Portable generators - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-14-2020, 12:28 PM   #21
Member
 
Alex in LA's Avatar
 
Name: Alex
Trailer: 1999 Casita 16' "Snufkin"
California
Posts: 37
Cosco Yamaha Generator

I got 2 Cosco Yamaha generators for the price of one Honda ($450 each). If you need to run AC you can "combine" the two with wires (included) for enough juice. There are several threads out there discussing pros and cons of different generators. When I was deciding I read through them and remember drawing a conclusion that Honda is the best but priciest, with Yamaha close second best. Since Cosco's Yamaha is basically a half price Yamaha, it was an easy choice to make.
__________________

Alex in LA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 02:34 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
Posts: 1,468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex in LA View Post
I got 2 Cosco Yamaha generators for the price of one Honda ($450 each). If you need to run AC you can "combine" the two with wires (included) for enough juice. There are several threads out there discussing pros and cons of different generators. When I was deciding I read through them and remember drawing a conclusion that Honda is the best but priciest, with Yamaha close second best. Since Cosco's Yamaha is basically a half price Yamaha, it was an easy choice to make.
I was looking at generators from Costco a few years ago, and saw some generators that were "Yamaha Powered" which means that the engine is a Yamaha , but the rest of the generator is not from Yamaha. Don't get me wrong, I know of 2 people who bought these units and they are very happy with them.

Many engine manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton etc.) sell just engines to other companies that build generators, pressure washers, lawn mowers.
__________________

Jack L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 03:51 PM   #23
Junior Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: Casita
Nevada
Posts: 6
Is it simple to chain solar panels? For example, hook up a larger capacity to my present 60 watt panel? Is some sort of adaptor necessary?
If that is possible, that may be the way to go. I live in the SW and do not anticipate encountering extreme conditions during basically three seasons of camping.
In the past the 60watt panel would give out after 3 or 4 days of use.
I agree with the simplicity and silence of solar vs the drone of a neighboring generator.
Brightbluesky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 03:57 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Alex Adams's Avatar
 
Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brightbluesky View Post
Is it simple to chain solar panels? For example, hook up a larger capacity to my present 60 watt panel? Is some sort of adaptor necessary?
If that is possible, that may be the way to go. I live in the SW and do not anticipate encountering extreme conditions during basically three seasons of camping.
In the past the 60watt panel would give out after 3 or 4 days of use.
I agree with the simplicity and silence of solar vs the drone of a neighboring generator.
Just get one of these assuming your panels use the MC-4 connector:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0090MTCF8...v_ov_lig_dp_it
Alex Adams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 07:45 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brightbluesky View Post
Is it simple to chain solar panels? ...
It can be simple.. or it can get complicated. But for your application it is likely more simple than complicated, The first and primary consideration is the controller. If it can handle one, two or three more panels then it is simple. So the question is, "what controller do you have?"
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 09:09 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
charlsara's Avatar
 
Name: Charlie
Trailer: 2014 Lil Snoozy
North Carolina
Posts: 636
Registry
I have a back bumper mount with high security lock for my vehicle. I have a short cord from there to the trailer. The Honda 2000 did a good good in southern Cali last September keeping our air conditioner running going down the road. We got to the campsites with the trailer nice and cold. I couldnít hear it from the driver seat.
charlsara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 09:18 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 1,711
I bought a dual fuel LP and gasoline 2200 watt inverter generator and have not used gasoline in it yet.
I bought it for a standby for storms etc here is Hurricane territory and for camping.
This last year we used a generator twice during two trips of 9300 miles and 7500 miles.
We used the generator in Big Sur park to run the heat pump for a while and our microwave in our all electric (other than tankless water heater Scamp).
We have 300 watts of solar on the roof with a MPPT charge controller and two 105 AH batteries.
We have a swing compressor electric refrigerator so that is probably the main user when there is not much sun and no power.
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2020, 09:08 AM   #28
Member
 
Name: James Y.
Trailer: Companion
Ohio
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlsara View Post
I have a back bumper mount with high security lock for my vehicle. I have a short cord from there to the trailer. The Honda 2000 did a good good in southern Cali last September keeping our air conditioner running going down the road. We got to the campsites with the trailer nice and cold. I couldnít hear it from the driver seat.
What size AC did you run with the Honda 2000 generator?
Jim G. - Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2020, 09:14 AM   #29
Senior Member
 
charlsara's Avatar
 
Name: Charlie
Trailer: 2014 Lil Snoozy
North Carolina
Posts: 636
Registry
8000 BTU window unit mounted on the rear wall of our Lil Snoozy.
charlsara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2020, 06:12 PM   #30
Junior Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: Casita
Nevada
Posts: 6
generator vs solar

