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Old 09-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
capjr
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Generator info

Just bought my 1st 5th wheel. it has a 50AMP system and I want to buy a generator. Any advice on which generator is large enough, tips, etc. Thanks
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #2
Festus2
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First, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your first 5th wheel.

Secondly, if you haven't already done so, you might want to browse through the threads/posts and all the information and feedback in these threads that are already here on the forum. Just use our Search function and type in "generator" and you will find pages and pages of posts about this topic and also references to the questions you asked.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
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Generator info

Yup, tons of great perspective and info in past posts. We use generator(s) plenty over the season, couple of personal points that i can share - If money is not an issue and you can handle the 150Ibs, I would consider the Honda 3000. Alternative in the high $ arena is twin Honda 2000's. Also consider a fuel caddy if you are going to use the generator for extended periods. Also, an easy modification is a Supra capacitor for the aircon unit, easy to install and really helps with starting the compressor. If you are budget minded or can't handle the size / weight of the Honda, consider our setup, a Boliy 3600 and maybe a smaller 1K unit (ours is Mitsubishi) for when you need very little power. For consideration, we just spent our yearly week at Bristol, farmers field on our own power. Between the Boliy and the Mitsubishi, we had a very comfortable week with 24/7 power. During the day we used the Boliy for the aircon if we wanted a nap in comfort, or use the microwave. The Boliy runs well over 12hrs with various light load, still running in the morning for coffee maker without going out of the unit and fiddling around. Most of the time we leave the Boliy on the auto setting, it will jump-up for heavier load for everything except the aircon. When using the aircon, we need to leave it off auto, it does not jump quick enough. About 1/2 time, we still use the Mitsubishi, usually stays on the 600w setting for watching multiple tv's and everything else plugged in. To charge our golf cart we needed to use the Boliy though, however on the auto mode so it was not running flat out and conserved fuel. We have a 25gal fuel caddy, we started with the Boliy 3.5gal full, Mitsubishi 1gal full and full caddy. We put 10 additional gal's in the caddy mid week, however came home with at least 10gals. So.... Full week, Saturday to Sunday morning, we used like 25gal of fuel. Again, that was 24/7 power for the week. Obviously, if you're going to run the aircon for extended periods, your going to use more fuel. During the week, I would estimate we used the 15k aircon for only 4hrs, the 13.5k aircon in the bedroom for about 12hrs and the portable 7.5k unit in the garage for 14hrs and the ice machine about 12hrs. As for maintenance, the Boliy wanted a couple of oz of oil near the end of the week, that's about it. I changed the oil in both units this morning, neither looked bad at all. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capjr View Post
Just bought my 1st 5th wheel. it has a 50AMP system and I want to buy a generator. Any advice on which generator is large enough, tips, etc. Thanks
50 amps is 12,000 watts at 120v

So the real question is how do you anticipate using the generator? What appliances do you see yourself using when it's on? 1 a/c? 2 a/c? Electric hot water heater? Or just to top off batteries?

When I had a toy hauler, the built in generator was an Onan 5500 watt. It was enough to run both A/Cs at the same time, microwave, watch TV, fridge on electric (auto), and the draw from the converter/charger.

Toy hauler is gone. Replaced with our Avalanche. We generally only camp without hook ups in the spring and fall. Not a time when A/C is needed. So we purchased a Yamaha 2800i.

With 2800 watts max, it will run an A/C, but that would be just about all. We didn't buy it for that. We bought it for topping off batteries, making coffee, and microwave use around meal time. Otherwise the generator is off.

So...... How do you plan on camping and what do you expect it to do for you?
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #5
Outbackmel
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generator

Just came back from Atlanta Motor Speedway this morning. Did not camp due to change of available time to prepare. Walked by 6 Honda set ups vendors were using. That says something in itself. They were sooooo quiet, even in tandem. Went to Honda factory display. Honda rep started a single 2000 up on a stand, ear level. We had a 10 minute conversation while it ran. It was not under load, but he rev'ed it up. OK, I am a believer!

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Old 09-03-2013, 06:11 AM   #6
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50 amps is 12,000 watts at 120v
Lots of good information, but I believe that 50 amps at 120V is actually 6000W, not 12000W.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:42 AM   #7
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Lots of good information, but I believe that 50 amps at 120V is actually 6000W, not 12000W.
NOPE, it's 12,000 watts. Each leg of the 50 amp service (there are two) is 6000 watts for a total of 12,000 watts.

