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Old 02-17-2020, 07:16 AM   #1
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Aldi Workzone 2000 Inverter Generator

Although I'm about two years out from extended boondocking thus needing a way to recharge the batteries I opened my wallet to acquire two Aldi Workzone 2000 Inverter Generators. The price was right, money in the bank, great ROI.

The questions I have is, what do you recommend for a paralleling device? How to secure the machines from theft both while traveling and @ the camp site. I know I'll receive a bunch of responses, that's a wonderful attribute of this forum.

From my research I found there are paralleling cords as well as paralleling boxes. What are the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the two methods?

TIA.

Richard in Milwaukee
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:59 AM   #2
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If the generators are designed to be paralleled use the cord the Mfg recommends not all generators can be paralleled. Mine are in my truck bed with cover when I'm traveling and I have a very thick cable I run thru the handles and to the rig frame when parked.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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he's right, I don't think that all generators can simply be paralleled - probably because they need to both be producing that same exact 60hz output, or close, to be compatible, and the manufacturer probably would also have their own cabling and input/output connections to make this happen.
Honda has the 2000 and the 2000Companion, which allows this, as well as others, but of course, they are more on the extremely expensive end of things. It's also nice if the paralleled generator also provides a 30amp outlet for your RV, as well, otherwise you would need a 30-15/15 RV electric adapter to translate that to a 'single source' 30amp input to the RV's main panel.

The other option would be to simply use the same adapter to provide a single 30amp input to the RV from the two separate generators - each giving around the 15amp output, rather than trying to 'parallel' the two together for a single output. But, you'd have to try that first... I don't know of anyone doing that, but it's an idea, even if the two generators aren't the same brand, or even the same size.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:42 AM   #4
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i looked at a video for this generator and it says 'parallel ready'. there is also information that says this generator is also produced under several different brand names.

i would be looking at the operators manual to see what the recommendation is on how to parallel these.

i realize you get what you pay for but that price is awful attractive. if you can parallel these for a 30 amp rv i think you got a good deal. please let us know how they work out.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:25 PM   #5
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Wow, that's a smokin' deal. Checked our local store, they don't have any. WAAAAAA !
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:00 PM   #6
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There are a lot of parallel cable kits. Some have you plug each wire separately, others plug into the 15 amp Edison outlets. A lot have 30 amp TT outlets. Anywhere $20 to $60 or so.
I saw those right before Christmas at Aldis. I had not just bought a Champion 2000 from TSC on sale for about $280. I considered buying the Aldis and taking the Champion back. If I hadn't already had a Honda 2000, I would have bought two of the Aldis ones.
Most inverter generators can be paralleled together based on Utube experiments. I plan to try my Honda with my Champion this summer.
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Old 02-18-2020, 01:38 PM   #7
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Great deal!

I'll pass on commenting on running in parallel. I'd be guessing. Contact the manufacturer...very likely one machine badge engineered with multiple different "brands". But the owner's manual will have contact info.

Security: normally I recommend the Kryptonite NY Noose lock. You need an angle grinder to cut thru it...and tests show that you need more than one battery for the angle grinder to get the job done! But at a total of $400 for generators, spending $100 on a lock doesn't make sense. Also, if you don't reinforce the handles, they are the weak point. Add another $50 or more for the handle reinforcements. As they say, fuggedaboudit.

I use a 1/4" chain and conventional Master padlocks (2). With two padlocks, I can get the chain around a large tree and still lock the other end to the genny handle. In the bed of my truck, the chain locks the genny to a stainless u-bolt attached to the body of my aluminum tool box.

This is NOT security. It's deterrence. A determined thief (someone armed with a universal key - bolt cutter - or a decent hacksaw or recip saw) will have the genny in a couple minutes. But it should be enough to encourage most thieves to look for easier prey.

Then there's rain protection and camouflage. A brightly painted genny stands out like a sore thumb. And electrical equipment and rain don't mix well. I use a primitive tent made from a 42 gallon trash bag, a fiberglass driveway marker rod (ridge pole), a couple knob bungees on the genny handle to hold the ridge pole, three tent stakes and a rock - for easy access to the business end of the genny. See photo. Note that the tent allows for excellent ventilation, and the long ridge pole keeps the ends of the tent from drooping over the ends of the genny and the exhaust from melting the tent. I get at least a full season out of one bag.

This jury rig protects the genny in foul weather. Experience during a day-long downpour shows that my genny doesn't like to get soaked. And the bag makes the genny far less obvious to casual observers. The dayglow green cord is another matter. I setup my 2KW genny at the far end of a 100' 12/3 extension cord if I can to get max noise separation -- my rig was a PUP. The 12/3 cord easily handles 15 amps, and connected to the RV shore-power cord, I had plenty of power for the micro, an espresso machine, and so on. One genny won't run AC, and you don't need it in CO.

Two genny's together need a bigger cover, but my 42 gallon bags - from Ace Hardware - can be cut open to make a longer tent. Don't use a blue "blue-poly" tarp, because it's so obvious, but you can get tarps in camo, dark green or brown. The key is that the tented genny is quite a bit less obvious to someone walking by and perhaps planning a late-night visit to liberate your genny. And they'd be dry in foul weather.

IMPORTANT ADVICE ON CARE AND FEEDING OF YOUR NEW TOYS.
Work them regularly. If you always go where there are hookups, do this at home. Fire them up in parallel, connect them to the rig, and work the hell out of them for 2 or 3 hours. Run the AC, fridge, microwave, and so on. But exercise them about 5 or 6 times a year at minimum. If you let them sit unused, you are likely to get a nasty surprise when you boondock. Small engines don't like to sit - NO engines like to sit. That's why "barn finds" can be very costly investments as used cars.

ALSO: use a DOUBLE-STRENGTH mixture of Sta-Bil in your fuel. If the bottle says 1 ounce, put in 2. Small engines don't like pump gas, but Sta-Bil not only prevents the fuel from gumming up the carb, it also makes it more compatible with small engines. Evidence:
~ my 6-season-old Generac 2 KW generator is on its factory plug. It starts easily and runs very well...despite supporting boondocking camping exclusively AND serving as a backup genny for my home.
~ I have a Stihl 2-stroke gas straight shaft trimmer and a garbage Poulan gas chain saw. Both new in 2009. Factory plugs. Run great.
~ I have a 1998 Honda Foreman ATV with plow. Runs perfectly.
I NEVER drain the float bowls by running them dry. The treated fuel simply does not gum up the carbs...whether I add oil for premix or run regular gas.
Gas can sit in the cans for as much as a year and still run these engines without a hitch.

So exercise your gennies and feed them properly treated fuel. And don't forge to check the oil often and change it annually or more often if you use them a lot.
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Old 02-19-2020, 04:13 PM   #8
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Very helpful Jim

Thank you for all of your wisdom. I purchased two small Inverters because of keeping the unit weight down. Of course lighter weight means additional security measures need to be taken.
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