Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-28-2014, 12:19 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 13
I need generator purchasing help/advice!

I have a FR Salem 30' QBSS travel trailer. I am in the market for a generator to power this camper when camping away from state park electrical hookups.

I don't necessarily care to power EVERYTHING. Basically just the AC for comfort. I can run the fridge on propane. Lighting and water pump on 12V (I assume). I don't need microwave, outlets or appliances etc.

So, here's my question(s). I have a 13,500 BTU AC unit. My camper salesman told me I'd need a 5000W generator to power EVERYTHING in/on the camper. When I told him I was only really concerned with the AC. He then told me I'd probably need 3500W for startup & 3000W running power. After reading various posts on here...his wattage #'s seem high compared to what others say they are running AC on!?

I found a Generac 3250 that has 3750W startup & 3250W running. Is this sufficient or will I have problems with surges / startup etc? Keep in mind...I only need the AC...no other services.

When I asked a buddy who is very mechanically minded about all these #'s, his main concern was "how will your camper know that you only want the AC to run when you plug the generator in? It's going to attempt to power everything (lights, outlets, appliances etc) and may cause a large enough surge to either trip the generator breaker, or...worse yet...cause damage to your camper wiring system or AC unit if it isn't able to get proper power!"

Can someone please shed some light on my situation for me! Is there a way to just 'trip' the breakers to everything except the AC so the generator is sufficient etc!? Will the 3750/3250 Generac do the job? I don't want yo risk damaging my camper, but I also don't want to 'over-buy' a generator for my needs. Thanks in advance!
Outlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 01:42 AM   #2
PPST OGCDG
 
Frank-VA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Between I-95 & The Great Dismal Swamp
Posts: 2,163
About camping in a state park they have limits on the decibels that a generator puts out. and some have cutoff time at night.
I have a Kipor 3500 Sinemaster Inverter Generator. It is china made. But on the some of the parts on the engine has made in Japan. Engine looks like a Honda
__________________
Frank- VA {:-{)
2004 4x4 Ford 6.0 PS, SCC, SB
2005 Wildcat 29 RLBS
Frank-VA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 03:09 AM   #3
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 25,253
first question, will you be dry camping or boondocking?

that Generac will definitely not be appropriate if you're dry camping but it's fine for boondocking. that's one loud generator!
if you plan to dry camp, please, for everyone's sake, get an inverter generator.

you won't be damaging your trailer with it but you will be damaging everyone's ears with it.
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
bikendan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 06:44 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: iowa
Posts: 285
If you want to power anything you want 4000w is enough that is what is in most class c motorhomes. 3000w is enough to power ac but you wont run a blow drier or microwave at the same time. I personaly like the honda generators either one 3000w or the pair of 2000w that you can hook together. If you search generators on this forum you will find a lot of post.
lbrunning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 10:08 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
I have a FR Salem 30' QBSS travel trailer. I am in the market for a generator to power this camper when camping away from state park electrical hookups.
Per my very 1st paragraph...I realize that generators are typically quite loud in campgrounds. That's why I plug into the provided shoreline power and am NOT looking to use a 'noisy gen' around other campers.

I am looking into a generator for 'Boondocking' I guess. I wasn't familiar with that terminology until now.

Basically we have friends with lake homes that want us to come visit a few times a summer and they don't have 30A power for me to hook to. We would park the camper on their lake lot to sleep in. Don't need it for cooking, showering or anything...just sleep. But, I need AC when sleeping in the heat of the summer.

So, noise isn't necessarily an issue since we are on private property. When I am not using the generator to power the camper in the summer I will use it to power my ice shack in the winter.

I read a LOT of posts last night on here regarding generators! From what I gathered...the Generac I was looking at is NOT the right genny for me. It doesn't have the TT-30R 30A receptacle for RVs built in. Sort of sounds like there is a fair amount of recommendation for the Champion 3500/4000 for th money! Little noisy, yes...but for the 2-3X a summer i need it I'm fine with a little noise. And ice fishing makes NO difference whats so-ever.
Outlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 10:15 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 13
I guess one of my main concerns (besides what brand to get) is how does the camper 'know' that it only needs to power the AC when the generator is hooked up. Will all the other 'services' start demanding power even though they aren't 'turned on' or is there only a draw/demand on the generator if the service is actually used!?

I know...I'm an idiot...seems like a simple concept. I just fear damaging my camper appliances / wiring system because of a lack of appropriate power!

But, if I literally start a 3500/4000W generator, plug the 30A cord into it, step inside the camper & turn ONLY the AC on (no lights, water pump etc.) will it function ok!? What woudl happen if we start turning lights on to find our way to the bedrooms etc.? Will that power draw pull on the generator or off the 12V battery on-board? Or the kids flush the toilet (water pump)?

