Question about Generators - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-06-2006, 08:26 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
jaye580's Avatar
 
Name: Jaye
Trailer: Scamp
Maine
Posts: 253
Registry
Send a message via Yahoo to jaye580
I have never had a generator- don't know how to use them, don't know how they work... but I am thinking of getting one to power the Scamps in the event I am without electricity. Can someone give me some information to get me started? I am not looking for something huge or complicated, just something portable that will power the essentials, lights, TV, fan, maybe microwave... Also since I want something portable, are they made so I can just plug the cord from the Scamp into the generator or are they alot more complicated than that???

Thanks in advance!!
__________________

__________________
Owner of the "Treasure Chest"
see my past projects here:
http://jayes2scamps.shutterfly.com/
http://www.facebook.com/jayeded
jaye580 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 10:45 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Bob H's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1983 Scamp 13 ft Standard
Posts: 359
Quote:
I have never had a generator- don't know how to use them, don't know how they work... but I am thinking of getting one to power the Scamps in the event I am without electricity. Can someone give me some information to get me started? I am not looking for something huge or complicated, just something portable that will power the essentials, lights, TV, fan, maybe microwave... Also since I want something portable, are they made so I can just plug the cord from the Scamp into the generator or are they alot more complicated than that???

Thanks in advance!!
Jaye,

Some of the new small portables are great if you can afford them and do not have a great demand for power...they'll run your lights, make coffee, run our laptop, small TV and some can even run a small microwave, in a pinch. And they're as easy as starting a lawn mower and plugging in.

But from my personal experience... The next time I buy one I'll hear how loud it is first.

1999, when I bought my house, I was in a spending mood and bought at Lowe's a Devilbiss 5250 watt PowerBack Generator...a honkin' big portable generator...in case the Y2K calamity really did happen, and for hurricanes cuz they tend to come by here in South Carolina.

Seven Years later, I've never used it for anything, although I've just recently become a Scamp Owner and now can use one. But this huge, $500, dusty monster, stuck under my workbench will never ever fire up while I'm camping because it's just too stinkin' NOISY! (It may be dusty but it is serviced regular and it RUNS)

For "the end of the world", or to power a house after a bad storm, this generator is IT! For camping, forget it.

If you want one, do this first...make a tally of all the electrical things you have that you want to use while running a generator. Add up the amount of wattage, make liberal estimates if you have to... better to figure more than less. By rule of thumb, a small dormroom size fridge takes about 350 watts to run and around 600 watts to start, a Small TV, around 300 watts. You'll be surprized how it can add up.

ALWAYS remember...you can NEVER have too much power and you'll OFTEN not have enough.

You'll need a larger sized portable if you want to run an air conditioner, or a microwave, both well take over 1000 watts to run and can soar to over 2500 watts to start. If any of those power hogs are in your plans, start shopping for a generator in the 3000 watt or larger range. (Hint: A small AC @5000BTU = 1470 watts/2500 watts surge)

All generators make noise, noise that you or your camping neighbor may not tolerate at 3AM, and typically, the most expensive are also the most quiet. As a rule, the quietest are the also the smallest and have the least capacity...do not buy a 2000 watt generator to run a AC or even a microwave.

There are very quiet, very expensive generators made by Honda and Yamaha and others, considered by many as the Cadillac of generators. The quietest generators have overhead valve engines.

There is hope for my big portable...there are aftermarket Quiet Mufflers I can buy, and I can build some kind of sound dampening structure to cover it up, or I can sell it to someone who is stone deaf. In any event, I'll make use of it someday.

Good Luck
ConwayBob
__________________

__________________
Check out my Scamp restoration video on Youtube, & my Ham Radio Blog. Or take the 50 cent tour...
Bob H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 11:06 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
jaye580's Avatar
 
Name: Jaye
Trailer: Scamp
Maine
Posts: 253
Registry
Send a message via Yahoo to jaye580
THANK YOU so much for all of that info! It is definately somethng to think about especially the money part as I can't afford the best of the best! This is a good starting place for me though and lots to take into consideration as I go forward with my new found knowledge!

