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Author Topic: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels  (Read 1673 times)

rlantozzi

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Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:55:09 PM »
This week my wife and I will be purchasing a new 5th wheel after owning a class A. My question is what type of generator do I need for a 50 amp system? I am mainly concerned about running the A/c in the summer while boon docking. I have seen some people are just running a generator that will do 30 amps and getting an adapter cord to the 50 amp. What is everyone's thoughts?
Thanks
1989 Rockwood Driftwood

VallAndMo

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  • Vall and Mo, a married couple getting ready for FT
Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 03:43:04 AM »
Hello,

If you have just one AC, even a 15K BTU one, 30A might be all you need.

We have set our sights on this baby, mainly for the capacity of running on propane, and for the good brand reputation: http://www.championpowerequipment.com/products/inverters/100264-3200w-3500w-dual-fuel-inverter-generator/

Cheers,
--
   Vall.

denmarc

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 07:41:18 AM »
The debate on what brand of generator is long and distinguished. Do your research.
If your new 5ver is only going to have one A/C unit, then I suggest at least a 3k unit. But don't plan on anything else that draws off the AC power while its running.
If the RV has two A/C units having a 50A service, you are only going to be able to run 1 of them. The 3K can't handle two. Neither will the genny you linked.
Which still might work for you depending on where you prefer to do the majority of your boondocking.

The best advice I can give you is you need to decide how much versatility and freedom you want when boondocking with the new 5ver.
And don't skimp on the wattage of whatever genny you chose vs. cost of the genny. Believe me, you will be much happier with a little bigger power supply than not having enough power when you want/need it.
Mark

1994 Jayco Eagle 370FB on 24 acres of paid off paradise in Michigan.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Dr. Seuss

VallAndMo

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  • Vall and Mo, a married couple getting ready for FT
Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 07:57:37 AM »
Howdy Denmarc,

If the RV has two A/C units having a 50A service, you are only going to be able to run 1 of them. The 3K can't handle two. Neither will the genny you linked.

The "genny you linked" (with "you" meaning 'me', not the OP) can be dual-teamed (ie, has "Parallel capability" so you can put two of them working in tandem and generating twice the power), so in case you want to run two ACs simultaneously, the combo can provide way more than 50A and run both with margin to spare...

But I agree with you, the OP should do his/her own research. I just posted what (I hope will) work for me, according to my own research...

Cheers,
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   Vall.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 08:49:32 AM »
A "50A system" can draw as much as 12,000 watts (12 kw), so that's a major size genset and not really portable. However, in practice you can probably run most of what you need (2 x a/c units, fridge, water heater, and some miscellaneous) on about 6-7 kw. The biggest problem is that the a/c units have a high initial demand to start the compressor, so you need a good sized genset to handle that.

So, look for a genset that has  a PEAK load rating of at least 6 kw, with 7 or 7.5 preferred. This is not going to be a genset you can pop in and out of a storage area or the back of the truck, so figure on a semi-permanent mount somewhere. Weight will be 175-200 lbs, and you may want electric starting and a fixed fuel tank to feed it.

Some people buy TWO 3 kw gensets that can be operated in parallel. That makes them easier to move around (individually) and some of the time you will only need to use one, e.g. no a/c needed.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 08:53:15 AM by Gary RVer Emeritus »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

VallAndMo

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  • Vall and Mo, a married couple getting ready for FT
Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 08:56:02 AM »
Hi Gary,

A "50A system" can draw as much as 12,000 watts (12 kw), so that's a major size genset and not really portable.

I always thought that a 50A connection would supply 50*120= 6000W maximum. Seems that these 50A "nominal" actually mean 100A, right?

Thanks for the clarification,
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   Vall.

Gods Country

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 09:08:27 AM »
Even a 6-8k generator is a lot to haul around, loud, and drinks a lot of gas. 
My backup house generator is a gas 8k peak genny. I wouldn't want to be lugging that monster around along with the 10-20 gallons of gas needed to run A/C on a regular basis.  Personally I would look at the max output of one unit, and try to get away with a 3-4k genny.

I prefer boondocking, but I don't concern myself with A/C.  I bring a 2k genny to keep the battery up and run the microwave once in a while, and enjoy the quiet the rest of the time.

