TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC
  1. TMC is currently READ ONLY.
    Click here for more info.

Feels like Blasphemy: Off Grid Charging

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by dskid, May 31, 2020.

?

Are we crazy?

  1. Yep, totally nuts.

    34.8%
  2. I mean, what would Elon think?

    8.7%
  3. Not crazy, it’s legit.

    52.2%
  4. Please tell me you’re getting a tri-motor cybertruck....

    17.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. dskid

    dskid Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Vancouver
    We’re going camping a lot this year towing a 19’ Travel Trailer. We’re not expecting to get much more than 200KM while towing and most of our stays will be at somewhat remote off-grid campgrounds. Charging infrastructure will be limited at best and at worst, non-existant. We have the adaptors to charge at serviced campsites but the only one we booked this year so far that had services just blew a transformer and will not have power for our stay (because...of course). So we decided as a backup we’d upgrade our little 2000w put-put to a 240v capable EU7000is Honda inverter generator. A bit pricey, and an absolute beast (both size and weight). We knew the 2000 couldn’t add a meaningful amount of charge especially how fast the X uses it towing, not to mention being limited to 4hr generator runtime a day. We felt this provided a bit of peace of mind despite it being a challenge to transport. We bought a 30A adaptor from twist lock(L14-30) to plug-in style(14-30) and then the 14-30 adapter from Tesla for the UMC2. Because it’s 240v we didn’t even have to do the neutral-ground bond since it just uses the two hots. It worked immediately in eco mode and spooled up as the car ramped to the full 24A giving us a 6kw charge. As the title says, it feels wrong but also at the same time seems like a logical solution so we aren’t having to buy an ICE tow vehicle (along with the extra insurance and parking). We’ll utilize charging infrastructure as available and have solar on the trailer so generator power is really only there if we need it. Are we crazy?

     
    • Like x 3
    • Informative x 1
  2. dskid

    dskid Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Well, considering our trip from the dealer to the campsite resulted in 27.7% efficiency, I’d say it’s a good backup plan.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Informative x 2
  3. mxnym

    mxnym Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    Tesla says NOT to use a generator, but I suspect that's an oversimplification to cover liability. A typical household generator probably does not generate clean enough power, but obviously all electricity is generated, so it seems reasonable to believe that some generators must be capable of generating clean enough electricity. Nonetheless, because Tesla says not to use a generator, I would advise against telling Tesla that you've used a generator.
     
  4. Cheburashka

    Cheburashka Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2018
    Messages:
    2,001
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    That generator probably makes "cleaner" power than the grid does so I wouldn't worry about it.
     
    • Like x 3
    • Disagree x 2
  5. mxnym

    mxnym Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    My concern wasn't with the generator, it was with the policy, which could lead to a warranty quarrel regardless of what you know. Hence the "don't tell Tesla you've use a generator."
     
  6. Janus

    Janus Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2019
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Recommend you don't run the generator while in the trunk. Besides the CO risk, the exhaust (and associated heat) can make a mess in the interior.
     
    • Funny x 1
  7. dskid

    dskid Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Vancouver
    We had to take the wheels off to get it into the trunk so it stays there full time now, running or not. We leave a Falcon door and the trunk itself open while running and obviously not with anybody inside the car. We also let it cool down after running for a good 10-15 minutes before closing the car.

    Not ideal but it is what it is.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Disagree x 2
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    10,212
    Location:
    Maine
    I think you really need to resolve the problem of running the hot engine in the trunk. Otherwise, that's fine. Hopefully over time you'll find you don't need it any more.
     
  9. Cheburashka

    Cheburashka Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2018
    Messages:
    2,001
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    What's the deal with the disagrees? Try measuring the output from an inverter generator vs. the grid. The sine wave looks much cleaner on an inverter generator.
     
    • Like x 2
  10. dskid

    dskid Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Vancouver
    It’s actually not that bad. Exhaust comes straight out the back along with the hot air from the fan. I make sure to leave the lift gate open until the heat has dissipated. Now the axle in the subfloor cover is another story.
     
