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Old 07-03-2018, 10:09 PM   #1
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New Mini-Lite owner...questions

We just purchased a little 2011 Rockwood Mini Lite. We are new to this, so have a couple of questions. First of all, we drove it home with weight distribution bars that came with it, and it makes horrible noises when making any turns....is that normal? It's very loud, and just doesn't seem right.
Second of all, we'd like to get a Honda generator to take along with us, but we're not sure what kind of power we need. We'd like to be able to use the ac if the power goes out in an rv park. Our mini-lite is 23' long (including the hitch. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:19 PM   #2
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I'm guessing your weight distribution hitch (WDH) is an Equal-i-zer; noisy is "normal."

I've attached the Owners Manual for you.

I don't do generators, so I'll let someone else respond on that.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Equal-i-zer Owners Manual June 2016.pdf (3.65 MB, 17 views)
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:29 PM   #3
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Can you tell us the model number? Like 2306 or 2109s? Does it have a roof mounted A/C? That would make a difference in what size generator you would want. Jay
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:58 PM   #4
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It is model 2304, with a roof mounted AC.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
I'm guessing your weight distribution hitch (WDH) is an Equal-i-zer; noisy is "normal."

I've attached the Owners Manual for you.

I don't do generators, so I'll let someone else respond on that.
I just downloaded the manual, but, alas, our weight distribution hitch doesn't look like that. Our bars go in from underneath, and have notches that lock into place.

This one looks like the one we got with the camper: https://www.amazon.com/Eaz-Lift-Weig...ributing+hitch
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlleelise View Post
We just purchased a little 2011 Rockwood Mini Lite. We are new to this, so have a couple of questions. First of all, we drove it home with weight distribution bars that came with it, and it makes horrible noises when making any turns....is that normal? It's very loud, and just doesn't seem right.
Second of all, we'd like to get a Honda generator to take along with us, but we're not sure what kind of power we need. We'd like to be able to use the ac if the power goes out in an rv park. Our mini-lite is 23' long (including the hitch. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Do you have the sway bars connected? Some noise is normal, but if you've got sway bars, they might be a bit tight. You need to remove a sway bar before you back the rig.
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:23 AM   #7
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Grease It

We have the Equl i zer, with the plastic things on the torsion bar brackets, which keep that quiet...

To each their own, but I grease everything...trailer ball, plenty up inside the trailer tongue latch, I put some on the torsion bars where they slide into the receiver...

Ours is quiet. The only sound is the slap of the torsion bars within their brackets when making turns.

I use Lucas Red N Tacky on everything that needs grease, and on things that some folks dont grease... Works for us.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlleelise View Post
We just purchased a little 2011 Rockwood Mini Lite. We are new to this, so have a couple of questions. First of all, we drove it home with weight distribution bars that came with it, and it makes horrible noises when making any turns....is that normal? It's very loud, and just doesn't seem right.
Second of all, we'd like to get a Honda generator to take along with us, but we're not sure what kind of power we need. We'd like to be able to use the ac if the power goes out in an rv park. Our mini-lite is 23' long (including the hitch. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Your hitch noise is Normal for a Friction Clamp Bar Type Sway Control! In regards to a Generator Start with a HONDA Inverter "eu3000" the rest are all downhill from here! Youroo!!
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:54 AM   #9
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Thanks very much for all the advice! I'm not sure what is considered the sway bar in the equalizer kit...the previous owner did not give us the thing pictured in the bottom left of the link I posted. Just the 2 curved bars and chains.

Ours don't have any plastic things on the torsion bars. We'll make sure we remove the bars before backing up.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:04 AM   #10
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Milleemise, there is a 99+% chance that the roof mounted A/C is a 13.5 btu unit. Once it is running mine rakes anywhere from about 1250 to 1325 watts to keep it running. The problem is on starting up the compressor. For a little less than a second it can be up to TRIPLE that amount! The first question that you have to honestly ask yourself is: what do I want to run while I’m using the generator? That will determine what size you will need to buy. Generally the answer to that question is divided into 3 groups:
1. I want it to be close or the same as when plugged in to shore power.
2. All I want is to run my A/C and nothing else at the same time.
3. I want to run everything else BUT the A/C. Charge batteries, make coffee, microwave stuff, watch tv, ect.
Here are the sizes needed:
1. 3100-3600 RUNNNG watts. Higher is ok. Your unit is a 30 amp service (3600watts).
2. You can go as low as a 2000 Honda or some other brand IF you install a “soft start”unit on the A/C. Cost about $300 for the unit. Otherwise a bigger generator is required to overcome the startup current surge for the A/C.
3. 1400-1600 RUNNNG watts, IF you manage the usage correctly, like turn off the coffee maker for the minute or so that you run the microwave.
The next thing is to figure out WHERE you are going to run the generator. For example a campground will require a quiet Inverter type generator, a racetrack ones not. Sorry for the long post, but for most people a generator is a pretty big purchase, so getting it right the first time is important. Jay
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlleelise View Post
Thanks very much for all the advice! I'm not sure what is considered the sway bar in the equalizer kit...the previous owner did not give us the thing pictured in the bottom left of the link I posted. Just the 2 curved bars and chains.

