOT legal, but it worked well and, with the main breaker off, it was safe.

As for pulling the meter, this is not only unnecessary but it will also get you in trouble with the power company if you break the seal.

Thanks again for sharing your innovative way to use your RV as a power station.
__________________
Jim & Renee
2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2018, 04:36 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Mid Michigan
Posts: 688
Not that hard or expensive to install a proper transfer switch and generator recepticl. My transfer switch has 6 circuits that I can switch on and off. Plus each of the circuits are fused. When you switch on the circuit you want, to generator, it automatically disconnects that circuit from the main panel and the grid. With the MH generator you would only be able to power one side of the panel.
__________________

markb422 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
camper

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:15 PM.