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Old 07-28-2023, 12:24 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 48
Can I run the generator and ac while driving?

I am sure this has been asked and answered, but searching doesn't seem to return useful results.

I have a our first trip planned tomorrow and it's supposed to be 94 degrees. Can I run the generator and the coach air conditioning while driving? If so, how much extra gas will this burn?

2011 Winnebago Vista 36D
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Old 07-28-2023, 12:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Pflugerville/Austin, Tx
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Yes, when hot we almost always ran the generator if the back was not cooled by the dash air. The amount of gas used is so small that it never came into question.
Shaving five MPH off the speed is likely to make a larger difference than the genset.
We get so much better milage at 55 than 65 that we just eah as we see it at the time without too much consideration of the hit on the wallet.
Kind of like digging a six foot hole and wondering about the last couple spoons we throw out??
Kind of like going all the way to Disney and wondering if we should buy tickets as gas had gotten to the outragous price of $1.50 a gallon!
Why no RV year, make and floorplan on MY signature as we suggest for others?
I currently DO NOT have one!
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Old 07-28-2023, 01:04 PM   #3
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Location: South Bend, WA
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Hi Dallasrules,
Yes, you can run the generator while driving. Guessing that your air conditioner will use a steady-state current draw of 17 amps, the fuel consumption would be about:
  • 17 amps 120 VAC = 2,040 watts
  • 2,040 watts 745 watts per horsepower = 2.74 horsepower
  • 0.08 gallon of gasoline per hour per horsepower 2.74 horsepower 50% efficiency = 0.44 gallons per hour
So, about a of a gallon per hour.
Perhaps somebody with real-world observations could give us a better number.
2019 Minnie Winnie 22M on an E-450 frame
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Old 07-28-2023, 03:29 PM   #4
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We do it all the time - in fact I did it today and we'll do it again tomorrow.

They tell me it uses 1/2 gal an hour. But I never check. I meticulously log every gallon of gas I put in my motorhome since day one. And I log all the miles as well.

What I don't do is separate driving miles from generator running or idling to put down/up jacks or put slides in/out.

My motorhome is longer and heavier than yours and I tow a 4,000lb Toad, too. But in 6 years (this month) I get 6.4 mpg. Over 49,000 miles that's 7,650 gallons of gas I've put in my RV.

Ouch... why did I figure that last bit out?
2017 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2016 Lincoln MKX Toad
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Old 07-28-2023, 03:53 PM   #5
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Location: Branson MO area
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As others have said yes run gen. We will always have gen on the ac on along with the frig on 120. We also take it one step further, for long drives 5+/- we have the crock pot cooking. Its great to have a good meal once set up
07 Meridian 36G
Roadmaster tow dolly
Great Wife!! & Max the Frisbee chasing dog.
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Old 07-28-2023, 04:31 PM   #6
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Location: Tampa, Florida
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The Cummins-Onan manual for my generator (5.5KVA) states 6/10ths of a gallon per hour.

Yes, I do run the generator while driving to get the coach cooled down before we stop for the night.
Arthur & Sheila Mullis with "Cam" the Kitty (FMCA # F474120)
Driving 2016 Winnebago Adventurer 37F, Towing 2018 Ford Explorer 4x4 Platinum
FCC License: KO4WSO
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