Like I said...NO microwave, hair dryers, TV's etc. We have the friends nearby lake home for those services.
Outlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
fonzie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 4,073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
I guess one of my main concerns (besides what brand to get) is how does the camper 'know' that it only needs to power the AC when the generator is hooked up. Will all the other 'services' start demanding power even though they aren't 'turned on' or is there only a draw/demand on the generator if the service is actually used!?

I know...I'm an idiot...seems like a simple concept. I just fear damaging my camper appliances / wiring system because of a lack of appropriate power!

But, if I literally start a 3500/4000W generator, plug the 30A cord into it, step inside the camper & turn ONLY the AC on (no lights, water pump etc.) will it function ok!? What woudl happen if we start turning lights on to find our way to the bedrooms etc.? Will that power draw pull on the generator or off the 12V battery on-board? Or the kids flush the toilet (water pump)?

Like I said...NO microwave, hair dryers, TV's etc. We have the friends nearby lake home for those services.
If you only run the AC and your converter to charge battery, then you will be OK. You can use your 12 volts lighting, water pump, etc. Make sure your water heater is on propane only, your fridge on propane only and don't use any high demand appliances eg: hair dryer, toaster, coffee maker....
__________________
Fonzie
2011 Rockwood 8319SS with ProPride 3P hitch/GoodYear Marathons/TST TPMS 507
2019 F350 Ruby Red 6.7l diesel 3.31 axle electronic locker
Yamaha 3000iseb generator:Progressive Ind. EMS-HW30C : Eastern Ontario
Nights Camped: 2014 (18) 2015 (18) 2016 (36) 2017 (32) 2018 (42) 2019 (28) 2020 (35)
fonzie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 10:37 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by fonzie View Post
If you only run the AC and your converter to charge battery, then you will be OK. You can use your 12 volts lighting, water pump, etc. Make sure your water heater is on propane only, your fridge on propane only and don't use any high demand appliances eg: hair dryer, toaster, coffee maker....
I do plan to run fridge & water heater on propane. But, how does the camper know to power the lights, water pump etc from the 12v & not draw on the generator if/when we do flip a light switch or flush the toilet!?
Outlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 10:49 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
fonzie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 4,073
Its all connected together, so unless you open the breaker to the converter which feeds the battery, it will pull from the generator. If you open (turn off) the converter breaker, then all 12 volts will only be supplied by the battery but your battery will discharge as it is not getting recharged by the generator....makes sense?
__________________
Fonzie
2011 Rockwood 8319SS with ProPride 3P hitch/GoodYear Marathons/TST TPMS 507
2019 F350 Ruby Red 6.7l diesel 3.31 axle electronic locker
Yamaha 3000iseb generator:Progressive Ind. EMS-HW30C : Eastern Ontario
Nights Camped: 2014 (18) 2015 (18) 2016 (36) 2017 (32) 2018 (42) 2019 (28) 2020 (35)
fonzie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
ironj's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,368
LOTS of generator threads (arguments lol) if you do a search....

i have a few gennys .....for the trailer its either

a champion 4000/3800 with remote start and rv style plug
i use this one to as a back up, and/or to run my 15kbtu a/c if needed.....it takes all it has to start it , but it runs great...runs converter and tv/sat/and bunk tv dvd ...the remote start is sweeet to as the genny delays the ac output till its stabilized...great for making coffee in the morning and not having to go out n freeze

i have a basic shell i made from 3/4 rubber horse stall matt.....it has vents of course...drops the db a few (i want to say 3 when we put a meter on it) at 10ft

OR

a champion 2000 inverter style (no 30amp plug)
i have actually started my ac with this one (ac has hard start cap and fan delay) but you have to turn off EVERY other breaker in the panel...and it runs full bones maxed out!! NOT RECOMMENDED i just wanted to see if it would do it...

you CAN parallel these to get 4000watts....i have never tried it..

i have a shell for this one too....same 3/4 rubber matt.....drops the db a lil.....but this genny is already quiet to begin with...

the 4000/3800 is HEAVY....like 150lbs at least....mine has handle and wheels, but since having BOTH my rotator cuffs/labrum repaired last year i have to use my dirt bike ramps to load it in truck...

the 2000i is about 45lbs....everyone in my family can load it....(except my 14month old....but she would try im just sure)...lol
__________________
2015 F350 Platinum Fx4 6.7 Diesel Dually. B&W turnover, B&W Companion, air bags and wireless controller.
2015 Heartland Road Warrior 420 Rt
2012 f250 Fx4 6.7 Diesel crew cab tinted n tuned
2012 lacrosse 318bhs touring- sold
ironj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 10:52 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
ironj's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post

