Considerations when buying a generator - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-20-2018, 12:33 PM   #41
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Name: John
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I won't be running my generator inside, so not sure that is a big consideration. Some of the propane kits keep the existing carb and allow the engine to run on either gas or propane, or even natural gas. My only interest here is in using them for camping, so natural gas in not part of it.

I would not worry about wearing the engine out sooner by running it hard, or switch to propane just to possibly make the engine last longer. Not likely to wear one out in normal use and they produce so little power that is often not feasible to run them easily. But that is one benefit of the inverter style, they idle down on light loads. In my case, by the time it idles down, I'm done running it. It only gets used, and probably won't anymore, for battery charging and possibly a bit of microwave use.

Another consideration is altitude. A generator, that is already limited in its output, will have less in the mountains. About 3% loss per 1,000' of altitude. Then running on propane, there will likely be more power loss. So if someone is near the limits of what their generator can produce, it might be a good idea to test out a similar generator before converting.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:55 PM   #42
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Name: Darwin
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Go to Costco and purchase the dual fuel Generator and your worries are over.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:36 AM   #43
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Name: Ray
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I have a 16 food scamp and use a generator. OK I use it for work some too so I needed a larger one. I have a 4000 unit. It just barly fits in the door or the camper or fits well in the tow vehicle. I don't use and have not found a need for an inverter unit. If I was only using it for my camper I would probably have one half that size physically and with power.

I have seen some really noisy ones. The Harbor freight one is pretty quiet. Pretty much on par with inverters. Watch out for the CO that does kill campers at times. Actually on the quiet side mine is quiet enough to get me yelled at. I was sent to help with an incident with both my generator and camper. I do this a lot, one of the reasons I got my camper. When I showed up the incident commander told me that my absolutely highest priority was to get the generator hooked up and powering the incident equipment. Presently it was running on batteries and some had already failed and the rest were almost out. I got my unit hooked up and running parked and setup my camper and prepared it for use also for its purpose. (Com center). Then I grabbed so salvation army food. The IC saw me eating and started yelling at me that I shouldn't be eating until the generator was running. Kind of stupid because this was like an hour later and his stuff was all running which it would not have been without the generator ;-) But also he was like 30 foot from the running generator and could not hear it. Her was used to a unit that you could not talk over at that distance.

As far as hooking up the house, That depends on how often you have this problem. Very often and you might want to just think of getting a house generator. If not then don't try the utube trick you see for hooking into your house wiring. That should only be done with a transfer switch. I did have to run off of a generator for 3 days this past summer. Storm took out the power and it was that long to get it fixed. Always have plenty of gas. I keep two cans both with red stuff. One I use to fill the lawnmower. Then when it is empty it becomes the generator gas and the generator gas can becomes the lawnmower gas ;-) Remember that gas stations need power to sell you gas. Some are getting generators. Most not yet, and even then you are competing with everyone else for gas.

I used my quiet open frame generator for all three days to power both frigs, a fan to vent the house a bit. Then lived in the fully powered 16 foot scamp with my friend and preschool daughter. Tight, but it worked. A lot of outdoor play for the kid ;-)

Also remember that your phones will be iffy and internet/cable nonexistant.
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Old 02-25-2019, 01:44 PM   #44
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Name: Russell
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Westinghouse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Carlson View Post
I bought a Westinghouse 2200 generator almost a year ago. I can't really vouch for it as I have not had occasion to use it for anything serious, but the online reviews are pretty good, it is very quiet, and it is less than half the price of the equivalent Honda. It is also parallel capable.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Westingh...iXLT/205746116
I recently bought the Westinghouse iGen2200 and after breaking it in took it boondocking to Quartzite with about 300 other “fiberglass eggs.” Used it for just a few hours over the course of three days, typically so that we could charge the battery/cell phones, and use the microwave and electric coffee pot. It performed as advertised and was as quiet as any of the others in the neighborhood. That said, I think the dB ratings are pretty loosy-goosy, regardless of the manufacturer. Paid $448 including shipping (Amazon), and expect that it will meet our needs on those relatively rare occasions when we boondock or have an outage at home.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:12 PM   #45
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Name: Pete
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Ollie generator

