generator, inverter, and converter - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-24-2013, 06:02 PM   #15
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There are many wonderful campgrounds with electric hook-ups. There is simply no way for a person to know if their generator is about to wake up someone else's 2 yr. old that just got down for a nap. Unless one is camping in remote area of national forest with no one else around.

You might try using the bed heater to pre-warm the bed and then shut down to draw less from your battery, assuming you go to bed after little ones have gone to sleep, unless they wake up from the cold it should work. We used to use a rock heated next to the fire, wrapped in a towel, then stuffed in a cloth bag. Placed in the bottom of sleeping bag. Rocks would often still be warm the next morning.

Many solar panels will produce about 50% of rated power even in early morning late afternoon or indirect sunlight. Ask yourself how many days do you camp? Will you have enough battery if you lose 5-10% of the charge each day because the solar panel can't keep battery at 100%?

Worth exploring solar since hot generator carries a burn risk, and carrying fuel can is also at least some risk. Most fuel containers are not anywhere close to as crash resistant as your car gas tank. Add in weight, bulk, noise and solar starts to look pretty good.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #16
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So I'm not the only one that noticed that generator running away in the middle of other trailers and wondered why? What do you need it for at this time of day? But I was too polite to ask, that's a first
If you'd asked me, you'd learn that I'm running it in the middle of the day because that's when it is least likely to disturb other campers. I wouldn't be running AC or a microwave, I'd just be topping up my battery after 3 or 4 days boondocking. Mine is the Honda 1000 and I try to place it where the noise ( such as it is ) won't travel to other campers.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:38 PM   #17
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I may be a little behind on battery tech but I seem to recall charging a deep cycle was as much a matter of time as it was input power. Double the charging amps did not equal half the charging time to fully charged battery.

E.G 8 hrs of solar at 2 amp (really low) would yield a more fully charged battery than 2 hrs at 8 amp from a generator.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:44 PM   #18
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Baked potatoes and popcorn can both be cooked on a barbeque...
... or the propane stove, or even - gasp - the campfire!
Exactly my point.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:49 PM   #19
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Double the charging amps did not equal half the charging time to fully charged battery.
Yes, that's true of any battery. Double the charging amps does equal much less charging time... just not as good as half.

For best battery efficiency and best battery life, charge at a moderate rate; however, for various reasons it makes sense to me to minimize generator run time.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:54 PM   #20
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I agree that solar is the way to go...when you have sun. I've used solar panels on my sailboat for a month at a time to supply all electrical needs. But the 95-watt panel mentioned above costs almost as much as the Honda EU1000i, and might produce a fraction of its rated output where I typically camp.
I also agree that generators should not be a nuisance to your neighbors. In fact, I already own a Honda EN2500 for backup power for my house (it was necessary when I lived in Ohio and we had frequent prolonged power failures). But I would never consider using it camping because it's just too loud. The EU1000i, however, is around 45 decibels. Anybody who takes exception to its use in a neighboring campground needs to buy their own 50 acres and avoid state parks. In fact, I guarantee that the average volume of sound coming from my two kids far exceeds 45 decibels. I've seen the EU1000i running indoors at boat shows and you can have a conversation while standing next to it without raising your voice.
Regarding the propane furnace: I completely agree that burning stuff is a much better way to produce heat than electricity is. But the furnace in the Scamp is so loud that it wakes everybody up when it cycles. I researched alternatives, but it seems that the only other option is a catalytic heater, which only works if it's facing you, and there's no place in the Scamp to put it.
This is all good food for thought. I will try to cook the milk on the stove, measure the rest of my battery usage, and see if I can stay within what would be recoverable with solar in a day.
Bill
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:15 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
So I'm not the only one that noticed that generator running away in the middle of other trailers and wondered why? What do you need it for at this time of day? But I was too polite to ask, that's a first
.
I not only heard it myself although it was indeed a small one but pretty well everyone at the meet apparently heard it as well and as the Wagon Master I heard from pretty well all of them on the topic. LOL you were one of the few I didnt hear from! LOL Would love to have heard the answer to your question. I was to actually to scared to ask as I wasnt sure I really wanted to hear the answer.

Guess what the new rule regarding generators at our meets might be next year? The suggestion was made that perhaps another workshop on solar and power conservation was also in order for next years meet.

The issues of course not only was the sound but at issue was why a generator was needed in that size of trailer for only 3 days of camping to start with.

