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Old 05-04-2013, 09:14 PM   #15
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Caveman has it right, there are two part to the equation current generation and conservation. I had our trailer built for serious boondocking, off the grid for weeks at a time. I hate the sound of a generator and we do have a 2300W Kipor which will run our AC and that would be the only time I would run it. We have a 180W solar panel feeding a 150AH AGM battery, and when we are off the grid we use power for LED lights, XM radio powering cell phones iPad, Waeco refigerator from 12V, the TV running from a 300W inverter and everything else, hot water heater, cooking, grill, are propane. For coffee a French press, we do not have or need a microwave, all is supplied from solar.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:19 PM   #16
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Caveman CBB.....well, for starters, in general we don't like using the air conditioner at all. We prefer the outdoors.....hence the reason why we camp! :-) But in the future we do plan to travel in the southwest, and I'm sure we'll run into situations where we'll need it. So we want to buy something that will allow for that possibility.

We also have LED lights, but we're avid photographers and need to recharge camera batteries and use the computers for editing. So we need to be able to plug into outlets. Otherwise, I'm sure we could get along fine. So batteries alone won't cut it for us.

I guess what I'm really trying to get at is what size generator we need without it being overkill. If the total wattage of all of our appliances is 4500, and we obviously won't be using them all at the same time, is there a guideline for which we can 'guesstimate' what size generator we need?

We're thinking of going to our local Camping World and picking their brains, but I almost trust this forum more. :-) Thanks for your input!
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:29 PM   #17
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If your trailer is 30A service, then multiply that by 125VAC, and you get 3750W max.
AC is 20A max. 2500W.
All else on 15A breakers. GFCIs, outlets, micro, WH, converter. 1875W.
If it were me, I'd like to make sure I'm covered 100%.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by charlie 62 View Post
Weather should be cool enough that you will not need AC at night.Just get enough generator for your needs.
I agree. It's cool at night.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:42 PM   #19
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Romanichel.....My husband was looking at a EU3000is Honda, but it cost about $1900. He totaled up the watts of all our appliances, furnace, AC, lights, etc., and all totaled it's 4500w. But, we obviously would not be using them all at the same time. So perhaps a smaller generator would suffice. Does your 2000w unit suffice for operating the air conditioning and microwave? Thanks for your help! :-)

Its the A/C unit that requires most of the current/wattage.

Think of your usage in two parts, the A/C, and everything else.



Here is a write up on generators which may be of some interest...



GENERATORS--are like batteries in that the major brands will usually work well IF you perform the required maintenance. I've had three -- and sold them all because I never used them. RVers seldom do the very extensive maintenance needed with generators. The cost of a good generator, fuel and maintenance makes generators the most inefficient and costly source of RV electricity. Yet, some people do need them. Most people with adequate solar systems don't need them. If you need one, or want to build your own engine-and-alternator setup for battery charging, get the Backwoods Solar Electric catalog (PROD SOURCES). It gives the best info on what kind to buy (or not buy). Backwoods also sells a how-to booklet and has a DIY kit you can buy that has the parts you need. One thing you must be cautious about with generators: Many are sold to house people and RV people with the manufacturer not making allowances for the "AC neutral and ground wire not to be bonded" restriction mentioned under Inverters and PROD SOURCES. This can be a serious safety hazard. (Onan is known for this fault.) I wouldn't buy a gen without checking this out (and most RV dealers/stores know nothing about this). An independent generator service shop can fix the problem if you can't do it yourself (it's EZ). See my "Batteries and Other Electrical Stuff" poopsheet for more info. That sheet has a 120VAC section that covers much more about generators.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
Caveman CBB.....well, for starters, in general we don't like using the air conditioner at all. We prefer the outdoors.....hence the reason why we camp! :-) But in the future we do plan to travel in the southwest, and I'm sure we'll run into situations where we'll need it. So we want to buy something that will allow for that possibility.

We also have LED lights, but we're avid photographers and need to recharge camera batteries and use the computers for editing. So we need to be able to plug into outlets. Otherwise, I'm sure we could get along fine. So batteries alone won't cut it for us.

I guess what I'm really trying to get at is what size generator we need without it being overkill. If the total wattage of all of our appliances is 4500, and we obviously won't be using them all at the same time, is there a guideline for which we can 'guesstimate' what size generator we need?

We're thinking of going to our local Camping World and picking their brains, but I almost trust this forum more. :-) Thanks for your input!

Lots of folks like the idea (and flexibility) of using two Honda EU2000i
gen-sets.

You can use one for A/C and the other for most everything else.

You can also link the two units together with something like this...

http://www.gen-tran.com/assets/pdfs/PKbrochure.pdf
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:17 PM   #21
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2 Honda EU2000s produce FAR more noise than a Honda 3000i. A 3000i will run your AC and some of your electrics but not all.

A EU2000s will run your AC if you have everything else turned off. I ran my 13.5k AC in an emergency 1 night while out when my Onan malfunctioned.

1 Honda EU2000 is very quiet when not being used at near to full loads

1 Honda 3000i is VERY quiet even under full load

Honda 3000i is heavy...about 130-140lbs (I know, I have 1) and love it!

When we had our trailer...we'd fire genny up, turn T stat to 60, let it run a couple hours after dark so the AC would cool off the inside, shut it down and sleep fine all night. This was during 90+ degree days with humid low 80 nights.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:20 PM   #22
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A lot of these responses seem a little overly complicated. IMHO

If you want to run everything except the AC a small ( one that could be lifted by one person ) portable generator should do the job.

