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Old 12-15-2019, 01:28 AM   #1
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Default Starting the onboard generator

We've got a 2004 Roadtrek 170 with generator. So far the only time we've run the generator is for exercising it. This spring we are planning on camping without any hookups and I'm wondering about it...

The generator uses the house battery to start, right? We'll need the generator to charge up the battery - so if we run the battery down the generator might not start... How does that work?

Thanks for info and explanations...
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:11 AM   #2
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Start the engine. You will need a better battery charger than the standard converter and should add a battery monitor.
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:42 AM   #3
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What does that mean? Starting the van's engine will help start the generator?

As far as the converter - I did replace the original with a Progressive Dynamics unit.

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasusan View Post
What does that mean? Starting the van's engine will help start the generator?

As far as the converter - I did replace the original with a Progressive Dynamics unit.

Thanks for the reply!
Can you Not charge the rv battery for a month and then start the generator without starting the van's engine?
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bud View Post
Can you Not charge the rv battery for a month and then start the generator without starting the van's engine?

On a single battery, possibly a wet cell if same as original, of about 90ah. I don't think the 170 had a second battery option then.



If the 12v power to the coach was off for the month, it probably should start the generator as long as the generator starts fairly easily.



If the 12v coach power is on, the detectors would kill the battery in a month of sitting without charging or driving.


Of course, the running of the van engine to help start is dependent on the isolator being functional, which should also be checked as well as the circuit breakers from the isolator to the battery.


The OP may want to download the Roadtrek electrical simulator to be able to see how it all works, for a better understanding of it all.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:28 PM   #6
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Electrical simulator here:


http://metrotrekkers.org/utility/electrical.htm
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:59 PM   #7
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You should never run your lead acid batteries down to that point. It damages the batteries. So you need some way to monitor the batteries' charge levels. You likely have "idiot lights" that will give you a rough idea of where you stand. If you never take the batteries below 50% depth of charge, those are likely sufficient.

If you want to use more capacity than that before recharging, you will want a more sensitive/accurate way to measure the state of charge of the batteries. But there is no way to do that really precisely while the batteries are in use. All methods are just estimates unless you let the batteries rest without any load for 12-24 hours. That isn't really practical while boondocking.
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Old 12-15-2019, 05:12 PM   #8
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OK guys... Thanks for the responses.

I did look at the electrical simulator before. And... I hadn't thought about the isolator letting the 12 volts go through to the house batter(y). That is what I needed to know.

We will be using our MaxFan, lights, and some inverter use to play DVD movies. And we will for sure not have a low battery upon arrival - just worried about running things causing a low battery and then trying to start the generator.

I guess now I know. Please tell me if I'm wrong...

Thanks so much!
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Old 12-16-2019, 03:29 PM   #9
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My generator starts a lot easier if I start my van first.

Greg
2006 190P
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:17 PM   #10
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Default My RT210 sends 14.2 volts to the battery with the motor running

My RT210 sends 14.2 volts to the battery with the chassis motor running. It does back off after the batteries are charged, but running your RV's motor will charge your batteries and also help start your generator. If my batteries are little low I will run the RV motor for a while then hit the generator switch and it always starts right up.
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:46 PM   #11
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The only thing i'd add is to confirm what you think you know before committing yourself that everything will work as planned. So, for me that would be confirm which battery starts your generator by disconnecting one or the other battery. Put a volt meter on your battery and see when it actually is being charged and when is it not. Maybe even run the things you think you will need at home and monitor the battery voltage every hour and make a graph of how fast it is being depleted. I think that is the sort of thing you will want to know now rather than when you are out in the sticks with no alternatives.
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Old 12-22-2019, 06:15 PM   #12
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I think that adding a monitor is nearly necessity if you ever need to spend any more than one night off grid these days, especially when you need to run the vent fan for ours, TV, or non LED lights. Even charging a laptop can use a significant amount of a single battery. I think is probably unrealistic to try to keep a single lead acid from being deeply discharged pretty regularly for many people unless they run the generator or run the van long enough to get close to day's use.



Manually keeping track with a monitor is pretty easy for most, while using the manual methods can be overwhelming for many.
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Old 12-23-2019, 06:49 PM   #13
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Hi guyz, i am looking for the price of onboard generator. could anyone of you please give me idea?
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Old 12-23-2019, 06:51 PM   #14
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Sorry to add one more point please it should be competitive in this market.
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:25 PM   #15
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We are trying to find out what you are driving and what generator it has. Your profile doesn’t help. If your present coach does not have a generator then it is a major (impossible?) job to add an Onan. If it does just do a search for Onan 2800 or whatever. Around $2400 new.
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