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Old 04-18-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
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I will be parking my 24' 2000 Salem 5th wheel on a site where I will be building. What size generator would the group recommend? The A/C might be needed occasionally, but probably not often since this is the UP of Michigan. Normally, it will just be for everyday use, although I will be using power tools on the site also. Eventually it will be used for back-up power once the house is built. TIA
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:09 PM   #2
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I will be parking my 24' 2000 Salem 5th wheel on a site where I will be building. What size generator would the group recommend? The A/C might be needed occasionally, but probably not often since this is the UP of Michigan. Normally, it will just be for everyday use, although I will be using power tools on the site also. Eventually it will be used for back-up power once the house is built. TIA
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:29 PM   #3
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Without A/C, many people get by fine with a 2K generator (the Honda Inverter series is popular, due to quiet, clean waveform and small size/weight). With A/C, you'll need at least 3K and possibly 4K.

But this is just the RV usage. For power tools you may need 6 to 8 KW (depending on which tools you use and what else is running at the time). And for house backup, you could need 12K or more.

So figure out what you REALLY need from the generator, and shop accordingly. Or get 1 generator while you are building and then trade it for a 'real' backup generator (with enclosure and automatic start/transfer switch) when the house is ready.
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:08 AM   #4
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I have a Yamaha YA-2800 inverter thats rated at 2800 watts that has a 120 volt out put only so its not the best suited for a whole house but it does take care of the AC and it olny weights 68 lbs and runs 12 hour+ at 1/2 load on 3 gallons of gas. My dad just got the newer version that he is useing for camping , his is slightly quieter (not that mine is loud) . His is the same rating and slightly lighter. You cant go wrong with a Yamaha or Honda but they must be rated close or over 3000 watts to run the AC . The cheaper ones like generac dont last and dont have the starting power to run ac units , and noise it a big draw back.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:06 AM   #5
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Spend your money only once-buy the size genset you require for your end use. The small, quiet, portable(RV) gensets are much more thrifty to use, but will not have the capacity to provide enough 240VAC power to supply a house in cold weather. Since you do not indicate you require portability;
I suggest perusing generatorsales.com for help with your selection.
Conversly, I own a 4.5KW Coleman construction genset for back-up home power. I have the wiring to power one side of the house main panel only (120VAC only). This one side of the panel powers the LPG furnace, freezers, frig, and some lighting, from the Coleman. I live in the country, so noise is not an issue for me.
This type genset is NOT suitable for dry camping within earshot of any other humans!
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
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Thanks all for your insight. I guess I should have said that my house backup would probably be confined to running the water pump and furnace fan. Fortunately, we don't get hit with extended outages (multiple days or weeks even) like hurricane country or tornado alley. A freak snowstorm or a drunk driver might take out a pole, but those only usually last a few hours.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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At my house we have a Yahama 3000 ise. I did carry it on the fiver and it was great very quite. I did not use it often so I got one of the Chinese 3500 Watt for the fiver. The yahama is a little pricey $1600 compared to the Chinese at $300.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:25 PM   #8
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I have the Kipor 3500 (Made in China) as well and it will run one AC and most other things in the 5ver. Have used it once in a power outage in the house by running the fridge/freezer, 1 TV/Sat Receiver, a small fan, and a couple of lights for 14 straight hours. Had to string extension cords all over but it was worth it.
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:18 AM   #9
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I bought this one and posted a review here:

Boliy Pro 3600si Generator

Time will tell if this was a wise purchase.

One thing to keep in mind is that most water pumps run on 240 volts. If you want to be able to run that in a power outage you will need a genset that can support that.
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:52 AM   #10
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I have not had any luck with the Chinese made junk. My first purchase was a Generac 3000 that lasted about a year and blew up. It was real loud, hard to start, cantankerous, and sucked fuel. I repaired it and 4 months later it was broken again. I guess you get what you pay for when it comes to generators. I too used it as a back up for the house and also for portable power tools used in the building of the house. I decided after that to buy a good generator. I looked at my options and considered two Honda 3000 watt generators but decided finally to buy an Onan 7 KW unit and it's permantely mounted in my 5er. It's pricy and a little hard on gas but in the past 5 years all I have done to it was change the oil and do a tune up. Its never given me any trouble at all and it's so easy to start. It's quiet too. When I was building my house it would run all day every day for almost 1 year until I got my final and the local utility finally hooked up my service. Now, it's a whole house back up large enough to run almost everything at once. It's been the perfect choice, durable and quiet, but it was not cheap.

In retrospect, I think a single Honda EU3000 would probably have sufficed but I'm an overkill kind of guy so, I have a 7KW Onan.
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