1 Generator 2 Trailers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-29-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
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Trailer: 17.5 ft and 25 ft FB Bigfoot
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I'm wondering if I can hook up 2 trailers in tandem to 1 generator. Where the electrical cord comes out on my 25' Bigfoot there is a receptical to plug in another cord rated for 30 amp. So can I hook my 25' to the generator and then plug another trailer into the 25' receptical? This is not about will there be too much wattage requirements but rather I will be running through two sets of batteries and two invertors and don't want to cause overheating or increase voltage, etc.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
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I'm wondering if I can hook up 2 trailers in tandem to 1 generator. Where the electrical cord comes out on my 25' Bigfoot there is a receptical to plug in another cord rated for 30 amp. So can I hook my 25' to the generator and then plug another trailer into the 25' receptical? This is not about will there be too much wattage requirements but rather I will be running through two sets of batteries and two invertors and don't want to cause overheating or increase voltage, etc.
This depends upon so many things.

1. The size of your generator

2. How much power each trailer needs to draw

3. the size of the breaker on the generator

etc....



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Old 05-29-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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Name: George
Trailer: Waiting for the Sprinter van and designing the converion modules.
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As Pamela said it depends; the key question is does your generator have enough oomph power wise? If you generator is 2500W and you want to run 2 ACs 13000 BTU each it is likely not enough oomph. Assuming your batteries in both trailers need full charge and your converters are 40A DC each which is 2 x 40A x 13.5V = 1080W charge draw a Honda 1000W (900W running mode) will not have enough oomph; if batteries are charged a Honda1000 will likely be enough. The worse think can happen that you will overpower your generator and blow generatorís fuse or generator will simply stop.

George.



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Old 05-29-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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As Pamela said it depends; the key question is does your generator have enough oomph power wise? If you generator is 2500W and you want to run 2 ACs 13000 BTU each it is likely not enough oomph. Assuming your batteries in both trailers need full charge and your converters are 40A DC each which is 2 x 40A x 13.5V = 1080W charge draw a Honda 1000W (900W running mode) will not have enough oomph; if batteries are charged a Honda1000 will likely be enough. The worse think can happen that you will overpower your generator and blow generatorís fuse or generator will simply stop.

George.

I am not worried about the draw on the generator. That part I have covered. The question is purely from an electrical situation....am I hooking it up properly? Or because I have two sets of batteries and two inverters do I have some electrical situation i.e. too much voltage, wattage, improper hookup, etc? Instead of hooking one trailer up to the other should I connect each independently to the generator?
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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Name: George
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I am not worried about the draw on the generator. That part I have covered. The question is purely from an electrical situation....am I hooking it up properly? Or because I have two sets of batteries and two inverters do I have some electrical situation i.e. too much voltage, wattage, improper hookup, etc? Instead of hooking one trailer up to the other should I connect each independently to the generator?
The only potential problems (besides power match) you can encounter are on the AC not on the DC side. If trailers are not wired properly (mix up in line, neutral, and ground) you could have problem with GFCI outlets kicking out. You can test both trailers with the_tester for $4. Envision powering both trailers from the same AC outlet, your situation is not different form this scenario.


George.


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Old 05-29-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1960 28 ft Airstream
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While your generator may be large enough, the breaker that you feed thru may not be. depending upon the load that you place with each trailer, no A/C (air conditioner), a 20A breaker would generally feed each trailer and run enough toys. You won't increase voltage, rather you would decrease it if you pull too great a load, causing your current needs to increase. (thus causing things to get hot...) To get an accurate reading, you can get a device for about $20 that will tell you the wattage that you are pulling thru an A/C (alternating current) connection. 30A x 110V=3300 W, not a huge amount. And then you have to consider start up power, which is usually significantly higher than your running load. Your typical house plug has either a 15 or 20 A breaker, with a slow blow fuse or breaker, which is why your blow dryer doesn't usually kill it. Motors typically have more draw, but I am not familiar with the load characteristics of battery chargers, inverters and converters.

Pam

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Old 05-29-2009, 10:57 PM   #7
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I think this is where the confusion is coming from . You are saying two inverters and I think you mean two converters.

If you are NOT using inverters then you should not have a problem.

Instead of running a lead cord to the second trailer you are using the first trailers wiring as a lead cord.

Hope I didn't make it anymore confusing. LOL

Bill K

Or because I have two sets of batteries and two inverters do I have some electrical situation i.e. too much voltage, wattage, improper hookup, etc?
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Old 05-30-2009, 12:01 AM   #8
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I think this is where the confusion is coming from . You are saying two inverters and I think you mean two converters.

If you are NOT using inverters then you should not have a problem.

Instead of running a lead cord to the second trailer you are using the first trailers wiring as a lead cord.

