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Old 12-09-2014, 11:29 AM   #31
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Rick, You have a choice, and I didn't. Our Greyhawk MH had the on-board Onan, and our X23B TT does not have that option. Either choice would work well for you boondocking.

On-board generators are easier to deal with because you don't have to position them, they are already connected to deliver the AC voltage, and they operate from a control panel inside the RV (I think they all do). You would hear it running more than a portable.

I like twin portables for the reasons tripleB stated earlier. Also, I use mine at home when I'm working where I don't have AC available. (You have to remember to buy tools that don't use more watts / amps than your generator can provide.) A single unit that provides the watts your looking for also has advantages, like less maintenance, and will work as well.

Connecting to your TT would be as you described - you plug your shore power cable into the generator. It would feed the power converter like you were plugged in anywhere else. Operationally, there is nothing else you have to do. Your converter would charge a bank of batteries in parallel without having to change anything, you will still be using 12VDC. As far as needing a bigger converter, I don't know. You might get a faster charge with a bigger unit. Someone else will give you a better answer.

The "inverter" that's being described above is part of the generator. It provides "safer" power than not having it. You will get a better explanation than I can give you from another poster. I understand it to mean the inverter shapes and cleans the wave to make it safe for sensitive devices.

You're doing this right. By doing all the homework now, you will end up with the right equipment and learn how to use it before having problems at the campsite.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:54 AM   #32
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Thanks OTG for the explanation. I thought an inverter just changed 12v dc to 110v ac. I guess if the on board converter cant handle, say 4 6v batteries I could get a separate battery charger with enough amps. A "smart" 2 or 3 stage.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:27 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick danger View Post
Thanks OTG for the explanation. I thought an inverter just changed 12v dc to 110v ac. I guess if the on board converter cant handle, say 4 6v batteries I could get a separate battery charger with enough amps. A "smart" 2 or 3 stage.
I think it will charge 4 6V batteries just fine. With a new TT you will likely get a smart 3 stage charger built into the converter. ... would rather you hear it from one of the better electrical opinions.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:25 PM   #34
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Rick, we are very much at the same stage in our adventure into RV'ing and reading/learning everything we can. This will be my first RV so I cant really help in terms of first hand knowledge on how things are done or used at the campsite. I can however help a little with the differences in the generators so you have the most info available when making your decision.

There are two invertors in the scenario I mention above. The TT will have a factory installed invertor onboard that is used to convert the DC power of the batteries to AC power for operating the smaller loads in the trailer when boondocking and not running the genny. I do not believe you can operate large loads like the air conditioner directly off the battery banks, at least not without some hefty upgrades to the factory system and even then it is likely not worth the weight/cost of the battery bank and invertor required to handle the load.

A conventional generator like the Onan will run at 3600 RPM constantly in order to produce the cleanest possible 60Hz AC electricity it can, this will feed the RV just like shore power, will provide AC to all of the 120V AC locations in the RV and also charge up the battery bank. The problem is as the electrical load changes(microwave turning off/on, air conditioner compressor off/on, etc.), the load on the engine changes and you will get surges in RPM which in turn makes the current output change. Not a big deal for "standard" equipment like lights, they just get a little brighter or a little dimmer, but sensitive electronics such as computers don't like this.

This is where an invertor style generator really shines. A unit like the Honda I mentioned above uses a three step process to produce the same 120V AC voltage. Multiphase high voltage AC is produced by the engine, which is converted to DC voltage by a microprocessor. The DC voltage is then converted back to AC by the built in invertor inside the generator. The advantage of this is that the engine speed does not effect the AC frequency and the engine can idle down when there is not much load on the generator and still produce an extremely clean 60Hz AC signal. As the load increases the engine RPM increases but the invertor smooths out all the surges.

The down side is that this technology costs more than a conventional generator and also only applies to small generators. I believe the largest that Honda offers currently is a 7000W where as conventional go well into the MegaWatt range. The output limitations are not very relevant in the sizes we are talking about here though since 7000W is plenty for the size RV's we are discussing.

As for me, I wanted to at least give the factory setup a shot because I would always be wondering what I was missing with the Jayco integration. However, if it turns out I don't like the way its working out my backup plan is to pull out the Onan and use that compartment as my battery bank center since it has plenty of ventilation and is also capable of packing the weight and then either getting a single 6-7kW or dual 3kW Honda Invertor style to run from the back of the TV.

