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Old 08-17-2019, 03:42 PM   #1
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Old man and a generator

Greetings all!

New to RVing (tent camped 37 years ago, but the similarities are few). Just too delivery on a 2020 Rockwood MiniLite 2109S. Thinking ahead to the time I may camp without an electrical hookup and thus I'm shopping generators. I have to have AC due to health conditions.

I like the Champion line, especially the 3400 watt dual fuel model but there's no way I can lift a 90 pound generator in and out of the pickup bed. Anyone have suggestions? A bed mounted hoist isn't possible since my Tacoma has a composite bed.

A possible solution is a pair of 2000 watt units which are much lighter. Then my concern is sound level. If I remember decibels correctly, a 6 dB increase in level is double the volume so a pair of 53 dB generators would be 59 dB. Any thoughts on the noise level of dual generators?

Finally, has anyone used the Harbor Freight Predator line? The reviews are middle of the road but the price point is very attractive.

Thanks for the time to read my post and for any replies!
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:49 PM   #2
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My generator is only a 46# Honda 2000, but it never leaves the truck bed. I run a #12 extension cord between the RV and truck. The generator being in the bed helps contain the noise as does a rolled back toneau that partially covers the generator (and covers it fully when it's not in use).
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hclarkx View Post
My generator is only a 46# Honda 2000, but it never leaves the truck bed. I run a #12 extension cord between the RV and truck. The generator being in the bed helps contain the noise as does a rolled back toneau that partially covers the generator (and covers it fully when it's not in use).
my bet is the 2000 wont pull your AC though. i have same and it wont pull my AC
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:56 PM   #4
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Greetings and welcome, I see it is your 1st post.

Generators are an often discussed topic on this forum with usually multiple threads per week discussing their merits.

A search will give you lots of reading.

As mentioned, without the use of an A/C starting device like the MicroAir, you are going to need more watts for the A/C than what little, lightweight generators can output so the dilemma is two in parallel or one heavier.

Again all generators and their combinations thereof have their good and bad. You'll get those that say buy nothing but Honda and others who've had just as good of luck with Champion and Harbor Freight.

Read up and let us know if you have any specific questions that may not have been answered many times over. Only YOU can make a decision on what is right for YOUR needs.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gbaldwin View Post
my bet is the 2000 wont pull your AC though. i have same and it wont pull my AC
It will but only at sea level. But, we avoid hot places so virtually never use the A/C. Mark may have room for a larger generator though bed space may be a problem if he has a fifth wheel. A longer 30 amp cord could be used if necessary. Having the generator in the truck bed means it goes with you when you leave camp. I'm not sure I would leave it behind and running when I leave camp so this is not an issue. I think it's safer with us and under the toneau.

I ran into a fellow with a Honda 3000 in his pickup bed (he did not have a fifth wheel). The Honda 3000 is much quieter than the 2000's and his was virtually inaudible at 50'.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:27 PM   #6
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I have the 90 lb generator and at 75 years olde I do not enjoy the lift .
I made a 'table ' that is the same height as the tailgate on my pick up truck and I can move it off and on with out the lift . Casters on the table , I roll it in to my shop and it sits there until I roll it back to the truck . The table also allows me to service the gen with out having to bend to the floor .
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:29 PM   #7
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Try one of these and it's only 54 lb. It has wheels and a handle like a suitcase. It is a 3000 watt inverter, so it's OK for electronics. It runs our AC just fine and is really quiet. Under $900.
https://www.amazon.com/Briggs-Stratt.../dp/B00IWJOOU8
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:43 PM   #8
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An option may be to mount a generator on your RV bumper. I know there is a lot of folks who recommend against that and I used to be one. I read on this forum about others using a mount-n-go shelf mounted to the bumper and reinforcing the bumper with mount-n-lock saftey struts. See below…

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...0?ie=UTF8&th=1

https://smile.amazon.com/Mount-n-Loc...1GPK2FZC508J4T

Many leave the generator on the shelf and build an exhaust system and others don’t. You can be the judge of that. I lifted mine off (100 lbs).

Here is a thread I started about that. Read thru it and you will see example of bumper mounts and exhaust systems and many options

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...fe-181142.html

I mounted one and did an 8000 mile trip. Nary an issue. Bought the cover for the generator and used 2 ratchet straps along with a locking device to secure in place. It never moved and the bumper did not show any stress issues.

