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Old 08-31-2018, 11:08 AM   #1
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Generator Use

I transitioned from a TT to a MH in March and find that I have the occasional question. This one concerns the generator. One of the reasons for moving from a TT to an MH was the onboard generator and inverter. Until this point I have always traveled with the shore power cord not connected to the generator. It occurred to me as I exercised the generator yesterday that in order to utilize the generator the shore power cord must be connected to the generator. So my question is; is there any reason that I cannot travel with the shore power cord connected to the generator as a regular practice.Doing so would relieve me of having to exit the MH in inclement weather to plug in the power cord.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:26 PM   #2
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As a rule my power cord is attached plugged in all the time. When on the road it's plugged into the gen, at a campsite w/power it's plugged in there. Some (usually larger) MH have automatic transfer switches which allows you to skip plugging it in for the gen.
I regularly start up the gen for coffee, etc. while on the road, easy and convenient to use the micro instead of a pot on the stove. I need to run my diesel gen 2 hrs per month anyway, it's never been a problem for me to do that. Hope your enjoying your new MH.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:06 PM   #3
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Same here. It’s either plugged into the generator outlet or shore power.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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Yep. Plugged in or to shore power.
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:42 AM   #5
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Plug it in to the Genny and use it. The genny needs a good, regular, underload run. Just don't start or shut it down when there is load on in the MH, not good for it.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:21 AM   #6
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Thanks for the response. I have been running the gen 30 minutes once a month as follows:
start
run for 3 mins with no load
run for 30 mins with load, usually AC and lights
shut off all loads and run for 3 mins
Is there any reason I could not rub the gen while driving?
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:11 AM   #7
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I run our genny quite a bit, while driving - never a problem. Depends on the circumstances - hot weather, run for the AC, also to charge batteries after a night of boondocking on the batteries.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legolas View Post
Thanks for the response. I have been running the gen 30 minutes once a month as follows:
start
run for 3 mins with no load
run for 30 mins with load, usually AC and lights
shut off all loads and run for 3 mins
Is there any reason I could not rub the gen while driving?

I always run the generator while driving. The gen set has almost as many hours on it as the chassis engine does. While driving, it powers the refrig, the AC's, and allows for charging cell phones and tablets and running the laptop. In storage I run it at least 1 hour per month under the biggest load that I can put on it. It puts out 42 Amps so it's hard to load it up with more than about 20 Amps.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:44 AM   #9
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I think this has been discussed here recently, or maybe it was on Facebook, but here it is: Run the generator while driving when you need the AC to keep you cool. The generator uses about half a gallon per hour to run, where running the AC on the engine uses probably half a gallon every 10 miles! So when driving when it's hot, the main AC is on and we only use the fans up front to cool us off. If it's really hot, then we'll switch on the engine AC briefly, just to cool us down a bit, then turn it off again.
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
I always run the generator while driving. The gen set has almost as many hours on it as the chassis engine does. While driving, it powers the refrig, the AC's, and allows for charging cell phones and tablets and running the laptop. In storage I run it at least 1 hour per month under the biggest load that I can put on it. It puts out 42 Amps so it's hard to load it up with more than about 20 Amps.
As I said I'm really new at the MH stuff. I had a 2000W inverter installed in my MH as soon as I got it home.



Is there a flaw in the following theory. Its my understanding that the house batteries are charged by the engines alternator power as I drive the MH. Therefore as I drive the MH the house batteries are being charged and if the inverter is on the fridge is being run on electric.



As I said I am new at the MH game and am trying to get my arms around the important operating stuff that is different from the TT world.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by legolas View Post
As I said I'm really new at the MH stuff. I had a 2000W inverter installed in my MH as soon as I got it home.

Is there a flaw in the following theory. Its my understanding that the house batteries are charged by the engines alternator power as I drive the MH. Therefore as I drive the MH the house batteries are being charged and if the inverter is on the fridge is being run on electric.

As I said I am new at the MH game and am trying to get my arms around the important operating stuff that is different from the TT world.
I am not sure how a 2017 Minnie is configured, but on my 2010 Sunova the chassis alternator charges the chassis battery only. Either shore power or the generator charges the house batteries only. I added an AMP-L-START that charges both the house batteries and chassis battery while on shore power or generator.

As for the frig, my Norcold only runs on 120V from shore power or the generator or on propane. You can check your frig owner's manual to find out if that is the case for yours.

My inverter is 300 watts and it runs the living room outlet for the TV only. Pretty useless. I wouldn't know how your inverter is connected to the 120V system or what it powers but 2000W sure would be nice.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:53 PM   #12
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Legolas, Here's a link to the '17 Minni Winnie Operator's Manual. I'll suggest bookmarking it; downloading and copying to every device you have; put a copy in your cloud storage just because.

