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Old 11-18-2011, 02:11 PM   #1
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Newbie Questions

I just purchased a Rockwood A128 a few weeks ago.I am completely new to any type of camper and there is quite a lot to learn in the beginning as I am finding out.I have camped out 3 nights.I am storing my A128 in my garage with the top down and the camper closed.I have very little spare room left lol.I have a few questions I hope someone can help me with.
(1.) Should I buy a battery tender to hook up to my camper battery to keep it charged while I have it in my garage or can I simply keep the 110v plug plugged in a wall circuit and that keep the battery charged without overcharging it?
(2.) Also is it ok to have the 110 volt plugged while in the garage and having the top down on the camper?
(3.) When I was camping my battery finally gave out while I was trying to operate the gas propane heater during the night.I am assuming the blower,etc. worked off battery power.I had no generator yet and I actually switched to a portable Buddy Heater that I had also brought along .The next day I started my vehicle up and let it run for about half an hour to recharge the battery and it seemed to help to where the propane furance would work again for awhile.
(4.) I know I am going to need to purchase a generator and I am looking at either one or two of the Honda 2000s or maybe a Yamaha 2400.It seems just one Honda 2000 will not be enough from what I have read so far.
Presently I am not using the water system in the camper since it is so cold this time of year.I have drained the hot water heater and have antifreeze in the camper lines.I just took water that I would need in a separate container with me.Also I never used the refrigerator on my last trip as I think it also uses some DC current from the battery to operate.The area I camped in had no electricity.

Any advice and/or tips would be most appreciated.I am sure I will have more questions.Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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1. This is the battery tender I use: Amazon.com: Battery Tender 800 Waterproof 12V Battery Charger: Automotive

2. It is ok to leave 110 connected. However, using the battery tender works very well and adds life to your trailers converter/charger.

3. I use a portable Buddy Heater as well. The fan/blower in RV furnaces draw lots of current and can take their toll on the battery very quickly.

4. The Honda 2000 will not run the compressor in your Duo Therm Heat Pump. I do not know about Yamaha 2400.

Enjoy that new trailer.

Dave
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:42 PM   #3
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4. The Honda 2000 will not run the compressor in your Duo Therm Heat Pump. I do not know about Yamaha 2400.
Our Yamaha EF2400is will run our 13,500 BTU AC at up to 3500'....haven't tried it any higher, as we just have baby mountains around here. There is 1 member here that has used it to run his AC at 7000'.

As a precaution, I turn all other 120 volt appliances off when I start the AC, including turning the fridge to propane only. I also get the AC fan up to speed 1st. The overload light on the genny will show for a second during the AC startup, then things settle down and run great.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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I am guessing the lifespan of the built in converter is not changed significantly by being used to keep the battery charged during storage. These units are under such low load during that operation, I would not worry.

However - I think a dedicated battery tender is a better option due to heat buildup in the trailer.

Pro Mariner makes some very nice small units for less than 30 bucks at Bass Pro.

And charging from your vehicle is the least effective method.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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Our Yamaha EF2400is will run our 13,500 BTU AC at up to 3500'....haven't tried it any higher, as we just have baby mountains around here. There is 1 member here that has used it to run his AC at 7000'.

As a precaution, I turn all other 120 volt appliances off when I start the AC, including turning the fridge to propane only. I also get the AC fan up to speed 1st. The overload light on the genny will show for a second during the AC startup, then things settle down and run great.
mtnguy,
Do you ever turn any of the appliances and/or lights back on while operating the ac or do you leave those off the whole time the ac is on? Doesnt it take more power to start the a/c and other applicances up than it does to run them once started? I like the portability of the Hondas since they are somewhat lighter in weight but I think it might take two of them.If the Yamaha 2400 will suffice I may go that route since I think one of them would cost less than the two Hondas even though it would mean I would have less overall power available.I am hoping I might be able to run the heat pump/ac and some other items as well with just the Yamaha 2400.
Thanks
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:12 PM   #6
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all the rest of the appliances/lights run off 12 volt. if your battery is healthy the increased load will be distributed and you will be ok. you can also replace with LED lights to reduce your current draw. my lights will actually max out my converter.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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mtnguy,
Do you ever turn any of the appliances and/or lights back on while operating the ac or do you leave those off the whole time the ac is on? Doesnt it take more power to start the a/c and other applicances up than it does to run them once started? I like the portability of the Hondas since they are somewhat lighter in weight but I think it might take two of them.If the Yamaha 2400 will suffice I may go that route since I think one of them would cost less than the two Hondas even though it would mean I would have less overall power available.I am hoping I might be able to run the heat pump/ac and some other items as well with just the Yamaha 2400.
Thanks
I don't use any other appliances if the AC is running on the generator. You are correct, that the start-up uses the most amps....that is why the overload light will briefly flash during start up. Once the AC is up to speed, it may be possible to run items that don't pull many amps.....like my TV....I just have never tried that.


If I need to use the microwave, or the missus wants to use her hair dryer, I will turn off the AC before using those items.

You are correct, that the EF2400is will be much cheaper than 2 Honda 2000s.....I think the 2000s are about the same price as the Yamaha. If you can handle the weight, a Honda 3000 would run the AC plus some other items, but you will still have to manage your use some.


I got our generator at Wise Sales....they list the Yamaha EF2400iSHC for $1331.10. They delivered to our house for free.

EF2400iSHC Yamaha Generator 2400 WiseSales.com

Wise sales does not list the Honda prices....you have to call or email for that info.

The weights may be a concern, especially for me as I get more age challenged. The Yamaha weighs in at 75 lbs....so far that is not a problem. The Honda 2000 is 47 lbs, the 3000 is 134 lbs....that definitely is over my limit.

All 3 of those models are about the same dBs.

The Yamaha can not be run in parallel with another generator, 2 Honda 2000s can be run in parallel.

Other than occasionally running my AC, or the missus drying her hair, I seldom use the generator except to charge the batteries. It is just too convenient to run the water heater and fridge on gas, and heat stuff on the stove instead of the microwave......can you say Jiffy Pop ??
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:55 PM   #8
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I just checked out Camping World, and the have the Honda EU2000i for $899.99 with a $30 shipping fee.


American Honda - Honda EU2000i Generator - CARB-Compliant - Honda Generators - Camping World
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies.I am learning a lot from all of you with more experience.I certainly appreciate all the input.I think I can beat both those prices on either the Honda or Yamaha locally.I just have to decide which way I might go.mtnguy,like you,the Honda 3000 is out for me.I cringe just thinking about moving that heavy thing around.The 75 or so lbs for the Yamaha is still manageable for me as well.The Honda 2000s weight as well as being able to run two at the same time is a really attractive feature of the Hondas.I welcome any other advice that anyone wants to add.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:49 PM   #10
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Other than occasionally running my AC, or the missus drying her hair, I seldom use the generator except to charge the batteries. It is just too convenient to run the water heater and fridge on gas, and heat stuff on the stove instead of the microwave......can you say Jiffy Pop ??
mtnguy how long do you normally have to run your Yamaha generator in order to charge the battery back up?

Any estimate on how long a charge will last if you run your lights and the dc current required to properly operate the refrigerator,water heater,and propane gas heater if they are mainly operating using gas.I am guessing each of these appliances has to have at least some dc current even while operating on gas?
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