Generators and SUV's?? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-16-2017, 08:17 PM   #21
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I understand that A/C may be required to be comfortable in places, but I don't understand sitting in a small enclosure ( a trailer ) with the A/C rattling your brain and a generator outside irritating everybody else.
I'd just stay home or go where it was more comfortable....
So I went to SC for the eclipse and saw a couple camping with a small tent and their small sedan with a tarp over the hatchback. I saw that at times they slept in the back of their car, but to fit in the back they had to have the hatchback open with their feet hanging out. And it got hot enough that they ran the car with the A/C on (no doubt inhaling dangerous quantities of carbon monoxide and other exhaust from the car).

Yes, these are people that should have stayed home.

And its true, you can't fix stupid.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:32 PM   #22
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1) inverter gennis are quieter (usually)...........
2) generally, no gennie is "acceptable" at night...unless everyone else is also using...or you are all alone.........
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:46 PM   #23
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Aren't the inverter generators quieter and generally more acceptable?
The inverter generators can idle down under light loads or no load, and so, use less fuel and are quieter.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:48 PM   #24
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We don't go camping from about the first of November until about the first of May . Why ? Because the ground is covered in snow , the campgrounds are closed and the temps are below zero.
Winter is a part of life on the frozen Tundra just as hot , humid , unberable summers are in parts of the US .
We have figured out that there is a time to camp and a time to stay home but evidently that fact has not reached the entire US.

I am tired of people who pull into their campsite , start their generator , go inside their trailer , shut the door , start their A/C and are never seen again until they head home.
I have as much right to my peace and quiet as others have to sit in
air conditioned comfort , probably more !
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:12 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I understand that A/C may be required to be comfortable in places, but I don't understand sitting in a small enclosure ( a trailer ) with the A/C rattling your brain and a generator outside irritating everybody else.
It is hard to understand how that can be fun. Wouldn't it be better to be in a hotel if the weather is that miserable?
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:37 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
We don't go camping from about the first of November until about the first of May . Why ? Because the ground is covered in snow , the campgrounds are closed and the temps are below zero.
Winter is a part of life on the frozen Tundra just as hot , humid , unberable summers are in parts of the US .
We have figured out that there is a time to camp and a time to stay home but evidently that fact has not reached the entire US.

I am tired of people who pull into their campsite , start their generator , go inside their trailer , shut the door , start their A/C and are never seen again until they head home.
I have as much right to my peace and quiet as others have to sit in
air conditioned comfort , probably more !
We went to Yosemite this summer. A huge motorhome pulled in next to us and they ran their generator most of the day and evening. All this while spending a good deal of their time out by the fire chatting with friends, not even in their rig. The owner did come by to say hi though, but it turned out he really came by to tell us we were parked incorrectly. He represented the main reasons I like to get away from the city, and the crowds in general, when camping. Making that abundantly clear to him would have been a wasted effort, and being tactful, a waste of creativity. No good reason to raise the tension level even higher with someone who is clue resistant.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:25 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I understand that A/C may be required to be comfortable in places, but I don't understand sitting in a small enclosure ( a trailer ) with the A/C rattling your brain and a generator outside irritating everybody else.
I'd just stay home or go where it was more comfortable. Which is what we did this year, what with forest fires and smoke in BC's interior and south of the border.
Glen, we camp year round, during those months of high heat and humidity, we just bring a fan (or two) and use them while sitting out sipping a cold beverage...the only time we get driven inside is around dark when the skeeters come out in mass numbers...then the AC is a godsend!!!!!
madjack

p.s. I guess we are acclimated to the heat and humidity like Steve is to the cold.........mj

p.p.s.we, also only camp where electricity is available...unless we goto our "special" spot in the deep Louisiana woods...the timid need not apply...........mj
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:28 PM   #28
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... We have figured out that there is a time to camp and a time to stay home but evidently that fact has not reached the entire US.
It can be a bit more complicated. Given our careers, the only time we have to truly vacation is small windows of time during the Summer. Summer in the south is hot. Cooler northern climate is enticing but too far away at this stage (we'd spend more time on the road driving to get there and back than vacationing). Yes, hotels have A/C, but we didn't spend our hard-earned money on a nice camper just to leave it parked in the driveway and pay more money to sleep on someone else's bed. And during the summer, in the south, hotels are mostly booked full with northerners coming down here to take their kids to the beach, and rooms can cost 10 times as much per night as a campsite. So for the same money we can pay for one night in a hotel room or 10 nights camping. I'll take the 10 nights camping and run the A/C through the night if that's what it takes to get a good night's sleep. But as Donna D reminds us, YMMV.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:56 AM   #29
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Aren't the inverter generators quieter and generally more acceptable?
The inverter generators are quieter, but still fall into the category of unwelcome noise and cannot be run during quiet hours. They're just a kind of unpleasant, constant humming noise to me.
Keep in mind that you will be filling that with gas regularly as well if you are using it to run your camper. That means you are carrying gas cans with you as well. Not something I would want in my SUV, and definitely would not want smelly cans in my camper either while traveling. The ones I've seen have been traveling in people's truck beds.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:05 AM   #30
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It can be a bit more complicated. Given our careers, the only time we have to truly vacation is small windows of time during the Summer. Summer in the south is hot. Cooler northern climate is enticing but too far away at this stage (we'd spend more time on the road driving to get there and back than vacationing). Yes, hotels have A/C, but we didn't spend our hard-earned money on a nice camper just to leave it parked in the driveway and pay more money to sleep on someone else's bed. And during the summer, in the south, hotels are mostly booked full with northerners coming down here to take their kids to the beach, and rooms can cost 10 times as much per night as a campsite. So for the same money we can pay for one night in a hotel room or 10 nights camping. I'll take the 10 nights camping and run the A/C through the night if that's what it takes to get a good night's sleep. But as Donna D reminds us, YMMV.
I know how you feel , we have a nice 20 ft pontoon boat that we bought with our hard earned money We too hate to see our boat sitting in the driveway gathering dust . Unfortunately we will be pulling the pontoon boat out of the lake next weekend because soon our lake will be one solid block of ICE. We would love to go boating year round but nature doesn't allow it.
So I figure we have 2 options , move to a warmer climate where the lakes don't freeze or not complain and live with it.