I seem to be leaning toward beefing up my capacity to use solar for the two batteries I have in my Casita. I am looking into options to link another solar panel to a 60watt folding panel I put on the ground to catch sun rays. One of my tow vehicles has a 150 watt or so panel on the roof and if I can figure a way to connect from there down to the 60watt and into my Casita and to my 2 batteries I may have enough to do the trick..Just have to learn how to do something to get everything straight. Not sure if that would be series or parrell.
Brightbluesky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2020, 06:49 PM   #31
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brightbluesky View Post
Is it simple to chain solar panels? .....
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
It can be simple.. .... The first and primary consideration is the controller.... So the question is, "what controller do you have?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brightbluesky View Post
... I am looking into options to link another solar panel to a 60watt folding panel I put on the ground to catch sun rays. .....Just have to learn how to do something to get everything straight. Not sure if that would be series or parrell (sic).
I would be happy to make some suggestions but you really do need to answer the questions that are asked of you so that the information needed to answer the question is available.

The second panel would be wired in parallel to the controller (baring some extremely rare exception). If you add a 150 watt panel to a 60 watt then the controller must be rated to handle at least 210 watts (150+60). A 20 or 30 amp controller should be OK.. but a ten amp controller - no. The manual for the controller you have should be of help.

Another consideration is fusing for multiple panels.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 12:49 AM   #32
Junior Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: Casita
Nevada
Posts: 6
Thanks Gordon:
The two large rigid panels which were installed on the roof of my converted Ford E 250 actually total 175 watts I understand. A cable runs from the panels on the roof into the interior of the van and is sealed. The monitor inside has "Solar Boost 2000E" on the panel and also says" 25 amp maximum power point tracking solar charge controller"
The suitcase type folding solar panels totals 60watt and I had a friend run the necessary wiring from the panels to the travel trailer batteries. I believe that the suitcase type case has a built in controller, although the infor plate on the back does not say so. It is a Zamp solar" portable 60 watt solar charging system."

I just wonder if it is possible to run some type of cable from the system on the van top to the Zamp panels and from there into the travel trailer..Assuming that the systems are individually adequate to run on their own, is that enough to just chain them in line???
I'd appreciate your thoughts......John
Brightbluesky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 07:47 AM   #33
Senior Member
 
Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 1,711
Check the voltage input rating on your MPPT controller and then add up the open circuit voltage rating of all of your panels.
If the total open voltage of the panels is less than the input voltage rating of the MPPT controller then add a plug to jumper the extra panels in series with the panels on the roof.
You do have those panels wired in series already , right?
If not you should rewire them for series operation to take full advantage of the MPPT controller.
The plug that you connect the additional panels (in series) will need a second plug to jumper the panels if the extra ones are not connected.
Example if you have two panels with 20 volt open circuit rating that would be 40 volts. If the outside panels had an open circuit voltage of 18 volts then they would add up to 36 volts. So you would have 40 + 36 = 76 volts. Your MPPT controller would have to be rated higher than this.
The MPPT controller will start to charge the batteries sooner and run later to provide more power.
As soon as the panels put out much over 14 -15 volts total in series, the MPPT will start putting current into the batteries.
Basically the MPPT will take the current from the cells at whatever voltage and convert the POWER at whatever the voltage to power at ~14 volts to charge the batteries.
redbarron55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 08:02 AM   #34
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 2,937
LOL

red baron you have muddled up my 78 year old brain. I guess all this is no different than hooking up 2 6v batteries to get 12vs.

I do enjoy reading all your posts on this subject. No doubt you like to tinker!

the best

bob
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Check the voltage input rating on your MPPT controller and then add up the open circuit voltage rating of all of your panels.
If the total open voltage of the panels is less than the input voltage rating of the MPPT controller then add a plug to jumper the extra panels in series with the panels on the roof.
You do have those panels wired in series already , right?
If not you should rewire them for series operation to take full advantage of the MPPT controller.
The plug that you connect the additional panels (in series) will need a second plug to jumper the panels if the extra ones are not connected.
Example if you have two panels with 20 volt open circuit rating that would be 40 volts. If the outside panels had an open circuit voltage of 18 volts then they would add up to 36 volts. So you would have 40 + 36 = 76 volts. Your MPPT controller would have to be rated higher than this.
The MPPT controller will start to charge the batteries sooner and run later to provide more power.
As soon as the panels put out much over 14 -15 volts total in series, the MPPT will start putting current into the batteries.
Basically the MPPT will take the current from the cells at whatever voltage and convert the POWER at whatever the voltage to power at ~14 volts to charge the batteries.
k0wtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 08:43 AM   #35
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Check the voltage input rating on your MPPT controller and then add up the open circuit voltage rating of all of your panels.