On a different note- here in Maine we tend to loose power in the winter during a storm and the great ice storm of 98 left us with no electricity for over 2 weeks! Everyone was running out buying generators, but once the power came back on I don't think they have used them since!

Jaye
__________________
Owner of the "Treasure Chest"
see my past projects here:
http://jayes2scamps.shutterfly.com/
http://www.facebook.com/jayeded
jaye580 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 11:38 PM   #4
Moderator
 
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
 
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
California
Posts: 8,151
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson
Talking

Quote:
...something portable that will power the [b]essentials, lights, TV, fan, maybe microwave...

Also since I want something portable, [b]are they made so I can just plug the cord from the Scamp into the generator or are they alot more complicated than that?
To answer your 2nd question first, if you were to buy a Honda eu3000, then yes, you can just plug it directly in. If you got a eu2000, then you would need a 30 amp to 15 amp plug adapter. In my experience, a 1000 watt generator is too small for even a small microwave...

Your list of essentials intrigues me.

My Fiber Stream is equipped to run all of it's lights and the installed Fantastic Fan, plus the water pump, from a 12 volt battery. I just camped in a US Forest Service campground, totally boondocking. The battery drain totaled 1/2 volt, from 12.5 volts at the beginning to 12.0 volts after 4 days. I do try to conserve: no more than 2 lamps lit at the same time.

I just bought a 2nd battery to power a 300 watt inverter which runs my TV/VCR. I used it for a total of 2 hours during the entire 4 days...

My most critical use is my water pump, then the fan, then lighting. I prioritize to ensure that I have enough energy for what I really need.
__________________
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2006, 12:57 AM   #5
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
Freds experience with the 1000 watt gen set was with MY gen set.

For camping, that was one of the times it got the most use. I let another friend borrow it to power his fridge in a battery crash emergency.

Mostly, I use it for power outages at home

I don't have a microwave or AC. I can't remember the last time I felt compelled to take it camping. I have 60 whopping watts of no maintenance solar that keeps my trailer lit very well, and the battery charged with low voltage lights.

It will run my little cube heater, and does charge up the battery well, but I just don't use it in the field, so to speak.

My gen set is a Kippor, and I am very happy with it. My lack of use of it has nothing to do with performance. It is quiet, efficient and gets the job done when needed for small stuff. I can run my TV, a couple lights and the comp with it during the power outages.
__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2006, 05:05 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Nick's Avatar
 
Trailer: 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 257
Quote:
...do not buy a 2000 watt generator to run a AC or even a microwave.
.................................................. ..............................
...........................................
We have run the airconditioner in our 01-- 13 foot Casita and our present 04-- 17 foot Casita with a Honda 2000 with no problem at all. If you need to run the microwave simply turn off the air conditioner for a couple of minutes.
__________________
Nick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2006, 10:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Bob H's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1983 Scamp 13 ft Standard
Posts: 359
Quote:
.do not buy a 2000 watt generator to run a AC or even a microwave.
.................................................. ..............................
...........................................

We have run the airconditioner in our 01-- 13 foot Casita and our present 04-- 17 foot Casita with a Honda 2000 with no problem at all. If you need to run the microwave simply turn off the air conditioner for a couple of minutes.
Hi Nick,

Your Honda 2000 is a wonderful generator, and a 1300 watt micro or a small AC is individually within or at it's capacity, and I wish I could afford one, but if I could, I'd try to squeeze out the little extra cash to get the 3000 watt model... PLENTY more bang for the buck. If I'm spending $1000+, for a generator, what's an additional 10-20% in the price, if you get a 50% increase in capacity.

