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rfsod48

Generator or inverter

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We are about ready to start our winter migration which brings up this question? Normally we run generator to have full electric in the coach as we travel, could we turn on inverter and have full electric without the generator as we are driving? I know generator doesn’t burn much fuel but a savings is a savings.

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A good question.

And, the answer is IT DEPENDS.  It depends on how large an electrical load you are running.  In most cases, your engine-driven alternator can cover the electrical demands of both your 12 VDC and some 120 VAC items.

The other issue is whether you have a MSW or Pure Sine Wave inverter and how sensitive the appliances you wish to run are to MSW if that is what you have.

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Just want to run Mobley for wifi and Garmin. Some of our plugs work off alternator but need a few others which are on 12 volt system. I think the coach furnaces run off alternator. When we need air I run generator.

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47 minutes ago, rfsod48 said:

Just want to run Mobley for wifi and Garmin. Some of our plugs work off alternator but need a few others which are on 12 volt system. I think the coach furnaces run off alternator. When we need air I run generator.

Perfect.  Unless 120 VAC load is too high, you are both saving fuel by not operating the generator, but also a LOT of wear and tear on the generator.  As with any engine, running it at very low loads leads to carbon buildup. Agree, anything less than roof A/C's are you should be fine running on inverter.

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2 hours ago, rfsod48 said:

... Normally we run generator to have full electric in the coach as we travel...

We have friends that do this and I never could figure out why.

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1 hour ago, rfsod48 said:

Just want to run Mobley for wifi and Garmin. Some of our plugs work off alternator but need a few others which are on 12 volt system. I think the coach furnaces run off alternator. When we need air I run generator.

If your 38N is wired like my 38N you have 2 circuits that are powered off the inverter. You can find them by plugging in a light with shore power disconnected and the generator off. (make sure the inverter is on). If I remember correctly one circuit powers the front TV and the microwave and the refrigerator and the outher one powers the outlet by the front of the counter the outlet in the bathroom and bedroom. 

I can power everything else off the dash 12V power receptacle.(cigarette lighter) You can get the charger with up to 4 outlets to power charge 4 different devices. 

The furnace runs on 12V and does not need the generator to run. The alternator will keep the batteries up when you are driving. I have run the furnace all night with just the batteries.

Yes you need to run the generator to run the roof air, but you should have limited need for your roof air this time of the year. 

Bill

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The other posts say it. "Depends on load" most have load minder and will inform you if your desired amp draw is higher then what your inverter can carry. Most inverters are listed in watts, yet appliances will list amp draw or load. It's easy enough to get a rough idea to calculate if your inverter(s) will carry the intended electric load.  watts / volts = amps. My coach has duel 2800 watt inverters / 120 volts to make appliances work = 23 amps per leg. If I keep my draw at 20 amps or lower I won't be concerned about tripping breakers.

We use our inverters to carry the Frig, and use the crock-pot a lot while we drive.  In the summer we have to use generator to carry the air-conditioners. As others have said it just depends on what you plan to use.

** If any electricians or other engineers yes we can figure in 0.93 ohms per 1000' feet or copper wire which = 2.4 volt loss, however I would hope for nominal would be acceptable, in this setting.

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1 hour ago, rfsod48 said:

Thanks all for the replies 

When are you headed out? 

Once you get headed south you can run the refrigerator, de winterise the water system and then you can run the water heater when you are driving so you have hot water whenever you want it.

Bill 

 

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dalemalloy.  Welcome to the Forum!:)🎄

Yes, that works well.  Just depends on size of inverter and batteries!  Would help if we knew the make and model of your coach!

Happy trails

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The Garmin GPS runs and recharges from 12VDC anyway,120VAC not required.  That only leaves your mobley  requiring 120VAC; which is an insignificant load for your inverter.                                                                                                                          

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If I am not mistaken most coaches the house Batteries are also charge from the alternator when the engine is running. And with those small items on 120 volts you should have no problems.  Our Samsung RF-18 runs 24/7 off the inverter with no issues with the batteries.

Herman

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On 12/27/2018 at 5:09 PM, manholt said:

dalemalloy.  Welcome to the Forum!:)🎄

Yes, that works well.  Just depends on size of inverter and batteries!  Would help if we knew the make and model of your coach!

Happy trails

200d Fleetwood Discovery, 4   400 amp hour batteries. Everything works great on shore power when we leave the batteries on and they are full charge. I also leave the inverter on when I'm driving in case I need to run the generator for any length of time. Just wasn't sure what happens if I turn off aux and main battery switches while on shore power. Thanks.

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I guess I should no more about my own coach but like they say, the only bad question is the one you didn't ask. I'm going to be running the  coach forced air heat while driving from San Diego to Saint George, the electric motor for the heater is 12v? Or do I need to start the generator for AC voltage?  If it's 12v, I'll just leave the inverter on and  be happy and warm. The dash heat doesn't provide heat.

Thanks again.

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Great, thanks Wolfe. These inverter/charger things are a little confusing. I had new house batteries put into the rig a coupe of years ago and the battery company hooked up the cable for the programmer to the wrong battery terminal and cooked the inverter. The local inverter guru here repaired the inverter and showed me how to program the inverter for my house batteries.  There is an on/off switch on the programmer that I only shut off when I store the rig.  Also, we will be driving into some cold country to reach our destination, guess I'll shut the water heater off while driving. I always do shut it off but rarely drive thru cold areas. Hope it doesn't freeze and break.

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Check for your coach, but most coaches heat the basement when the propane furnace is running.

A VERY GOOD IDEA TO PUT YOUR COACH INFO IN YOUR SIGNATURE--  MORE LIKELY TO GET INFO FOR YOUR COACH, NOT JUST "MOST COACHES".

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