Does anybody operate a portable generator in Oliver basket? The factory says not to, but I always run my Yamaha 2400 locked down on the front platform on my Casita.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:21 AM   #46
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Name: Michael
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I have a generator although I seldom use it. Noise and fuel consumption are the issues. Good back up for early/late season boondocking but solar is certainly the best option most times.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:26 PM   #47
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Name: JD
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Florida
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I recently bought a Pulsar 2200 watt dual fuel inverter generator and have tested it with my Scamp and an electric heater on LP.
LP eliminates the need to have gasoline cans and their smell and fire hazard.
The pulsar is light and quiet.
One thing I would like to figure out is how to series(not parallel) two generators to produce 240 split phase. With this setup I could run my house with the AC.
Honda does this with their 6500 watt inverter as a switch changes from two paralleled inverters for 120 to two seriesed for 240.
The maligned Briggs and Stratton 6500 works in a similar fashion, but I dont think that more 120 power can be gained by switching the inverters to parallel.
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:05 PM   #48
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If your house has a gas furnace then all you need to do is power its fan (and thermostat), and it will not draw as much as an electric heater.

It is possible to set up, expensive, another circuit breaker panel in your house specifically for your generator. You also need a whole-house shut-off so when the power grid is back up it does not back feed into your generator.
With your new breaker box you only power the things absolutely necessary like the fridge, the furnace fan (there should just be a plug and outlet right next to the furnace), and one or two outlets. This all depends on the size of your generator.

Did you consider getting two small generators that can be run parallel? Take only one on your camping trip, and alternate them so each gets used. Then use two for the house if needed running them in parallel. Or one for the house fridge and the other for whatever else you need, not run parallel. Two gens doubles the chance that you have one working generator.

If you have a 9200 btu AC then a small 2200 or 2300 inverter gen will run that with some power to spare while camping and is super light and portable.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:29 AM   #49
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Name: Kip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
The advantages of an inverter generator that I know of are: quieter because they can idle down under low loads, a little more fuel efficient because they can idle down and possibly, lighter weight.

I'd like to see a list of things that people were not able to run from a conventional generator. Not theory, but an actual list of things that would not run. I have never had something not work on a conventional generator. Or anything damaged by generator power. Since we are talking about trailers and camping here, I'm not sure how a home furnace plays into the equation. If one of those did not work it might be because of the floating ground, but that would be the case with any portable generator that was not grounded.
Most devices with a micro-processor CAN be damaged by a conventional generator.

My 4k Generac conventional had a terrible sinewave while my neighbor's newer Coleman looked much better. Sort of the luck of the draw as how good (clean) the power from a conventional gen might be.

On the other hand, most all inverter gens should be acceptable.

One thing I don't want is for the power source to destroy the devices I need during an emergency, or any other time.

Interesting that manufacturers will state that their Inverter gens are SAFE FOR SENSITIVE DEVICES, but they don't mention that their Conventional Gens can harm them!

Replacing that/those devices could be a lot more expensive than the extra Cost of a proper power sipply. ��
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:00 AM   #50
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Name: aj
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Raspy's concern…
He forgot to mention the advantage of an inverter gen is that it has the same power output in volts (120) at any engine rpm. This is the #1 advantage. Conventional gens will vary their voltage output based on rpm, so if engine surges then the voltage will surge and then you might have problems or damaged accessories.

An inverter gen will run anything that will run on the rated power output of the generator (there is peak and there is running) - I have a 2200/1800 so it can peak at 2,200 watts output for a few seconds, but can run all day at 1,800 watts. A conventional gen will have the same concept of peak and running, no difference here.

Add the low idle benefits to this.

The sin wave of the inverter generator should be fine for any device. I have plugged things into regular inverters which have a square sin wave and the device was ruined. The generators will have a better sin wave than this, so most all is safe. Most electronic devices will use DC power, so will have a built-in power converter or the plug will have a converter (the big bulky plug) and this usually can clean up an ugly sin wave from a gen.
Your phone, TV, radio all run on DC, even though it gets plugged into household current wall socket, they all convert to DC in the unit.

Its easier to list things that do not run on DC power: Electric motors and heating elements (light bulbs, heaters, stoves, ovens… any heating element, and a light bulb is like a heating element) will run on AC current including irons, hair driers (heating element and motor) etc. Everything else will run on DC so as mentioned have a bit of an ability to clean up the current sin wave.
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