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Author Topic: Running Engine and Generator at Same Time  (Read 729 times)
GeorgeB
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« on: December 04, 2013, 10:53:59 pm »

When we first got our PC, I read thru most of the General Discussion and Tips and Tricks forums, but don't recall seeing this discussed.

The rig is stored outside at an RV storage facility, mostly blocked from sunlight by the unit next to it.  While we're having this unusually coll weather, I'm trying to go out at least every other day and run both the engine and generator.  I'm wondering if there is any reason I couldn't run both at the same time.  My concern would be primarily with the electrical system, including house battery charging.  I'm thinking if the inverter is set to the "Line/Charge Only" position, I should be okay, but I'm not confident enough to give it a try without some feedback.

Any thoughts on the subject?

Thanks in advance,

GeorgeB
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 07:25:31 am »

During the heat of a hot summer day, we will turn on the generator in order to run the roof a/c while driving down the road. In the winter I take the PC out every three to four weeks and drive it around for about 20 miles for its monthly workout. It heats up the engine, warms up the tires to keep them from dry rotting and keeps my driving skills up to date. During this drive I run the generator and the roof a/c's heat strip. Everything gets it work out at once. Running anymore often than once a week is over kill in my opinion, every three weeks does the trick.
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GeorgeB
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 09:41:50 am »

During the heat of a hot summer day, we will turn on the generator in order to run the roof a/c while driving down the road. In the winter I take the PC out every three to four weeks and drive it around for about 20 miles for its monthly workout. It heats up the engine, warms up the tires to keep them from dry rotting and keeps my driving skills up to date. During this drive I run the generator and the roof a/c's heat strip. Everything gets it work out at once. Running anymore often than once a week is over kill in my opinion, every three weeks does the trick.

Thank you, Tom. a very helpful answer.  I was really hoping I could run both at the same time.  Neither system gets short-changed in its workout.   Smile

I was following a workout plan similar to yours, every 3-4 weeks, planning to go on occasional overnight jaunts.  I (like a few other folks, I suspect) was totally unprepared for this arctic winter blast.  This isn't supposed to happen in this part of Oregon, maybe 1-2 nights in a row of below freezing.  But this is forecast to last for several more days.  (The news this morning reported that this is the first time in a very long time -- if ever -- that the entire state was below freezing.  Even over on the coast!)  So depending on road conditions, for the next week or so I'll try to go out every couple of days and give it a run.  Just for my piece of mind.

Thanks again,

--GeorgeB
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 10:43:27 am »

I understand what you are saying. My PC sits next to my house, every now and then I go out and just sit in it and dream of the next trip I might take. exactly!
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 12:05:27 am »

good info on running driving same time,, when I do my gen exercise I like to drive the Beast around to get everything moving, especially the tires I usually do that every other trip

   In Oregon did you winterize,,, I do not down here in Houston,,, it has been years since we have had a hard freeze,,,  how ever if we do I would be doing the same thing, probably bring the Beast home put it in the driveway to keep it warmer.
sparky

   
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GeorgeB
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 12:41:51 am »

   In Oregon did you winterize,,, I do not down here in Houston,,, it has been years since we have had a hard freeze,,,  how ever if we do I would be doing the same thing, probably bring the Beast home put it in the driveway to keep it warmer.
sparky

Unfortunately, I didn't winterize.  Cry  This weather was totally unexpected and very sudden, not typical for where we're at; it is extremely unusual for this to happen, maybe mid-20s for just 1 or 2 nights, and just a couple of hours each night.  A couple of days ago it was low-50s during the day, low-40s at night.

We just returned from a 7-week, 9,200+ mile trip on Oct 16, and were planning on rolling out for a couple of days next week, hadn't planned the exact date.  Shouldn't have needed to winterize, especially this early in the season.  I suspect I'm going to pay dearly for this oversight.

Parking at home just isn't an option, just a small carport, no on-site room to park, and on-street parking not allowed.  No indoor storage units available anywhere nearby.

It looks like the Houston area might be one of the few areas that won't be hit hard by this system.  Might be time for a country tune:  "Wish I was in Houston in December...."   Smile

And to make matters worse, got the Airedale groomed today.  He is really p.o.'d at us.

--GeorgeB
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 07:59:53 am »

Well, I seem to be the odd-man-out here.  In the fall, I winterize the water system, fill up with gas, run the engine and generator after putting STA-BIL fuel stabilizer in the gas tank, check the water in the batteries, set the electrical system to Store, cover the windows and tires, and lock the door.  Its not unusual to have winter temperatures in the 10s and 20s here, and occasionally below zero.  Its expected to be 14⁰ here tomorrow night with five inches of snow.  In the spring, it starts right up.  I dont have the luxury of storing it at home, but check it inside and out every three to four weeks at a rented, secure, outdoor storage facility.  Weve had motorhomes for 25 years and never had a problem.
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 09:24:36 am »

 George, since your not getting a real good hard freeze maybe everything will be all right,,, I just don't get too worried about a couple of hours below 32,,, which is what we normally get here couple times a year,,, just to be safe think I will go over winterizing the Beast just in case,,,  I do watch the weather a lot so hopefully want get caught.