I hope that helps a little and isn't more info than you wanted. I look forward to your thoughts, a different perspective is always nice because its likely something I haven't considered.

-3B
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:37 AM   #35
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RV should have CONverter, which is the AC to DC conversion, unless your in a motorhome or rig that has the residential fridge and such requiring an inverter / charger set up. Inverter is the other way around like mentioned. So, inverter in the Honda, Yamaha etc inverter type generator, and converter in the RV to supply the 12v and charge batteries.

We use the paralleled Honda EU2000's. Light and easy to tote around, and will run a majority of everything if you only have 1 AC. Those in combination with our homemade piggy back aux tank for the 2 generators, and we can run near 40 hours without refueling. We don't boondock, but have this set up for hurricanes, power outages and anything else that comes up.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:24 AM   #36
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Thanks 3B for the further clarification on the inverter. I am planning to have the gen. run the TV so I guess that qualifies as sensitive electronics. I'll have to look at an inverter style honda now I think. I'm still trying to get an answer from my dealer. Just terrible customer service there. Am I right in thinking the built in Onan stays a steady RPM and a portable will throttle down with lessened load and be in turn quieter? That seems a good benefit. On my trailer the built in would be right under my bed. The portable would go on the tongue rack. Still close to the bed, but maybe a bit better. I also was planning on using the space in front under the floor where the built in would go for the battery bank. There is probably an advantage to keeping the gen near the batteries. Voltage drop on long runs or something. My thoughts on the built in advantage are more weather proof and theft proof. Also I think(maybe wrong) you can start and stop it from in the trailer. The potable on the other hand is probably easier to work on. Do you have to suck the oil out of the Onan like I had to do on my boat? Through the dipstick? also, nothing more tempting to thieves than a nice shiny new honda sitting out on the tongue. I am even thinking of welding it on. And on the off chance of using it at home somewhere, just cutting the welds with a 4" grinder/cutter. I like the 18 gal fuel capacity of the built in. .....Big John....any more info on the aux. gas tank you made for your portables?...I saw this, but seems like you could rig up something yourself. Looks like a boat fuel tank connected to the vent on the gen. gas cap. Leave the boat tank vent open and the gen should suck fuel from the boat tank? http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...tWlxoCgF_w_wcB
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:31 AM   #37
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This looks like a sweet gen. But holy ---- Not cheap. I was kind of planning on the 5000 watt one for $1,679. Is there an external inverter ,or something to make it more electronics friendly? that can be had? I bet the 7000 watt inverter honda is whisper quiet. 60db! http://www.electricgeneratordepot.co...rator-eu7000is
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:14 AM   #38
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Every generator I have owned or have seen throttles up or down depending on load. My 5500 LP Onan, the oil drains out the bottom and the filters are easy to change. Since the generator compartment has an open bottom the generator is designed to run with the cabinet door closed so it's about as loud as portable 2400w Yamaha. I charge my electronics with the 12v DC outlets in the trailer. Onan do not produce a modified sine wave that can be hard on electronics, the best for that would be a large battery bank and a true pure sine wave inverter, if your going that route then why not use Solar instead of a generator.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:25 PM   #39
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Well after 10 days of no answer from my dealer, I had the brainstorm to call Jayco myself. Should have done it right from the beginning. I just thought if the dealer couldnt find out anything what chance did I have. To my surprise the guy was friendly and helpful. Found out more in 15 minutes from him than 10 days of phone calls to the dealer. He said the built in onan was not an option on the superlites. Oh well. I really like the new Honda eu 7000 is. And thats probably the way I'll go. There is a honda built wireless remote start/stop kit thats plug and play for it. I'm sure its quieter than the Onan right under the bed to. And it has the inverter where as "Imnaha.mansion" has said. The Onan does not. Not cheap at 4k but the Onan option was probably close. I have to figure out an extended run fuel tank set up for it. There are a few I've looked at. I wonder if I can run a pipe or hose up from the fuel station (its in the rear) to where it will reach the gen. on the tongue. If its a larger diameter than the hose there shouldn't be much friction loss for the run,and not much more head pressure than the gas tank height of a motorcycle.
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