Education on generators

#1
Please help me understand using generators for power when none is available. It helps keep the RV battery charged so you can keep the main things running, refer,water pump, furnace motor, is this right? They talk about ratings in amps, watts, etc. If I get one rated at 20 amps or more will that like being plugged in at a camp? I'm usually out in forest lands in all weather.....
Please let me know your experiences with generators so I can buy something appropriate. Thanks!! :blush:
 

H2H1

Senior Member
#2
RE: Education on generators

HELLO Lynn and welcome to the forum. I would contact Ken at GVTS. in my opinion he is an expert on the subject and very knowledgeable on RV'ing. You can find him on the forum just look for GVTS and post him a message,or PM him he will get back to you. but of course he may answer the post before you have a change to ask him . best of luck and happy RV'ing.
 

DL Rupper

Senior Member
#3
Re: Education on generators

Hey lynnieg3, welcome to the forum. For instance, a Honda EU2000ia (20 amps) will do all the chores you outlined in your thread. However, it won't run your air conditioner too. You will need 2 Hondas in parallel or a 3000 Watt (30 amp) generator or bigger if you want to run everything to include your air conditioner. I used Honda as an example only. Kenneth at GTS will tell you that he sells a generator that is as good as the Honda for less $$$. Check out what he has to say. It may save you some money.
 
#4
Re: Education on generators

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it......I'm going to start looking, but it sure is slim pickins around here. I found a place 40 miles away that seems the best. I guess I could try the place around the corner that repairs small engines, they may be able to school me on reliability and things like that. Thanks guys and happy trails! :) I'm going to keep checking up on this site for interesting stuff for the newbie. Anyone out there camp on BLM land other places that are quiet and remote?
 
#5
Re: Education on generators

Sorry I missed that, have not been online today. What you were told is correct. One 2000 will keep the battery charged and that will run most things in your camper. IF you want the AC to run off the Generator. You need the second 2000 paralleled together or a 3000 model. Both Honda and Kipor will do this. I can get you a Kipor mailed to your home address. Let me know.
 
#6
Re: Education on generators

He's got some REALLY BIG envelopes, and a bunch of stamps! (Some assembly required after the post office gets through with it!) :clown:
 

DL Rupper

Senior Member
#7
Re: Education on generators

We have camped on BLM land/campgrounds. Some of the campgrounds have electric/water and a dump (low cost $). However, there is lots of BLM land out West where you can camp free (boondock). No hookups and no neighbors. No neighbors also means if you have an emergency or unwelcome callers, you're on your own. Also, sooner or later you will need to find a dump station to get rid of your waste water.

Forest Service and Corps of Engineers campgrounds are good options too. Most Forest Service campgrounds don't have hookups or dump stations, however, some do have dump stations. Many Corps of Engineer campgrounds have electric/water and dump stations.

You need to keep in mind that many US Government campgrounds are run by private contractors and they charge more than the ones run by volunteer hosts and Government agencies. :( Usually the US Government Agency campgrounds located close too or in National Recreation Areas/Parks/Monuments are contractor operated. :dead:
 
#10
RE: Education on generators



A generator is basically device that converts rotaing mechanical energy to AC power. Normally they are set up to operate at a specific rpm which approximates 60 hz. Most motorhome generators have adjustments (you normally don't mess with) that sets the frequency, RMS voltage, etc. There are other types that are not mounted in a motorhome, but operate the same way. They can be run on gas, LP(propane), or diesel, fuel oil etc. Most have efficiency ratings around 60-75%.

A generator that is rated for say, 5000 watts will/should operate at about 75% continuous, which will put out about 31 amp at 120 vac. If it says it will do 5000 watts continuous, then it will put out about 42 amp, and is closer to 6000 watt peak. You have to ask the mfr/salesman to show you the spec's so you can understand what is really being claimed. The ac power provided is not a square wave, but will/should be a pretty good sinewave generated power, since the rotating system should be fairly stable.







Hope this helps
 
#12
Re: Education on generators

There's a spinner in there, but they don't have to match the speed and turns of wire to get 60 Hz. @ 120V. (It's a high frequency spinner with rectifiers and capacitors.) They get the correct voltage and frequency out of the inverter electronics on the output.

Doing it this way makes sure that motors designed to run on 60 Hz get the correct voltage supplied at that frequency.

DANGER WILL ROBINSON! TECHNICAL TALK: Reminds me of some of my field techs that thought they were so smart to argue with me about how fast the cheap little generators should run. The wanted to put their voltmeter on the outlet and throttle the generator down until the meter read 120 VAC. While they may have had an argument there, what they had also done is lower the FREQUENCY of the AC to the point where it was low enough to cause transformers to get hot and smoke. A frequency meter read 60 Hz when the voltage output was more like 170 VAC.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#13
Re: Education on generators

wow tex that was good :approve: ;)
but since i know that u used to be in the electronics field i'll just give u a :eek:
How's that :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :clown:
 
#14
Re: Education on generators

Hi guys, for you 'techier than I' types, I'm interested in a little further explanation. I am famiiar with solid-state types of AC generation, but they usually require battery banks(quite hefty) and do generate good power, but the OP asked about generators in general. I also know about the M-G set types, worked on them for years, but what will operate a 5000 KW generator and not have any 'rotating' parts on an RV ?? Am I missing something??
 
#15
Re: Education on generators

For all practical purposes, you can't generate electricity without wires crossing a magnetic field. This basically requires 'rotating' or spinning those wires.

To generate any power at the output, you have to put more power into the input. Practically speaking, unless you have a goat that can run really fast, you have to use a fossil fuel powered engine to create the excess power for the input.

I think this answers you question. :approve:
 
#17
Re: Education on generators

Thanks folks, I'm getting smarter by the minute, you all really know your stuff! Still wonder if RV gets plugged in to generator or attached to battery to keep it going. :shy: :question: :question:
 

DL Rupper

Senior Member
#18
Re: Education on generators

You should be able to plug the RV 30 amp straight into the Generator on any smaller (2000/3000 Watt)Honda/Yamaha/Kipor generator. You may need a 50 to 30 amp adaptor if you plug in a 50 amp RV service.
 
#19
Re: Education on generators



No, there is a generator adapter needed for the Honda and Kipor to plug into the 30 amp cord off the trailer. We sell them for about $15.00.

I do not know about Yamaha.
 

DL Rupper

Senior Member
#20
Re: Education on generators

Thanks Kenneth. Good info. I just assumed that they could be plugged in direct, since they sell so many to RV'ers.
 
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