If the total open voltage of the panels is less than the input voltage rating of the MPPT controller then add a plug to jumper the extra panels in series with the panels on the roof.
...
Example if you have two panels with 20 volt open circuit rating that would be 40 volts. If the outside panels had an open circuit voltage of 18 volts then they would add up to 36 volts. So you would have 40 + 36 = 76 volts. Your MPPT controller would have to be rated higher than this....
The manual for the controller that is installed in the van says:
Do not connect to a PV array capable of producing greater than 20 amperes of short circuit current (ISC) or 24V of open circuit voltage (VOC)

Since we don't know what panels are on the roof we can't say how they should be wired. A typical 100 watt panel might have a Voc of 18-19 volts and a few 90 watt panels I looked at were about 22. In these cases the two panels should not be wired in series as the added voltage would exceed the rating of the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 10:23 AM   #36
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brightbluesky View Post
...
I just wonder if it is possible to run some type of cable from the system on the van top to the Zamp panels and from there into the travel trailer..Assuming that the systems are individually adequate to run on their own, is that enough to just chain them in line???
...
First understand that the only way to properly deal with this is in person and on site. So keep that in mind.

There are quite a few considerations and options in your case, and how I would proceed would be influenced by all of them.

First some questions:
  • Do you want to keep the solar for the van, share it with the trailer, or use it for the trailer only?
  • What is the purpose and need for the solar system on the van?
  • Does the portable panel(s) have a controller and which one it is?
  • What are the specifications of the panels on the van, and how old are they? (Specs are likely on a label on the back where you can't see it without removing them )
  • Same question for the portable panels.
  • How much modification are you willing and able to do?
  • How is the portable system connected to the battery?
  • How often would you want to use the vanís panels for the trailer (extensive boon-docking)?

Next, some other considerations:
  • You can use multiple charging sources at the same time. Consider PV Panel(s) WITH a controller to be a single source.
  • The Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E controller is a rather old model and is permanently mounted in the van.
  • Panels used for a single controller should be matched in specs for best performance and must be within certain limits.

So here are a few options:

1. Keep the van system mostly in place, and reroute the controllerís output to the trailerís battery with a quick-connect ďplug.Ē You could even install a switch so that the vanís solar output would go to either the vanís battery or the trailerís battery. The downside is that wiring from the controller to the battery should be as short as possible and a heavier gauge so that limits the placement of the van when feeding the solar controller output to the trailer, and there will be a little extra power loss. A maximum of twenty feet of ten gauge should be acceptable in this case, but shorter length would be better.

2. Mount a solar controller in the trailer and wire compatible panels to it. The cost-effectiveness of this largely depends on the specs of the panels and if you need to buy new ones. Also I would personally not use the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E but you could. You could move it from the van to the trailer and run wiring from the vanís panelís to it.

3. Do nothing and use jumper cables from the van to the trailerís battery to recharge the trailerís battery. I would only do this is extreme circumstances and only with the van running to make sure the vanís battery did not get discharged. There is always a little risk when using jumper cables. But it is possible to do this in emergency situations even without the help from the vanís solar system (such as you need a CPAP and are boon-docking with low power).

4. While there are some options for different ways to use the portable system, I would not consider them. The portable system almost surly has a controller attached (but maybe not waterproof) and is matched already and ready to use for different applications Ė even charging your lawn tractor battery at home (if itís 12 volts), so I would keep it as is. You can use it with an additional solar system for the trailer - just keep the systems independent and donít try to mix and match the components unless you are sure the specs are right.

