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Old 07-29-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
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How to choose a generator

Good morning,
I have a tonne of questions as we are soon to embark on a F/T lifestyle with our Montana 3750. Our next purchase is a generator.
Diesel GMC Duramax 6.6 is our mode of pull so hubby thinks a diesel genny would be a good choice rather than carrying gas. The manufacturers I've noted here are Honda, Yamaha, and Champion that seem to be the gens of choice. Winters will be south in parks with power. Summers could be boon docking or family properties. We would like something quiet that could run 1 AC (if needed). I understand that lack of usage can be a problem for gens. Any thoughts on how to figure out your usage and needs for power/kw would be greatly appreciated.
Still fumbling my way around this site. Hope I am posting in the right area....
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:32 AM   #2
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We had two Yamaha 2400is generators for quite a few years that could be ganged together. I liked them because each only weighed around 65 lbs and I could lift one at a time. Only problem with either was when I forgot to run one dry of gas one fall and had to replace the carburetor the following spring - my bad. Originally got them for a TT with a 13k btu AC and one could run it (but nothing else). Had to use both to run the Monty's 15k btu AC. We found that the only places we boondocked was at truck stops or Walmarts, so I installed solar and sold the Yamahas. Did get a Harbor Freight $300 genny for power outages and found it to be quiet enough to use if we really need the AC. Not as quiet as even both the Yamahas, but it'll do.

Many folks have mounted ~4kw quiet generators in the bed of their trucks and used an extension cord to reach it. They typically run about 120 to 140 lbs so they don't impact your GVW much and they don't consume a lot of fuel. I looked into quiet diesel ones once, but they weigh a LOT more even dry. With the two Yamahas, I could bring one 5 gallon gas can with them full and have enough for a couple days easily.

Whatever you get, you'll want 3,500 watts minimum to run the AC. That's for when it starts. After it's running, our 15k btu one pulls only 8 to 9 amps.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:13 AM   #3
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Glad to have you here with us.

I don't use a portable generator for RVing, but I do see more Hondas at campgrounds than any other brand.

Happy Trails!!
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt Bennett View Post
Whatever you get, you'll want 3,500 watts minimum to run the AC. That's for when it starts. After it's running, our 15k btu one pulls only 8 to 9 amps.
Hummmmmm! Any Coleman 15K btu unit made uses 15.3-15.9 AMP even their Power Saver 13.5K units use 11.2 AMP.
I have one of both on my MH. Both less then 2 years old.

Now a 11K unit does use 9.9 AMP. Still more then your 15K unit.

For the Op
How to pick a Onan for your RV.

Smallest Diesel unit that will run a AC, best mounted in truck bed.
Mounted in RV LP models no carburetor problems from long no use.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:01 PM   #5
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We bought a 4KW Champion to use when we are not at hookups AND only during the mid-day so we don't bother folks. They have some negative postings on them but I have taken db measurements on it and gennies in big MHs. Going to compile a report on all the reading I get this year, to see just how "noisy" they really are. In some campgrounds even the Hondas are not too friendly when running. I don't feel the Champions are all that noisy compared to big MH gennies at 20 feet in most camp grounds. We also found we use it a lot less than we thought we would.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:28 PM   #6
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I started reading about getting a generator for our new fifth wheel trailer. Inverters generators are preferred as their engines are not running flat out all the time--rpm's go up and down with power demand. Electricity is also cleaner (for electronics).

As previously mentioned, Honda's are the standard of the industry. And they're very quiet. Some go with two EU2000's linked together ($2150), and many go with one EU3000 unit ($2100).

Yamaha generators also has comparable products and prices. Yamaha's EF3000iSEB ($2222) produces 3500 watts (a/c startup) for 10 seconds and 3000 watts for 10 minutes--especially great for RV's.

The Champion brand of generators appear to be a very popular much cheaper generator. They have a model 35531i that produces 3100 watts to start a 15,000 BTU a/c, and it's priced @ $940 on Amazon.com. It's an inverter style RV generator, and very quiet like the Hondas and Yamaha's.

Champion also has other 3100 watt generators for as low as $315 and a 5000 watt generator for $650ish online. And they're also supposed to be very good generators.

Good luck in your search.

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Old 07-29-2014, 09:46 PM   #7
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The Honda eu3000i can also be ordered with remote start. $2,300. I think I would prefer getting gasoline on me or in the truck bed over diesel fuel.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:47 PM   #8
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If it was me, I would get a Honda or Yamaha Invertor. They are quieter and fuel efficient.
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:00 AM   #9
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Thanks so much for the generator info. Will let you know what we decide. I own a honda car so it would be an easy choice for me but not so much for my GMC diesel loving better half....
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:12 AM   #10
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An AC has two ratings which is start up power (momentary) & run power. Generators have the same type ratings.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:06 AM   #11
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How to choose a generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by b1cxto35 View Post
Good morning,
I have a tonne of questions as we are soon to embark on a F/T lifestyle with our Montana 3750. Our next purchase is a generator.
Diesel GMC Duramax 6.6 is our mode of pull so hubby thinks a diesel genny would be a good choice rather than carrying gas. The manufacturers I've noted here are Honda, Yamaha, and Champion that seem to be the gens of choice. Winters will be south in parks with power. Summers could be boon docking or family properties. We would like something quiet that could run 1 AC (if needed). I understand that lack of usage can be a problem for gens. Any thoughts on how to figure out your usage and needs for power/kw would be greatly appreciated.
Still fumbling my way around this site. Hope I am posting in the right area....

This one would sit in the truck bed and be a good choice. When comparing Ratings for noise be sure to see what distance they are measuring it at. Closer always seems louder. This one. Meets the national park rule of 60 dB at 50 feet.

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Old 07-30-2014, 10:42 AM   #12
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Here is another choice

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Old 07-30-2014, 11:56 AM   #13
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I finally found the noise rating of the Subaru generator......so I don't think you should consider this one now......it's listed as 78 dB at 23 feet..... YIKES ! It's a 3600 rpm unit, I guess that's why. Need to stick to diesels that can run at 1800 rpm, or the inverter diesels, for quiet power. The Onan RV diesels fit the bill nicely in that department.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:39 PM   #14
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http://uscarburetion.com

This might be an option to not carry gas cans.
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