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Author Topic: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)  (Read 3796 times)

Roger_Champagne

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Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« on: June 14, 2015, 08:46:47 PM »
Hi Guys,

I just purchased a Flagstaff 2014 and took her for her maiden voyage !  This was wonderful as I had access to a 30 amp connections.

In 2 weeks, I'm heading to Fish Creek Pond in the Adirondacks, and there are no electrical hookups.  Here is my question

- Our power usage is really not that high, we have a Fridge 12V, 120VA and Propane, cell phone chargers, small toaster heated blanket for the beds and 3 ceiling lights

Do I really need a generator  for 4 days ?  Could the fridge run on propane and the other accessories off the single 12V battery.  will the batteries last for 4 days, or will I just have to hook it up tp the Van to charge it for 30 minutes or more ?

Let me know what you guys think,  Eventually I guess I learn from experience, but for now, Ill trust yours ;)

Thanks !

Roger
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Flagstaff 227-2014
RV Experience: 3 days and couting !

HappyWanderer

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 09:29:56 PM »
Your refrigerator still needs 12 volts when running on propane. Other than the blankets, your power needs are minimal, and you could probably get by with a 50 watt solar panel. Even better if the lights are LED. You would need to run the van for several hours to recharge the battery.
I don't have gray hair. I have wisdom highlights.

John From Detroit

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 06:51:57 AM »
I will give you a short answer: YES. at least a Honda EU-2000i  I would get the companion model as it has a 30 amp outlet on it.

Since you are NOT planing on running an Air Conditioner... This should meet your needs.. IF you have an A/C it likely will not, but you can get a 2nd EU-2000i  (not a companion) and parallel them


Or you could go with several other companies.. (Yahama,, And more) Just make sure you can parallel them for full power to a 30 amp RV. (though you need not buy both today).

Use due care and caution when setting up generator (Set it at a distance and aim hte exhaust in a direction that is away from people and flamables)

Finally.... The design consideration, assuming they considered it,, Is OVERNIGHT  8-12 hours on a single battery charge.. Four days is not going to happen less you seriously upgrade the batteries or take along a generator to re-charge.

Finally... You also mentioned an Electric Blanket.. IF you plan on powering this via an INVERTER (There are 12 volt models) make sure it is a TRUE SINE WAVE or PURE SINE WAVE (Same thng) several reports of issues using electric blankets on MSW inverters (Control box failure).
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 06:53:34 AM by John From Detroit »
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garyb1st

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 08:32:21 AM »
We had a travel trailer for a year or two before buying a generator.   We had two deep 6 batteries and could easily go 4 days without hookups.  You just need to watch your usage.  That said, you won't be able to run a toaster or any kind of heater, including an electric blanket.  We purchased a Honda 2000 and that did everything other than the AC.  In retrospect, I'd purchase a Honda 1000 or a cheap, 1/2 price Costco inverter type generator before spending $1200 on the Honda.  I'm pretty sure a 1000 watt geny will do most everything you need.  For the price difference, I'd buy another blanket before the larger geny. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 08:55:49 AM »
You  can run the fridge and water heater one propane, no problem. Both still need 12v for their circuit boards, but the power consumption is negligible. Ditto for the water pump.  Lights and be a lot of a little, depending on type (incandescent vs led) and the time used.  But you have no 120v power source for charging phones, computer, toaster, or electric blankets. To use any of those at all you need either a generator, or an inverter and large battery bank to power it, to provide 120vac power. Most travel trailers don't have room for many batteries, so a small generator is probably your best bet if you can't do without the 120v stuff.

You may also want a larger battery for a 4 day stay. The Flagstaff probably came with a single Group 24 size "marine" type battery, and those don't have a lot of amp-hour capacity. Consider buying a larger Group 27 or 31 size to gain 20%-35% in battery power. You could replace the existing battery with the larger one and carry the old one for a spare (hook it in with jumper cables if needed).

If you want to learn more about inverters and batteries, we can do that, but it's not a short or simple subject. Hooking an inverter to a battery is easy, but figuring out how much inverter and battery capacity is needed can be challenging for many folks. Wiring the inverter into the RV to power the outlets is another matter that can get complex. Each piece of the puzzle is easy enough, but there are enough of them to be daunting at times.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Great Horned Owl

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 10:17:21 AM »
I will give you a short answer: YES. at least a Honda EU-2000i  I would get the companion model as it has a 30 amp outlet on it.