If you want to run everything including the AC you will need a bigger generator maybe mounted on hitch or in good size compartment. I have heard that some the new small Hondas can be linked together so that might be a good option.

If you are in a camp there will probably be regulations on when or if you can use the generator.

If you want to watch tv or use coffee maker without a generator running you will need to get an inverter. With a small led Tv you could probably get an in inexpensive one that plugs into the 12 volt plug on the dash or maybe near the tv depending on your unit.

To run bigger appliances you will need to have at least two batteries and have a large inverter that is hardwired to the batteries. Little more complicated install and possibly getting into $300 plus.

Solar is a whole other ball game and gets even more complicated and pricy.

Although I would like to have a large inverter system and the best solar panel set up you could get, I simply can't afford it. Where I am boondocking there are no rules or regulations other than common sense and hopefully being neighborly. We run the gen in the morning for coffee and tv and charging. Then in the evening tv, charging ( maybe electric heater or AC to cool off rig ) then off for bed time.

For me at this time it keeps things simpler and figure I can buy a lot of gas for the price of the upgrades. I am sure my annual gas budget for the gen has not exceeded $50 JMHO

Good Luck with your decision.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #23
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Sorry for the delay in getting back to everybody. Thanks to all of your VERY helpful input, we went down to our local Camping World today and bought a Honda EU2000i. Thanks to your advise we were at least able to ask semi-intelligent questions. :-) We got a great salesman....he spent a long time talking to us about the pros and cons of different sizes and brands. For our needs this will serve us well for the time being.

Since we'll be traveling to the Smokies in May, as some of you said, hot weather shouldn't be a factor at that time of year. And frankly, we don't even like to use the air conditioning unless we're in a particularly harsh environment. So if we end up taking a trip to the southwest, at that time we'll buy another of the same generator and connect them together.

We were considering the 3000, but my husband has had some back trouble, and we figured the smaller unit would be more advisable from that standpoint. When we upgrade to a 5th wheel, if it has 2 air conditioners, the 2 generators will be fine. Shortly before going to bed, we could turn off the one air conditioner, and turn on the other one, as I know it would not run 2 A/C's.

If we decide at some point in the future that we'd like to have a larger generator, or if one comes with the 5th wheel we plan to buy, then we can easily sell our Hondas without too much trouble, I should think.

So anyway, the decision has been make, and once again you all have helped us tremendously. It's comforting that rather newbie RV'ers like us have a place to turn for answers to our questions.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
Sorry for the delay in getting back to everybody. Thanks to all of your VERY helpful input, we went down to our local Camping World today and bought a Honda EU2000i. Thanks to your advise we were at least able to ask semi-intelligent questions. :-) We got a great salesman....he spent a long time talking to us about the pros and cons of different sizes and brands. For our needs this will serve us well for the time being.

Since we'll be traveling to the Smokies in May, as some of you said, hot weather shouldn't be a factor at that time of year. And frankly, we don't even like to use the air conditioning unless we're in a particularly harsh environment. So if we end up taking a trip to the southwest, at that time we'll buy another of the same generator and connect them together.

We were considering the 3000, but my husband has had some back trouble, and we figured the smaller unit would be more advisable from that standpoint. When we upgrade to a 5th wheel, if it has 2 air conditioners, the 2 generators will be fine. Shortly before going to bed, we could turn off the one air conditioner, and turn on the other one, as I know it would not run 2 A/C's.

If we decide at some point in the future that we'd like to have a larger generator, or if one comes with the 5th wheel we plan to buy, then we can easily sell our Hondas without too much trouble, I should think.

So anyway, the decision has been make, and once again you all have helped us tremendously. It's comforting that rather newbie RV'ers like us have a place to turn for answers to our questions.
Very smart move
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:43 AM   #25
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I know this is a late post but I just now read the thread. Elkmont campground is our favorite place on the planet. We camp there usually 4 or 5 times a year. We have a 30' TT, 2 12v batteries, and a Honda 2000 generator. I also converted all my lights to LED last year. It only cost about $15 but that's another story if anyone is interested. You are only allowed to run a generator between the hours of 8am and 8pm. Noisy generators will prompt cheers from around the campground when they are turned off. We turn ours on in the morning to power the coffee pot and microwave and to charge the batteries. There is no TV or cell phone reception there. Sometimes that's a good thing. A couple of battery powered fans can be very helpful. You can move them where ever you want. I have a CPAP machine. I got a 12v cord for it and plug it into a 12v (cigarette lighter) plug beside my bed which I installed. I leave the humidifier at home. The 2000 Honda will run everything but your AC and weighs about 50lbs. The 3000 will power everything including the AC but it weighs about 125lbs. My back won't take that anymore. I would opt for 2 of the 2000's connected together if I need that much power. Any, hope you enjoyed your trip to Elkmont. Check out the synchronized fireflies during the first two week of June.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:38 PM   #26
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One thing to consider, when dry camping you don't have to run everything in your trailer. You have a propane stove so perk you coffee the old timey way and heat it up on the stove. Cook on your stove, not on the microwave. Get a Coleman white gas lantern to use as light outside when it gets dark and spend more time outside.

One of the things I love about our summer dry camping trips is no television, no internet and we are out of cell service. I do all the cooking and do most of it outside either on my grill or on a small stove or on the campfire.

Point is, you don't have to live like you are at home when you are camping and it can be more enjoyable.
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