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Old 10-15-2012, 12:28 AM   #57
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Hello,
You might want to check the power requirements on your a/c. The 2012 were suppose to be standard with 15000 btu a/c unit. I think the Yamaha with 2500 watts might be a better choice
Pete
Hey Pete,

You're correct on the 15k A/C being standard on 2012s, but it was for the 27', not the 25'. I've not camped in the south during the summer yet, but have heard horror stories of baked humans on anything less than a 15k. We'll see.

My thought is to figure out a way to combine the power from an inverter with the power of a generator to keep the A/C fired. I really like the idea of living off batteries and using a generator only to supplement the AC needs rather than be the primary source.

Solar to power the batteries; an inverter to supply primary AC; a generator to provide support for the inverter; a cord when all else fails... that's my plan.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #58
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Just be aware that if you want to run the AC off of your batteries, you will need a LOT of batteries, heavy gauge cabling and a large inverter. 2400 watts to run your AC is 200 amps of 12 volt power - you will need a significant battery bank to run this amount of current for any real length of time.

An alternative strategy is to design your solar system and inverter to run everything but the AC, and to only pull out the generator when you need the AC. This is how most people do it. A few hardy souls build out a battery bank and inverter designed to run the AC - but this means a very large and heavy battery bank - there are a few threads here on guys that have done this. I recall seeing a picture of a battery tray with something like 10 huge AGM batteries - which will set you back quite a few dollars.

It may not be as easy as you think to deploy your hybrid strategy - to combine the output of a smaller inverter with the output of a smaller generator - you'll need to purchase a special inverter (usually called a grid-tied inverter) that explicitly supports this capability and I wouldn't expect this to be inexpensive. An inverter designed to do this needs to have electronics that sense the frequency, phase and voltage of the power coming out of the generator or shore power and exactly match it with the power it is generating from your battery bank. This is how home and commercial grid-connected inverters work - but they start out at over $1000.

If the phase and frequencies aren't perfectly matched, the power from the two systems will actually cancel each other out - that's unfortunately how alternating current works.

This is also why most systems instead use a more simple transfer switch to force your alternating current systems to be running on either grid/generator power or inverter power but never both at the same time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:46 AM   #59
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Dan - Thanks for the education. I had envisioned a 2000w inverter running off 2 or possibly 4 6v golf cart batteries to supply the AC. Then when things got hot, I would start the eu2000i, switch the A/C on (still with the inverter providing AC), and be in total comfort. Of course, I expected my Airstream to be built like a similarly-priced Mercedes, so as you can see I'm a bit delusional.

From what I gather from your comment, the power from the gen-set doesn't 'blend' with the inverter power to make up a surplus of AC. I guess I saw the two Honda eu2000s as being hooked together, so why not hook a Honda to an inverter? Your explanation helps me better understand it's not all that easy.

Maybe it's time for Plan B.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:14 PM   #60
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Yes, lots of opinions on this topic. I had two largish panels installed on the roof of my 23' coach (they're either 135 watt or 150, can't remember), and three Lifeline 100 amp hour 12v batteries, together wth a good MPPT charge controller/monitor. After a few trial runs, I found I could run everything I NEED in my coach virtually forever, with no shore power or generator. So I just quit carrying my generator around. I manage to power everything on 12 volt: pump, furnace and stove and bathroom vent fans, lights (now all LED), stereo, computer, printer, television, Fantastic Vent and Fantastic Fan, chargers for various phones, iPad, etc. If I get several cloudy / rainy days in a row, I actually pay attention to power usage and battery state of charge, otherwise not. In typical summer sunny weather, my batteries are at 100% state of charge by 9 or 10 in the morning. I find that during spring through fall, I seldom use more than 20-35 amp hours in an evening. Use more and it will take longer to top off your battery bank every day.

BUT - the panels won't run air conditioning, electric coffee pots, hair dryers, microwave, etc. And they do poorly in any sort of shadow situation ... even the shadow of a power line or a tree limb will significantly cut their output.

So: my take is that if you're in moderate climates and can park where you get a few hours of full, direct sun (preferably in the morning with shade in the afternoon so the coach doesn't get too warm for comfort), you'll love solar. It's silent and works without conscious effort from you. If you NEED large current draw electrical appliances or air conditioning, you'll want the generator and will need to spend a lot of time as an acolyte, hauling cables, bringing it fuel, keeping rain off it, etc.

Oh, and one other thing: unless you're boondocking, if you use a gennie, you'll get a lot of hard looks from more quiet folks, even if you use a quiet one. My smallish Yamaha is real quiet, but it still annoyed some folks. And some campgrounds ban gennies some of the time or all of the time. No such worry if boondocking, but then again, I go boondocking most of the time, and I'm trying to ESCAPE from noise. YMMV.

Finally, generators are definitely a less expensive alternative, at least in terms of cash outlay. If you look at things like total carbon footprint, the debate gets more interesting and very complicated, but that's a topic for another day.
Going fulltime in May 2013 and outfitting a 1999 28' Excella. Worried about roof installation of Solar. Really want to boondock a lot and like the solar option. So no roof leaks with solar installation..I hope!
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:24 AM   #61
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Badkat - I think there is no need to worry about new leaks if you avoid creating new holes in your roof.

You can use very strong 3M industrial 2-sided bonding tape to attach mounts for traditional panels to your roof, or you can use flexible panels that bond directly to your roof - see below. You're looking at a 288 watt system on my 1999 Safari. Here is a link to learn more about the 3M tape - http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...apes/VHB-Tape/

You should be able to rout the cabling through your refrigerator vent - again see below.

So unless you have something unusual going on, there should be no need to penetrate your roof at all. I sure didn't.

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Old 10-22-2012, 01:07 PM   #62
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What is the shield purpose between the ac and the fridge vent? Or is that the fridge vent? That might be the waste vent?

Dave

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Old 10-22-2012, 01:20 PM   #63
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Your are correct that is the fridge vent. The shield is not something I added. I assume it was installed by the factory to keep hot air from the AC exhaust from blowing into the fridge vent.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:09 PM   #64
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Does that shield go across the back of the ac and a similar side panel on the other side or is just on this side?

Dave

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Your are correct that is the fridge vent. The shield is not something I added. I assume it was installed by the factory to keep hot air from the AC exhaust from blowing into the fridge vent.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #65
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Just on the street side. Here are a couple more pictures...



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Old 10-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #66
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Dan - .. I had envisioned a 2000w inverter running off 2 or possibly 4 6v golf cart batteries to supply the AC. Then when things got hot, I would start the eu2000i, switch the A/C on (still with the inverter providing AC), ...
From what I gather from your comment, the power from the gen-set doesn't 'blend' with the inverter power to make up a surplus of AC. I guess I saw the two Honda eu2000s as being hooked together, so why not hook a Honda to an inverter? Your explanation helps me better understand it's not all that easy.

Maybe it's time for Plan B.
Yep, suggest plan B ... of course with enough $$$, anything is possible ...
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