Livin' Lite Forum

CampLite => CampLite Travel Trailers => Topic started by: Ellen on February 05, 2017, 08:29:54 PM

Title: Propane generators
Post by: Ellen on February 05, 2017, 08:29:54 PM
I'm wondering if anyone is using a propane inverter generator. When we don't have an electrical site our 13QBB trailer battery isn't able to even run the fridge.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: djsamuel on February 06, 2017, 09:56:38 AM
If your battery can't run the refrigerator (using propane as well), there is an issue.  The battery should be able to do that for many hours.  If you are trying to run the refrigerator in elctric mode from the battery, then you're correct, that can't be done from the battery.  Propane mode uses the battery to power the refrigerator control system.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Ellen on February 07, 2017, 06:23:18 AM
We were trying to run it with propane but needed battery power as well to keep it going. This is our first trailer and we thought it could run for a couple of days lol. It seemed to start the fridge once and then was too weak to keep it going. So we thought maybe a generator for those times when we don't have electricity available.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: 7thunders on February 07, 2017, 08:49:25 AM
This is where i'm curious if a Solar charger would generate enough energy to keep the battery powered to allow the refrigerator to continue running off propane and also provide basic lighting etc.
Anyone use the Zamp soler panels or similiar for this reason.

Rob
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: tinkeringtechie on February 07, 2017, 09:27:25 AM
We were trying to run it with propane but needed battery power as well to keep it going. This is our first trailer and we thought it could run for a couple of days lol. It seemed to start the fridge once and then was too weak to keep it going. So we thought maybe a generator for those times when we don't have electricity available.

Something's not right. The fridge should be able to run for at least a couple days on propane with an average battery. Was the battery dead after it gave up? Pretty much any device in your trailer uses more than the fridge in propane mode. Did the water pump still run? The pump uses way more power than the fridge. Either your battery has issues or the fridge is malfunctioning.

There's also an easy modification to the fridge to disable the frame heater than will make it run more than twice as long. Details here: http://archive.aluminiumcamperforum.com/index.php?topic=144.0
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Graham on February 07, 2017, 07:50:41 PM
As mentioned already, the fridge should run for several weeks on one propane bottle, using only minimal battery usage. 

But regarding propane generators, I have a Honda eu2000i inverter generator that I installed a propane conversion kit from propanecarbs.com. Easy diy install and now have option of running gas or connecting to the propane tank when 110v is needed while boondocking.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Paul on February 09, 2017, 05:44:45 PM
I'm wondering if anyone is using a propane inverter generator. When we don't have an electrical site our 13QBB trailer battery isn't able to even run the fridge.

That happened to me that I couldn't run the fridge on propane with my battery. I replaced my battery and after that I was fine. Not sure what was the problem with it
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Silverfox on February 15, 2017, 12:53:20 PM
Hi Graham, will that Honda eu2000i inverter generator be able to power a 1500w hairdryer? How quiet are they? Does that propane conversion kit connect with a snap connector like the ones used for grills? The reason why I ask is, we're thinking of boon docking this summer and my wife has to have a hair dryer.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Ellen on February 15, 2017, 07:25:50 PM
Thanks everyone! It's exciting to think that it could run for a week on propane and battery. The battery was dead after trying to ignite the fridge for a while - you could hear the fridge trying to light. Then my husband plugged the car into the trailer and the car battery died. We will try with a new battery and see what happens.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Graham on February 15, 2017, 07:55:08 PM
Hi Graham, will that Honda eu2000i inverter generator be able to power a 1500w hairdryer? How quiet are they? Does that propane conversion kit connect with a snap connector like the ones used for grills? The reason why I ask is, we're thinking of boon docking this summer and my wife has to have a hair dryer.

I can't say I've tried it myself, but it should be able to run the hair dryer with no problems. The Honda is about the quietest generator you can get, but you can still hear it running of course. Here's a good video of one running https://youtu.be/DR2X6ypIYnY

The propane kit uses the same connectors that attach a grill to a propane tank...I believe it's a screw type connector.

Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: bae146 on February 18, 2017, 11:15:38 PM
What model fridge do you have? Some have a heater element to defrost/dehumidify the inside.  It sucks a lot of battery juice. 
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Ellen on February 20, 2017, 02:41:12 PM
No, we don't have a defrost on this one, but thank you for trying to help us figure it out.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Silverfox on February 21, 2017, 07:44:12 AM
Thanks Graham, I'm experimenting with a DC/AC inverter to power the hair dryer. I can get by w/o AC power except for the hair dryer. A friend has a 2000W inverter that's powered by an RV battery that does run a hair dryer. I'm going to check it out and if that doesn't work I'm going to get that generator.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Mitch on April 06, 2017, 08:29:04 AM
I'm a bit late to this conversation but.... Your fridge uses about 1/2 an amp per hour of battery while running on propane.  It's the electronic controller board uses that power.  That means that you use about 12 amp hours per day of battery power for the fridge.  If you have the standard battery set-up that comes with the camper you have about 75 amp hours of power (you shouldn't use more than 40 of that's but that a different post) Anyway, the fridge uses 12 amp hours per day, the other "stuff" uses some power too and of course if you have lights on and use the water pump that's all going to use battery power.  Long and short of it is that you'll use somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 amp hours per day of battery power which means you could go threeish days before your battery is completely dead. (75 divided by 20)  If you're fridge, on propane, only lasts a few hours something is definitely wrong.  I'm guessing you already looked into the obvious stuff like making sure the fridge is on Auto and using propane as opposed to DC which uses only the battery.  So the easiest thing to do is replace the battery and see if that solves the problem.  If not then it's more likely a fridge issue. 

Mitch
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: DavidM on April 06, 2017, 09:11:39 AM
Mitch:

Do all Dometic refrigerator models that are found on LL's use 1/2 amp DC for their controls? Seems like a lot. I haven't measured it, but I guess I can believe 1/2 amp when the LPG solenoid is on and the burner is lit, but can it use that much long term on average? My fridge cycles  less than 50% on after it has cooled down.

I too have a single 70 AH battery and although I have only camped in one place for two days, it seems like my battery was less than 1/2 discharged (SG measurement) which leads me to believe that my average daily AH usage was about 15. If 12 of that was the fridge, that doesn't leave me much for everything else.

I will measure the fridge current draw with and without the burner lit in several weeks when we break out our camper from storage and post the results.

David
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Mitch on April 10, 2017, 09:44:04 PM
The 1/2 amp number was one I found in the specs for the 5cf 3 way fridge.  I've boondocked for 12 days straight and my anecdotal experience bears out that number give or take a bit.  When I go out that most of my power draw is the fridge, the CO2 detector, a tiny bit of lights and very limited water pump use.  If you can pin down better data that'd be great.

Mitch
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: PhilipReeves on February 07, 2019, 03:00:09 AM
You can find an inverter generator running on gas, but you need to choose it carefully because the size of a tank volume may vary. Check out this list: https://lawngardentop.com/best-power-generator/best-inverter-generators, you can compare the specs and decide if you need a common inverter generator or the one running on gas.
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Jake Ditch on July 25, 2019, 01:54:53 AM
You can find an inverter generator running on gas, but you need to choose it carefully because the size of a tank volume may vary. Check out this list: https://lawngardentop.com/truck generator (https://generatoron.org/best-generator-for-food-truck/)/best-inverter-generators, you can compare the specs and decide if you need a common inverter generator or the one running on gas.

To add my two cents. If you're choosing whether to use propane or a gas, you need to keep in mind, that propane is much harder to find and consumption is quite high. And it's not only less energy per gallon, but propane carburetors designs stop in 19-th Century. Meaning the same generator will use 2 gallons of gasoline for whole day, or 5 gallons of propane.
I bought a Honda EU2200i several years ago, so far so good.

- Jake
Title: Re: Propane generators
Post by: Bill.Candy on October 16, 2019, 03:44:19 AM
Hi Graham, will that Honda eu2000i inverter generator be able to power a 1500w hairdryer? How quiet are they? Does that propane conversion kit connect with a snap connector like the ones used for grills? The reason why I ask is, we're thinking of boon docking this summer and my wife has to have a hair dryer.

It might be the late reply, but I'd like to add my twopence.
Honda generator eu2000i operates silently from as low as 48 to 57 dBA which is a lot more quiet than a normal human conversation. the generator able to run from 4 to 9,6 hours on a single fuel tank, depending on the amount of load available. This makes the eu2000i generator for a long time applications like powering up your air conditioner and refrigerator. Source: https://www.bestpowerstation.com/best-generator-for-rv/
You may carry the generator around without having to put too much effort on it. It has a lightweight design which makes it easier for you to carry it around.