The cost and environmental argument was of course the center of the arguments presented against the use of a generator. The fact that a small Honda generator of the so called Super Quite type runs about $900 or more in these parts - with solar going at about just over a dollar a watt these days one could plaster the top of most fiberglass trailers with more solar than would ever be needed for that amount of money. I did present the argument on behalf of the generator owner that there actually wasn't enough room on the roof of the trailer for 900 watts Then there is the on going operating cost of the gas and the carbon footprint argument that goes along with that & the safety issues around carrying extra gas cans. Of course the fact the meet was in the backcountry of BC just added to the environmental debate as many/most felt the sound of the generator is an environmental pollutant - even though it was the middle of the day & people themselves were making a lot of noise at the time. The times are changing and it was pretty clear to me that peoples tolerance to generators is going downhill fast.

I have a 16' Scamp and managed to get out from April 1 to December 24th last year for over 160 days of camping and got by with only a small solar panel for well over half of those camping days. Having all LED lights helps out a lot and yes the original furnace is loud & a power drainer but if you only use it for a short time before bed and a short time in the morning its pretty tolerable. Add an extra bed cover and a hot water bottle and its pretty comfortable even in December.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:42 AM   #22
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The super quiet generators are quiet...last weekend a larger 5th wheel trailer was camped pretty close,maybe 200 feet from me and I only heard his twin honda 2000's when I was about 30 feet away and they were just purring. I had zero issues with it... I didnt need to run mine it dropped into the low 60's at night but to each their own. Solar is good but if you have a mounted rooftop unit and are parked in the tree's its not really going to do much to create power... so the generator is needed. Now if someone is running a loud construction kinda generator I would say something but there are plenty of them that are very quiet and could easily be playing some horrid music much louder. Tolerance is a good thing to learn...
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:14 AM   #23
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Generators are a tough call, mostly because of the cheap contractor units. They make a kind of “clacking” type sound that really carries.

My Honda 1000 doesn’t run above idle when the trailer is plugged in and the converter is charging at full tilt. I characterize the sound as a “chuffing” and it’s virtually inaudible beyond the campsite. I try to point the muffler off towards an unoccupied area as a further aid.

My annoyance is largely directed towards those characters who roll up, set up, then it’s on to the radio way louder than my generator. Even if I like their choice of music I don’t need it jammed down my throat (ears?). And it's not my generator they're trying to drown out as it happens generator or not.

Like the OP, my sites are almost always heavily forested. I’m just not going to spend my time chasing a sunny spot around my campsite. I’ll go solar when I retire and make my grand tour of the southwest and up through the badlands. Maybe I’ll bring a small tree in a pot to show around since they appear to be so rare out there.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #24
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As quiet as the Honda 1000/2000 UI generators are I am still annoyed by them when they run for extended periods right next to my site. I am however thankful that they aren't as loud as some of the other "hammer of Thor" generators I've heard.
Just as I don't want to hear a diesel truck idling endlessly while camping I also do not want to hear a small car idling, or one of these quiet generators. It's just unwanted and unpleasant background noise that greatly defeats the sound of nature we are there to enjoy.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:50 AM   #25
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Well sorry in advance but unless you camp in the middle of nowhere there is always going to besomething that can annoy you... yelling kids, music, generators, people etc...but if I need to run my Yamaha I'm going to...its an imperfect world so I just learn to tolerate unless its unbearably loud after dark. The quiet generators are fine by me...**** this weekend I had 3 friends complaining about the cicadas
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:53 AM   #26
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Everybody wants something different from their camping experience. Everybody’s tolerance level is different. No one gets to impose their way on everybody else. Beyond radios, yapping dogs and hoodlum (that would be all of them) children are unwarranted to me and ruin MY camping experience. Makes me appreciate those who clean up after their pets and who keep kids and pets down to a low roar.

Yikes, Deryk and I were typing away at the same time saying something similar.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #27
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That's why I always used room temperature water for formula bottle feeding. It gives you more freedom on the road. :-) perhaps time to wean off the heat. They get used to it. And I'm told they never starve themselves ;-)

I prefer stove top popcorn to microwave any day ;-)
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #28
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Do keep in mind that 1,000 watts of power is peak output for that generator, and that Honda's famously touted "only 65db's" of noise is measured at idle. Not to mention at fifty feet away...

You haven't experienced True Ear Pain until you power up a 1,000 watt microwave with a 1,000 watt generator. The generator screech will knock the birds out of the trees at your boondocking site.

If all this to-do is really about the little one's milk, I recommend you try those shelf-stable single-serving milk boxes. I doubt the difference between room temp and the target temp will be detectable, and if it is carrying one around in one's pocket for an hour should bring it up to the proper level. As for nightime warmth, put two-piece sweats (tops with hoods) on them instead of jammies before you zip them in their bags. This works well in all temps.

Good luck and have fun!

Francesca, experienced Grandma.
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