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Old 08-01-2019, 07:57 PM   #1
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Generator for a dorm frig?

Howdy, new here and just bought a 1986 and the fridge is toast. Putting in a dorm size residential fridge and run it off a 900 watt generator strapped to the tongue.

First thought was to simply plug the 220 cord with adaptor into generator and get some limited power when we go off grid. Is that the best/easiest way Or is there a way to wire it directly to the breakers? Not sure how that would work and whether I would need a switch to use it either normally or with generator.

All suggestions appreciated. Tia
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:03 AM   #2
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Hi and Welcome!

Congrats on your Sunny!

Now to your questions, first is a clarification, in your post you mentioned the "220 cord", Heads up!!! That is not a 220 volt AC plug. It somewhat looks like an older 220 volt dryer plug but it is not. That plug is a camper (RV) 120 VAC 30 amp plug. Your camper is not intended to handle 220 volts and will damage it. This is a common mistake and just passing it along so you know.

To your generator question, yes, the easiest and a safe way to do a generator tie in on a camper is by plugging the camper shore power plug into the generator. This prevents any power backfeed to the campground power system does not cost very much. We do it this way ourselves.

Odds are high you will need to buy a 15 amp 120 VAC male to 30 amp 120 VAC female power adapter that will plug into your generator and adapt to the camper shore power cord. You never said how big the generator was. But assuming it fits on the camper trailer tongue, it is a smaller one.

With that adapter you will only be able to pass 15 amps to the camper from the generator, but it will run your fridge. Assuming your generator is large enough to create 15 amps. Basically you are powering up the whole camper. Since this is only a 15 amp setup, you cannot run the roof AC unit if you have one, they need at least a 20 amp supply. Your dorm fridge only runs off of a normal 15 amp 120 VAC outlet.

They make all kinds of power adapters for campers, just make sure you are getting the right prong configuration and voltage for what you need. Here is one brand of the one I mentioned above

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-PowerGr...ay&sr=8-4&th=1

If your generator is 3,000 watts or larger and has an actual 30 amp, 120 VAC receptacle on it, then you can plug directly into that and have full power. However I do not think a generator that big will fit on your trailer A frame.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:15 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply. I didn’t mean 220v, rather the 30 amp cord. I have a standard adaptor to plug into a 15 amp extension cord to reach my 900 watt generator. I was going to zip tie a 15 amp cord under the camper and leave it there and plug the shoreline into it just under the port.

Plan was to use limited electrical in camper while using it since it’s only 900 watts.
I also want to run generator while driving so fridge will stay cold. Maybe I’ll tuck small cord in plastic port to protect it. Or try to find a locked connector to keep them together and dry.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:30 AM   #4
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Sorry, I missed you did state a 900 watt generator. My mix up. I had in my head the fridge was 900 watts.

You can create a plastic container to contain the plug connection to help with water intrusion. Find the right sized Sterlite or other brand, cut a small hole in the side near the top so the lid will still close, then the cords come out that hole. Position the container to the hole is up high and not likely to have water splash in.

As to running the genny while towing, I'm assuming you still have a battery and the LP tanks in that area. You will think though that choice to cover all the things that can happen when towing. We have in the past, used freezer blocks in the fridge while traveling. This worked well for up to 6 to 8 hours as long as we did not open the door and everything was cooled down good before we started.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:08 AM   #5
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Thanks john. I moved the battery to an inside compartment. I reconfigured The tongue with one propane tank and the generator. Based on your idea, Maybe I’ll pull the two cord connections inside the camper while traveling. Or mount a waterproof box with hinged lid to the side[QUOTE[/QUOTE] of the camper where the shoreline exits to house the cord connection.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:13 PM   #6
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The camper cord will not mate up to anything 220V so you are safe with that. Your little generator will run a dorm fridge no problem but not a whole lot more. Do not run the generator inside of any compartment. If you have a pickup you could securely mount it in the bed and bring the camper cord to it while in transit.
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Old 08-04-2019, 03:28 PM   #7
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Be careful with the battery in an inside compartment. Battery gasses of when charging and should be vented.
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