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Old 08-21-2014, 12:14 AM   #15
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Generator, solar or combo?

Help! We are going to go full time and need to figure out how to handle the power question sooner than we expected. We teach and do presentations and would like/need to use our HP Officejet printers, TV for visuals (not TV watchers or gamers), Mac, iPad, iPhones. Do not use a/c as a matter of choice and lack of need. We have a Montana Fifth Wheel. Did not come with generator, etc. We had planned on just connecting to regular power until our main season ended, 3 mos. then figure this all out. However, it will cost $675 for temporary service with nothing left to show for it. So...would rather apply this to a something we can continue to use. We are not independently wealthy so will have to do this in planned stages. Any helpful suggestions will be much appreciated. We did live off-grid for 10 yrs about that many years ago and so many things have changed...also, real good at living that way but never that good at setting up the system. Also, we are 70, not spring chickens to be slinging generators in and out... Any help will be much appreciated! Kitaniga!
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kitanigha View Post
Help! We are going to go full time and need to figure out how to handle the power question sooner than we expected. We teach and do presentations and would like/need to use our HP Officejet printers, TV for visuals (not TV watchers or gamers), Mac, iPad, iPhones. Do not use a/c as a matter of choice and lack of need. We have a Montana Fifth Wheel. Did not come with generator, etc. We had planned on just connecting to regular power until our main season ended, 3 mos. then figure this all out. However, it will cost $675 for temporary service with nothing left to show for it. So...would rather apply this to a something we can continue to use. We are not independently wealthy so will have to do this in planned stages. Any helpful suggestions will be much appreciated. We did live off-grid for 10 yrs about that many years ago and so many things have changed...also, real good at living that way but never that good at setting up the system. Also, we are 70, not spring chickens to be slinging generators in and out... Any help will be much appreciated! Kitaniga!
Mmhh, you could get away with a smaller, maybe 1000W or 2000W Honda if you don't need A/C - still somewhat heavy.
Another option would be a couple of solar panels and inverter.
The Hondas could be paired if necessary and a solar system can be upgraded as needed.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:14 AM   #17
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Help! We are going to go full time and need to figure out how to handle the power question sooner than we expected. We teach and do presentations and would like/need to use our HP Officejet printers, TV for visuals (not TV watchers or gamers), Mac, iPad, iPhones. Do not use a/c as a matter of choice and lack of need. We have a Montana Fifth Wheel. Did not come with generator, etc. We had planned on just connecting to regular power until our main season ended, 3 mos. then figure this all out. However, it will cost $675 for temporary service with nothing left to show for it. So...would rather apply this to a something we can continue to use. We are not independently wealthy so will have to do this in planned stages. Any helpful suggestions will be much appreciated. We did live off-grid for 10 yrs about that many years ago and so many things have changed...also, real good at living that way but never that good at setting up the system. Also, we are 70, not spring chickens to be slinging generators in and out... Any help will be much appreciated! Kitaniga!

Living off grid like you are suggesting is more challenging than just boondocking for a week at a time. Gasoline generators are not the ideal, because it's dangerous to store large amounts of gasoline, plus gasoline goes stale very quickly unless it's treated with additional chemicals. Diesel is really the preferred choice. Because your electrical needs are frugal, a large solar array and battery bank would be benefitual. Wow not much time to plan for this! You could buy the honda EU2000i for about $1000. This is a small, relatively light weight generator to run your lights, computers, etc. maybe other small stuff. However, burning through gasoline everyday quickly adds up! I gallon burned per day is $100+ for the month!

Also these small engines need oil changes every 25 hours of usage.....the big diesels can go 150 hours.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:46 AM   #18
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Thanks to the quick replies! Is there a way to have a couple of batteries to charge with the smaller generator and then run off the batteries? Think we use to do this with our one smallish solar panel and small wind mill. Was just enough to keep batteries charged. The Honda would need to be loaded and unloaded each time right?? Couldn't be run in the compartment for the Omni(?) generator?? Kitaniga!
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:05 AM   #19
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the Yamaha is definitely the quieter of the 3 to my ears, worth the money and has the remote start feature on the 3000. A lot cheaper than 6,500 bucks for a hard mount Onan 6500 LP.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:45 AM   #20
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You're not allowed to run a portable generator inside the compartment. Having said that, you might be able to install a heavy duty drawer and pull it out of the compartment when you need to run it.

