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Old 12-01-2015, 01:04 AM   #1
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Take me to generator school

Ok guys, please help educate me on generators.... I know Honda's are the gold standard. Can't afford them. I have a 50 amp fiver. I know I should probably get a 4000 watt generator as I understand 2000 watt generator won't be enough. Correct? Do I want 4000 watts starting watts and 3500 running watts? Do I need one with an inverter? With an 8 yr old, the ability to periodically turn on a tv or charge an electronic device will be a necessity, especially if we do nascar camping. Next, what about noise? I know quieter is better but what db is considered too loud? For example, this Generator is 68 db at 23ft. I'm not looking to run it long term but a little here and there as needed maybe 1-2 trips/yr (and yes, I know it needs to run periodically). How long do they need to run to charge the battery (single 12v). I'm clueless about these things. Any helpful advice/info appreciated. Thanks
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:50 AM   #2
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Been looking at these too. Did you see the dual fuel models they offer? Run off of either gas or propane. I'm looking at getting the 7500 watt and using it back and forth between the toy hauler and the house for back up power. I really won' t need it in the camper but guess it's a selling feature. If you are only going to run 1 a/c or your microwave I think the 4000 will be plenty for you. And don't think the noise would be a problem at a nascar race
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:08 AM   #3
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first, decide if you want quiet or cheap. quiet cost more.

second, do you want to use it in a campground? if so, get an inverter generator. they usually are much quieter than 68db, which is loud. there are cheaper alternatives to Hondas/Yamahas. like the Champion 3100w inverter generator.

third, you can get a paired set of 2000w inverter generators, like the Champion 2000w ones that are affordable. then you can use just one unless you need the a/c.

68db is pretty loud.
like the Champion 3500w/4000w open-frame contractor style generators are loud at 68db. i know cause i own one and would NEVER use it in a campground.

inverter generators can adjust rpms based on demand. non-inverter generators run full speed all the time.
so, for just recharging batteries, an inverter generator will run at low rpms, so they are quieter.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:23 AM   #4
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My 2˘ is to get two 2,000 watt inverter generators that can be paralleled and get the parallel kit that goes with them. That way you can run only one if needed and lugging around two small generators is a lot less work than lugging around a 4,000 watt unit.

For instance the Champion 2000 watt inverter model weighs 48lbs and has a 53dba noise rating while the 3100 watt model weighs 80lbs and has a 58dba noise rating. To get a 4000 watt model you have to go with a non-inverter model and they weigh just shy of 100lbs and have a 68dba noise rating.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:44 PM   #5
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You will need more than a 3500 to run two A/C so just only run one at a time. You will need a 50amp to 30amp adapter plug (No big deal, just dont waste time looking for a 50amp plug generator). About the only camp place you can run an open frame contractor style genny is a NASCAR race. I have the Champion 3100 and its working fine for me.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
My 2˘ is to get two 2,000 watt inverter generators that can be paralleled and get the parallel kit that goes with them. That way you can run only one if needed and lugging around two small generators is a lot less work than lugging around a 4,000 watt unit.

For instance the Champion 2000 watt inverter model weighs 48lbs and has a 53dba noise rating while the 3100 watt model weighs 80lbs and has a 58dba noise rating. To get a 4000 watt model you have to go with a non-inverter model and they weigh just shy of 100lbs and have a 68dba noise rating.
The Champion 2000 is an excellent generator and in parallal runs the AC with no problem.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:50 PM   #7
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Ok thanks guys
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:25 PM   #8
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Generator

If you are going to use it at the race track it don't matter about noise usually the sober ones cut there's off at 11 pm but most people that run generators that are not attached to the Rv use 5000 watts of cheap whatever you can get at lowes or Home Depot that will take care of your needs
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:36 PM   #9
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I would add that an inverter makes CLEAN power, meaning that you won't fry electronics in your camper. It will also make mechanical things last longer, like your A/C. I would never hook up a plain generator to my 5er.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:16 PM   #10
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We have a Champion 4k gen set. For less then $300 they are a steal. 30 A RV outlet, the voltage is regulated so TV, stereo, laptops are safe. The master tinkerer adapted an additional exhaust silencer to it and it is pretty quiet...No complaints in over 3 years and we camp at least one weekend a month in mostly State parks...
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:33 PM   #11
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I second two 2000 inverter genies.. They are more money than a construction grade but well worth the quiet. I do two Honda EU2000. Easier to move and only run what I need.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:04 PM   #12
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This gives good basic information.....

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Old 12-01-2015, 09:52 PM   #13
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You can probably get a pair of re-loved champions with parallel kit for same price as one Honda. And if you need to go somewhere that you need both ac's look for hook ups. OR...but a 9000 champion with remote start and spend 200 more on aftermarket muffler and put the 230 lb unit in front storage or bed of truck.


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Old 12-02-2015, 12:30 AM   #14
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Gen sets

Spend the money for quiet reliability. If it's not in the current budget, ... Save your pennies until you can afford what really works. If you camp next to us with a 68db generator roaring, I and all the other neighbors will come after you with a baseball bat. Really.:
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:41 AM   #15
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Spend the money for quiet reliability. If it's not in the current budget, ... Save your pennies until you can afford what really works. If you camp next to us with a 68db generator roaring, I and all the other neighbors will come after you with a baseball bat. Really.:
And this is why in ask questions.... to avoid being beaten over the head with a baseball bat. Seriously though, thanks guys. This gal is always learning something new and this month it's genies.
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:22 AM   #16
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Remember that Db ratings are logarithmic not linear. 68 Db is nearly 4 times as loud as 63 Db.
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Old 12-02-2015, 03:15 AM   #17
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You should consider how much power you really need. If AC is not essential then a 2kw would do the job well as long as you pay attention to load. IE...don't use the toaster oven when the microwave in on, etc

I would not recommend buying anything other than a switch mode inverter type gen. We've camped where others were using conventional dynamo type gens and it really can be quite disturbing.

We usually keep our Honda chained in the back of the truck and when we need it, we just use it in place. I also wired in a 800w inverter which is plenty to run TV, DVD and even the vacuum.

That being said, if you do require more power, I'd recommend either 2 2KW portables to avoid heavy schlepping...or...if you really want to go big time...consider permanently mounting a bigger LP gen to the bed of the truck with a dedicated LP tank.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
Remember that Db ratings are logarithmic not linear. 68 Db is nearly 4 times as loud as 63 Db.
What Bob said:

3db difference is twice as loud, 10db is 10 times, 20db is 100 times, 30db is 1,000 times as loud.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel

Note: use the "power" (intensity) db scale, and not the "amplitude", for "sound pressure" (loudness).
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:02 AM   #19
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Just buy a generator to run what you need. If you buy a 10kw gen, remember your paying for gas no matter what. So usually size up what you need.

Just for a single AC load, I've liked the Yamaha 2400iSHC, but its going to cost you. I've seen them come up from time to time on Craigslist for less than $750
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:51 AM   #20
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Remember 4000 watts is only 33.3 amps. We have a 4Kw Onan in our 5th wheel 30amp it run everything we need. A 4kw will not run everything in a 50amp RV.
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