My statement was in relation to buying a 2000 watt generator if you do intend on making use of a microwave or air conditioner. Cost wize, buying a larger generator is not much, in it's relation to it's capacity. In other words, for a few dollars more you have much greater capacity and less need to budget your use. Call it the cost of convience.

Another consideration has to be be made for the generator's service life, all use factors being the same, a larger capacity generator will outlast a lesser one. If you run anything at it's limit, it will fail sooner than anything operating well within it's means.



Again, it's the adage, you can never have too much power, and you'll often have not enough.

Happy Campin'
ConwayBob
__________________
Check out my Scamp restoration video on Youtube, & my Ham Radio Blog. Or take the 50 cent tour...
Bob H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2006, 06:49 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Steve L.'s Avatar
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
Michigan
Posts: 1,690
Registry
Jaye580,

I suspect that for most of us, a generator is like an umbrella. You don't need it all the time. (Unless you live in one of the damp corners of the U.S.) If you're buying principally for home backup, then noise is less an issue and output is more important.

For camping, I have different priorities and quietness and portability are most important. I get along with a 1000 watt unit because A/C isn't a requirement. My 1000 watt unit will put out 900 watts continuous and I suppose I could run a 700 watt teeny-tiny microwave assuming the surge requirements aren't too gruesome at start up. But a microwave isn't one of my needs either. Nor is around the clock operation.

Solar doesn't suit my requirements because of my preferred camping locations.

One generator doesn't fit all applications. In case of a power outage at home, I've just moved into the trailer rather than trying to run the house on 1000 watts(!).

Some people being some people, they try to get by on the cheap, and the dollar savings seems to deaden their ears so that the clacky racket coming from their inexpensive generators doesn't bother THEM. That or an "in your face" attitude helps them along.

But not all generators are equal. Not all Honda (or Yamaha) generators are equal for that matter. And, hold on to your chair, not all advertised specs can be believed!

The inverter equipped types seem to be the quietest. My Honda makes a chuffing noise rather than the penetrating CLACK of Colemans, etc. Not that some of the other brands aren't working on quieting their units. Do the rail road crossing thing: Stop. Look. Listen. before you buy.

Horses for courses. Mac vs PC. Thule vs. Yakima. Solar vs. Generator. Red state vs. Blue state. T. paper over the top or under the bottom. Go figure. I only run mine for a few hours to top up the charge and only in the middle of the day. But, as quiet as it is, it still makes some noise. I'm making what I feel is a good faith effort, and invariably, there's a Coleman running somewhere in the camp drowning out whatever noise I'm making.
__________________
Quando omni flunkus, moritati
Steve L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2006, 02:37 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Brian B-P's Avatar
 
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
Posts: 5,000
Quote:
... My 1000 watt unit will put out 900 watts continuous and I suppose I could run a 700 watt teeny-tiny microwave assuming the surge requirements aren't too gruesome at start up...
Reasonable logic, but I don't think it's actually workable. Microwave ovens are advertised by their microwave power output, not their electrical power input. This is a good thing, but it means those of us concerned about limited power supply (not such a big deal in a typical kitchen) have to look further into their specs.

In a recent examination of available small microwave ovens, I noticed that the power [b]consumption is typically about 50% more than the power output. This is due to both inefficiency of the microwave generator, and the use of power for things such as the fan, light, and (often) turntable. That little "700 watt" oven will use over 1000 watts of power - too much for Steve's generator. The lowest-power ovens routinely available (which are also the smallest in volume and lowest in price) have about 650 watts of output, and many of those use just as much power as the slightly more powerful 700 watt units.

I bought a cheap microwave oven to try in our Boler, and plan to try operating it occasionally (hopefull almost never) from a 1000 watt inverter, which can handle more output (I think 1200 W) for short periods, so this inverter ideally has more capacity than Steve's generator (1200W peak and 1000W continuous, versus 100W peak and 900W continuous). I'm not convinced that this will work, but the specs say it should...
__________________
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 3,029
Send a message via Yahoo to Darwin Maring
Every big emergency such as Katrina, there are people who know nothing about a generator go out and purchase one then take it home and monoxide themselves to death by running it in the attached garage, house or to close to the house. There were several famlies that this happened to during katrina.

