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Old 06-13-2019, 03:54 PM   #1
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Honda Generator Test for the 25FB

I started both my Honda generators today to test out how the new Airstream worked off this pair of generators for 30amps. A few surprises.

First, I wanted to use my new surge protector. As soon as I plugged it in, it objected saying that I had an “Open Ground” and would not allow the trailer to connect to the power source. I found out this is normal since there is no ground. Some folks in a forum asked “why would you need a surge protector for a generator in the first place?” I decided to not use the protector.

Second, Once connected, the little yellow current checker I use said we had a “hot/neutral reverse” On checking the Honda manual I found out this was normal because the Honda has a floating ground. So I disregarded this warning.

Next was the test to run the Air Conditioner. Our dealer/service guy told me that the Zone 1 (rear) A/C was the only one that would run when connected to a 30amp power supply. Zone 1 A/C came on with no problem. I decided to try out Zone 2 (front) A/C. I turned off Zone 1 and then started Zone 2 without any problem. Cool air. Since the A/C’s supply a common vent system the cool air flows throughout and we have control over how it flows.

So, it looks like I can use either one of the A/C's as needed.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:04 PM   #2
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Three words . . . MicroAir easy start.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:09 PM   #3
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I thought 2 AC trailers had 50A service. One AC is on one 120V leg, and the other AC is on the other. Did you have an adapter feeding both sides of the 50A service from a 30A source? That is the only way I could see how you ran both off of one generator, and yes with such an adapter you can run either of the ACs.


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Old 06-13-2019, 04:14 PM   #4
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I used the 50 to 30amp dongle that Airstream supplied to me with the trailer. Do you think there is a way that those adapters could be wired to supply both legs of power?
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:07 PM   #5
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A 30-AMP trailer cord has three prongs: One hot wire (L1), a Neutral and a Ground. Current flowing from L1 to the Neutral has 120-volts available and the wire and breaker is rated to carry 30-AMPS before melting or tripping.

A 50-AMP trailer cord has four prongs: Two hot wires (L1 and L2), a Neutral and a Ground. Current flowing from L1 or L2 to the Neutral has 120-volts available and the wire and breaker is rated to carry 50-AMPS before melting or tripping. Current flowing from L1 to L2 has 240-volts available up to the same 50-AMPS.

A 30-A to 50-A dogbone (what you called a dongle) is wired so that the L1 from the 30-A service is connected to the L1 and the L2 of the 50-A service. Without getting too far into the technical weeds, you won't get 240-volts when you go from L1 to L2 if a dogbone is used because the loads need to be out of phase. There is only one phase with a 30-A connection but there are two phases with a 50-A connection.

What you experienced when you used the dogbone was that the singe phase available to the 30-A service was sent into both sides of your 50-A power center giving both L1 and L2 power. Typically, one AC will be wired to L1 and another to L2 when you have 50-A because this way you can draw a small amount of amperage from each phase instead of a lot from one phase. This is why both AC's were running.

If you installed a MicroAir as recommend above, and which I've done myself, you can run the AC on 15-amps and it is possible to run them both on 30-amps if you wait until one is running smoothly until you turn on the second. This is a really bad idea because it will heat-up the wires in the dongle and more than likely result in you not getting enough voltage to the AC causing failure.

The recommendation on bypassing the surge suppressor (actually called an Electrical Management System EMS) when using a generator sounds like there is a part of the sentence missing. When running an inverter generator, the generator puts out a clean and pure sign curve which is why it's safe for electronics and the surge portion of the EMS isn't needed. This isn't to say that you can't get voltage variations due to generator overload and this is where the EMS protects you by cutting out when the voltage drops too low. I would NEVER run a non-inverter generator without an EMS because of the spikes and unclean power but I would and do with a Honda inverter generator.

Lastly, some generators have their Ground and Neutral bonded together and others, usually inverter generators, don't. For your Honda inverter generator, you need a G-N Adapter (Ground to Neutral) that you can make yourself or buy online in order to use it with an EMS system.

Hope this helps. It was always a point of confusion for me as well.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:09 PM   #6
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Honda Generator Test for the 25FB

50 to 30 amp supply dogbones are usually wired from the supplier to connect the 30 amp hot lead to BOTH 50 amp hot leads.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:22 PM   #7
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Tanker you can buy or make a plug that connects the ground correctly which will allow your surge protector to work and eliminate the error on the open ground on the wall plug. Amazon or Camping World sell them for about $10.

Even though the 15K AC started from a cold start you may find that once it goes into cycle mode it may not start again. This is due to the increase in pressure in the compressor from the expansion of fluid from operating. Kind of a heat thing.

You didn't say which Honda's you have. My old pair of 2000's would not start the 15K unit after a recycle. If you have the newer 2200 units then they might have the oomph to make it work.

