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Old 10-06-2017, 02:56 PM   #1
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Running generator all night to power A/C

Newbie here, so forgive any stupid question(s) please.
My wife and I like it COLD while sleeping, and we much prefer to boondock -- hence no shore power.
1) Is it OK -- advised/not advised to run the gas-fueled generator all night to power A/C through the night?
2) If we RARELY connect to shore power, does the generator, in addition to powering A/C, also charge up the house batteries simultaneously?

2011 Airstream Avenue.

Finally, upon Airstream customer service determining that the Airstream in question, has a gas-fueled Onan generator, they commented that the factory-installed generator, does NOT tolerate E85 fuel, well.

That begged the question from me: "Then was it bad design consideration(s) by Airstream, to install such a generator on an E85 Flex Fuel, vehicle chassis, knowing that the generator would be fueled by the E85 fuel, fairly regularly?"

NO cogent reply followed.
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:40 PM   #2
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1) Is it OK -- advised/not advised to run the gas-fueled generator all night to power A/C through the night?
It's generally considered poor form, and marginally unsafe, to run any kind of internal combustion engine unattended by a wakeful person. A better solution would be to run the generator well before going to bed, and chill the van as cold as you can, then shut off the generator right before going to bed, and hope that the van won't warm up too much by morning. Besides, you'll sleep quieter without Iron Jenny throbbing away in your cellar.
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2) If we RARELY connect to shore power, does the generator, in addition to powering A/C, also charge up the house batteries simultaneously?
The generator should charge the house batteries.
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2011 Airstream Avenue.
Not many Avenue owners here on the Forums. Pictures, please!
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"Then was it bad design consideration(s) by Airstream, to install such a generator on an E85 Flex Fuel, vehicle chassis, knowing that the generator would be fueled by the E85 fuel, fairly regularly?"
First, Airstream can't be faulted for not installing an E85-tolerant generator in the Avenue. How many small E85-tolerant generators were available in 2010 when your 2011 Avenue was built? Probably not many. Of those, how many would fit in the space available for it in the van? Probably even fewer.
Second, even if the van was designed to accommodate E85 gasoline, how many people drive E85-tolerant vehicles but never put E85 in them? Just because one can doesn't necessarily mean one must.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:19 PM   #3
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If youíre in love with boondocking and sleeping in the cold, stick to camping in high altitudes and high (really high) deserts where itíll be cold at night.

If you run a generator all night within earshot of any other campers, especially while boondocking, you stand a good chance of getting an irate visit from said highly irritated neighbors. Please, please, donít do that.

If you really need that kind of power all night, just camp somewhere with power hookups and give everyone else a break.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:54 PM   #4
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We have run our generator in the bed of our truck all night so we can power our AC. This was in a Walmart with other trucks running. Added benefit was the AC fan noise blocked the other parking lot noises.

I would do it again but just be aware of any potential impact to others.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:13 PM   #5
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I counted 13 RVs in my local Walmart one night last week. 4 or 5 had generators running.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:36 PM   #6
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RVís that run generators at night tend to keep those around them awake, and doing this is considered very bad form...actually prohibited in National Parks and similar campgrounds, which instead have ďgenerator hoursĒ.

If you need your generator to run AC all night, do the polite thing and find a campsite with electricity rather than disturbing the peace of those around you.

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Old 10-06-2017, 07:39 PM   #7
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Ah, for me Walmart doesnít count as boondocking. Itís dry parking at a shopping center.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:56 PM   #8
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If you need your generator to run AC all night, do the polite thing and find a campsite with electricity rather than disturbing the peace of those around you.

Maggie
I have been in a full hookup campsite and received a friendly suggestion in the morning that I not run my AC the next night and enjoy the fresh air.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:56 PM   #9
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Ah, for me Walmart doesnít count as boondocking. Itís dry parking at a shopping center.
yup, same here
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:58 PM   #10
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So, is a generator at night at Walmart acceptable or offensive?
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:37 PM   #11
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Itís offensive if there are other campers around, for Peteís sake.

Maybe the sound of the generator running lulls some to sleep, but not those around them. And then, there are the fumes.

You would never be allowed to run a generator at night in a campground of any kind....again, it is considered very bad form to do so just because there isnít a campground host or park ranger to tell you not to.

Basic common courtesy.

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Old 10-06-2017, 09:37 PM   #12
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If there isn’t anyone else around, I would imagine it’s ok.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:02 PM   #13
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Hi

Anyplace you are in a "formal" campground, you likely will have "quiet hours" at night. Even if generators are ok part of the time, once night hits .... not so much. That pretty much eliminates the generator in state, and national parks. It would not apply to areas where the next camper is a mile down the road ....

Is it safe? That's an entirely separate question. If my generator is running, it's being supervised....

Bob
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:18 PM   #14
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Finally, upon Airstream customer service determining that the Airstream in question, has a gas-fueled Onan generator, they commented that the factory-installed generator, does NOT tolerate E85 fuel, well.
I would not want an Onan generator running in the same coach I was sleeping, especially a van. If you do make sure you have a good carbon monoxide alarm.

No generator "tolerates E 85 fuel well", but they do run. I am not expert on Onan but I would make sure to drain and clean the carb at the end of the season.Am I correct in assuming the engine as well as the genie run off the same gas? For that matter mechanics I have talked to say all internal combustion engines seem to run with less problems on straight gas.
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