generator--vs--inverter

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by greylaughingfox, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. greylaughingfox

    greylaughingfox New Member

    I'm lost and I don't know what to get. I need 2000 watts for my class c. What are the + and - of each., and what would you recommend. :question:
     
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Hi Jerry, I am not familiar with the inverters but I would think you would need a generator. What are you planning on running off the inverter or gen.? You will need room to mount the generator and sealed so exhaust fumes will not enter the MH. generators tend to be a little noisey. Honda makes a good 2000 watt generator IMO and can be found at most home repair centers such as Lowes.
     
  3. airtime_262

    airtime_262 New Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Jerry,
    You will need to elaborate a little on that. (maybe its just me). :dead: Do you not have an inverter already installed? And Chelse, correct me if I'm wrong, but all an inverter does is convert ac electric to dc or vice versa, right? It doesn't actually make energy. A generator makes energy. I guess what I'm trying to say is do you plug in now to get power, or do you have a battery on board to power some of your items? (thus the need for the inverter). Do you agree Chelse? If I'm not out in left field, Chelse is right as far as Honda making a good generator. I have one, very reliable. If you do mount it onboard, be very sure the exhaust is ducted correctly and a carbon monoxide detector is a "must have". Write back and let me know.
    AT-
     
  4. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Yes, I agree with you airtime. I would assume that Jerry is wanting to convert his 12 volt battery, batteres voltage to 110 which will work for limited applications. Will not run acs IMO. If you had enough batteries guess it would. I built an electric truck that ran off 12 volt batteres, 24 of them, in series of two 12 packs to get 120 voltage and it would run about 80 miles without charge. Give us a litle more info Jerry?
     
  5. greylaughingfox

    greylaughingfox New Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    I have an converter in my class c, with a bank of 4 trojan 105 for the coach batteries, i guess what I want to know is it more feasible to purchase an inverter to convert my coach batteries to ac so that I can run my A/C and/or microwave. Or (2) would it be better to just purchase a generator that would give me the ac volt and wattage that I need. I am one concerned about adding more weight and 2 the noise produced from a generator.

    Thanks everyone for the help
     
  6. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Jerry, don't think the batteries will power the AC but as I said not up on the inverters. You really need around 4000 watt gen to run the AC. Some have been using two 2000 watt connected together somehow to be able to power ACs. The hondas are pretty quite and portable. Think you will have to look at the generators to do the job for you. Good luck
     
  7. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Jerry,
    Here comes my limited knowledge of this subject. I have a 4,500 watt generator that I only use when no AC is available. The converter will do two things for you. It will charge your aux batteries while plugged into AC power and it will convert ac power to run your 12 volt items in your unit. The Aux batteries run the hot water tank start up, the furnace start up and most lights. The ac power runs the refrigerator (it will run on DC and gas if you have 3 way), outlets wired for AC power. If your going to be where there is ac power (plug in) use it. If not, you will probably need a generator. I would say, minimum 4,500 watt generator. I run my A/C unit and refrigerator and TV's (outlets) with the generator at times (it is a 4,500 watt) and all seems to run just fine, but I prefer AC power.
    Hope this helps a little. I probably forgot a few items (sorry), but maybe what I have said will help a little.
    Good luck :)
     
  8. greylaughingfox

    greylaughingfox New Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Chelse and Archer:

    Thanks guys for the help, it looks like the generator is the way to go, someday I may not be so confused: generator--inverter--converter? Oh well I like the learning process.

    My new post it's a duzzy.
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Its not a question of generator OR inverter, its a question of generator AND inverter.

    The generator will provide you with all the power you will likely need (3000 to 4000 watts min if you want ro run your AC), but you do need to worry about weight, noise and exhaust.

    The inverter, will, if you have adequate battery storage charged from your generator or plug in, provide you with some 110v usage. The amount of usage is dictated by the rating of the inverter and the capability of your battery bank. Note that it is hard on the batteries to discharge them more the 50%.

    You will probably not be able to run AC from any inverter/battery combination, and even if you could, it wouldn't be for very long...
     
  10. airtime_262

    airtime_262 New Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Jerry,
    I think what Chelse, Hertig, and Archer are trying to say is "You need a generator". Yes, you can run ac off an inverter, (the correct one) but it uses so much energy, it doesn't last long. Hertig has a point, but it may be a little too in-depth for what you were asking. Basically, If you have a battery w/alot of storage, and an inverter that has a lower capacity, it would spend all it's time trying to charge the battery, and not running anything else. Ideally, "plugging-in" is what you want. When you can't, you need a generator. Now, you may, or may not like this option. If you have room to mount the generator inside, and plan on having the rv for awhile, 3yrs plus, Onan is the only way to go. (they cost though). They are sooooo quiet and require less maintenance that anyone else. I wish I had one. I have a Honda, that I put on wheels for alot less money, ($1000) but it's alot louder. I'll have to look, but I found a website that makes it easy to determine what size gen. you need. A microwave, hairdryer, and A/C kill you on start up. That is what requires the most amps, STARTUP! You can run all 3 together, but start them up together and you'll blow breakers. Let me see if I can find that website, and I'll post it here, give me til after the 1st, I probably won't be back til then.
    AT-
     
  11. Adamthegreat

    Adamthegreat New Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    Most new motorhomes use a generator in conjuction with an inverter or converter. An inverter has two functions: it will convert 12v dc current from your batteries to 120vac to power your appliances. Its second function is to charge your batteries, which is usually done by way of a bi-directional relay, or charging solenoid. Inverters are usually used for small a/c loads, and are not a primary power source. Like I said, they are usually used inconjunction with shore power or generator, which are much more powerful AC sources. Depending on what load capability you are looking for, Honda and Onan are probably your best bets for a good generator.
     
  12. New2TheRoad

    New2TheRoad New Member

    generator--vs--inverter

    greylaughingfox,

    I wonder if you may already have an inverter in your coach. You appear to have a lot of battery for not having an inverter. Most coaches without inverters, come with only two batteries.
     

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