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Old 10-31-2015, 04:18 PM   #1
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Generators

With the recent discussions on tools, spare parts and dead trailer batteries I just have to comment.

We have had our 5.0 TA for approximately a year and half and have only plugged into power three times. The first time was at Takhini Hot Springs in Whitehorse when we were bringing the trailer home. (The power came with the campsite, so even though we didn’t need it we plugged in.) The second time was late fall camping at Denali National Park, cold days, colder nights, sun at low angle to the south. Third time was earlier this fall, camping in Skagway, we had a solid week of rain.

The second and third time I plugged in, I plugged into my 1000 watt Yamaha generator that we used to use with our previous truck camper that only had room for two small group 24 batteries. My wife loathes and despises generators, she gives me the stink eye even if I glance at the tool box where we store it in the truck. So far, for 99% of our camping the solar has worked just fine.

For anyone considering using a small inverter generator with the installed surge protector, search the inter web for instructions on how to make a “Edison Plug”. I made one with a short extension cord, just in case I have to use the much loathed generator. Otherwise you have to turn off your surge protector.

Scott and Lori
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AKsnowbiker View Post
she gives me the stink eye even if I glance at the tool box where we store it in the truck.

Scott and Lori
My wife is psychic, sometimes I don't even have to glance before she says, "don't even think about it"

I just bought a Hyundai 2000 inverter generator that I ~might~ take with me when we go South after Xmas. Its' primary use is for temporary power at home. I made up a double ended male plug cord to backfeed into the house. Is that what the Edison plug does? Can't find a specific reference for it in relation to the surge protector.

Ron
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:46 PM   #3
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I think that most inverter generators have a “floating” ground so when you plug your trailer into the generator your surge protector does not see ground. The Edison plug does not have the ground wired. I used an old piece of yellow extension cord with a big EDISON PLUG label so I do not accidentally use it for any other application.

We had a huge windstorm a few years ago and had no power for three days. That little Yamaha could run our high efficiency boiler so we had heat and hot water and refrigerator at the same time. We did have to unplug it from the house occasionally to run the deep freeze in the garage.

I have a old Xantrax? module that has a bypass switch to isolate the house from the power grid. During a power outage I can flip a bypass switch and plug the generator into the dedicated outlet.

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Old 10-31-2015, 06:16 PM   #4
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Don't know if this applies to your home application, but Honda warns:
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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Sorry it's been a few years since I wired the extension cord. It is also known as a "ground neutral bond", here is a link: Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding | No~Shock~Zone

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Old 10-31-2015, 06:24 PM   #6
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That is what the the bypass module does, it isolates the house from the power grid so there is no chance of "back feeding", (is that even a real term)? into the power grid.

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Old 10-31-2015, 06:46 PM   #7
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That is what the the bypass module does, it isolates the house from the power grid so there is no chance of "back feeding", (is that even a real term)? into the power grid.
Yes, that's a reasonable term, because it means to feed power in reverse to the normal direction. The bypass module is like the switch used in an RV with an inverter or built-in generator, to connect that alternate power source to the RV's circuits and disconnect them from the "shore power" cord.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I just bought a Hyundai 2000 inverter generator that I ~might~ take with me when we go South after Xmas. Its' primary use is for temporary power at home. I made up a double ended male plug cord to backfeed into the house...
Ron, I'm sure you understand the dangers of this setup, and use it with appropriate care... including shutting off the main breaker of the house panel and tagging the breaker with a warning before plugging in this alternate power source. If the main breaker were left on, then the service wires coming into the house (and the utility system connected to them) would be live when the running generator is connected - as explained in the Honda warning.

All of this would apply equally to a trailer plugged into shore power.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:08 PM   #9
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We bought a 2000 watt Yamaha generator (capable of burning propane) a year ago and have yet to use it. The 160 watt generator keeps the dual 6v batteries topped up all the time even under marginal sunlight conditions.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:26 PM   #10
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When we picked up our trailer I had plans to mount two additional 100 watt panels that I had sitting in the shed. A battery box that is capable of fitting four six volt batteries was in my Amazon shopping cart. So far the panels are still sitting in the shed and the battery box was deleted from the shopping cart. Love the solar.

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