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Old 06-13-2004, 11:21 AM   #29
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One advantage of having a propane powered generator, would be that you could use the 30# propane tanks on the Airstream as your fuel source. During warmer weather you are probably only using one bottle for the fridge. You can get more run time from a 7 gallon propane tank than the 1 gallon of gasoline from the on board tank on the EU2000i.
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Old 06-13-2004, 11:56 AM   #30
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The 1000W generators are marginal for many uses. If you discover one isn't enough, your only choice with a Yamaha is to replace it. The EU1000 offers you the chance to purchase another one and parallel it, although that will probably cost you as much as selling the EU1000 used, and purchasing an EU2000 new.

A couple of RV.net members found their EU1000 overloading once they upgraded a 40-45A converter to a 55-60A Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power with Charge Wizard. The latter offers a higher bulk rate charge that charges the batteries faster, reducing run time, but increasing the draw on the generator. Of course, they had dual batteries. You might too, if you get into boondocking very much. And keep in mind that generator power goes down as altitude goes up.

Besides the generator powering the converter charging the house batteries, you might also have the generator powering a notebook AC adapter charging the notebook battery(s). These can draw 1.5-2.0A. You may also want to be charging batteries in a PDA, digital camera and/or camcorder, walkie-talkies, GPS, etc.

The 1000 cc generators are marginal for running only the smallest microwave ovens (600W cooking power, 900W rated) and smaller coffeemakers. A 4-cup Mr Coffee might work. If you've run a vent fan overnight, the converter will be taking too much from the generator charging the batteries to permit even the smaller appliances, especially if you're at any altitude. Of course, if you heat water on the gas stove to pour in a Melitta coffeepot/coffeemugs, and cook breakfast on the outdoor grill, this won't be an issue.

With a 2000W generator, you have the option of running a real 120VAC air compressor (about 10A plus surge), which along with a tubeless tire repair kit, could save you from having to change a tire, or waiting for a wrecker if both tires on one side were punctured from the same debris.

Just some thoughts. Not saying a 1000W generator won't work for you. It might, with the lower charge rate converter, even with two batteries. It definitely will if you stick with only one battery, but that sure doesn't give you many amp-hours for between generator run times.
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Old 06-13-2004, 06:26 PM   #31
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Maurice,

I am planning on only using it to charge the battery when we boondock. Frankly, we are not much for TV and A/C except with a shoreline... so I don't see it as a big deal. In fact, we ordered our CCD without the microwave because we don't use them - gas oven only. Everthing we really need runs on 12V including our dog food freezer which draws 1.5A.

Do you see a problem with charging only? Is it simply a matter of hooking to the battery posts?

Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-13-2004, 06:41 PM   #32
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It's simplier than that. Using a 30A female to 15A male adapter, you plug your trailer cord into the generator.

There should be no problem with charging a single battery, and probably not duals, but it will be working pretty hard.
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:04 PM   #33
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Maurice,

How long do you think it will take to do a full charge from 50%?
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Old 06-14-2004, 12:36 AM   #34
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X; we have a Yamaha 1000 and like it. a lot. I am just starting to uderstand all this battery stuff, but ours should have about 40 some useful amp hours. If I run a few lights and the refer fan overnight, this brings the battery down to around 12.4 by morning. I run the generator for about 4 hours, during which time I run all the lights, stereo, and usally a small dvd player and its back up. I have not taken a voltmeter reading after 4 hours, however. W/O air conditioner or micro, the total draw of the 16CCD is less than the generator puts out at 80% efficiency. The Honda 2000 is also certainly a great unit, but meant for full timers in bigger rigs, I think. Save the weight and the money.
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Old 06-14-2004, 04:51 AM   #35
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Hi X,

You can do a quick figure on the charge time by doing the following:

1.) Use your AC inverter on the generator to charge through your trailer's AC system. Your charger charges bulk rate of 55 Amp/hr as opposed to 8-12 Amps/hr through your DC side of the generator to your battery posts.

2.) Only use your generator for bulk phase charging (ie: 50% to 80% state of charge). This is when your battery will accept the 55 Amp/hr that your charger can provide. Above 80% state of charge, your battery will move into the absorption phase and only accept about 8 Amps/hr. This is wasteful to use a generator to charge. It's better to use solar or shore power to get above 80% state of charge. While Boondocking, only expect to use the 50-80% range of your battery.
3.) While charging, account for about a 26% inefficiency for flooded cell batteries. Comparatively, Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries only have a 1% inefficiency, but are more expensive.

Lets say you still have the Group 24 battery that came with your CCD, which has a 20hr. rating of 85 Amp/hr.

At 50%, time to charge, you need to charge to 80%, or a 30% increase:
30% of 85 Amp/hr = 25.5 Amp/hr.

