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Old 11-18-2018, 06:05 PM   #1
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"Cheap generators"

Hello all, looking for your thoughts on the cheap construction type generators . I'm aware they are noisy, heavy,won't last forever etc...my questions are minimal watts to run heat (I'm assuming minimal for that) to run a/c .and maybe a tv and or some lighting. And are they safe regarding the "dirty" output of electricity. Dont want to burn out my electronics or the camper wiring. Cherokee wolf pack 23 pack 15 toy hauler.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:19 PM   #2
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:36 PM   #3
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Hello all, looking for your thoughts on the cheap construction type generators . I'm aware they are noisy, heavy,won't last forever etc...my questions are minimal watts to run heat (I'm assuming minimal for that) to run a/c .and maybe a tv and or some lighting. And are they safe regarding the "dirty" output of electricity. Dont want to burn out my electronics or the camper wiring. Cherokee wolf pack 23 pack 15 toy hauler.
The champion 3500/4000 watt open frame will last for years and is not that loud . haven't looked in a while but bet you can pick up one for around 500 or less . i have a remote start one for home use comes in handy on cold morning when you don't want to go outside to start genney before coffee . And they won't burn out your electronics
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:36 PM   #4
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Butch63225. I own a Champion open frame 4000 watt start/ 3500 watt run unit. I gave $270 3 years ago at Walmart. Iíve added a cheap tach/hour meter and a Champion wheel kit. We have a 30 amp camper with a 13.5k btu Coleman a/c. I added a Hard Start Capicator SPP6 but it did fine without it. (I estimate that the SPP6 took about 20% off the start load.) We normally use it at the racetrack where there is no shade so the a/c has to run constantly on hot days. Not the first problem with the generator. I have Called Champion with questions and they have been the best company that I have ever contacted. Very helpful! Have 255 hours on it and it doesnít use oil. Also starts on 1 pull. I did upgrade the spark plug to an Autolite irridum. I can almost fill up in the evening and not have to worry about gas until about 10 AM the next day. If I were buying again I would get a Champion Digital Inverter Hybrid, itís lighter and would save gas. Feel free to ask me any questions about my generator you may have. Jay
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:47 PM   #5
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The champion 3500/4000 watt open frame will last for years and is not that loud . haven't looked in a while but bet you can pick up one for around 500 or less . i have a remote start one for home use comes in handy on cold morning when you don't want to go outside to start genney before coffee . And they won't burn out your electronics
Of all the "contractor style" open frame generators the Champion 3500/4000 watt unit is among the best and quietest.

I've had one for over a dozen years that still starts on the first pull. Don't sweat the quality of the output. I've used it to power up my TV, Cable Company Set Top Box, and Optical Network Interface (for my Fios connection) for hours on end during power outages. Not a single issue.

I kept it when I bought a new Champion 3500W Inverter to haul with the trailer just so I could use it for power outages at the house.

Even though fairly quiet, and it meets Forest Service noise requirements for their campgrounds, I always made sure I had it located behind my truck or trailer so there wasn't a direct line of sight to a neighboring campsite. Never got a single complaint.

There are some that are absolute racket makers. The more of the engine and generator head you can see, the louder they will be, especially those that have small mufflers. The champion has a larger, automotive style, muffler along with spark arrestor to make the Forest Service happy.

A pull start model will sell for around $350-$400 and they've been around long enough you can probably find a good used one for half that. Champion has great parts supply and support right here in this country so no worries of it being obsolete and unrepairable anytime soon.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:47 PM   #6
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I have the same Champion 3500/4000w open frame generator that cost me $275. Use it for home backup power only and NEVER in campgrounds.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:47 PM   #7
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What altitude are you at? Makes a big difference. The generator my in-laws use in WA at near sea-level camping won't do much for me in the Rockies when I camp at 10,000'.

What's your trailer's amp service? Makes a big difference. If you're running a 30A trailer, then it doesn't do much good to supply more than 3,600 W (120 * 30 = 3,600).

