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Old 11-12-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
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Boondocking and generator

Wife and I are planning on staying in a Few national parks next summer so we bought a generator. Got it last night and it made me think of a few questions.

i bought a 1700w/2000w Champion from Cabelas. Do i hook up to the battery to charge it or do i plug the camper into the generator? any pros or cons?
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:19 PM   #2
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As a recent newbie I asked this same question not long ago.
We also use the NPS campgrounds a lot as well as Forest Service CG's. Same issue, no hook ups
Plug your TT directly into the generator. Your TT is equipped with a converter that will more efficiently charge the batteries (more amps) while also providing A/C power to the coach. We found running the generator for just a couple hours during the afternoon (minimum disturbance to others) we could keep the batteries topped off. Others can give you more detail on which appliances require how much power etc. But for us simple campers this has worked out really well.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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X2 On both counts. Shore power cord into your gen and be courteous. Generally speaking, 11-4 are the best hours to run your genny.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:38 PM   #4
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This will help.


Ps don't expect to run your
a/c unit.

Your looking at about 14 amps out of that gennie.



https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...H2HtEQG-Vneu3w

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Old 11-12-2014, 04:01 PM   #5
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thanks for the info on how to hook it up. The information on the hours to use the generator make sense, but I was reading the campground and found the below statement.

Please be considerate of your fellow campers. Quiet
hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Generators may
be run only between 7:30-10 a.m. and 4-8:30 p.m.
Generators are not allowed in the D and E Loops.


Hopefully wont need AC in June at 8500 feet, but I am trying to get DW to consider a second parallel generator.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountndream View Post
thanks for the info on how to hook it up. The information on the hours to use the generator make sense, but I was reading the campground and found the below statement.

Please be considerate of your fellow campers. Quiet
hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Generators may
be run only between 7:30-10 a.m. and 4-8:30 p.m.
Generators are not allowed in the D and E Loops.


Hopefully wont need AC in June at 8500 feet, but I am trying to get DW to consider a second parallel generator.
Looks like you're headed for the Rocky Mountains! Good choice
NPS and Forest Service CG's have similar rules but can vary from place to place.
Most will have a CG host who will pleasantly let you know the rules for that specific campground. For example, Zion's Watchman CG does not allow generators.
It's really easy and mostly just common sense and consideration.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:54 PM   #7
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Champion Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountndream View Post
Wife and I are planning on staying in a Few national parks next summer so we bought a generator. Got it last night and it made me think of a few questions.

i bought a 1700w/2000w Champion from Cabelas. Do i hook up to the battery to charge it or do i plug the camper into the generator? any pros or cons?
We live off-grid full time, and our travel trailer is a 30 amp with a 110V plug.
The generator is made for a TT, at least for the 30 amp sized ones, and runs everything aboard our trailer including the A/C, TV, etc. It isn't much more than yours. If you haven't used yours yet, you may want to trade it for an upgrade. (Tractor Supply have the best prices on them).

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Old 01-05-2015, 01:39 PM   #8
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got the second generator to run in parallel and the parallel kit. Got a great price through Cabales since they sent me some nice coupons and the generators were on sale.

So, do i charge my batteries faster using both generators in parallel or am I just wasting gas? I plan on using two 12v batteries if that info is needed
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:03 PM   #9
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got the second generator to run in parallel and the parallel kit. Got a great price through Cabales since they sent me some nice coupons and the generators were on sale.

So, do i charge my batteries faster using both generators in parallel or am I just wasting gas? I plan on using two 12v batteries if that info is needed
If you are going directly from the generator to the batteries via the 12v connector on the generator, it probably produces something like 10A per generator. Running two generators will be faster.

If you are plugging the generator into your converter on the RV at the 110vac/30a port, your converter's charge profile is what's at play. It could charge at up to 30 or 40A, but might be very conservative on how long it stays in bulk mode. Overall, it might take a little longer. In this case, there is no need to run two generators unless your AC loads reach the capacity of a single unit (such as when using air conditioner). A 40A charger draws less than 600 watts, so a single generator is adequate.

The best option is to get a high end 4-stage battery charger (or really high-end converter) that is matched to the size of your bank. A good quality charger, even if it's lower amperage than your converter, might charge more quickly than the converter because it might stay in bulk mode longer. But let's say you get a 30A charger. That's going to consume less than 500 watts, so a single generator is adequate, and running a second generator will only burn more gas.

As long as your total load (also considering start-up surges) is within the limits of a single generator, no need to run the second. Charging is unlikely to exceed the limits of even the most feeble generators. It's running the air conditioner that sucks the juice.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:25 PM   #10
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Be advised that the furnace takes about 7 amps when it is running. Even if it's cold it won't likely have to run all the time, but if you heat some all day and night, it will add up to a lot of amp-hours. Considering other loads such as lights and the refrigerator control board, you may only be getting 10 amps of power into the batteries. It could take a lot of hours to fully recharge the batteries. During our first long trip we were away from the national park campground most of the day and could only run the generator about an hour. Our coach batteries ran down at 10 pm the second night, leaving us with no heat. Keep an eye on your furnace usage and plan to run your generator enough.


Also, don't trust the four battery condition lights on the convenience center. If you run the generator for an hour or so, it will probably should all four lights, implying it is fully charged. Don't believe it. Deep cycle batteries have to be charged slower over a longer period of time than starting batteries like in your car. It takes time for the charge to "soak" into the plates. They will show full voltage soon, but after a while the voltage drops as the charge soaks into the plates.

There's a good discussion on operating the 12 volt system of your coach in the Power and Electrical section of this forum's Library. Look for "12 volt side of life".
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