Is a generator a good idea? Plse help...

Discussion in 'Full Timers' started by Robert 314, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Robert 314

    Robert 314 Funster

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    I will soon be living full time in a MH and travelling. On recent trips around France I have seen many people using generators to provide power to their MH.
    While I fully understand the noise problem to others, but how do I work out how big a generator do I need to power my motor home.
    I use very few electrical items but I do enjoy listening to music on my Robert's Sound 200.
    Any advice on generators will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Decent batteries and solar = no generator. Are you really sure you need one. If you are touring and charging through the engine alternator you probably don't really need a generator
     
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  3. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Generators = ignorance .
    No need for them nowadays there are loads of other options!



    Vlad
     
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  4. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Some things for certain about generators:
    1. They are noisy.
    2. They are smelly.
    3. They are heavy.
    4. They are bulky to store.
    5. You have to carry petrol and replenish it regularly.

    It will pay to work out battery consumption first and then look at the various alternatives for replenishing the battery. Things like:
    1. What proportion of time will you be on EHU?
    2. Can you install multiple batteries?
    3. Can you install sufficiently large solar panels to cope?
    4. Being full time might an Efoy fuel cell be a viable alternative?
     
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  5. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    As above solar eg.80/100 w.plus a couple (maybe) decent aux batteries ,maybe small inverter and still have change for what it would cost for a decent Genny and you won't need to carry extra fuel:)
     
  6. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    We have a 1kva suitcase generator. It fits under one of the side sofas. We keep it in a zip up cover, so no smell in the van. It weighs about 20kg.
    It is a bit noisy.
    It can be smelly if you are downwind of the exhaust.
    We also have 3 x 110 ah batteries and 110w of solar power.
    We rarely use the generator, but it's there if we need it, I'd rather have it than not, but of course, everone is different.
     
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  7. Robert 314

    Robert 314 Funster

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    Thank you all...you,ve really given me alot to think about and probably saved me alot of money as I'm in the preperation satge. Thank you.
    GJH what is a EHU please? (I'm new here) Thank you.
     
  8. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Electric Hook Up - site pitch with mains electricity :)
     
  9. injebreck99

    injebreck99 Funster

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    Electric Hook UP, plugging into a 240 v supply via your mains hookup lead.
     
  10. Robert 314

    Robert 314 Funster

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    Thanks GJH...this is such a huge learning curve. Cheers.
     
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That is totally insignificant and well within the capacity of a solar panel.

    Best solution, if possible, suck it and see. Might have to use campsites to do some charging 'till you find out how long your battery lasts.
     
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  12. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    No problem.
    Keep asking questions and you'll get plenty of answers :)

    Mind you, with us daft lot most of them may need a pinch of salt :LOL:
     
  13. Bacchus

    Bacchus Funster

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    I LOVE my generator!

    I (almost) never use it, but I love it, wonderful piece of gear, especially when on a boat which is surprisingly difficult to bump start...

    I've had it for about seven years, it's probably done fewer hours, but I cherish the security it offers for never, ever, running out of electricity!
     
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  14. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    :doh::doh::doh::doh::doh:


    I know it's Friday night and mushroom season but your comparison with boats and motorhomes has me somewhat confused ?
    If your having trouble bump starting your boat I suggest a a full course of steroids a wetsuit and flippers !
    I've had my van a few years now and it's never let me down yet ,but then again it's set up right ,can you believe I've never had to put it in the water and attach it to a generator to start it .


    Vlad. :wink:
     
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  15. Bacchus

    Bacchus Funster

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    'twas just an example of when the gennie is indespensible, don't let it worry you.

    Key point is that I love the security it offers. A big fat solar installation is good until you have a flat battery at night.
     
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  16. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    I'm going to be honest, if I was planning to FT in the UK I would buy a Genny. I would also invest in solar and a decent bank of batteries and hope not to need the Genny. I would want it as a backup for the grey winter day when nothing is going well. Heat light and a charged mobile. Chance to recharge a dead engine battery etc etc.
     
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  17. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Just thinking about that point. For the odd occasion that solar and a decent bank of batteries was not sufficient wouldn't EHU at a CL be less hassle?
    Full timing in the UK, for the majority of people anyway, means using a site of some description from time to time.
     
  18. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Don't listen to the neighsayer solar lobby! They are clueless regards the sheer pleasure of a smelly loud diesel genny throbbing away! Handy for power cuts at home as well? not only fellow motorhomes will be dead jealous your neighbors at home as well!:)
     
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  19. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Breathless and deafness more like :LOL:
     
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  20. Bacchus

    Bacchus Funster

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    BTW, if anyone is thinking of getting a generator after reading this thread, and deliberating about which make, this is a picture of mine* in the garage (circled) during the 2014 flooding:-

    garage.jpg

    Honda EU20i

    dried it by the radiator for a few days and it started third pull...



    *This kind of treatment is not recommended in the maintenance schedule
     
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