Generator options - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-03-2018, 07:45 PM   #1
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Trillium 1300 (1976)
New Jersey
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Generator options

My 1976 Trillium 1300 (needing some TLC) is in a storage yard without access to electricity for powering tools (drills, sanders, etc.).

Can anyone recommend a battery-powered generator that is small, lightweight, and can hold a charge for power tools for a few hours? (I don't have rechargeable tools, and would prefer to invest in a generator rather than new tools.)

I really, really do NOT want to have a gas-powered generator. I would prefer something that I can charge up the night before. Or power from a car battery or something similar.

Everything I look for online seems to be gas-powered or battery-powered meant to re-charge iPhones. I'd welcome any suggestions.

--Jim in NJ
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:37 PM   #2
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I think small/lightweight and holding a charge for power tools may be a contradiction in requirements. I have a portable inverter battery that would fit your needs but it weighs about 25-30 pounds because it has a sealed wet cell battery. You should be able to find one at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.

You might consider getting your trailer battery charged up, assuming you have one, and attach an inverter. That would provide essentially the same capabilities of a portable battery. These are readily available online and elsewhere at a reasonable cost. Just make sure you get one with enough Watts to power your tools. (You could also use your car battery to power the inverter.)
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Old 08-04-2018, 12:39 PM   #3
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The cheapest option to use your existing tools would probably be a deep cycle lead acid battery and an appropriate sized inverter. One tip for the inverter make sure you over calculate how many watts you need to start your tools. Tools with large motors like circular saws have a very high starting current.

I personally would consider a good value budget cordless tool set such as this.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-18-Volt-ONE-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Super-Combo-Kit-4-Piece-P883/203466914

I have years of trouble free use out of this set. They are also so handy for all kinds of other projects. I always see them in pawn shops for a couple bucks. If you buy used just make sure you get one that is compatible with the current lithium batteries they sell in the store.
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Old 08-04-2018, 12:50 PM   #4
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Name: Daniel
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I had the same situation working on a boat without access to power. I used an inverter on my truck. 1500W should be plenty for most things. The most power hungry item I had was a shop vac.
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:10 PM   #5
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I don't think I could think of any battery powered Inverter setup as a Generator really but you could sure get the job done that way if you had it.

I understand not wanting to get a Gas Genset but as was mentioned already using your vehicle with an Inverter should do a similar thing for you.

Also CHANGE YOUR MIND and get a name brand cordless tool collection going,really!
I promise you will not regret it.
The Ryobi line is both cheap and decent and always on sale at the big orange box store,just give them a look.
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post

Also CHANGE YOUR MIND and get a name brand cordless tool collection going,really!
....at the big orange box store,just give them a look.
Also agree with this. I got a DeWalt 20v cordless drill and the thing is powerful, almost as much as my corded drill. Battery powered tools have come a long way. Spend a little on quality tools and they'll do whatever you need with them.
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:40 PM   #7
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Name: Jim
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Thanks for all the replies. It seems like my original request does not have an easy and straight-forward answer.

I have bad experiences with cordless drills in the past (lack of power and discharged too quickly). Whereas, my corded tools have NEVER let me down :-)

But, I'm sure the technology has improved quite a bit, so maybe I'll look at a mid-priced cordless drill and sander next time I'm at the hardware store.
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Old 09-30-2018, 02:04 PM   #8
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Name: Jim
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Update: I was able to buy a power inverter, hook it to my car battery, and power an angle grinder with no problem. I was probably out there for an hour, and the car started up fine. Power inverter got a little warm, but nothing alarming. See pictures.
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Old 09-30-2018, 02:07 PM   #9
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Name: Jim
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Old 09-30-2018, 03:21 PM   #10
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A good set of cordless tools will cost about as much as a cheap inverter generator and it will run as long as you have gas.
You may find other uses for it as well.
If you get one use ethanol free gas and stabilizer because the main problem is that they don't get used that often.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:08 PM   #11
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Name: Joe
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If you buy cordless tools you should really go with DeWalt or Milwaukee.
Milwaukee makes the most different tools that all work with their battery, DeWalt’s selection is quite good too and you won’t be sorry you have them.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:24 AM   #12
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An inverter connected to the car battery is probably the best solution for what you want to do and it gives you the ability to use the tools you already have.

But a cordless set with a drill, impact and possibly a sander and skill saw, or sawzall, is amazingly useful. Just make sure you get lithium batteries! They are the standard now and way better than the older ni-cad. Modern cordless tools are very powerful and run a long time on each battery.

Home Depot and the Ryobi line are very good tools and about half the price of many others. It's not necessary to spend twice as much for tools that work very well. I've used and abused them for years and have a lot of them. On sale they are ridiculously cheap. The Kobalt line from Lowe's also seem nice.

But if you want continuous running, for hours and hours, or the ability to run a shop vac, use an inverter connected to your car battery. Just run an extension cord to the work area. No reason to buy a generator that I can see.
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