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Old 08-27-2016, 03:15 PM   #1
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Generator?

We are new to RVing and will be picking up our very first travel trailer next week.

I have noticed that many people use a generator with their trailer/RV.

Do we need one? If so, what wattage and other attributes do I need? I'd also like to be able to use it for backup power for my home.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:40 PM   #2
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If you always have hookups, you don't need one.
Only those of us that dry camp or boondock, may need a generator.

If you plan on doing that, you need to answer a few questions :

1. Will you be using it in a campground or for boondocking?
2. Do you want to run the a/c or just recharge the batteries.
3. Do you want quiet or cheap? can't have both.

Solar panels are an alternative but you can't run the a/c.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:47 AM   #3
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Thanks, Dan.

To address your questions...
1. Will you be using it in a campground or for boondocking? Both.
2. Do you want to run the a/c or just recharge the batteries. I expect we will occasionally run the a/c off of it.
3. Do you want quiet or cheap? can't have both. Quiet is not an absolute requirement -- just a nice to have.

And as I noted in my post, I'd like to be able to use it as backup power for my home. We live in a rural area and power failures are fairly common here.

Thanks again for your response.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:26 PM   #4
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What size a/c do you have and how many?

If you want to run it in a campground, you need to get an inverter generator.
Honda and Yamaha are the gold standard but there are many other brands are competing with them.
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:38 PM   #5
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Yamaha and Honda are the gold standard for unaffordable generators.

A generator is a must even if your don't dry camp. Last summer, there was a pretty bad accident on the road headed back home. The highway was closed for over 6 hours and traffic backup lasted longer. We pulled off onto a dirt county road and found a spot to open our slides, fire up our generator, turn the a/c on, cook lunch, dinner, and spend the night until the next morning when things were finally cleared up.

You will want at least a 3,000 watt continuous rating generator. A lot of 3000 watt generators are actually 3000 watt surge and 2800 watt continuous. Read the specs carefully. Inverter generators are quiet and more fuel efficient then open frame construction type generators.

If I were in your shoes, I'd get a Boliy Geneator from bottomlinetrading or a 3100 watt continuous rating inverter generator from CHampion. Some folks prefer to get two 1400 watt generators and run them in parallel and run them both at same time when more power is needed. I'm not a fan of having 2 generators. Twice the maintenance required.
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgem View Post
Thanks, Dan.

To address your questions...
1. Will you be using it in a campground or for boondocking? Both.
2. Do you want to run the a/c or just recharge the batteries. I expect we will occasionally run the a/c off of it.
3. Do you want quiet or cheap? can't have both. Quiet is not an absolute requirement -- just a nice to have.

And as I noted in my post, I'd like to be able to use it as backup power for my home. We live in a rural area and power failures are fairly common here.

Thanks again for your response.
I think the key bit here is the last paragraph...."I'd like to be able to use it as backup power for my home." 3000 watt isn't going to be enough. Depending on what you want to run at home will dictate the size you want. I have a 7500 watt Black Max strictly for the house and can run everything except the central a/c. This is hooked up to a switch box, so I can turn different circuits on or off, as needed.
We all have different styles of camping. My DW won't camp unless we have electricity. So, we always go to CG's that have that at a bare minimum. Now that we have a motor home with a generator, it opens up other possibilities.

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Old 08-28-2016, 09:45 PM   #7
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Thanks.

13,500 BTU I believe.

Don't mean to sound daft, but what is an inverter generator?
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:51 PM   #8
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Thanks.

Yes, I've heard that 7500 watts is ideal for backup power, but I'm thinking I can probably get by with 5500 if I am prudent about what appliances I use in an emergency....Maybe not, though.

If I am looking for a generator that is suitable for both powering the TT and use as a backup at home, are there some features that are required for double duty. I've seen some generators who are described as having an "RV switch." Is that some kind of transfer switch?
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:09 PM   #9
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Check Tractor's Supply for the Champion line of generators. They also carry Generic and Boliy brands.The 3500/4000 unit sells for about $300. The 7500/8000 sells for $800. All of my Champs have held up very well over the last 5 years. Mo problems what so ever, just keep the synthetic oil changed every 100 hours.
The Honda and Yamaha inverter gens are a lot quieter, but you can buy three 3500/4000 Champions for the price of one 3000 watt inverter Honda units and parts for the Champions are easily bought. I have never had to replace any parts on any of mine, but I saw carburetors for sale for them on Amazon.
BTW, the 3500/4000 unit weighs 95 lbs if weight is an issue which it always is RVing.
The Champion 3500/4000 has a 240 plug, 2 x 120 plugs and an RV 30 amp plug. A toggle switch that changes 120 to 240 VAC. I use the 240 VAC to connect to our home for power outages as we live in an area with lots of summer storms that leave us without power for up to 2 days.
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:27 PM   #10
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mrgem,
I am in the same market as you . I want a generator to run my TT (Flagstaff 27 BEWS w/a 15000 BTU) AC and a few appliances (refer and water heater will be on propane) and also a unit to run at my home(a small window AC,refer and a small television and maybe the curling iron ) in the event of power outages.
I talked to my dealer rep and he recommended at least a Yamaha 5000 watt generator as a minimum. Just so happens they had one on sale to fit the order. Hmmm...
Anyway, my research indicates I will not need that large of a generator. Something over 3000 watts should be sufficient for my needs. I also want to store and transport the generator in the back of my TV (pick-up truck) that has a bed cover (approx 21" high). And based on the dealers recommendation, I want a unit that has an invert-er (protects sensitive electronics..computer,flat screens ect..) and a 30 watt plug receptacle.
So far the only unit that has all the above is the Boliy 3600 Series generator http://www.boliygenerator.com/index.html.
This unit also has an auxiliary fuel tank for longer run times.
Also as I understand there is a electrical product that will reduce your "start amp" draw from your AC unit (on the RV) by 65 to 70 %.
https://id144248.webhosting.optonlin...&products_id=4
All said, I guess this little package will set me back maybe $2K. A lot cheaper than 2 Honda 2000K units that have small gas tanks and no AC power saver is included in this order.
Think I have made my mind up.
Thanks, RMc
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