Generator?? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-07-2008, 08:57 PM   #1
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Would something like this be sufficient for power when full-timing? Now that gas prices are so low, a generator could be a more cost effective way to go??? Oh, 16' Casita...

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Old 12-07-2008, 09:10 PM   #2
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I did an experiment some time ago with a borrowed 1000 watt generator.
It would not power my 700 watt Microwave. I didn't even try my 5,000 btu air conditioner.
Most people get a 2000 watt generator for those tasks.

Others may chime in to report if it will power a converter to charge the battery...

I just do without the Microwave or AC without full hookups. I have 45 watts of solar panels to charge the battery when boondocking for the 12 volt DC electric needs: lights, water pump, and Heater blower motor.

Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
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So something more like this?
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:22 PM   #4
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I have a 1000 watt Honda gen set. Its good for me for lights--TV---Computor---Radio. All the little small things. It charges batteries ok and i can run my 400/800 watt electric heater, but only on 400 watt setting.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:51 PM   #5
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How many 45 watt pannels do you use?
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:09 AM   #6
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If you want to run the AC, you'll need the Honda EU2000i. Most find Wise Sales to have the best prices.

Tom Trostel
1980 Bigfoot 17' & 1973 Compact Jr
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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April, he has 3 15 w panels equaling 45 watts total.

It was my 1k gen set he borrowed. I find it OK for charging my battery or, like Ches, running a small cube heater, but it's value is in the battery charging, or the ability to run the heater fan if "stuck" without battery power.

I get it to run my very small microwave, but it takes all it has to do so.

Trade off is weight and price.

That said, I have it, but never use it. My solar seems to keep me happy, and I can live without AC and microwave most of the time.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:23 AM   #8
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My stock reply to "the Generator Question"...

1. If you shop for a generator that supplies just enough power, you'll never have enough.

2. Get a generator that can deliver well beyond the power you need. Otherwize you'll overtax your generator, shorten it's service life and possibly damage your electrical appliances.

3. Always determine how much power you use before you consider buying any generator.

4. Determine how much power you use buy getting one of these...

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AmWatt Load Tester

Check out my Scamp restoration video on Youtube, & my Ham Radio Blog. Or take the 50 cent tour...
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:26 AM   #9
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Like many other things in the RV world, it all depends on your camping style -- If you like to boondock, only need power to run battery charger, some lights, furnace, and maybe a small heater, then the weight and size of the small generator will be good for you.

However, if you want to run a/c, m/w, big heater, etc., then a larger one is needed. With these inverter generators that can run in background at very low (fuel sipping) speeds and then respond to the load, it's important to oversize a bit so the load doesn't stop the generator.

Also, with only the 1000 and 2000 models, you can by a second one and hook it to the first to get twice the power.

I forgot to mention that if your needs are really small, Honda used to make a 600W inverter model that can still be found used on EBay, etc. -- Very convenient and works at OhDarkThirty when you might need some heat...
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:14 AM   #10
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If a 1000 Honda is $800, you can buy a 2000w Honda for $1000, so your doubleing for $200. I have the 2000 and love it, it will even run the water hearter. I haven't tried my air conditioner as where we live and camp, I have never used it.,
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:39 AM   #11
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also, a lot of appliances need 3 times the amps the get it started. Most specs only list running amps. LIke an A/ may say only 6 running amps is needed but in your mind, remember 18 starting amps. Google should explain it better than I can.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:00 PM   #12
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The lightest generator that will run a 13.5 air conditioner is a Yamaha EF2400iS. There are several cheaper generators that are big enough to run an air conditioner but they are noisy and way too heavy to manage on a camping trip. The Yamaha is very quiet, very high quality and somewhat expensive. The lowest price I can find today is about $1,143 shipped. That is more than most people want to spend and it was more than I wanted to spend. It took a while but I finally concluded it was the least expensive generator that would do what I needed and that I could actually use. In my travels I occasionally find myself in areas where the weather is much too warm to sleep in a trailer without air conditioning. Aside from the air conditioning, it is a constant hassle to keep batteries charged in any weather. I sprung for The Yamaha last year and I am very pleased with it. I will not go camping without one in the future.

Life is much better with a generator but there are still problems to deal with. First is where to carry a generator while traveling then where to store it while camping. You can set it on the floor inside the door of the trailer while traveling but it is in the way. If you tow with a pickup you can haul it in the bed but you need to secure it with a cable lock and protect it from moisture. Do not try to run a generator in the rain. They are very attractive to thieves so you do not want to leave one out side at a camp site or in view unattended. You will want to cable and lock it even while you are running it and are in the trailer. It still weighs 80 pounds with gas and oil and that is enough to hurt your back. Lifting it in and out of the truck or trailer every time you use it or leave the campsite is a lot of work.

I wound up carrying my generator in the back of my pickup. I found a cable lock at Lowe's that I could run through the handles then through the crack where the tailgate hinges and down around the frame in front of the bumper. That serves to make it more difficult to steal and it also secures it from moving while driving. I can start, run and power my trailer without having to remove the generator from the truck. I used a little more than half of a plastic barrel as a weather proof generator cover. It fits snugly over the Yamaha generator and conceals it from view. The barrel was a used food grade barrel that cost $12 at a farm supply store. I measured and sawed it in half myself. I drilled a couple of holes in the flange so I could secure it with rubber tarp straps while traveling.

Here is a picture of the generator powering my trailer last spring.

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Old 12-15-2008, 07:49 AM   #13
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If a 1000 Honda is $800, you can buy a 2000w Honda for $1000, so your doubleing for $200. I have the 2000 and love it, it will even run the water hearter. I haven't tried my air conditioner as where we live and camp, I have never used it.,
About the best pricing we've seen on Honda genertors came from these people:
Wise Sales
I'd definitely check them out if you're looking to buy new. Comparison shopping is always a good thing!
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:56 AM   #14
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Here is a 2000 Inverter Generator with a 59dB noise rating worth looking at. I have NO idea if it is good or not.

On sale for $600.;marketcode=

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