Ours don't have any plastic things on the torsion bars. We'll make sure we remove the bars before backing up.
You don't have an Equal-i-zer. That's a brand of weight distribution hitch. It has integrated sway control and has no chains.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:40 AM   #12
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Some noise is normal with just about any brand/style of WDH. If you get the manual for your hitch, there is likely to be some instruction on lubrication. This will help, but will never eliminate noise. Just go to a campground on a Friday afternoon and watch the rigs roll in. 2/3 will have some degree of moaning and groaning as they make the tight turns around the campground loop ... some worse than others.

As for generators, I highly recommend searching here. This subject has been covered pretty well. Everything from "can I run A/C" to brand comparisons to price points to power outputs and so on. Spend some time reading and then definitely ask follow-up questions here on the items that don't make sense.

Short story is that Honda and Yamaha are the Cadillac brands. High quality, high price. Champion is the Hyundai ... started out rough years ago but has recently emerged as a really good option with quality on par with the others. There are myriad other choices in the low end, as well, with varying degrees of success, regarding quality.

If I were in the market, I would get a Champion 3500W Inverter with Remote Start. My extensive research suggests that Champion is the best value out there today, and that is my opinion only. With Honda and Yamaha, you definitely get what you pay for ... but you pay heavily for what you get. I really like the idea of remote start ... click a button on a fob from inside the trailer and the genny starts up. Brilliant.

I also like the higher output at 3200W. Remember, the stated power of a generator is MAX and the normal running output is always in the fine print somewhere. For example, the Honda 2000i doesn't put out 2000W under normal running mode. Same with the Champion 3500 ... it can peak to 3,500W, but it really is a 3,200 W genny. Take note of this when sizing your generator.

I camp at 7,000 - 10,000 feet, so all of my normally aspirated engines (cars, lawnmowers, generators) are sapped of power by 3% per 1000' over 500'. So, that supposed 3500W generator will only give me about 2,560W of actual power (3200 * 80%) at 7,500'. And, that's cutting it thin to be able to start up an A/C unit (which take a huge amp/power spike to start the compressor).

If I bought a Honda 2200i unit, it really only puts out 1,800W and I'd see about 1,450W of usable power when camping.

Anyway, that gives you an idea about generator sizing.

If you want to know more about the "soft start" that was mentioned above, I again recommend a search here and elsewhere on the net.

One final recommendation. When you post questions, I recommend that you actually put the specific subject in the title. If you post generic statements like "I have questions" or "I need help" and so on, you may not attract the right audience. If, instead of "New owner ... questions," I'd recommend posting "WDH Noise & Generator Selection Questions." People now know what you're interested in based on the title and are more apt to read, respond, help. As a side note, it makes it easier in the future for others to find your thread and learn. Anyway, just a recommendation to help you get more traction on your future questions.

Good luck.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mlleelise View Post
Thanks very much for all the advice! I'm not sure what is considered the sway bar in the equalizer kit...the previous owner did not give us the thing pictured in the bottom left of the link I posted. Just the 2 curved bars and chains.

Ours don't have any plastic things on the torsion bars. We'll make sure we remove the bars before backing up.
Hey you pulled the "Old Switcheroo"on Me! You referenced a WD hitch with Sway Control and now you say No sway control? My WAG is you just have WD so no need to remove the Bars for Backing! Youroo!!
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:02 AM   #14
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Jay2504 Thank you very, very much for that indepth discussion about generators. Most helpful!

youroo...Sorry I was confusing! What we have is a weight distribution hitch that looks like the one I referenced with a link. (an Eaz Lift hitch) The previous owner gave it to us, but didn't give us the extra piece which I think does the sway control.

67L48 - My, my! You are a wealth of information! Many thanks!
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