AC and the Honda 2000 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2018, 12:24 PM   #1
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AC and the Honda 2000

I went through this exercise several years ago, but am looking at it again. I bought a Bigfoot trailer without any rooftop air conditioner and was looking to match one to my Honda 2000 generator. I talked to a technician at the Coleman factory in Wichita who highly recommended the Coleman Mach 1 Power Saver. I installed one of these and was highly pleased with it. That model was rated to require from 1080-1340 running watts. The Honda 2000 produces up to 1600 running watts. At the time I was living in a low elevation state and all was well.

I have since sold that trailer, moved to high elevation in Colorado, and bought another Bigfoot with factory-installed Dometic 11,000 BTU air conditioner. The Honda 2000 would not keep up with this unit. Rather than swap out the AC, I bought the Honda Companion gennie and now run the pair in tandem. All is well, except I now use double the gas and have to contend with two 46 pound gennies.

A friend of mine just bought a trailer with no AC and is asking for advice on matching a new AC with her Honda 2000. Here we go again. The most efficient rooftop AC I can find online now is the Coleman Mach Power Saver 3. It is advertised to run on 1075-1320 running watts even though it is a 13,550 BTU unit. If it will do that, I wish I had one. Also wish I had one of the new Honda 2200 generators that will put out a couple hundred more running watts. Anybody on this forum have experience with the Mach 3 AC?

The unknown factor here is that generators are known to produce less power at high elevation, but I haven't really found a chart that states by how much. I don't really know how many running watts a Honda 2000 will produce at 8000' or higher. Sometimes I need to use the tandem set up just to run the microwave, when one gennie will easily do it at low elevations.
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:38 PM   #2
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I have questions about this too, but from a different direction. The Honda is an inverter generator, making AC, converting it to DC and then inverting the DC to AC. I believe the loss in power is due to the engine struggling in the thinner air which can be cancelled out by using a high altitude jet. It's not all that hard to get at the jet in the Hondas, just exercise some cleanliness while swapping them back and forth. I suspect a properly jetted Honda makes the same power at altitude as it does at a lower altitude with the stock jet.
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:35 PM   #3
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Usually AC at high altitudes is not needed...
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:38 PM   #4
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steve l I sure didn't know these things strange way to do it. interesting I don't want one though I have a/c and never run it!!


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Old 04-19-2018, 07:33 PM   #5
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I suspect a properly jetted Honda makes the same power at altitude as it does at a lower altitude with the stock jet.
Hmmm... I always heard the old pilot's rule of 3% power loss per 1000 ft, based on difference in air density (for a normally aspirated IC)?
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:48 PM   #6
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I have a Colman Polar Cub 9200 BTU and my Honda 2000 has no trouble starting it. I normally only need to run my air at half power on hot days.

Power decreases 3.5% for each 1,000 feet above an altitude of 500 feet. For
example, to operate at 4,500 feet (4,000 feet above rated generator altitude)
multiply 3.5% x 4 (4,000 ft) = 14% power loss. Then multiply .14 x your
generator’s power rating: 4,000 watts x .14 = a loss of 560 watts at that altitude.

Power decreases in extreme temperatures by 1% for each 10° F (5.5° C)
above 85° F (29.4°C).
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:06 PM   #7
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Power decreases 3.5% for each 1,000 feet above an altitude of 500 feet.
No wonder my 2000 runs so well, I'm at 597' .
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:31 PM   #8
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A high altitude jet might help, but I suspect you'll still lose output power at that elevation. Have you considered a MicroAir EasyStart along with the new Honda 2200 watt generator? There are also some 2500 watt units out there with decent reviews, like the Westinghouse iGen 2500.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:46 AM   #9
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I saw the jetting table for the hondas a year or two ago. I remember my kid was annoyed because he lived where one jet was optimal but often camped where the next higher one was optimal. I think he's ending up getting a diesel Onan RV generator and mounting it on his army truck where the toolbox was, the diesel is EFI and self compensates for elevation.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:02 AM   #10
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steve l I sure didn't know these things strange way to do it. interesting I don't want one though I have a/c and never run it!!


bob
I had the A/C on once in 4 years, Most of the times we are in the woods/mountains. Went to V Beach for 7 days one time, was a nice breeze all day, did not need the A/C, but that was in Oct. You put the fantastic fan on, open the windows your set most of the time. Don't really camp in July, August. Carl
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:32 AM   #11
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I suppose that is one advantage of living/camping where Sea Level Rise might put your place under water, no need to re-jet the Honda! Seriously though, IF I needed more power than my beloved Honda 2000 put out (and I don't) I think I might seriously consider one of the larger HF Invertor gens (https://www.harborfreight.com/engine...tor-63584.html) instead of buying another Honda. I love my Honda, but when you get into buying and maintaining (and keeping up with) two of them.............
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:34 AM   #12
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We had an Airstream with a 11k Dometic and one 2000 was very marginal on a hot day at 2500'. I would unplug the Refeer and run it on gas. Sometimes it was ok and some hot day it was not.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:48 AM   #13
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I just watched a video on the EasyStart. Very intriguing technology if it performs as advertised. A lot of users claim they can run even a 15000 BTU rooftop air conditioner with one Honda 2000. It would be a $300+ investment to find out if it would work for me.

In the area I moved from, my house was at 4000' elevation. But I was camping anywhere from sea level to 8000 feet. I just used the standard jets on my Honda gennies. I did notice considerable power loss at the high camps.

My hottest trip last year was at a reunion in the California Central Valley in June. Daytime temps were well over a hundred. But elevation was about 500 feet. My air conditioner kept up just fine with the double Honda power.

My new house is at 7500' elevation and I expect to be camping up to 10,000 feet. Granted, I won't often need air conditioning at those elevations. But I do intend to re-jet the Honda carbs for more efficient operation. I am going to wish that was a more quick and simple operation than it is. Because I will still want to take trips to the low elevations at times.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:26 AM   #14
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Using Honda EU2000i on Propane with 13.5 KBTU Briskaire

David and Nancy
I was one of the early installers of the Microair Easy-Start for my Briskaire 13.5 KBTU AC running off my Propane Modified older Honda EU2000i Generator. There are several long threads about it on this reflector if you do a search. My modified genny loses about 15% or so on propane and would not reliably start the AC even on full run mode. I am at about 575' ASL and it now starts and runs reliably even on Econo Mode. You may have to shut off the fridge and charger circuits. I did not buy the fully enclosed 364 unit for $299 but the bare board 366 for $158 (Cheaper a few years ago) as I had the start capacitor already and was able to easily wire it myself - not much harder than using the 364.
Also, you 'may' still be able to get a bit of a discount if you contact them telling about this FiberglassRV,com site. They had been doing that.
I am really pleased with it and feel that it adds to the comfort as it no longer bangs and hums each time the compressor cuts in, even on shore power.
YMMV and I have no connections with the company.
Good luck.
Mike .....>
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