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Old 01-27-2015, 05:21 PM   #29
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The real Cadillacs of the generator world are the Honda EU's and the Yamaha sine wave inverter generators. Some run a pair of 2000 watt units hooked together--one if just running the lights and both if running the a/c. They're just over $1K each.
The 3000 watt inverter generators are also popular, as they'll run one a/c unit. They run about $2K each.
Inverter generators rev up when the demand for power increases. At low demand times, they idle down--quiet, efficient and with good clean power. You can keep all those 4000 and 5000 watt fuel guzzling loud generators with junk power coming out of them.
I'm sold on the Champion brand of inverter generators. You can get a 3100 watt model for $800-900 online, and they're very comparable with Honda/Yamaha's $2100 units. As far as I can tell, Champions are almost as quiet. And the company is truly customer driven--great customer service.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by dkperez View Post
The BAD news is SHE HATED IT... There is NO possible way my wife would tolerate this thing for any length of time. And when I flipped the electric heater on at the low setting and the thing revved up, she DEFINITELY didn't like it. Even at idle, even 25 feet away, even on the other side of the car on the other side of the driveway. I have to admit - I also thought it was a LOT louder than I'd expected.

One thing to think about is the fact you don't need to run the generator all the time.....beef up your batteries and then the generator only runs between two and four hours a day to recharge the batteries. You can sleep in quiet with just battery power. Then when you wake up, fire up the generator while you make breakfast and get ready. Run the generator again at supper time for a few hours, then you can most likely shut it off and watch TV in quiet peace.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:33 PM   #31
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Thanks for the replies... Yep, I know ANY generator is going to make some noise... And I'm ok with that to a point. My wife is a LOT more sensitive to fan and motor and all such noise, but I have to admit - in my opinion, the Ryobi we tried today is ANNOYING.... And it was REALLY annoying when I hit the microwave and the thing revved up to whatever it needed to handle it... it WORKED fine, but it was NOWHERE NEAR what I'd consider "quiet". And my wife REALLY hated it...

Ignoring the A/C, microwave, toaster, our loads would be

lights
exhaust fan (sometimes)
a small flatscreen tv - 32 inch
satellite dvr/receiver
desktop computer with a flatscreen monitor (smaller of mine so only 24")
laptop computer
probably the water pump intermittently

What I'd LIKE is to be able to run everything including the A/C. I was told by the two folks at the rental place that they both have the 3000/3100 watt Honda extra quiet generator, and they both said it runs their 13,500 btu A/C with NO problem.

If the Champion can do the same thing, and be "almost" as quiet - depends on HOW QUIET "ALMOST" is...

I thought about the cheap 1000 watt unit for recharging batteries. That or the 2000 watt that's not extraordinarily quiet may be my best choice with inverters and such. I like the idea or running a couple inverters... Which takes me to a couple questions...

Do I wire the inverter(s) somewhere so they feed, for example, the wall plug the tv/dvr is on? And the ones with the computers? Or do I just run extensions to where I need the juice and plug things in that way? That wouldn't be a very clean installation, and I can see ME tripping over the cords.

Without going out and trying to READ all the power consumption on things in the frozen RV, is there a way to find out how much juice an average tv/dvr consumes and about how much a normal desktop computer/24" flatscreen consumes? I rummage online to see what I can find out.

Then I'll have to figure out how much battery I need, how much loss there is going through the inverter, and what inverters I'll need... For all I know, it'll be more expensive than a generator!
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:27 PM   #32
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Since installing 200 watt of solar we never see the need of a Genny. Batteries are 100% every day. Before the batteries never lasted and at the end of the weekend they were dead. Running Genny 4 hrs per day was not enough.

