Considerations when buying a generator - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-11-2018, 04:05 PM   #1
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Considerations when buying a generator

Hi,

After an extended power outage at the house, I am starting to look at a portable generator that will work well as both a house backup for refrigerator, phone charging, space heaters AND for use when RVing.

I've heard good things about the Honda units for quality and quietness, but wanted to hear your thoughts on brand, size, power, fuel type, and anything else which would help when purchasing a unit which would work well for both use cases.

Are there restrictions at campgrounds, state/national parks, etc related to running generators?

How much fuel do you keep with you when traveling and any suggestions around fuel containers/storage?

I would expect to transport in the back of a Tundra when traveling.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:17 PM   #2
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They get pretty heavy pretty fast.

Restrictions at parks for running generators? You bet, lots of them both sound and times of day.

Honda and Yamaha are recognized as the best and priced accordingly!

You need an inverter/generator if you want to use it camping. And they cost a lot more. I ended up buying a Champion 2800, electric start, RV ready (your RV will plug right in), Costco. Bought a dual fuel model I would not do that again. It’s a lot more cost effective to run on gas versus propane. The Champion runs about 10 hours on a gallon of gas, so I carry a one gallon can and keep the generator full.

One propane cylinder, $15 to fill, runs 15 hours +/- and puts out less wattage.

Honda costs almost 3 times the Champion. Sure it’s better, but in the end I couldn’t justify the added $$$. If you want to run stuff around the house, particularly heat, then you will need a 3000. One box electric heater can draw 1,500 watts by itself!
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:58 PM   #3
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thank you for the great information Bill!

kindly let me know if you have any additional thoughts after sleeping on it
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biker View Post
Hi,

After an extended power outage at the house, I am starting to look at a portable generator that will work well as both a house backup for refrigerator, phone charging, space heaters AND for use when RVing.

I've heard good things about the Honda units for quality and quietness, but wanted to hear your thoughts on brand, size, power, fuel type, and anything else which would help when purchasing a unit which would work well for both use cases.

Are there restrictions at campgrounds, state/national parks, etc related to running generators?

How much fuel do you keep with you when traveling and any suggestions around fuel containers/storage?

I would expect to transport in the back of a Tundra when traveling.

Thank you in advance!
NOT ONLY are there lots of restrictions for generator use in campgrounds, there is more every day.
Example 3 years ago there was two rows of non-generator use and 6 hours per day max usage in upper part at Organ Pipe Cactus NM. Now there's 3 rows of non-generator use and only 4 hours per day of usage. The rules are enforced.
As time goes on I expect we'll see less and less generator use allowed.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:22 PM   #5
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I have a slot in the back of my pickup. I lower the tailgate and pull the generator out on the tailgate when I am running it with the exhaust facing out the back. If the exhaust is facing the side of your truck, you could damage paint, etc. I keep a cable lock on the generator, locked to a tie down on the side of my bed. Although I have a RV extension cord, I find the stock cord on my Escape is long enough.

Generator with gas weighs about 110 pounds. Electric start means a battery and added weight, but its worth it. Lifting it out of the truck is not a big deal. Getting it back IN is a big deal.


https://www.costco.com/Champion-DUAL...100284958.html


I was intrigued with this one. Its an off brand, but inside it has a Yamaha motor. It was out of stock, so that made the decision for me. My only complaint was no electric start, otherwise, its a nice unit.

https://www.costco.com/Atima-2600-wa...100400514.html


We used ours several times on our Alaska trip this summer. Yellowstone was 8am to 8pm as I recall. I only ran it for an hour each morning to charge up batteries and to run my Keurig coffee maker. For heat when we didn't have hookups, I relied on the propane furnace. We camped at Yellowstone for four nights, a shorter stay and I would not have run the generator.

Most campgrounds will not let you run one at night, so don't count on powering the AC while you are sleeping, unless you sleep during the day.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:24 PM   #6
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I have an 1850 Coleman which I have used for years mostly to run (alternately) freezer, furnace, fridge during power outages and occasionally for camping.
I recently bought a 5500W NON-RV generator which can run all essential home stuff. It was used but only had a few hours on it. It was WAY cheaper than a new 2000W Honda RV rated Genset.
If your budget allows for a new 2200W Honda RV genset, it will do what you want Marginally at home, and work great for camplng with most fiberglass RVs.


Personally, I am especially glad that I bought my little reconditioned 1850 Coleman RV rated genset 15 years ago for $125 bucks. It proved to work well for my Scamp A/C, but more importantly It has worked great for collecting DUST in the corner of my shop for over a decade now, since I found that I haven't needed it for camping.
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:08 PM   #7
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All great information. Thank you.