Alfa38User

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 09:13:02 AM »
VallAndMo
50 amps is a bit of a misnomer in that there are actually two 50 amp feeds. The circuit breaker panel has two rows of breakers, one from each feed for a total of 100 amps or 12000 watts available. (The 30 amp variety has only one feed of 30 amps for 3600 watts available).
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 09:36:42 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

kdbgoat

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2017, 09:33:38 AM »
Have you picked your fiver? Maybe get one that has a generator option from the factory?
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

denmarc

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2017, 10:10:00 AM »
OP posted that they will "purchasing a new 5th wheel". I assumed they don't have it yet.
Mark

1994 Jayco Eagle 370FB on 24 acres of paid off paradise in Michigan.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Dr. Seuss

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2017, 10:38:50 AM »
If they plan to use a genset extensively for full-power boondocking, a factory-installed genset would certainly be the best approach.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2017, 10:43:49 AM »
Quote
I always thought that a 50A connection would supply 50*120= 6000W maximum. Seems that these 50A "nominal" actually mean 100A, right?

The amps are only half the spec for the power source. A 30A RV is 30A/120v, but a 50A RV is 50A/240v. Thus a 50A RV has 12,000 watts available for use, while the 30A RV has only 3600.

As Alfa38 explained, the fact that most (but not all) 50A RVs employ that power as a pair of 50A/120v lines does not alter the total power that can be consumed.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

denmarc

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  • "I put a spell on you!"
Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 10:57:35 AM »
If they plan to use a genset extensively for full-power boondocking, a factory-installed genset would certainly be the best approach.

I concur.
Again, a lot of it depends on how often and where they plan to boondock.
Mark

1994 Jayco Eagle 370FB on 24 acres of paid off paradise in Michigan.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Dr. Seuss

rlantozzi

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2017, 08:26:51 PM »
Thanks for all he awesome answers! I think I'm leaning towards 2 2000 watt inverter generators running a parallel kit for them. I may also still look into just one 3000 watt.  When we boondocks it's typically 2 nights for football games so I think I will be fine just running 1 of the A/c units
1989 Rockwood Driftwood

rlantozzi

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 08:31:15 PM »
Hello,

If you have just one AC, even a 15K BTU one, 30A might be all you need.

We have set our sights on this baby, mainly for the capacity of running on propane, and for the good brand reputation: http://www.championpowerequipment.com/products/inverters/100264-3200w-3500w-dual-fuel-inverter-generator/

Cheers,

Somehow I missed the link before posting my Lat response..... This looks perfect thanks!
--
   Vall.
1989 Rockwood Driftwood

denmarc

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  • "I put a spell on you!"
Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2017, 10:06:10 AM »
The "genny you linked" (with "you" meaning 'me', not the OP) can be dual-teamed (ie, has "Parallel capability" so you can put two of them working in tandem and generating twice the power), so in case you want to run two ACs simultaneously, the combo can provide way more than 50A and run both with margin to spare...

OOPs! My bad. After rereading it seems I did confuse two posts and combine them with my reply.
Must be the CRS I suffer with as I get older.  ;)
Sorry.

To rlantozzi, If you're sure one A/C unit is all you are going to run while boondocking at a football game, you should be fine with a 3200 watt Champion. Just remember that you will be very limited on any extra 120v consumption. I run a 3K watt Honda and love it. But it's heavy as heck! But I only move it twice a year. If you are going to need to move a single 3K, a couple of 2K's, or settle for the 3200 watt Champion, you still need to think long and hard about how much versatility you want out of the new 5ver.

You mentioned about boondocking a couple nights for football games. The word that catches my eye is "typically".
If you haven"t purchased the RV yet and really don't want to worry about any of this electrical crap, and one A/C unit is enough, then go for it.
My next question is wouldn't you want to use the 5ver for anything else? Like, maybe boondocking out in the woods somewhere? Or at least have the versatility to do so? Overnight stays when you just can't stay awake anymore and head for a Walmart parking lot, the list is endless. A factory genset gives you that freedom. Something to think about.
Just sayin. 
Mark

1994 Jayco Eagle 370FB on 24 acres of paid off paradise in Michigan.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Dr. Seuss

lone_star_dsl

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Re: Let's talk generators for 5th wheels
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2017, 10:53:09 AM »
If I were in your shoes, I would look for a fifth wheel that has a built in generator or at least has the generator prep. With that, you could go with the Cummins/Onan 5.5kw which has powered trailers and RV's for years. Our generator is extremely quiet and virtually unnoticeable from inside the trailer.

Our toy hauler has a built in generator and we love it. We had a separate generator with our last trailer and really like being able to him the start button without having to go outside and start the generator. Not having to wrangle the 50A cord is a bonus as well.
2007 KZ Sportsman 36SE3 Toy Hauler
2016 Ram 3500, CTD, Aisin, Dually
Monument, CO

 

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