5. Buy a generator (after all the is the topic of this thread that we have diverted from )

Now if I were designing a system from scratch I would not choose option number one, but in your case, option one might be the most economical and practical one that will yield acceptable results.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 10:56 AM   #37
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Currently Shopping
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 3,810
Sometimes it seems that energy conservation takes a back seat to the more / bigger is always better theory - more solar , more batteries , bigger generators ,portable windmills , bigger batteries ,etc , etc.
How does the concept of backwoods , back to nature camping jive with sitting in your air conditioned trailer playing on your laptop while a fossil fueled generator sits outside making air and noise pollution ?
To my way of thinking at some point the problem is not energy generation, it’s a problem of poor choices
When it’s 20 below or 100 deg above zero maybe it’s time to stay home and go camping when the conditions allow .
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 11:03 AM   #38
Senior Member
 
OCJohn's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Hymer
California
Posts: 173
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
The manual for the controller that is installed in the van says:
Do not connect to a PV array capable of producing greater than 20 amperes of short circuit current (ISC) or 24V of open circuit voltage (VOC)

Since we don't know what panels are on the roof we can't say how they should be wired. A typical 100 watt panel might have a Voc of 18-19 volts and a few 90 watt panels I looked at were about 22. In these cases the two panels should not be wired in series as the added voltage would exceed the rating of the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E.
Casually sipping my coffee and reading this just now...

I thought "huh, 24v max (VOC) sounds awfully low for a MPPT controller." (One of the oft hyped advantages of MPPT controllers over PWM was their ability to use higher voltage levels and therefore run panels in series...) 24v isn't even half of what Bogart says their SC-2030 PWM can handle (55VOC) for a 24v system... So I google "Blue Sky SB2000E" find THIS product data sheet, and now I'm even more confused. The headline and first paragraph say the SB2000E is a MPPT controller. And then the 2nd paragraph and sidebar say it's a PWM controller!

Quote:
Maximum Power Point Tracking Increases
Charge Current Up To 30% Or More!


Patented Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) technology
allows Solar Boost 2000E to increase charge current up to 30%
or more compared to conventional charge controllers. Donít
waste money by throwing PV power away! Get the power you
paid for with a Solar Boost charge controller.

The Solar Boost 2000E provides a precision Multi-stage Pulse Width
Modulation (PWM) charge control system to ensure the battery is
properly and fully charged, resulting in enhanced
battery performance with less battery maintenance. An equalize
function is also included to periodically condition liquid
electrolyte lead-acid batteries.
I'm starting to understand now why some people refer to Handy Bob as Angry Bob.

Also note: the 2000E data sheet I linked lists the maximum VOC at 30v, or "30 VDC Maximum (Recommend Maximum Voc at STC ≤ 24VDC)* (*See technical bulletin #100214)"

Summary Ė confusion is not "our" fault when manufacturers' own documentation can't give clear, consistent facts.
OCJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 11:56 AM   #39
Senior Member
 
OCJohn's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Hymer
California
Posts: 173
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
5. Buy a generator (after all the is the topic of this thread that we have diverted from )
lol Ė yeah, we have gotten a bit off track. (We mean well, though.)

I am still of the mind that the initial hassle (expense and learning curve) of a good solar system will be worth it in the long run. But buying a gen is definitely the Easy Button.

I've just "finished" my solar install. Here are the rough costs for comparison:
$350 for two 160w Renogy flex panels (Amazon warehouse deal)
$300 for Bogart controller/battery monitor kit* with shunt and temp sensor (father's day kit special Ė maybe do it again this year?)
$200-250 for cable, connectors, misc hardware, etc.
$320 for two Crown CR260 6v GC2H deep cycle batteries
$850-900 total w/o batteries
$1170-1220 w/ batteries
Definitely in the same ballpark as the generators, price-wise. Pros and cons with either solution. I'm only posting this for perspective.

*Please use Friends of Bogart referral code: THW16478 if you buy from them and would like to do me a solid. (Free Starbucks card!)
OCJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2020, 12:27 PM   #40
Junior Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: Casita
Nevada
Posts: 6
portable generators

I wish to thank everyone for the information you shared. I wish I could understand half of it to come to a successful solution. I will copy the responses and try to see if I can check out each and every suggestion you offer.
I'll have to do some exploring.
Thanks..........John
__________________

Brightbluesky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
American Honda recalls portable generators Donna D. General Chat 0 11-15-2012 07:32 PM
portable toilet and portable shower Ruth G Plumbing | Systems and Fixtures 8 04-20-2012 12:36 PM
solar vs. portable generators. both? Francine P Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 8 07-06-2006 04:55 PM
Generators Chester Taje Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 23 11-21-2005 09:09 PM
Generators Legacy Posts Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 62 04-26-2003 04:29 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×