About Generators

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IBTripping

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"On a 95F plus day, last Saturday at my RV resort, the electric power went out for about 6 hours. The electric power system is weak and stressed with the heat and high demand. That weekend celebrated the 4th of July with lots of activities and fireworks. Over 4,000 members and guests attended. There was a lot of talk about getting individual generators. A large percentage of owners never move their RVs. They come here on weekends, holidays, and vacations. Thus, many are not very knowledgeable about their RVs. So, I posted the following on the resorts Facebook page and received lots of positive responses:

About generators - An RV (camper) with one 13,500 BTU air conditioner (a/c), requires about 3,000 watt surge (peak) and 2,300 to 2,500 watt running capability. When the a/c compressor kicks in, the brief surge is close to 3,000 (2,750) watts. My closed frame inverter generator is has 3,000 watt surge (peak) and 2,500 watt running and works beautifully. Typical generator fuel is gas or propane or both. There are also diesel fuel generator, but are very pricey and heavy.
Types of generators - (1) An open frame generator, often used on construction sites, is louder and less fuel efficient than an inverter generator. (2) Inverter generator - There are open frame and closed frame generators. Closed frame inverters tend to be a little less noisy than open frame ones. The advantage is inverters adjust their power output depending on the watts needed by your RV. Thus, are more fuel efficient than non-inverter generators. Open frame generators tend to cost less than the same peak watt inverters.
Lower watt generators than the above can run an a/c if a soft start is installed on the RV a/c. A soft start adapter can cost about $90 to over $300. But, you'll still need a generator that has a running capacity of 2300 to 2500 watts.
New generators start at about $350. I found a Westinghouse (good quality) open frame peak watt 4650 on Amazon at that price. If you want one right away, Harbor Freight has the Predator brand. Both brands have a good reputation, but there are other good brands available.
I hope this information is useful to anyone considering purchasing a generator for use at IACT."
 
We run our RV 14,000 BTU/H AC using a propane modified Honda EU2200i generator and MicroAir EasyStart. This generator is small, quiet and reliable. We have been very happy with this arrangement. Can't imagine having to smell the exhaust from a diesel or gasoline generator when camping in the outdoors.

At our remote home, we use this homebuilt generator to backup our hydro and grid power:


At some point, we may add solar power too.

Gayle & Bob
Los Gatos Casita
 
I have had a few Power Fails while camping
one: Digger O'Grady (Reference to a cartoon show where the undertaker was Digger O'Dell) and his back hoe v/s the park primary feed (That I suspect was exciting)


One Hurricane

One blown fuse (Well failed) park Primary feed.. I got ahold of the owner and we started diagnosis and What do you know. I discovered it was BEFORE THE METER (electronic meter no display) They came out and fixed.

one bad breaker (well 3 of those Different parks, one bad manager)

And one BANG - No Power (Not the usual cause. Car went straight down the road. Only problem is the road did no go straight so the BANG was the car hitting the Utility pole that fed the park) No injuries per chief deputy.
 
While I can understand wanting to keep the size and weight of generators to a minimum, We went with one that will provide our 30 amp service without pushing limits, when boondocking. Ours can deliver up to a peak of 4500 watts so that our AC, Power management system and water heater can all run at the same time.
It will run up to 9 hours at half load and I cant be happier with the results. It is especially quiet at half loads and with the remote start/stop fob is very convenient.
Why back yourself into a corner by undersizing your power supply??

Safe travels and all the best.
 
As I said recentlly I sat near a Honda "i" type I think it was a 3200i.. That is enough to keep a 30 amp R V happy under most all conditions nice and quitet but I do not know the weight. 59.1 pounds plus fuel (looked it up)
Or you could parallel a pair of EU 2200i (one I One companion) at 47.4 pounds (plus fuel) each plus parallel kit (pound or 3) for over 4,000 wats of power 30 amps is 3600 watts)

Plus the Honda's can use "extended run" tanks. far as I know only Honda can do that.

How Extended run tanks work. Honda's have honest to engineer fuel pumps that can "Suck" fuel the gas cap is replaced with one that instead of a vent valve has a hose barb and a line to the extended run tank. you keep an eye on the ER tank and when it's dry haul it off (or swap it out) and refill. the unit runs briefly on the on-board supply and then you hook up the new or refilled ER tank.

Eventually the on-boartd will run dry but that's so next week. since you will burn less than a cup of fuel during a tank swap might take more during a refill.
 
Why back yourself into a corner by undersizing your power supply??

Right, you definitely do NOT want to undersize your RV power systems...either 12VDC or 120/240VAC systems.