I do plan to run fridge & water heater on propane. But, how does the camper know to power the lights, water pump etc from the 12v & not draw on the generator if/when we do flip a light switch or flush the toilet!?
the lights, water pump are ALWAYS 12 volt and are powered from the converter while plugged in...or the batteries when not.....the camper does this automatically....

the only things you can choose to run or not on 12 volt are the water heater and fridge,,

i guess TECHNICALLY they are ALWAYS 12v and the converter provides a charge voltage to the battery while plugged in..and they ONLY run on battery voltage when NOT plugged in....
__________________
2015 F350 Platinum Fx4 6.7 Diesel Dually. B&W turnover, B&W Companion, air bags and wireless controller.
2015 Heartland Road Warrior 420 Rt
2012 f250 Fx4 6.7 Diesel crew cab tinted n tuned
2012 lacrosse 318bhs touring- sold
ironj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 11:02 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Waynesville
Posts: 14,403
Buy the (Honda-3000) or the (Honda-2000 Xs2) they are the Gold standard by which most people relate,(Our XYZ generator is Almost as Quiet as a Honda! You can plug in your (30) amp unit and enjoy! The Best part is (Resell Value),they hold their$,unlike XYZ brands. When you shop for a XYZGen the first thing the salesperson will say is (They are almost as Quiet as a Honda! Youroo!!
youroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 11:02 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
fonzie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 4,073
A few lights and water pump won't draw enough on the generator even if the AC is running. You will be fine......
__________________
Fonzie
2011 Rockwood 8319SS with ProPride 3P hitch/GoodYear Marathons/TST TPMS 507
2019 F350 Ruby Red 6.7l diesel 3.31 axle electronic locker
Yamaha 3000iseb generator:Progressive Ind. EMS-HW30C : Eastern Ontario
Nights Camped: 2014 (18) 2015 (18) 2016 (36) 2017 (32) 2018 (42) 2019 (28) 2020 (35)
fonzie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 11:06 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 13
Sort of makes sense. Are you thinking that a few lights turned on or occasional flush of the toilet will not draw enough on the 3500/4000 generator to even make a difference or draw it down then?

Otherwise, if I understand correctly...I would need to go to the converter access panel & flip the breaker switches for everything EXCEPT the AC to prevent them (lights, water pump) from drawing on the generator!? But...then the lights & water pump won't function AT ALL would they!?

Ugh...sorry if i am just missing this whole concept.

And back to my original question / concern...is it my understanding that a generator such as the Champion 3500/4000 WILL be sufficient to operate my AC at FULL cooling capacity without fear of damaging it or anything else in the camper!? Although noisy in everyone's opinion...is it a good unit for my situation?
Outlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 11:07 AM   #15
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
AquaMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tipp City, OH
Posts: 7,154
I have a 3000w Dometic that I can run my 13.5k A/C, lights, outside fridge (electric only), tv(ac), and a stereo, and the generator ran just fine. If there is too much draw on my generator, it will pop it's breaker. I wouldn't worry about the 12v stuff, it's going to draw from the battery.
__________________
2016 Georgetown 364TS
2017 Jeep Rubicon Recon toad
Nights Camped 2019 - 17
AquaMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 11:11 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
fonzie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 4,073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
Sort of makes sense. Are you thinking that a few lights turned on or occasional flush of the toilet will not draw enough on the 3500/4000 generator to even make a difference or draw it down then?

Yes

Otherwise, if I understand correctly...I would need to go to the converter access panel & flip the breaker switches for everything EXCEPT the AC to prevent them (lights, water pump) from drawing on the generator!? But...then the lights & water pump won't function AT ALL would they!?

Yes

Ugh...sorry if i am just missing this whole concept.

And back to my original question / concern...is it my understanding that a generator such as the Champion 3500/4000 WILL be sufficient to operate my AC at FULL cooling capacity without fear of damaging it or anything else in the camper!? Although noisy in everyone's opinion...is it a good unit for my situation?
Don't know, I have a Yamaha 3000 watts.
__________________
Fonzie
2011 Rockwood 8319SS with ProPride 3P hitch/GoodYear Marathons/TST TPMS 507
2019 F350 Ruby Red 6.7l diesel 3.31 axle electronic locker
Yamaha 3000iseb generator:Progressive Ind. EMS-HW30C : Eastern Ontario
Nights Camped: 2014 (18) 2015 (18) 2016 (36) 2017 (32) 2018 (42) 2019 (28) 2020 (35)
fonzie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 11:29 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
ironj's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
Sort of makes sense. Are you thinking that a few lights turned on or occasional flush of the toilet will not draw enough on the 3500/4000 generator to even make a difference or draw it down then?

