Generator - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2007, 11:30 PM   #15
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Thank you all for the replies, they have been helpful.

Bob H, I have seen the ProForce generators at my local Kragen autoparts store. Infact they are on sale right now, I believe the 2500 is priced right around $200 and the 4500 is on sale for $299. I really like the price on these units as we won't be breaking the bank to get a generator.

I also saw the Cummins Onan HomeSite™ 2400 at Costco.com for $399, which seem like a pretty good price, just have to make sure it has the juice to run my setup. I know Onan's are pretty good generators as I have owned one in the past (in an RV) and they are in ALOT of rv's.

I need to climb up on my trailer and figure out exactly how much power it takes for the AC and go from there.

As mentioned, I am going to be camping in the desert but there will be other people around. I mainly (probably exclusively) will be running it a few hours a day to try and stay cool in the desert heat. I intend to run my fridge on propane and cannot forsee using any lights or other electronics in the daytime. I don't have a tv or other appliances that will be used (microwave is coming out).

THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR THE REPLIES!!!

Your comments have been helpful as we shop and "try" to make our decision.

John and Adrienne
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
...Bob H, I have seen the ProForce generators at my local Kragen autoparts store. Infact they are on sale right now, I believe the 2500 is priced right around $200 and the 4500 is on sale for $299. I really like the price on these units as we won't be breaking the bank to get a generator...
Good Luck on your purchase, whatever you decide on, John. Passing on knowledge is what this forum is great for & I'm glad to be of some help.
I don't want to steer you away from the high dollar Hondas, Yamaha's, Kipors's, ect., but rather to offer some first-hand experience with a "cheaper" alternative. If I may, I'd like to pass on some information I've found useful...

The following is quoted directly from a "generatorsdirect.com" buyers guide...
"...If you think about it, a generator is basically an engine and an alternator.
The quality and style of these two components will determine a generator's size, quietness and, ultimately, price.
Most people assume that the engine -- which generates the power -- is the most influential component.
In fact, the style of the alternator -- which converts the power into electricity -- is actually the difference maker.
There are two styles of alternators: standard and inverter.

Standard generators consist of heavy copper coils, which generate a raw form of electricity.
The engine must maintain a constant speed of 3,600 rotations per minute to produce AC power. In other words, it must run at full speed, regardless of the load needed, consuming more fuel and generating more noise. The electricity produced isn't as clean as utility power. Therefore, standard generators are NOT recommended to power sensitive electronics like computers.

Inverter generators, however, utilize a different type of alternator to generate very clean AC power.
The inverter technology reduces the generator's weight. But more importantly, the engine can run at varying speeds, significantly reduce the noise levels. The state-of-the-art technology adds a few hundred dollars to the generator, but quality doesn't come cheap...."

While it may not be recommended, you can power your TV's, Computers, ect. using a standard generator, and it's easy get the same level of clean power from a standard generator as you get from an inverter through the use of a line conditioner like this one...

http://www.tripplite.com/products/pr...?productID=208

I already had a older model line conditioner for my amateur radio gear & it's a smart investment to have for any use of computers or high-end electronics. BTW you can find a good line conditioner for under $100. During my last outing, I ran all my electronics on a circuit through the line conditioner, just to be on the safe side, and the rest of the trailer appliances...AC, Fridge, Lights, direct from the generator.

As for the noise... if the ProForce is rated at 67dB, thats a very liberal assessment. Mine is quiet, and even more so after I put a baffle box around it.

My last advice is this...you can never have too much power, and you often have not enough. Determine how much you need then add a little bit more cuz' you don't want to come up short when you need it most.

Good Luck & Happy Campin'
ConwayBob
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:02 PM   #17
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The technical description from "generatorsdirect.com" looks pretty shaky to me, although I'm sure it is well intentioned. They have tried to "dumb" down the technology for the masses, and messed it up; it's a common problem, because interpreting technical information for a non-technical audience is not easy. They're so far off on some of their stuff that I would be hesitant to believe any of it.
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
"The technical description from "generatorsdirect.com" looks pretty shaky to me, although I'm sure it is well intentioned. They have tried to "dumb" down the technology for the masses, and messed it up..."
In what way have they messed it up?