Maybe the State of Wisconsin could purchase an ice breaker to keep the lake open all year or better yet maybe me and my neighbors could heat the lake so it doesn't freeze .
I wonder how many generators that would take ?
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:38 AM   #31
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See what you started Betsy?

FWIW, From the Honda 2000 manual.

"The fuel tank cap is provided with a vent lever to seal the fuel tank."

The few times I brought along the generator and kept it just inside the trailer door I did not smell any fumes when I opened the door on arrival.

If I had to bring a gas can, which I didn't, I'd find one I could attach to the back of either the trailer or the vehicle, sort of like Jeeps use, but smaller.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:52 AM   #32
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The OP stated she was considering a generator for boondocking, so perhaps we can set aside the very contentious subject of generator use in developed campgrounds. Her question was about transporting a generator and fuel to a dispersed camping site without a pick-up truck.

One option is on the tongue of the trailer. There are racks to carry a small generator over the propane tanks. Those same tanks can also become the fuel source. You will need to secure the unit, since small generators are a large target for thieves.

Drawbacks to this solution are (1) cost- as much as $2K for generator, propane conversion, rack, security lock-down, LP hoses & fittings, A/C modifications, (2) fuel supply- the typical 2-20# LP tanks may not last long if running a fridge, water heater, and generator, (3) generator capacity- limited to the smaller 2000W units, and (4) tongue weight- depending on the trailer and tow vehicle.

Despite the limitations, this seems the best solution to me. It will only work with a smaller trailer and small A/C unit. You could save the rack and lock-down by transporting the generator inside the trailer, properly secured. I don't think inside the SUV is a good idea. You'll still need a cable & lock to secure it outside when in use. You could save the propane conversion and increase your fuel supply by transporting gasoline, but the only practical place to carry it is on the back of the trailer, requiring secure racks (more money), and I'm not sure I'm comfortable sharing the highways with distracted drivers while carrying potential bombs strapped to my back.

So... how much is A/C without hook-ups worth to you? That money will buy a lot of campsites with electric power during the hot months, and save the boondocking for cooler seasons, maybe?
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:13 AM   #33
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You can always do like many of us do and go with solar. Generators are on their way out. Many camp grounds ban them.
Solar is cheaper quiter and works well for many of us boondockers. I suggest you consider something other than a stinky, noisy generator.
Modern lighting and electronics are very low in energy consumption.
Batteries being what they are today, one battery can provide enough power for a week of conservative use. The only reason really left for a generator is for A/C.
Nothing wrong with solar panels but I haven't seen a sustainable and portable 2000W+ system which could reliably run an A/C.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:23 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The OP stated she was considering a generator for boondocking, so perhaps we can set aside the very contentious subject of generator use in developed campgrounds. Her question was about transporting a generator and fuel to a dispersed camping site without a pick-up truck.

One option is on the tongue of the trailer. There are racks to carry a small generator over the propane tanks. Those same tanks can also become the fuel source. You will need to secure the unit, since small generators are a large target for thieves.

Drawbacks to this solution are (1) cost- as much as $2K for generator, propane conversion, rack, security lock-down, LP hoses & fittings, A/C modifications, (2) fuel supply- the typical 2-20# LP tanks may not last long if running a fridge, water heater, and generator, (3) generator capacity- limited to the smaller 2000W units, and (4) tongue weight- depending on the trailer and tow vehicle.

Despite the limitations, this seems the best solution to me. It will only work with a smaller trailer and small A/C unit. You could save the rack and lock-down by transporting the generator inside the trailer, properly secured. I don't think inside the SUV is a good idea. You'll still need a cable & lock to secure it outside when in use. You could save the propane conversion and increase your fuel supply by transporting gasoline, but the only practical place to carry it is on the back of the trailer, requiring secure racks (more money), and I'm not sure I'm comfortable sharing the highways with distracted drivers while carrying potential bombs strapped to my back.

