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Old 10-15-2021, 07:30 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4
Year: 1990
Coachwork: International
Engine: International 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 52
Electrical System Planning with Generator

We are looking at a bus that the owners had setup for tailgating. It comes with a 7500w Onan diesel generator tied into the main fuel tank, inverter, electrical panel, and interior and exterior outlets. We want to mainly camp in national/state park campgrounds that usually don't have hookups and have limited hours for generator use. We plan to travel with the bus for road trips once or twice a year, not live in it full time.

There's no doubt the generator could run anything we wanted to plug in and would be easy enough to run for an hour or two mornings/evenings, but how do we size a battery bank for the hours we're not running the generator?

Ideally, we'd like to run a 110v apartment size fridge (we're a family of 5, so we use a fair amount of food), 1-2 burner induction stove, small electric water heater, a few fans, LED lighting, possibly occasional microwave use, and cell phone chargers/possibly a laptop charger without firing up the generator more than once or twice a day. Is that possible on a fairly small system (size recommendations welcome!!), or do we need to look at different appliances/propane setup instead?

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Old 10-15-2021, 09:47 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Peru. IN
Posts: 184
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: NB18FD Oshkosh
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 18,500
Inverters are power hogs from batteries. With your stated 110 volt usage/needs.

Trying to build a battery bank that large I don't think would be cost/ weight effective. I would be looking at propane everything.

110 volt electric can be nice for a lot of items. When you go into a moving home. That adds more problems into it. The battery banks need to be big enough to support all that 110 usage. With a moving home you have to be concerned with vehicle weight also. That vehicle has a factory designed weight rating. For insurance reasons you want to stay below that rating. Just because DOT sees a single axle with duals as a 26,000 GVW for scale purpose. Remember insurance looks a MFG data plate. If it says 18,000 GVW. You want to stay there or less.
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:18 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Cerrillos, NM
Posts: 393
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Front Engine
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
If you switch to a propane/dual fuel water heater and a propane stove you’ll have a reasonable sized battery bank and be fine, I would guess around 400ah @ 12v (2400wh usable) would be about the minimum I think would be okay but you would likely want to run the microwave when the sun is out (assuming solar panels too)

If you don’t want to put solar on there I would think you would want about 2-4x that size of battery bank, 5000-10000 usable watt hours to minimize generator time, but I would highly recommend jamming a bunch of panels on the roof to make life easier.
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