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Post Info TOPIC: Gen Sets


Newbie

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Posts: 2
Date:
Gen Sets


Hi guys Bingo here just joined up as we are heading off in mid January From nsw.Have brought a van and wondering weather i need a Gen set and what type to get cheers look forward to your response



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Guru

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Posts: 3558
Date:

Welcome Bingo, To determine whether you "need" a generator you will have to Know how you intend to travel, Free Camp or Caravan Parks. What is your existing set up, mounted solar or portable panels. Type of van and inclusions. Your expectations of refrigeration requirements. Whether "Cave man or Princess" outlook on camping. Living in van or holiday trips.
Generator is rarely a deal breaker - Water is the limiting factor.

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Senior Member

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Posts: 463
Date:

Pretty much as posted above. I have carted a genset across the continent and back 4 times now and have never used it for the van. Must be a slow learner. If you intend doing a lot of free camping in hot weather, then it probably makes sense to run the aircon, but I haven't had to do so. With solar and a 3 way fridge, our free camping has been genset free, and we have gone into caravan parks if the weather has turned feral.

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Greg O'Brien



Senior Member

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Posts: 246
Date:

Hi Bingo,

I reflect Greg 1s thoughts above.
I carried a generator all over the countryside and found little use for it apart from powering up our coffee machine.
They are a great stand by and they are an easy way to supplement power for battery charging but with my solar, 3 way fridge and planning to go to a CV park if the weather is predicted to be hot, it is now sitting in my shed at home.
If you have limited solar or none fitted then yes, I would go the way of a generator but solar is easily available these days and for the cost of a quality generator you will probably get a solar system to suit your needs.

If you do decide on a generator then I personally would go for the Honda, Yamaha type options. Having said that there are many other foreign brands that may warrant some thorough research prior to purchase.
Another consideration is if you intend to run your air cond of it then be sure it has the capacity to do so and consider that different air cords have different power requirements, particularly on start up.

Happy travels

Regards

Rob


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Guru

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Posts: 2832
Date:

Work out how much a generator and its fuel will cost over 5 years, add a significant sum for the risk with smelly flammable fuel, plus the pain and inconvenience of using it, storing it, shifting it and the level of annoyance to others and the fact you won't be able to use it in many places.
Then spend that same $$$s on a solar system. You will get a really good system that will last for many years and supply all the power you will ever need for unlimited free camping (without a/c).
We have never plugged into 240V in 15 years (we can't, even at home), have no generator and free camp 99% of the time.
Cheers,
Peter

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 880W of solar, 400Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
 

 



Guru

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Posts: 6119
Date:

You have to be a little knowledgeable and disciplined to run straight solar . I have gone the other way . Compressor refrigeration inbuilt diesel generator with fuel from engines tank . Start geni to boil Jug which tops up batteries in short time with 50 amp charger . Dont use LPG much . Only for BBQ . Filling gas bottles out country can be expensive. I do like the fail safe way of seperate charging system . A VSR on Batteries was another GOOD add on ., Depends on lifestyle ? Size of camper / van etc ?? Some have washing machines , dish washers !!

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Whats out there


Guru

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Posts: 2832
Date:

Not at all.
600W of solar and 400Ah of AGMs will provide a lot of power. Enough for electric jug, bread maker 2 x compressor fridges, electric blankets....
I can not comprehend running a generator to make a cup of coffee.
Hot water and central heating is diesel.
And if the sun does not shine for a few days, there is the alternator under the bonnet that can provide more than a 50A charger.
We use about 1kg of gas per month for cooking. Everything else is diesel or electric.
Cheers,
Peter

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 880W of solar, 400Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
 

 



Guru

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Posts: 6119
Date:

I agree. Try telling my Mrs ., Just bloody hopeless !! Lol With our old 3 way fridge we went through 9kg bottle every two weeks . Including hot water . Lasts a month or so now . Runing a 6.5 GM diesels is not quiet. Or very economical. 



-- Edited by Aus-Kiwi on Monday 16th of December 2019 07:34:06 PM

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Whats out there


Chief one feather

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Posts: 15684
Date:

Welcome to the gang Bingo, enjoy here and out in the playground.

I have been living in my aluminium tent full time now for 5 years and have a Honda 20i that runs my Ibis Aircon only when off the grid, which is a lot. I have just come from a mates farm were I was set up in a bottom paddock for 3 months with no 240v but my power was and is supplied well by my Solar set up. The Solar set up can't run my aircon though so that is why I have Genny in the back of the Collie all the time. I allow her to come out on days above 35c. If in unsafe areas where maybe someone else might take a liking to Genny I have her chained up well. 

I need aircon for health reasons on days over 35c.

I only let Genny have a run at 2.00am cos everyone is asleep and won't hear it biggrinbiggrin



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TUG.......2014 Holden LT Colorado Twin Cab Ute with Canopy

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Newbie

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Posts: 2
Date:

Thanks guys have a lithium solar setup in the van so will take all that good advice and hit the road and see how I go

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Guru

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Posts: 3615
Date:

Also a warm welcome from me, Bingo

All things being equal, if you have a lithium setup, you should not require a gen set

On the other hand, if you find that you really do need a gen set, (after doing some road trips)
It would probably be more convenient, to purchase one on the road, than to carry one, you may never need to use

Possum3, had hit the nail on the head, when he asked you, what set up you had, and what were your travel plans

For example, when I purchased my motorhome second hand, it came with a 100 Amp Hour GEL battery, and a gen set
I added 480 watt of solar, replaced the GEL battery with 2 X 120 AH AGM ones, changed all the lightd to LED, and have not used the gen set
I use the free/donation/low cost sites 99% of the time, and they do not have 240 volt power available
I keep the gen set, as the wife says, if we need to use it, it is there, (I suppose in case we need to use the aircon)


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Tony

It cost nothing to be polite



Veteran Member

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Posts: 56
Date:

Everyones wants and needs are different. I personally cant see anything wrong with using a generator as long as it is used in the appropriate manner. I own 2 generators. We take the Yamaha 2.4 in summer incase we want to use the aircon and in winter we take our small Yamaha 1 for if we have to charge our batteries. We rarely use them but they are there if needed. I bought neither of them solely for camping, they were bought for work purposes. I would actually struggle to justify the cost of a generator solely for camping.

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Senior Member

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Posts: 173
Date:

Bingo wrote:

Thanks guys have a lithium solar setup in the van so will take all that good advice and hit the road and see how I go


 Gday Bingo,

Sounds like you have the gear to do the job.

You should calculate your power usage and assess your needs from there.

You will probably only need a gen set for the air conditioner unless your lithium and solar are big enough to power it as well.

If you find you do need to carry a generator then as others have said, do your research if buying the cheap ones and make sure what you get will start the air conditioner.

Cheers

Ivan



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Cheers

Ivan

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