Running two Hondas in parallel - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-02-2007, 02:26 PM   #1
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Actually I have several questions here.

1. An ad for the Honda 2000is mentions that you can do this with two Hondas but not with most generators apparently. However, someone mentioned that you can do so only at home and not on the road. Is that so?

2. If you are going to boondock, would it be advisable to buy at least one generator?

3. My wife is a bit less tolerant of heat and/or humidity than I am. That's one reason we bought a well-insulated Bigfoot with thermal windows and two fans. What I'm wondering is whether we are likely need air conditioning often enough when boondocking with a trailer like this to justify two of the above generators.

4. If either event, I gather it would be better to carry them in the bed of our pickup than in the storage area underneath the trailer, since it would otherwise add weight to the rear rather than the tongue area.

Thanks
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Old 06-02-2007, 04:26 PM   #2
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Considering the cost and extra trouble of a second generator, you may be better off replacing your air conditioner with one that can operate on one Honda generator. Or buy a generator that can operate the AC you have (maybe a Yamaha 2400?).

On my Bigfoot, I installed a Coleman Mach I Powersaver AC that will operate on one Honda 2000. (I bought the trailer without AC, so this was not a replacement.) This unit is rated at 11,000 BTU which is the same output as the Duotherm AC that Bigfoot installs at the factory. The Duotherm needs more running watts so is not a good match for the Honda 2000.

I don't like to carry my generator inside the trailer, even in the cargo area, because of the fuel. Back of the pickup works for me.

If you ever camp where it gets hot, you will be grateful to have the capability to use your AC. You will also be much happier if your wife is comfortable.
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Old 06-02-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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A Honda 2000 can take care of most A/C within the range of 13,500 and 16,000 BTU depending on the make. That means that you start the air without anything else running.. and see what happens before adding more. There is no reason why that generator can't run a 11,000 BTU A/C. Il you need and want more power go to the Yamaha 2400. I kept my 2000 in the Trillium many times without any noticeable odour.
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:46 PM   #4
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The Bigfoot AC is 13,500 BTU. I don't see why we couldn't use AC only for the hottest part of the day. The problem wouldn't arise just in the desert. The only time we visited the West we were at Custer Battlefield Montana around the middle of September and it was mid-90s and very humid. This was about ten years ago.

Looking at that battlefield, I can see why Custer didn't have much of a chance. The surrounding terrain had so many deep ravines. Indians could just hide in the ravine and use the bows like mortars. It would be hard to hit them in return. I can't see how even repeating rifles or a Gatling gun could have helped much in that situation. Their only chance would have been to remain mounted and flee so far as I can see. If they could have found some trees and territory with less cover for attackers, maybe they'd have stood a chance but it still would have been tough.

I kept imagining what Custer's soldiers must have felt like, assuming similar heat and humidity, combined with those uniforms, the unfavorable terrain and the huge number of Indians they were up against.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:39 AM   #5
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I forgot you were the guy with the 3000 series Bigfoot. All the 2500 series - the molded fiberglass units- have the 11,000 BTU air conditioners. You probably cannot get by with a lower-output AC in your larger trailer, so more generator watts will be necessary. Try to get a manufacturer's data sheet for your AC and find out what it needs for wattage.

As you found out, you don't have to be in the Deep South to experience intense heat. We lived in the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming for six years and it was into the upper 90's very commonly in the summer. Custer's soldiers must have been really miserable in those wool uniforms.

When I had my Casita, I even needed the air conditioner occassionally in Alaska. So you never know where you may experience a heat wave. Others on this forum have experience with tandem Honda 2000's.

We boondock frequently with our Bigfoot. The only thing I really need the generator for is to run the AC when needed. Everything else (except the microwave) can run on 12v or gas. Solar panels keep the battery up fairly well. We need to shut the AC off in order to run the microwave on the generator. I don't know microwave (if any) is in your trailer, but some the larger ones are also too power consuming for one Honda 2000 to handle.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:47 AM   #6
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Frank, I searched for +parallel +generator and came up with several topics...and links within those topics. Perhaps you'd like to do some additional reading?

Search on Parallel and Generator
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:05 PM   #7
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Thanks, everyone. After reading the links Donna provided, I can see that I should be all right with two American-bought Hondas 200i's. Hopefully it's not something I'll need to do right away since--though we'll use our credit cards--we try to pay them off when the balance comes due and avoid new debt entirely. We'll be slightly stretched for a month or two after buying the trailer, tongue jacks, expensive hitch (Hensley) and a few other things.
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:15 PM   #8
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I tow with a minivan, and there are only two of us, so there's lots of cargo space. We also have unused storage space in our Boler. That leaves us with a choice of which vehicle to contain stuff, and my current philosophy is to put it where it is used and to ensure that stuff needed when away from the campsite is in the van.

A generator is not used in either vehicle, and in this case is presumably not needed with the truck when away from the campsite on a trip, so the choice must be made on other factors. The gasoline storage factor alone would be enough for me to put the generators in the truck, and with the massive carrying capacity of Frank's truck, and the undesirability of the available location in the trailer (as far as balance is concerned), I vote for the truck.

An alternative would be a more permanent installation, which would be on the trailer (that's where it's used), but outside on the tongue or in a properly ventilated compartment, as is commonly done with motorhomes. For a permanent installation, a larger single generator makes more sense to me (it's not like you have to lift it).
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:01 PM   #9
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RESEARCH RESULTS

From posts on another forum I'm now leading toward the Yamaha 2400i. Like the Honda it's very quiet. Slightly more expensive (lists for $1,150 online) but much cheaper than buying and running two Hondas in parallel, along with related but required equipment for that.

From what I've read the Honda (46 pounds) will run a 13,500 AC in about 50 percent of the cases but only at sea level. However, that would be hard on the generator and AC both.

The Yamaha (70 pounds) is very quiet (52 to 58 decibels) and has sufficient power to run the above AC except possibly at high altitudes where it wouldn't be necessary otherwise. Since it has two handles, it would be easy to remove from a truck. The Yamaha is easier to service, including oil changes and fueling.


The RV dealer had Kipons (expensive, some reliability problems, some parts problems according to feedback) and the very inexpensive and quite powerful Champion, which would handle 15,000 ACs without trouble. It's a bit noisier though nowhere near construction levels and apparently highly reliable. However the weight, over 100 pounds, would make it necessary to keep in the truck which would increase vibration noise I suspect. Very good reliability and about $300.
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