External generator to RV to RV deep cycles to inverter?

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FriarTuck
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External generator to RV to RV deep cycles to inverter?

Postby FriarTuck » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:09 pm

Looking for some advice. This is my first year of being in charge of camp power. I've done a ton of research, but my head is now spinning from all the ideas and number crunching. Hoping to get some feedback to see if I'm at least barking up the right tree before I spending budget and make fatal mistakes.

My plan for this year is to run 2 Honda 2000i generators in parallel plugged into RV primarily for AC usage for a couple hours per day during peak temps and to charge my 2 onboard 12v deep cycles batteries that are in parallel.

What I'm hoping to do is then ponytail off of those batteries with 12V directly to 200 ft of 5050 LED strip lights for night time fun and an inverter (with kill switch) for Charging electronics like phones, computer, Bluetooth speakers, etc

Did I get that right? I am potentially causing problems for myself?

If doable, does it matter which battery i pull from in the parallel sequence for camp lights and inverter?

I'm pretty sure each battery is 105AH. Am I going to get 3-4 hours of lighting per night at 50% draw and is it Reasonable to expect our generators to recharge the batteries after 2-4 hrs of runtime during the day (while running the RV's AC)?

Thanks in advance!!!

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Admiral Fukkit
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Re: External generator to RV to RV deep cycles to inverter?

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:44 pm

5050 LED strips draw about 2 watts per foot, so theoretically a pair of fully charged 100ah batteries would net around 3 hours worth. What you need to do is hook this stuff up and TEST it, don't rely on theoretical computations then try it the first time for real when you're there and want it to work.

The generators don't charge the batteries. They provide power to your battery charger. Your battery charger charges your batteries. How fast they recharge depends on how powerful a charger you have. Your estimate sounds extremely optimistic though.
Just your lighting alone will draw 30-35 amps. To recharge your batteries in a similar couple hours' time you plan on using them, you'd have to charge them at 30-35 amps. And that's just theory; realistically you'd have to charge at a LOT higher rate, because battery chargers start out charging at a high rate when the batteries are low, slowing to barely a trickle when they are getting full. So if you have a 30-amp charge rate when you start charging, it'll gradually decrease and your average charging rate will be much less.

Absolutely forget about the Honda's built in 12V battery charging output. It's completely unregulated, and very weak.

In my opinion, what you should do is simply run one of your Hondas at night to light everything. You have them, they don't use a significant amount of fuel, they're quiet, and they will work great.

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some seeing eye
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Re: External generator to RV to RV deep cycles to inverter?

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:32 pm

The generators load follow - adjust their Amps and Watts to whatever load you present them with up to the max, derated by altitude.

The RV AC will have a large starting surge. So you need to understand that first by testing with your paired generators. I would bet some ePlayans have a similar setup, but not your exact AC unit.

The Admiral of course points out the charger charges the batteries. When they are low, the charger pumps Amps through them. As they charge the Amps taper off then the generator tops them off with Volts. The batteries like specific Amps and Volts at various states of charge or they will overheat and can be damaged. And agree try this all at home.

If the batteries are connected in parallel, they would charge and drain in parallel. That would require the charger be big enough. It works better if all the batteries are a similar, which it sounds like yours are.

You can look up lead acid battery charging curve if you are curious.

Ha and welcome to ePlaya!
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Token
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Re: External generator to RV to RV deep cycles to inverter?

Postby Token » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:50 pm

You have two Honda generators, an RV and some fancy lights.

You figured out parallel connection, probably some electronics and whatnot for the lights.

Now all you need is a couple marine outboard gas tanks, two replacement gas caps for the Hondas, and inline filter, and some fuel line.

Then you can do what the cool kids do and run power all day and all night.

Gas is cheap enough these days.

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Admiral Fukkit
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Re: External generator to RV to RV deep cycles to inverter?

Postby Admiral Fukkit » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:51 pm

Well... I should probably just let it fly, but that's really not a correct way to put it. When the batteries are discharged, they will draw more power to recharge than they do when they are closer to full. Since the charger maintains the voltage fairly constant, and power (watts) is volts x amps, to get more power the batteries draw more amps from the charger when low. They always charge with volts AND amps, only the amp rate changes because the voltage is held constant.

About other question regarding whether it matters which battery you connect to. Nope... doesn't matter if they are wired together in parallel, it's all the same.

And yeah, what Token said. You can buy a premade external gas tank setup for the EU2000 generators or make up your own. You can use one marine, outboard boat motor tank and a tee fitting and run both Hondas from it.
Gas is cheap and available on-playa from Haymaker Fuel, the fuel station is usually at 10:00 outside the outer ring road. Just run the thing. Save yourself a lot of BS.


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