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Old 08-30-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
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Generator basics

I have been all over google to try to figure out the concept of a generator. I mean, I know their purpose, but how do they work exactly? We've never had a need for a generator when dry camping, but now that we've got some creature comforts on board (external speakers and stereo especially come to mind, more actually than the microwave, TV or A/C) we're thinking maybe we will invest in one at some point next year before we go out for a full week with no shore power. I know there are often posted times for generator use - so do you have to use those particular appliances when the generator is actually running, or does it provide some sort of power to use them throughout the day just buy running it during that two hour window? Admittedly, it's probably generator 101, but I could not find anything to explain how it works when I was searching.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #2
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This is one of those personal preference, restrictions imposed by your location and what you want/need to operate.

Most people, when dry camping, use the generator only to recharge the batteries.

To operate the microwave and air conditioner would require the generator. Most everything else can operate from the batteries. 12V TV's can be found. For small AC loads less than 100 watts an inverter is a good choice.

To gear up for frequent dry camping means you need to consider LED lighting, a larger battery bank and exactly what you want to operate. There are several threads here that go into some detail as to what is needed.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnchuck100 View Post
This is one of those personal preference, restrictions imposed by your location and what you want/need to operate.



To gear up for frequent dry camping means you need to consider LED lighting, a larger battery bank and exactly what you want to operate. There are several threads here that go into some detail as to what is needed.
Most people, when dry camping, use the generator only to recharge the batteries and occasional high wattage appliances.

To operate the microwave and air conditioner would require the generator or a really good battery bank. Most everything else can operate from the batteries. 12V TV's can be found. For small AC loads less than 100 watts an inverter is a good choice.

x2 on this info above. Genny's are only good when running. I frequently boondock and having 2 x 6V, inverter for TV and light electric needs. Running the genny 1-2 hrs in the am and 2 maybe at night to get the batteries up to 90+% for the night. In a week and I usually go through 4-5 gallons total with this type application. I rarely use my AC but if I do want it I can run it on my genny should I want to get the unit chilled down for the night on a hot day. Before making an investment in one think about what you want or may want to use and figure out how large of a unit you need. Also consider the hauling of the unit, as some can be very heavy and will require moving around between TV and the ground.

Some parks can and will ask you to turn off your unit should it be a contractor grade loud unit if enough people complain so consider one of the quite types when purchasing. This will double your cost but make using them more enjoyable. Honda or Yamaha are first rate choices and proven units. Off brands varry, so do some homework before you buy.

Probaly a minimum 1K unit is what you should consider as entry level and may not run the micro but will run your converter charger.

Another option is to go with solar if you camp in sunny areas with good exposure and only want to charge your batteries or run lite electrical items on an inverter.
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