For us, aerodynamic and lightweight were critical RV design conditions. Our goal was enabling traveling economically, far, and fast and then comfortably and securely camp in very beautiful and very remote locations far away from people indefinitely.

So we first minimized and optimized our power requirements. Then we designed our 12VDC or 120/240VAC power systems to these requirements. And I said 240VAC because we modified our 30A 120VAC service to 50A 120/240VAC service to expressly have 240VAC and use this in lieu of propane for a tankless water heater when we are paying for a hookup. Same approach for our induction/propane burner kitchen stove too.

For us, only taking and only using a propane modified Honda EU2200i generator when we will only need AC made much more sense than say designing a RV power system for this capability or needing a large and heavy generator for this capability. And we hardly ever need AC since we can often keep our small trailer in full shade while still keeping our portable solar panels in full sun.

Gayle & Bob
Los Gatos Casita
 
I am going through this right now. I have the Honda EU 2000i, and not enough topower through the restart amp jump. I have the Coleman soft start. I could go to the MicroAire easy start which claims the 2000 will work, but likely nothing else. So have it for sale and a 3600 WEN from AMAzon in shopping cart.
 
We just went thru a few really hot days in Md. Even with a 30 amp hookup, we had to monitor our power usage, as the AC was constantly running. With water heater on electric, lights, 12v TV and the AC running, my EMS monitor indicated a 31 amp draw at 108 volts.
That caused me to quickly shut down the electric water heater and switch to Propane. I felt more comfortable with that setup.

Safe travels and all the best.
 
"On a 95F plus day, last Saturday at my RV resort, the electric power went out for about 6 hours. The electric power system is weak and stressed with the heat and high demand. That weekend celebrated the 4th of July with lots of activities and fireworks. Over 4,000 members and guests attended. There was a lot of talk about getting individual generators. A large percentage of owners never move their RVs. They come here on weekends, holidays, and vacations. Thus, many are not very knowledgeable about their RVs. So, I posted the following on the resorts Facebook page and received lots of positive responses:

About generators - An RV (camper) with one 13,500 BTU air conditioner (a/c), requires about 3,000 watt surge (peak) and 2,300 to 2,500 watt running capability. When the a/c compressor kicks in, the brief surge is close to 3,000 (2,750) watts. My closed frame inverter generator is has 3,000 watt surge (peak) and 2,500 watt running and works beautifully. Typical generator fuel is gas or propane or both. There are also diesel fuel generator, but are very pricey and heavy.
Types of generators - (1) An open frame generator, often used on construction sites, is louder and less fuel efficient than an inverter generator. (2) Inverter generator - There are open frame and closed frame generators. Closed frame inverters tend to be a little less noisy than open frame ones. The advantage is inverters adjust their power output depending on the watts needed by your RV. Thus, are more fuel efficient than non-inverter generators. Open frame generators tend to cost less than the same peak watt inverters.
Lower watt generators than the above can run an a/c if a soft start is installed on the RV a/c. A soft start adapter can cost about $90 to over $300. But, you'll still need a generator that has a running capacity of 2300 to 2500 watts.
New generators start at about $350. I found a Westinghouse (good quality) open frame peak watt 4650 on Amazon at that price. If you want one right away, Harbor Freight has the Predator brand. Both brands have a good reputation, but there are other good brands available.
I hope this information is useful to anyone considering purchasing a generator for use at IACT."
You left out one of the very most important factors when considering a generator....THD, short for Total Harmonic Distortion. I'll start off saying it is generally not a factor if you have an inverter type generator, but it definitely is, if you have a traditional type generator.

Total Harmonic Distortion is represented by a number and it is fairly agreement that anything below 5 is acceptable. In the case the THD, the lower the better. THD is sometimes referred to as "Dirty Power" and that means that there are distortion blips in the AC sine wave. You may ask, why should I care as long as the generator is running everything that I want it to, and that is a fair question. The issue with THD is that it plays havoc on electronic equipment. And now days, even in an RV, there is lots of electronic devices, equipment, parts, control boards, etc.

Take most refrigerators, water heaters, even furnaces/thermostats, converter/chargers/inverters, not to mention any/all of the things that you may bring with you like computers, cell phones, routers, etc

Excessive THD is one of those things that is slowly killing electronic components and devices, but you can't see it, smell it (well, maybe sometimes), feel it, or hear it. And just as a reference every single power company/utility out there tries as hard as they can to keep the THD well under 5. If you need or want to learn more about it, I suggest a google search and you will likely have way more info than you care to read, just suffice to say that if you are considering a generator purchase, dig deep into the specs and if necessary, contact the manufacturer of the equipment and ask them the THD rating for a given generator.....and remember, if they do not publish the number or they cannot tell you the number, I would advise staying away from that particular generator.
 
