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Old 11-02-2015, 09:27 AM   #1
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Newbie - need advice on generator purchase!

I always come here to get the BEST advice from the experts - you! We purchased a Forest River travel trailer new this summer but do not yet have a generator for tailgating, etc. What size do we need to run everything, including the AC? I do know we need an inverter generator for the noise. Any help you can give? Anywhere we could get a used one to mitigate the high cost?
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:56 AM   #2
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This is a good subject. I to am interested in a small but mighty inverter generator.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:09 AM   #3
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Not having much to go on, here are some basic considerations. In order to run your A/C you'll need something that will provide about 18 amps. The microwave is the second biggest power draw using about the same power. You likely won't be able to run both at the same time unless you go with a BIG gen.
So, two schools of thought. 1, buy a 3000 watt (27 amp) inverter type gen. They are a bit heavy but you only have one unit to worry about, maintain etc. It will run the A/C charge the TT batteries and all accessories. Option 2, two smaller units that can run in parallel, usually about 2000 watts apiece. If not using the A/C or M/W you can run one and have all the comforts.
Now, the issue of brand/price. Many like the two major brands Honda or Yamaha. You'll spend more, but the idea is they will last longer with minimal maintenance. Or there are several off brand options available at significantly lower cost. My suggestion is to figure how often you'll be using the generator and make your decision. Only you know your budget and cost value assessment. As an example, Sam's Club has a nice 2k generator for $400. Wont' run the A/C so you'll need the parallel kit and second slave unit. Their 3k unit is "I think" around $700. There are many brands and options. Personally I chose a Dometic brand 3000k single unit. Works well and I can lift it in and out of the truck. IMHO please stay away from the open frame construction style generators. As you suggest they are way too noisy and a total irritant to anyone within a 1/4 mile.
Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:11 AM   #4
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Could use a little more info on size of ac and size of camper and what you want to run. Later RJD
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:21 AM   #5
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Start with a Honda 3000 if you just have 1 A/C ! And you will (NOT) be able to Run Everything at the Same Time! Youroo!!
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:39 AM   #6
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Thank you!

For the excellent advice! If anyone has anything else to say, please feel free! We have a 29' Forest River travel trailer with one AC unit and would probably only run a generator about 5 times a year for a couple of days at a time MAX! Tailgating mostly.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtranicedeb View Post
For the excellent advice! If anyone has anything else to say, please feel free! We have a 29' Forest River travel trailer with one AC unit and would probably only run a generator about 5 times a year for a couple of days at a time MAX! Tailgating mostly.
There is a 3k watt Champion brand inverter that will do the job nicely at a reasonable price 3100 Watt Inverter Generator - Champion Generators 75531I - Portable Generators - Camping World. Best to shop around for the best price.
We use our Dometic 3000 quite a bit more than 10+ days a year, but have found that since we camp mostly in the mountains in the summer we don't use the a/C much or at all. Nice to have the option though.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:03 AM   #8
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This thread might help you:
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...p-94348-2.html

A Honda eu2000i will start and run a 13,500 BTU A/C on a 2016 Flagstaff Micro Lite. Not that it's recommended; but if it's only used for A/C occasionally, it will do it.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:11 AM   #9
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Hello,

I searched high and low for a suitable solution. Too my way of thinking the dual Honda's, extra run tank, parallel kit was costly and messy.

I found a 4 kw (3600 watts continuous) Powerhouse that does run everything including a 15k BTU Air Conditioner, Tassimo Coffee maker other loads at the same time. We bought it after we lost power at a campground and unable to sleep due to needs fro cpap machines decided it was worth the investment.

The Powerhouse is Fuel Injected, electric remote start, 10 hrs at 3/4 load on a tank. No need to burn the carb dry or remember to turn off the gas tank petcock. Most Honda in the 3,000 watt class are only 2600 watts. That would not be enough.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:46 AM   #10
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You will get varried opinions on this subject. There are numerous brands that make quiet generators.

You have 2 options (mainly), you could do a 3k genny, this would allow you to run the AC and a few other things (excluding the microwave at the same time, maybe) or you could run 2 - 2ks, you do this by getting 2-2ks and parallel them to give you 4k. This would run everything (including the micro and ac at the same time, I do this with mine). I personally like the 2-2ks because of the versatility and portability. My gennies are yamahas and they weigh 60lbs each. I only use one until I need the AC, then I parallel them.