Wonder if it would be better to bring the Beast home where I could crank it up and run the insides,, or leave it in it's covered shed?   Thinking that being in a shaded shed it might get colder  sooner,,, but protected from any type of wind,,, 

sparky
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GeorgeB
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 10:42:25 am »

I see that I didn't make it clear:  we are getting a hard freeze, just like most of the rest of the country.  Today's high is supposed to be 33!  2nd night in a row in the mid-20's, supposed to continue for a few more days.

It's been 20+ yrs since there was a freeze even remotely this hard in this part of Oregon (southern OR, I-5 corridor).  Caught everyone by surprise.  It's snowing now, expecting 2-4" today.  Totally unprepared. 

25 yrs ago we lived in Idaho on Hwy 12, we dealt with this kind of weather most years.  Not supposed to be like this here:  I'd prefer to drive to see the snow, not live in it! Smile  Don't even own a shovel anymore!

It looks like I won't know the extent of damage until next Tues-Wed.  I'm expecting the worst (just don't know what the worst is).

--GeorgeB
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2013, 11:10:24 am »

I hope it all turns out well.  How full are your tanks?

We've had a similar unusual week, but not as bad, here in the Bay Area north of San Francisco.  Low 50's during the day but into the 20's at night.  Ironically, our PC is sitting inside in one of the warmish repair bays of our local RV shop for a thermostat/heating issue.  I'm pretty happy that they've been too busy to finish the job quickly.

 - Mike
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2013, 11:22:40 am »

George did you drain the water out of the lines and the tanks, including the water heater before you stored it?

I once saw a water heater tank that split down the back from the water freezing and no where to go but out the back. He also had several of the facets crack.  Cry
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2013, 01:45:14 pm »

George did you drain the water out of the lines and the tanks, including the water heater before you stored it?

I once saw a water heater tank that split down the back from the water freezing and no where to go but out the back. He also had several of the facets crack.  Cry

Unfortunately, no.  We weren't intending to store long term, wanted it available on a moments notice.  By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late to drain, all was frozen.  As I said before, this weather was extremely sudden, and far more severe than anyone anticipated.  We've been concerned about family in Boulder, CO, and near Minneapolis, MN, were certain we were ok.

I was almost tempted to turn the water heater on, the cold was befuddling my brain, but I came to my senses.

Replacing the water heater would be -- ok, probably will be -- bad.  I'm guessing there's going to be issues with the water pump as well (haven't figured out exactly where it's at, even).  I'm most concerned with the water lines, that will be a major problem replacing.

I see you're on the East Coast:  they're predicting this stuff is coming your way.  Good luck!

I hope it all turns out well.  How full are your tanks?

We've had a similar unusual week, but not as bad, here in the Bay Area north of San Francisco.  Low 50's during the day but into the 20's at night.  Ironically, our PC is sitting inside in one of the warmish repair bays of our local RV shop for a thermostat/heating issue.  I'm pretty happy that they've been too busy to finish the job quickly.

 - Mike 

The two waste tanks were mostly empty, so I'm hoping/guessing they won't be damaged.  The fresh water tank was maybe 1/4 to 1/3 full -- fingers crossed on that one.

The plan was to winterize just after Christmas.  Since it will be in a shop somewhere, I'm thinking that won't be a problem.

Well, I seem to be the odd-man-out here.  In the fall, I winterize the water system, fill up with gas, run the engine and generator after putting STA-BIL fuel stabilizer in the gas tank, check the water in the batteries, set the electrical system to Store, cover the windows and tires, and lock the door.  Its not unusual to have winter temperatures in the 10s and 20s here, and occasionally below zero.  Its expected to be 14⁰ here tomorrow night with five inches of snow.  In the spring, it starts right up.  I dont have the luxury of storing it at home, but check it inside and out every three to four weeks at a rented, secure, outdoor storage facility.  Weve had motorhomes for 25 years and never had a problem.

We did all that except winterize the water system.  It's just too early here to need to do that.  This time last year, just normal high winds and horizontal rain.

We really wanted to be able to just hop in the rig and take off at a moments notice once or twice before Christmas.  Will have to re-think this next year.

We were in the Central Oregon coast, full-timing, between Oct 2012 & Jan 15, 2013, had one night of freezing but only for a couple of hours; spent last Jan-Feb-Mar traveling in Northern and Central California.  Absolutely gorgeous weather, very mild temps, rained once or twice around Crescent City, did have one night when it froze, but we weren't prepared for that, didn't do anything, discovered the freezing the next morning, but the water line had become unfrozen before I could disconnect.  Totally opposite of what's happening now.

Okay, now the flakes are getting big and fluffy.  Under other circumstances, it would be enjoyable.  Somewhere in the world it's after 6pm, so I think I'll indulge in some adult beverage   Wink  and enjoy the show.

--GeorgeB
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2013, 01:54:55 pm »

Ouch, sorry George,  no I did not understand,,, but now I do,,   hard freeze,, yuck,,, fingers crossed for you,  keep us posted
sparky
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