I also read that two of the Honda (identical model) 2200 units can be paralleled with a cable/cord for up to 4400 watts of power so wonder if that would be a good solution - run two in parallel at the house and one when camping.

Does anyone have experience running two units in parallel?

Without a doubt the Honda route is pricey.
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:22 PM   #8
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All great information. Thank you.

I also read that two of the Honda (identical model) 2200 units can be paralleled with a cable/cord for up to 4400 watts of power so wonder if that would be a good solution - run two in parallel at the house and one when camping.

Without a doubt the Honda route is pricey.
If you are even considering that option... Buy only one with that capability, then keep your powder dry for use after you decide later that you need the second.
The thing is, one will be enough for camping and a much larger home unit will cost a lot less than a second Honda.


Look here....https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect...Portable%20NEW
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:43 PM   #9
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Good point.

This is the 2nd time I heard the Generac name in 2 days so maybe it's an omen.

Noticed that sale ends tomorrow - like most sales
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:46 PM   #10
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Biker, my best bud has been repairing small equipment for 50 years. I asked him which brand to get back when I was looking for a genny 15 years ago. His answer was Honda as they rarely came in for repairs. Tech improvements and new brands out now may have made a difference . We have power outages often and the 2000 works well for all the household needs.
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:57 PM   #11
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I've had a few Honda 2000's for power, fuel economy, and weight. I did have a 3000 electric start for awhile and loved the electric start with remote. Get up in the morning in your skivvies and just hit the button. After awhile I decided I really didn't need that much power. In fact I bet a 1000 would work just fine.


Recently, on a recommendation, I did purchase a Harbor Freight 3500 electric start. I've yet to try it out but for $650 US on sale I think it will be worth a try. I haven't even taken it out of the box yet.


These were all inverter generators.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:01 PM   #12
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We’ve had a Honda EU3000is for around ten years. Our reasons for buying were similar to yours - camping and home use (we live in rural northeastern NC with hurricanes and ice storms). At the time it was purchased, my job required a good bit of overnight travel and I wanted a unit with electric start for my wife's convenience. Its actually slightly quieter than the EU2000 series as it doesnt have to rev as high to handle the same load. The larger tank enables it to go over twelve hours without refueling at half throttle. I carry a five gallon Scepter MFC with non-ethanol if we camp with the generator. No experience with propane or the new EU2200 model.

It rides in the bed of the Tacoma when we’re camping with just a Tyvek cover and seems none the worse for wear. At 160 lbs, its about as much as i want to handle but I’ll soon be 70. We mostly boondock but agree with Byron that there’s a trend towards expanded no-gen sections and reduced hours in public campgrounds. The rangers may be enforcing areas and hours but, from my limited experience, they aren’t doing much about the decibel limit regs. Please don’t get a contractor grade genset if you plan to camp in developed cg’s.

Figure out the wattage requirements for everything you’ll be using concurrently to determine what size you need. For use around the house, i expect 3K will be the minimum. A lot of new products have hit the streets since we bought the Honda and there may well be other choices as good or maybe even better. Ours has around five hundred trouble free hours with just routine maintenance - we’re satisfied.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:34 PM   #13
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No doubt that Honda Rv gensets are good.
They should be! I saw a movie once where the leading man made this comment...
"It only costs twice as much to go first class"



My Coleman 1850 is crude and cheap in comparison, but I bought it for $125 because it was returned new with a bad carb gasket. I owned for about 14years without any maintenance or repairs and it still runs.


The inverter types like the Honda are clearly superior and until recently had no real competition in technology. So now that movie quote really applies.
Guess I'll stick with coach.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:38 AM   #14
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Kind of like the Oliver versus Casita argument. No doubt the Oliver is the nicer trailer. Similar floor plan, although the Oliver is quite a bit bigger. 3X the cost.

Me, I don't use a generator that often. I would rather have the difference in my pocket. I am willing to compromise quality versus price on something I consider non-essential. I thought long and hard about the HF generator, reviews on it are pretty good. Of course it is not Honda quality.

Just bought a Harbor Freight tool cart for $179, their big five drawer one. The similar but better Snap On cart is $1200. The HF has more drawers, and to the untrained eye looks almost identical.

+100 Don't be that guy at the campground with the loud as hell open frame generator! I see them from time to time, everyone else suffers with the noise, we all hope the park ranger will shut them down. Generators have gotten a bad rap thanks to those guys....
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