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Old 01-28-2014, 12:19 AM   #1
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I need generator purchasing help/advice!

I have a FR Salem 30' QBSS travel trailer. I am in the market for a generator to power this camper when camping away from state park electrical hookups.

I don't necessarily care to power EVERYTHING. Basically just the AC for comfort. I can run the fridge on propane. Lighting and water pump on 12V (I assume). I don't need microwave, outlets or appliances etc.

So, here's my question(s). I have a 13,500 BTU AC unit. My camper salesman told me I'd need a 5000W generator to power EVERYTHING in/on the camper. When I told him I was only really concerned with the AC. He then told me I'd probably need 3500W for startup & 3000W running power. After reading various posts on here...his wattage #'s seem high compared to what others say they are running AC on!?

I found a Generac 3250 that has 3750W startup & 3250W running. Is this sufficient or will I have problems with surges / startup etc? Keep in mind...I only need the AC...no other services.

When I asked a buddy who is very mechanically minded about all these #'s, his main concern was "how will your camper know that you only want the AC to run when you plug the generator in? It's going to attempt to power everything (lights, outlets, appliances etc) and may cause a large enough surge to either trip the generator breaker, or...worse yet...cause damage to your camper wiring system or AC unit if it isn't able to get proper power!"

Can someone please shed some light on my situation for me! Is there a way to just 'trip' the breakers to everything except the AC so the generator is sufficient etc!? Will the 3750/3250 Generac do the job? I don't want yo risk damaging my camper, but I also don't want to 'over-buy' a generator for my needs. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:42 AM   #2
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About camping in a state park they have limits on the decibels that a generator puts out. and some have cutoff time at night.
I have a Kipor 3500 Sinemaster Inverter Generator. It is china made. But on the some of the parts on the engine has made in Japan. Engine looks like a Honda
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:09 AM   #3
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first question, will you be dry camping or boondocking?

that Generac will definitely not be appropriate if you're dry camping but it's fine for boondocking. that's one loud generator!
if you plan to dry camp, please, for everyone's sake, get an inverter generator.

you won't be damaging your trailer with it but you will be damaging everyone's ears with it.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:44 AM   #4
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If you want to power anything you want 4000w is enough that is what is in most class c motorhomes. 3000w is enough to power ac but you wont run a blow drier or microwave at the same time. I personaly like the honda generators either one 3000w or the pair of 2000w that you can hook together. If you search generators on this forum you will find a lot of post.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:08 AM   #5
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I have a FR Salem 30' QBSS travel trailer. I am in the market for a generator to power this camper when camping away from state park electrical hookups.
Per my very 1st paragraph...I realize that generators are typically quite loud in campgrounds. That's why I plug into the provided shoreline power and am NOT looking to use a 'noisy gen' around other campers.

I am looking into a generator for 'Boondocking' I guess. I wasn't familiar with that terminology until now.

Basically we have friends with lake homes that want us to come visit a few times a summer and they don't have 30A power for me to hook to. We would park the camper on their lake lot to sleep in. Don't need it for cooking, showering or anything...just sleep. But, I need AC when sleeping in the heat of the summer.

So, noise isn't necessarily an issue since we are on private property. When I am not using the generator to power the camper in the summer I will use it to power my ice shack in the winter.

I read a LOT of posts last night on here regarding generators! From what I gathered...the Generac I was looking at is NOT the right genny for me. It doesn't have the TT-30R 30A receptacle for RVs built in. Sort of sounds like there is a fair amount of recommendation for the Champion 3500/4000 for th money! Little noisy, yes...but for the 2-3X a summer i need it I'm fine with a little noise. And ice fishing makes NO difference whats so-ever.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:15 AM   #6
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I guess one of my main concerns (besides what brand to get) is how does the camper 'know' that it only needs to power the AC when the generator is hooked up. Will all the other 'services' start demanding power even though they aren't 'turned on' or is there only a draw/demand on the generator if the service is actually used!?

I know...I'm an idiot...seems like a simple concept. I just fear damaging my camper appliances / wiring system because of a lack of appropriate power!

But, if I literally start a 3500/4000W generator, plug the 30A cord into it, step inside the camper & turn ONLY the AC on (no lights, water pump etc.) will it function ok!? What woudl happen if we start turning lights on to find our way to the bedrooms etc.? Will that power draw pull on the generator or off the 12V battery on-board? Or the kids flush the toilet (water pump)?

Like I said...NO microwave, hair dryers, TV's etc. We have the friends nearby lake home for those services.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
I guess one of my main concerns (besides what brand to get) is how does the camper 'know' that it only needs to power the AC when the generator is hooked up. Will all the other 'services' start demanding power even though they aren't 'turned on' or is there only a draw/demand on the generator if the service is actually used!?

I know...I'm an idiot...seems like a simple concept. I just fear damaging my camper appliances / wiring system because of a lack of appropriate power!

But, if I literally start a 3500/4000W generator, plug the 30A cord into it, step inside the camper & turn ONLY the AC on (no lights, water pump etc.) will it function ok!? What woudl happen if we start turning lights on to find our way to the bedrooms etc.? Will that power draw pull on the generator or off the 12V battery on-board? Or the kids flush the toilet (water pump)?

Like I said...NO microwave, hair dryers, TV's etc. We have the friends nearby lake home for those services.
If you only run the AC and your converter to charge battery, then you will be OK. You can use your 12 volts lighting, water pump, etc. Make sure your water heater is on propane only, your fridge on propane only and don't use any high demand appliances eg: hair dryer, toaster, coffee maker....
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:37 AM   #8
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If you only run the AC and your converter to charge battery, then you will be OK. You can use your 12 volts lighting, water pump, etc. Make sure your water heater is on propane only, your fridge on propane only and don't use any high demand appliances eg: hair dryer, toaster, coffee maker....
I do plan to run fridge & water heater on propane. But, how does the camper know to power the lights, water pump etc from the 12v & not draw on the generator if/when we do flip a light switch or flush the toilet!?
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:49 AM   #9
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Its all connected together, so unless you open the breaker to the converter which feeds the battery, it will pull from the generator. If you open (turn off) the converter breaker, then all 12 volts will only be supplied by the battery but your battery will discharge as it is not getting recharged by the generator....makes sense?
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #10
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LOTS of generator threads (arguments lol) if you do a search....

i have a few gennys .....for the trailer its either

a champion 4000/3800 with remote start and rv style plug
i use this one to as a back up, and/or to run my 15kbtu a/c if needed.....it takes all it has to start it , but it runs great...runs converter and tv/sat/and bunk tv dvd ...the remote start is sweeet to as the genny delays the ac output till its stabilized...great for making coffee in the morning and not having to go out n freeze

i have a basic shell i made from 3/4 rubber horse stall matt.....it has vents of course...drops the db a few (i want to say 3 when we put a meter on it) at 10ft

OR

a champion 2000 inverter style (no 30amp plug)
i have actually started my ac with this one (ac has hard start cap and fan delay) but you have to turn off EVERY other breaker in the panel...and it runs full bones maxed out!! NOT RECOMMENDED i just wanted to see if it would do it...

you CAN parallel these to get 4000watts....i have never tried it..

i have a shell for this one too....same 3/4 rubber matt.....drops the db a lil.....but this genny is already quiet to begin with...

the 4000/3800 is HEAVY....like 150lbs at least....mine has handle and wheels, but since having BOTH my rotator cuffs/labrum repaired last year i have to use my dirt bike ramps to load it in truck...

the 2000i is about 45lbs....everyone in my family can load it....(except my 14month old....but she would try im just sure)...lol
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