So... how much is A/C without hook-ups worth to you? That money will buy a lot of campsites with electric power during the hot months, and save the boondocking for cooler seasons, maybe?
I have a store return reconditioned Coleman 1850W generator which I bought for $175 about 15 years ago. I lugged it around a couple of times to run my MiniMach.
I came to the same conclusion as you have more than a decade ago and the Coleman now languishes in the shop waiting for a power outage at home.
I don't have solar either and haven't missed it either.
Camping habits make all the difference as to what is needed.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:33 AM   #35
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Aren't the inverter generators quieter and generally more acceptable?
They are not quieter under a full load, but they have the ability to idle down under a light load.
My old Coleman 1850 must maintain full throttle at all times to make voltage, so it is louder under light loads.
Both types are within a few decibels at WOT.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:14 AM   #36
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YMMV?

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It can be a bit more complicated. Given our careers, the only time we have to truly vacation is small windows of time during the Summer. Summer in the south is hot. Cooler northern climate is enticing but too far away at this stage (we'd spend more time on the road driving to get there and back than vacationing). Yes, hotels have A/C, but we didn't spend our hard-earned money on a nice camper just to leave it parked in the driveway and pay more money to sleep on someone else's bed. And during the summer, in the south, hotels are mostly booked full with northerners coming down here to take their kids to the beach, and rooms can cost 10 times as much per night as a campsite. So for the same money we can pay for one night in a hotel room or 10 nights camping. I'll take the 10 nights camping and run the A/C through the night if that's what it takes to get a good night's sleep. But as Donna D reminds us, YMMV.
I have forgotten, what is YMMV?
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:32 PM   #37
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I have forgotten, what is YMMV?
FWIW, YMMV is Your Mileage May Vary. LOL

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Old 09-17-2017, 04:18 PM   #38
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It can be a bit more complicated. Given our careers, the only time we have to truly vacation is small windows of time during the Summer. Summer in the south is hot. Cooler northern climate is enticing but too far away at this stage (we'd spend more time on the road driving to get there and back than vacationing). Yes, hotels have A/C, but we didn't spend our hard-earned money on a nice camper just to leave it parked in the driveway and pay more money to sleep on someone else's bed. And during the summer, in the south, hotels are mostly booked full with northerners coming down here to take their kids to the beach, and rooms can cost 10 times as much per night as a campsite. So for the same money we can pay for one night in a hotel room or 10 nights camping. I'll take the 10 nights camping and run the A/C through the night if that's what it takes to get a good night's sleep. But as Donna D reminds us, YMMV.
One of the things to consider is taking vacations in the winter rather that the summer.
There's a real nice Forest Service campground in the middle LA that we've camped in the January and March. If you have kids in school there's several holidays in the winter that they have off. A little flexibility go a long ways.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:56 PM   #39
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Generators

I ran a 12000 AC on a boat with a Honda 2000 but that was all it could handle. We now have a 9000 AC in our Casita and the Honda works well with that and all the 12v items, we have all LED lights, except we run the refigerator on propane, more efficient. We bought a shelf that goes over the propane tanks, we carry the Honda 2000 and a 3 gal outboard tank that is connected to the Honda for longer run time. Remember the weight of this shelf and contents will need to be added to tongue weight. Keep the size of the Gen to a minimun, only what is necessary. We turn AC off to use the microwave. Microwaves are normay used foe 2 to 5 minutes and AC is back on.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:10 PM   #40
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Back to the question of a generator & an SUV. I know of more than one owner that keeps a Honda generator is a plastic storage bin either in the back of the SUV or even in the trailer shower. Since the gas cap on the Honda generator can be sealed, there isn't a problem with gas fumes. That said, I traveled for the first 6 years towing an Escape 17 with a Toyota RAV4. Not only an SUV, but limited storage, both size & weight wise. My choice was to go with solar rather than a generator.

I don't usually camp in the humid south, but have wintered in the deserts of Quartzsite, AZ & Imperial Dam, CA. I've managed to live comfortably with the combination of a pair of 232 amp hour 6V batteries, 195 watts of solar on the roof & a portable 160 watt panel. By comfortably, I mean using a 1000watt inverter to power an electric toaster, coffee pot, microwave, keep various electronic devices batteries charged & run the furnace enough to go through a tank of propane every 10 days, etc. The only things I can't do is run the air conditioner or an electric heater. Still, I've managed to dry camp 91 days in a row without hardships.

Now I have a truck & an larger trailer (an Escape 21). I have thought that I should get a generator, but for the life of me I can't really come up with a good reason. It could happen, but so far I've been happy with solar.

I just finished a week at Page Springs BLM campground (dry camping) in Frenchglen, OR, and the majority of campers did not run generators. There were a few Hondas, and for a day or two one construction generator that could be heard throughout the campground, but for the most part most of us survived without them.
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