A quick read says that your Minnie is like the thousands of other WBGOs built in the last decade to 15 years. It should work like this:

Shore power & genny will charge the coach battery bank but NOT the chassis battery.
The alternator will charge both the coach bank and the chassis battery.

They are separated in the charging routine to keep you from accidentally depleting BOTH battery banks accidently (or on purpose). This allows you to always have a chassis battery for starting even if you run the coach bank down.

Should you run the chassis battery down, there is a 'BOOST SWITCH' on the dash that will slave the coach bank to the chassis so you can get an emergency start. YEAAA!

You have an INVERTER/CONVERTER/CHARGER. Inverter changes 11V DC to 120V AC so you can run a microwave or other AC device off the coach battery bank. The converter changes 120V AC to 12V DC and powers certain 12V items in the coach like the 12V DC "brains" in the fridge. The charger converts 120V AC to DC voltages for controlled charging of the coach batteries. Obviously, it can run off the shore or generator.
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Old 09-03-2018, 10:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Crows View Post
Legolas, Here's a link to the '17 Minni Winnie Operator's Manual. I'll suggest bookmarking it; downloading and copying to every device you have; put a copy in your cloud storage just because.

A quick read says that your Minnie is like the thousands of other WBGOs built in the last decade to 15 years. It should work like this:

Shore power & genny will charge the coach battery bank but NOT the chassis battery.
The alternator will charge both the coach bank and the chassis battery.

They are separated in the charging routine to keep you from accidentally depleting BOTH battery banks accidently (or on purpose). This allows you to always have a chassis battery for starting even if you run the coach bank down.

Should you run the chassis battery down, there is a 'BOOST SWITCH' on the dash that will slave the coach bank to the chassis so you can get an emergency start. YEAAA!

You have an INVERTER/CONVERTER/CHARGER. Inverter changes 11V DC to 120V AC so you can run a microwave or other AC device off the coach battery bank. The converter changes 120V AC to 12V DC and powers certain 12V items in the coach like the 12V DC "brains" in the fridge. The charger converts 120V AC to DC voltages for controlled charging of the coach batteries. Obviously, it can run off the shore or generator.
Old Crows, Dude you are a wealth of info. I have taken your suggestion and the Owners Manualfor your info. is now resident on 3 laptops....I do not use the cloud.....Theres enough of my private parts wandering around in the ether that I don't need anymore. FB, twitter, instagram etc etc are not for me. Being retired military Big Brother has all the info on me that he needs an I ain't given up anymore. So....from your treatise and my read of your suggestion it appears that I can indeed run the fridge on electric as I travel using the inverter which is a 2000W pure sine wave and wired in to the coach itself thus providing power to all electrical in the coach.



Thanks to everyone
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
I always run the generator while driving. The gen set has almost as many hours on it as the chassis engine does. While driving, it powers the refrig, the AC's, and allows for charging cell phones and tablets and running the laptop. In storage I run it at least 1 hour per month under the biggest load that I can put on it. It puts out 42 Amps so it's hard to load it up with more than about 20 Amps.
Other than A/C or microwave I donít understand why you would run the generator while driving. The fridge will run on propane and the inverter will proviide 110 volts to run or charge all your devices or anything else.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:54 PM   #15
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Other than A/C or microwave I donít understand why you would run the generator while driving. The fridge will run on propane and the inverter will proviide 110 volts to run or charge all your devices or anything else.
I have the el cheapo 300W inverter that is only connected to one 110V outlet that is hidden behind the TV on the living room wall and only runs the TV. (Thanks Winnebago!) No other outlets are powered by the inverter. Pretty useless. I have planned to upgrade the inverter and to connect it so that it powers more outlets but just haven't gotten around to it.

I run the front AC continuously while driving and leave the dash AC off. Seems like the majority of our travels involve getting caught in hot weather with a dark colored MH.
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:17 PM   #16
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Generator Use

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnewhall View Post
Other than A/C or microwave I donít understand why you would run the generator while driving. The fridge will run on propane and the inverter will proviide 110 volts to run or charge all your devices or anything else.

Personally I prefer not to use the propane while driving. SInce I have an inverter and the coach batteries are being charged as I drive I can have the inverter on and use 110 for the fridge with no issues.
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:28 AM   #17
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Other than A/C or microwave I donít understand why you would run the generator while driving. The fridge will run on propane and the inverter will proviide 110 volts to run or charge all your devices or anything else.

I believe he has a diesel gen and was saying it was more economical to run the gen to power the house AC (and everything else) vs. the dashboard AC.
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:41 PM   #18
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I believe he has a diesel gen and was saying it was more economical to run the gen to power the house AC (and everything else) vs. the dashboard AC.
Thanks!
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