Quote:
" ...They're so far off on some of their stuff that I would be hesitant to believe any of it...."
Specifically, what is "far off"?

I know that the info they are supplying is ultimately designed to sell generators, but please, can you elaborate what it is that they have wrong.
I only quoted a small part of the information they have on their website. It was pretty extensive.

If it'll help here is the direct link to the page...
http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/ca...reational2b.php
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:47 PM   #19
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Moderator hat on.

This thread was closed -- It is being reopened by request. Lets keep it nice and friendly or it will be closed again

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Old 08-16-2007, 07:39 PM   #20
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I myself have a small 1000 Honda. I find it real quiet and just right for my needs.
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:19 AM   #21
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The generators that I was looking at are actually made by a brand called "Champion Power Equipment" and is a 4000 watt peak unit. There are some pretty cool features on it including what they refer to as a "RV ready outlet". The smaller unit they make I think is going to be too small for my needs as it is a 1500 watt peak generator. I am going to check them out again tomorrow at my local Kragen autoparts store where they are on sale for $199 for the 1500w and $299 for the 4000w unit.

I will be honest, price is a HUGE factor at the moment but I am not into buying junk either, so I intend to get some more information about them and hear them run. I am really hoping it is not too loud, that is my main concern but I guess I can always get crafty and build some kind of box or something if it comes to that.

You can see what they are at parts america:

http://www.partsamerica.com/

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail....rtnumber=C46540

Thanks again for the replies and I will let you all know what I end up purchasing.
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:55 AM   #22
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John,

Here is the Specs...
Quote:
[b]C46540 Technical Data
* Running Watts: 3500 Watts
* Surge Watts: 4000 Watts
* AC Voltage: 120 / 240 V
* DC Voltage: 12 V
* Frequency: 60 Hz
* Phase: Single Phase
* Integrated Control Panel<blockquote> o 30 Amp 120/240 Volt AC Twistlock
o 30 Amp 120 Volt AC Recreational Vehicle Receptacle
o 20 Amp 120 Volt AC Duplex
o 10 Amp 12 Volt DC Outlet
o Volt Meter </blockquote> * Circuit Breaker Protection
* Engine: 6.5 HP OHV Champion Engine, EPA & CARB Certified
* Low Oil Shut-off
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 4 gallons with Built-in Fuel Meter
* Heavy Duty Steel Frame
* Running Hours: 12 hours at 50% load
* Noise Level: 68 dB (from 7 meters)

[b]Included Accessories
* 12 Volt Battery Charging Cable
* USDA Forest Service Approved Spark Arrester
* Spark Plug Tool
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:34 AM   #23
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Hi John,
Here is the corporate website FAQ for Champion Power Equipment, it's full of good advice that also can be applied to most small engine gear.

Champion Generators FAQ

ConwayBob
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
...can you elaborate what it is that they have wrong.
1 - The description states that "standard" generators use copper coils, and implies that "inverter" units do not. This is not true: in both cases, conductor (copper) coils are turned in a magnetic field to produce power. The inverter is an extra component after the alternator in the power flow, not instead of the alternator and its "copper coils".

2 - Their description states that "standard" generators "generate a raw form of electricity". No: they generate sinusoidal AC power requiring no further processing... that's not "raw" by any definition I've seen. It's not as stable in voltage or frequency as ideal, but it's not "raw".

Strangely, as the graphics show, the alternator in their example of an inverter-based set generates three-phase high-frequency power (instead of the single-phase 60 Hz power of a "standard" set's alternator output)... that is "raw", given that the "finished" version is to be 60 Hz single-phase!

3 - The inverter generators are said to produce "clean" power. They might, but this is certainly not inherent in the design. Most of the inverters used to convert to AC power from 12VDC produce power which is far from a pure sine wave, and an inverter-based generator could do the same thing.


