Jump to content


Photo

New(Ish) Member.

Generators Alternate power sources.

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Rojo

Rojo
  • Casita Club Member
  • 20 posts
  • Local time: 12:13 AM
  • Casita Model/Size:Freedom Deluxe 16'
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 April 2018 - 03:03 PM

Hey guys.  Not sure if I have posted as a new member before, if so, I apologize and say hello again folks!  I have had my Casita for a little over a year now and used it several times but always somewhere I have had water and sewer.  I am looking to expand my horizons.

 

Excuse my ignorance here but I need some basic information that might be intuitively obvious to some but is causing me some consternation.  The questions relate to power. 

 

When you use 120v power from a pole, does the power that i am using come directly from the pole or is it going to the battery first and charging the battery at the same time? 

 

If I use a generator, same question.  Is it power direct or through the battery.  And, in addition, if the power comes directly from the source how do I hook up the generator to recharge the battery? 

 

If you add a solar panel to recharge the batteries, is there a module of some kind that will allow you to switch from solar to generator to on-site power (depending upon the source) with the flip of a switch without having to run all kinds of wires and cords all over?

 

Thanks, in advance.

 

John

 

 



#2 borderbrae

borderbrae
  • Casita Club Member (c)
  • 1,013 posts
  • Local time: 01:13 AM
  • Location:Beverly Hills, FL
  • Casita Model/Size:2000 17' SD
  • Interests:Travel, photography
  • Gender:Female

Posted 22 April 2018 - 06:07 PM

If you're connected to 120v either at a pedestal or with a generator that goes directly to the converter. It will power the 120v outlets in your trailer, the converter passes along power to charge the battery and converts the 120v to 12v to power your lights, the furnace fan, etc.

 

When not connected to 120v at a pedestal connecting to the generator depends on what the generator is equipped with. Most have a 120v (15 or 20 amp) 3 prong outlet. You need a plug at the end of the 30 amp cable that changes down from the 30 amp plug to the 120v plug. I suppose larger generators may have 30 amp outlets, but can't speak from experience on that. If you are connected to a pedestal with 120v you do not need to also connect to a generator. 

 

Solar power, I can address it from my experience only. I have portable solar panels, so they are only charging the battery when I put them out and connect the cables up. If I have power from a pedestal I don't bother to get them out. I don't take a generator with me any more, I depend on the solar when I'm camping (most of my camping is dry camping, no hookups). I expect there are folks on the forum with permanently mounted solar panels who also use either a generator or hook up power on occasion so someone will probably respond about the switch idea. Now that I think about it I don't think a switch is necessary. The solar controller is constantly monitoring your battery and will supply only what is needed to it to charge it. 

 

No questions are ignorant, we all started out somewhere and keep on learning. 


Edited by borderbrae, 22 April 2018 - 06:12 PM.

  • Rojo likes this
Jean
2000 SD 17'
2011 Silverado w/Prodigy BC
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much (and take lots of photos along the way)
www.jeanclarkphotography.com
www.borderbrae.wordpress.com

#3 Dutchman

Dutchman
  • Casita Club Member
  • 3,351 posts
  • Local time: 10:13 PM
  • Location:Full timing - Billings, MT
  • Casita Model/Size:2003 17SD "Pura Vida"
  • Interests:kayaking, bicycling, nature, history, aviation, musea, traditional jazz music, piano player, full timer. member Escapees rv club
  • Gender:Male
  • Casita Club Directory #:1372

Posted 22 April 2018 - 06:35 PM

John, a few years ago I added a 100W solar panel mounted on the roof of my 17SD.  It is permanently wired into the system via a controller (an on-off switch if you please) and via a monitor into the battery.  No switch is needed to change from solar to pedestal 120V.  It's all automatic.

Disadvantage of roof mounted solar panel - when it's too hot to be in the sun and you're in the shade, so is the solar panel.  Then it's nice to have a portable panel with a long chord to place outside the shade.  Advantage roof mount - no chance for the panel to "develop feet" and disappear.  Better, it charges while you're tooling along on the highway to your next camping spot.

 

You're asking good questions.  

 

Dutchman


  • Rojo likes this

Edouard Trautwein, #1372  

'03 17SD "Pura Vida"
'99 Toyota 4Runner, 3.4L V6 -

 

Casita living - Luxury on two wheels.

HOME IS WHERE I PARK IT !   


#4 NASA42 B

NASA42 B
  • Casita Club Member
  • 541 posts
  • Local time: 01:13 AM
  • Location:Camp Hill, PA
  • Casita Model/Size:17' now sold :(
  • Interests:Family, Reading, RVing, History, some community service, and my rescue cat named "Alley" at home...
  • Gender:Male
  • Trailer Name:NASA42 - B

Posted 23 April 2018 - 06:17 AM

John......

 

I can't contribute to the solar discussion, but I thought I'd extend a less than formal belated "Welcome" to the Casita family!  And hope to meet you somewhere down the road.

