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Old 03-19-2014, 04:37 PM   #1
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Let's Talk Generators!

Afternoon All,

I could not find a specific generator topic and since this one will ask multiple questions I figured it would be of enough interest to the community to start a new thread...

DW and I are thinking about purchasing a generator for multiple uses.
  1. We live in tornado country (Huntsville AL), so the possibility of power outages are common; 3 years ago, Huntsville was hit with a F5 tornado and most of the area lost power for over a week--some for over 2 weeks
    1. Typically though, power losses are @ 2 days or less (still bad enough to spoil out a refer...maybe not a freezer if the door stays shut.(
    2. SO, a generator would be used primarely to "save" the food in our side-by-side refrigerator & our 22CU FT Freezer. Assuming it were not too hot, running a couple fans, charging cell phones/iPads and powering a few lights would be it.
  2. To maximize use, let's consider our Rockwood 8289WS 5er. It is a 50 Amp unit with 2 Roof Air Conditioners, an electric fireplace, microwave, and a lot of electronic gear onboard. Most times we are at a full service RV park, so no worries.
    1. There will be times, however, when we will need power for our RV and in varying amounts from just running a microwave, TV and some lights at a boondock site ...to a Football weekend on 'Bama's campus... all the way up to running the air conditioners in the summer.
    2. Running the Electric Fireplace (I think) with a generator is going to be a no-go because I believe it needs a 50 amp connection to function (as does running the 15K BTU A/C)
      (Comments please!)
  3. We are looking at the Yamaha EF series. They have several units a 1600W, 2000W & 2800W models. The nice thing about these units is that they can be run in parallel! (Not sure the 2800W can run in parallel - Comments Please!)
    1. Parallel is attractive for a variety of reasons:
      • Power outage at house - one generator runs the house and one the RV so we can sleep in A/C comfort
      • Take 2 Generators to *possibly* run the Electric Fireplace or 15K A/C unit
      • Take one generator to the fall football game since all we need is basic 110V and maybe Microwave
      • Bet you can fill in the blanks HERE for a use as well!
Here is a link to Generators Direct and the units I mentioned above (free shipping and no tax - Sweet! )

Yamaha Portable Generators @ Electric Generators Direct


OK let the discussions begin!!
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:15 PM   #2
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Bob, I haven't checked out your link yet, however, if you have not ordered yet, check out TSC, they have the best prices that I have found. After the tornados, three years ago, they DID NOT raise there prices. They have a nice variety of brands.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:06 PM   #3
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your limiting factor in your whole plan is the a/c on your trailer.....it takes 4000-4500 watts to start and run ONE 15k ac on my dual a/c 50amp service rig....i have 2 champion 2000 inverters i parallel and they USUALLY run the a/c.....

i was basically in the same situation as you, and so far i have in my genny arsenal 3 champion 2000i , a champion 4000 remote start non inverter, and recently a honda 6500i ....

the honda will run it all, but for the trailer its a MEGA PAIN TO USE, because its like 300lbs and my truck is lifted and the tail gate is about 5ft in the air....

i would prioritize what you want with respect to power, weight, noise, and then go from there.....lots of options

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Old 03-19-2014, 07:16 PM   #4
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This will come in very handy!

normal appliance amp draws

And this.


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Old 03-19-2014, 07:21 PM   #5
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I bought a BlackMax 8500/7000 last year just so we wouldn't be without heat/fridge/freezer at our home. We haven't taken the genny camping, although I wished I had it last July 4th - our cg lost power overnight and partial daylight in our loop due to the excessive heat and all the rigs running a/c.
I primarily bought the genny for the house since power outages are becoming more and more common. 3 in the last 2 years - one for 2 days the others several hours. I installed a 10-circuit transfer switch on the house and it works great.
However, I do know I have the genny at my disposal for the Flagstaff if or when I ever need it. We don't normally go more than 2 hrs from home, yet, so my son could bring it to me on the utility trailer if I need it. Even if something happened to the house, we know we would be able to shelter in the camper with the genny.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePM View Post
Bob, I haven't checked out your link yet, however, if you have not ordered yet, check out TSC, they have the best prices that I have found. After the tornados, three years ago, they DID NOT raise there prices. They have a nice variety of brands.
Hey thanks Chuck (and you know I hate you Class A'ers for all that built in generator/invertor goodness you have!! )

(Just Kidding...I still dream of upgrading to a Class A someday

Haven't ordered yet (probably not for a couple weeks or so - I do not want to make a $1K mistake

I checked out TSC - they do not sell the Yamaha or Honda parallel kits but they do sell a Champion 2,000W - for @ $400 per unit less than a Yamaha

So now what's Wrong with the Champion? That's a HUGE difference!!
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSVBamaBob View Post
Hey thanks Chuck (and you know I hate you Class A'ers for all that built in generator/invertor goodness you have!! :rollback

(Just Kidding...I still dream of upgrading to a Class A someday

Haven't ordered yet (probably not for a couple weeks or so - I do not want to make a $1K mistake

I checked out TSC - they do not sell the Yamaha or Honda parallel kits but they do sell a Champion 2,000W - for @ $400 per unit less than a Yamaha

So now what's Wrong with the Champion? That's a HUGE difference!!
Whats the decibel rating for the champion?

Btw a 2000w gennie will almost not run a 13.5k a/c and if it does you may be putting low voltage to it.
It definitely shouldn't be used with a 15k

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Old 03-19-2014, 11:16 PM   #8
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For the sake of your fellow campers, please buy something that is quiet; even if you have to spend a few bucks more. There is nothing worse than a noisy neighbor to spoil the camping experience.

2,000 watts will be too small for you. Maybe consider paralleling 2 2000's. Use the second unit only if you need it. They are easier to transport, lift, etc.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:18 PM   #9
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I have the Yamaha EF2400is. It is a few years old and I think Yamaha now has upgraded that model to a EF2400ishc. Mine is labeled as being able to be run in parallel with another EF2400is if I had one. I think the newer EF2400ishc is not parallel capable. Mine will start and run a 13.5K RV A/C unit with no problem. It will not start and run 2. It is very quiet while running and sips fuel. I also have used it at my home during power outages and it will run my refrigerator and freezer. If I stagger loads I can run my microwave, ceiling fan, a few lights, blower on my wood stove, etc. also. I adapted mine to run on propane as well as gasoline (tri fuel kit) from propane-generators.com. Power output is identical with either fuel as far as I can tell with my meters. (IMO, this is because it is an inverter generator and not a direct drive generator.) I like the ability to use propane as fuel because propane doesn't go bad and gum up the carb from sitting too long. It is also safer to store than gasoline. In addition my home has a 1000 gallon buried propane tank and in a power outage situation I basically have months of fuel on tap.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:13 AM   #10
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I have a Honda EX4500, quiet, fairly efficient and has been solid as a rock over 12 years now. During outages it runs two refrigerators, the microwave, the occasional lamp. If it gets cold I'll let a fridge run until it cycles off, unplug it and run a ceramic heater.

As for with the camper, which is why I bought it, it's served me well over the years. With my 50A fiver I got the 30A generator locking plug to 50A adapter, I tried it out and thus far no issues, it didn't drop below 110V during startup of the 15K AC, with the 15K running I fired up the 13.5K bedroom unit and the voltage dropped to 88V for .25 second and immediately came back up to 114V average. According to authorities it's not likely to hurt anything, but isn't ideal.

It's 300lbs, I use a crane to load the thing into my truck. Honestly, I wish I had gone with two EU2000i gensets, run them in parallel and saved room, weight and gas.

Don't get me wrong, I love my genset, but it wasn't the smartest option at the time.
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