Here's a pretty good explanation: http://www.myrv.us/electric/Pg/50amp_Service.htm
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:48 AM   #8
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We recently purchaed a Honda EU300IS with the cordless remote start and just love it. It is actually quieter than their 2000. I have a bad back so I had trouble moving the old EU2000. The new 3000 stays in the bed of the truck and connets easily. With the remote start we find we don't run it half as much. Our Laredo also is 50 amp service but we never have everything running at once to draw that much.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:09 PM   #9
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NOPE, it's 12,000 watts. Each leg of the 50 amp service (there are two) is 6000 watts for a total of 12,000 watts.

Here's a pretty good explanation: http://www.myrv.us/electric/Pg/50amp_Service.htm
Good link. Everyone who has an interest in RV electrical should read it.

Most don't (and some refuse to) believe that "RV 50 Amp" is a 125/250 circuit....

Electricity is very misunderstood... A quick browse of nearly any electrical thread on rv.net shows hows the misinformation is spread.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
NOPE, it's 12,000 watts. Each leg of the 50 amp service (there are two) is 6000 watts for a total of 12,000 watts.

Here's a pretty good explanation: http://www.myrv.us/electric/Pg/50amp_Service.htm
Thanks for the link. I knew that it was two legs, but I though each leg was 25 amps, not 50.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:20 AM   #11
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Thanks for the link. I knew that it was two legs, but I though each leg was 25 amps, not 50.
About 3 years ago I thought the same. Back then I couldn't figure out why all the "hype" about 50 am service being better than 30 amp service plus a 20 amp extension cord to boot.... Either way, it's 50 amps, right??? WRONG !!!!

Once I finally started researching and realized how a 50 amp RV is wired (actually 100 amps) it all jelled for me and I realized just how significant an upgrade going to 50 amps really is. It's 3 times the available power of a 30 amp service and significantly upgrades the RV capability.

Like SAD said, there's a lot of misunderstanding about RV electrical service. It's a wonder more people don't hurt themselves or destroy their power system with some of the mods I've heard that people try to do.

We recently had one member who plugged his RV into his electric dryer outlet and fried his entire electrical system damaging some appliances. That website is just one of many that do a good job of explaining the differences and similarities in RV wiring.

Anyone contemplating anything more than tightening the lugs in their circuit breaker box really ought to study the realities of RV electrical systems before doing any work on the system.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:38 PM   #12
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Yes, a 50Amp RV service can be a 120/250v service, but it also can be a 120/208v service also. On an RV, you never use the 250v side of it, only the two 120v legs by themselves. Just wanted to add this information because we have been in several parks that are supplied by 120/208v systems. For people with a voltmeter checking the pedestal before plugging in (a very wise thing to do), they would freek out seeing 208 volts when they are expecting to see 240 to 250 volts. Actually, the accepted range of voltage can be anywhere from 114v to 128 volts on each leg to the neutral position in the pedestal, depending on how much load already exists and how far away from the transformer the pedestal is. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:47 AM   #13
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Yes, a 50Amp RV service can be a 120/250v service, but it also can be a 120/208v service also. .
It ~can~ be just about anything.. But that does not mean it's correct. 120/250 is single/split phase.... 120/208 is NOT single/split phase and has absolutely NO application in residential wiring.

I would be VERY surprised if you ran across 120/208 at any campground pedestal. It is generally a commercial application only where large electric motors may exist.

If you DO run across it in a campground. It is absolutely incorrect and is NOT to code if you find it.

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...On an RV, you never use the 250v side of it, only the two 120v legs by themselves...
I wouldn't say never. Perhaps on our lower to moderately priced RVs that true. But it doesn't have to be that way. The power is there. No reason not to use it.

My Avalanche's WFCO power distribution panel cannot accept 240V circuits because of the arrangements of the hots. They come in to the center and then each leg goes to the left or the right from the center. Because of this arrangement, a breaker cannot straddle two tabs and draw from both legs.

In my last RV however, the distribution panel was setup just like your home distribution panel such that the hots fed bars that run next to each other and the tabs for breakers alternated... I would be possible to install a double pole breaker and draw from both legs.

Some big rig MHs use 240V stuff.

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Originally Posted by bobbecky View Post
...For people with a voltmeter checking the pedestal before plugging in (a very wise thing to do)...
I agree with this wholeheartedly. ^^^

I had a neighbor at a campground one time that a previous customer had opened up the pedestal and re-wired the RV 30 amp to 240V (presumably to run a welder - offroad RV park)... My neighbors blew out most of their appliances and their converter.
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