How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding the building and creation of mutant vehicles in Black Rock City
chucked
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How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby chucked » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:14 pm

I am trying to design a way to easily plug into our camp power when the art car is there, so that it can recharge its batteries, power the lights, and maybe a bit of sound.

I am currently running 2 honda eu2000i to power my art car.
currently i have to open up the generator box, and unplug things from the gennies and plug them into a power bar/extension cord.

what id LOVE is if i can plug that extension cord on an externally mounted socket (so i dont have to open the genny box (a 2 man job)) and flip a switch to reroute the power from the gennies to the cord.

i dont mind limiting my power draw to 15A to simplify the wiring.

is there some prior art for something like this? would love to see some details.

chucked
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby chucked » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:15 pm

maybe something like this would be the ticket? https://www.homedepot.com/p/Reliance-Co ... /202216476

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motskyroonmatick
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:30 pm

Can you divide your circuits outside the generator box so that your in camp circuits get unplugged from the on the move circuits and you tie in to camp power with an extension cord? Once you want to roll out you unplug the extension cord and then plug that back in to the main generator powered circuit.
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EGAZ
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby EGAZ » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:47 am

Do a search for "Rv generator, shore power transfer switch". It's installed after the genny and shore/camp power, sized for the required load.

The switch determines which source is used and isolates the other. Ie; no back feed.


Genny power-----^
..............................^---------Transfer switch---------> Art Car power feed.
Camp power------^
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

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Sham
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby Sham » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:10 am

It sounds to me like you are looking for something fairly simple and inexpensive.
This is a set up for Christmas lights. It's made for outdoor use. There are various versions made. I'll bet a good yard sale might have something like this.
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Sham
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby Sham » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:36 am

I'm also a big fan of loitering at Home Depot and finding the perfect parts to make what I need. Weather proof, dust proof, water proof. Just go crazy in the electrical aisle.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:53 pm

There are two ways to do this. First, as suggested, use a home or RV transfer switch. That’s the unnecessarily expensive and complicated way.

Instead, simply stop plugging your stuff directly into the generator where you can’t reach it. Run a cord from the generator to an outlet located outside of the box, somewhere accessible. Plug your artcar stuff into that. When you want to run on “shore power” from camp, simply unplug and plug into the camp cord.
This is forehead-banging simple and it’s how my own MV is set up.
I have a large inverter mounted in a dust-sealed box below the floor... a heavy cord runs from it to a large outlet. A heavy cord that feeds my MV electric panel plugs into that outlet... or Into whatever else. Cheap, simple, reliable, foolproof.
All the things MV systems need to be.
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Token
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby Token » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:56 pm

Color me silly, but don’t you already have to open the generator box to start and stop the dual EU2000 units anyway?

Are there electric start EU2K units now?

Since you didn’t specify if / how you are connecting the two EU2K units (i.e. parallel cable or standalone), it can get a bit more complicated than the Cap’n sayz.

The NEMA plugs on the EU2K are 15A, but two generators can pump double that.

Would be good to run an individual 20A line from each generator to a distribution panel that also serves as the parallel cable, then from there you can do the one cable swap solution. Again, pay attention to the 30A capability of the generators.

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:19 pm

No they can’t. They only do about 13 amps each.
How they’re paralleled doesn’t complicate it at all.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."
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Token
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby Token » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:14 pm

Steady state max load is ~ 13A each but they can surge 16A, hence the 2000 moniker for peak power even tho the units are 1600W.

Regardless of the weeds, want to make sure whatever cables / plugs op builds can take the amps. Would be silly to do this with $10 power strip from Harbor Freight and watch it melt.

Go thick on the gauge.

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EGAZ
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Re: How to optimize plugging into camp power when parked

Postby EGAZ » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:01 pm

That’s the unnecessarily expensive and complicated way.

This is true, I would fab something up myself. Didn't feel like putting together a parts list and a how to..... LOL :mrgreen:
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P


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