Since you are NOT planing on running an Air Conditioner... This should meet your needs.. IF you have an A/C it likely will not, but you can get a 2nd EU-2000i  (not a companion) and parallel them


Or you could go with several other companies.. (Yahama,, And more) Just make sure you can parallel them for full power to a 30 amp RV. (though you need not buy both today).

Use due care and caution when setting up generator (Set it at a distance and aim hte exhaust in a direction that is away from people and flamables)

Finally.... The design consideration, assuming they considered it,, Is OVERNIGHT  8-12 hours on a single battery charge.. Four days is not going to happen less you seriously upgrade the batteries or take along a generator to re-charge.

Finally... You also mentioned an Electric Blanket.. IF you plan on powering this via an INVERTER (There are 12 volt models) make sure it is a TRUE SINE WAVE or PURE SINE WAVE (Same thng) several reports of issues using electric blankets on MSW inverters (Control box failure).

John is almost correct, but not quite complete.

The problem is that the digital control on a modern electric blanket will be almost instantly destroyed by a modified sine wave (MSW) inverter. They will work fine with a pure sine wave (PSW) inverter. If you have, or can locate an old blanket with an analog control, it will work with a MSW inverter. If it goes click as you turn the dial, it is analog.

There is one exception. The SoftHeat blanket comes with a low voltage power adapter, and will work fine with a MSW inverter. Is is also the nicest electric blanket I have ever owned. I like it so well that I got another for the S&B home. See http://www.electricblanketinstitute.com/softheat-low-voltage-blanket.html

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
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Tinmania

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2015, 10:52:57 AM »
Hi Guys,

I just purchased a Flagstaff 2014 and took her for her maiden voyage !  This was wonderful as I had access to a 30 amp connections.

In 2 weeks, I'm heading to Fish Creek Pond in the Adirondacks, and there are no electrical hookups.  Here is my question

- Our power usage is really not that high, we have a Fridge 12V, 120VA and Propane, cell phone chargers, small toaster heated blanket for the beds and 3 ceiling lights

Do I really need a generator  for 4 days ?  Could the fridge run on propane and the other accessories off the single 12V battery.  will the batteries last for 4 days, or will I just have to hook it up tp the Van to charge it for 30 minutes or more ?

Let me know what you guys think,  Eventually I guess I learn from experience, but for now, Ill trust yours ;)

I would tend to lean towards the "not enough battery" crowd, especially with the comment about "small toaster heated blanket." I'm guessing that means a toaster and an electric blanket. With that said perhaps you meant a 12v electric blanket. I have seen those come in at under 35w so not a huge power draw. But the toaster? Not many out there that are 12v.

With all that said I would not recommend a generator just yet. You have not had enough time out there to know what kind of generator would suit you best. Could be a 1000w model would be fine--or maybe not.

So I would try it without generator. If you start killing the battery you will have to burn some gas charging via the tow vehicle for a couple of hours. But it's not the end of the world.

You could also get another battery, like the one you have, and bring along already charged. That wouldn't cost much and would let you swap it out if needed. Who knows, that may be all you ever need.

Oh, and the cell phone chargers can run off of 12v just like they do with a car adapter. I'm sure that Flagstaff has at least one 12v accessory outlet.



Mike
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 10:54:44 AM by Tinmania »

HappyWanderer

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2015, 10:56:45 AM »
Time to get the eyes checked; I read that as "toasty" heated blanket. We don't try to use our electric blanket while boondocking. The bed would cool off quickly with no power, and who wants to run a generator all night? We put a quilt on the bed, or a sleeping bag if it's going to be real cold.

Without the 110 volt requirements, this would be an ideal application for solar.
I don't have gray hair. I have wisdom highlights.

Tinmania

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2015, 11:05:08 AM »
People made toast before they had electricity. So if you just have to have that toast in the morning there are still ways to do it with using any A/C or D/C. :)

And even the blanket doesn't need much power if it is like one of these, 12v as well:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/12-volt-travel-blanket/69172




Mike

Roger_Champagne

  • Posts: 3
Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2015, 08:12:56 PM »
Wow !  Thanks so much for the posts, I didn't think I would get that many replies.

