Whats a good Generator

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by Buff_Dog70, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Buff_Dog70

    Buff_Dog70 New Member

    I have a 1998 Wildwood 24 foot "toyhauler type" travel trailer. I think to run the air conditioning I need a about min. 4000 watts. I'm trying to find an affordable generator that can produce this energy. I don't want one too loud. But I don't mind using a long extension cord to place generator away from trailer. I don't plan on using trailer in a campground situation, more likely in remote locations.
     
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Whats a good Generator

    I have a Honda 3000eu. Believe it or not, I can run everything in my 29' fifth wheel. That is a 15k AC, elec. water heater, TV, Refer. Now if you add coffee pot, curling irons, hair dryers, etc., something has to go. It is a very quite running generator with elec. start and enough gas onboard to run up to 20 hours. I have actually run mine 18.5 on a tank. There are lots of others out there, but they are going to get big and very hard to move around. Good Luck
     
  3. Poppa

    Poppa Member

    Whats a good Generator

    The honda's are a good choice. In remote locations you need to make sure that it has the approved flame arrestors and also that it is below the sound level as to DB's
     
  4. Travis1

    Travis1 New Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Honda now makes inline generators that are awesome. I beleave that they are 2000 watts a piece but when inline it is 4000. they are quite, light and great on gas. depending on where you shop they might get expensive though.
     
  5. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Yes, a friend of mine bought two 2000 watt Hondas and the parallel cables that give her 4000 watts. She did it because she is single, camps alone, and cannot lift the 3000. She did invest more money than I did, but it works for her. She gave up the electric start and they won't run as long as the 3000 because the gas tank is smaller.
     
  6. USMC

    USMC Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Just curious about something, I just recently ran a 10-2 gauge wire out to my driveway where I have my RV parked, What I did was put in a 50 amp breaked in my 200 AMP house service and basically with the 4 wires made a 70 ft drop cord to give me 50 amp capacity just as I would have at an RV park.
    I guess my question now is this would it not be better to make a small 50 Amp drop cord and have a small breaked box in your Rv with a 50 amp breaker and plug it directly into the 220 0f your Honda generator and give you the full constant 50 amp power?
    I don't know that much about generators but it seems that using the 220 capability of the generator and convert it to full 50 amp might work better than just plugging it in too the 120 outlet provided, just wondering maybe someone can straighten me out about this. Later Jim
     
  7. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Whats a good Generator

    I hope you realize that 220 is NOT used in an RV. The 1000, 2000, and 3000 Honda's do not have 220 outlets. Larger units may, but again, not used for campers. The 3000s' outlets are 2 duplex 110v, 15 amp and one circular 3 prong locking 110v outlet rated at 30amp. I don't think the smaller ones have the locking plug.
    I don't claim to be an electrician, but a friend of mine had one hook up a 50 amp plug for his new fifth wheel. He wired it 220 and blew a LOT of things in the trailer. When I found out what he did, I explained to him it was 50 amp. 120v. We then had to replace what he blew. The washer, microwave and a few other things.
     
  8. USMC

    USMC Member

    Whats a good Generator

    I don't think I have made myself clear on this subject, what I was trying to say is this, if I plugged in my trailer to an outlet that is wired for 50 amp and with a 50 amp breaker and then plugged that into a generator that had a 220 outlet the trailer then would be drawing 50 amp into the R.V. just the same as it would as when I wired it to my house 100 amp supply box. :)
     
  9. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Hey USMC, Semper Fi. From one Marine to another, it still sounds like you have plugged your RV into one too many plugs. Not sure if I'm following you on the 220v. From what Grandview said, it makes sense not to plug into the 220. :laugh: At one point in my life I was an electonics mechanic working on aircraft electronic instruments and I know we didn't mix the 220v with 120v connections. Getting up in age and I 'm a little foggy on the Ohms/amps/volts etc. they taught in class, so I won't try to get technical, but maybe you should consult a electrician before plugging in to the 220v connection. Good luck and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays.
     
