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MarkC

Understanding electrical and charging system

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After reading about solar systems and generators I still am trying to get my head around the electrical.   Here's what I think I know thus far...but not positive.

1.  You need a generator to run AC off the grid.  You need two 2000w generators if you want to run AC and something else at the same time.

2.  You need a generator to charge batteries if there is no  sunlight.  Guessing here...bigger the generator , faster the charge?

3.  Some parks won't let you run your generator at certain times.  Is this common?  So, no AC at night unless you are hooked up to power,  Wondering if parks in the warmer climates let you run your generator at night if its 90 degrees?

4.  If you are hooked up to a 30 amp.  are you using any of your battery power for other stuff. 

5.  If you are hooked up to 30 amp. and run your AC all night do your batteries get charged at the same time?

6.  Thinking with today's technology that much of the power identification is automatic but this is all new to me.  Do you have to manually flip switches to tell system if its using solar, battery, or ...not sure what you call it, shore power, park power, grid power.

I like the idea of having a generator.  Can I get by with just one 2000w to run the AC with the soft start up ? 

Thanks for your advice!

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It sounds like you've pretty much got it:

You need a generator to run AC off the grid. Short answer is yes.  If you opt for the MicroAir soft start, then you can run your AC off of a smaller generator or even your batteries for a very short time.

You need two 2000w generators if you want to run AC and something else at the same time. It depends on what else you want to run, but I think most people's experience is that you can't run the AC and the Microwave together, for example.  I think most just switch off the AC while they use the MW.

Some parks won't let you run your generator at certain times.  Is this common?  Oh yes.

So, no AC at night unless you are hooked up to power,  Wondering if parks in the warmer climates let you run your generator at night if its 90 degrees? Correct.   I can't say I've really paid attention if they have different summer hours.

If you are hooked up to a 30 amp.  are you using any of your battery power for other stuff.  For practical purposes, no.  

If you are hooked up to 30 amp. and run your AC all night do your batteries get charged at the same time? Yes, the AC will only pull about half the available power when its compressor is running, and the surplus will go to the batteries and anything else you're running.

Thinking with today's technology that much of the power identification is automatic but this is all new to me.  Do you have to manually flip switches to tell system if its using solar, battery, or ...not sure what you call it, shore power, park power, grid power.  The only thing that you'll have to manually turn on and off would be the inverter, which you'll use when not plugged in.  But even that will be automatically bypassed when you plug in, so you don't have to worry about damaging anything if you forget to turn it off.  Shore power is the right term - we're all sailors at heart, I guess.

Can I get by with just one 2000w to run the AC with the soft start up?  Yep, that's the main advantage of having the soft start.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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We don’t like to camp in weather where we have to run the AC.  Usually the AC is only used while we’re getting out of the Texas heat to somewhere cooler.  Even in the Texas heat, we will go to sleep with the AC on, but sometime after midnight it goes off and the windows get opened with the fan going.  

My AC will start and run on my 2000W Champion.  We don’t do it often.  If it’s after dark, I would not want to disturb my boondocking neighbors with the low drone of my generator.  The only reason we bring the generator is to charge batteries in the late fall/winter/early spring when the sun decides not to fully expose himself.  Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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