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Old 09-16-2017, 03:40 PM   #1
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Name: Betsy
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Generators and SUV's??

Hi,

Would eventually like to buy a generator to make boondocking in a TT possible. Was more interested in towing using an SUV rather than a truck, but wondering how do people use generators if they don't have an open bed truck to store them in? Do they remove them from the trunk of their SUV? Sounds like if one goes with a 3000 watt generator you risk back injury or if you go with two 2000 watt generators you risk loss due to theft?

Any ideas? One has to run a diesel or propane fueled generator outside of a vehicle right? Sorry I'm a newbie trying to figure out best configuration.

Thanks,

Betsy
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:42 PM   #2
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What do you plan to run on the generator?
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:48 PM   #3
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We camp off grid or boondock without a generator
We have a solar panel to charge our trailer battery which works well
We have a full size truck but we fill the truck bed with things we actually need and use camping

Good Luck

I would get a 10 KW diesel generator to insure all your power needs are met plus you will gain the love and respect of all those camping around you ��
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:50 PM   #4
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I think it would be nice to have the option to run AC on it if we were full timing. . . That I understand is the biggest draw.
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:55 PM   #5
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We are shade loving people and we think that if we were considering full timing we would want the capability to have AC even when boondocking. Let me know if I'm wrong, but I believe solar is going to be more impractical if you are always choosing the shadiest sites. And no amount of solar (Short of a solar farm) is going to power AC.

But yes in theory I like the idea of solar. . .
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:38 PM   #6
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Depending on the air conditioner you may get away with a single 2000. At times we carried ours just inside the door of the trailer. Pulled it out and locked it to the bumper when we setup. You also have to think about a gas can.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by padlin00 View Post
Depending on the air conditioner you may get away with a single 2000 [watt generator]
See this link for a modification to the A/C that people have used to get the A/C to run with a 2000 watt gen.

https://www.microair.net/products/ea...nt=30176048267
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:49 PM   #8
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1) gas, diesel or propane is strictly your choice...you can get a conversion kit to change most gas run gennies to propane...These are thirsty and will suck a 20# tank dry pretty quickly................
2) if anywhere, except, all alone in the deepest woods, there will probably be a quiet time between 10PM and 8AM...possibly even more restrictive to 2 hrs morn and 2hrs evening...regardless, other non-gennie users WILL resent your usage of a gennie..........
3) a 2000watt genie should run your AC and lights, THAT IS ALL...you would need to run fridge on propane and turn AC off to run microwave or other electric cooking appliances, even a hairdryer or an electric coffee maker...to cover ALL electric needs and usages you would need at least a constant 3500 watt gennie.............
4) I personally would do everything in my power to avoid a gennie (unless in VERY deep woods)...keep in mind, these are small spaces and most of your time will be spent outside........
5) I am from the deep South(heat and humidity) as well as on cpap therapy so I always camp where there is electricity at the least...I do boondock in a very special place and use my 2500watt constant Kipor for power at night...I carry this gennie, along with a couple of gas cans in back of my full sized truck............
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Old 09-16-2017, 06:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosaK View Post
Hi,

Would eventually like to buy a generator to make boondocking in a TT possible. Was more interested in towing using an SUV rather than a truck, but wondering how do people use generators if they don't have an open bed truck to store them in? Do they remove them from the trunk of their SUV? Sounds like if one goes with a 3000 watt generator you risk back injury or if you go with two 2000 watt generators you risk loss due to theft?

Any ideas? One has to run a diesel or propane fueled generator outside of a vehicle right? Sorry I'm a newbie trying to figure out best configuration.

Thanks,

Betsy
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.
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Old 09-16-2017, 06:49 PM   #10
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Consider a generator converted to propane. Now you eliminated the smell, carry the gen in the SUV, mount dual propane tanks on the tongue, and no gas cans required.

Yes any fueled generator must be run outside the vehicle. You could cable lock it to the camper.

Also, depending on your A/C size, and if needed adding the easy start kit to the A/C as mentioned, a single 2000w may very well suffice.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:07 PM   #11
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shade and a cord

Many who have solar, use a longer cord from the frames to the camper, that allows the camper to be in the shade and the solar units to be in the light, and they can be moved during the day to get max charging. When we get to that point, that is my plan. 2 - 100 watt frames with possibly 2 batteries, since I have a cpap, and will likely have other things to run from the DC.
But I think I will be boondocking in the weather that doesn't need A/C and beibg a little closer the shore power when I need the A/C
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RosaK View Post
We are shade loving people and we think that if we were considering full timing we would want the capability to have AC even when boondocking. Let me know if I'm wrong, but I believe solar is going to be more impractical if you are always choosing the shadiest sites. And no amount of solar (Short of a solar farm) is going to power AC.

But yes in theory I like the idea of solar. . .
Sounds like you are assuming that solar must be mounted on the roof of the trailer. Not so. But it also sounds like you are looking at 120 volt power like you would at home and tied to the grid. Not a good plan for boondocking.