So, if you want to put it on the bumper and build an exhaust, or not, you could just leave it there and use it from there..
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:48 PM   #9
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Try one of these and it's only 54 lb. It has wheels and a handle like a suitcase. It is a 3000 watt inverter, so it's OK for electronics. It runs our AC just fine and is really quiet. Under $900.
https://www.amazon.com/Briggs-Stratt.../dp/B00IWJOOU8
Actually weighs 85 lbs plus 1.5 gal of gas so over 90 lbs.. The smaller unit weight 54 lbs...
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dalford View Post
Actually weighs 85 lbs plus 1.5 gal of gas so over 90 lbs.. The smaller unit weight 54 lbs...
Sorry, I misspoke, you are correct.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:05 PM   #11
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Sorry, I misspoke, you are correct.
Still, nice generator...
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:19 PM   #12
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I have a honda eu3000 and love it...but it's heavy. I too didn't like having to lift the 150 lb unit into the truck bed and then back out once a camp. I then purchased the honda eu2200. I also added the micro-air easy start and have never looked back. I can run my a/c if needed and the genny is easy to move around. I thought about the Harbor freight model but there just wasn't enough reviews to have me be comfortable with trying it. A co-worker jumped at the chance to try one out, mainly because of the price point. It's a great little unit and very impressive. There are videos on youtube with the Predator 2000 running a/c with the micro-air easy start system. I would give them a look, and for price of 1 honda you can have a predator and micro-air system.

Good luck

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Old 08-17-2019, 05:39 PM   #13
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Amount of noise is critical. You're not going to be permitted to run it at many state park campsites (where you're more likely to be without shore power) during quiet hours. And even where allowed you will not endear yourself to other campers. Don't be That Guy.

The ultraQuiet Honda EU3000is has a peak noise level of 58dBA at full load and when I run mine during periodic winter power outages (to power the furnace!) I can hear it at the opposite end of my 70' long ranch style house with all the windows closed. Noise is so annoying I switch it off while sleeping and get up early to start the furnace. Not a noise I want to hear just for AC thru the walls of a camper. Not to mention your camping neighbors.

Plan on at least an electric camp site or one so deep in the woods the mosquitoes have trouble finding you.

I don't trust the dBA ratings of the cheap gensets and have never heard one as quiet as my EU3000is. Anything from Harbor Freight will be loud.

Oh, yeah, you need a pure sine wave genset to properly run an AC unit without it getting excessively hot.

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Old 08-17-2019, 08:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MarkPW View Post
Greetings all!

New to RVing (tent camped 37 years ago, but the similarities are few). Just too delivery on a 2020 Rockwood MiniLite 2109S. Thinking ahead to the time I may camp without an electrical hookup and thus I'm shopping generators. I have to have AC due to health conditions.

I like the Champion line, especially the 3400 watt dual fuel model but there's no way I can lift a 90 pound generator in and out of the pickup bed. Anyone have suggestions? A bed mounted hoist isn't possible since my Tacoma has a composite bed.

A possible solution is a pair of 2000 watt units which are much lighter. Then my concern is sound level. If I remember decibels correctly, a 6 dB increase in level is double the volume so a pair of 53 dB generators would be 59 dB. Any thoughts on the noise level of dual generators?

Finally, has anyone used the Harbor Freight Predator line? The reviews are middle of the road but the price point is very attractive.

Thanks for the time to read my post and for any replies!
You plan to tow a 2109S with a Tacoma?
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gbaldwin View Post
my bet is the 2000 wont pull your AC though. i have same and it wont pull my AC
My Harbor Freight Predator 2000 runs my AC just fine. AC is a 13,500 Coleman Mach and I installed a MicroAir Easy Start. I also shut off my converter at the breaker to minimize other loads on the generator when running the AC.
The Predator has been flawless, starts easy and has done all I have asked of it for two years.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:57 PM   #16
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Have the Champion ( not dual fuel ). Too heavy for me to lift into the truck as well. Always take a ladder with us. I use the ladder & a piece of plywood cut to the width of the ladder, and use it as a ramp to slide the generator into the truck bed. Once there, it stays there until the trip is over.

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Old 08-17-2019, 10:38 PM   #17
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Ignoring direct vibration noise from mounting on the frame, does use of a GenTuri (or similar exhaust extension) further reduce generator noise on an already-quiet inverter generator?
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:14 AM   #18
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I have the 3500 Watt harbor Freight Genny and it runs my 15k BTU AC fine. Those that say no Harbor Freight genny is quiet obviously haven't tried the predator inverters.

Here's a video with a DB meter confirming it's quiet. I've run it with it plugged in on the drivers side with the AC running and sitting on the passenger side under the awning and it's not even loud enough to make any changes in the loudness I need to talk at. Standing next to it, yes, as the video shows, it's loud enough I have to speak louder but even the honda's and yamaha's are not silent when your standing next to them no matter what someone tells you.



$700 3500 watts Predator vs. $2000 for a 3000 watt Honda. How much do you think is reasonable to pay for 2-5 db's quieter?
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:13 AM   #19
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Mine goes on fold down rack it is a Predator 95 lbs ... fits perfect and I can manage the short lift to the rack handles are perfect for a helper ... it locks thru the framing of rack with cable and is far enough away from camper to run right where it sits ... very quiet ...
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:29 AM   #20
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Pretty impressive generator for sure. Thanks for posting.

The meter readings take the subjectivity out. Captured videos have the noise clipped during recording and our PCs can't reproduce it well but the meter shows the noise.

Only question is reliability but the limited hours a camping genset will run probably makes that relatively unimportant.

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