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Old 06-11-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
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generator grounding

Hey all,

I plan to run my generator out of the bed of the truck instead of loading and unloading it. To ground it, can I just run a wire from the generator ground and attach to the bed or frame? Thanks in advance. jk
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:53 PM   #2
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I would not ground it to your truck. I would use a three prong cord and adapter and let it ground to your trailer. Ground it to your truck could set up a ground loop. Bad.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK3500
Hey all,

I plan to run my generator out of the bed of the truck instead of loading and unloading it. To ground it, can I just run a wire from the generator ground and attach to the bed or frame? Thanks in advance. jk
Not unless the truck has solid steel tires You really need to run a wire to a ground rod of some sort. We used to use a 3' piece of rebar driven in the ground with a pair of jumper cables hooked to it. FWIW at typical house ground rod is around 6'-8' long...

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Old 06-11-2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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If you're boondocking, a grounding rod pounded into....'the ground' is a very good idea. Use a moderate cable to attach it to your gen....like an 8 AWG cable. Be sure that the connections are TIGHT AND CLEAN.

A ground circuit is basically a safety valve and a return path for excess current if a nuetral fails, so your truck, being 'insulated fromt he ground by the tires' won't achieve this effect.

DO NOT GROUND IT TO YOUR TRUCK. It won't achieve the grounding effect that you desire.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:44 PM   #5
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"DO NOT GROUND IT TO YOUR TRUCK. It won't achieve the grounding effect that you desire."...and if a fault occurs, it will shock you anytime you touch the truck or trailer (if attached to the truck). Might be a good burglar catching devise though! )
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:23 AM   #6
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uhh...

I'm not sure why the generator needs to be grounded? I just put the Honda on the ground and fire it up. Is it different in the truck? I don't think I've ever noted people grounding their generators, even when operated from the truck bed?
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:03 AM   #7
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Hi, a three wire connection at the generator to a three wire connection to the trailer should be all the ground you need.
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:12 AM   #8
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Hi, a three wire connection at the generator to a three wire connection to the trailer should be all the ground you need.
But you aren't grounding anything by doing that....think about it. If you plug into shore power there is a ground rod somewhere in the system. The Airstream itself is not grounded, the truck is not grounded. If you don't ground the generator it isn't grounded.
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People run generators all the time without grounding them...
and they don't read the directions that come with them that say that it requires grounding. I have seen someone get a pretty good jolt when a tool had a bad ground wire on it, and the generator wasn't grounded. People have been killed when something has gone wrong and the generator wasn't grounded. I am not an electrician but I know that you have to be grounded to a ground rod for safety. Can you get away without a ground rod, yes but eventually, somewhere, somehow, someone is going to get killed by not using one.


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Old 06-12-2007, 04:59 AM   #9
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So what should you do when you stop at a Flying J or Wal Mart? I don't think they would let you stay if you drove a steel rod in their parking lot.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:58 AM   #10
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I did a bit of checking on this. A gen. only needs grounding if it is a Separately Derived System. If the generator is connected to a transfer switch that transfers the neutral. and the generator dose not have a grounded circuit conductor, then is is a separately derived system. A separately derived system requires a connection to a grounding electrodes or grounding rod. So I am sure that companys like Honda and Yamaha and the others build their generators with a grounded circuit conductors.

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Old 06-12-2007, 06:55 AM   #11
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If you read the gen instructions, you will see a little note that says to GROUND THE GENERATOR. That's why there is a binding post on the front panel of the units marked 'GROUND'.

As I stated above, the electricity needs a pathway (for safety reasons) to return to ground if the neutral fails for any reason. Avoid it at your own risk.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:10 AM   #12
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Got it. Ground it to the ground. Thanks all for the info. jk
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:37 AM   #13
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Got it. Ground it to the ground. Thanks all for the info. jk
You CAN ground it to your truck, then ground your truck to your trailer, then ground your trailer to ground, it is just unnecessarily complex to do.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:52 AM   #14
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If the gen. shorts out won't it kick the breaker?
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