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Old 06-14-2012, 06:32 PM   #1
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Small generator

Hi everyone. I have a generator question/ and or advice. We have a brand new jayco swift 184bh travel trailer which has a 30 amp power. I need to get a generator for it mainly to charge the battery while dry camping and some light electrical use. The main thing for me on the generator is size, as we tow with a 06'toyota sienna minivan and can only hold so much cargo and tounge weight and also an economical budget. I have considered larger model generators like 3000-4000 watts but they are also large and heavy and cost 350 or more. Harbor frieght sells a small 800 watt 900 watt peak 2 stroke generator that is on sale for a hundred, and is also very small and lightweight. Im sure many of you have seen it in thier ads. Im sure it would charge our battery just fine, My main concern was using the air conditioner if it was really hot but reading the sticker on the side it said 515 watts/4.8 amps which is pretty small. Mostly though besides charging we would just be using a few lights at night or the included stereo. Pros- small, very cheap, 2 stroke cheap to maintain. Cons, 5 hour run time small tank ( not a big deaL) small wattage means probobly no using the microwave.
Has anyone had experience with this little blue generator? Also do you think it would be a good deal for the low cost or not enough power? My main concern is how much it would take to charge the battery.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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Small Generator

I think you will need something with a peak of 1200 to 1500 watts to handle the starting load of the AC. Another consideration is the noise level. When we are boon-docking, a noisy generator is no fun for anyone. You can probably hear one at one of their stores. Unfortunately, quiet does raise the price.Good hunting,

Marc
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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Charging a battery, you would be fine. Any kind of AC would be no way. No microwave. Maybe a light or two. IMO, in a very short time you will find yourself wishing for more. Before you spend any money on anything, be realistic about your true needs. You may not be able to be away from shore power or you will need to carry more weight and spend more.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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Waaaaaa too small to run an air con even if it would start it, which it won't.

Even if the air con took 15 amps that's still 1600 watts. Some 2000 watt gens won't run a 15Kw air con.

We have two 13.5 heat pumps. I can run them both on 30 amps, but not much else.

30 amps is 3600 watts BTW.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:52 PM   #5
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Look on Youtube for a video of the generator running-you will not believe how noisy it is.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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Grampa always told me "buy the best and you'll never regret settling for less" Get the Honda or Yamaha.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:04 PM   #7
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Purchasing generator.

You may want to consider changing all interior lights to Led. Search a lot of internet sites for the best price. In a pinch you could hook up your tow vehicle to the trailer and running your tv for 1/2 hr. to charge up the battery. You could also consider putting a solar panel on the trailer to trickle charge your battery. Carry a fully charged second battery with you. Take your time to do a lot of research on these ideas. Search for articles on boondocking/conserving energy. In the mean time camp where electricity is available.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #8
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I find that mixing gas and oil for a 2 stroke is a PITA. Northern Tool has a small (800W), 4 stroke, inverter generator for $420 that has a shipping weight of only 28 lbs. It won't be quite as quiet as the Honda, but not as noisy as most either.

Joel
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam-3 View Post
You may want to consider changing all interior lights to Led. Search a lot of internet sites for the best price. In a pinch you could hook up your tow vehicle to the trailer and running your tv for 1/2 hr. to charge up the battery. You could also consider putting a solar panel on the trailer to trickle charge your battery. Carry a fully charged second battery with you. Take your time to do a lot of research on these ideas. Search for articles on boondocking/conserving energy. In the mean time camp where electricity is available.
I just bought 5 led bulbs for mine off e-bay. 40,000 hr life and .125 amp draw $9.99 a piece.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:50 PM   #10
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Save your money till you can get the Honda or Yamaha. They are so much better than the others; provide pure sine wave clean power, sip fuel, actually can produce their rated power and most importantly they are quiet-- at least as far as generators are concerned. Watch craigslist, I got my Hondu eu2000i, in like new condition, for $550 through craigslist.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:07 PM   #11
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i have a 1000 watt, i thinl its 6.7 amps. It is pretty noisy. I havent used it yet for boondocking, so i cant tell you how well it does. I just got back from a 7 day boondock, i have 2 solar panels, they seem to do well. If i need to run the mirco or vaccuum i start the MH genny. I bought battery powered lights at cosco, so i use those at night. They work good, only take 2 AA each. I also use candle light. I like to save my battery power to make sure my fridge stays running all night. I will be using my little genny sometime in July. I will report back and let you know how it works.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:26 AM   #12
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I have a Yamaha 2400 ISHC and I absolutely love it. Its not quite as quiet as a Honda 2000 but it will startup and run my 13.5K roof A/C in 100 degree heat with just a little drama ( TV shuts off cause its right at the limit of amps on A/C start up ) .

I plan to add a super start capacitor to the A/C and that should make the startup even easier.

I also suggest adding a hour meter to keep track of run time for maintenance. They are inexpensive and easy to install.



Yamaha Inverter EF2400iSHC Home, information
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:41 AM   #13
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Would definitely stay away from a two-stroke generator, the noise will drive you and your neibours crazy. check craig's list for a decent used one.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:51 AM   #14
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I found i can get a champion 1200/1500 for 189 at home depot. Much Quieter but looks like it would be heavier.
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