You left out one of the very most important factors when considering a generator....THD, short for Total Harmonic Distortion. I'll start off saying it is generally not a factor if you have an inverter type generator, but it definitely is, if you have a traditional type generator.

Total Harmonic Distortion is represented by a number and it is fairly agreement that anything below 5 is acceptable. In the case the THD, the lower the better. THD is sometimes referred to as "Dirty Power" and that means that there are distortion blips in the AC sine wave. You may ask, why should I care as long as the generator is running everything that I want it to, and that is a fair question. The issue with THD is that it plays havoc on electronic equipment. And now days, even in an RV, there is lots of electronic devices, equipment, parts, control boards, etc.

Take most refrigerators, water heaters, even furnaces/thermostats, converter/chargers/inverters, not to mention any/all of the things that you may bring with you like computers, cell phones, routers, etc

Excessive THD is one of those things that is slowly killing electronic components and devices, but you can't see it, smell it (well, maybe sometimes), feel it, or hear it. And just as a reference every single power company/utility out there tries as hard as they can to keep the THD well under 5. If you need or want to learn more about it, I suggest a google search and you will likely have way more info than you care to read, just suffice to say that if you are considering a generator purchase, dig deep into the specs and if necessary, contact the manufacturer of the equipment and ask them the THD rating for a given generator.....and remember, if they do not publish the number or they cannot tell you the number, I would advise staying away from that particular generator.
Yep...there is that to consider too...

Gayle & Bob
Los Gatos Casita
 
I am going through this right now. I have the Honda EU 2000i, and not enough topower through the restart amp jump. I have the Coleman soft start. I could go to the MicroAire easy start which claims the 2000 will work, but likely nothing else. So have it for sale and a 3600 WEN from AMAzon in shopping cart.
Add a Honda EU2000i Companion to the existing 2000i Double the watts. and it has a 30 amp outlet They are designed to work in pairs.
 
The parallel trick works with most any of the portable generators. but finding a place to carry two is the trick, I only want 1.
 
The parallel trick works with most any of the portable generators. but finding a place to carry two is the trick, I only want 1.
Same for us. We don't want to spend any more money than we absolutely have too, increase our cargo weight unnecessary or take up more cargo space for something we rarely need or use. We confirmed in advance with MicroAir that our propane modified EU2200i would operate our 14,000 BTU/H AC using their EasyStart. It does easily and flawlessly, and we don't need or use our generator for anything else as we are long duration dry camping capable.

Gayle & Bob
Los Gatos Casita
 
I hav a 3600 watt WEN generator on order. I expect this will o the job. I looked at Champion and ithink the motors in those were smaller, this has 149cc motor.

Weight is close to the Honda and within millimeters of size. Cost was only $545, and using Prime card, I get 5% somehow. First use, but having applied and received the card, it put $200 in my account.
 
1 Cost
2 Weight, especially if you have to load in the back of a truck
3 Right sizing is not necessarily undersizing
I agree especially about the right sizing.
When my champions didn't work out as expected, I ended up evaluating what was important to me, and output and length of run came out on top.

I then bought the 4500i
I couldn't lift the 4500i into my pickup bed, So I installed a front mounted hitch and carrier. I can now lift the 100 lb genny into the carrier, but could also easily use a ramp or hoist as well.

Adding the weight to the front hasn't affected my driving stability at all.

The new genny is quieter running at part load than the champion pair were and gives me more available continuous electrical output. The remote start/stop fob is really nice too.

It seems I also spend a lot less time fiddling with refueling, and load managing than with the champion pair.

I guess I right sized it for me.. :unsure:

Safe travels and all the best.
 
I hav a 3600 watt WEN generator on order. I expect this will o the job. I looked at Champion and ithink the motors in those were smaller, this has 149cc motor.

Weight is close to the Honda and within millimeters of size. Cost was only $545, and using Prime card, I get 5% somehow. First use, but having applied and received the card, it put $200 in my account.
Never heard of Wen. Did some googling about the company. One place stated Wen went bankrupt and a Chinese firm bought it. Not sure how true this is. Hey, if it works for many years, you’ve made your money out of it. Good luck and keep us updated on how it’s working out so others can make a good decision about generators.
 
According to the WEN website their headquarters are in Illinois. In business since 1951. The generator is built in Viet Nam.
 

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