  10. USMC

    USMC Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Hi Marine, yes I guess I'm having trouble still making my self clear on here, my question was this, if I connected my RV to 220 volts but only as a power source prior to it being converted between the generator and the trailer via the {10-2 carrier 4 wires 2 hot and a neutral and a ground}with a 50 amp breaker box, would that not work in the same manner in the way that I connected my RV to receive 50 amp? via the 200 amp servive in my house.
    It is not important if no one knows or understands what I'm trying to covey, as I was just curious why that wouldn't work? I have no plans on doing that in the near future.Semper Fi my friend. Later Jim.
     
  11. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Jim, been mulling this over in my poor head all day. I THINK what you are pulling out of your house is 110v. And that is good! Yes, you have 200amps. service to your box, but you have to get on both 110 legs to create 220. That is what the electrician did to my buddys trailer. He then had to go back and drop one of those legs.

    I guess there is a way to use a 220 plug in a generator and only use part of it when you wire the plug ends so you only have 110 at the trailer, but I would have to be doing it and have my meter handy.
     
  12. USMC

    USMC Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Hi Grandview,I know I'm must be confusing everyone about this, but I will attempt one more time to try to explain my thoughts on this subject.
    Ok now, lets forget everthing I said and let me start all over again, yes i understand that my house has a 200 AMP service and that it is split into 120 and you can add a breaker to give you 220 for electric baseboard heaters airconditioners ect.
    Now let me start to explain what I did do, I wanted a 50 amp circuit to plug my RV into in my drive way, so to accomplish this I removed a breaker in my 200 amp service and replaced it with a 50 amp breaker and then I wired in a 10-2 wirening that has 2 hot wires a neutral and a ground, I then ran this long wire out to my trailer and wired in a female plug and that gave me 50 amp at my RV site in our drive way, therefore I was then able to run all my applinces and airconditioner and it works fine.
    Now lets skip forward to the generator subject and try to explain my thoughts on this again.
    Let us say using the same senario as above, I take the same kind of 10-2 wire that has 4 wires in it and I put a male plug on it and I plug it into the 220 outlet of my generator on the other end of the wire I run it into a breaker box were I have installed a 50 amp breaker and then I run the wires out of that breaker box over to my R.V. and install a female plug there I then plug my Rv male plug into the female plug and I start the generator, when the power comes out of the generator it is feeding into my wires at 220 volts but when it reaches the breaker box with the 50 amp breaker it then breaks down that 220 power into 50 amps and feeds it onto my RV service.
    I hope maybe I have made myself more understandable on this subject, sometimes I have difficulty explaing things and may leave out somethings that I take for granted that evryone knows, sorry about that. later Jim
     
  13. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Jim makes sense to me. If the gen will produce 220 don't see why it wont work but, I would ask Onan or which ever generator mfg this question. The 220 is converted back to 110 in the rv to supply the amps needed for all appliances. Might overwork the generator.
     
  14. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Yes, If you copy the way you wired your house, it should work. I still think there is a way to use 3 of the 4 wires out of the generator and just pull 110 out of the 220 outlet, but again I would need a meter to make sure I did it right.
     
  15. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Whats a good Generator

    USMC, none of my generators have a 220v outlet, so I can't check it, but there might be a problem with what you propose. The differance (and it is a critical one) between 220v and 50A RV wiring is that 3rd wire. 220v goes between the two source wires and will fry the trailer if not connected correctly. What they do in both a house and a RV to get 110v is to provide a center neutral or return wire. From each source to the neutral is 110 volts, fuzed at 50Amps each, for a total of 100Amps of 110v. The reason that neutral wire does not need to be larger guage than each source is that the two sources are out of phase, so (some of) the current from one source 'cancels out' the current from the other so there cannot be more than 50Amps in that neutral wire at any particular instant of time.

    So where would you connect that neutral wire on the generator? Ground? Might work, since in the house that seems to be where they connect it. Of course, the ground of a house is litereally connected to the ground (via the water pipe or equivalent) and the generator might not be really connected to the ground. I would check with a certified electrician and the generator mfg before I'd try it.