If you want constant 120 volt power, you'll be running the genny full time and need lots of fuel. You won't be making too many friends with a constantly running generator either.

Maybe you need a large motorhome with a built-in generator tied to a large fuel tank that can be run whenever you want and for as long as you want. It probably comes down to your definition of boondocking.

Or, you might consider how to use 12volt power effectively, charge with a solar system on the ground near your camper and have an inverter for short term 120 volt loads.

Sure, you can have full time 120 volt power with enough amperage to run an arc welder, air conditioner, microwave and run an electric coffee maker at the same time, but the practicality of it is that you won't. Camping usually isn't about having every convenience you have at home, such that you simply flip a switch for power. But you can do things differently and get by just fine.

Start by defining what boondocking is to you. Then figure out what kind of infrastructure is needed to support that model. Then decide if that is the approach you want to pursue. Then adjust your model as needed. Generators that support a lot of equipment are going to be heavy, use a lot of fuel and be noisy.

An inverter can run your microwave a bit and run your DVD player. Jumper cables from your TV can charge your trailer battery and a 120 volt receptacle in the car can charge the computer and the phone. Or a cigarette lighter plug inverter can charge the phone and computer. All day air conditioning might be better with a shore tie connection, or go outside and enjoy the weather. Run the fridge and water heater on propane.

Or, as previously suggested, get a 10K diesel generator and build your own shore tie power station.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:16 PM   #13
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Betsy, Despite the naysayers, generators are often used where allowed. The issue is more one of common sense courtesy with your neighbors. We know many who are very happy with a pair of small, light (and expensive, but you get what you pay for) Honda generators - a standard EU2000i paired with a EU2000i "Companion" model (see web link below). Each weighs around 45 pounds, so relatively easy to move, there is a lock plate accessory so each can be locked down for relative security (for example to the camper tongue or rear bumper), and they have an "eco" mode at 59 decibels at load (very quiet for a generator). You can run just the standard model for most everything requiring 15 amp, then link up and crank up the Companion for a combined 30 amp if/when you want to run the A/C (in cool weather, just leave the Companion at home). Although the fuel tank on each is relatively small (~ 3 hour run time), since they have a positive pressure fuel pump, you can link them each to a larger fuel tank (like a 5 gallon gas can) to run both all night if you wish. Just today, I visited two sights with this set-up - a 6 gallon portable motorboat fuel tank, fuel line hoses and splitter with lines then going to a pair of Honda generators mentioned above. It was a relatively cool day, so both were running just the primary generator at the time, the generators were located at the rear of the camper, and you could barely hear it running. If you're worried about your neighbors, just wait until they go for a nature walk or a bike ride to crank up your generator(s), charge your on-board battery, cool down your cabin, etc., etc. I hope this helps. Best of luck.
Honda EU2000i Companion Model Info | 2000 Watt Inverter Generator | Honda Generators
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:23 PM   #14
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Aren't the inverter generators quieter and generally more acceptable?
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:30 PM   #15
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Couldn't you just sit in your car with the A/C on rather than using a generator and A/C to cool a trailer? I must say, I don't grasp the concept, but I don't have, or need A/C.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:38 PM   #16
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Betsy, Just a couple ideas on what others have done. One photo is of what I understand was a custom-built generator box (generator actually runs inside the box). The other shows how someone incorporated three 2"x2" receivers on their rear bumper to mount an oversized storage container, but one could just as easily build a generator platform for each of the two outside receivers and a gas can platform for the center receiver (assuming local laws allow) and still be under the 150 lb total weight allowed on the rear bumper. Just some ideas....
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:44 PM   #17
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Couldn't you just sit in your car with the A/C on rather than using a generator and A/C to cool a trailer? I must say, I don't grasp the concept, but I don't have, or need A/C.
Glenn, you need to come visit the Gulf Coast in late July or August when nighttime lows can still be in the 80's (Fahrenheit, since were U.S.!). I think you'd gain a whole new appreciation for A/C. I grew up above 9,000 feet elevation in Colorado and thought it was stupid to pay to have A/C in a vehicle much less install it in a home. After living in Alabama for over 30 years, I don't know how anyone survived here before A/C.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:51 PM   #18
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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. Which is what we did this year, what with forest fires and smoke in BC's interior and south of the border.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:01 PM   #19
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Aren't the inverter generators quieter and generally more acceptable?
I'm not sure, but I think the inverter part makes it safer to charge/operate "delicate" electronics like smart phones, iPads, laptops, etc. And I think the quieter aspect relates more to a better muffler and the "Eco" throttle that runs at low rpm unless load demands more amps. Can others provide a better answer?
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:02 PM   #20
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It's a long way from the SE to temperate summer places, and unless you're retired, shorter trips closer to home are what many do.

A generator is fine for boondocking. I would try to keep my needs down to what a small, quiet 2000W can handle, including a small AC for those sultry summer nights. Problems carrying, moving, and securing a small generator are much more manageable.

If you're going to be in a developed campground, hookups are the only way, because you can't run a generator at night.
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