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Old 08-17-2015, 10:22 AM   #1
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Instead of a bigger Battery

When we camp, the battery has never been enough. Even in my more 12V efficient old trailer.

So, considering gasoline has about 300 times the energy density of lead-acid batteries (45,700,000 vs. 146,000 Joules per kilogram), I decided to go a different route to have enough 12VDC power when we boondock.

I built a 12VDC genset from a new ($100 Harbor Freight engine) and other bits and pieces:



The instructions for building one of theses is all over teh intarwebs. http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/ge...-generator.pdf

Connecting it to the RV is more fun:


I used 175A genderless DC connectors (similar to a previous project).

The little bugger stows easily:


So one 2 gallon can of gas (about 6.3 kilos) has the equivalent energy of about 1,900 kilos (literally, a couple of tons) of lead-acid batteries.

Even considering the HUGE INEFFICIENCIES of converting gasoline to electricity, I'm still ahead of the game in the amount of weight carried vs. the amount of electricity I'll have at my disposal when camping.

Couple this little guy with the RV's battery and a 2,000Watt inverter (from that other project) and I can run my coffee grinder as much as I want.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:28 AM   #2
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Interesting, but is it noisy?

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Old 08-17-2015, 10:39 AM   #3
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Interesting, but is it noisy?

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Old 08-17-2015, 10:53 AM   #4
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Interesting, but is it noisy?
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Depends on your definition of "noisy".

Running the OHV 79CC engine with a modern muffler at under 2,000 RPM is a heckofalot less noise than the 5HP L-Head at 3,600 RPM.

And because it directly charges the battery, total running time of the engine is much less than using a 120VAC genset and charging via the converter.

Is it quieter than a good Honda inverter? I doubt it.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:16 AM   #5
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I hope you art going to store it in the TT's compartment with gas in it...
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:39 AM   #6
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I hope you art going to store it in the TT's compartment with gas in it...
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Long-term storage? No. It lives with the other gensets in the barn.

Transport to and from our boondock spot 4-5 hours? Yup. Strapped down.

The gas can goes in the pickup's open bed.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:16 PM   #7
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Instead of bigger battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
Long-term storage? No. It lives with the other gensets in the barn.

Transport to and from our boondock spot 4-5 hours? Yup. Strapped down.

The gas can goes in the pickup's open bed.
mike837go-did you ever think of to use a stationary bicycle with a belt to the little generator, you could kill two birds with one stone!!! get yer battery charged up and daily workout at the same time???
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:58 AM   #8
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Harbor Freight has a 800W gen for less than $100 just about every month. Got mine for $89. Not the best but works fine for running the pole saw and other 110v tools around the property and used as a back up for my Honda 2000 when it needed service. Your thing seems like a lot of work [tinkering] so just asking, why didn't you buy one built for this purpose since you apparently have access to a HF store?
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:10 AM   #9
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Harbor Freight has a 800W gen for less than $100 just about every month. Got mine for $89. Not the best but works fine for running the pole saw and other 110v tools around the property and used as a back up for my Honda 2000 when it needed service. Your thing seems like a lot of work [tinkering] so just asking, why didn't you buy one built for this purpose since you apparently have access to a HF store?
I've been looking at those for some time. Wondering how well they would do to charge the deep cycle and handle the parasitic draws? We don't boon dock, but for $100 it would be nice to be able to charge up the battery when we need to for the few ocassions we might be out for a night or two without hookups...
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:42 AM   #10
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Great project and is a good low cost answer in support of creature comforts.
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