The generator can easily charge the batteries but you need to know the size of your built in charger/converter and the combined amp/h of your battery bank. The charger will draw anywhere from 40 - 150 Amp DC (in your case probably around 60 Amp) which translates into roughly 6 Amp AC required from the generator. A 1000 Watt generator produces ~ 8 Amp AC at 120 Volt which does not leave much for anything else. The same applies to the batteries, if you have two, the combined capacity could be 200 Amp/h DC (depending on type and capacity). With 50% of the 200 Amp/h available that means you need to run the generator for about 2 hours to recharge the batteries.
This gets pricey in a hurry, for your needs I agree with pasdad1 with solar being the better option and with todays prices not a bad alternative and nearly maintenance free. If you are in a shaded area you may want to consider a portable solar setup.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #21
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Thanks to the quick replies! Is there a way to have a couple of batteries to charge with the smaller generator and then run off the batteries? Think we use to do this with our one smallish solar panel and small wind mill. Was just enough to keep batteries charged. The Honda would need to be loaded and unloaded each time right?? Couldn't be run in the compartment for the Omni(?) generator?? Kitaniga!

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Use the Magnum MMS1012-G 1000w inverter/charger
As it takes it's input with an attached power cord. Simply plug the magnum into the honda generator, then connect the magnum to one or more deep cycle batteries.

Yes the generator needs to be out in the open air when running. The batteries and magnum inverter/charger can be mounted inside the bay.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:57 PM   #22
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Here is a great deal on solar panels....purchase at least two
Then get a quality solar controller. Hookup the output of the solar controller directly to the batteries.

Now you can use power from the Magnum inverter, and the solar will recharge. Crank the generator on rainy or overcast days to recharge the batteries as well.


http://www.solarblvd.com/Solar-Panel...duct_info.html


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Old 08-21-2014, 07:34 PM   #23
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Some people claim issues with the A/C with only 3,000 watts, However.. I found that the problem MIGHT be state of charge on the batteries.. one of the things I could never teach my wife was that when the batteries are hungry the converter sucks power big time.


That said,, If you were in southern GA instead of Oregon Darien Pawn has a Honda EU-3000i on the floor... Did not ask the price.. Really want a Yahama EF-1200i (just enough to charge ye old batteries) for this rig.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:13 PM   #24
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Bamaman, and Wingnut both make excellent points. Just an FYI here, I have an onboard 5000 series Onan that is awesome, at about 3/4 a gallon of fuel an hour, I don't like using it unless I need to run the A/C unit, or units. I boondock at the race track most every weekend, even when power is available I like to save the 30.00 a night. I gambled 200.00 and bought a 1400 Champion genset at Tractor Supply, paid an additional 39.00 for a two year replacement warranty. Typically I fire it up on Friday night and shut it down Sunday afternoon, I would say it runs on the average of 18 to 20 hours a day Sat and Sun and 6 to 10 on the Fri evening. It runs everything in the motohome except A/C and Microwave, it provides plenty of power, has never skipped a beat and averages about 5 to 6 hours on a tank (gallon and a half-ish) of gas. For sure it is not as quiet as a Honda, or Yamaha, but is not bad compared to of the others. And at 200.00, well that is a pretty big savings, and well I am a cheapskate. I would buy another one, if My Onan ever gives out completely I don't imagine I would spend the 6500.00 I'd buy this.
"The Champion Power Equipment™ Portable Generator provides dependable, portable power for your home or jobsite. With 5400 Watts rated, 6400 Watts maximum output, this Champion generator can run lights, TV, refrigerator, sump pump and furnace fan all at the same time. Powered by a Champion 338cc OHV engine with cast iron sleeve, the generator will run 10 hours on a full tank of gas at 50% load."
499.00 Savings of 6000.00 no brainer for me.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:47 PM   #25
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the problem with the Onan is I'm going to drop 6,500 hundred bucks plus the remote switch, trying to spend a little less and wondering if I can make due with a Yamaha 3000W
Your best choice is to string the Hondas together, and find someone to rig a remote switch for them. Eventually the Yamaha won't be adequate, and its crazy to spend the money on the Onan.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:40 AM   #26
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Your best choice is to string the Hondas together, and find someone to rig a remote switch for them. Eventually the Yamaha won't be adequate, and its crazy to spend the money on the Onan.
Not for heavy use.

As a guy who has all solutions in play today - various vehicles and home - 2x honda 2K/ Ef300ISEB/ a mounted 4000 onan and two mounted diesels.

In my experience and in the long run a dual engine solution built on a lightweight platform is rarely the way to go.

Valve maintenance intervals on the little hondas when being pushed driving AC units is a real concern. take a look and divide into 8 and 16 and 24 hour runs into the maintenance schedules you've got a very short oil change interval, 2 sets of valves to adjust now 2 timing belts which at high use become a concern.

I burned a valve in one in a month while subbing a set of hondas in for an onan while being faery careful about loads.

Couple a weeks or a month of vacation a year and occasional use - sure.
Ive got a full set of extended run kits and love these babies- but they are not cheaper to run than a properly sized 3/4K single honda yamaha or Onan.

Propane gensets drink like sailors and running out by accident means you lose your fridge, and cooktop.


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