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Old 12-03-2015, 10:44 AM   #1
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Need help on Generator Purchase

I purchased a new Puma 5th wheel toyhauler and did not get the generator package like I did in my previous toyhauler. We did not dry camp enough to justify the $4000 cost. So now I am looking for a generator for the new toyhauler for those few times we do dry camp. My question is ( I am NO ELECTRICIAN ) what is the difference between an inverter generator and a regular generator. I assume the inverter is for fragile electronics ?? Will running a regular generator hurt the rv fridg or a/c ?? I had the rv wired for 50 amp and up graded to 15,000 btu a/c (1) and have 3 fans. I know you must meet your wattage for what you want to use and volts X amps = wattage. I am back to the 2 Honda inverters @ $1800 or I have been looking at this inverter Champion model IK 525566 @ $900 2800/3100 and just the Champion generator IK 524487 @ $600 5500/6800. Very seldom would I use it around the house.
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
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Certain electronic devices prefer the output of an inverter generator and will malfunction using an open frame genny. The big difference between the two is the noise they generate.
For example an 1800 watt open frame Champion is rated at 65db and a Champion 2000 watt inverter is rated at 53db. The Champion IK 524487 is rated 74db (real loud).
The Champ 525566 should run your 15k AC or go with (2) Champion 2000's (inverter) with a parellel kit.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:02 PM   #3
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Traditional generators (non-inverters) run constantly at 3600 rpm in order to get the desired 60hz AC frequency. This is one reason that they are so loud. The output of this type of generator is fairly clean because it is a pure sine wave. Changes in load may cause engine to slow down and possibly overshoot desired rpm of 3600 rpm which can cause minor fluctuations in voltage and frequency. You won't harm electronics using a conventional generator. After all, the generators that power our home are similar but much larger!

Inverter generators generate DC current which is then inverted into 120 V AC-pure sine wave AC. At low loads the engine runs at slow speeds and as load picks up so does engine speed. This feature is why they run quieter and burn less gasoline than a conventional generator.

I strongly recommend the same Boliy generator that I've been using for 4 years. I purchased mine from bottonline trading and have been 100% satisfied with my purchase.

Inverter generators are more complex and have more things that can go wrong with them. However, you can't beat them for their efficiency and low level of noise.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:31 PM   #4
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"You won't harm electronics using a conventional generator."

WRONG !

Mis-information
abounds. Here is a quote from the Champion open frame generator web site.

"Electronic devices, including computers and many programmable appliances use components that are designed to operate within a narrow voltage range and may be affected by momentary voltage fluctuations.
While there is no way to prevent voltage fluctuations, you can take steps to protect sensitive electronic equipment.
1. Install UL1449, CSA-listed, plug-in surge suppressors on the outlets feeding your sensitive equipment. Surge suppressors come in single- or multi-outlet styles. Theyíre designed to protect against virtually all short-duration voltage fluctuations."
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:21 PM   #5
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If you like camping in the mountains, make sure your generator will work there. We have an inverter generator that the manual says has to be taken in to a service center to be modified for use above 5,000 feet, and then taken back to be changed to below 5.000 feet. So we have a generator that has never been used.
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:43 PM   #6
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My recent questions about generators may help you too. See Thread here
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:02 PM   #7
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We bought the Champion 2800/3100 Inverter primarily due to price and the amount of time we were going to use it. We only use it for a few days a year. If we used it often we would have bought Honda or Yamaha.

In hindsight I wish I would have bought 2 2000's and paired them together, it would have been more versatile.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:38 PM   #8
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What is the best way to lock these devices to prevent theft? I've seen a lot of them secured with chains or cables but don't know which is the best method.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goat Man View Post
If you like camping in the mountains, make sure your generator will work there. We have an inverter generator that the manual says has to be taken in to a service center to be modified for use above 5,000 feet, and then taken back to be changed to below 5.000 feet. So we have a generator that has never been used.

Bummer, all that is "modified" is the installation of a high altitude main jet on the carburetor. It is very easy to do and I bet you could do it yourself in 30 minutes the first time and much quicker.

The generator will run at high altitude, it will run rich meaning you may foul plugs and you will clog your spark arrester..however, it will run. I ran mine for a couple of years until I soldered the main jet and drilled a smaller hole in it. A little more difficult but I'm cheap and didn't want to pay 20 bucks for a smaller size jet.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
"You won't harm electronics using a conventional generator."

WRONG !

Mis-information
abounds. Here is a quote from the Champion open frame generator web site.

"Electronic devices, including computers and many programmable appliances use components that are designed to operate within a narrow voltage range and may be affected by momentary voltage fluctuations.
While there is no way to prevent voltage fluctuations, you can take steps to protect sensitive electronic equipment.
1. Install UL1449, CSA-listed, plug-in surge suppressors on the outlets feeding your sensitive equipment. Surge suppressors come in single- or multi-outlet styles. They’re designed to protect against virtually all short-duration voltage fluctuations."
That's just Manufacturer BS to protect themselves from claims when a knucklehead puts too much of a sudden load on the generator while sensitive electronics are hooked up. I have the cheapest generator as a backup, a $79 (with coupon) 2 stroke harbor freight generator and it is used by me and countless other Ham Radio operators in the field on field day with no problems with a surge surpresser. Voltage fluctuates 3-4 volts under load but it works just fine. I have about $1,300 in Ham Radio equipment that I have hooked up (I'm a Yaesu man) and never had a problem. Just check your voltage and ensure you are getting 60hz and you should be fine with a standard 3600 rpm generator.

Most 3600 rpm (non-inverter) generators need tweaking on the throttle adjustment anyway to get a good voltage initially and then again once engine is loosened up on break in and developing full power.

A surge suppressor is a good idea for all generators even inverter ones. Some of the better inverter generators use 12V DC from the starter battery for sudden increases in load until the engine and throttle stepper motor have time to catch up. That is how they can get an additional 500-1000 watts of "starting power" that is important for a/c compressor loads.

With that said, using a 3600 rpm generator is not neighbor friendly and even when I boondock camp in the back country (we have a 4 inch lift on our camper), I wouldn't run one just for peace and quiet. I will admit I'm a hypocrite and have no problem destroying that peace and quiet in the back country when I snowmobile.....aftermarket pipe/can and throttle pegged to 8200 rpm is music to my ears while crushing that powder off trail.
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