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RVing message boards => Boondocking => Topic started by: Elvis56 on July 03, 2017, 10:05:27 AM

Title: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: Elvis56 on July 03, 2017, 10:05:27 AM
Hi, looking to set up my 28' 5th wheel for boondocking and I would like to get some input on what generators you guys(and gals) are using to keep your rigs cool in the summer. I put a brand new 13,500 btu Advent AC unit in the roof and that is mainly what I wish to run. I have a 12 volt battery already installed for the lights and such but really need input on what will comfortably run an ac unit without going too overkill( as in gas guzzling back breakers). I was looking at a 3100 watt starting inverter generator that i believe will run 2600 continuous or maybe something in the regular variety such as a 4000 watt starting and 3000 watt continuous non inverter. Looking for comparisons to your rig gens so I dont buy the wrong one. Also on a budget so probably not looking at yammy or honda inverters. I will also be looking at solar as a backup as well but will post on that seperately as to not confuse the issue. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: gravesdiesel on July 03, 2017, 10:44:23 AM
I have a Yanmar diesel 3800 watt generator.  It provides the full 30 amp power just like when hooked to shore power and will run all night on a tank of fuel.  It is no louder than most gasoline generators.
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: whiteva on July 04, 2017, 08:15:53 AM
74 continuous hours on a Honda 2000i while running a Coleman 15k air conditioner. My bride and I are camping at the marina in Apalachicola Florida using our Honda generator.   Much quieter and more economical than the Onan.

Before the flames begin about such a small generator not being able to cary such a load,  the AC was modified with the Easy Start circuit over a year ago. I also modified the Honda to accept a boat fuel tank as aux fuel to eliminate refueling. When the aux tank is low I unplug the connection and refill without shutting down the Honda. After trips such as this I always drain and refill the oil using Mobile 1 synthetic as it is reported to run cooler with better protection. 

During last night's 4th of July festival several folks stopped by to say they had tried to run their camper AC on a Honda without success. After explaining the easy start mod they seemed impressed. Who can argue when the little red generator is purring away and the camper is a cool 71 degrees inside (94 outside)

We participated in the local festivities held less than a quarter mile away until almost dark when we returned to the Taj-ma-haul to find cars and trucks parked all over. After inviting folks to use our extra chairs we watched a great fireworks display over the river met some new friends and passed around a few adult beverages. AIN'T CAMPING FUN!

Cheers!

Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: hedhunter9 on July 04, 2017, 08:24:32 AM
Wow. My Honda 2000 wont even pull our microwave ..  LOL...
We use it mostly for charging the batteries and TV watching.. (in power saver mode it runs 8-9 hours on a gal of gas)
What kind of gas usage are you getting running your AC ?
And I would guess the Honda isnt in power saver mode ? Must be running at the higher RPM ?

Bob
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: Elvis56 on July 04, 2017, 09:35:55 AM
Interesting to see that the honda 2000 will run the ac. Im curious about the easy start curcuit. Is that something that is modified on the honda or the ac itself and did you do it yourself or is it an electricians nightmare?
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: JFN on July 04, 2017, 10:33:06 AM
2 Honda 2000I's either one will run microwave, but I don't think 1 will run AC.
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: whiteva on July 04, 2017, 08:59:22 PM
The Easy Start by microair is installed on the AC. Hard to believe how well it works. The Honda is in eco mode and at idle until the AC comes on. First the blower starts causing the generator to rev up then 3 seconds later the compressor comes on. After the initial surge for the compressor the generator settles down to about 70% of full power.  Prior to starting the Honda generator I turn off the converter and set the fridge to gas only. Naturally 2000i can't pull a full load like an Onan 5000.

In really hot weather the Honda uses about 2 1/2 gallons of fuel in 24 hours. The Onan uses about 12 gallons.