Go solar.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:43 PM   #33
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I saw where you used the ryobi and it was too noisy? I use the green ryobi from Home depot on the boats occasionally and it is not as quiet as the 2000 watt Honda but the price differance is about 700.00 . I can attest to the life and fuel to the honda being efficient. I also have a Honda 3000 big heavy square machine, quiet and awesome.
It runs the boat a/c 10,000 btu and microwave etc. I think for the money the ryobi is good and so far no trouble . The price range of it I havent found much quieter.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:07 AM   #34
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Lots of generator ideas, but will you always need your AC?, Do you have an inverter? you can add solar and more batteries that can handle all, or most, of the loads, but the Ac. I've seen 5th wheels with generators mounted to the rear, like a Whole house standby generator, in the case and all, not the cheapest set up, but was sure quiet
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:23 AM   #35
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What I'm confused about is the OPs budget. He wants to spend $300, and wants it to be quiet. I use a 300w Bestek inverter. I run a 32 inch tv, satellite receiver, and DVD player on it. It costs $21. The catch is, at some point you HAVE to recharge the batteries.
You can't use solar, too expensive. Unless the OP wants to cough up at least $700 or more, he is just out of luck. Also, he will need at least 200AH of Good battery to make what he wants to work. The only solution is the 300w inverter I mentioned, good batteries, a $300 generator run at night and some noise canceling headphones. 😁😁
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:53 PM   #36
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Actually I don't think I indicated I wasn't willing to spend more than $300. I'd LOVE to spend $300, but found out that wasn't going to happen really quickly. But, I also don't want to spend $2000 on a generator that's so heavy I can't use it. Which is why I tried the Ryobi since it was available.

It's noisy. It's noisy enough that my wife was unwilling to have it running. So yeah, I KNOW it's cheaper than the Honda, but it doesn't do me any good when the spouse is homicidal... And from what I've been told, the super quiet Hondas are quite audible too.

I gave up on the A/C early on since anything that'll run the A/C is so heavy it's not going to be reasonable to get it out of the truck bed and back into the truck bed and back out of the truck bed to store it in the garage. SO, that's when I went down to 2000 watts, figuring if we could run the electronics and microwave that'd be adequate. Thus, trying the 2000 watt Ryobi.

When THAT didn't fly I figured I'd see if I could do something with inverters. I got load information on the most likely electronics we'd be running, and here's whats I found. Some of these are from the item specs, and some are from tables online:

Small 32" flatscreen tv - 350 watts
Satellite receiver - 40-60 watts (the online list says the receiver is 200 watts)
Desktop computer - 300 - 400 watts
24" monitor - 300 watts
Laptop - 50 - 75 watts
Exhaust fan to keep trailer relatively cool without A/C - 150 watts
Couple of lights - 40 watts

SO, by my estimate I'd be running right around 1300 watts... Dropped the desktop computer since that's not reasonable to use and switched to the second laptop - now I believe I'd be using around 700 - 750 watts.

Group 27 deep cycle batteries appear to be between 85 and 100 amp-hours, which if I understand correctly is around 1020 - 1200 watt hours. So, a battery, best case would be good for between 1.5 and 2 hours at 700-750 watts... Figure an evening of 3 - 4 hours of doing stuff, and maybe an hour in the morning, and I'd need at LEAST 2 batteries and probably 3... That's not figuring any loss of efficiency in the whole inverter thing... So, after 1 day everything is dead.

Went online and looked at group 27 flooded deep cycle batteries (hopefully fer real deep cycle and not the marine or deep cycle/starting), and it APPEARS they run between $150 and $300 each. So, with three of them I've got at least $450 in BATTERIES without even buying the inverters. And I presume these can't be the cheap Walmart inverters - I presume they have to be something a lot more expensive.

I looked at solar arrays and kept finding a thing from Zamp for $900+ for 200 watts. Others I found were in the $650 - $700 range for 200 watts. If there's something significantly cheaper let me know 'cause I didn't find it.

I'm not an expert (or even very knowledgeable) on this so if I'm wrong (boy do I hope I'm wrong), I'd be really happy to hear it's not nearly as bad as it seems 'cause it seems like by the time I buy the inverters, batteries and solar array it'd be cheaper to buy the $1000+ Honda.

So, after all that, it looks like I'd best start looking for a campground with electricity in Wisconsin in April, 'cause the one where the show hall is, is closed...
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:07 PM   #37
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But, I also don't want to spend $2000 on a generator that's so heavy I can't use it.
I hear you loud and clear.

EF2000iS Combo | Yamaha Generators | yamahagenerators.com
Each generator is 44pounds dry, lets call it around 50 wet. Use one when you only need one. Use both when you need both (like for the air conditioning). Can you handle 50 pounds? Not sure? go to a big box store, find something that is 50 pounds, and try to carry it about twenty or thirty feet.