I'm not saying that all of the Electric Generators Direct information is wrong... the explanation of the engine speed issue is close (although even that is not quite right), and I agree with the conclusion that the inverter approach can produce a quieter and more efficient generator set by allowing variable engine speed. It's just that with the fundamental errors introduced in the attempt to boil the technology down for the web page, there's no reasonable way to know what other information may be similarly suspect.
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:44 PM   #25
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You know, sometimes you just have to stop considering all the options and go with the tried and true solution that everyone who has it (like me), loves it.

Buy a Honda 2000i from Wise (like I did) or Camping World or wherever and sleep well at night knowing it will run your A/C in a quiet, reliable manner.
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:54 PM   #26
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As discussed previously on this forum, a 10 dB difference in noise level is perceived by humans as twice as loud, and that is so in this case against the loudest Yamaha and almost three!!! times as loud as the quieter generators. (51dBA vs 68dBA)

That is likely to be even worse in actual use, because the non-inverter generators have to operate at a relatively high rpm (noisy) to produce 60Hz, whereas the inverters don't (rpm is dependent on load), which is why they can purr along in econo-mode all day (only sipping fuel in the process).

The RV receptacle advantage can be 'overcome' with one of these which I just saw on another site for $7.50.

Almost all of the generators have a 12VDC outlet, but they are of dubious value compared to using a battery charger with the generator for much faster and better charging.

If price is really so important, do your camping neighbors a favor and get a Kipor.
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Old 08-17-2007, 06:29 PM   #27
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Most people camp on the grid anyway and will rarely go off the grid so to speak. Should they camp off the grid it would be wise to stay within the noise limits such as those posted by National Park Service. The following chart is from a Honda generator site and it quotes those limits.

Distance 10 feet 23 feet 50 feet
Generator Load 0 % 100 % 0 % 100 % 0 % 100 %
National Park Noise Limit 74 db 74 db 67 db 67 db 60 db 60 db
Honda EU-3000 56 db 66 db 49 db 59 db 42 db 52 db
Onan MicroQuiet 62 db 70 db 55 db 63 db 48 db 56 db

http://klenger.powweb.com/arctic-fox/gener...oise/index.html

http://www.lowertheboom.org/trice/safedblevels.htm


http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc...9/eng99325.htm

"decibel levels"

"Question: We are a 5th grade class and we would like information about decibel levels. Do you have a list of decibel levels for common sounds? Such as voice, airplane, etc?
--------------------------------------------------
Answer: First, remember that the decibel (d is a logarithmic unit,
meaning that you cannot add and subtract dB like ordinary numbers. For
example, an increase of 3 dB is a doubling of the "strength" of the sound, and an increase of 10 dB means that the sound is 10 times as loud; i.e., 70 dB is 10 times as loud as 60 dB."
-------------------------------------------------
The book that came with my BIC Venturi speakers states that an increase of 10 decibels in sound represents a DOUBLING of the volume. That means that 70 dB would be TWICE as loud as 60 dB.

To quote the book: "Psycho-acousticians agree that a change of 10 dB of sound pressure level causes one to hear a DOUBLING of loudness."
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:42 PM   #28
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Darwin and I are in agreement on this; actually if one takes the small Honda/Yamaha, etc, at 51dBA and compares it to 68dBA, there's a doubling of loudness from 51 to 61 and then an almost doubling again from 61 to 68...

I believe most of the sound level info posted by the various manufacturers is at about the 23 foot distance, but I don't know what the load standard is.

I know that when I am choosing a site in a CG where generators are allowed, I will avoid camping near sites that have generators in the tube steel frames, because they are generally the loudest.

I recall camping on Vancouver Island a few years ago and hearing what I thought was a generator occasionally audible on the wind from the other side of a bay -- Turned out to be a small Yamaha in the next CG...

Actually, I am disappointed that Honda quit making the 600W inverter set, because that's all I would need to run my battery charger or a small electric heater.
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