Should I skip the genny?

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    BethanDan Hailey

    I just found out that the TC I ordered back in Feb, Northern lite 811, got pushed back another month due to the generator shortage. So, I am wondering should I even spend the 5K for the genny. It is very quiet and I ordered it because I like AC and I like going south. However the rep told me that now my TC will come with 2-200 watt solar panels since it is a 2022 build. I am putting the TC on a 2020 F350 with the camper package, 2 batteries and 2 alternators.
    S0…. My question is: Has anyone had any experience with not enough amps to run the AC, and microwave going all solar. If I go all solar I would buy a pair of 100 AMP Li batts (probably group 31) to run the electrics.
    Should I skip the genny?
    Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

    David Guido


    Northern Lite

    Your AC will not run off of your solar. You will need either a geni or shore power for it. If time is an issue for you though to get your camper, you can always use a portable geni such as a Honda 2200 instead of the built in Onan.
    Hope this helps!


    My 8.11 is a 2017 model and I bought a Honda 2000 (they had not yet come out with the 2200) for a little over $800 dollars. It will run my A/C just fine but to be honest with you, I have rarely used it because most of my camping is here in Wyoming at higher altitude so I don’t really need it for that.
    What I do like about having it though is for backup power should I ever need it. My camper just has the one 95 watt solar panel and I have never run out of power while camping.
    The generator fits great in the rear passenger side cabinet. My personal opinion would be to forgo the generator, buy a Honday 2200 and just carry it with you.

    S S

    Hello campers,
    Well we all know everyone has an opinion on many things, all good!
    I happen to have a onan/cummins 2500 lp installed from factory. And use it for ac only.
    I have 740 watts solar panels on roof, 2000 watt magnum inverter , 200ah lifeblue lithium battery’s, that makes every thing run perfect for boondocking. This combo will not run an ac unit, not even with a soft start installed on ac. So if you want ac ,keep the generator. It would take a very substantial amount of battery power and solar to run an ac and I know there is not even enough real estate on the roof to do this, nor battery room for multiple battery’s
    3- 180 watt panels
    2-100 watt panels
    2000 watt Magnum pure sine wave inverter/ remote controller
    2 100ah lifeblue lithium batteries
    Victron 150/70 solar charge controller
    Victron Bm 712 battery moniter
    Sterling Dc to Dc 1260 charger from truck to charge battery’s in camper down the road. So if you want cool interior temps either plug in or start your generator.
    Happy camping!

    Les Jenkins

    Agree with SS. If AC is a must, you will need that generator. When we bought we thought the same way as you except rather than built-in we went with portable. I don’t regret the decision because we rarely use the AC, and I have all that outside storage space where the generator would be installed so that I can carry tools, etc. Perhaps we don’t camp in the heat you do, so our situation wouldn’t apply to you, but I would just say…. installing a built in generator is more or less a permanent decision, so if you’re sure, go that route – the convenience of being able to start/stop from inside your NL would be nice, but you’re carrying the extra weight around 100% of the time, even if you don’t use it.
    We are going to New Mexico, AZ, CA & NV next month so we’ll see – maybe I’ll be shopping for an onan yet.


    I have a 22 NL 10-2 that I picked up a couple weeks ago. I specifically ordered it without a Generator.

    I am planning on spending lots of time in Baja, running my AC when needed.
    AC runs just fine off “solar”…. provided you have enough horsepower (batteries).
    You need a minimum 3000w inverter, at least 500ah of lithium, and the max amount of panel, and also very important full sun. At least that’s what I’ve done.
    Solar panels just replenish what the inverter draws out of the batteries.

    On my other big unit, a 2022 Grand Design Momentum 376, I have 2.3kw solar, 1000ah lithium and a 3000w inverter. Ran my AC for 8 hours one day when things got hot this past Dec in Baja. Note that AC runs intermittent if you set it up right. (My wife used the washer dryer up to 3 times some days, dishwasher every night and we use a residential fridge. On average in full sun I’d put 80amps into my batteries…

    My NL has half of that in ah’s, 1/3 of the solar and very important less than a 1/3 of the volume to cool.
    I also just installed a Victron DC to DC charger, my truck is now my “Geny” when driving….(backup)

    I also just replaced my 3 way fridge in my NL with a 10cu/ft Dometic 12v compressor fridge. Draws less than half the amps of the 3 way (that I’m now trying to get rid of)

    Propane is a PITA….so are Generators!

    Anyway, everyone has their opinion and preference, I’m just stating what I’ve done for some perspective……

    PS to date I have yet to hook up shorepower on my Momentum, don’t need to with enough “horsepower”. We boondock 90% of our time as we fulltimed the past year in the Momentum.

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