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Old 08-05-2021, 04:10 PM   #1
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THOR #24431
New Owner Questions - Generator and Water/Power

I an a new owner of a Thor 29KW and wondered if running the generator while driving is ok. The kids like to have power to the outlets but I wasn't sure if it is a good idea or not? Also, do I need to be cautious of how much I use the generator? I'm not sure what the useful life of a generator is so wasn't sure how much to limit it's use. My second question is how important are the surge protector and water filter for hooking up at a campsite? It does have a tankless water heater so I was told I should try to run soft water through it to avoid hard water buildup, but that may also be a separate issue. Thanks in advance for any help for this new guy!

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Old 08-05-2021, 04:20 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum
1) yes, many of us run generator while driving to run house air conditioner
2) check oil level from time to time, change as recommended. Onan’s are made to run many many hours
3) surge protector is always recommended, many posts on this Forum to learn the best for you. Use SEARCH function
4) water filter is a personal preference. I don’t use one
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Old 08-05-2021, 06:33 PM   #3
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THOR #21941
Recommend getting an EMS (Electric Management System) which includes a surge protector but also protects you against under/over voltage.
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Old 08-05-2021, 11:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
Welcome to the Forum
1) yes, many of us run generator while driving to run house air conditioner
2) check oil level from time to time, change as recommended. Onanís are made to run many many hours
3) surge protector is always recommended, many posts on this Forum to learn the best for you. Use SEARCH function
4) water filter is a personal preference. I donít use one


Agree with this entirely. For many of us using the generator while driving is just about the only time we use it! I donít use a water filter either because we use bottled water for drinking and cooking.
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Old 08-05-2021, 11:52 PM   #5
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I run my generator most of the time while driving to supply power to the air conditioner and outlets. I do turn it off when fueling. You do need to check the oil level from time to time and follow the manufacturer's recommendation when to change the oil/filter(s). I have a Southwire Surge Guard(model 34930) that I plug into the camp site power pedestal to protect my motor home's electronics. It came in handy this last trip while in Las Vegas New Mexico. A storm came through causing a low voltage situation at the camp ground. It shut off the low voltage and once the power was restored to normal, it came back on and allowed power to my coach. This is the 30 amp unit since my coach requires 30 amps. They also make a 50 amp model if your coach has the 50 amp requirement. As far as filtered water, I have one filter inside the coach that filters the inbound water. I have also used a portable screw on water filter that attaches to the water hose. We also drink bottled water most of the time.

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Old 08-06-2021, 01:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by morrow157 View Post
I an a new owner of a Thor 29KW and wondered if running the generator while driving is ok. The kids like to have power to the outlets but I wasn't sure if it is a good idea or not? Also, do I need to be cautious of how much I use the generator? I'm not sure what the useful life of a generator is so wasn't sure how much to limit it's use. My second question is how important are the surge protector and water filter for hooking up at a campsite? It does have a tankless water heater so I was told I should try to run soft water through it to avoid hard water buildup, but that may also be a separate issue. Thanks in advance for any help for this new guy!
I though I would add my two cents worth of advice. I would not worry about running you generator if you follow the required maintenance until it reaches its service life of 5,000 hours. (That is 208 days of 24 hours). I live is south Texas and the generator runs anytime we are in the coach and aren't onshore power during the summer. We are averaging just under 200 hours per year generator time.

Yes I carry a portable water softener. It is a 602abc 8,000 grain model with manual regeneration. I have had it for 4 years and it preforms flawlessly. We have soft water at the house and fill the tank at home and use it exclusively until it runs out or we stop for a couple days. When we are parked and setup for a while, I hook up the softener and refill the coach's tank just before we leave. I find I need to regenerate every 14 days in the west and every 20 days east of the Mississippi.

You really need an EMS (not just a surge protector) if you are going to plug to a campground pedestal. How many microwaves and A/Cs do you want replace?