Otherwise, if I understand correctly...I would need to go to the converter access panel & flip the breaker switches for everything EXCEPT the AC to prevent them (lights, water pump) from drawing on the generator!? But...then the lights & water pump won't function AT ALL would they!?

Ugh...sorry if i am just missing this whole concept.

And back to my original question / concern...is it my understanding that a generator such as the Champion 3500/4000 WILL be sufficient to operate my AC at FULL cooling capacity without fear of damaging it or anything else in the camper!? Although noisy in everyone's opinion...is it a good unit for my situation?
first the generator provides 110v ac......your lights and water pump are 12v......

the CONVERTER will take the 110ac from genny and "convert" it to 12volt power....the lights and pump cannot run DIRECTLY from the genny....keep in mind that a converter will work a lot harder if the camper battery is weak or very discharged...the converter charges the battery AND provides additional 12v power for accessories...think of them as a team...

as for your question, the campion 4000 SHOULD be more than sufficient to run your ac and your converter and your tv basically everything prob even including the fridge....if you wanted....except the water heater on elect...

and also for that matter ANY combo of 4000watts would work...(2 hondas , 2 champions)....or if you want the best of both and dont mind the weight you could get a single 3600inverter genny from honda or yamaha...(way more expensive)

i spent a total of about 900$ for BOTH of my champions and have been every bit satisified with the output, noise, and durability of the units thus far (2.5 yrs)....i camp mostly with my father in law who runs the honda 2000i setup and even though he gives me grief for buying "cheap" junk, we both agree that its not perceptably louder than his and it does the same thing at the end of the day......champion service has been great too....i dropped the 4000 and messed up the auto choke....they fixed it under warranty AND tuned it up .....and i TOLD them it was my fault..
__________________
2015 F350 Platinum Fx4 6.7 Diesel Dually. B&W turnover, B&W Companion, air bags and wireless controller.
2015 Heartland Road Warrior 420 Rt
2012 f250 Fx4 6.7 Diesel crew cab tinted n tuned
2012 lacrosse 318bhs touring- sold
ironj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 11:58 AM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 13
Awesome ironj...I think that more or less answers my question(s)!

From what i gather you are saying...if I get to the lake, fire up the geny, plug in my camper shoreline & turn the AC on I should be fine.

If/when I go into the camper to use the bathroom, wash hands, flip on a light or 2 at bedtime I will be fine (as long as the 12v is sufficiently charged ahead of time).

I will turn my fridge & water heater to propane (if I use at all).

I LOVE the idea of buying a HONDA. But, find it hard to justify $1000+ for a geny I might use 2-3X a season on my camper for boondocking!
Outlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 12:26 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
ironj's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
Awesome ironj...I think that more or less answers my question(s)!

From what i gather you are saying...if I get to the lake, fire up the geny, plug in my camper shoreline & turn the AC on I should be fine.

If/when I go into the camper to use the bathroom, wash hands, flip on a light or 2 at bedtime I will be fine (as long as the 12v is sufficiently charged ahead of time).

I will turn my fridge & water heater to propane (if I use at all).

I LOVE the idea of buying a HONDA. But, find it hard to justify $1000+ for a geny I might use 2-3X a season on my camper for boondocking!
EXACTLY....turn genny on, plug camper in go inside and turn ac on......use as normal...till gas runs out! LOL

and no....the pump and lights will have little impact on genny...like i said i run 2-3 tvs, sat box, and sound bar too..

my 4000 wont run the micro and ac at same time.....

ive seen a 2000i start and run a 13k ac with hard start cap instlled and off of eco throttle.......it was working tho....

like i said my champ 2000i has started my ac before.....it was struggling tho.....def would not recomend as a genny solution..
__________________
2015 F350 Platinum Fx4 6.7 Diesel Dually. B&W turnover, B&W Companion, air bags and wireless controller.
2015 Heartland Road Warrior 420 Rt
2012 f250 Fx4 6.7 Diesel crew cab tinted n tuned
2012 lacrosse 318bhs touring- sold
ironj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 01:11 PM   #20
Junior Member
 
Gina-n-Bert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Lake Murray, SC
Posts: 12
I have Champion 3500/4000 and it powers my A/C, fridge, and lights just fine. I make sure the hot water heater is on propane, though. I also have a Honeywell inverter generator (2000), a Coleman (1100), and a Honda Powered Northstar (9000). For the money - a Champion is hard to beat.
__________________
2014 WORK AND PLAY 30 WRS
2012 DODGE 2500 BIG HORN - CUMMINS
2 TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES
4 JOHN DEERE TRACTORS
MANY COWS
LOTS OF DEBT!!!
Gina-n-Bert is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:43 PM.