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 Post subject: Electrics- accessories
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 12:58 pm 
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Joined: July 26th, 2017, 12:18 pm
Posts: 5
Hi everyone we just got our Chinook and very excited.
I really am grateful there is a group as we are green RVers. I'm wondering if it is safe to run a blow dryer or a vitamix blender? If so only plugged in or with generator running.
2001 Chinook Comcourse


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PostPosted: August 5th, 2017, 4:37 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2017, 6:20 am
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You can run those AC appliances when connected to "shore power" ( AC cord plugged in ) or with the generator running. Both device you mentioned ( hair dryer / blender ) are well below the limits of you AC system.


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PostPosted: August 5th, 2017, 6:15 am 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
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Location: Northern NJ
The stock Onan generator is rated at 4,000 Watts. As long as your total electrical load (incuding startup surge which is mostly for compressors like the AC) is under that, you're okay.

-Your hair dryer should say what it takes, but a home model is usually under 2000 Watts.

-Your Vitamix blender takes about 1500 Watts. Again, will be on a label or in the manual or online.

-A typical 13,500 BTU roof air conditioner has a startup load of about 2000 Watts.

-A "1000 watt" microwave (that's the cooking power) might take 1200-1500 Watts to run.

All numbers rounded up.

Can't do them all at the same time, but you can mix up to the 4k limit. If you accidentally go over, it should trip either the distribution panel main breaker, the outlets breaker, or the external generator breaker. Remove some load and reset the tripped breaker.

Kev

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PostPosted: August 5th, 2017, 8:24 am 
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Joined: July 26th, 2017, 12:18 pm
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Thanks so much for the replies. I think we are going to remove the original coffee maker cause we are coffee press people. Lots to do.


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PostPosted: August 5th, 2017, 9:38 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1912
Location: 1999 Concourse
Welcome, 2cats! New Chinook - how exciting! It's kinda like having a tree fort on wheels :)

Just to add to what was said above (which is all good info), you basically have 30 amps to work with when you are on shore power or generator (this is a common main breaker/power size for RV's and power posts; some larger RV's have 50 amp, just FYI).

Not to go all mathy, but most everything is rated in watts. To see how many amps that is, you divide by the type of power (volts) you are using. AC power is around 120 volts, so a 1500 watt electric heater is using 12.5 amps on AC power (1500 ÷ 120 = 12.5). Now let's say your microwave uses 1,000 watts. 1,000 ÷ 120 = 8.3 so that's 8.3 amps. So now you're using around 21 of your 30 amps. You can probably see where this is going. You can't use everything at once, without going over your 30 amps (breaker will trip). The big hogs are the microwave, an electric heater, and the air-conditioner, but other things add up as well. Once you get used to how much things draw, it kind of becomes second nature to add them up in your head. Or you forget, pop the toast down, and pop goes the breaker. Generally speaking, anything that makes heat via electricity is a big energy consumer (heater, microwave, hair dryer, toaster, etc.)

So, you do have to somewhat keep track of and manage your power loads. But hey, some folks only have 15 amps to play with - we have 30 (at least in the years I'm familiar with).

Just to build on this and show how watts can be useful (which is usually printed on things somewhere), now let's say you are NOT on shore power or generator, but are on batteries. Now you're not as worried about breakers popping as you are about killing your batteries (and if you have an LVD, having it cut off your power after your batteries are really low). Because let's take the same items and do the math now that we are on DC (battery, 12-volt) power vs. AC (shore/gen, 120-volt) power.

Remember the 1500 watt heater? On AC power that was taking 12.5 amps. A healthy chunk but no real big deal when you have 30 amps coming in. But now do the same math for DC power. Take the 1500 watts and divide it by the voltage again, but now the voltage is 12. So 1500 ÷ 12 = 125. Gaaaah! Yes, that's 125 AMPS. Good grief. Now you know why people don't generally heat with electricity when not on shore or gen power. Just for reference, your battery bank is probably something like 200 amp hours, but you generally want to only use around 50% of that (most of the time), so you only have around 100 amp hours to play with (AND you have to figure out a way to put that power back, no mean feat when not on shore or gen).

This is why people who are running on battery power (boondocking, etc.) generally heat and cook using propane or some other fuel besides electricity. (There are exceptions, but not on the typical system.)

Hopefully this wasn't too mathy and you now have a way to see how much power any of your appliances will take on either AC or DC power.

And yep, I hear you on the Mr. Coffee machine. Mine was removed on my way home from picking up my Chinook! I do drink coffee, but never use a machine, and it wouldn't work when I'm not plugged in or on gen anyway. Plus I didn't like it dangling in my face.

Again, welcome! Hope we see you here often :)

BG

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