As for a water filter- I carry one but I can count on one hand the number of times I hooked it up in the last 27 years.
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:37 AM   #7
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Beau388 - please point me to your water softener... I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm interested in treating "unknown quality" campground water (not just simple one-stage filtering). I will NOT put crap water in my tank... even though it's just shower/dishwashing water. We use Berkey for drinking water.
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Old 08-06-2021, 04:02 PM   #8
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Beau388 - please point me to your water softener... I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm interested in treating "unknown quality" campground water (not just simple one-stage filtering). I will NOT put crap water in my tank... even though it's just shower/dishwashing water. We use Berkey for drinking water.
Sadly 602abc is no longer selling retail. Portable softeners are all the same. They are fiberglass pressure vessels filled with replaceable resin beads. You need one that will flow 5 gallons per minute. Have a look at <https://www.portablewatersoftener.com/> They have a great store front on Amazon. As for carbon filters I have a Culligan RVF-10 with a carbon filter. I bought to use when near the NC coast.
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Old 08-06-2021, 05:00 PM   #9
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Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2021, 06:29 PM   #10
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I do not know how much room you have for a water filter. In my Palazzo I had room behind the water tank to plumb in a great water filter. 1/2 micron will even eliminate all water pathogens. Six months of use and still have great flow. I am sorry for the rotation. It is a Clear Source filter system.
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Old 08-11-2021, 06:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morrow157 View Post
I an a new owner of a Thor 29KW and wondered if running the generator while driving is ok. The kids like to have power to the outlets but I wasn't sure if it is a good idea or not? Also, do I need to be cautious of how much I use the generator? I'm not sure what the useful life of a generator is so wasn't sure how much to limit it's use. My second question is how important are the surge protector and water filter for hooking up at a campsite? It does have a tankless water heater so I was told I should try to run soft water through it to avoid hard water buildup, but that may also be a separate issue. Thanks in advance for any help for this new guy!
yes, you can run it while you are driving. sometimes the back end can get very warm.

Onan generators can last a long long time if you maintain them. I have an Onan 5500. oil change is supposed to be every 150 generator hours. Plugs every 450.

If you run it while you are driving, those hours mount up fast.

I use water filter to fill the fresh water tank and with water hookups, only because I don't know what junk might be in the water source. I don't have a filtration system.
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:27 PM   #12
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I did end up adding a 2000W inverter to my Vegas 24.1 so I wouldn't have to run the generator for the TVs and small outlets use (phone chargers etc). It has an automatic switch that powers a few of the interior outlets when there is no shore/generator power, including the TVs). For AC, I'd still have to run the generator while driving but that inverter sure was a nice little upgrade to add... oh and my wife loves having an electric blanket on sometimes while we are driving in colder climates.

I have a button to turn off the inverter when parking or when I don't want it to run down my house batteries unnecessarily.
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Old 08-11-2021, 11:16 PM   #13
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Inverter and added outlets

We wired a 110 ac volt outlet on either side of the dinette to the inverter. We use it for running the computer, charging phones, etc. I suspect the kids want to game or keep their devices plugged in and powered up. Our Outlaw only had TV and residential fridge wired to the inverter. While driving the alternator/generator of the engine should suffice to keep the house batteries charging while the inverter is giving the kids 110 ac.
Yes, we have run the generator while driving when the ac is needed with no problems.
We added solar and upgraded to 4 6 volt batteries for increased storage.
A CPAP is needed and for that insurance provided a unit that runs on 110 ac or 12 volt dc and we installed a 12 volt outlet near the bed.
There is enough power in the batteries in the morning when dry camping to run the coffee maker before the sun comes up.
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Old 08-11-2021, 11:20 PM   #14
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Addendum: Our Outlaw has a 110 volt ac outlet up by the passenger seat and wife has a heat and back massager that she runs while we are driving - for years - no problem.
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Old 08-11-2021, 11:53 PM   #15
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Our tech wired every outlet and Microwave to the inverter..no extra cost
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Old 08-12-2021, 12:32 PM   #16
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Safe drinking water

We run 100% of our drinking water through a Berkey filter. Water softener (which we also use) does nothing to purify the water.

John












































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