Where to keep generator

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by golly, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. golly

    golly Funster

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    I have been thinking of getting a small generator but wondered where do people keep them when traveling. I am not too sure if I like the idea of keeping it in the garage which is under the bed, a bit like having a petrol bomb under your pillow.:Eeek:.
    The other option is solar, but I haven't got a lot of roof area, Maplins have a deal on a 60w free standing one. Anyone got a free standing panel and if so what do you think of them .

    cheers

    John
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    before you lash out on solar or a generator maybe you should tot up the amount of amp/hours you actually need to produce. do you stay on sites for long periods of time, use EHU, or do you wild camp moving every day sometime it is easier just to add another battery.
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    my kipor lived in the rear locker along with a gallon of fuel.
    as long as the tops are screwed on i had no fuel smell....and no fuel smell means no fuel vapour and no fire.
     
  4. CHRI$

    CHRI$ Funster

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    we keep our little honda under the table when not in use but always run it out of fuel before stowing it.also makes it better to start when left with no fuel init as modern petrol goes stale very quickly.
    i cannot see a problem with it sat in your garage as long at it has no fuel in it.


    chris
     
  5. golly

    golly Funster

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    At the moment I only have one battery, under the passenger seat, up to now we have stayed mainly on sites with EHU but do prefer smaller sites and it would be good to have the option.

    We are going away in a couple of weeks to a none EHU site just to find out how long the battery will last, we have LED lights and the TV is just a 10" Avtex so not much drain, we don't watch much anyway.

    John
     
  6. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    why do you think it is a time bomb?

    I wonder why you think it is a time bomb? I have a 4 kw generator mounted on the chassis as do most American RV's they normally run on petrol (some diesel and some LPG0 does it mean that the massive fuel tanks under my RV are a big bomb waiting to go off?

    Generators do not just explode... in fact most small gennie have small fuel tanks.But Roger (Wildman) is correct you need to work out what it is you need from the power? are you trying to recharge the batteries (domestic / engine) or run a tv? or what equipment is it you want to power?

    Do you have enough batteries and a inverter? how much can you draw from said batteries? how many watts do you need.

    In the UK with our weather to make a real difference you need 2 x 160 watt solar panels and they are not great in cloudy or winter days.. ok to keep the batteries topped up but not to run serious equipment.

    For example I run a mains 230v 26"tv a 1700 watt start up microwave... that needs serious power either from batteries or by generator. Most will settle for a 1kw or 2 kw genny to meet most of there needs.. BUt a 60 watt solar panel is a toy and will not get you far.

    Ask about.. I am sure this post will produce (nearly said generate) so views I am sure.. work out what you need and then work out costs and benefits.


    Bob:Eeek:
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I always try to have a strap to a tie-down point on my genny, concious of the fact that a fraction of a second after my seat belt saves me from that low speed crash, a genny still doing 30mph hits me or one of the kids on the back of the head:Eeek:
     
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  8. golly

    golly Funster

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    I would only be using it to recharge habitation battery, wouldn't need to use any mains appliances, so were talking lights, tv, fan for the blown air heating when needed. It may well be more cost effective to just take the van out for a run to charge the battery.

    John
     
  9. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    lpg conversion

    Hi John,

    I too was concerned about petrol fumes in the m/h so we settled on small Honda with lpg conversion by Edge Technology......we always have lpg on board & don't have to worry about petrol cans! We store it in locker under a bed.

    http://www.edgetechnology.co.uk

    Brian
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Jim, problem easily sorted.....dont store it in an overhead locker :Rofl1:
     
  11. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    First of all I concur with what Roger (Wildman) said about calculating how much power you are likely to need. Secondly I am a fan of free-standing solar panels.

    We bought a 50W version of the Carasolar free standing solar panel towards the back end of 2006, a few months after we bought our van.

    At the time we had single a 85ah battery. We replaced that with a 110ah battery in March last year. We replaced our tungsten filament lighting with LED a couple of years ago. Our TV & satellite set-up is low power and we don't use it very much. We don't have blown-air heating but also don't use much heating anyway in the summer months.

    We have never had a problem with running low on power in the months of March to September (which is when we use the van without EHU).

    We were away in April for 12 days over 3 locations, none of which had EHU, and in May/June for 17 days in 4 locations, only the second of which (5 nights) had EHU. The panel was providing more than enough to keep the leisure battery topped up and for recharging of items like the netbook, phones and e-readers. In between the two trips I fitted a Battery Charge Master so the panel was keeping the starter battery topped up as well on the second trip.
     
  12. golly

    golly Funster

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    thanks Brian, I have seen the gas conversion type advertised but it's a further cost, and I don't know if I could justify it.

    John
     
  13. carl65

    carl65 Funster

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    I have two generators under the bed, Honda and Kipor never smelt any thing keep in the boxes they came in seems fine, but bring and buy this weekend so may relive myself of one of them !!!
     
  14. golly

    golly Funster

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    Thanks Graham, There is a charge Master fitted to the van, was on when I got it. One thing I thought of was security of a free standing unit. I presume you haven't had any problems.

    John
     
  15. gozomike

    gozomike Funster Life Member Life Member

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    Hi John


    I have been using one of the 40 watt folding panels from
    http://www.allsolar.co.uk/prods/photovoltaic-solar-panels.html since the Peterborough show.



    As stated it gives just over 2 amps when in direct sun light and kept at a reasonable angle to the sun. Great at shows, it has worked well for me. Security could be a problem it’s OK when you are near the van but I would not like to leave it out in a lot of locations.



    They are on sale at most of the shows and it is easy to connect them.



    Mike
     
  16. golly

    golly Funster

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    Thanks Mike I saw this one advertised at Maplin http://www.maplin.co.uk/60w-solar-power-kit-223250

    seems a good price, but I know nothing about the technical side of solar power.

    John
     
  17. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    I picked up my lpg converted genny on fleebay, almost unused for around 400 squid & for convenience have an external gas point on the m/h..........they are out there.

    Brian
     
  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    have a read of this (Solar panel types) about efficiency before buying solar panels......

    Oh!!! and the maplins amorphous panel isnt waterproof......only weatherproof....so would need fully sealing with silicone sealer etc
     
  19. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    The panel we have has a security cable attached (top right of the pic on the page I linked to). It came with a padlock which I didn't think very good so bought a bike cable with combination lock. I can attach it to the front tie down eye or the hab step at the rear of the van (depending which end is most convenient for how we are pitched).

    Last time Aldi had the siren padlocks on offer we got an end of line one that had been reduced. Fits nicely over the upper crossbar on the stand.

    Nothing is totally thief proof but we've used the panel at various shows, meets, CLs and not had a problem.
     
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  20. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Very good point. I'm sure ours is crystalline rather than amorphous. It's been used in everything from hot sun to heavy hail over the last 4 and a half years and never suffered any ill effects.
     
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