Generators

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by errpaul, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    Ok ok, now I know this is one of those issues where there is a big difference in opinion..:Wink:
    I've spent the last couple of hours looking through old posts but can't get a definitive answer......(unbelievable I know what with how many there are!)

    So, the only place we would use the genny is disney.....we go often but avoid the colder months. Having just come back from there we want to go again in the winter but had a real issue with batteries and therefore heating, and it wasn't actually that cold out.

    Is it worth getting a generator? For the odd couple of trips a year should we just run the engine every day to keep battery power up?
    How much power does the engine actually put into the batteries when idling?

    If going for a generator I know the best are silent types, kipor, Honda etc, but also considering a caged builders type. I know these are noisy, but with the noise from all the coaches and other people running engines and using generators I think this might be ok.


    .............let the games begin! :Wink:
     
  2. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    I should add we have 2 new 110ah batteries.
    Not sure about onboard charger.
     
  3. lee52

    lee52 Funster

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    mine has a "caged type" and yes its noisy compared to the silent ones however most of the noise was from the exhaust so i fitted an extra silencer (from a old 4stroke scooter) its rubber mounted (mini exhaust mounts 6mm thread on each end) and its under the bus and to be honest its pretty damn quiet you can quite happy sit inside and watch the tv at normal volume, its alot quieter than the 6l diesel engine ticking over, you just need to be aware of the outputs IE dirty and clean electricty some sensitive electronics can be damaged by the dirty electricity ( ive never had a prob but my genny only runs the batt chargers and 240v heating)
     
  4. aba

    aba

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    i would expect 2 x 110 amp batteries to last about 4 / 5 days depending on your usage.
    change to led lighting and stick a couple of solar panels on the roof and you will get a lot more.
    there are some on here who can go for weeks in winter without hookup.
    we can do about 8 nights without mains hookup at this time of year without running the vans engine.

    led lighting throughout and a single 80 watt solar panel and 2 x 155amp industrial sweeper/forklift batteries.
     
  5. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    We definitely need LEDs, but didn't have the lights on that much. Heating and water pump with showers seemed to hammer the batteries. Didn't use the TV and only used the inverter one for a few hours to charge phones and iPad.
    Do you know how much power the fans on the blown air heating systems use? We don't have a gas convector heater unfortunately
     
  6. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    many sites ban noisy generators and particularly at night when you will need them most they are antisocial

    there are quiet generators about to suit most pockets. a second hand one will cost a little more than a new cheap builders generator, but the output is safer to use on a motorhomes electrical system.
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Most blown air systems hammer batteries so that will be your culprit. A cheap maplins genny will probably cost less than your Disney day passes:BigGrin: plenty use a genny at Disney but they are rarely on too late, most people are probably too knackered from all that queuing and have early nights.:Smile: but even if they were on all night the sound of the genny would be drowned out by the road sweepers that go round and round your van at 3am
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    A real problem with gennies is not enough use. The carb dries out, the jets get blocked and you can't start it.
     
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  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    But to keep all the electronics safe only plug a 240v mains charger into it and the charger connects to the batteries. That way worst case loss is one mains charger.

    Or buy a good pure sine wave generator for electrical safety.
     
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  10. lee52

    lee52 Funster

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    i must of been pretty lucky mine hadnt been fired for 5 years i know of tank was dry put some petrol in (i found in a can in the bus) checked oil fired up third pull :BigGrin:
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Paul you don't say how many L/B you have but if you get another LB that should allow another couple of days and take up less room than a genny and fuel :thumb:
    Engine will have at least 50 amps hr from alternator or poss 100 amp hrs and nothing to stop you sticking on a pair of jump leads to charge L/B quicker without having to wire the extra battery in permanently :BigGrin:Probably better than going through skinny wires and a relay that manufactures will have used :Wink: You obviously don't need solar panels and another LB is by far the cheapest way to go :thumb:
    terry
     
  12. lee52

    lee52 Funster

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    thats how my genny is going to be hooked up mains charger and the 240v heating so no electronic equip is hooked up directly to genny
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    There is no saying the genny will give any trouble, but in open forum giving advice it has to be on the safe side.

    Same caution with cheapo big inverters, they can kill delicate phone chargers.

    A 40A mains caravan charger will be much better than most hab chargers so the genny is only going to run half as long.
     
  14. jb0371

    jb0371 Read Only Funster

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    sterling b2b charger, buy once use for a lifetime, only need to run the engine for half an hour every couple of days.:BigGrin:

    loads of posts about them.

    we wild camp all the time, and would not be without it. But get some led lights they hammer a battery more than you would realise, in our old hymer it had an ammeter, we took the measurements with all of our lights on then replaced them with led, with all of the led's on used less power than just 1 normal bulb.:Eeek:
     
  15. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    We have 2 110ah batteries. So a couple hours running the engine could potentially charge the batteries?
     
  16. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

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    So some generators have the sine wave things, others don't.
    If I got one with then no problem.
    If I got one without and plugged it directly into the van with a normal EHU type lead then it would still charge the batteries, and would run appliances, but could damage anything sensitive. If I only used this to charge batteries and for the blown air heating say then this would be ok? Or am I missing something?
     
  17. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Not mentioned 12 v charging yet,we charge I phones,laptop and tablets with 12 v leads !
    Why use an inverter?







    Vlad
     
  18. Biggles

    Biggles Funster

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    Hi

    Whats wrong with the one bolted to the side of your engine? This with something like a Sterling charge controler will charge your batteries quicker than a 240v generator.

    I have one of these on the boat and I am charging 1180a/h of leisure batteries.

    http://www.shop.sterling-power.com/acatalog/proreg.pdf

    OK I do have a potential 325a/h of twin alternators ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  19. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    The Truma fan on full blast uses around 4A but normally runs much slower once a reasonable temperature is reached, usually around 1-2A. If the heating is on 24hrs as ours is if its chilly then you would be looking at around 50Ah per day (nearly half the capacity of a 110A battery and thus all of it's usable capacity). At best in the winter our 400w of solar panels will only replace about 10-20Ah of this. Running a generator that is charging through the built in charger (max of 20A in ours) will replace this loss of power in about 3 hours running.
     
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