Check it out at https://www.microair.net/products/easystart-364-3-ton-single-phase-soft-starter-for-air-conditioners?variant=30176048267 (https://www.microair.net/products/easystart-364-3-ton-single-phase-soft-starter-for-air-conditioners?variant=30176048267)

Video   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soP0uZFd0nQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soP0uZFd0nQ)
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: 73Camper on July 20, 2017, 09:14:29 AM
My esu3000i honda will not run a 15k AC, only the 13K run time is about 12-15 hours depending how hot it is
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: aguablanco on July 20, 2017, 03:54:03 PM
To answer the original question, I really like my Champion 3100 pull start. Runs the A/C with no problem.
RichH
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: kportra on July 20, 2017, 04:12:10 PM
We have 2 Furman 2100 inverters with a parallel kit.  One runs everything except the air conditioner - need two for that.  Also at higher elevations the microwave works better with two.  No problems so far and easy start!
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: JFN on July 20, 2017, 06:06:40 PM
I do the same with 2 Honda EU 2000's
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: UTTransplant on July 20, 2017, 06:46:32 PM
A couple of small generators will weigh less together than a single big one. I know you said you don't want Hondas, but they really are great. We have used our single generator for hundreds of hours for many years. Every few years we run a carburetor cleaner, but that is the extent of maintenance required. We bought a second Honda 2000 to add to the first on those rare occasions we need AC since we now keep our cats and a dog in the trailer. We can manage higher temps than the animals can! They sip fuel and are easy to move around and to start. Plus they are very reliable. Lower initial price doesn't always mean a good deal is the generator doesn't last a long time.
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: 73Camper on July 21, 2017, 10:46:18 AM
i think i have had my honda for 8 years? never had a lick of trouble. I am real hard on it and use it almost every weekend during the summer. if it ever dies i will replace it with another honda. all i do is keep the oil fresh and have never had to change the air cleaner. down side if any is its 130lbs dry.
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: pz on July 21, 2017, 11:26:54 AM
I live in north Idaho and have power losses every winter to the point where I worry about losing my food in the freezer/fridge. Last year we had an extended outage and a friend loaned me her 7000 watt Champion generator. It certainly did the job, but was extremely loud and really sucked the gas. Later that same winter we again lost power, and as I was plowing out the driveway my missus came home with a generator in the back of the truck - a Honda 7000is.

I could not believe the difference between the Champion and the Honda.  The Honda was so quite I could not even hear it running whereas the Champion kept me awake at night. The fuel consumption was hugely different. I had to get up in the middle of the night to fuel the Champion while the Honda went all night long and still had plenty of fuel in the morning. A side advantage is that the Honda provides clean power for your sensitive electronics.

I now use the Honda in the back of the truck when I need to boondock, but the problem is that it is very heavy, but the big advantage is that I now have a generator that I can use for home outages and for boondocking.

The disadvantages are expense and weight, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages for me.
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: dave54 on July 21, 2017, 01:28:07 PM
2 Honda 2000's run my AC fine.  Easier to handle two smaller gens than 1 big one.

Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: 8Muddypaws on July 22, 2017, 10:44:45 AM
I have two Hondas I use to power sound equipment and lighting at a music festival we've been going to for many years.  We tried a couple of cheap-o brands (Coleman and Champion). Both failed in just a few years, were louder than all get out and required constant maintenance.

One of the Hondas is at least 15 years old and the other is probably 8 and they are easy to start and run quiet.
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: viceprice on July 23, 2017, 12:58:44 AM
Purchased a Briggs and Stratton P3000 this spring. It is an inverter generator with an eco mode. Will run the 15,000 BTU AC with other items off. AC draws about 12-13 amps. I have not tried Eco mode with the AC and do not plan to do this.  We have put 30 hours on it. Very happy. (I did need to use a "bonded plug" and I had to reverse the common and line wires on the RV receptical on the generator to make the surge protector work as it should - had an open ground error and a reverse polarity message prior to fixing).
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: gravesdiesel on July 25, 2017, 11:12:51 AM
A customer of mine has a couple Honda 2000 watt gasoline generators and they have served him well.  He more recently got a couple Yamaha 200 watt units comparable to the Honda ones.  I service all four of his generators for him and I much prefer the Yamaha units for build quality and servicability.  The Yamaha units are totally made in Japan and the Honda units are made in Malaysia with parts also from China.  Both brands are equally as quiet and serve these guys well, being beat around in the back of their service trucks.  They use them to run power tools.  If I had to buy a gasoline powered generator (I am a diesel guy), I would seriously consider the Yamaha.
Title: Re: What portable generator works for you folks
Post by: H5-Phil on August 07, 2017, 07:36:31 AM
We use the Honda 3000is.  Not only are we happy with it but our neighbors are too.  Ours sits in bed of the truck (see attached) so it's always with us.  The camper shell (a Leer with windoors - windows that open completely) provide ventilation, weather protection, and even more sound proofing to an already quiet generator. 
Whatever you consider, go on YouTube and listen to them run.  Every unit mentioned here can be found on the web. 
And, consider your neighbors :).