Good luck.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:48 PM   #8
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You will most likely not be allowed to run it in most campgrounds and unless it has a forest service service approved muffler same for many national forests.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:54 PM   #9
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You will most likely not be allowed to run it in most campgrounds and unless it has a forest service service approved muffler same for many national forests.
The Champions come from the factory with a spark arrestor and are approved for Forest Service use.


67L48----

Champion will provide a high altitude jet for the carburetor. I asked for one and they sent it to me free.

I used my Generator while camping years back over 8,000 feet and was able to run A/C along with all the other small stuff. Only thing that I couldn't do at high altitude was run AC and Microwave at same time. So I just shut off the A/C for he 2-5 minutes I needed the MW.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:02 PM   #10
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So a 4000 watt durostar should run everything I need? And no big deal for trailer wiring or the TV's dvd's etc...just recently bought the rv but had the generator for years. Bought it new as a back up kinda thing and just unboxed it this weekend.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:07 PM   #11
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I am in pa and have a 30 amp trailer. I wouldnt use it next to anyone in a campground situation maybe just boondocking. I put in dual batteries also so thinking run long enough to charge everything up for the night.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:12 PM   #12
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Thank you all for your replies. This site has been very helpful
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:23 PM   #13
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One unit to watch out for is the Harbor Freight 4000/3200 open frame generator. It is a quiet running unit (a friend has an old one that is quieter than my Champion) but it is NOT 3200 running watts. It is 2 1600 running watt out of phase generators combined in one unit. Each of the separate duplex outlets runs off a different set of generator windings and they CANNOT be combined to run say a 1875 watt hair blow drier. Same thing with their new 4375/3500 watt generator. Unlike Champion (and other brands) they donít have a 30 amp 3 prong twist lock connector or a 30 amp trailer plug. They use a 4 prong twist lock connection that keeps the 2 ďhalfísĒ separate. Jay
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:27 PM   #14
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If I were buying today....I would definitely consider the harbor freight 3500 or Champion 3400. Both can be had for less than $800 and are very quiet.

Sales will be happening for BF... Just keep an eye on the internet.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:30 PM   #15
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So a 4000 watt durostar should run everything I need? And no big deal for trailer wiring or the TV's dvd's etc...just recently bought the rv but had the generator for years. Bought it new as a back up kinda thing and just unboxed it this weekend.



OP already has an OF Generator.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:34 PM   #16
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Butch63255, can we see some pictures of your generator please. Jay
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:35 PM   #17
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:36 PM   #18
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So a 4000 watt durostar should run everything I need? And no big deal for trailer wiring or the TV's dvd's etc...just recently bought the rv but had the generator for years. Bought it new as a back up kinda thing and just unboxed it this weekend.
The Durostar is another of the chinese clones of the Honda EM3500 just like the Champion.

Fill it with oil, run it for 4-5 hours, drain and refill oil, and you're good to go.

Just be considerate when running around fellow campers who might be close by.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:39 PM   #19
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So a 4000 watt durostar should run everything I need? [...]
Again, I'll state the importance of altitude ... and I'm not talking about jetting.

If you start with the 4000W Durostar Generator, let's walk through the math.

As with all brands, a generator rated to X watts doesn't put out X watts. The reason is that they are all advertised to the peak watts, not the nominal watts. So, the first thing we need to do is to actually figure out how many watts are provided by this supposed 4000 W generator. Turns out, that the answer is 3,300 W.

Most generators are rated at 500' nominal. With normally aspirated engines, they lose ~3% for every 1000'. So, again, altitude matters.

If I used this where I camp, I lose around 27%. So, that 4,000W generator would only provide 2,400 W to my trailer. That might not actually be enough to run my A/C and other things. You might get closer to the 3,300 nominal rating. I don't know. Depends on your altitude during camping.

That's why I said what I said earlier.

Good luck.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:50 PM   #20
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Sorry dont know how to add pics?
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