    As long as you are properly providing that center return wire between whatever you are using as a 220v supply and the RV, you will be providing 2 out of phase circuits of 50A 110v each, which is what the RV is designed for.

    By the way, you say you use 10 gauge wire. That might be a bit small for 50 Amp. I think 8 gauge might be a better choice, or possibly even 6 ga for long runs. Home Depot carries it.
     
  16. USMC

    USMC Member

    Whats a good Generator

    Well actually the generator that I own does have a 220 outlet on it, I bought it at Sams warehouse about 6 years ago.
    Actually when I bought the generator I wired it permanetly at it's back yard location and ran a 8-2 wire into my house 200 amp service, I didn't want to spend a lot of money for a conversion to switch the power over automatically when I lost power during a storm, so I jury rigged it by putting in a 30 amp breaker and wired it into it, so when I loose power I shut off the main breaker at the top of my 200 amp box and I also shut off all the other breakers in the box and with the wire plugged into the 220 of my generator I start the generator and send the power into my 200 amp box in my house and then I start turning on the breakers and direct the electric where I want it to go.
    this system works well and when the power comes back on you have to shut off the breaker to the generator and shut off the generator before you turn your main back on other wise you will feed power back into your generator.
    As I said you can purchase a box to do this for you automatically but as I said it is pretty pricy, I just cover up the breaker to the generator when not in use so someone doesn't come along and throw the breaker.
    Actually I did buy the 10-2 wire that I wired to my trailer 50 amp hook up at Home Depot just as you have suggested.
    I asked the electrician about if I should use a 10-8 and he said since I'm only running about 70 feet that gauge will be just fine, I was told If I would have had to run farther yes 10-8 would probably be better.
    In reference to plugging in on the generator and converting it to 50 AMP I beleive that when I plug my male trailer plug into the female plug 4 wire just before it goes into my 50 amp breaker box and the 50 amp breaker it is wired already to convert. later Jim
     
  17. sparkieth

    sparkieth New Member

    Re: Whats a good Generator

    Hi Jim, My name is Tim and I'm a licensed electrician in the state of Utah. The electrician that you talked to is right about the wire size, but I'm having some trouble with the breaker issue. I assume that the reason that you would want to run the generator through the breaker box is so when power is out in your house you could run your camper + your house off of your generator. In this scenario what you described would work, but you are still limited to the power that your generator will produce. If you overload it it will trip the breaker on your generator.
    Now let me explain a little bit about a breaker. It is just the same as a fuse. It limits the ammount of current that you can draw on a circuit for protection of that circuit. It does not change the power in any way. Just limits it so you don't burn up your wire. If you wired your generator through a 50 amp breaker you are still limited by the ammount of power your generator will produce. If it has a 30 amp breaker on it then it will trip way before the 50 amp breaker so there is nothing accomplished.
    If the power was not out at your house and you tried wiring your generator through your breaker box in your house you would have serious problems because the power from your house and the power from your generator would be out of sync. Would hopefully trip a breaker, but don't always count on that.
    I hope this helps
     
  18. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Whats a good Generator

    Sparkieth,
    Welcome to the forum and thanks for your thoughts. Good to have a real electrician around, but did you notice the date on this? It is over 2 years old. The orginial poster never came back.

    Again, welcome and hope to hear from you a lot.
     
  19. rcrhappy29

    rcrhappy29 Junior Member

    explanation

    Hey grandview
    I know this is very old but want to explain how that works. you are right and wrong. A 50 amp plug in rv parks are 220 volt. however nothing inside the camper is 220. it just splits up inside. you can use a 220 volt generator on a 5o amp camper. if you are at a 30 amp only campground there are adaptors as im sure you know.
    However, your friend must have had a 30 amp camper that he wired up a 220 volt to. that will burn some stuff up for sure. BUT. there is no way to burn anything up on a 50 amp camper plugging into a 220 volt plug , it is not possible because all 50 amp plugs at campgrounds are 220 on a 2 pole 50 amp breaker.
     
  20. Cruzincat

    Cruzincat Member

    You could burn stuff up with 220VAC if the neutral is floating (not tied to neutral back at the power source).
     

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