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Old 07-28-2023, 12:24 PM   #1
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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?

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Old 07-28-2023, 12:43 PM   #2
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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!
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Old 07-28-2023, 01:04 PM   #3
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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.
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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?
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Old 07-28-2023, 03:53 PM   #5
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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
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Old 07-28-2023, 04:31 PM   #6
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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.
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