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 > To buy a generator or not...

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rlw999

Washington State

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Joined: 08/19/2020

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Posted: 07/27/21 11:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mkirsch wrote:

Do you have an idea of how much propane the onboard generator ACTUALLY uses? I can't believe that it would suck down a 20lb tank in 3-4 hours.


I'm not sure which generator the OP has, but here's some specs for the 3600W Onan LP generator:

Quote:

The burn rate for the propane generator is .6 gallons an hour on full consumption @ ½ load and .7 gallons and hour at full consumption @ full load. The 3600 Watt Onan Propane generator weight 172 pounds and .2 decibels quieter then the diesel generator.


So he'll probably get 5 - 7 hours of use out of a 20 lb propane tank.

If he has the smaller 2500W Onan LP, then he'd do better:

Quote:

Fuel consumption at no load is just 0.18 gallons per hour; half load is 0.31 gallons per hour, and full load 0.55 gallons per hour.


* This post was last edited 07/27/21 11:29am by rlw999 *   View edit history

specta

utah

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Posted: 07/27/21 12:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pony up and get a good one, you'll love running the AC when ever and where ever you want.

I wouldn't own an RV that had AC and not own a generator to run it. Even f it wasn't very often.

I can use my coffee maker and my microwave any time I want too.


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specta

utah

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Posted: 07/27/21 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jimh425 wrote:

Everyone uses their TC differently, but many of us never need a generator for more than a few minutes at a time. That’s where the builtin shines. I already have a propane stove, fridge, furnace, and hot water heater, so it makes sense to use a propane generator for those few minutes to run a microwave, top off the battery etc.




[image]

Same here. I've only run my generator for a few hours at a time a few times when we've camped in really hot weather and returned to camp early like when we camped by State Line on the Utah Nevada boarder last year when it was in the high 90s.

We were there for several days and I never ran out of LP. I have no idea how much it burns per hour.


[image]

I love that little button on the left. [emoticon]

toedtoes

California

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Posted: 07/27/21 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

specta wrote:

Pony up and get a good one, you'll love running the AC when ever and where ever you want.

I wouldn't own an RV that had AC and not own a generator to run it. Even f it wasn't very often.

I can use my coffee maker and my microwave any time I want too.


That is very dependent upon whether the OP continues to camp at established campgrounds or decides to start boondocking.

For me, I don't camp where I need AC. I get heat sick very easily, so if it's hot enough to need AC, then it's too hot for me to be out enjoying life. However, that AC comes in very handy when I need to do work on the camper while at home. So no generator needed.


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Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 07/27/21 03:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Technology changes a lot over the years.
Back in 1980, the RV-style generator weight about 400lb.
Now they come to 100 lb.
But they might become obsolete in the matter of few years.
Now with 200lb of batteries holding 500 am-h, cheap inverters and alternators reaching, or even exceeding 200 amp, we might be able to run AC for few hr on battery & solar power, when worse case scenario would be starting the engine for electricity.





adamis

Northern California

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Posted: 07/27/21 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the suggestions thus far. I think the generator is a Onan 2500 if I recall correctly. Probably get about 4 or 5 hours of run time out of a bottle of propane but I've hardly ever used it so that is a guess. In fact, generator has about 20 hours total on it and that is for probably the 20 years of the life of the camper.

Given this type of usage, why would I want to buy a gasoline generator if I hardly use it anyway? Well, I think my use is being dictated by the generator itself. It isn't efficient to run for long periods of time, makes a lot of noise and a lot of vibration. More than anything, I just don't want to be that guy running a generator in a campground such that it interfers with other people's enjoyment. At most if I use it, it is for the microwave or blender. The only time we use it otherwise is to run the AC during a lunch stop if it is hot outside.

I suppose one other option to consider might be to look at selling the generator and seeing if I can get enough to purchase another 200ah of LiFePo4 battery and setup the AC to run off the inverter. I've seen Phil's setup and his is pretty dang impressive. I've not really thought about going that far with it because I don't have the space for the batteries but if I eliminated the generator, that would solve that problem. If I did this, in addition to adding 200w more solar (already have 200w for a total of 400w) I would get a heavy duty DC to DC charger so I could charge the LiFePo4 from the truck alternator. If I am doing all of this, I would probably replace the AC unit itself to get something a little more efficient.

That I think would be the ideal setup but I'm looking at but that's a lot of money so I guess I will just do pieces of it over time.


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2oldman

NM

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Posted: 07/27/21 06:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Running a/c from batteries is doable, for a while. Microwaves and blenders do quite well on inverters. TV too.

I heartily recommend upping your system voltage to at least 24 for running air. At 12v it's just too much amperage for your wiring and connectors, and things will heat up.

Many talk about running a/c from a generator, buy in my experience, it's rare. People usually just leave for the day and let the trailer get hot. I myself do not. I run a couple 2200s 8, 10 hours a day. That about 15 gallons of gas every 4 days.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 07/27/21 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good plan. Sell the Onan and pocket the savings from not buying the Honda 2200 and see where you are at.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/27/21 08:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I get the noise thing, I do. But if you're camped where it's hot at night and there are other RVs, you will not have the only genny running an AC fired up.

Plus, you're leaving in a week and a half and what are your options?
1. Buy a new 2k genny and hope that it runs the AC.
2. Buy a bigger genny for even more money and where the F do you store it (uses more gas too).
3. Fill your propane bottles and bring an extra 1 or 2 (we all seem to have a couple bottles laying around, if not ask your neighbors, you can probably procure 1 or 2 easily). Or just go get them filled if you need to. Convenient excuse for a quick road soda away from the runts..
4. Add 200AH of LiFEpo4, more solar, DC-DC charger that you'll probably need to run that rattling powerstroke to recharge if you run the AC too long and don't have your $1000s of dollars of off grid gear all setup right and the weather gets too hot????


Seriously man, fill a couple bottles, go camping, exercise your generator. That's what it's for.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/27/21 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

Good plan. Sell the Onan and pocket the savings from not buying the Honda 2200 and see where you are at.


That will really make the AC run well next week when he needs it....

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