For now, I think we will do trial and error, Although I really like the solar option and possibly adding a second battery. 

I can definitely use the coleman for toast, it's not the end of the world and for the blankets, well If summer actually arrives this year, I probably won't need them.  I usually only use them for 1 hour to remove any humidity in the beds, but again coming from years of camping in a tent, this I a luxury that isn't really essential.

Thanks for all the replies !

Roger


Henrygonz

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2015, 10:55:01 AM »
Im considering the Honda eu3000 as it gives me the 30a power needed for my trailer.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/honda-eu3000is-generator-carb-compliant/34963

It's chePer in other sites just posted this as reference.
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robertusa123

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 08:04:12 PM »
You can charge your battery with jumper cables and your tow vehical.  But you will need to let it idel at least a hour.. Run fridge on LP.   Watch your light  and forget the heaters you. Will be fine
1996  26ft. 3 kids 2 dog and the wife too

JiminDenver

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2015, 07:50:30 AM »
Our first trip dry with this trailer was suppose to be three days and turned into a week. We used the jumper cables to keep the battery up after the third day and was fine.

Is this trip an exception or something that will be happening often. For one four day trip I would rent a generator. No storing, oil changing, exercising, or worrying if it will run.

 Should this be a regular thing, there are a whole slew of things that will make your rig more dry camping ready. Conservation is big but doesn't have to hurt. A extra battery can go a long ways and you can start small with a inexpensive portable solar kit that may keep up with your usage. Again, it's  a lot of effort and expense if you wont be dry camping much.

John From Detroit

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2015, 03:08:59 PM »
I forgot to say something in my earlier (YES) post...

And again I say You need one.. EVEN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN RV.

Why: Well this morning I got to the store and though we were open we could not sell anything, Why.. We get our electricity there from Georgia Power and Darkness (Actually it's just called Georgia Power and they were working on a pole next door) ..

I remember coming home one New Year Eve and finding Forsty the air-blown snowman sleeping on the job.

I went to the basement, brought up a cord, plugged the outlet into the inlet on the back of the house.. Then hiked out to the RV and plugged the plug in at that end.. Then pushed a few buttons, then back into the basement to the Generator Transfer Panel and CLICK lights, CLICK Furnace, CLICK Fridge, Freezer, TV/Radio/Computer, More lights, Microwave (kitchen) and so on.. That's why you need a generator.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

PaulinBaja

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2015, 09:30:03 PM »
I have been RVing for many years. I have always wanted a generator but never bought one.  We are facing a trip from CA to FL and back, planning about 4 months on the road.  I am still not buying one.  I have one battery in my fifth wheel and am going to keep one in the back of my pickup plugged into the fiver connector.  The battery in the truck will charge as I sight see.  I will leave it connected to the fiver connection in the bed of the truck and in the evening I will plug the fiver into the bumper pull connector for needed power.  The two batteries will equalize and supply all I need for the evenings.  Note:  The batteries were bought at the same time and the same date so will be as similar as possible when we begin the trip.

In other words, generators are an expense.  If you can make it without one --- do so.  If you need to dry your hair with a hair dryer --- get one!

John From Detroit

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Re: Generator or no Generator that is the question ;)
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2015, 02:02:27 PM »
There are two or three answers..

First a small Inverter type generator (Honda EU-1000ki or Yahama EF-1200i or equal) Can likely power your converter and keep that one battery charged,, If you upgrade.. This is good for up to around 50-60 amps (Iffy on 60) 

A 2000 class MIGHT power a small A/C (or not) two of them in parallel will

I can get by in a house (NO A/C) with around 3500 watts.. This is important..

YOU NEED A GENERATOR.. My recommendation would be a pair of the 2,000 watt class.

you also need a proper Generator Transfer panel on your house with an INLET on the outside of the house.

WHY:

When the power company fails.. Hook the cord to the inlet, and the outlet on the parallel kit,, Fire up both Generators (in parallel)

Click LIGHTS
Click HEAT
CLick Refrigerater... Freezer...TV/Radio...Computer/Modem.. And so on

Well worth the cost .

Oh, in the hose I had one light (Hall light Hall was only six feet long) was NOT on the transfer switch.

When it came back on.. Time to switch back to Mains power.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

 

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