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laknox

Arizona

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Posted: 02/22/22 10:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

A generator carried on a rear rack needs substantial reenforcement.


Much simpler...and better to bolt a mount to the pin box. The pin box is very sturdy, so no worries about it falling off...unlike the typical rear trailer bumper.

If you can live with 1 Air/Con at a time, something in the 3000-4500w range is ideal.

If you are careful, the 4500w unit likely can accomodate 2 air/con units but you will need the right adapter and you have to limit the other stuff you run.

Yes, in theory you can use solar battery but by the time you build a system that can let you run air/con any reasonable amount of time, it's a whole lot cheaper and simpler just to get an appropriate generator and pay for the fuel.


My cousin and her husband did a bus conversion that's 98% electric. Propane is used for their tankless water heater and they have diesel heaters. They have 8 435W solar panels on the roof and a Nissan Leaf battery for the coach. You can see their build at www.beginningfromthismorning.com. Videos also on YT under the same name.

For anyone contemplating solar, check local companies selling used panels. Cousin used all used panels on their bus and they tested all panels with a meter before buying. All tested 430+ watts.

Lyle

* This post was edited 02/22/22 10:18am by laknox *


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laknox

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Posted: 02/22/22 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

How often and how long you dry camp is a huge fctor in all of this.
A built in Onan is without a doubt the most convenient way to go.
LP installation is the siplest way to use a built in.
If you want the efficiency of gasoline, than you need to provide a gas tank which adds to the complexity.
Portables are fine but will require transport and handling as well as gas can etc.. Portables are not as user friendly vs. the push button convenience of a built in
If genset is in truck, than truck will need to stay with RV in order to have power. If truck leaves electricity leaves. With that in mind a portable on a rear rack is doable, but it requires a more complex installation.
THere is no simple answer, the correct method is a direct reflection on how you intend to use it.
A final decision/method should not be made without seriously investigaing a large solar package.


I've seen a number of really nice genbox setups, most of them right here on rv.net. A permanent setup, mounted on the back of a rig, with storage for fuel, fans for cooling and auto-transfer sweitch wired in, just as if you had the genny in the front storage.

Lyle

Lantley

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Posted: 02/22/22 04:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Once upon a time.I had a realy nice genbox on the rear of my TT.
I carries a 4300 watt Robin Subaru genset in an aluminum fan cooled genbox
It worked well and never had any issues.
However it did impact the handling of my combo simply because between the rack, reinforcing the rear and the genset itself, I added a lot of weight behind the axles.
The rear genset was not push button convenient , I had to manually plug in but that could have been resolved with a transfer switch, remote start and more wiring. I still had to deal with gas cans and transporting gas.
While I did enjoy my rear mounted genset, built in is a better way to go if for no other reason than to avoid the weight in-balance and pin weight issues.
Between the axles will always be more stable than behind the axles.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 02/22/22 08:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

laknox wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

A generator carried on a rear rack needs substantial reenforcement.


Much simpler...and better to bolt a mount to the pin box. The pin box is very sturdy, so no worries about it falling off...unlike the typical rear trailer bumper.

If you can live with 1 Air/Con at a time, something in the 3000-4500w range is ideal.

If you are careful, the 4500w unit likely can accomodate 2 air/con units but you will need the right adapter and you have to limit the other stuff you run.

Yes, in theory you can use solar battery but by the time you build a system that can let you run air/con any reasonable amount of time, it's a whole lot cheaper and simpler just to get an appropriate generator and pay for the fuel.


My cousin and her husband did a bus conversion that's 98% electric. Propane is used for their tankless water heater and they have diesel heaters. They have 8 435W solar panels on the roof and a Nissan Leaf battery for the coach. You can see their build at www.beginningfromthismorning.com. Videos also on YT under the same name.

For anyone contemplating solar, check local companies selling used panels. Cousin used all used panels on their bus and they tested all panels with a meter before buying. All tested 430+ watts.

Lyle


So if you want to buy a system like that:
- 8 panels at 435w ~ $3000
- Leaf battery pack ~ $5000
- Inverter capable of running everything ~ $1500
- Installation ~ $3000

I can buy a generator and keep it maintained and fueled a lot cheaper than $12,500 (feel free to tweak the numbers but it's a big chunk of cash).

So your average RVer who isn't an electritian...you proved my point that it's technically possible but not practical.

Also, that's just shy of 3.5kw of panels and can be expected to produce around 14KWH per day on average. Assuming the air/con pulls 1500w...assuming no other loads, you have around 9 hours of air/con in a 24hour period, so with a massive system, you still aren't independent of the grid/generator.


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dogvetia

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Posted: 03/04/22 10:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all your inputs. I finally had a full length shelf on the rear and had it welded to frame and beefed up the hitch also welded to frame. I then mounted 2 onan 4500i inverter generators hooked to gather with the onan supplied wire harness. This supplies 50 amps. Both have remote controls. When ac is not needed I hook the original supplied cord to one generator for 30 amps which is totally adequate for power without the air. Fuel (gasoline) consumption has been good using 5 gallons for 8 day dry camp in AZ last week with no air. Plenty of tv during high winds at fireworks show. Happy so far. $1295/generator and $200 welding.