Only catch I can see is that if the seller is not a "Yamaha Authorized Dealer", there is a risk the warranty is no good.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:19 AM   #38
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Sorry, I just read that spending $1000 was out of the question. Here is what I did.
4-t105 Trojan 6v batteries, for a total of 440 AH. In addition to a couple of 300 watt $21 inverters, I bought and installed a Samlex 1500 watt PSW inverter. $500. That's $1000 total. If I was you and you were only going 6 times a year to these shows, I would buy 3 used 100w panels, build some ground brackets for them and hook them to a controller. The whole thing would probably be less than $500. It would take about 20-30 minutes each time to get out the panels and brackets, hook them together, hook to controller and to batteries. The panels weigh about 25lbs each, so no real strain there.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:28 AM   #39
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How much power an air conditioner takes depends on many things, Make, Model, AGE, how recently it was cleaned, The following are facts.

I have two Air Conditioners, both claim a 13.5 amp current draw and that has been confirmed on one of them. One is a almost 10 year old 13,500 BTU and the other is around 3 years old and a 15,000.

The smaller one started tripping the circuit breaker not all that long ago,, Verified it was the A/C drawing too much not the breaker.

Cleaned the condenser coils,, and it's back to 13.5 on the meter.

The moral.. A new A/C might draw less power due to improvements in technology, and a dirty one more due to heat build up.

Another factor affecting current draw is how hot is it? (Hotter it draws more, see what happend when mine got hot due to clogged condenser).

A Microwave should run on as little as 1200 watts, so a Honda 2000i shold run it just fine. But the A/C can take a lot more starting power,

Here too though there are some that "Soft Start" (Draw less power starting, but for a slightly greater time) and some that "Hard Start" (Start faster, but way more power). I can not help you with models.

I do know that when I'm on Generator power when the Big A/C kicks in the lamp on the table beside me blinks. The voltage drop is enough to kill the florcesent, but the inverter protects the delicate electronics (like this computer).
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:58 AM   #40
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Actually I don't think I indicated I wasn't willing to spend more than $300. I'd LOVE to spend $300, but found out that wasn't going to happen really quickly. But, I also don't want to spend $2000 on a generator that's so heavy I can't use it. Which is why I tried the Ryobi since it was available.

It's noisy. It's noisy enough that my wife was unwilling to have it running. So yeah, I KNOW it's cheaper than the Honda, but it doesn't do me any good when the spouse is homicidal... And from what I've been told, the super quiet Hondas are quite audible too.

Another thing you haven't tried.....is to build a sound absorbing box around the little 2000 watt generator. I have read (and you could google) about others successfully building a plywood box with insulation. Cut a small hole for the exhaust to go straight out. Put in a couple of 4 inch diameter quiet electric fans to force cooling air into and out of the box. This can cut the sound down dramatically.

What do the other people at the show use? If they run generators, your wife is going to hear theirs.......yours in a box won't ever be heard above the sound of the others running...

😃
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:21 PM   #41
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Yes, I've looked at several things about building a box, and even watched a couple youtube videos... I don't know that I'd build a BOX, but I WAS thinking if the generator was in the truck bed with the tailgate closed, I could maybe build a sound barrier that would direct the sound away from the trailer. It may require some fiddling... Why, when the idea is dead?

'CAUSE IT'S NOT DEAD, AGAIN!

This MORNING, spouse asked "Could we use this generator if we lost power? OR IF THE OFFSPRING IN A NEIGHBORING TOWN LOST POWER FOR 2 OR 3 DAYS (yes, she's not too worried if WE sit in the dark, but suddenly a generator sounds like a great idea if the GRANDKIDS can't play video games)?

Anyhow, I suggested that in THAT case the smaller 2000 watt unit might not run the refrigerator and freezer, but the 3000 watt unit SHOULD... So, now I've been told to go buy a generator...........

And wives WONDER why we husbands die younger!

If I told her I needed a Corvette to teach the grandkids how to drive, do y'all think I MIGHT be encouraged to buy one?
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:42 PM   #42
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Because of the weight....don't get a 3000 watt generator. Get (2) of the Honda or yamaha 2000 watt units. That way each one by itself only weighs 50 lbs. you can use them separately, or with a special cable, the output from both can be combined into a 4000 watt outlet.
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