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Old 07-28-2022, 01:42 PM   #1
RMcNeal
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Generator Parallel Question

I am working on gathering the parts to put a 50 amp outlet on the front of my rig so I can run one (or two) generators in the bed of my truck to power AC and Fridge while travelling. I also intend to install Micro Air Easy Starts on both AC's. We don't boondock, but may for a night or two while travelling if we are able after this upgrade.
I have narrowed down generators to (I think) either the HF Predator 3500 or the Cummins Onan 4500i, both inverter generators that can be paralleled if needed.
Here's my question...
What if any difference would it be to use a parallel connection kit or just use my existing dog bone that combines two 30 amp connections into a 50 amp connection? Wouldn't that do the same thing without needing to purchase a parallel kit? Is there any safety issue or other concern with doing this?
I bought the dual 30 amp to 50 amp dog bone for use in several of our frequent South Carolina and Georgia spots that do not offer 50 amp, but do have 2-30 amp outlets in the service panel. I know it's not a true 50 amp (100 actual amps) but I am able run everything we need off the dual 30 amp including both AC's, microwave, water heater, residential fridge, etc. without tripping a breaker. I've never had a lack of power for anything we've done when using the dog bone and only 2 30 amp outlets, so I think there's enough power for my needs.
 
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Old 07-28-2022, 02:12 PM   #2
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I don’t think what you wont to do will work. I’m sure an electrician will be alone with a better answer.
As to your generators. I think they are both made in the same factory in China. The Harbor Freight has less power. It’s advantage is Harbor Freight. If it breaks under warranty you get a new generator in about 5 minutes. If I were you I’d purchase the extended warranty. The Onan has more power but if it breaks they will fix it for you no matter how long it takes.
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Old 07-28-2022, 02:17 PM   #3
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This is one time I don't have an answer! And I have 2 Onan's.
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Old 07-28-2022, 02:18 PM   #4
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I think I see what you're saying about the warranty. HF will just replace it, Cummins will fix it and I'll be out a generator for however long it takes.
As for the dog bone not working, I was questioning that only because it seems that each 30 amp generator would have different neutrals, whereas the two 30 amp outlets in the same panel share a neutral bus. That's what made me question whether it would work. Is that your thought as well?
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Old 07-28-2022, 02:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchmenSport View Post
This is one time I don't have an answer! And I have 2 Onan's.
Is it your pics I've seen with 2 Onan's in the back of the truck? Have you been happy with the Onan's?

I've been researching this all summer and decided to make it a winter project in case I screw something up. I'd rather be without AC when its cold outside.
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Old 07-28-2022, 02:28 PM   #6
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Here's an example of the dog bone I have.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HV8KB24
The description shows it as great for generator, rv, motorhome, etc.
But it also says it make 2 30 amp receptacles provide FULL 50 amp power, which I know isn't true. It's only 60 amps, 30 amps per leg, not 100 amps with 50 amps per leg.
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Old 07-28-2022, 02:51 PM   #7
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OK. I think I've found the answer to my own question for anyone finding this in the future.
DO NOT CONNECT 2 GENERATORS TOGETHER USING THE DOG BONE I DESCRIBED ABOVE. The result would likely damage both generators. The output frequency of AC current from the two generators must be synchronized before they are combined and connected to the load. That apparently is one of the purposes of the parallel kit.
Here's a interesting read on the subject from Mike Sokol
https://www.rvtravel.com/rvelectrici...rator-rvt-923/
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Old 07-28-2022, 03:07 PM   #8
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1st and most important - I am not an electrician!
But, I don't think trying to connect 2 generators via a dog bone will work. The neutral side of a 50A circuit is "shared" between the 2 hot sides. You are trying to share the neutral with two devices that aren't synced. The parallel kit for the generator does that for you to provide additional wattage.
The Predator produces 25 amps (3000 watts) constant load and peak loads to 29 amps (3500 watts). I've seen videos of people putting a constant load of over 3500 watts with no issues.
I've easily run one AC, ceiling fan (ac), and the converter on mine with zero issues. That was my 2014 3850FL. The 2022s all have the Q Series AC units which only draw about 8-9 amps running and 14 amps at startup without a soft start. (readings taken from my SurgeGuard). I plan to try to run 2 ACs, started a few minutes apart, with all other power draw including the converter switched off to see if the Predator will hold the load. If it browns out the SurgeGuard should kick in and cut everything off.
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Old 07-28-2022, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMcNeal View Post
Here's an example of the dog bone I have.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HV8KB24
....
If only this truly worked, it would be too simple. Cummins would sell their own brand of these then.

I think you found your answer as you stated in your above post.

To answer you other question, ... "Yes!" I've been very, very pleased with both of my Onan's, using them under all kinds of conditions, in parallel and not.

