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Old 02-06-2018, 11:44 AM   #1
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Generators

I have never owned a Generator before and have never boon-docked
Would like to change those statistics
I have one AC-13,500, 8 cu ft fridge & microwave. DVD & tele, 6-gallon water heater
My budget is limited (prefer $500 range if at all possible) and need to know what is the lowest wattage needed for these appliances?
Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:18 PM   #2
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A generator is a large investment that both you and your neighbors have to live with. Your air conditioner at start up will be your biggest load. You should start by visiting these web sites to calulate the size you need.

Honda
http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/wattage-calculator

Generac

Generac Power Systems - What Size Portable Generator Do I Need?

I would avoid most of the bargain generators at the big box stores. They are generally hard to start and very noisy. Most generator manufacturers are switching to inverter technology. These are more efficient and produce cleaner power. You should also look at used generators to save money.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:35 PM   #3
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$500 is probably not going to get you where you need to be, unless you find an amazing deal on a use generator.

You probably need 5500 - 8000 watts... and then you will not be able to run everything at once.

Honda is a great option. Dependable and quite, but, as usual, you pay for quality.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:48 PM   #4
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Predator 3500 from Harbor Freight has worked awesome for me so far. I havenít used it since November,, but took it out of the garage this past weekend and it started up on the 1st attempt. Itís very quiet and can run everything I need. Now 3 years from now, I may be singing a different tune. I needed/wanted a generator but didnít want to pay $2000+, I paid $650 for the Predator.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:06 PM   #5
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You won't need more the the power cord will supply and that's 3600 watts.

I would go for a Champian inverter generator before the Harbor Freight one. The HF is the cheapest generator out there and that has to count for something.

Haven't shopped lately, but Champion did make a 3200 watt inverter model that may do it for you, but not for $500.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KHBama View Post
Predator 3500 from Harbor Freight has worked awesome for me so far. I havenít used it since November,, but took it out of the garage this past weekend and it started up on the 1st attempt. Itís very quiet and can run everything I need. Now 3 years from now, I may be singing a different tune. I needed/wanted a generator but didnít want to pay $2000+, I paid $650 for the Predator.
I agree. for the price of a honda I can buy 4 predator's. so I think it's worth the gamble. The way I see it when you buy anything from Harbor Freight just be aware of what you are buying and know that they do have some gem's.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:11 PM   #7
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I found this and it may work as long as you don't try to run everything at once.

https://factorypure.com/products/cha...BoCyl4QAvD_BwE
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:25 PM   #8
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The price on that HF generator keeps creeping up: $730 when I checked just now. I think I'd rather have the $1000 Champion 3k for that price.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:28 PM   #9
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The most affordable "quiet" generator for your needs is the HF predator 3500 inverter generator.

There are many contractor gens that will work. They also will take much of the fun out of your boondocking experience. Not to mention that of the neighbors.

https://www.harborfreight.com/3500-w...tor-63584.html
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:37 PM   #10
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$500 is probably not going to get you where you need to be, unless you find an amazing deal on a use generator.

You probably need 5500 - 8000 watts... and then you will not be able to run everything at once.

Honda is a great option. Dependable and quite, but, as usual, you pay for quality.
Not even close!

A 30 Amp TT will only run 2 things off the generator:

The converter to charge the batteries, and
The Air Conditioner.

We used a Yamaha 2800i inverter generator on all our 30 TTs and it worked like a champ. Slow and quiet in ECO mode and ramps up when needed to start the AC compressor.

You could even run your 13.5K AC off a Honda 2000i but it would overload the breaker (13.6 AC Amps) on a hot day or if the batteries needed charging. It would have no problem starting it though.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:07 PM   #11
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Question

You can buy two Ryobi's for what you will pay for one Honda. They are 2200 watt each, get the connector that will let you hook them together to run in parallel. Home Depot handles Ryobi's. Thinking on it, the new ones are rated for 2300 watts, so that'd be 4600 watts for you.

Now all that was concerning the previous post that stated that the generators from the big box stores are noisy. Not that bad.

I run a Ryobi and use it very heavily during the fall months for hunting. I can run the a/c, microwave tv, dvd, etc, and have the same size a/c that you do. one thing that I can't do, as I don't have two of them, is to run the a/c and microwave at the same time. Not even the furnace and microwave. Not enough watts. I shut one off and use the microwave then turn the a/c or furnace back on after the microwave is done.

Just my $.02 worth.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRebel View Post
$500 is probably not going to get you where you need to be, unless you find an amazing deal on a use generator.

You probably need 5500 - 8000 watts... and then you will not be able to run everything at once.

Honda is a great option. Dependable and quite, but, as usual, you pay for quality.
That would produce way more than the 30 amps his trailer is wired for so it would be wasted. You can't run everything on a 30 amp system even on pedestal power.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:32 PM   #13
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I have a single 3000 watt Champion Inverter generator and it works perfectly. I do have to manage which appliances I run at the same time. Microwave and a/c after it is running is no problem. I turn the HW heater to propane (I only run that when I need hot water) so it is out of the loop and the refrigerator is not an issue. The most power your 30 amp service can handle is 3600 watts so anything bigger isn't needed. I purchased mine from Suprgen on ebay for $500.00 reman and would buy another from them without thinking twice. If I were to do it all over again I would buy 2 smaller units and tie them together because moving a 100 lb generator around can be challenging and you only need it all when the weather is hot.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:28 PM   #14
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For boondocking, first I invested in good batteries. I got two Interstate GC2 batteries, and I keep a close eye on them.

Second, I got some portable solar panels to recharge the batteries silently. Well worth the investment for me.

Third I got the two honda 2K watt gennies that can be run together, or separately. I like the flexibility of the two gennies because I can run one and save fuel if I don't have a large demand, or put the two together and run the 13.5K BTU AC easily. I also added a second start cap to the AC for slightly easier startup of the AC compressor, total cost was $10 for that.
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