MicroAir units will make a big difference in the starting and general wear and tear on the compressors.

Plug example https://www.amazon.com/Southwire-Com...34786144&psc=1
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ghaynes755 View Post
Tanker you can buy or make a plug that connects the ground correctly which will allow your surge protector to work and eliminate the error on the open ground on the wall plug. Amazon or Camping World sell them for about $10.
You can make this plug (called a bonding plug because it bonds the GROUND and NEUTRAL together) for about $2. Go to a big box hardware store, and buy a 3 prong plug made to put on an extension cord. Take a wire (I like 14g or bigger) and hook the GROUND pin to the NEUTRAL pin. DO NOT HOOK ANYTHING TO THE HOT PIN. Plug this into one of the outlets ON THE GENERATOR. Now, your protector will work perfectly with the Honda generators. I have been doing it this way for 2 years. Most generators that come built in on an RV have this already done at the factory. No more "open ground" or "reverse polarity" error messages. Of course, put the body back on the plug. Left off in the photo for clarity.

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Old 06-14-2019, 03:05 AM   #9
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FYI a recent thread has a good discussion about open ground bonding plugs, which are also available already made.

[click on orange arrow to go directly to the post]
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Peter, this is the Amazon link for the Southwire plug

https://www.amazon.com/Southwire-Com...34786144&psc=1

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Old 06-14-2019, 09:57 AM   #10
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I bought the Southwire plug from Camping World for our Champion Dual-Fuel generator. Once I plugged it into the generator, the Progressive EMS showed no errors and allowed current.

As the other poster noted, Inverter generators provide clean power but as long as I have the plug, I’ll use the EMS when on generator power.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankerIP View Post
I used the 50 to 30amp dongle that Airstream supplied to me with the trailer. Do you think there is a way that those adapters could be wired to supply both legs of power?
Yes.
The dongle takes the one 30 amp leg and sends it to BOTH legs of the 50 amp connector. Since you're not using any 240v. appliances phase is irrelevant.

I bought a power cable that has a 30 amp male and a 50 amp female matching the Airstream. I got it for the generator, but it's been indispensable for camping with 30 amps or in my storage facility that has 30 amps.
(and it's much easier to pull out!)
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:46 AM   #12
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Who feels they need a surge protector when on generator?
I get it about the floating ground, but you're not connected to the outside world.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:39 PM   #13
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Yes!!! Micro Air

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Originally Posted by turk123 View Post
Three words . . . MicroAir easy start.
With our new Airstream the 15k AC received a Micro Air before it left the dealer lot. Love it’s performance

I now never use the 2d Honda 2000. Anyone want to buy a brand new Honda 2000 never started. New this year.

Pm me if interested
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:50 PM   #14
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I know this discussion is about inverter generators and whether there is a need for an EMS to monitor. But you never know for sure without one as I found out with my non-inverter generator.

My Onan 2800QG was (unknown to me) significantly under-producing volts at Hz due to slower than spec rpm setting. It started fine and powered the roof air seemingly without problems. No way my ear could have detected the low rpms.

It was not until I purchased a Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X that I used a 120v plug adapter to test my generator output. I don't recall the numbers exactly but, under load while running the a/c, it was producing somewhere around 103 volts and 54 Hz.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:21 PM   #15
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answer

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Old 06-21-2019, 11:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Life is a Highway View Post
With our new Airstream the 15k AC received a Micro Air before it left the dealer lot. Love it’s performance

I now never use the 2d Honda 2000. Anyone want to buy a brand new Honda 2000 never started. New this year.

Pm me if interested
I would hang on to that 2000 if I were you. My 15k starts fine on one 2000, but trips out after 2 or 3 minutes if the temps are above 85 degrees. I also have the Micro Air easy starts on both ACs.

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Old 06-21-2019, 10:46 PM   #17
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I most likely will. Mine was tripping out also until we figured the fridge was auto switched to electric. Locked it on propane and it never tripped again.

I would have never bought the second Honda if that new Champion 3500 with remote start was out.

Thanks for the reply
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:16 PM   #18
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Who feels they need a surge protector when on generator?
I get it about the floating ground, but you're not connected to the outside world.
Hi, I don't. I very seldom ever use my surge protector anyway. I only use it if I know that a huge thunder storm is on it's way.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:44 PM   #19
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Surge guard

Heard from one person who was using his Surge Guard on the generator. The generator kicked out 150 volts and it tripped saving the RV. Maybe I will use it in the future on our generator with the plug.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:46 PM   #20
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Yup. Always a good idea to have an EMS/Surge Protector in the line. The ground/neutral bonding plug needed for some generators is a cheap bit of insurance to make sure the EMS works properly
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