Accounting for the 26% inefficiency of the flooded cell battery:
1.26 x 25.5 Amp/hr = 32 Amp/hr.

Using the AC-DC charger in your CCD rated at 55 Amp/hr:
32 Amp/hr. / 55Amp/hr.=.58 hours or 35 minutes

If you charge directly to the battery from your generator DC-DC, assuming 8 Amp/hr. charging rate:
32 Amp/hr. / 8 Amp./hr = 4 hours

As you can see charging 35 minutes is alot better (and cheaper) than 4 hours.

Hope this helps,

Bob

PS: I've gone Boondocking.
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Old 06-14-2004, 10:32 AM   #36
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Bob,

I really appreciate the sysnopsis. It makes sense.

Bob, do you have any ideas on storage for the gen that would be airtight so I could store in the CCD or back of the Treg?

Also, have you done the battery upgrade we discussed?

Muchos gracias,
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Old 06-14-2004, 11:25 AM   #37
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The only nearly-accurate way to determine battery state of charge is with a good amp-hour meter, like the Link 10. Using the voltage of an in-circuit battery is too dependent on the load, and to get a good reading of either voltage or specific gravity, the battery must be out of circuit resting for several hours to dissapate the surface charge.

Many generator-using boondockers shut off the generator at about 85% charge because once you get past about 80%, the charge curve becomes almost horizontal. The last 10-15% can take several hours of generator run time.

How quickly you get from 50% to 80-85% (measured with an amp-hour meter) depends on your converter and battery. A 55A converter isn't going to charge at a rate of 55A per hour. In fact, with light load from other 12VDC appliances, it won't charge a single battery any faster than a 40A converter that outputs the same voltage. The amount of charge current depends on the converter output voltage and state of charge of the battery. The converter rating is only the maximum capability of the converter. The same is true of the rated 8A output of the Honda's DC charging circuit.

In general, you want to be charging at less than Capacity/5 (20% of the battery's amp-hour capacity) if you don't have temperature monitoring. If you want the battery to last longer, you'll want charge rate around C/10. See the Interstate Battery FAQ for more info.

The charging efficiency of a flooded cell battery is around 90%, meaning you need to put in about 10-11% more amp-hours than you take out. A good amp-hour meter like the Link 10 can calculate the charging efficiency of your particular battery if you let the charging run until the battery is fully charged, for example, plugged into AC power at home. The 1.26 mentioned is a typical flooded cell Peukert factor, which deals with battery capacity vs discharge rate.

Four hours of generator run time should get you back to about 85% from 50% at an average 8A charge. If done in the evening, the power for the lights, showers, cooking, TV, radio, etc will come out of the converter's excess output while it's charging the battery, and lessen the depth of discharge of the battery, helping it to last longer.

Hope this helps,
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Old 06-14-2004, 11:48 AM   #38
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On carrying the generator... I would not carry something as heavy as a generator, especially fueled, in a passenger compartment with me and my loved ones. It could be fatal in an accident, especially if someone was trapped in the vehicle.

I'd certainly find some way to carry it in the trailer... under the dinette, between the dinette and the desk, or even in the wet bath. And that's also where I'd carry a 2.5-5 gallon gas can.
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Old 06-15-2004, 11:11 PM   #39
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The latest issue of Trailer Life has an article on the Yamaha EF3000iSEB as well as an Airstream Safari 28W pulled by a Suburban with 6.0 engine. They ran a 13,500 BTU AC and microwave at the same time and repeated it with no problems.
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Old 06-16-2004, 08:21 AM   #40
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Some 13,500 btu ACs are the new high efficiency kind that only take 10.5A running vs the 15A of those in most Airstreams. There's also a wide range of microwave powers... a 600W cooking power only takes 900W, while a 1000W cooking power takes 1500W. Did they specify what models of AC and MW did this?
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:28 AM   #41
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What voltage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKingMoe
....... Did they specify what models of AC and MW did this?
Also, did they document the voltages at the appliances when the genny was under max load?

Moreso than anything else, I think that low voltage hurried the AC on the 345 to an early demise.

I think that some of the problems with AC's exhibited at the recent Forum Rally at Moraine View in Illinois should serve as an impetus for trailerites to spring for a 20 buck analog AC voltage meter. They just plug right into a receptical. An absolute necessity for anyone running a generator.
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:36 AM   #42
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Multiple Batteries

In our previous life we were big boaters 35' Chris craft and such, any way the normal among my boating croanies was to run between 5 and 7 batteries and use the genny to charge them every few days, why don't streamers who are interested in Boondocking do the same? surely it can't be the price of the batteries, we all spend that amount of money on stupid things through out the year. just curios still pretty new to owning a land yacht.
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