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BurbMan

Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 03/04/22 12:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lantley wrote:

At this point built in gensets are getting to be obsolete.
For the same $$$ I spent on my built in Onan.
A DIY solar system can be assembled to supply all my electrical needs including A/C.
Yes A/C is now possible with solar and a large Lithium battery bank.
Solar is the wave of the future, that wave is here now. It will only get better.


Generally agree with this, solar gives you the came convenience of built-in power without the noise of fuel consumption issues. The challenge becomes all of the variables outside of your control...cloudy days, camping in a forested site, etc. Although if you're camped in the shade you should be able to live without a/c...

Lantley

Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 03/04/22 07:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

laknox wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

A generator carried on a rear rack needs substantial reenforcement.


Much simpler...and better to bolt a mount to the pin box. The pin box is very sturdy, so no worries about it falling off...unlike the typical rear trailer bumper.

If you can live with 1 Air/Con at a time, something in the 3000-4500w range is ideal.

If you are careful, the 4500w unit likely can accomodate 2 air/con units but you will need the right adapter and you have to limit the other stuff you run.

Yes, in theory you can use solar battery but by the time you build a system that can let you run air/con any reasonable amount of time, it's a whole lot cheaper and simpler just to get an appropriate generator and pay for the fuel.


My cousin and her husband did a bus conversion that's 98% electric. Propane is used for their tankless water heater and they have diesel heaters. They have 8 435W solar panels on the roof and a Nissan Leaf battery for the coach. You can see their build at www.beginningfromthismorning.com. Videos also on YT under the same name.

For anyone contemplating solar, check local companies selling used panels. Cousin used all used panels on their bus and they tested all panels with a meter before buying. All tested 430+ watts.

Lyle


So if you want to buy a system like that:
- 8 panels at 435w ~ $3000
- Leaf battery pack ~ $5000
- Inverter capable of running everything ~ $1500
- Installation ~ $3000

I can buy a generator and keep it maintained and fueled a lot cheaper than $12,500 (feel free to tweak the numbers but it's a big chunk of cash).

So your average RVer who isn't an electritian...you proved my point that it's technically possible but not practical.

Also, that's just shy of 3.5kw of panels and can be expected to produce around 14KWH per day on average. Assuming the air/con pulls 1500w...assuming no other loads, you have around 9 hours of air/con in a 24hour period, so with a massive system, you still aren't independent of the grid/generator.


My comparison is a built in Onan was a $7000.00 option on my 5'er.
That gives me the convenience of push button electric. A/C at the push of a button. I could DIY a similar solar set up for $7K or have it installed for 10K.
Having a big solar set up would be a total game changer.
Being able to use non electric sites would open up a entire world of camping. I'm not referring to boondocking which is a rarity on the east coast. But their are lots of non electric sites in state parks that go unused because everyone needs a a pedestal.
Eliminating the need for a pedestal is a game changer.
There are lots of rules that regulate when you can run a genset those rules don't apply to solar.
Solar systems are slowly changing how we camp.
If I were buying today the 7K I spent in 2012 on a 5500 Onan would be spent on A/C capable solar.
This is not your father's Oldsmobile!

pianotuna

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Posted: 03/04/22 08:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At 7k in 2005 one might have gotten about 1200 watts of [email protected] per watt--but that price doesn't include a battery bank. I settled for 256 watts, which with charge controller ended up at $1700.

The bank I had in 2009 was 875 amp-hours with 50% usable. Cost was $1 per amp-hour. At the time approximately the same storage as a the original smaller Tesla Power Wall (5kwh). I went 5 years without a generator with this larger bank.

Then I went full time and chose to go back to a generator. What a mistake.

Over the time frame from 2000 to 2021, I spent 12,500.00 on generators, not counting maintenance, fuel or oil changes, nor a cage to store it.

Certainly prices are much lower today--but I wish I had bitten the bullet in 2005 and gone super size solar.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

valhalla360

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Posted: 03/05/22 02:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

My comparison is a built in Onan was a $7000.00 option on my 5'er.
That gives me the convenience of push button electric. A/C at the push of a button. I could DIY a similar solar set up for $7K or have it installed for 10K.
Having a big solar set up would be a total game changer.
Being able to use non electric sites would open up a entire world of camping. I'm not referring to boondocking which is a rarity on the east coast. But their are lots of non electric sites in state parks that go unused because everyone needs a a pedestal.
Eliminating the need for a pedestal is a game changer.
There are lots of rules that regulate when you can run a genset those rules don't apply to solar.
Solar systems are slowly changing how we camp.
If I were buying today the 7K I spent in 2012 on a 5500 Onan would be spent on A/C capable solar.
This is not your father's Oldsmobile!


So almost twice as much as a built in generator (or 12 times as much as a portable)...and you still have limited electric if you want air/con with the massive solar/battery system.

Solar has it's place but once you want air/con, it's technically possible but not practical.

Veebyes

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Posted: 03/05/22 06:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No matter how you slice it the luxury of having A/C is awfully expensive.

Out here in the real world most of us with 5ers seem to get along fine with a 2000W portable inverter genny at less than $1000.00. It does not run the A/C but it does everything else just fine.

You can get an awful lot of CG nights with power for the cost of a built in genny.


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