To Generate or not to Generate

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by pelliott1954, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. pelliott1954

    pelliott1954 Read Only Funster

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    Hi All,

    As a Newbie to MH life and taking the plunge into France this coming June, I was wondering how many of you take your own Gennies and if you do, which Model, Make and Capability?
    My MH is an Autotrail Cheyenne 635SE and does not have external storage for a Gennie so I would have to lift it and store somewhere inside!!

    Regards Paul
     
  2. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    We don't use a generator.
    We prefer better batteries and a decent charging system. Every MH comes with a genny as standard, it's called an alternator! One just needs to know how to get the best from it and store the energy it provides efficiently!

    We use a proper lead-acid traction battery with Sterling 50 amp Battery to Battery charger.
    We have just had a 3 day break on a CL, no hookup, 4 hours of TV an evening, lights on as required and the Webasto heating running almost constantly with no need to run up our engine.

    We don't like gennies personally. We had a lovely evening wild camping in Scotland spoiled by another MH pulling up and running their genny until 1030. Bloody inconsiderate we thought at the time!:Sad:

    Are you sure you need a genny when travelling in the Summer? You have less need for battery power and, with all that sunshine, a solar panel might be a more social option!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  3. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    The best first step is two leisure batteries. In summer in France, you will not need additional power, assuming you move a reasonable distance to recharge every four or five days. I have a Honda EU10i but use it only occasionally in winter if we need more than 3 of 4 nights (3 nights if well below zero outside).

    Philip
     
  4. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    We have a Gasparini Energy 20 LPG generator mounted under the Motorhome. This charges the leisure batteries. It does not provide 240v power, we have a 1600w inverter for that.

    It is very quiet but it is still not suitable to use on an Aires as the vans are so close together. We use it if we are only doing short hops to recharge the 3x110ah batteries. Park up before the Aire for a break and run the genny to top up the leisure batteries. It auto switchs off when the batteries are fully charged. We have run it on some of the more spacious Aires when we were staying in Normandy & Brittany

    When we first got it fitted I was worried about noise and as a test had it running at Peterborough show and asked the vans around us if it was bothering them and every one replied that they didn't realise we had a Genny running.

    We are planning to fit 2x110w Solar panels this summer.

    John
     
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    An extra battery will double your usage time so try this before you take the genny option, its not just the lump of a genny you need to cart around, its the fuel too. If you do buy a genny (and plenty do) consider safe storage, its best if it can be secured with tie down points, IMO it would be dangerous just loose inside the motorhome:thumb:
     
  6. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    I have a genny.........But in the summer in France you should have no need for a genny (unless it is a bad summer) for reasons that has been mentioned above and below.....we also have a 100w solar panel and two 100ah leisure batteries this is ok from April through to October when the sun is better and higher...but if you are motorhoming early, later or through the winter, either go onto hook ups (camp sites) or get a genny ...or if you intend to stay longer on a aires, wild camping, more than two or three days with no EHU
    And it is just to keep the battery topped up a 1 kw will do ..there less db(noise)... and it will need less room and lighter in Kg..less petrol needed to run and carry.
    Think of other motorhomers, try and park away from people....try to run in the mid morning or mid afternoon for say 1 or two hours, just ask people around you, is it ok for to run for say one hour just to top the battery....... if there is only you on site or run it longer turn off when somebody arrives ...not in the evening when people are relaxing....just use common sense.:Wink:

    You could go down the road of a large smart charger for your batteries..say 25 to 40amp so you would put a lot of charge in a short period of time as most bornes on Aires have 1 hour charging...like this one
    http://www.caravantechnology.com/Caravan-and-Leisure-40A-Battery-Charger-P3C15.aspx
    or less charge
    http://www.caravantechnology.com/Caravan-and-Leisure-20A-Battery-Charger-P2C15.aspx

    http://www.caravantechnology.com/Premium-Caravan-and-Leisure-25A-Charger-P112.aspx
    Mel:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  7. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    I would also avoid mid afternoon as the French don't like being disturbed while they have their afternoon nap.

    John
     
  8. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Point taken John :Wink::Wink:

    We live in France and from 12.00 mid day till 4.00pm it is like a graveyard....two hours to eat two hours to sleep off what you have eaten :Wink:.....ready for the next meal at 7.00pm :Wink: :Wink:
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  9. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    Firstly I would say that gennies run at the wrong time or wrong place can be very annoying but a number of things need to be taken into account

    1/ Different units and different lifestyles have different needs - we have a American 5'er and a caravan - the caravan will last 3 or 4 days on an 85amp hour leisure battery - the 5 'er will last 3 or 4 hours on 2 x 110amp hours leisure batteries unless we want to freeze or lose all the food in our freezer.

    2/ Camping in its many forms allows people with health problems and serious disabilities to enjoy the great outdoors - many need power to run dialaysis machines - oxygen generators etc

    3/ Many folk have mobility issues and have a need for wheelchair or mobility scooters or even electric bikes to be recharged on a regular possibly daily basis and they can ony be charged off 240v

    4/ Personal choice - your style of camping may be very different to others - one chap I know is only happy camping when he is in a tent hanging on a the side of a mountain others will only camp on sites where there are bars - evening entertainment - kids amusements etc

    IMHO the use of gennies should be restricted at the very worst to 9.00am to 9.00pm and consideration given to whether neighbours are still in bed etc. As we need leccy on tap we always prefer to go to CL's with EHU but that is not possible on rally fields so we run a genny. Dont forget adding batteries - etc increases weight so be carefull and the number of panels required on the roof to maintain a 5'er in use would a/ cost a fortune and b/ weigh a lot.
    lots to think of I reckon
     
  10. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    Having the genny is one of the must haves on an RV

    For us the genny was a must have.. I use a mobility scooter as does Sue... If I could not recharge my 24v batteries I would be trapped.

