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Fish house battery/generator question


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Going to be building a fish house this summer. Was wondering how I could wire my house so I could run everything (Lights, tv, etc.) off of a generator and have the batteries charging while the generator is on and then be able to run everything off of batteries when I don’t have the generator with. Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance!

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Welcome to HSO @redneckwilly.

 

Someone will hopefully be along shortly that can help you.

 

In the meantime, check out these two threads for helpful ideas:

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Easiest way is to just keep a 2 amp maintainer or small charger that works when running the generator then disconnect it and switch to 12 volt. If you want to get fancy with isolators and inverters then I’m no help. I didn’t even even hassle with 12 volt on my build. If you have a big house the weight of the generator is insignificant and battery operated LED’s run forever. Some disagree with me but I have never regretted not having 12 volt. Many many posts with 12 volt problems on here than it’s worth for me. Fires and burnt inverters and panels are never something you should worry about. Some on here are very knowledgeable on 12 and 110, I’m not. 

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I built a non-sleeper wheel house several years ago. Use two 45ah car batteries in parallel for 90ah, $42 each in an insulated box. I put a 6' heat tape around the batteries. (Green circle) to keep them warm when house is not in use, which is plugged into home AC all winter. I have a 4 amp charger $30 with maintainer (yellow circle) hard wired to the battery. My total battery current draw average is about 2 amps with heater fan and running 25 min per hr. so after a full day fishing I use about 18ah of battery with re-charge time about 4 hours. When running my generator charger covers fill use of current plus 1.5 amp or so of charge to the battery. LED's, computer fans, camera, phone chargers etc. all run on a few milliamps so use very little power. Never had a 12v or battery issue in the 4 years I've had the WH. Simple, inexpensive and effective.

20200217_064928.thumb.jpg.23e2611aa9e64caa1b024e44f34246f5.jpg

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The neatest and most simple wiring solution is a RV converter. They neatly hold all AC and DC power fusing and distribution as well as battery charging and 12v power supply if you have the battery removed.

 

https://www.amazon.com/WFCO-WF-8735-P-Black-Power-Center/dp/B004LF14Q4/ref=sr_1_3?crid=ID8246OAY82T&keywords=wfco+converter&qid=1582031198&sprefix=wfco+%2Caps%2C1309&sr=8-3

 

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23 hours ago, Hawg said:

Easiest way is to just keep a 2 amp maintainer or small charger that works when running the generator then disconnect it and switch to 12 volt. If you want to get fancy with isolators and inverters then I’m no help. I didn’t even even hassle with 12 volt on my build. If you have a big house the weight of the generator is insignificant and battery operated LED’s run forever. Some disagree with me but I have never regretted not having 12 volt. Many many posts with 12 volt problems on here than it’s worth for me. Fires and burnt inverters and panels are never something you should worry about. Some on here are very knowledgeable on 12 and 110, I’m not. 

For me I look at things a little different. I like to have redundancy that's why I choose 12v lights and such. If my generator dies I can still run my house a couple days and fish with no generator.  Most 12v wiring issues are bad grounds. I suggest people use a dedicated ground it solves most 12v issues.

Edited by vtx1029
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VTX reminded me that no 12 volt requires a wall mount furnace that doesn’t require a fan to run. I can fish without power also. And, sorry, I meant converters and not inverters. It’s all food  for thought, there’s no right or wrong way. Just be very sure of what you’re doing, a friend and I walked back to his house on the lake to find his converter smoking heavily and melted a bunch of his wiring in his Ice Castle. His 12 volt days are over too. 

Edited by Hawg
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23 hours ago, Hawg said:

VTX reminded me that no 12 volt requires a wall mount furnace that doesn’t require a fan to run. I can fish without power also. And, sorry, I meant converters and not inverters. It’s all food  for thought, there’s no right or wrong way. Just be very sure of what you’re doing, a friend and I walked back to his house on the lake to find his converter smoking heavily and melted a bunch of his wiring in his Ice Castle. His 12 volt days are over too. 

I'm not a fan of convection heat. Ceiling and next to heater hot, floor and far corners cold. There are many post on what's the best ceiling or corner fan to move air in convection heated houses. On 12v & A/C power, there are 100 no issue successes to each failure only you seldom hear about NON issues, only hear about a few problems. I've had 2 RV's an 82' and current 95' both with converters, forced air heat, and 3 parallel deep cycle batteries and my current wheel house with maintainer. We showed dogs for 40 years 2 to 3 weekends a month across the U.S. where 75% of weekends were on parking lots or fields with no power. Only ran generator on hot days to keep dogs cool otherwise ran on batteries. Never one had issues with power or converters. With new low power heaters and LED lights available today we could most likely get by with one deep cycle battery.

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There is no right answer and I believe that done right you can charge a battery bank reliably with a generator or other power source.  I have been running 12v solar exclusively for 6 years now and have never had an issue.  It all about design and not overloading your circuits and using the proper wire size.   

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/16/2020 at 11:23 AM, redneckwilly said:

Going to be building a fish house this summer. Was wondering how I could wire my house so I could run everything (Lights, tv, etc.) off of a generator and have the batteries charging while the generator is on and then be able to run everything off of batteries when I don’t have the generator with. Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance!

I run everything in my wheelhouse that is necessary for me on 12v dc, but I have 110v outlets for use while running my generator. My batteries are tied into an on board marine battery charger so they get a charge when I run the genny. If you want to run a 110v tv you could run it through an inverter when not running the genny. My lights are LED lights and I have a couple 12v receptacles to charge cell phones and power a flasher or camera. Probably not what you are looking for, but works for me.

Edited by cold one sd
Wanted to add text.
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Similar to what other guys have said, my house is wired with everything into an rv convertor. When plugged into an outside power source it charges the batteries and my 110 outlets are live. When I'm on battery power my lights and furnace are still fully functional since they're 12v along with a couple 12v receptacles. I've got a small 400w inverter that I can hookup to the batteries if I want to watch a movie. 

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On 3/1/2020 at 11:47 PM, mn_bowhunter said:

Similar to what other guys have said, my house is wired with everything into an rv convertor. When plugged into an outside power source it charges the batteries and my 110 outlets are live. When I'm on battery power my lights and furnace are still fully functional since they're 12v along with a couple 12v receptacles. I've got a small 400w inverter that I can hookup to the batteries if I want to watch a movie. 

Just to add to this.... If you go the converter route, it also isolates the battery while charging and provides the power supply to the 12v items when hooked to shoreline/generator power. This, along w/ 120v breakers, was the reason that I went w/ a converter versus just an onboard charger.

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  • 2 months later...

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