The major drawback that most people say is the cost. A new yamaha or honda will run you around 1k (give or take on deals and how many you buy). I got my first yamaha from cabelas on sale for 850. I got the second one off of craigslist/ksl for 650. The parallel cable is anywhere from free (if you buy two gennies and get a deal, to 99 bucks). My whole set up cost me $1600. I have seen on craigslist/ksl 2 yamahas with cable for $1400-$1650.

There are other brands such as ryobi and champion but I do not have any experience with them, there are good reviews and bad reviews on the performance, to include altitude problems. I have camped with a guy for a few years that has the champion and it is 3 years old and he hasn't had a problem yet. I chose the yamaha because of the name and I haven't heard anyone complain about theirs.
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:14 PM   #11
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Best bang for your buck, quiet, dependable and reasonable price.
Two of these in parallel would work great.

2000W Inverter Generator - Champion Power Equipment
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:02 PM   #12
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I had a Yamaha EF-2600 (not inverter) for $750 purchased on-line. Ended up getting Honda 3000 Handi for $2,100. The difference is night and day but does come at a price. Both handled 1 a/c unit. One thing I found out is how the companies measure db ratings. On paper the db rating of the Yamaha and Honda were similar. However, I found out this Yamaha (like most companies) measured the db at 21 feet away, whereas the Honda was measured at about 9 feet! So not only research the db rating but understand how it is measured. The Honda is also easier to lift since its lighter. Both fit in the back of Silverado 1500 bed with bed cover on for security when traveling.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:03 PM   #13
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'Best Value' is not always the cheapest. Yamaha and Honda are two of the highest 'initial investment' generators, but they will start airconditioners when the cheaper ones won't (a Web search will verify this). And when one gets ready to resell, guess which ones will sell the fastest and bring the most money. There aren't many Honda or Yamaha 2000 or 3000 watt generators for sale on CraigsList, not in the Phoenix area.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:16 PM   #14
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Great topic. We brought our 2015 Greywolf on Saturday. So I am trying to learn all I can.

B and B, can you run the CPAP machine off the inverter/battery power. I don't think I would be able to sleep with a gen. running all night. We plan to do a lot of boondocking.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mdstudey View Post
Great topic. We brought our 2015 Greywolf on Saturday. So I am trying to learn all I can.

B and B, can you run the CPAP machine off the inverter/battery power. I don't think I would be able to sleep with a gen. running all night. We plan to do a lot of boondocking.
We could but AC is nice so we just live with it. Parked behind the trailer we do not hear it, inverter is pretty quiet.

Ours is more a backup use of electrical/ hydro/ power utility service fails.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:24 PM   #16
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I'm not sure if this has any relevance to you guys over the pond, I bought a 2.2kva remote start Hyundai last year, it will run my ac (Rockwood 8289 ultralite) not that we need ac over here, but not the microwave at the same time. It does run under load though with the ac, so stressing the engine when it is in use. Because its remote start I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to start it. I don't use it that often, its more just as a back up. For more permanent use a 4kva would be advisable and would not be running under load all the time. I think the remote is a good thing to have, as its power on demand, and you can also shut down once you have settled down in bed.

the Hyundai is far less costly than a Honda over here, but it is a well made machine and not a budget version.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:30 PM   #17
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I think there is also some confusion about invertor gens and sine wave gens, most modern gens are sine wave, so will run computers and other equipment with a constant voltage/ frequency. invertors convert 12v to 110 v(240v in my case), so another thing to take into account if going for a budget machine
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:30 PM   #18
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First make sure you actually need them. I have (2) honda 2000 with kit. I only use them when I'm working on camper while it's in storage. Otherwise, I've had no reason to use them.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:31 PM   #19
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Generator

Honda or Yamaha are the quietest but if noise is not a factor buy you a cheap 4 thousand or 5 thousand watt that's what a lot of people use at race tracks
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:36 PM   #20
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I just bought the new IQ2000 from Generac, two of them, as I was told in order to run a 15kBTU A/C you need both in parallel. They are super quiet, they are being advertised as quieter than a Honda. We will see how long they last. Got them from www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com, no tax, free shipping.
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