Some also connect it up to the house wiring without regard to the hazard it will create on the power lines if not connected with an approved isolation switch and there is a major possibility that they can electrocute a power worker hundreds of miles away.

When you purchase one, donít just read the manual (study the manual) to make absolutely sure you know how to operate the unit safely so you do not harm people, pets or the environment.

They are absolutely safe when operated according to the manual.
__________________
Darwin Maring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2006, 04:29 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Al V's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2005 17 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
Posts: 314
Send a message via Yahoo to Al V
A little offtopic but Brian mentionedrunning a microwave off an inverter. My experiance running a mircowave size unknown off a 1500 watt cont 3000 watt surge was. Don't try it .
i never heard such a sound comeing from the mircowave before. Best discribed as scotty saying she goona blow captin. it did warm water notice i said warm. normally a cup of water would boil in 2 mins . 2 min on the inverter was warm. i gave up the experiment and started the generator. BTW the mircowave never seemed to heat as well afterward but still makes popcorn it's only real function in life these days
__________________
Al V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2006, 04:55 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Brian B-P's Avatar
 
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
Posts: 5,000
A good point raised earlier is the waveform of AC power from an inverter: it is not a sine wave for most our our inexpensive inverters, but is sine wave from a conventional generator, and may be close from a good inverter-type generator. I don't know how sensitive a microwave oven will be to input power waveform; fortunately, my Wal-Mart trial unit is cheap enough that if I wreck it, it won't be too expensive an education!

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knows (Terry, with the oscilloscope?) what the power coming out of the inverter-type generators (e.g. Honda EU2000i) looks like.
__________________
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2006, 05:46 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
peterh's Avatar
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 1,519
Registry
Quote:
.do not buy a 2000 watt generator to run a AC or even a microwave.
.................................................. ..............................
...........................................
We . . . run the airconditioner . . . with a Honda 2000 with no problem . . . If you need to run the microwave simply turn off the air conditioner for a couple of minutes.
So here's a great question to a trailering pre-newbie (just started looking & like the FG trailers): Is there a device that can sense an overload on a "priority" circuit (like a microwave) and switch a lower-priority circuit (like the A/C) off until the priority circuit reduces its demand below threshold? A device like that would allow someone to buy a smaller generator that weighs less, uses less, makes less noise, and costs less, too.

--Peter
__________________
peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2006, 06:12 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Bigfoot Mike's Avatar
 
Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft
Posts: 7,317
Quote:
...do not buy a 2000 watt generator to run a AC or even a microwave.
I bought our Honda 2000 in 2001. I have run it in 113į temps to run our AC. Also, have shut off the AC for a minute or two to run our Microwave.

We have run it and had neighbors asked how we were powering our electrical items. When they walked up they realized we had a Generator. We talked to them in a normal voice while standing next to the generator. The Honda is just not that noisy. Yes there is some.

I am able to make sure my battery is good to go for our nighly medical needs.

For us, the small size makes it easy to transport, easy for my wife to start if she wants, and easy for me to load onto the trailer by my self.

I also have a 3500 Kipor and it weighs about 150 pounds. The Honda weighs 48 pounds. I would not be able to load and unload the Kipor.

Just my 2 cents. I hope this helps.
Mike

PS: The Honda will shut down if you over load it. It has a circuit breaker.
__________________

__________________
Bigfoot Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
generators Alexandra B Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 11 02-26-2009 09:37 AM
Generators Chester Taje General Chat 0 05-11-2007 09:01 PM
Generators Chester Taje Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 23 11-21-2005 09:09 PM
Generators Legacy Posts Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 62 04-26-2003 05:29 PM
generators jon farris General Chat 0 12-31-1969 07:00 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.