 

Frank  :rolleyes:


  • Rojo likes this

#5 Jim&Clare

Jim&Clare
  • Casita Club Member
  • 178 posts
  • Local time: 06:13 AM
  • Location:Isle of Wight,UK
  • Casita Model/Size:SOLD 2002 Bigfoot 17
  • Interests:Retired from Orbital Machine Works
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:26 PM

John, a few years ago I added a 100W solar panel mounted on the roof of my 17SD.  It is permanently wired into the system via a controller (an on-off switch if you please) and via a monitor into the battery.  No switch is needed to change from solar to pedestal 120V.  It's all automatic.

Disadvantage of roof mounted solar panel - when it's too hot to be in the sun and you're in the shade, so is the solar panel.  Then it's nice to have a portable panel with a long chord to place outside the shade.  Advantage roof mount - no chance for the panel to "develop feet" and disappear.  Better, it charges while you're tooling along on the highway to your next camping spot.

 

You're asking good questions.  

 

Dutchman

 

 

Ed,

 

Doesn't your tow vehicle do a better job of charging than the solar  - while you are tooling along ?

 

Jim


Retired from Orbital Machine Works

Saw the country in a 2002 Bigfoot 17 - now sold.

Where is Jim now? Hiding in the UK until Covid passes.


#6 brsedwebt

brsedwebt
  • Casita Club Member
  • 85 posts
  • Local time: 01:13 AM
  • Location:Palmyra, VA
  • Casita Model/Size:ID 17
  • Interests:camping, travel, ghost towns, light houses, covered bridges, kayaking, boating, antiques, old advertising...
  • Gender:Male
  • Trailer Name:Cozy-Casa

Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:20 PM

I can speak to the tow vehicle charging the trailer battery. It is barely adequate due to the thin wires Ford uses on the F150 tow package. Other vehicles may be better but none are factory supplied with good enough wires. If I run the fridge on DC it will drain the house battery in a couple hours and the alternator cannot keep up. The F150 has a dash system that constantly monitors the trailer for connectivity. It sends a signal to the trailer every 10 seconds and if the trailer battery is too low it will not send a signal back causing the F150 to say the trailer is disconnected. Obviously it is not disconnected - just too low of a battery to respond. This is a BAD situation because if the house battery is not working then there are NO TRAILER BRAKES. All I had to do was turn the fridge off and the battery charged enough in 10 minutes to stop the disconnected notice and all was well. 


  • Rojo likes this

Cozy-Casa    Visualize whirled peas


#7 Jim&Clare

Jim&Clare
  • Casita Club Member
  • 178 posts
  • Local time: 06:13 AM
  • Location:Isle of Wight,UK
  • Casita Model/Size:SOLD 2002 Bigfoot 17
  • Interests:Retired from Orbital Machine Works
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:24 PM

I can speak to the tow vehicle charging the trailer battery. It is barely adequate due to the thin wires Ford uses on the F150 tow package. Other vehicles may be better but none are factory supplied with good enough wires. If I run the fridge on DC it will drain the house battery in a couple hours and the alternator cannot keep up. The F150 has a dash system that constantly monitors the trailer for connectivity. It sends a signal to the trailer every 10 seconds and if the trailer battery is too low it will not send a signal back causing the F150 to say the trailer is disconnected. Obviously it is not disconnected - just too low of a battery to respond. This is a BAD situation because if the house battery is not working then there are NO TRAILER BRAKES. All I had to do was turn the fridge off and the battery charged enough in 10 minutes to stop the disconnected notice and all was well. 

 

 

Well - OK.  I was assuming that the fridge was not on 12v.

So, with the the fridge on propane,  - which charges "better"? TV or solar.

I assume solar is better under strong sunlight as it can get a higher voltage to fully charge the battery, 

but the TV charges "all the time"  albeit at a lower voltage.

 

Jim


  • Rojo likes this

Retired from Orbital Machine Works

Saw the country in a 2002 Bigfoot 17 - now sold.

Where is Jim now? Hiding in the UK until Covid passes.


#8 Dutchman

Dutchman
  • Casita Club Member
  • 3,351 posts
  • Local time: 10:13 PM
  • Location:Full timing - Billings, MT
  • Casita Model/Size:2003 17SD "Pura Vida"
  • Interests:kayaking, bicycling, nature, history, aviation, musea, traditional jazz music, piano player, full timer. member Escapees rv club
  • Gender:Male
  • Casita Club Directory #:1372

Posted 26 April 2018 - 01:15 PM

I have not actually measured wether the TV or the panel does a better job of charging while on the road.  If I had to make a guess I would say that the panel does better.  However, both TV and panel work 'together' so the end result is good.  Besides, the solar panel is still charging while you stop for lunch.

 

Dutchman


Edouard Trautwein, #1372  

'03 17SD "Pura Vida"
'99 Toyota 4Runner, 3.4L V6 -

 

Casita living - Luxury on two wheels.

HOME IS WHERE I PARK IT !   






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Generators, Alternate power sources.