Hope I didn't make it anymore confusing. LOL

Bill K

Or because I have two sets of batteries and two inverters do I have some electrical situation i.e. too much voltage, wattage, improper hookup, etc?
I agree Bill, this is where to confusion could reside. I thought it was reasonable for me to assume the mistake of calling converter an inverter. Why would someone run generator and inverter in the same time?

George.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:11 AM   #9
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There was a person on the Honda generator forum that was using his inverter to kick start his AC along with his generator.

Bill K

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I agree Bill, this is where to confusion could reside. I thought it was reasonable for me to assume the mistake of calling converter an inverter. Why would someone run generator and inverter in the same time?

George.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:03 AM   #10
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Be very careful if you do this mod.

If you feed a trailer from one source of 120vac power, and have additional outlets or power cords which can further transfer that power along to another place, be sure that none of the exposed MALE connectors' ends can be "hot" when the system is energized. Anyone touching these protruding MALE ends, while energized, would be electrocuted! This includes the standard RV or Marine style trailer plug-ins where your shorepower cords normally hook up to the trailer, as well as cord ends. The only exposed contacts should be on an end that can only be energized by inserting it into a source of power. If you plug in a cord which uses the female end, then the other (male) end will be energized and exposed to contact. Not good at all.

That is why the ends of ALL electrical distribution devices which can be energized are made in the FEMALE configuration, so as to protect people from unprotected live wires and live terminals, including the ends of all power cords too..
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:33 AM   #11
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I'm sure you must have thought of it already but why not just run two extension cords out of your generator going independently to each trailer......
Just from a simple view that running the generator to just one trailer and then piggyback it to the second trailer you have all the second trailers draw going to your little 120 volt outlet on your trailer..... that's alot of stuff just using one of your receptacles and may tend to heat up your trailer plug where you plug in to go to the next trailer. Sorta of like putting too many devices into one socket (fire hazard)........ If you do decide to give it a try just keep feeling the jumper plug ends to see if it gets too warm. I don't think i would want my trailer feeding a second one off me.
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:18 AM   #12
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There was a person on the Honda generator forum that was using his inverter to kick start his AC along with his generator.

Bill K
I am certain that generator to inverter frequency synchronization could be done but not likely in the world of RV except inverter based generator to the same generator such as Honda . I am not aware of any RV inverter with controllable frequency. You would need to measure generator frequency and synchronize your inverter with it.

George.



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Old 06-01-2009, 04:56 PM   #13
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I must have fallen asleep at the wheel (keyboard?!). I did mean to say converter instead of inverter. The reason to piggyback on one trailer is that my Yamaha 3000 only has 1 30 amp outlet. The others are 15 amp. But in the end this may not be a problem. One trailer is a 2008 25' Bigfoot with all the trimmings, AC, fans, sterio, TV, microwave, etc. The other trailer is an 84 17' Bigfoot with only one fan, sterio and lights. It may be that the 17' would be okay on a 15 amp outlet. However, if someone plugged in a toaster and then a hairdryer at the same time in the 17' is might be better to have it running through a 30 amp outlet even if it is piggybacked. This reasoning may show my true lack of electrical intelligence
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:23 AM   #14
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I must have fallen asleep at the wheel (keyboard?!). I did mean to say converter instead of inverter. The reason to piggyback on one trailer is that my Yamaha 3000 only has 1 30 amp outlet. The others are 15 amp. But in the end this may not be a problem. One trailer is a 2008 25' Bigfoot with all the trimmings, AC, fans, sterio, TV, microwave, etc. The other trailer is an 84 17' Bigfoot with only one fan, sterio and lights. It may be that the 17' would be okay on a 15 amp outlet. However, if someone plugged in a toaster and then a hairdryer at the same time in the 17' is might be better to have it running through a 30 amp outlet even if it is piggybacked. This reasoning may show my true lack of electrical intelligence
Your 25' bigfoot has an A/C. back in the day, I had a 24'stickie RV with A/C, and in those days, there were campgrounds with 20A as well as 30 A sites. This was before the days of 50A... On a 20A site, my A/C would pop the breaker on startup-everytime. Had no microwave, TV's were big consumers of power, no LCD in those days...and let's not talk about hairdryers....

In a regular home, most likely, your A/C would be on one circuit, your microwave on another, and your hair dryer on a third, not to mention all the other goodies. a Yamaha 3000 is rated for 3000W, but I have seen reviews talking about a boost function that will let you start a 12,000btu air conditioner. Generators are less forgiving about starting up your a/c then wall current, but that is another story.

To make a long story short, if nothing were running in either trailer except perhaps lights, battery charging and a stereo or LCD tv, you would probably be ok. But pumps draw a fair amount of current, as well as the other goodies that we depend upon so readily,...like coffee pots.

So no, I wouldn't do it.

Pam
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