Recently, we've been traveling with only 1, instead of both of them. We do State Park camping and always with a minimum of electric hook-up. However, with my wife still working full time remote, we need to make sure we have back-up power in the event of campground power failure. She has to stay connected. We can survive on 1 air conditioner for a short while. And in all our years of camping at state parks, we've experience power outages, maybe .... twice. And then it was restored within an hour or so.

So, one generator only travels with us now. The other one is still at home. My son lives there and he also works from home (computer software developer for a medical company) and he needs to have power back-up in the event of power failure too. We do have an older, pull cord generator that runs louder than a lawn mower with a broken muffler, but it's awkward to handle. So, we decided to let him have the second one for back-up. Now, if we were home and we had a power outage, I'd hook up both to the camper (which we have done a few times) and run the old one for the house appliances and internet. (which we have done a few times also since getting the Onan's).

The versatility of having 2 of them is priceless for us. And the ability to run full 50 amp for the trailer is priceless too. We've had ours for over 2 years now, and they still run great! I do turn the gas off when done and let the carburetor run itself empty. I do not want sitting gas to gum up the carburetor. I do this will all my gasoline powered devices that have gas shut off's. I think this is what really keeps them running well.
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Old 07-28-2022, 03:41 PM   #10
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Thanks, Dutchman. That's exactly what I was hoping you'd say. I really like the predator generator but with easy starts on both AC's, I should be able to run both on 30 amps which the Onan can do. Predator only has 25 amps. It might work, but I'd be near 100% load doing it.
Yeah I thought the dog bone was too easy an idea. Would been nice though. Parallel kit is fairly cheap though.
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Old 07-28-2022, 04:36 PM   #11
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There are two Predator 3500 generators being sold now. The old one and the new CO secure. I would almost bet a buck the new one won’t run in the back of your truck. Check it out before you buy. I’m not sure if the Onan has CO secure. People here will know.
If you choose the Predator, Generator Up Grade Supply makes a great remote start for it. It’s easy to install and cost $130.
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Old 07-28-2022, 05:28 PM   #12
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The new one has push button start, but not rote. The Onan has both.
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Old 07-28-2022, 07:36 PM   #13
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I have read on RVELECTRICITY FB group, the way 50A works is one leg (L1) is on one sine wave cycle the other leg (L2) is on the opposite sine wave cycle.
They both share the same neutral wire.
Because the sine waves are on opposite cycles the voltage cancels out.
An inverter generator parallel device manages the generators to synchronize them to keep them on opposite cycles.
I do like the idea of installing a receptacle in the front wall wired to a transfer switch, and generator in the bed of the truck.
Others have posted pictures of this.
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Old 08-03-2022, 01:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMcNeal View Post
I am working on gathering the parts to put a 50 amp outlet on the front of my rig so I can run one (or two) generators in the bed of my truck to power AC and Fridge while travelling. I also intend to install Micro Air Easy Starts on both AC's. We don't boondock, but may for a night or two while travelling if we are able after this upgrade.
I have narrowed down generators to (I think) either the HF Predator 3500 or the Cummins Onan 4500i, both inverter generators that can be paralleled if needed.
Here's my question...
What if any difference would it be to use a parallel connection kit or just use my existing dog bone that combines two 30 amp connections into a 50 amp connection? Wouldn't that do the same thing without needing to purchase a parallel kit? Is there any safety issue or other concern with doing this?
I bought the dual 30 amp to 50 amp dog bone for use in several of our frequent South Carolina and Georgia spots that do not offer 50 amp, but do have 2-30 amp outlets in the service panel. I know it's not a true 50 amp (100 actual amps) but I am able run everything we need off the dual 30 amp including both AC's, microwave, water heater, residential fridge, etc. without tripping a breaker. I've never had a lack of power for anything we've done when using the dog bone and only 2 30 amp outlets, so I think there's enough power for my needs.
With generators that big I doubt you need two, but if you do, the dual 30 to 50 is possible but you will likely need to rewire one of the 30 amp plugs. If you get it wrong make sure you are well away and outside so you don't damage anything. I am a retired electrician, and I would not try what you are doing.
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Old 08-03-2022, 02:15 PM   #15
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Thanks, bcrvman. I think I have figured out that it won't work like I described. The two 120v legs would need to by synchronized, which I guess is what the parallel connector does.
Also, I think you may be right. I have found other options in generators and as long as I can get 30Amps output with a single generator, I "should" be able to run both 15K air conditioners with the easy starts. They are ordered and should be here in the next couple of days. Once I get them installed and set up, I'll do more testing on shore power first.
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Old 08-03-2022, 08:12 PM   #16
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Predictor Generators

I purchased two 3500 Predictor Generators and are very pleased with them. Since you correctly answered your parallel kit question, I will just mention I purchased the Firman 1201 and it works like a dream.
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