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Old 09-18-2016, 12:29 PM   #1
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Generator Use Tips

First, thanks to all who chimed in with their advice on the choice of a generator. Based on your comments, I've chosen a Champion 3800-watt unit. I know it will not be whisper-quiet and light as a feather like inverter units from Japan, but it is a good compromise and most of you who've had them find them acceptable and a very good value.

Now, I have a few questions on their use...

The first question I have regards positioning your generator. I have a 30-ft TT30-to-110v cord, so I am limited to placing the gen 30-feet or closer to my trailer.

What I was planning on doing is to just leave the generator in the bed of my pickup. This thing weighs 120lbs so I hate to unload from the truck and load it if I do not have to. However, the owner's manual specifically advises against running it from a pickup bed. So where else might I locate it so its noise is minimized and it is level and stable?

The second bit of advice I am looking for regards grounding of the generator. The machine has a grounding lug on its control panel and the manual says I can just ground it to the frame with a 12-gauge or heavier strap . No ground strap is provided, though, so I'm wondering what others use. It also says you can ground it to a copper ground stake that is driven into the soil. That sounds like more than a little bit of a hassle.

What do you all do to ground your generator when camping?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:36 PM   #2
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Most C/G sites are NOT 30' wide,so your Neighbors will be Impacted with Your Noise! Now if you are Boondocking just Buy a Ex cord that will place the Genny as Far away as makes You comfy! Youroo!!
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mrgem View Post
First, thanks to all who chimed in with their advice on the choice of a generator. Based on your comments, I've chosen a Champion 3800-watt unit. I know it will not be whisper-quiet and light as a feather like inverter units from Japan, but it is a good compromise and most of you who've had them find them acceptable and a very good value.

Now, I have a few questions on their use...

The first question I have regards positioning your generator. I have a 30-ft TT30-to-110v cord, so I am limited to placing the gen 30-feet or closer to my trailer.

What I was planning on doing is to just leave the generator in the bed of my pickup. This thing weighs 120lbs so I hate to unload from the truck and load it if I do not have to. However, the owner's manual specifically advises against running it from a pickup bed. So where else might I locate it so its noise is minimized and it is level and stable?

The second bit of advice I am looking for regards grounding of the generator. The machine has a grounding lug on its control panel and the manual says I can just ground it to the frame with a 12-gauge or heavier strap . No ground strap is provided, though, so I'm wondering what others use. It also says you can ground it to a copper ground stake that is driven into the soil. That sounds like more than a little bit of a hassle.

What do you all do to ground your generator when camping?

Thanks for your help.
Leaving it in the bed of the truck is fine . if you have no topper even better . no real need to ground unit . you can but not necessary. I use a copper rod into the ground then a clamp but have found it was overkill .
lots of campgrounds have hours where generators can be run and yours is not as loud as a lot of diesel boilers in lots of motor coaches and doesn't smell as bad . and not everyone goes to campgrounds to camp
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:53 PM   #4
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Good luck with your new generator and also with your neighbors giving you the evil eye Lots of threads/articles concerning grounding. I've never actually seen anybody ground their portables.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:22 PM   #5
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Leaving it in the bed of the truck is fine. I've done the same for years.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mrgem View Post
First, thanks to all who chimed in with their advice on the choice of a generator. Based on your comments, I've chosen a Champion 3800-watt unit. I know it will not be whisper-quiet and light as a feather like inverter units from Japan, but it is a good compromise and most of you who've had them find them acceptable and a very good value.
I'm sorry but most of us that own the Champion 3800 would NEVER use it in a campground.

Yes it's a great value but it isn't appropriate for campground usage.

I use mine for backup power for the house.

Not sure where you got the idea most approve of it for campgrounds. :what:
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:45 AM   #7
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to be a good campground neighbor then you use no generator cause your honda is very annoying to many as is any generator use . but if your going to use them then all need to be accepted . some love to think their stuff don't stink . but nothing worse then camping out where there are few other campers and the guy with his honda thinks he can run it all night just because it's not a rv park .
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:01 AM   #8
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most parks only allow inverter type generators. Champion makes open frame and the inverter type.

you probably wont make friends by using an open frame, it will significantly louder.

I run my generator in my truck bed under the camper shell when it rains. It works fine
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:06 AM   #9
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Where did the OP say they were going to use this generator in a campground?

I agree it would NOT be acceptable but I also didn't see where using it in a campground was mentioned. Maybe the plans are to use it boondocking somewhere alone?

To the OP... I see no reason you couldn't leave the genny in the back of the truck.
I've done it MANY times.
If you have a topper, open the windows and leave the t/gate open.
If no topper, just fire it up.

There is no harm in using a 30 amp extension cord either.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:15 AM   #10
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Just a little off topic, but all those who are running a genny in the back of a pickup are you a least putting some sort of vibration damping ( as in rubber mat) under the gen to absorb some of the vibration/noise from the frame of the unit sitting on the bed of the truck?
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