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Old 06-28-2013, 11:58 AM   #1
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Portable Generator/Inverter: What size?

So i'm going to buy a gas powered portable generator/inverter to have along with us to suppliment when the 7kw Onan can't be used or when it's too noisy to do so. You know for that 5AM coffee, watching TV outside or when boondocking to save diesel fuel.

So how big is enough? I've been looking exclusively at the Honda EU2000i / 3000i series and the Yamaha EF2000iS/2400iSHC/2800i generator/inverters.

Is 1800w nominal good enough or you find you need more? I like the light weight of both companies 2000 series gens but i'm not sure it's enough. The Yamaha EF2400iSHC & EF2800i are very appealing to me for power,features & warranty but the weight at 77/68 lbs kind of worries me a bit.

Any thoughts would be appreciated as i'm looking to buy real soon. And please, in a nice way, no thougts on making coffee, watching tv outside or the dangers of carrying gas or fuel consumption of the Onan. Already have read plenty of those threads, thanks
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:52 PM   #2
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I think a 2000 watt unit would be sufficient for the needs you mentioned. I personally would opt for the Honda EU2000i. I have no experience with the generator, but have owned several other Honda products over the years, and really like the quality the put into them. The EU2000i has really good reviews from owners for being quiet, as well as economical to operate. I would also be concerned, at my tender age, of the extra weight of the Yamaha 2400/2800 units, although they too build quality products.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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Right before we got a deal on a new RV we picked up a Honda eu2000i and the companion unit.
DW said when we picked up the new RV, now what to do with them.
They are quieter, portable, can be used in the winter to run the heat with a cord going outside.........
I chose the 2000 over the 3000 as cost was about the same for the set and 49 lbs for a 2000 (98 for the set) was better than 134 for a 3000 to move around, for me. That also in theory gave me 1000 more watts. But a hair louder.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:53 PM   #4
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2000 watts is plenty for what you described, as long as that is the limit. 1200 would do it, in fact.

I think you may be kidding yourself, though.The Onan7500 diesel uses about 0.15 gal/hour with a 1000 watt load and doesn't make much noise at all. More of a low hum than anything else.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
2000 watts is plenty for what you described, as long as that is the limit. 1200 would do it, in fact.

I think you may be kidding yourself, though.The Onan7500 diesel uses about 0.15 gal/hour with a 1000 watt load and doesn't make much noise at all. More of a low hum than anything else.
I agree 100% - the liquid cooled 7.5 Onan inside the generator housing, especially under light load conditions likely has a lower DB signature outside the coach and good fuel consumption that would make carrying a second gen for the purpose you describe questionable. Also with a gas Gen you would need to carry a gas can and then place this generator outside in the elements.

My liquid cooled Onans were super quiet. You had to be on top of them to really notice it on and inside the coach it was a light hum.

My son has a 2kw honda it is quiet and he camped with me a vew times. I noticed his gen as being louder.outside than my 7.5.kw. I often just ran a power line to him so he did not need his genny.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:45 PM   #6
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the Honda 2000 inverter is not that quiet when loaded say with a coffee maker as compared to the whisper quiet Honda 3000 inverter. The 3000 inverter is too heavy to leisurely move around though. I have both, so I have compared.

I can't compare the Honda 2000 inverter to the Onan quiet diesel.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
2000 watts is plenty for what you described, as long as that is the limit. 1200 would do it, in fact.

I think you may be kidding yourself, though.The Onan7500 diesel uses about 0.15 gal/hour with a 1000 watt load and doesn't make much noise at all. More of a low hum than anything else.
Gary, not kidding myself at all. It's an 06' vintage Onan 7000 and it's far from a low hum, if it was i wouldn't be looking for a generator believe me. Let's just say that the outside TV must be on full volume to hear anything 5' from it. And as far as consumption (which I wanted to avoid discussing), it's .20gph no load / .45gph half load and .95gph at full load. I even added a GenTuri to not only re-route fumes but try and quiet it down. Helped a bit but not enough. Tried using noise absorbing material under it too, nope. This thing couldn't hum if it wanted to.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:33 PM   #8
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If the new QD is rated at 66db (10 ft 1/2 load) (6000/8000) and the Honda eu2000i is rated at 59db at full load..........
That makes it about 50% louder. Now slap it in a box and you can quiet it some.
The 3000 Honda is rated at 58db at full load.
Just saying......
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Razzman View Post
Gary, not kidding myself at all. It's an 06' vintage Onan 7000 and it's far from a low hum, if it was i wouldn't be looking for a generator believe me. Let's just say that the outside TV must be on full volume to hear anything 5' from it. And as far as consumption (which I wanted to avoid discussing), it's .20gph no load / .45gph half load and .95gph at full load. I even added a GenTuri to not only re-route fumes but try and quiet it down. Helped a bit but not enough. Tried using noise absorbing material under it too, nope. This thing couldn't hum if it wanted to.
Same with my 97 vintage 7500 .... works fine but not quiet outside. Inside, it's typically drowned out by the A/C anyway. Same consumption as yours.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:02 PM   #10
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Same with my 97 vintage 7500 .... works fine but not quiet outside. Inside, it's typically drowned out by the A/C anyway. Same consumption as yours.
It can get annoying for sure at times. Inside's not bad but when outside forget it!
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BCooke View Post
If the new QD is rated at 66db (10 ft 1/2 load) (6000/8000) and the Honda eu2000i is rated at 59db at full load..........
That makes it about 50% louder. Now slap it in a box and you can quiet it some.
The 3000 Honda is rated at 58db at full load.
Just saying......
Enclosing the QD (or any generator) makes a huge difference in reducing the DB level from outside the box and each housing has different acoustic reduction capabilities. The housing will not only attenuate the noise, it will redirect it. Taking the raw DB rating without factoring in the enclosure reduction component for comparison is meaningless. The actual environment MUST be factored and then actual measurements taken at appropriate locations to validate the results. I know my quiet 7.5kw gave a lower sound footprint beside my RV than my sons Honda 2000 under load. The Honda was sitting on concrete at the time. (every area was on covered with concrete) Sitting on a more acoustic absorbing material would have produced different results.

I have done some acoustic noise reduction engineering in the aviation industry where noise levels can have significant impact on hearing degradation and I have used many methods to mitigate the noise effects. Enclosures and redirection techniques really do help.

I have an acoustic db meter but did not use it at that time but our mark 1 ears could discern the Honda was louder in that environment.

Anyway the OP clarified that his Onan 7000 was apparently very noisy in his environment and he is looking for a quieter genny.

Thanks for looking up the raw data. It is interesting.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #12
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My 2 cents,..

Get some good battery power, buy an inverter(1500 watt min), get a tea kettle and a French press.
1. You will use your Genny less.
2. You will have better coffee at 5am.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:44 PM   #13
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Got all that and hate French presses
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:35 PM   #14
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I have a pair of the Honda EU2000i with the parallel cable. If we want to run an A/C and microwave, we parallel them for 4000 Watts peak. If we just want to power up a few things, recharge the batteries, we run just one.

Ken
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