    I go on it to get water and take Ezzie for a walk. It allows me freedom to go round a show, or a trip in to town.

    We stopped going to C& CC ..DA meets because you cannot use a genny..it is ok for those that can ride a bike or walk (I wish) .. But to me the buggy is my legs..that buggy has to be recharged at times.

    Being an RV we have a 4 kw built in genny in the chassis.. It is a microlite and if you move around a circle it cannot be heard other than a motorhome parked next to us... We also have purchased a Venturi.. That is like a long put together exhaust and silencer box that a) takes the fumes up above the roof line and b) makes the sound even less.

    I often also will put wind breakes around the back corner of the RV to make it even less noisy....

    I do run mine at shows... But not before 9 a.m and it is never run late in the evening. The Genny allows me a lot of freedom as well as powering the built in microwave and roof aircon (fitted as standard on yanks)

    So please when you condem the use of Gennies think about some of us that really need them....

    Bills post covers the issues well..and makes some very good points.

    But to finish off we have booked in to a show with a fair amount of other RV's then we have found the small print of no gennies.. Have asked about the situation and the organizer for the RVOC is checking for me.. You see what is the point of going to a show if I have to stay at the RV and cannot get about and see what you see and take for granted because you do not need a disability aid.. The aid in this case is the buggy or it may be my power wheelchair, if I can I only use it for a time before the battery is dead...

    You can start the chassis cab battery and recharge your domestic battery.. I cannot do that.. That is not a choice for me..no PV will recharge a 24v 70 amp x 2 over night.

    Two sides to every coin as they say... Of course I am for them.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  11. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    (as Ken would say) "Oi"!

    9.00am...:Eeek:

    Seriously... when I am on the road I avoid parking near to other motorhomes if possible. I like to know I can make a noise if I want without disturbing others...

    Very often I am parked up on an open space with lots of room and someone rolls up and parks right next to me... now if these people knock on the door and ask me to turn down my stereo or turn off my genny (needed only very rarely) I politely suggest that if they don't like Metallica/Living End/Judas Priest or the purr of my Kipor etc... they park further away... :Rofl1:

    Gennys are like braces... just 'cos you have a belt doesn't mean than one day you might need some braces... I am a belt AND braces man... :Wink:

    JJ
     
  12. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    genny

    Hi, We also have a Cheyenne, we have fitteda solar panel on the roof, coupled to two 125 amp hr batteries.
    We did buy a genny for our months touring around Scotland last year and have to say we didn`t need it despite wild camping and not moving the motorhome for 3 nights on the run, the solar panel easily kept our batteries topped up.

    We have fitted LED lights throughout, and watched a Dvd everynight, so our advice would be try two decent batteries and a solar panel before commiting to the cost of a genny.
     
  13. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Me toooo JJ.......I am a belt AND braces man.....batteries, solar and genny if needed.....you never know when it may be needed:Wink::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1: JJ why do we have to shout with large type script......

    Mel
     
  14. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    This is only our opinion, but...............

    We fully understand the need for gennies on RVs and for those with special requirements such as mobility scooters and medical equipment, but sometimes we can't help thinking that most gennies are bought to make up for the lack of performance offered by either goosed batteries or the totally useless pieces of s£*t that the industry sells us, pretending to be 'deep discharge' batteries.:Angry:

    Any other off-grid Funsters agree?:Smile:
     
  15. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    It is only shouting if the post is in CAPITALS ok?

    Larger text size helps people who don't have the best eyesight...

    Just 'cos you are a young whipper snapper, there is no need to overlook the needs of the more mature (and wiser) Funsters...

    The folly of youth hey?

    JJ
    :Rofl1: :Rofl1: :Rofl1:
     
  16. W18BLA

    W18BLA Funster

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    Generator all the way every time.....

    We were on a C&CC local DA not long ago and i was told no generator between "X" amount of time so i only used it if needed with a few people looking at me as if i was the devil... Anyway the next day i had a knock at the door....:Eeek:

    "Are you the gentleman with the Generator" I was abit curious and careful and answered "WHY"

    The gentleman said the following! "My Solar panel has packed up and my caravan battery is flat as a pancake, I never paid for electric and there is no spare, if you lend me your generator i will buy you a good drink" I thought woop woop "JD" lol anyway i lent the Geny out to him and i got a free weekend as he was the Marshall for the rally lol....

    So if it was not for my Generator he was stuffed so in my Generator and a Solar panel is the best way forward that way you are covered...

    I need to get a Solar panel sorted as of yet as the Generator is still going strong when it breaks Solar is on the list...

    Craig
     
  17. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Seem's we have some funsters with poor eyesight as becoming regular now:Doh:
     
  18. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    from March to October, the solar panels generate enough for our needs, if we want to use the van outside of that then the length of stay may be reduced a little. If you want to use a genny then do so, just be sure you park well away from non Genny users.
     
  19. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:You should have gone to SPEC-SAVERS JJ of coarse being the oldest silver surfer on fun:Wink: I had forgotten your eyesight is not at its best nowadays:Blush:, try eating more carrots with the FRAY BENTOS PIES and a little water in the JOHN SMITHS,
    So to help you I have put the reply in large type script for you,....speak to you soon JJ from a young whipper snapper of just a few months:Wink:....Mel
    :Wink::Wink::Wink::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1: I have not shouted as it seems your hearing is OK
    Hope you enjoyed your Chinese meal. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  20. 400ixl

    400ixl Read Only Funster

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    We have survived without one for up to 4 -5 days being reasonably careful on just the single battery.

    We will be doing an extended stay at Euro Disney of double that this year, so will get one for that. Not planning to go for an extended drive to top them up during the stay.
     
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