  11. AvengerBB

    AvengerBB Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #11 AvengerBB, Jun 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    Nice camper BTW, we got the G19BH a few months ago. FYI, our efficiency while towing has been about 33% on average.
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  12. NevadaFrenchy

    NevadaFrenchy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2020
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    You had me until you said it’s running in the trunk. You really really really need to come up with a way to keep it out of the trunk while it’s on. Besides the exhaust going straight into your camper, the carcinogens and smell are getting stuck in the lining and fabric of your car (getting it out will be a heck of a task) and not to mention the fire risk, generators get hot. Using a generator to power your car is a great idea, running it in your trunk should be a non-starter For so many reasons. Find a way to mount the generator away from the car and camper.
     
    • Like x 4
  13. dskid

    dskid Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Vancouver
    You likely haven’t seen an EU7000is in person. They are monstrous. Honestly though, the force the exhaust shoots out, nothing is in the car. Worst case I could get a silicone exhaust extender to pipe it away from the car. Remember, the point is not to have the generator running constantly. It’s only there so we don’t get stuck and can make it to the next DCFC/SuC and top up the camper batteries if needed.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. ThomasD

    ThomasD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2019
    Messages:
    827
    Location:
    florida
    Generators need space around them They get hot You are at risk of a fire putting it in your trunk even if the trunk lid is open
     
    • Like x 1
  15. DvLang

    DvLang Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Langley BC
    Take the words of warning from the others. It is completely unsafe to run that generator inside your car. You may get away with it, but it will cost you in the end. While generators can be run in confined places. Those confined spaces are required to have zero flammable surfaces. As the heat generated over continued 4-hour uses will cause a fire.

    I have worked in the RV industry for well over a decade, and know Generator safety very well. I would recommend figuring out a better solution or switching to a smaller generator. Yours should be about 250lbs. A good 3000/4000w generator is only 90-150lbs. Which could be easily lifted out of the car and run safely outside. What model trailer are you towing? I missed it if you have posted that information.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Helpful x 1
  16. ThomasD

    ThomasD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2019
    Messages:
    827
    Location:
    florida
    Most Generators require at least a 3 foot clearance zone around it. Check your owners manual it will tell you
     
  17. Fiver

    Fiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,852
    Location:
    Utah
    As a fellow Honda Genny owner (I have dual 3000's, not your monster 7000) you are fine. Just make sure the exhaust side is pointed out the back. They don't get that hot, even at full bore. Just leave the falcon wing door open and obviously the rear hatch. You probably are going to get some smells, that's just inevitable, but it's not a fire risk as you have it set up. I've seen multiple Hondas stuffed into very tight spaces on art cars, and as long as you have a clean exhaust vent area, and the air intake isn't covered you will have no issues.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  18. RedXowner

    RedXowner Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2020
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Springfield, Virginia
    It is flat out unsafe to run a generator inside a car. Period dot. Read the manual please.
     
    • Helpful x 1
    • Like x 1
    • Funny x 1
  19. DvLang

    DvLang Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2020
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Langley BC
    If you insist on running your generator inside your car. Please at least ensure you fully understand proper maintenance. If you neglect it or something fails, you will lose your car. I have seen too many generators fail due to simple maintenance issues. Or just the failure of components. Most of these generators with failed fuel pumps or carburetors which can, unfortunately, happen in under 1000 hours of use. Have either caught fire or melted and caused damage to there surroundings. While most of my customers run their's outside there RV's and at least 10 feet distance. This will be your main concern.

    Plus as Fiver mentioned even if you have the doors open you will be at risk of exhaust contamination of your car's interior. Which will make your car smell bad.

    Not trying to fear monger. But please educate yourself on generator maintenance and check your Genny after every use.
     
    • Like x 1
  20. Fiver

    Fiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,852
    Location:
    Utah
    VERY VALID POINT that I should have mentioned as well. The EU series (2000, 3000, 7000) Honda generators are incredibly reliable but they are machines, and when not maintained properly bad things can happen.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC