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Old 01-10-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
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What type generator to buy

We are looking to buy a generator. Our, new to us, 07' CC Silverback is completely wired for an "onboard?", Onan, Generac type generator.
I can't decide whether to go with a Honda 2000, or 2 in parallel. A Honda or Yamaha 3000, or an on-board generator.
We will be full-timing, mainly in campgrounds with full hook-up. But, occasional, short term boondocking is probable.
Any opinions, recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:21 AM   #2
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personally, you can't go wrong with two Honda 2000 units. cheaper than an on-board unit and you can use one for everything except when you need the a/c.
uses less fuel and only weigh about 50lbs. each.
it'll let you use the generator section for storage.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:41 AM   #3
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Agree on the 2-Honda 2000 units !! Way cheaper !!
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:32 AM   #4
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As much as I love my Yamaha TriFuel EF3000SeB, I am not sure, if I had to do it over again, what I would do. After camping with the Yamaha for a year at various campgrounds where folks had H2000's, it is still a toss up.

Dual Honda setup:
* Much more fuel efficient that one big one if you don't use the AC.
* Without the fuel buddy (holds 5 gallons) you are out there filling it them every couple of hours since they are both running at high RPM.
* If one craps out the other will still charge the batteries and provide power so the camping trip is not over.
* They are common as dirt; parts are available, and they are easy to fix
* Very light and can be kept inside the basement of the camper instead of in the bed of the pickup.
* 2 of them put out 4000 watts
* Quieter at idle than the Yamaha at idle
* if you need AC or microwave you need to go out and start the companion generator
* about $500 cheaper with 2 units (parallel kit and Fuel Buddy) than the Yamaha (ready to camp)
* Not weatherproof but you can keep it under the trailer overhang.

Yamaha:
* Larger fuel tank so it will run all day without worry
* The Yamaha in "Econ Mode" (No AC or Microwave) is very fuel efficient
* At 125 pounds empty, you need to keep it in the pickup bed and carry an extension cord.
* Remote Start is awesome!
* You need to remember to take it out of "Econ" to use the microwave or AC. To do that you have to go out to the truck.
* NOT weatherproof - You need to build a cover for it (yet still allows it to run in the rain) in order to keep it in the truck bed. Too heavy to be taking it in and out. (It is "hardened" against moisture to some extent)
* The boost unit (SeB) is a newer model and dealers are not all that conversant with it, most need to order the manual just to troubleshoot it, and parts are hard to get in the US (Shipped from Japan)
* Remote Start is Awesome! (Did I mention that?)

I am sure there are more. Honda folks can chime in too.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:43 AM   #5
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I agree with the dual Honda or Yamaha; however, if you have the money and your rig came with a fuel tank, go for an Onan. That way you can start your generator from inside the coach and not have to worry about weather proofing it.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:13 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone for the info. I've been leaning towards the Honda's. Are 2 Honda's much louder than than a single Honda or Yamaha 3000?
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:24 PM   #7
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Rysetter, have you considered a single Yamaha EF2400is ?? That runs our 13,500 BTU AC, but I haven't tried it over 3500' elevation yet. Of course it will power the microwave or the wife's hair dryer, but not with the AC going. The weight is still manageable at ~80 lbs.
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:09 PM   #8
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I have a Yamaha EF3000iSEB which I love. I put it under the slideout to keep it out of the weather. Runs quite. Agree with Herk on his points on the Yamaha. As I usually haul an ATV when camping I have a ramp available to load/unload from truck bed. It also has additional 110V recpt. and 12V charging for batteries.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:14 PM   #9
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Some pics of the EF3000SeB



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Old 01-10-2011, 11:28 PM   #10
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Remember, a generator is only going to be rarely used unless you spend most of your camping time with no hookups. But you already said that is not the case. So start with a single Honda 2000. If in the future you feel the need to actually do more than charge the batteries or watch TV for a little while then get the second one and the parallel kit and move on. They are light, quiet and durable. But they also have a tendency to grow legs and walk away, so be prepared to secure it some how at all times.
Personally I have 250 watts of solar panels, four batteries and a 1500 watt inverter for TV watching. I can generally go for a week and maybe use my generator a total of four hours in that week. But I boondock a lot. In fact about 80% of my camping is boondocking.
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