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Old 05-11-2014, 01:37 PM   #1
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Generator, solar, propane

Just wondering when one is boondocking (assuming one has all three)
when they use solar vs propane vs a generator
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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Solar for sunny day charging (passive, nothing to do, its just always 1.2kw up there). Genset for air conditioning,
Propane for cooking, heating, and making hot water.
Each has its purpose.
Technically, could eliminate the genset and live without boondocking A/C.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
Solar for sunny day charging (passive, nothing to do, its just always 1.2kw up there). Genset for air conditioning,
Propane for cooking, heating, and making hot water.
Each has its purpose.
Technically, could eliminate the genset and live without boondocking A/C.
Pretty much the same Solar is the primary power source backed up by a 35 year old Honda for those times camping in shade or wooded areas.
Propane for cooking , heating, and refrigeration.
WE spent aprox 60 days away from hookups this year so far and used about a gallon of generator gas
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:17 PM   #4
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Do u use the generator for the refrig or only propane
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:22 PM   #5
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The fridge burns propane until there is shore power. It uses so little lpg. Running on electric (110v) uses 460 watts of total available generator power.
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses I will use solar more if there is sun, if not I will use the generator and propane
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:55 PM   #7
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Just installed 300 Watts Solar w/ Blue Sky 30 Amp Controller. Looking forward to the freedom this will afford us on our first trip with this set up. Most everything but A/C will used.
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:02 PM   #8
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When u use solar must you use the inverter outlets or can u use the regular outlets for things like coffee makers, recharging iPads and phones
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:33 PM   #9
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Solar only charges your 12 batteries. Your batteries then power the inverter which in turn provide limited amperage to the 110v outlets. You can run virtually every 110v appliance barring the ax, unless you have massive battery reserves, and then your time is limited.
Count on solar as a good secondary method of keeping your batteries full. Even then you have certain enemies to deal with, shade, clouds, temperature, angle, battery age, battery draw, battery capacity, quality of controlleretc. For the most part with a 1000-1500 watt quality inverter and a few hundred watts of pv on the roof, on a nice sunny day, you can watch tv all day, charge all your USB devices, make a pot of coffee, shave, heat a cup of soup, waste a little and still have batteries not in peril of too deep a discharge. Just have good batteries, a good controller for the pv panels, 300 watts of charging, you'll be just fine.
I have 1200watts of power on the roof into 4 lifeline batteries, and run full tilt. I can go about 4-5 days and see 75% left. I am way over powered! Going led for all lighting is the key to long battery life. Get rid of all filament bulbs, install fantastic fans , use a USB bus for device charging and minimize your 110 volt devices through your inverter.... You'll have loads if power. Depending on your need for ax, you don't need the expense, weight, noise, hassle of a generator. A good gender is more than $2k, that buys a ton of solar gear these days. In my opinion, pv is much more useful and cost effective than a genset.
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:36 PM   #10
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Your inverter must be wired through a transfer switch. You'll read about this and back feeding through your research here. It is cheap and simple. I use Furrion brand transfer switches. I have a very complicated system. I can use 50 amp service..... Nah not getting into that now....
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:09 PM   #11
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I give up what is ax? i'm not familiar with that term thanks
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:20 PM   #12
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I think he meant A/C. But I've been wrong before
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:55 PM   #13
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IMHO the desire to camp without the luxury of an air conditioner will depend greatly on the geographic location.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:26 AM   #14
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Your inverter must be wired through a transfer switch. You'll read about this and back feeding through your research here. It is cheap and simple. I use Furrion brand transfer switches. I have a very complicated system. I can use 50 amp service..... Nah not getting into that now....

I have yet to see a Magnum inverter/charger wired thru a transfer switch. That applies to major power systems on large motor homes right down to the 1000 watt units found on the Interstates.

When you properly wire an inverter from either your existing main breaker box or thru an auxiliary breaker box, the transfer function that you speak of happens automatically IN the inverter.

Maybe one should consider a quality unit that has the proper internal functions fully integrated into said unit (like every Magnum) and avoid those that don't.

Of they (less costly units) choose to not provide the needed transfer function, it makes one wonder what else this manufacturer leaves out of their units.
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